Halo Scot Has Answers
1. Hello! Introduce yourself to your people, or my people??…People of the internet!
Hey there! I’m Halo Scot, author of Edge of the Breach, a grimdark LGBTQ+ science-fantasy novel. I’ve been a student, a teacher, a musician, a photographer, a coder, and now, an author. But I wish I had an epic backstory, so let’s pretend I was raised in a cave by wolves until the age of sixteen and bitten by a radioactive spider.
2. Name your top 5 favorite movies.
Star Wars (any of the movies)
Star Trek (any of the movies)
Life is Beautiful
3. Your book Edge of the Breach was released January 8, 2020! What does that feel like? Did you get the response you were hoping to achieve?
It feels surreal. I’m still trying to process, honestly. Is it 2020 already? 🤣 And I have been so honored and humbled by the response. Thank you all SO much for your overwhelming support!
4. Be honest. How did family and friends respond to your book? Were you satisfied with the response, or are you the kind that depends on the kindness of strangers?
The response has floored me. I wrote this super weird, super dark, super messed-up book during a super messed-up time in my life, and I had no idea if anyone would want to read it, never mind like it. A million thanks to everyone who has read it so far — your support means more than you could ever know 🖤❤️
5. On your website you provide readers with a content warning: The Rift Cycle is a highly graphic series intended for mature audiences. It is about the raw, harsh, brutal nature of truth, and it is violent, gory, and unflinching in its execution. Can you specify how this could be a potential trigger warning? Who needs to take this warning to heart?
Sure, I’d love to. Thanks so much for asking. There are triggers for sexual/child abuse, rape, mental illness (depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD), self-harm, suicide, murder, and grief. Please take care of yourselves first, and please avoid this book if any of these topics could trigger you
6. Based on the sneak peek available via amazon, certain story lines and movies come to mind such as Treasure Planet, The Last Air Bender, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Twilight, and Halo. How much does pop culture influence you as a writer? Do you pay homage to the stories that have inspired you in your own writing?
I tend to have quite a mainstream taste in fiction, so I definitely pulled certain elements from pop culture. I try not to reference them directly, but rather capture the appeal or emotion behind them.
7. Kyder is quite the unconventional protagonist. It’s easy in the beginning to sympathize with his circumstances, but his actions are very questionable. According to some of the reviews, he’s not as likeable as one would expect the main character to be. Is the point of his personality to question or stretch the readers’ own perceptions of morality?
I enjoyed writing him way too much LOL. Yes, I wanted to show how someone so morally gray — okay, morally black 🤣 — could evolve, and I especially wanted the reader to sympathize with him. We tend to write off people too easily when they step out of line, and I wanted to create a character that, despite everything, you still want to forgive. Because if you can forgive Kyder, you can forgive anyone, and suddenly that silly spat you had with a colleague seems meaningless. If you can overlook Kyder’s many killing sprees, then you can overlook that angry email, Karen from Accounting.
8. In the time period Edge of the Breach takes place, the seasons play a pivotal role in the development of DNA. Do parents still pass on traits as well? In the first chapter there’s a lot of presumption about Kyder’s rage stemming from his father, but there doesn’t seem to be any personality traits he picked up from his mother. How important are the parents in the role of development regarding personality traits? Why is the father blamed for his anger, but not the sun god?
More great questions! Yes, parents definitely pass on traits as well. Book 2 deals more with what he gets from his mother, but in book 1, Kyder tries to distance himself from her as much as possible and doesn’t want to admit the parts of him that come from her (namely, the mental illnesses and the urge to control his surroundings). His father is blamed, because his mother keeps likening Kyder to him, and his world is quite small/self-centered at the moment. But being born in summer definitely plays a role in his personality, too, which we will continue to see 😏
9. Does Child Protective Services exist in year 7009? Curious minds need to know.
A bare-bones version exists, but the Shelf is painfully poor, so it doesn’t have the resources or funds to help kids like Kyder, unfortunately.
