Monday, December 15, 2014

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Darryl Olsen, SciFi Author

“Filled with page after page of adventure, chaos and profound action.” That’s how reviewers describe Darryl Olsen’s science fiction novel PURGATORY ORIGINS: POWERS OF DARKNESS. In the following interview, Olsen explains why his story is “not a predictable story line,” why it’s full of action, and why he chose Egyptian archaeological digs and Wyoming mountains as settings.

Olsen currently lives in Sydney, Australia where he loves to drive his jeep out to the State Forrest or race his race horses all over Australia. Olsen has also written PURGATORY SOLDIERS OF MISFORTUNE and CHILDREN OF THE GODS. He is currently working on a novella to follow CHILDREN OF THE GODS to be released early in 2015; and will then complete the Purgatory Series with “Purgatory Origins, Men in Black.”

Don't miss the giveaway opportunity following his interview.

Q: Reviewers applaud the originality of your plot for PURGATORY ORIGINS: POWERS OF DARKNESS and claim it’s “not a predictable story line” and integrates history with science fiction. How did you conceive or envision this unique plot?

Darryl Olsen: You’re right about PURGATORY ORIGINS having a “not predictable story line”, I wanted to devise an ending that the reader could finish, but still make them think about for days after the read. About 18 months ago I started devising a time travelling science fiction piece with a basic storyline which flows from the first book titled Purgatory, Soldiers of Misfortune. But with only a few months left I ended up changing Purgatory Origins to a prequel rather than a sequel. This process enables me to create a stand alone piece which subsequently introduced new characters and scenes to the Purgatory Series.

Q: Reviewer after reviewer talks about the “nonstop action” of PURGATORY ORIGINS: POWERS OF DARKNESS with its “relentless passion for adventure” and a “story [that] jumps and dives and turns over but never falls to the ground.” How do you create this pace? And how do you give your readers a chance to breathe? Or, do you?

Darryl Olsen: You can breathe after you stop reading. haha. Yeah I admit the book has a lot of action, but it’s done in such away that it still holds up as a good read. My passion in reading and writing has always been action. That’s probably the reason I joined the military when I left school.

Q: You integrate history into your story. Did this require research? How relevant is historical accuracy to your story?

Darryl Olsen: To give myself a basic understanding of WW2 bombers and refuelling trucks I did find myself researching mainly through the internet and Google, but I did visit the War Memorial in Canberra ACT for some pictures. This knowledge gave me a basic understanding of the times, but the story itself doesn’t dive into the world of specifications of those machines.

Q: How significant is credibility to engaging your readers? If it’s important, how do you achieve believability? Or is it not a key issue for a “time-traveling sci-fi saga?”

Darryl Olsen: Your main role as an author is to engage the reader. The best way to engage the reader is to grab their attention in the first few chapters. The best way to grab their attention is to give them characters they believe and follow. Once you give the storyline good strong characters, you can put those same characters in situations like time travel and horror. This process makes the characters believable. But your base is always the welfare of those characters, make them believable but bend the world around them. 
Q: Why do readers care about your “well-formed” characters? How do you create characters in your world? Do you base them on people in the real world?

Darryl Olsen: The main characters are a mix of people I know and have read about, but they are not specific to any one person. I like mixing my characters up for each story, I’ll create characters I love and follow, then I’ll throw in those which make you dislike and cringe. Its like working for large companies, you are all there for the same result, but you don’t necessarily get along with everyone.  

Q: How helpful is setting (in Egyptian archaeological digs and Wyoming mountains) to telling your story?

Darryl Olsen: Those locations I picked suit those scenarios in the story the best. I looked at so many rural suburbs when researching my book and finally settled on Wyoming as my rural retreat. It offered that unique laidback lifestyle with a dense forest nearby. I also couldn’t pass on the opportunity to mention the archaeological dig sites around Egypt, it was an area that everyone would recognise and affiliate with ancient history.  
Q: Whenever Nazis occur in a book, I ponder why and how they existed to do the inhuman things they did. Did you intend to deliver a message or did you write the story strictly to entertain?

Darryl Olsen: The reason I chose the Nazis was for the fact I needed a group desperate enough and willing to sell their soul in a last minute effort to win a losing war. This is the reason I send the Nazis to Purgatory as they plan on bringing back secrets, which they can later transform into deadly weapons.

Q: You tend to appreciate and enjoy horror or exploring the “what if” of horrific characters and events. Do you see “life” this way? Or do you – like Stephen King – just appreciate a good horror story? What else do you like to read besides science fiction and horror?

