Interview with Jeffrey Roberts

Where did the inspiration come from for "When Stars Wept"?
I always wondered what the outcome would have been, had the Jewish settlers on Masada been somehow victorious. And how could they have been - without a very special "visit"!
How did you choose the title?
I imagined God himself must have wept at the carnage at Masada; and that is how I came up with the title.
You chose to end the story on a cliffhanger, what are you hoping readers are thinking at the end of it?
Well, I wanted readers to see the parallel between the current crisis in the Middle East, and how eerie it would be, if it reared its ugly head for the very first time - in 2100!
Did you draw on your belief of UFOs for parts of the story?
No, I did not draw on my belief in UFO's for the story - only the possibility of time travel.
You make statements about the state of religion in your story, how do you relate these to the state of religion and religious acceptance in today’s world?
I wanted to show that the world could have evolved into a very different place, if Israel's Arab neighbors, never had posed a threat to her, in my alternative history. And I wanted people to reflect on the stark contrast of what the 2 different worlds would have morphed into.
How did your writing process differ between writing your novel The Healer and a short story?
The difference between writing THE HEALER and my short stories, fist of all, is about 2 years worth! Obviously, writing a full length hard science fiction novel, took massive amounts of research, to make it plausible and accurate. And it goes to the core of my belief the Face on Mars is quite real - its true purpose long hidden from the public. "When Stars Wept" was more of a science fantasy, and only required historical research on one thing - Masada.
Reality Skimming Press brands itself as ‘optimistic sci-fi.’ Tell us what you believe that phrase to mean.
"Optimistic Sci-fic" to me for instance, the world of Star Trek, where in 200 years we have solved the problems that have plagued humanity for millennia, and have explored the galaxy within the confines of a Federation of Planets. This, versus certain science fiction stories, where we are conquered and enslaved - or worse.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on finding literary agency representation for my original fantasy novel IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOUSE OF GOD; and working on a horror novel - THE HORROR ON THE HMS COTTINGLY.
Published 2016-05-19.
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Books by This Author

When Stars Wept
Series: Collidor. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,330. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2016 by Reality Skimming Press. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
What if the Jewish settlers at ancient Masada had not lost to the Romans? Perhaps they had "visitors" to help them?