Chicago Business Journal – August 20, 2018

By Lewis Lazare

Marshall Ross is vice chairman and chief creative officer at Cramer Krasselt, a Chicago-based independent ad agency with which he’s been affiliated for nearly 25 years.

But Ross is about to add a new title to his career accomplishments — published science fiction author.

On Sept. 4, Ross’s first serialized sci-fi novel “The Kalelah Series” will be released via Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle unit, though the actual publisher of his three-part novel is Publicnoise Press.

Ross in an interview said three years of writing — and re-writing — was needed to get The Kalelah Series ready for publication.

“I did a lot of the writing on airplanes,” said Ross, for whom sci-fiction has been a love since childhood when he was an avid fan of the “Star Trek” series.

Ross also grew up at the dawn of space exploration, which further fueled his interest in science fiction.

“I’ve always liked that leap into the unknown,” explained Ross.

The story line in The Kalelah Series concerns a spaceship that has been sitting at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean for much longer than it was supposed to be there. It is inhabited by a group of people different from those who live on Planet Earth because these people in the spaceship — some of them anyway — have been alive there for thousands of year.

The three installments that comprise The Kalelah Series include plenty of suspenseful twists and turns that fans of sci-fi will appreciate.

“There are a lot of surprises; it’s a real roller-coaster of a read,” Ross explained.

Ross said he likes the sci-fi genre because “it takes you someplace entirely different that still tells you something about where you came from.”

As a young reader, Ross was greatly inspired by the work of Ray Bradbury. “It really blew my mind,” he said.

More recently, he also loved James Cameron’s sci-fi flick “Avatar,” because of the rich, fantastical world the director created in that Academy Award winner for best picture in 2010.

Ross isn’t necessarily looking to win any literary awards for his first effort, but who knows.

“I certainly didn’t do it for the money,” added Ross.

Amazon is keeping a huge chunk of the 99 cents readers will pay for the first installment and $2.99 for each of the second and third installments of The Kalelah Series.”

Ross knows he’s no Stephen King yet. So he took the deal Amazon offered him.

“I still have my day job,” noted Ross.