Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Interview with a Vam... Neanderthal [Guest Post]

Adam (The Neanderthal in question) is the main character from the book Out of the Cave described as a 65,000-word (220-page) YA/science fiction novel about an Ice Age Neanderthal boy who is time transported to our century at age six and later mainstreamed into an American High school at fifteen, where he struggles to assimilate and eventually romances a human girl.

Edward Davis

Interviewer: "This is the first time I've ever spoken to a book character."

Adam the Neanderthal man: "You were expecting Anne of Green Gables, maybe?"

Interviewer: "No offense, but you look scary...especially now that you're fully grown."

Adam: "Just be glad I'm not the Frankenstein monster or Grendel."

Interviewer: "What are you, in you're mid-fifties?  You were a teenager in the pages of Out of the Cave."

Adam (grinning): "I was even more clueless than most human teens at the time."

Interviewer: "I'm told you have a sense of humor."

Adam (winks): "We Neanderthals even laughed occasionally."

Interviewer (chuckles): "I'm a little surprised.""

Adam: "Didn't you read out of the Cave?"

Interviewer: "My shock comes not so much from your being a Neanderthal.  It's more your...."

Adam: "Looks.  My people have been described as everything from primitive to subhuman.  Brutish even."

Interviewer: "May I describe you to our readers?"

Adam: "Go ahead."

Interviewer: "Adam is heavily muscled.  He possesses thick brow ridges above his eyes and owns a huge nose that dominates much of his face. Above all that, he has a slanting forehead that makes him look almost simian."

Adam: "Don't forget my mouth and hair."

Interviewer (embarrassed): "His mouth protrudes, muzzle-like, and his hair is silver-white but was once reddish-brown."

Adam: "Out of the Cave's author described me as looking 'thuggish.'"

Interviewer: "Again, I don't wish to be rude but, if I were casting a gangster movie, you'd play the mob juice man."

Adam: "Kelly, my girlfriend, was put off by my appearance when we first met.  Can't say as I blame her."

Interviewer (tactfully): "You don't look so bad."

Adam: "I own a mirror.  I know what I look like.  Kelly found me first."

Interviewer: "To clarify matters, she was a human being while you're not."

Adam: "I'm what paleoanthropologists call a Homo Neanderthalensis.  That's another species of hominid."

Interviewer: "A species long extinct."

Adam: "We went down the evolutionary toilet approximately 30,000 years ago."

Interviewer: "Where did you learn your English?"

Adam: "I was raised by scientists."

Interviewer: "And your people were much stronger than mine.  Isn't that correct?"

Adam: "We had to be.  We hunted Paleolithic mega fauna with stabbing spears tipped with flint points.  It was killing up close and personal.  Cave bears and giant elk didn't relish being hunted and tended to lash out at us."

Interviewer: "When modern humans meet you, how do they generally react?"

Adam: "Most are polite enough. Others are shocked. Some think I'm the missing link and are surprised to learn I'm not covered with fur."

Interviewer: "Tell us about your girlfriend Kelly.  Was she pretty?"

Adam: "To me, she was beautiful. Your audience will have to read Out of the Cave to corroborate that statement."

Interviewer: "I got the impression she was good-hearted."

Adam frames his face with thick, sinewy hands:  "Anyone who loved this face had to be."

Interviewer: "I remember liking her."

Adam: "I wish everyone at Rivertown High had." (He ponders a moment) "She had her problems."

Interviewer: "Was it love at first sight with you two?"

Adam: "For me, yes.  It took a while for Kelly.  We were, after all, in high school."

Interviewer: "Where you had problems of your own, as I recall."

Adam: "Like I said, it was high school."

Interviewer: "You were forced to deal with older bullies."

Adam (shrugs): "At first.  As we established earlier, I was quite a bit stronger than humans."

Interviewer: "What do you think of humankind?"

Adam: "Most of you are okay, but it sure is strange that every time the human race came in contact with another species of hominid back in prehistoric times, that species went extinct."

Interviewer: "Like your people?"

Adam patiently nods.

Interviewer: "How would you compare Neanderthals and humankind intelligence-wise?"

Adam: "I was wondering when you'd get around to that one."

Interviewer: "How did the Neanderthal brain stack up against that of Homo sapiens?"

Adam: "My people's brains were larger."

Interviewer (surprised): "Really?"

Adam: "Larger, but wired differently.  Do to our smaller neocortices (plural of neocortex) Neanderthals weren't as adept at thinking outside the box as modern people. Humans contemporary with my people possessed superior tools and weapons.  Therefore, they possessed better survival skills."

Interviewer: "Can you elaborate?"

Adam: "My people had better memories, but yours were superior at thinking laterally.  At basic problem-solving."

Interviewer: "And yet, you are able to function quite well in modern society."

Adam: "I can perform everyday tasks as well as your average Joe, yet I'll never be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon.
             You humans didn't survive my kind for no reason."

Interviewer: "Let's get back to Kelly.  How did you win her?"

Adam: "I didn't. I was young and socially awkward...and had no game whatsoever.  Kelly and I just sort of fell in love. To this day, I don't know what she saw in me."

Interviewer: "I can't believe you had no skills with females whatsoever."

Adam (laughing): "Don't forget, we cavemen used to court our women with clubs."

Out of the Cave is 65,000 words (220 pages) long. It was published October 07, 2013 by Burst Books, an imprint of the Champagne Book Group.  

About The Book
Author Website

The year is 2036. Fifteen-year-old-Kelly Tracer moves to Rivertown, Missouri, population 1900, where she enrolls in the local high school to begin her sophomore year. Imagine Kelly's surprise when she learns of another newcomer to Rivertown High, a sophomore like herself: a boy from 40,000 years in the past. A Neanderthal.

Further imagine Kelly's shock when she learns Neanderthals were not fellow Homo sapiens but were instead a seperate species of humans unto themselves. She remembers the boy being time transported to the twenty-first century from watching the news when she was six years old. Now, nine years later, he is being mainstreamed.

Kelly is further surprised when she sees Adam (the name humans have given him) in the flesh. Like his long-extinct people, he is heavily muscled with thick brow ridges above his eyes and possessed of a protruding muzzle of a mouth and only a slight chin. Then there is his humongous, spreading nose. More thuggish than simian-looking, Adam's primitive looks put Kelly off. Scare her even.

Kelly gets another surprise. Adam speaks English like an American. Raised by scientists since his sixth year, he sounds just like any other American kid, except for a touch of bass in his voice's timbre. Also, Adam is nothing like the dully fierce caveman stereotype Kelly expected. Aside from being shy, he is mild and thoughtful and quite considerate of the feelings of others. Adam is also very mature for his few years; an evolutionary response, according to his paleoanthropologist adoptive father, to living in the harsh conditions of a major Ice Age.

Not surprisingly, Kelly finds herself liking him.

You guessed it, Kelly and Adam will eventually become an item. But, before that, they'll go through enough tribulations to try the patience of a saint. After-all, the world is no more perfect in the year 2036 than it was in Adam's time.(less)

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