Today I'd like welcome Curran Geist, author of "Only The Cold Remains" to the Thursday interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Curran Geist grew up in the quaint town of Schwenksville, PA. He often lived within books, and his vibrant imagination allowed him to escape to fictional worlds beyond the tiny town where he was raised. Curran’s passion has always been to write. He’s powered by strong coffee and loud music. His zest for writing is only matched by his love of animals. His proudest moment was when he rescued a baby Robin and raised the bird until it could fly.
For many years, Curran Geist was dedicated towards human rights work. He was honored to serve in the AmeriCorps and also to work for the Simon Wiesenthal’s Tolerance Center, where he lead trainings to combat bigotry and discrimination. The Sity Series paints a dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and extraterrestrial landscape that mirrors many modern day social issues, including: the exploitation of children, sexual slavery, and cruelty towards animals. The lead characters embark on a harrowing journey of vengeance. They must protect the survival of humanity – at all costs. However, what if that cost is the last slivers of their own humanity? Curran is currently living in New Jersey with his wife. They are eagerly expecting the arrival of their first child.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Definitely, yes. I would do anything to protect the ones I love, including give up my own life. So breaking the law would be nothing. Furthermore, there is a difference between “law” and “justice”. I believe many laws are unjust and oppressive. Thus breaking a law – whether for a loved one or even a stranger - can actually be the moral, right thing to do in many circumstances.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Well, this is a highly subjective question. So I can only speak to how I view this, and not how other people should see things. For me, I think being alive refers to the physical aspect of existence. If I breathe, if my heart beats – well, then I’m alive. However, to truly live, I have to be in touch with my emotions and dreams. To truly live, I have to try and make this world a better place and to be the best person that I can. For much of my life, I was just being alive and sleepwalking through my existence. I decided to pursue my passion for writing and in turn became far more in touch with what I think it means to be human and to truly live.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
I’m not just motivated to write. I need to write. I found that without writing I was a bit empty inside. So there’s that. However, I also write because I think it’s one of the best avenues to looking into the eyes of others. I love imagining how different people would wrestle with difficult circumstances. I’m passionate about human rights issues. There are so many horrible things happening around the world. I use to feel really powerless and like there was nothing I could do. However, writing gives me a tool to push back against that injustice. Through my characters - who often face oppressive circumstances - I can also take a stand. This is empowering to me. It is also a cathartic process to help me overcome some of the difficult things that have happened in my own life.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
Wow, great question. I’m actually expecting my first child this summer. I’m so excited. I can’t really say why humans – in general – want children. Some people are quite nefarious. I want to have a child, because I absolutely adore my wife. I wouldn’t want a child, if I wasn’t with such an amazing person. The world can be a cruel place, but also so beautiful. I want a child to help show that little one all the good in the world, through love, kindness, and empathy. Having this child has brought my wife and I so much closer. I see myself as one part of a global community. Having a child helps add to that sense of community with our soon-to-be unit of three.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "ONLY THE COLD REMAINS" ?
Self-doubt. It’s just so important to believe in yourself and what you’re doing. As with other writers, I got a lot of positive but also negative responses to my first book. It’s a fine balance between being receptive to constructive feedback, but then not sacrificing aspects of my writing that are important to what I’m all about. I wrestled with this a lot when writing my latest book. I began to wonder why I was writing in the first place. Eventually, I focused on what was important to me, which was just to write characters that I could truly love and be proud of. Hopefully readers will fall in love with them, too.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
Just to respect all forms of life. I love animals --- even bugs. I try my best not to kill any type of bug. If I go on hikes, I watch the ground not to step on worms or caterpillars. It may seem kind of silly, but I think showing respect to smallest, most “insignificant” beings helps frame my view on life in general. No life is insignificant to me. No decision should be taken lightly. Power should never be wielded carelessly. Killing a tiny insect may not seem to affect you, but it can affect a whole ecosystem that we can’t see. There is just so much more to the world than we may not even realize. So I just try to respect other living beings as best I can. Though, that can be difficult. Living in NYC for seven years definitely tested my patience.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "ONLY THE COLD REMAINS" ?
Well, the series is called THE SITY, which is symbolic for an extraterrestrial city of sin. I chose the title for my latest book, ONLY THE COLD REMAINS, because of its double meaning. The best way to explain the double meaning would be that the word COLD can be a noun or an adjective.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
Well, I can handle criticism fine. It just depends on how it’s delivered. If someone is respectful to me, then I will think about their opinion and reflect on it. I know I’m not perfect, and I’ve got room to grow. However, if someone is rude to me or to someone I love, they will have to deal with my wrath. I think it’s especially important as a writer to have thick skin. If you believe in yourself and who you are as a person and a writer, then criticism can be taken constructively and be used to improve your craft. I’ve often thanked readers who didn’t like my books, because their comments helped me improve. However, if someone attacks me personally or says something blatantly disrespectful, then I believe it’s important to stand up to that.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
I wouldn’t say people should read my books. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that my writing isn’t for everyone. My novels are exciting and intense reads. So if you do dare to enter The Sity series, I promise you will be launched on a rollercoaster ride of emotions (excitement, anger, sadness, exhilaration). There is plenty of hard-hitting action and grit in my dystopian series. However, at the core, my novels are about people. They’re about people overcoming personal demons as well as difficult circumstances to understand themselves and their purposes in life. I think this - overcoming internal conflicts - is something that all readers can relate to.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Oh, this is a tough one. Well, since I’m a SciFi author, I’ll give “aliens” the credit for making something from nothing. I definitely believe that there is extraterrestrial life in the universe. How exciting would it be to get to meet an alien! Well, I just hope they aren’t like the ones in my book. Of course, maybe there actually is nothing and not something. This all could just be a figment of imagination – kind of like in the Matrix.
Thanks Curran for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book!
Check out his new book "Only The Cold Remains" on
I was made for this… I was made a killer…
Victor’s fate hangs in the balance as he awaits the games of the Death Night. The young man will have to face his fears if he is to overcome the trials of the arena and claim his destiny. Revelations about the past threaten to derail everything Carina has achieved in the colony. Will she hide from the truth or will she protect the ones she most loves?
In this dystopian thriller, humanity’s existence reaches a crossroads. The streets of the metropolis are overrun with alien troops on the hunt for escaped slaves. Deep in the underbelly of the Sity, lurk shadows of a worse horror. With Medtronik’s hold on the city of sin growing tenuous, the only solution to the Kuljik’s “human problem” is extermination. The lines between good and evil continue to be blurred in the struggle for survival. For the road home is long and bloody. When the forces of humans and Kuljiks clash, only the cold remains.