Review Fix chats with author Hulden Morse, who discusses what inspired his new novel, “Soul Suites.”
Review Fix: What inspired this book?
Hulden Morse: My daily commute via bus took me through areas of Los Angeles that were lined with homeless camps. After seeing these men and women on a regular basis, I began to wonder how life would be as a homeless person, and even went so far as to consider taking an undercover position alongside the homeless population. After a little thought, I deemed this plan to be moronic, but fulfilled my curiosity by speaking with the homeless individuals to learn their stories. From these experiences, I developed the foundation for Soul Sutes.
Review Fix: How much do you think is based on reality?
Morse: The characters and plot are completely fictional, while the medical science and research techniques used in the book are very real. My experience in medicine and biological research has allowed me to present a story that is not only believable, but all too possible, adding to the suspense and thrill.
Review Fix: What did you read as a kid?
Morse: My childhood was riddled with Michael Crichton and Dean Koontz and Russell Banks and Jean-Paul Sartre, to name a few. These authors, diverse they are, played defining roles in my development as a person and a writer.
Review Fix: How did it influence you?
Morse: The science involved in Crichton’s books sucked me into a world where fiction could be based on truth. The fear and darkness invoked by Koontz was enough to start me on a path toward sinister themes in my own writing. The unique style and plots of Banks encouraged me to experiment with the normal structure of a novel. And finally, Sartre introduced me to the beauty and surreality of existentialism, a way of thinking that can brutalize the psyche while simultaneously opening your eyes to the loneliness of existence.
Review Fix: How do you want this book to be remembered?
Morse: Soul Suites should be remembered for the emotions it elicits within the reader. Feelings of fear and betrayal and confusion are commonly reported, and this is what I want the audience to take away. Reading a book is an experience, and I want every person who reads Soul Suites to remember and share the specific emotions they felt throughout the experience.
Review Fix: What are your goals for it?
Morse: In this volatile political climate, there is much that we can learn about judging people and situations prematurely. Throughout Soul Suites, assumptions are made about individuals, groups, and scenes, all of which affect the characters in various ways, showing the reader that it is advantageous to maintain an open mind in all facets of life. My goal for this book is for persons to cease this awful, ignorant judgement that is so prevalent in the world, a common trait that is tearing apart the culture us humans have worked so hard to cultivate.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Morse: An audiobook for Soul Suites is currently in production, with a release date in late January. Following this, I, Hulden Morse, have numerous other books coming out. Keep an eye out for these upcoming novels: Like a Bear in a Zoo, and To Behold the Greatest Art.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Morse: Soul Suites is not for the faint-hearted. This book depicts unspeakable acts against humans, all of which are not fantastical in nature but startlingly realistic. Please understand that these occurrences are not used to shock but to advance the story and prove a point: people will do and say anything to get what they want, even if that means deceiving an entire country.