Alexander McCarty is an animal born on Earth who actively seeks freedom for his fellow animals. At the age of twenty-one, he met vegan activist Gary Yourofsky and vowed to live vegan alongside his brother. They have since dedicated their lives to animal liberation through educational activism. Alexander recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and holds certificates in Jainism, Asiatic Studies, and Spirituality. He is now a full-time writer and is also the president of Sphere of Compassion Inc. When he isn’t writing, he is watching anime, reading, or playing videogames. He listens to any and all comments, suggestions, reflections, and criticism.
Alexander, thank you for agreeing to this interview. You and your brother, Gabriel McCarty, co-founded Sphere of Compassion Inc. What is the mission and vision of your independent corporation? What obstacles have you had to overcome in launching your company to meet your goals?
Our mission is to create fun and thought-provoking media to open the minds of our fans and widen their sphere of compassion with works that combat anthropocentric ideologies and promote the philosophy of Veganism!
Launching the company was surprisingly easy. The obstacles Sphere of Compassion (SOC) is still facing concern marketing. We are both fairly new to social media and website building so we’re having difficulty branching out.
The Of the Expos series was co-written by yourself and Gabriel. Writers are often curious about how collaboration works between two creatives to masterfully complete a project. Could you enlighten us to your process? What are the pros and cons of working with someone else on a project of this magnitude?
We absolutely collaborate every step of the way, but the series is written by me (Alexander). Gabriel assists with brainstorming, character creation, and editing. He also draws all the characters and creates the cover for all the Of The Exps books. They will even act out scenes together, which are later added into the books. It’s a pleasure working together but balancing the workload can sometimes become tricky.
The first book in the series, Exp 8: Rebellion of the Exps, was released in 2016, introducing your unique world and characters. Tell us a bit about the storyline and what messages you hope resonate with readers.
The first book is about Exp 8, an autonomous weapon with an instinctual desire for freedom. He unites his fellow experiments against their creator so they can all attain freedom! Each book has a certain theme which we always link to the message of ethical Veganism. That said, there are as many messages as there are characters in this story.
The series as a whole is about a race of biological weapons fighting against their creators, themselves, gods and human society both physically and politically in order to attain personhood and their personal utopia.
The second and third installments, The Hero of Sel and Sellum, continue the adventure of Exp 8 and the other Freedom Forcers. How did the characters change from the beginning of the series in ways you did not expect? Did you find it difficult to interweave challenges for your characters to help them grow?
The Hero of Sel takes place immediately after Exp 8 but the genre shifts from Sci-fi into Fantasy. The experiments from Exp 8 find themselves in the afterlife and they must decide if they want to reincarnate, join the gods, or go against the Heavens and force their way back to Earth. With so much at stake, it was a pleasant surprise to see many minor characters take up new missions and make unexpected choices. Exp 8, for one, is shaken by the atrocities of the Realm of Sel and takes up arms against the God of Hate, taking his battle against slavery to the next level. With a brand new setting and bigger stakes, it was a joy to create new character arcs for the entire cast, all the while exploring SOC’s own understanding of faith, doubt and spirituality as a whole.
Sellum takes place after the fight against the God of Hate is over and presents even more challenges for the cast now that an old ally has become their main foe. One particularly surprising development was when the weak link of the group uses her powers to save her remaining comrades from a wrathful god.
Rumors of a fourth book, Destruction, Creation, Absence, have been floating around. What can you tell us about this potential conclusion to the story arc and its release date?
Destruction, Creation, Absence brings the Resurrection arc to its conclusion and simultaneously sets up the next arc (Rise of the Exps), which centers around the Exps creating a political presence on Earth. The finale brings the action back to Sellum (the afterlife). Three battles to the death will decide who will be the next ruler of Sel (Hell), Lum (Heaven), and Absence (Purgatory). This grand conclusion will come to fruition April 2019.
What can we expect from you in 2019? Anything else you would like to add?
The newest series by Sphere of Compassion, The Main Character: The Hero’s Epic Journey Begins! is set to release at the end of March. It’s about an American otaku and his Best Friend journeying to another world and discovering what it means to be a hero through broken expectations and loss. This story is very different than Of The Exps, since it is entirely in 1st person and is a parody of all things anime. Despite being a parody, the setting, themes and story are all very dark and intense. This makes for a very unique experience. I feel that moments when I don’t know if I should be laughing or crying are something truly special and we want to give our readers the chance to experience this through our work. The Main Character is also FREE to read on royalroad.com and updates weekly. It isn’t a total deviation from their style though; expect plenty of unique powers, quirky characters and controversial themes just like the ones the Of The Exps series contains.
The first Rise of the Exps book (Eternal Rival) will be released at the end of 2019 and will continue the Earth arc and expand upon the fight against the Exp Hunters (government agents trained to take down our heroes).
It has been a pleasure, Alexander! Please tell us where fans can find you online.