Welcome to Shelfbuzz, Ken. We were fortunate to read an early draft of Exodus 2022 and were impressed not only by the big ideas of the novel, but by the interesting main character with a profession you don’t often see in science fiction. Tell us about him.
Joe Stanton is a young Episcopal minister dedicated to his congregation in Bremerton, Washington. He’s a good, hard-working soul and a friend to everyone he meets. He loves the outdoors and most of all, his girlfriend Ella.
Joe endures enormous suffering and hardship throughout the course of the novel and changes mentally, physically, and spiritually. Once Joe comprehends the enormity of the task that’s been handed to him he struggles mightily with the ethics of his role and the impact it will have on humanity and the planet.
Who might play Joe in the movie version of Exodus 2022?
Chris Hemsworth or Chris Pratt. Either would do an amazing job.
What made you want to tell Joe’s story?
I was curious to understand how an ordinary man might react to urgent communication from outside of the human race.
How important is the setting in Exodus 2022?
The settings (the San Juan Islands of Washington State, coastal Alaska, and the Madison Buffalo Jump in Western Montana) are crucial to the story. I chose those locations because the story deals heavily with the natural world and required venues where “wild” and “human” collide.
Tell us more about the research that went into this novel.
I visited all of the settings as I worked on the story. I also did an enormous amount of reading about brain development, animal intelligence, undersea exploration, and orca whales. It took me about two years of steady work to write the novel.
Considering the title and the profession of the main character, would you consider Exodus 2022 to be a religious novel?
The novel contains spiritual elements but I do not consider it a religious novel, at least not in the standard sense. It’s more about the sacredness of the earth than any human religion.
Exodus 2022 was recently picked up by Amazon imprint Lake Union Publishing and has garnered positive reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. This indicates not only great writing, but a high level of professionalism. As an indie author, how did you ensure that Exodus 2022 met professional standards?
I worked with a top editor from the Pacific Northwest Editors Guild, as well as professional proofreaders, cover designers, marketing people, and a number of awesome beta readers. My first publisher, Booktrope, helped me pull together a great team.
After readers finish Exodus 2022, which novel of yours should they read next?
My other novels, The Gaia Wars and Battle For Cascadia, are aimed at the young adult audience but I’ve received great feedback from adult readers, as well.
Thank you so much, Ken.