Darryl Olsen: I do love a good horror story, but I also wanted the reader to think about the scenario where they themselves are one of the main characters. I love everything action, so if it’s a good read, coupled with heaps of action chances are I have probably read it. My favourite read is a story about the British SAS titled Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNAB.

Q: What’s next?

Darryl Olsen: I’m in the process of writing a short novella, which will follow from CHILDREN OF THE GODS. This should be released early next year. I will then complete the Purgatory Series with the next instalment titled Purgatory Origins, Men in Black.

Q: Tell us about Darryl Olsen. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Darryl Olsen: I live in Sydney Australia. I love taking my Jeep out in the State Forest. I also love football and motor sport. I own a number of racehorses that race all around Australia but that’s another story in itself. I’m a massive film junkie and read at least one book every fortnight.

About Darryl Olsen

Darryl Olsen is a Sydney based author of titles including PURGATORY SOLDIERS OFMISFORTUNE, CHILDREN OF THE GODS, and PURGATORY ORIGINS: POWERS OF DARKNESS. Darryl was first introduced to the world of fiction whilst schooling on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. After a short period of school Darryl Olsen found his true calling in life as he enlisted in the Australian Army.

For more information about Darryl and his upcoming books please go to or you can contact him on


Australian sci-fi author Olsen continues his Purgatory series, knitting together a disparate menagerie of time-travelling Nazis, escaped serial killers, dog-headed monsters and Corsican gangsters in a far-out tale that reads like a mash up of Raiders of the Lost Ark and 24. 

When Professor Harrison Standish, a bookish young archaeologist inadvertently stumbles upon an ancient burial chamber in Egypt, he is baffled to find symbolism inside that would appear to date from two different historical periods, thousands of years apart. Suspecting the tomb had been tampered with at some point in the distant past, Professor Standish soon discovers the skeletons of ten half-human/half-canine creatures lying in a far corner of the chamber and his initial bafflement now turns to shock. What kind of ancient madman would be conducting such a horrific experiment?

As Dr. Standish endeavors to explain this mystery over the ensuing days, he happens upon a news report, suggesting that these same grotesque, half-human/half-canine creatures have come to life in the remote mountains of Wyoming and he is immediately on the next flight. By the time he arrives in Wyoming, a World War II Nazi bomber has materialized out of the sky and crashed off the coast of France and a Nazi general named Schmitz has stumbled into the 21st century, leaving behind evidence of his presence in Professor Standish's ancient burial chamber back in Egypt, all of which sets the stage for a rollicking, nonstop, modern day fantasy/sci-fi adventure.

The cast of characters in Purgatory: Origins includes Rachael, a pesky, auburn haired New York magazine correspondent, who is known equally for her ability to sink her teeth into a story and her unwillingness to let it go, Jason Kendall, an escaped rapist and killer who falls hard for Rachael when they cross paths and turns out to have a past with our half human creatures, and Harper, the ex-special forces FBI agent, whose primary goal is finding Jason Kendall, getting him back behind bars and keeping him there for the rest of his life but soon finds himself sucked into this mystery woven of ancient symbolism, old Nazi war criminals and otherworldly creatures.

As with Soldiers of Misfortune, the first installment of the Purgatory series, Purgatory: Origins, The Prequel, presents an alternative universe that is as real as your Sunday morning paper, yet one that quickly leads to swashbuckling adventures. Purgatory: Origins. An alternative universe you enter with no hope of escaping, a book you pick up with little hope of putting it back down.


“Sir, you’d best get up here. They’ve found something and according to the captain of the search boat, it’s very strange.”

Jacques got to his feet wearily.

“Please wait here,” he said to the father and son. “I will return soon.”

Back up on the Préfet Maritime vessel, the inspector grabbed the radio receiver.

“Yes, this is Inspector Mitterand. What it is you’ve found?”

“Sir, we have located a plane on the sea bed that fits the general description and dimensions that your two witnesses described. It’s in about 50 meters of water.”

“Very well, send your divers down and get back to me once they’ve had a closer look.”

Jacques had started to hang up but heard a voice coming through the receiver.

“Yes, what it is?”

“Sir, there is more.”

“There is more what?”

“The plane appears to be balancing on a deep ocean trench.”

“And your point is?”

“Sir, there is no deep ocean trench in this area. At least there should not be. I have worked the waters off this coast for many years and have never heard of such a thing. I can assure you it doesn’t exist on any of the ocean charts we have.”



1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a really interesting book and I can't wait to read it! Thanks for hosting this author and introducing him to me Joyce!