Sunday, March 5, 2023

Stephen T. Pearson - Author Interview with Dr. Mel


Stephen T. Pearson

Chris Astra and the Secrets Book Series
(5 book series)


Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I grew up and currently live in British Columbia, Canada. The environment is healthy, but the cost of living here is unreasonably expensive compared to many other parts of the country.

I spent the first 12 years of my work-experience life working 2 jobs, usually 6-7 days a week, just to find myself occasionally earning just over the poverty line in wages. I would always have one kitchen-based job and one job that was trades-person based. Fortunately for me, my parents moved to a small island in the Pacific called Douglas Island, which the residents affectionately call Protection Island. (I actually hid the address where my grandfather built a home for my mother and my family, but the clues are hidden within all 5 books) While I was working a kitchen job, I would be called on for assistance by one of the many residences on this island that held 360 - 1/4 acre properties. Rather than taking extra wages, I found myself learning from masters of most industries on the planet. I ended up learning the secrets and methods of nearly 70 different trade professions.

This led me to my current career. I had a massive amount of practical work experience but no ticket or license. So I went to school.

I took various courses throughout my life, including 4 years in BCIT taking their Marine Engineering Diploma Program.

Currently, I am happy working in various capacities in the Marine Engineering field.

I do want to return to school again one day, but this would be more for myself than it would be for a career. The next field of study I expect I might pursue is either laser technology or nuclear physics. Who knows, it may even help me write up another Chris Astra book in the future.

What inspired you to author this series?

The birth of my child inspired the series. I wrote this series to ensure my child learns the most important lessons I want to teach them if I ever passed away before their 19th birthday. I work out at sea, and the series was truly and originally inspired to be written because of my child.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s coverS?

The Chris Astra series covers for the first 5 books, also known as the "Secrets" collection, were inspired by the stories within them. The artist I found did such a phenomenal job on the artwork; I wanted the readers to be able to display their books should they wish to.

The covers are about the current story with a single secret that they all share within the imagery. Perhaps you can see it right away; perhaps it won't be obvious until the last book. But there is a secret part to each image.


Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

The father figures in my life. I lost my father many years ago unexpectedly. Several people have tried to step in to fill that role. Then they themselves either died or disappeared, and I cannot contact them anymore.


What were the struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

This question made me laugh. The series holds one key secret that I guess I can share with you now. Although the storyline holds Science Fiction elements, as well as certain advanced real-world science technologies, when it comes to the struggles and obstacles found within this book... ...These stories have been adapted from my own life. The struggles are real, and the obstacles were real, but the lifeforms, characters, and several of the situations and places were made up to respect the privacy of the people in my life they may apply to.

There were only a handful of situations within the stories that don't somehow apply to my life...

-I never got selected to go to a special school
-I never left the planet earth
-I never met an alien lifeform
-I didn't win my class election in high school (I was 3% of the vote shy of winning)
-I never made a global announcement
-I never found any magical tools
-I was never in a political position aside from simply running for elections
-I have no interest in obtaining any position of any grand authority


At one point, I was in deep discussions with a person that, from all available evidence, had the bloodline of royalty. This person really wanted the authority and bonuses that come with a throne, but they never considered what they would be giving up for that throne. The death threats, the detriment to your personal reputation, the risk to your family and friends, the responsibility to the people first before your family and friends, and the responsibility to the symbolic value of the crown effectively inhibit a good royals freedom of speech, as well as the integrity that it demands from you 24 hours of every day.

This is in essence, the primary struggle I had with writing the book. Just like in my conversation with my friend, I tried my very best to look at the bigger picture of the Chris Astra stories. To look beyond the surface of the story and to hold small elements back for future tales.

Tell your readers about your book series.

 Book 1 - Chris Astra and the Secrets of the Moon

A welcoming introduction to a science fiction coming-of-age fantasy series based on the friendships formed within an elite school on the moon that educates future guardians that are destined to protect the earth.

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Book 2 - Chris Astra and the Secrets of the Sun

A return to the Space Fighter Weapons School for a new year where Chris and their friends learn the values of equity, understanding, and tolerance, while the people of earth are introduced to their first alien race.

