Editor’s Note: This exchange is part of a series of brief interviews with emerging writers of recent or forthcoming books. If you enjoyed it, please visit other interviews in the I’ve Got Questions feature.
- What’s the title of your book? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry? Who is the publisher and what’s the publication date?
My novel is titled Prior Futures and is being published by Black Rose Writing. The publication date is December 16, 2021.
- In a couple of sentences, what’s the book about?
It’s 2090 and NanoGov has exploited nanotechnology to overtake the planet. The super-rich have converted to Mod, the two-dimensional ruling class. Jeremiah Prior, a three-dimensional disgraced Fringe detective hiding in Antigua for the murder of his partner, is forced back to Manhattan to prevent his estranged daughter from converting to Mod.
But when the ultra-rich target his daughter and start to devour all citizens, Prior has to decide whether to remain safely hidden or trust his daughter, join the underground rebellion, and help overthrow NanoGov.
- What’s the book’s genre (for fiction and nonfiction) or primary style (for poetry)?
Cyberpunk Noir (or science-fiction noir, if you prefer)
- What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about the book so far?
I’ve been fortunate to get some lovely advance reviews. One of my favorites is “Sam Spade meets Blade Runner in this mind-bending story of a dystopian world where two-dimensional beings rule. Dan Kopcow has created a cynical detective, worthy of Raymond Chandler, who shuffles, floats, and warps among a cast of eccentric characters in search of his own Maltese Falcon—a blood-borne art treasure that may hold the clue to survival for both the powerless and the powerful. Fast-paced and provocative, Prior Futures does not disappoint.”
– Steven Mayfield, award-winning author of Treasure of the Blue Whale and the forthcoming Delphic Oracle U.S.A.
- What book or books is yours comparable to or a cross between? [Is your book like Moby Dick or maybe it’s more like Frankenstein meets Peter Pan?]
It’s very much in the spirit of the writings of Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler.
- Why this book? Why now?
When I started writing “Prior Futures,” it was intended as a social satire about wealth inequality and technology perpetuated and accepted as the new religion. But as time went on, it felt less satirical and more like journalism and documentary about people’s need for expedience and obsession with wanting to live like the rich.
The novel asks questions regarding current issues like: Can we really trust others to have our best interests at heart? Or does there come a point where we must rely on ourselves?
- Other than writing this book, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
If we’re talking paid gigs, writing my published short stories, including my fiction short story collection about romantic dates gone horribly awry, Worst. Date. Ever. and my upcoming rom-com novel, Madcap Serenade. Shameless, I know.
- What do you want readers to take away from the book?
I hope readers enjoy the fun, crazy world the novel offers. And ultimately, I hope they take away some hope.
- What food and/or music do you associate with the book?
The first part of Prior Futures takes place on the island of Antigua. Food-wise, grilled branzino (there’s a line in the novel that underlines one of the story’s themes: “Think fat fish, not flat fish.”) and Red Stripe beer.
I listened to a lot of calypso, reggae, and soca as I was writing, especially King Short Shirt. The novel takes place in 2090 and I wanted to have some nostalgic music trend happening in that world so I invented a genre called Retro-Punkflapper which combines music from the 1920s and 2020s. Lastly, I thought of Stephen Sondheim’s “Pacific Overtures” during the writing: it shares some of the same themes.
- What book(s) are you reading currently?
When I’m writing a novel (as I’m doing now), I tend to read a lot of non-fiction. I’m currently reading: A Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway by Michael Riedel (I’m a big theater fan), Argentine Jewish Theater by Nora Glickman and Gloria Waldman (again, theater), and Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe (research for my current novel).
Learn more about Dan on this website.