Grant Taylan is an adventurer-paleontologist also known as “The Dinosaur Detective,” a polite term for what he really does, which is track down the more dangerous criminals in the Dinosaurs Fossil Black Market and bring them to justice, sometimes the hard way. But his latest case is about to land him in the strangest situation of a lifetime: a vacation island in the South China Sea known as THE LOST WORLD OF KHARAMU. Developed by the Chinese corporation MuTron International, they’ve taken Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park concept in a very different direction: the ultimate immersive role-playing experience tailored to only the exclusively wealthy elite. With real dinosaurs.
On the resort’s first major beta run, Taylan finds himself fighting dinosaurs, Russians, Vietnamese commandos and his ex-girlfriend in the ultimate vacation gone-wrong, where only the strongest, quickest – and the luckiest – will survive.
Robert J. Stava took time out of his busy schedule to meet with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest thriller, THE LOST WORLD OF KHARAMU:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I’m really hoping they’ll find it an adventure to escape into and enjoy for a few hours, and have a few thrills and laughs while they’re at it. Like Jurassic Park, it pretty much comes down to people trying to avoid being on the dinosaur menu.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
Like all my stories, there’s always a historic element woven in there and I spent a fair amount of time researching the latest advancements in paleontology and dinosaur theory. Also, many of the situations are drawn from first-hand experience.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
Apparently the T. Rex wasn’t as fast as imagined in movies like Jurassic Park – it’s estimated a human could outrun them. Probably. But not something I’d care to put to the test. Also that certain dinosaurs – theropods – are (currently) believed to be descended from birds – not the other way around – although sauropods are not.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
You do not want to get stuck in Mumbai, India during a monsoon. Trust me on this.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
I’m a big fan of Michael Crichton, for the way he really dug into and researched his topics, and Caleb Carr for his rich historical storytelling. But my first big influence was Ian Fleming and his original Bond novels. Each one had a unique, interesting backstory that left you feeling you learned something.
A veteran of the NYC advertising business, Robert J. Stava is a horror & science fiction writer living in the Hudson Valley, apparently not far from the village where many of his stories are set: Wyvern Falls. His last novel, Nightmare From World’s End, was published by Severed Press in 2016 and his next science fiction-horror novel, Neptune’s Reckoning, set in Montauk, is due out the end of 2018. His short stories have appeared in various anthologies over the last several years and he has also authored one YA novella, The Devil’s Engine, published by Muzzleland Press.
He’s also a musician, artist and historian. His non-fiction book Combat Recon was published in hardcover by Schiffer Publishing in 2008, encompassing the history and photography of his great uncle John Stava, a combat photographer with the 5th Air Force in the SW Pacific during WWII.
To learn more about Robert and his work, please visit his website.