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Book 3 - Chris Astra and the Secrets of the Sea

Chris and his friends return for a third year, and while one friend struggles with declining health issues, the rest must group together and overcome some rather unique first-contact problems, all while each student is starting to discover who they are and how they fit into this universe.

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Book 4 - Chris Astra and the Secrets of the Earth

A war of surprise has just been announced by the Viceroy of Earth, while Chris has surprisingly been charged with treason. It is clear to Chris and his friends who Viceroy is afraid and fighting the wrong enemy, so now it is up to our intrepid students to try to find the best solutions that will help as many lives as possible.

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Book 5 - Chris Astra and the Secrets of the Stars

The war is over, and the Viceroy is not dead but in hiding, which means the tables have turned now, because Chris is a legitimate Guardian of Earth, trying to catch the one responsible for all those needless lives lost last year.

The chase will finally end and... ...well that is a secret surprise for those dedicated readers that read all 5 books.

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Who is your target audience, and why?

Here is a loaded question that literally changed as I was writing the Chris Astra book series.

My initial target audience was my son. Then my friend asked me to write a book so they could feel they were the hero within. So my new audience became anyone that wanted to feel that they were the heroic character in the story.

This made me realize that one of the concepts within the series I wanted to express was an anti-xenophobic attitude toward accepting each other for the differences that make each of us special. This now turned into an opportunity to present this series to the many readers of young adult stories.

As I completed book 3 and was about to start on what I thought were the final stories, I realized that this series unintentionally turned into a "coming of age" type story. So It then became a story that newer readers would be able to relate to.

It was book 5 that completely changed the target audience, as well as the potential for the story to continue much further. Prior to this point, the target audience was new readers through 19-year-old readers. The thing that is special about this book is I wrote it for myself.

I will get into more detail. Chris Astra books 1-3 were written for my son originally. Book 4 was designed to be an ending to that series. But then something occurred to me that I don't read about in a lot of series. Where book 4 was all about war fronts, as well as the final major battle that made the main character a hero, there needed to be a 5th book that described the aftermath of the war.


This final story is about the many things that we don't think about when we read most stories with the war in them. In many stories I have read, the grand battle happens, and then when it is over... ...everyone goes home like it is only the bad memories that need to be dealt with. But what about all the unexploded ordinance, or the homeless refugees, or the starving people that have lost their farmlands because some government official of theirs wanted to start a war.

So, after I wrote book 5 for myself, I realized that my new target audience, at this point, is now global. If books 1-4 were for any and all teenagers, book 5 is for any and all adults, but written with the intent a teenager might choose to read it.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

I know this is going to sound like a job interview answer, but the truth is... ...each and every one of my personal failures.

With each failure, I learned a valuable lesson. These lessons eventually combined to form patterns of behavior, which in turn changed into habits, which over time have become valued principles that I try my best to govern my life around.

I am not perfect in any way, shape, or form; I consider myself an eternal student, constantly learning and adapting my ideals as needed. As those ideals are modified, so are the principles I follow.

I can make this even simpler. My greatest success in life seems to be a rare ability to be able to admit that I can be wrong and at the same time, be willing to learn and grow from being wrong.

The Chris Astra book series holds a majority of my ideals developed over time that became principles I try my best to follow throughout life.


What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

The book series was written for two special reasons. As the author, I work in a rather dangerous field. My career is based out at sea. Every time I go out to work, there is a chance I won't return home.

This series was written for my child. If I should pass away before getting to teach my child what I hope they would learn from me, all the most important lessons that I feel a father should teach their child before the age of 18 can be found within this series.

This series was also written carefully as a challenge made by a dear friend. This friend lives their life as non-binary because they were born as an Intersex gender rather than the more common male or female genders. This friend desperately wanted to read a story that they could relate to as the Hero character while they read it.

This provided an interesting literary challenge I couldn't pass up. To write a story where the main character was not referred to as He/She/Hers/His/Her/Him. In the end, the result was a story about a person called Chris Astra that everyone, everywhere, could imagine themselves being as they read it.