One benefit of social media is you meet some wonderful people. One of them is author Joseph Carrabis. He has been everything from a long-haul trucker to a chief research scientist. He has taught internationally at the university level; holds patents in a base, disruptive technology; created a company that grew from his basement to offices in four countries; and helped companies varying in size from mom-and-pops to Fortune 500 companies develop their marketing. Most of this bored him. But give him a pen and paper or a keyboard and he’s off writing, which is what he does full-time now.
His most recent novel, The Augmented Man, was published in March 2021 by Sixth Element. In this novel, Captain James Donaldson believes he found the way to create the perfect soldier: Take a survivor of childhood abuse because he believes they can endure the horrors of combat without suffering PTSD. Augment them physically, chemically, and biologically until they become inhuman killing machines. Then expect them to die in combat because they are considered too dangerous to return to civilian life. One of those soldiers is Nicholas Trailer. He survives a brutal war in South America and later resurfaces in an act of violence. Donaldson must decide whether to destroy or rehabilitate Trailer, but he is not prepared for what Trailer reveals.
I asked Joseph about his book and his approaches to writing.
You write in a number of genres, including poetry, children’s books, non-fiction, and science fiction. Which is your favorite to write? Which has been the most challenging?
I don’t have a favorite, really, as I never set out to write to a specific genre. Much like Gahan Wilson’s statement, “I only paint what I see,” I only write what’s in front of me.
What was your inspiration for writing The Augmented Man?
In the early 1990s, I was active in the psychotherapeutic community and studied trauma. My speciality was childhood trauma, and my studies often overlapped with other types of trauma, specifically combat PTSD. There were so many connections between how these types of trauma were demonstrated by survivors, I started sharing my findings with others. These findings were largely ignored, in part because society wasn’t yet comfortable looking at itself through the necessary lenses.