Hello there! Welcome to my world, or, at least, to one of them.
Do you know why I named my website “The Many Worlds of Robert West”?
As you might notice from the menu on my website, I have written a variety of stories in several genres—adventures for kids, mysteries, biographies, historical novels and science fiction. These are all kinds of stories that I enjoy reading.
That takes us to the answer to my question. Not only have I written in multiple genres, each of my books is set in a different world. That seems pretty obvious if we’re talking about my fantasy/sci-fi/adventure trilogy, The Star-Fighters of Murphy Street. The Star-Fighter kids warp out to many worlds in their tree house/spaceship.
But I am talking about worlds in a broader sense. It is not surprising, really, that many of the planets in the Star Wars saga: i.e. Hoth, Tatooine, Dagobah, and the forest moon of Endor are based upon places like Antarctica, Death Valley, the Everglades, and the redwood forests of northern California—all of which are found right here on Earth.
Yep, you don’t need warp drive to explore other worlds. We have lots of worlds very different from each other all over Earth. My biography, Saint Francis, for example, is set in Italy. Americans vacation in Italy because it’s like a different world from the one in which we live. Then, if you shift time a little—800 years in the case of Francis—you have another world very different from modern-day Italy. In a sense we can travel to an infinite number of worlds without leaving Earth.
I like to explore worlds on and off our home planet. The way the inhabitants of each world live, the way they deal with physical, social and spiritual conflict. Recreating the look of the homes, cities, and countryside can be fascinating. What’s more, from a writer’s standpoint, understanding the world where your characters live opens up a deeper dimension to the characters, bringing their, beliefs, choices and conflicts into much better focus.
The book that I have just finished is a mystery which takes place in two worlds—the first in current day Charleston, South Carolina and the second in the same city, 150 years earlier, just before the Civil War. The differences between those two worlds are many—cultural, economic, social, and more. When we look back to the earlier time, we generally focus on slavery, but the differences in the lives of women between then and now are also astounding. I spent 5 years researching Charleston in an effort to depict life in both time periods as accurately and colorfully as possible so that readers might better understand how passionate people in two eras can be caught up in life-threatening crises which, in this case, prove to be linked together.
Another of my books—a historical novel—is set in ancient Israel about three thousand years ago—in the last years of King Solomon’s reign. Although very little of that world still exists, I spent more than a year trying to learn how mothers, fathers, children, merchants, farmers, kings, queens, prophets, etc. might have lived in that time and place. I wanted to recreate, as closely as possible, the look and feel of those times—to put readers into each scene. These details also helped me to identify the conflicts and motives that drive the characters.
Children of the Silicon God, is a science fiction novel set here and now—or at least, so it seems in the beginning. It is a romance between a college student and a celebrated professor . . . or is it? It’s one thing for lovers to break up . . . but quite another when one of them denies even having known the other. Which one of them is delusional . . . or lying and why? Their struggle to determine the truth leads to a world far different from anything they have ever imagined . . . and an astounding discovery about who they really are.