Interview with Kalifer Deil

Who are your favorite authors?
That's easy, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, Philip K. Dick and there are many others. I'm a fan of hard science fiction and write stories that have a reasonable grain of scientific truth. There are no fantasy elements in my stories and that disappoints many readers, especially since science fiction is now being confused with fantasy. This trend is leading many science fiction writers to mix the two genres. I want to inspire people to think about questions in science, engineering, psychology and philosophy. I want to inspire engineers to invent the devices we create out of a glimmer of an idea, to inspire scientists to get out of the box and to warn of possible consequences if the fruits of science are misused and humans don't act in concert to belay the consequences of corporate science and engineering actions. I'm not preachy about this, it's just a logical progression in some of my stories.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend a good amount of time being one of those engineers I write about. There are some great stories here as well but I may have to wait for some of the people involved in my past to die before I can write that book.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I was in High School and I was supposed to write a research report. Instead I put my heart and sole into a story called "The Big Brain" about a computer (vacuum tubes at that time) that took up four city blocks and emulated a human brain. By today's standard it was very naive. If such a computer was built it would have had the compute capability well short of my iPhone5s. I had no idea about mean-time-before-failure calculations so it never would have worked with that many components. I got a C since it was off subject and I didn't follow instructions. Lesson learned? Unfortunately not.
What is your writing process?
I don't have a ritual or set process. Once in a while, a story just explodes and I write as fast as I can type. At other times, I dress up a key character and let the character loose. The character then writes the story. By dress up, I mean I give the character a bio, likes and dislikes, a temperament and a flaw or two. I never outline a story but I do for nonfiction. For me, stories tend to take on a life of their own and the outline would be a waste of time or get in the way.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read Arthur C. Clarke's Childhoods End while in High School and it was like a revelation. I became an avid science and science-fiction reader after that.
Some of your stories have some pretty explicit sex scenes in them. Won't that limit your readership?
Probably. However, it is not gratuitous sex. The story you are referring to is the Tillian 5 Trilogy. The android Maggie, the heroine of Tillian 5, is a sex addict and it is this aspect of her persona that contributes significantly to her being a successful leader. It also creates many of her problems as well. She is the only character that I've developed that I fell in love with. As a writer, you are not supposed to do that.
What's wrong with falling in love with your character?
It limits what you can do with or to the character. It also make the book harder to judge dispassionately. It kind of paints you into a corner. It made the third volume very difficult to write. I did it though and am reasonably pleased with the result.
Describe your desk
My desk contains 5 computers. Why? I have programs that run under Windows 7, some that are older programs that run under XT. some that run on Mac OSX, some the run under linux, you get the idea. Besides, they keep my room warm. The walls are lined with books and I wish I had a huge whiteboard. The books will eventually go since I get mostly e-books now.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I have a character that just takes off and writes his or her story. It's very exhilarating and hard to type fast enough to cast the thoughts into concrete. This happened in the first volume of "Tillian 5" and in the novella "Well of Mirrors." It would be wonderful if this would repeat on command but it is not to be.
What is your current project?
I'm writing a series of short stories for a collection when time permits. Time seems to be in short supply these days. Too many things seem to demand my attention.
Like what?
Making and keeping money. I spend a significant amount of time reading about stocks and watching the market. I don't want to repeat my 2008 experience when everything went to hell while my attention was elsewhere.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life! Life is good. I'm interested in everything except sports. Baseball and golf are like watching grass grow. When I see football and boxing I see people getting their brain connections yanked apart with every blow to the head.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Currently using an iPad.
What would you like to say to a prospective reader of your books?
Start with "Well of Mirrors." If you don't like that story then you probably won't like the others. If you have a problem with stories with some fairly explicit sex scenes then avoid "Tillian 5." I hope you don't though because Maggie is someone everyone should meet.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In the San Francisco Bay Area. I think it gave me a rather liberal outlook on life and I was always involved with and an avid fan of science and technology. I didn't have the luxury of time to write science fiction until I retired but I alway wanted to.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I don't have the time or inclination to deal with agents or publishers. If I have something to say I just want to get it to the public as quickly as I can. Smashwords came along at just the right time to make that possible.
What do your fans mean to you?
This is an interesting question. For the most part, I don't know who they are. Smashwords could help out here by providing a channel of communication from an author to buyers of that authors books.
