The Interview: Bookbag Talks To H A Goodman

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To H A Goodman

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Summary: Logic of Demons: The Quest for Nadine's Soul by H A Goodman is a helterskelter ride through the afterlife that asks the reader to think about the consequences - intended and unintended - of their actions. It's a highly imaginative, sometimes touching, story, told with great pace and enthusiasm. We couldn't resist the opportunity to ask H A Goodman some questions.
Date: 8 November 2010
Interviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy

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Logic of Demons: The Quest for Nadine's Soul by H A Goodman is a helterskelter ride through the afterlife that asks the reader to think about the consequences - intended and unintended - of their actions. It's a highly imaginative, sometimes touching, story, told with great pace and enthusiasm. We couldn't resist the opportunity to ask H A Goodman some questions.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

H A Goodman: I see all types of people; everyone from teenagers seeking to make sense of their lives to ultra religious individuals who believe they know what God is thinking. Ultimately, I wrote my novel for fantasy enthusiasts and readers who enjoy books on the afterlife, or life after death. I also wrote it to convey an alternative to the traditional theological interpretations of how decisions affect life after death.

  • BB: Logic of Demons is a really imaginative work. Have you always had stories in your head, or did this one just arrive unannounced?

HG: Not too long ago, some close friends betrayed me. This ordeal was one of the reasons that I entered into a deep depression for many months. Needless to say, I don't talk anymore to one of these people, but my last conversation over the phone with one of them was very telling. He quoted a verse from the Bible in an attempt to give me advice. This experience (along with years of studying world history) highlighted the notion that knowing God doesn't necessarily mean treating others in a God-like manner. Writing the book was a catharsis and helped me vent a number of different emotions. Also, my experiences as a financial advisor and a teacher can be seen in the novel as well. Nadine, Natalia, and other characters were inspired by the students that I had the privilege of teaching.

  • BB: The book is all about choices and their consequences. Do you believe that human beings always reap what they sow, both individually and on a societal level?

HG: Well, some people commit unspeakable evil and live a long time in comfort. Mao Tse Tung for example died at age 82, and was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people. Generally, however, ordinary people usually reap what they sow. Societies do as well, it just takes a bit longer for nations and countries to see the error in their ways. I do believe, in the most agnostic manner possible (if that makes sense) that we somehow pay for our negative actions in an afterlife.

  • BB: Do we all have the potential for evil within us?

HG: Absolutely. I don't believe in a devil, demons, or any other embodiment of evil we've created to distance ourselves from wicked behavior. Human beings pushed people into gas chambers (and continue to engage in genocide, etc), not ghosts or demons. Even folks like you and I, when we go to sleep at night, know that somewhere in the world, some group of people are at war and innocent people are dying. But, we still sleep.

  • BB: Which of the characters in Logic of Demons bests represents you, H A Goodman? (Jill's husband has decided to start calling her Pam - Satan in the book! - but we think that's just mean!)

HG: Ummm... I guess I'm a combination of all of them, perhaps more Devin (sans the killing) than anyone else.

  • BB: You've been a financial advisor and a history teacher - two very different professions! Tell us a bit about H A Goodman and what makes him tick.

HG: I would say that there's really nothing that unique about me, other than the fact I've been quite fortunate in my life. I enjoy people, learning and respecting other cultures, and discussing philosophical isssues with friends. I also have a active imagination and I'd like to utilize this ability to write more novels. I grew up loving fantasy and science fiction.

  • BB: Where and how do you write?

HG: I write in my apartment and try to find inspiration from pain, stress, politics, history, philosophical issues, and things in life I feel are unfair/hypocritical. I've also started writing about politics. I just recently had an article published in the Jerusalem Post entitled What if they opposed a synagogue? The editor used my full name, Hal Goodman.

  • BB: Who are your inspirations, literary or otherwise?

HG: There is an amazing book entitled On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman that helped inspire me to write Logic of Demons. Grossman's book is fascinating because it details how the human mind can be conditioned to kill a legitimate adversary in a war, or even innocent human beings during a genocide or murder, etc. George Orwell has always been a huge inspiration.

  • BB: If you could take just one book to a desert island, what would you choose?

HG: Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great. Needless to say, I hope I have transportation to leave the island, since I won't be doing much praying if I'm stuck there.

  • BB: What's next for H A Goodman?

HG: I have another novel I'm working on, somewhat of a sequel. I'm also working on a screenplay for Logic of Demons since several people are interested in making it into a movie.

  • BB: Oh that's fantastic news! We'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks so much for the fascinating responses.

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