Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wednesday's Weekly Writers (Interview with Jim Vuksic)

Levels by Jim Vuksic
 For years, Jonathan has been taught that too much knowledge acquired too soon does more harm than good. That's what the sacred texts teach. Jonathan knows the sacred texts and the tales of ancient times backward and forward. He has heard them his entire life, and they have shaped his perception of the world. But perception and reality are often very different.

Levels follows Jonathan as his formal primary education comes to an end. After a lifetime of learning by rote from the ancient texts and doing whatever his teachers tell him to do, Jonathan now has a chance to explore his world for himself and put the teachings he knows so well to the test. Jonathan leaves school and advances to the next level in his rigidly structured society. He is subjected to an orchestrated series of physical and mental challenges. To advance to the highest levels of his society and at last learn the true nature of the sheltered world in which he was raised, Jonathan must display courage, tolerance, and maturity.

As Jonathan and his classmates advance to their society's highest levels, they are gradually exposed to a surprisingly diverse group of people. They also begin to learn just how much has been kept from them during their lives. Only if Jonathan reaches his society's highest level will he be able to learn the truth about his world and the organization that controls it. Will Jonathan prove worthy of advancement? Or will he remain sheltered from the truth he desperately longs to learn?

About me: 
Upon graduating from St. Mark Seminary in Erie, Pa. in 1965, I enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and am a Vietnam veteran. In 1968 I began a 33-year management career with the H.J. Heinz Company and retired in 2001 as the manager of the company's Pittsburgh, Pa. facility. My late wife Elaine and I married in 1970, had five children and we have remained together for 35 1/2 wonderful years.

About the Book:
"Levels", a post-apocalyptic/speculative novel, was published Aug. 9, 2011. The reader follows the lives of six friends, from the time they are just 11 years-old until they are in their mid- 30's, as they gradually learn about their world which is actually the end result of a social experiment initiated 300 years previously to eliminate all of the institutions, philosophies and behavior that the founders believed contributed to the downfall of previous societies.

"Levels" is distributed internationally by "Ingram/Spring Arbor" and is available in paperback (376 pages), e-book (Kindle/Nook/Tablet), audio book on CD (9 compact discs) and audio book download - 8 hours listening time, narrated by Stephen Rozzell.

My Favorite Authors and Works:
"Earth's Children Series" (7 books) by Jean M. Auel
"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury
"Tai-Pan" by James Clavell
"The Hunger Games Series" (3 books) by Suzanne Collins
"The Stolen Child" by Keith Donohue
"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
"Aztec" by Garry Jennings
"The Stand" & "The Dark Tower Series" (7 books) by Stephen King
"The Godfather" by Mario Puzo
"The Harry Potter Series" (6 books) by J.K. Rowling
"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
"The Hobbit" & "The Lord of the Ring Series" (3 books) by J.R.R. Toliien

Writing's Impact Upon Me:
Since published in 2011, "Levels" has sold only 1,008 units. Royalty checks total just $2,315.90. Writing a novel has proven to be one of my least successful and least financially rewarding life experiences. Writing a novel has also proven to be one of the most challenging, personally rewarding and satisfying learning activities experienced during my lifetime.

Jim Vuksic

About the Author: 
 Jim Vuksic was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1961 he left home to attend St. Mark Seminary in Erie, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1965.
Jim enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966 and is a Vietnam veteran. After being discharged, Jim was hired by the H.J. Heinz company. Five promotions and 33 years later, he retired as the manager of the company's food processing facility in Pittsburgh.
In 1970, Jim married his late wife, Elaine. They had five children and were loving partners for 35 wonderful years.

Levels is his first book. {Available in: paperback (376 pages), e-Book download (Kindle/Nook/Tablet), audio book on CD (9 discs), and audio download - 8 hours listening time, narrated by Stephen Rozzell.}