The Big Thrill Discusses THE SECRET WAR OF THE WORLDS with Michael Siverling
Remnants of the war include John Grayson, an invisible man now working as a private investigator, and his partner Mr. Tybalt, a fearsome hybrid spawned from the legacy of Dr. Moreau. Together, they find themselves drawn into a dangerous web of conspiracies and mad science… and the very real possibility that the war with Mars never ended.
Time machines, crystal eggs and other elements from the canon of H.G. Wells combine in this exciting thriller!
Michael Siverling recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his historical thriller, THE SECRET WAR OF THE WORLDS.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
In researching for another historical novel, I noticed how all of H. G. Wells’s most iconic works were published within the first five years of his writing career. From there, I built up a unified timeline of events for The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds and created the characters that were impacted by these events.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
Once I had the idea, it would not let me sleep in peace. A lot of it was written during that twilight time between sleep and waking.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
Mostly maps of Victorian London. Drop me anywhere over a hundred years ago, and I’ll find Baker Street in Marylebone.
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
When I was juggling the history of the H. G. Wells bibliography, there came to mind the character of John Grayson, a ‘Gentleman Thief’ who was recruited out of prison and rendered invisible to act as a scout during the Martian Invasion and his ‘Panther Man’ companion, another veteran of the Martian War transformed by Doctor Moreau’s procedure. Post war, Grayson is now ‘The Ghostly Detective’ and finds himself recruited by the mysterious ‘Cassandra Smith’—daughter of a certain inventor who created a time machine.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
A great read is what I hope for, but also that I can spark a renewed interest in the words of the great H. G. Wells’s original novels. I also hope the actual history woven into the story will find interest with the reader.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
A sequel set primary in the United States at the turning of the century where the science fiction aspects of the world are governed by the fantastical works of Jack London: a future dystopia under the ‘Iron Heel,’ a machine that brings the dead to life, a rejuvenation formula, two different types of invisibility, and a little boutique operation known as The Assassination Bureau, Limited, to name a few.
Michael Siverling is the author of The Sterling Inheritance and The Sorcerer’s Circle published by St. Martin’s Press and The Blood of Alexander published by Tor/Forge under the name Tom Wilde. He has also authored several short stories set in the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and H. G. Wells published by Belanger Books.
The Secret War of the Worlds with Michael Siverling