Exclusive Interview: “Threader God” Author Gerald Brandt
With Threader God (Kindle, audiobook), writer Gerald Brandt is concluding the Quantum Empiricia trilogy he launched in 2021 with Threader Origins, and continued the following year with Threader War. In the following email interview, Brandt discusses what inspired and influenced this final installment.
Photo Credit: Ian McCausland
For people who didn’t read the first two books, Threader Origins and Threader War, or the interview we did about the former, what is the Quantum Empiricia trilogy about, and when and where do these novels take place?
The trilogy take place on two worlds: For a brief time, on our own, and for the majority of the novels, on an alternate world that is similar, but not quite the same as ours. On our world, Darwin Lloyd worked on a project to use quantum energy as a power source. Turning on the machine, the QPS, creates some side effects, one of which is a portal to an alternate Earth where the QPS has been powered on for some time. Darwin is pulled through the portal and has to learn how to survive in the new reality in the midst of a war that could destroy everything. The story is about family and love and responsibility beyond oneself, and how an introverted and shy man rises to the occasion.
And then for those who did read the first two books, and can thus ignore me writing SPOILER ALERT in ALL CAPS, what is Threader God about, and how does it connect to the second book, Threader War, both narratively and chronologically?
Threader God once again follows Darwin on the new world, roughly nine months after the end of Threader War. Burned and disfigured and with no ability to see or control the Threads, Darwin has been trying to stay incognito. But Salem is once again growing in strength with a new leader at the helm, one that has the same link to the QPS as Darwin. One that wants control of the Source no matter what the cost. Darwin may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the ones he loves.
When in the process of writing Threader Origins and Threader War did you come up with the idea for Threader God, and what inspired its plot?
I had the idea for Threader God right at the beginning of the trilogy. I knew exactly how everything would end and, for the most part, who would be there. In my mind, it’s the natural and only conclusion possible for Darwin’s story. There are always surprises along the way, of course. The importance of Baila and her actions in Threader War is a good example. She was written as a fairly small character in Threader Origins, and grew into someone quite important.
As for what inspired its plot, I’d suggest reading your interview for Threader Origins. The initial spark and ideas are the same.
Threader Origins and Threader War were science fantasy stories. Is it safe to assume that Threader God is as well?
Absolutely. In fact, when I first wrote Threader Origins, I wrote is as a fantasy novel, complete with a magic system and developed world. It was only after the first few drafts that I realized what felt off about those early versions, and then only after discussing it with my editor Sheila Gilbert. The story didn’t work as pure fantasy. The use of the Threads and the source of them were too based in the scientific world. The next rewrite of the draft fleshed out the science portions and made the story what it is: science fantasy.
Given that Threader God is the third and final book of this trilogy, did you read any other novels that ended a saga to see what to do…and what not to do?
I tend not to read other books when I am in the developmental and writing stages of a novel. I find it can too easily influence the voice and style I am using to tell the story. I do read while revising, as the novel is essentially written (in a very rough state), but the basic voice is in place.
There were no specific novels I read during revision, and the ones I did read were entirely out of genre and usually stand-alone.
So, are there any writers, or specific stories, that had a particularly big influence on Threader God, but not on Threader Origins and Threader War? Or other things, like movies?
Overall, I don’t think so, not for this trilogy. As I mentioned in my interview for Threader Origins, one fiction book had a fairly large impact on ideas for these books, and that is The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview Of The New Physics by Gary Zukav.
Other people who’ve written trilogies have later expanded upon them with prequels, sequels, or side stories. Are you planning to do this as well?
Darwin’s story is complete in the three books, so there’s really no more to tell there. That being said, the world is big and full of interesting people and things. I would love to tell more of Baila’s story, and I have some ideas about Enton as a main character. So, could I write more stories in this world…heck yes! Will I? There are no plans at this time, but that could change if the right idea pops into my head.
With Threader God ending this trilogy, there are people who will consider reading all three books back-to-back. Do you think this is a good way to take in this story?
If there’s one thing a writer can’t do, it’s tell a reader how to read. The only thing I can do it tell you how I would do it.
I buy a book as soon as it’s out. It helps the author, and it appeases my craving to read the novel immediately. I do that for every book in a series. For a series, the reading order depends on the complexity of the story and how long ago I read it. If the story is complex, or the time between releases is big, I will attempt to re-read at least the previous novel in the series before I start the new one.
For books I love, I will usually re-read the entire series once every couple of years, at least.
So, is there anything else you think people should know about Threader God and the Quantum Empiricia trilogy?
I just hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Finally, if someone enjoys Threader Origins, Threader War, and Threader God, they might want something short and sweet. So, what fun and fast-reading novel or novella of someone else’s would you suggest they read next?
One novel that I quite enjoyed was Jason Hough’s Instinct. It is, I believe, his first foray into thriller novels, and he nails it. I’ve also always enjoyed a good Jack Reacher (by Lee Child) novel or two to fill in some empty time I have, which isn’t too often lately.