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An interview with

A l e x
D o m o k o s

Author of Prometheus, a future fiction novel
Read a review of Prometheus

Alex Domokos


"Prometheus" is a speculative fiction novel, or as one reviewer termed it-- a "future fiction" novel that stands out from other novels of that genre. A well-plotted, complex story with a block-buster ending, it soon becomes obvious to the reader that this is a story with a message. I interviewed Alex Domokos, the author of "Prometheus", at his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Dowse: Your life has been anything but "conventional". Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Alex: I was born in Szabadka, Yugoslavia in 1921, into a world of political unrest. When I was only a few months old, my mother smuggled me across the border into Hungary so we could be reunited with my father who had already fled to Budapest. I had planned to enter my father's profession and become a police officer, however World War II intervened and I was pressed into the army. In 1945, in the final days of the war, I was captured by the Russians during the fall of Buda and interred for six years in their forced labour camps. Upon my release from Russia in 1951, I was deported by Hungary's Communist government because I was a member of the middle class. In 1956, when the people's uprising against the Communists was squashed, I knew I was targeted by the secret police so my wife and I fled to Austria. Unfortunately we were separated from our infant daughter and were forced to leave her behind. It would be a further six years before we were reunited with her.

Dowse: Would you say your life experiences have influenced your writing?

Alex: I would say that my experiences launched my writing career. During our captivity we suffered under the extra burden of never knowing when we would be released. When a prisoner knows the length of his sentence he has something to look forward to. For us there was no such hope. When you have no hope you lose the will to live. To entertain my fellow inmates and boost their moral, I began writing stories on empty cement bags, then, on certain evenings I would hold what began to be called the "Domokos Evening Show" and I would have a reading of the latest chapter of whatever I was writing. My first "novel" was called "The Invention of Writing in Egypt". I'm sure it wasn't very well written however it was very well received by the men.

Dowse: What impacted you most when you arrived in a free country?

Alex: The libraries! In post World War II Hungary there were public libraries, but the accessibility of certain materials was screened. Books on Western literature and philosophy were carefully censored and instead of widening, they narrowed our vision. But in Canada there was no censorship! My first visit to the library in Winnipeg made me dizzy. An inexhaustible wealth of knowledge was at my disposal. Here was a place where my curiosity could be satisfied, a place where the thoughts of the greatest Christian thinkers could be studied side by side with the achievements of advanced science. But I was unable to access it! The language barrier made it impossible. I immersed myself in English--no Hungarian magazines, books or radio until I had mastered the English language.

Dowse: How did the novel "Prometheus" come about?

Alex: It was in one of the camps that I first conceived of the idea for this book. In exploring what distinguished man from the beasts I came to the conclusion that it was his mastery of fire; he alone of all the animals can control his instinct to flee from fire and use it either for his benefit, or as power over others. But--as the reader learns in the novel, this mastery of fire comes at a great price.

Dowse: I sense that you are sending a message to your reader through "Prometheus".

Alex: Absolutely. We simply cannot continue to abuse our planet and distrust our fellow man as we do today. Our drive for bigger, better, faster in all things is pushing technology to the point that we will no longer be in control of machines. Although we may be able to program machines to "think", we can never program man's restraining morality into their systems.

Dowse: You have published several novels in print format. Why have you chosen to publish "Prometheus" with an e-publisher.

Alex: I have five print novels published in Hungary, in the Hungarian language. I wanted to break into the English language market but soon found that English language print publishers favour best-selling authors. This policy leaves new, and mid-list authors, out in the cold. It was suggested to me that I try e-publishing and I am very happy with the relationship I have with CrossroadsPub.com

Dowse: Do you have other English language novels published?

Alex: My autobiography, "The Price of Freedom", is also available as an e-book. I chose the title because I have paid a very high price for what should be a birth right-an individual's right to their personal freedom.

Dowse: Do you have other novels planned for the future?

Alex: Yes, I do. I have just finished a novel a fiction novel that is based on fact. I met a young man in one of the camps who had a tragic story to tell. He was actually a Jew who had been given false papers that identified him as German. He was swept up into the German army and couldn't protest without endangering the lives of those who had protected him. The title of this book is Shades of Gray, because life isn't lived in black and white; life is lived in the gray area between the two. There are many shades of gray that our conscience has to wrestle with when we're forced into a decision based on our emotions or our morals.


Read a review of Prometheus
Visit the Alex Domokos website and read poems, short stories and novel excerpts by Alex Domokos

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An Interview with Alex Domokos