10. Why are humans so drastically changed by the radiation, but the fruits and vegetables seem untouched? Also, why doesn’t the food seem to reflect the environment?
I don’t want to give too much away, but basically, it has to do with the gods’ influence over humans. There are greenhouses in Zawad and food production technology salvaged from before the war to make the range of food you see.
11. How did the people left over from the old society make it to Antarctica? Did these Airsails and starboats exist before the world was knocked off its axis?
All of the tech existed before, so they used starboats to get there. Antarctica is basically a coagulation of cultural and technological scraps.
12. Why all the sailboats? Why not go-go ships like the Jetsons, or flying cars like Harry Potter?
I wanted to include fantastical elements that have less of a technological basis to add more of an ethereal ambiance. It’s a bit of an homage to Ray Bradbury. I love how he explained little and focused on story and heart — it was always, humans are on Mars BECAUSE, now deal with it 🤣. Don’t get me wrong, though. I love high-tech stories, too. But for the attention I wanted to give the characters, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do too much science. Hence, the starboats, BECAUSE 🤣.
13. In their society the poor don’t seem to have the building structures the rich and talented members of society have. Why are the poor given the technology for airsails, but not the technology for something as basic as walls in their underground homes?
People panic in times of crisis, and in my dystopia, each person is out for themselves. Zawad functions, but the city still has difficulty maintaining itself, and people tend to covet in times of despair. I also wanted some class structure to differentiate between Kyder and Rune.
14. Let’s talk about the connection between your book and Halo. Which realm of the Halo world, if any, inspired the passageway to the gods?
This book actually wasn’t really inspired by Halo ironically 🤣. The realms and the gods were comprised from a mix of ancient mythologies, including Egyptian, Greek, and Norse, to name a few. I go more in-depth with the lore in book 2 and especially in book 3.
15. Is the rift triggered by the nukes, a result that comes after the destruction of the planet, or by the gods themselves?
You ask great questions. This is explained in the later books as the worldbuilding takes on a larger role 😏
16. What can we expect to read in the next book in the Rift Cycle series?
Without giving too much away, Kyder takes revenge for the events of last book, so lots of blood and brutality, and Rune joins a military academy to honor the memory of her late twin, but she has trouble fitting in after life in a gang.
17. Authors often hide easter eggs in their stories. Are there any clues to where we can find these? What do they mean??
I feel really boring saying this, but since the story is so in-your-face, I didn’t hide any easter eggs in this one that I can remember. There is a very subtle reference to a huge plot point later on regarding one of the main characters, but I don’t want to give anything away 😏.
18. You mentioned on your website that you found writing to be therapeutic and that oftentimes the writing would become a mirror. Are you willing to share what you saw in the mirror?
Kyder. LOL jk…or kind of 🤣. Basically, I was diagnosed with various mental illnesses at an early age, but I always felt like if I accepted the diagnoses, I would be using them as an excuse (which obviously isn’t the case). When I started writing Edge of the Breach, and especially through the character of Kyder, I learned to accept the mental illnesses I have and be kind to myself if I have an off day or week or month. You would never tell someone with a broken leg to sprint on it, so I applied the same concept to mental illness. I allowed myself a “crutch” of lower productivity and relaxation when I needed to just tread water, to just get through. I was also grappling with my sexuality and identity throughout this whole series, and fought my queerness for years before allowing this book to be my mirror.
19. Edge of the Breach is the first in a series and it is assumed that we can expect more from you. Do you ever wish there was another topic or story line that you could pursue on the side, or does this series cover everything you wish to explore?
I poured my soul into this series (four books in total), and it consumed every part of me, so at the moment, I don’t feel the need to explore another topic. Though I am in the nascent stages of drafting a stand-alone that is more sci-fi-esque.
20. Do you have anything else you’d like to share regarding your work, personal life, random tidbits just for fun?
Your questions were so wonderful and thorough that I don’t have anything else to add! Thanks so much for having me!
To learn more about Halo Scot, read more in my blog!