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  • Writer's pictureJessica Cantwell

Along the Perimeter by Steven Healt

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

Healt’s debut novel, Along the Perimeter is a well written, enjoyable read. For me, it was a cross between The Hunger Games and Divergent with a splash of science fiction. Whenever I read dystopian fiction, I am always curious as to the who, what, why and when things went downhill for Humanity. I will definitely be returning for book two to find out what caused the Fog/Haze and what the Amboians (an advanced alien species) are up to!

Before we chat with Steven Healt, let’s read the synopsis for Along the Perimeter:

A caustic fog blankets the Earth. Only the transparent barrier known as the Shield holds it at bay. It is the Amboians—an advanced alien species—and their technology that saved the last remnants of Humanity from the deadly Haze.Cordelia Faucher, a scavenger known as the Haze Walker, has a secret she must keep hidden. Carter Gerro, one of the few Humans allowed among the City Guard is unexpectedly chosen to protect a member of the Amboian Council. A mercenary group known as the Amber Waves find themselves in over their heads after accepting a job they couldn't pass up.As disturbing reports of attacks from beyond the perimeter of the Shield reach the capital city of Amboy, all eyes turn eastward. It is these events that bring together the Haze Walker, a City Guardsman, and a band of mercenaries.

J.C. - Hi Steven, it is a pleasure getting to talk to you today. Can you take a moment and introduce yourself to our readers?

S.H. - Firstly I want to say thanks for reaching out to me for the interview!

As for a quick bit about me, I'm originally from the Adirondack region of New York. I've lived all over New York, and spent some time living just outside Philly. My girlfriend and I moved to Long Island about two years ago. It was quite the adjustment from living in northern NY haha. I got my bachelor's of science with a focus in geology from SUNY Oswego, and then got a master's in geoscience from West Chester University. When I'm not reading or writing, I love spending time outdoors, and when the weather is bad the couch and a movie is always a solid choice.

J.C. - What made you come up with the idea for Along the Perimeter?

S.H. - Along the Perimeter, and the Amboy series as a whole, coalesced from a few ideas that came to me over the years. The foundation came to me when I was driving to Oswego after spending some time up in the Adirondacks. As I was passing through one of the many small towns up that way, I wondered what it would be like if that stretch of road was the only habitable place on the planet. Then came the 'why?', and so on.

J.C. - This is your debut novel. How does it feel to be a published author?

S.H. - I feel like I've been using the word surreal a lot more lately haha. It really is a strange feeling.

J.C. - This was such a great book. To me, I felt it was The Hunger Games meets Divergent with a splash of science fiction. Considering the success of those two series, I would venture to say that is a great compliment. What kind of accolades have you received so far?

S.H. - I've entered Along the Perimeter into a few indie author contests, so maybe next year I'll have some exciting news regarding that!

J.C. - Amboins are an alien species you created for the book. They are immense, approx. seven feet in size, with a bluish skin and black eyes. What inspired their look and how did you come up with the name Amboin?

S.H. - The name of the small town that I drove through when I got the idea is Amboy Center, it's probably a four or five mile stretch of road. The diameter of the walled city of Amboy in my books is slightly bigger than that. The leap from Amboy to Amboians was more of a short step haha.

J.C. - There is a group of missionaries called the Amber Waves. All members were so charismatic I found it hard to pick a favorite. Do you have a favorite character?

S.H. - That is a tough question! The Amber Waves Company was originally going to be a small handful of mercenaries, but then as I began fleshing out characters I couldn't stop. The five members I focus on in book one each hold a special place in my heart, as they were the original group that I had thought of.

J.C. - Who has been your biggest support system while on this writing adventure?

S.H. - My girlfriend has been extremely supportive. She knows how important writing has become for me in the past few years, and how much I enjoy working on my projects. She's not super into sci-fi or fantasy books, but she was willing to read a bit of the early draft of Along the Perimeter and give me feedback, and more recently bought a copy for herself to read.

J.C. - Finish the sentence. In ten years I’d like to…

S.H. - For my personal life; married to my girlfriend, have kids, and roots set down somewhere. As for writing, the Amboy series would be complete, and maybe this other idea I have would be nearly complete. I'd like to release two books every year if I can. If writing has taken off for me, maybe it's what I'm doing full time. Even if it doesn't take off, I'd still like to be writing.

J.C. - There is so much more to this story. What is the haze? Where did it come from? Will we learn more in a possible sequel? If so, can you tell us about it?

S.H. - That is a very good question! The sequel to Along the Perimeter should be out before the end of the year. I won't say whether or not questions regarding the Haze will be answered in book two, but they certainly will be before the series is complete.

J.C. - Lastly, where can readers find you and your work?

S.H. - I still haven't gotten around to finishing my website, so for now you can find me on Instagram. Fortunately Steven Healt wasn't already taken, that made things a lot easier. I mostly document my writing process, but I post about several other things. The Around the World In Indie Authors challenges definitely keep me posting more regularly! Very much looking forward to the next installment.

If you are a fan of the Hunger Games, Divergent or long drives in Upstate New York , grab a copy of Along the Perimeter from Amazon!

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