Published 2014-03-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Tillian 5 - The Overseer
Price: $2.95 USD. Words: 78,710. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
In this Volume III, Maggie faces many powerful potential enemies and the possible end of the Universe. At first the Clicker's, an insectoid race of beings, try to take over the Earth's and Tillian 5's android population. Next, the Overseer decides he wants Maggie to himself. That event is followed by the Assemblers, an emotionless race, who want to reform all planets in their path to their purpose
The Diary of Professor Gilbert Rasher
Price: Free! Words: 33,300. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
This book, in the form of a diary, is a complement to the Tillian 5 Trilogy. The diary starts out as a prequel to “Tillian 5 - A New Beginning.” It continues on the same time line as “Tillian 5 - A New Beginning” but on Earth with no knowledge of the events unfolding on Tillian 5. The diary then merges with the beginning of “Tillian 5 - Return to Earth.”
Mary Had a Little Dagnaserub
Price: Free! Words: 2,450. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
A very short children's science fiction story: Seven year old Mary Johnson met up with a little creature that lost his spaceship. She just thought it was a cute little animal she could take home as a secret pet. Secret because grandma doesn't want pets in her house. When she realized who and what he really was she helped him retrieve his ship so he could return to his mother ship.
Tillian 5 - Return to Earth
Price: $2.95 USD. Words: 111,160. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Maggie and Skip Rogers become android twins of themselves to return to terraform Earth back to what it was using the advanced technology of the Keepers. The Earth population has dwindled to approximately one-million and is ruled by pockets of extremely dangerous criminals and religious fanatics who believe Maggie is the antiChrist. The religious fanatics have access to nuclear weapons.
Flight of the Soul
Price: Free! Words: 9,010. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2010. Categories: Screenplays » Sci-Fi
The play “Flight of the Soul” contrasts several points of view about eternal life but features a “brain uploading” concept proffered by Ray Kurtzweil and others including the author. In the play Ray Kurtzweil is thinly disguised as Ray Kurtz. Others are archetypes of other points of view except Bob Mover (a Bill Moyers type) and Mrs. Altevine, a rich widow in search of eternal life.
Tillian 5 - A New Beginning
Price: $2.95 USD. Words: 98,420. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00)
This epic is in three volumes of which this is the first. It is a story of love and adventure as told by the Captain of The Tillian Star. This starship was specifically designed to go to Tillian 5, a planet 60 light years away from Earth. Tillian Star was controlled by a computer called Maggie who became a key player in the survival of this small group of colonists on this very odd alien planet.
Editor's Notebook
Price: Free! Words: 6,880. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2010. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Literacy, Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Literacy
(3.00)
This is a guide to help writers edit their own works. It is often very difficult to find many of your own errors. This guide will provide a systematic approach that if followed diligently will get most of them, prepare for e-publishing and improve style as well. Editors are expensive for self publishers to use so I developed this guide to help me do my own editing. Version 062412
McCambrie's Army
Price: $1.95 USD. Words: 23,040. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
McCambrie Corporation had a monopoly on off Earth mining of vital materials. Their armed space force dwarfed that of the UN so they where almost impervious to Earth law. U.S. President Thorton wanted to rein in MacC as it was called. Her spy, John Crowley, had a rough start but soon fell in with Barbara Makowitz who seem to have a penchant for sex, murder and mayhem.
Well of Mirrors
Price: $1.95 USD. Words: 27,690. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
(4.00)
A novella length book about a group of monks assigned to an old mission in the California desert. They decide to dig an old stone lined well a bit deeper in the hope of increasing their water supply. What they discover is a fantastic archeological find of all time but its about to set civilization back to the stone age. As the number of researchers grows so does the danger.
Transcendent Epoch
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,320. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Two long short stories 'Eternal M' and 'Big Al' dealing with brain downloading. In 'Eternal M' a Mafia Don finds a professor that he believes is his ticket to immortality. The professor has no idea what's in store for him. In 'Big Al' a multimillionaire used car salesman is enticed to join a group of very cerebral virtual people needing the money for their existence. A very bad idea.
End Times
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,970. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
End Times is a collection of four scifi short stories. Ex World Leader (meets an alien judge), The Survivor (In the aftermath of global warming), Corpus Deletum (The androids loved him to death) and The Picnic (An incidental meeting with The Universe's programmers). There is some sex in Corpus Deletum but it is not graphically described.
The Possessor
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,730. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » General
Three short stories. The Possessor and Thomas Messenger are short Serlingesque pieces. The possessor is a short story about a collector who finally got his prize possession, the Emerald Jay, but at a price he could ill afford. Thomas Messenger is about a woman who was taught to stop talking and start listening by an Angel. The Jungle teaches that the guide may be the most dangerous animal.