Tag Archives: writing

Chainsaw Corpse Cop by Wol-vriey

ccc-50Review: Chainsaw Cop Corpse is definitely and firmly in the bizarro genre, and in many ways hardcore in its details, yet it’s quirky, straight-forward and cleanly told. Needing to suspense belief and not ask questions such as “Why is this happening or why is this person doing this or that?” it is still enjoyable because it’s different.

Just from reading its description, I would have passed on this work as I do have the clause in my guidelines: “…whether its sexual explicitness or violence: they need to be relevant to the story itself in some ways. Not just description for description’s sake.”  I rarely do it, but I wrote the author and pointed out my clause, but was assured it was relevant to the story itself…and it was.

I like the unusual and weird, even if graphic in content, but honestly, though a story may contain graphic everything, I don’t care for descriptions that might be read by anyone, which contain curse words and slang. That’s for the reader to be experienced by choice once purchased, etc. in my opinion. The other thing that was an issue for me was the format of the story: each sentence or paragraph, usually with no more than one or two sentences, were separated with line spaces. Especially with e-readers, this can be tiring to the eyes and takes up more space than necessary.

Certainly, it’s not to everyone taste,  but if you want a different kind of read, a work that is amusing in its way, shocking at times, but deeply and imaginatively graphic, give Chainsaw Corpse Cop a try.”

Description: “Simon is having a bad fucking week. When you’re a D.C. Detective, every week is a bad week, but this week has been a BAD freaking week.

For starters, some psychopath has been murdering people, stealing their body parts and smearing their corpses with peanut butter.

To make matters worse, the contract killer “Boots” has recently resurfaced, and his girlfriend’s chainsaw arm destroyed his bed when he made her climax.

To top it all off, Simon’s been pissing random body parts for days. Ears, fingers, toes… And if that weren’t bad enough, now he has to drop a deuce!”

  • Published: November 2012
  • Publisher: Bizarro Press
  • ISBN: 0615731287
  • ISBN13: 9780615731285
  • Source: Author

Author Profile:

Wol-vriey is Nigerian and quite tall.

He currently resides in a state of uneasy stalemate with his threatening-to-thin-beyond-redemption hair, and believes there actually are things that go bump in the night.
Wol-vriey recycles the ridiculous into reasonable reality for the reader.

His WEIRRRD philosophy? WEIRRRD = Warp/Write Everything into Realistic Ridiculous Readable Distorted Dream Dimension Descriptions.

He is the author of Alice’s Adventures in Steamland, The Bizarro Story of I, Chainsaw Cop Corpse, and Vegan Zombie Apocalypse.

As well as appearing on Bizarro Central and in online e-zines, his WEIRRRD fiction is featured in numerous print compilations, including the Bizarro anthologies The Big Book of Bizarro and Tall Tales with Short Cocks.

Wol-vriey is also the warped mind behind the band ‘Rocksurface’ (www.myspace.com/rock.ng), and the experimental electronic ensemble ‘Earxygen’ (http://soundcloud.com/earxygen)

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Filed under Bizarro, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Hard Core, Horror, Reviews

Interview: Kristen Kindoll, Author of “Queen’s Autumn Gambit”

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Kristen Kindoll is a freelance writer and home-schooling parent.  The love of education and learning has provided many topics for her work.  She writes a weekly column for the Tennessean about home-schooling and local family events.  She was a writing guide for The Lesson Planet website.  Pockets magazine has published her fiction stories.

A Time to Live, A Time to Die placed third in the Kentucky Center for the Arts Young Playwrights Contest.  It was produced at the Kentucky Center (Louisville, KY) on Stage One.  The Couple In-Between placed 4th in the Tall Tale Tell Off.  She told her story at the storytelling festival in Nashville, IN.

She has created several writing and journalism workshops in conjunction with her teaching.  She has a Bachelor of Arts from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL.  She participated in the Washington Journalism Semester at American University, Washington, D.C.

Links: 

Personal Website:  http://www.kristenkindoll.com  and blog.

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6984951.Kristen_Kindoll

Book available at Amazon and Lulu.com, video trailer on Youtube.

2Description: “Carolyn Ainsworth is drawn into a twisted game of English chess, which places her in a delicate situation. Does finding out the truth about her family merit destroying all that she has known? The Queen’s Gambit is a precise chess maneuver that calculates key positions upon the board. In order to play, Carolyn must accept the terms of the inheritance. The other beneficiary, Luca Caldwell is maneuvered to participate in this archaic game of alliances. Their forced partnership begins on opposite sides.

As they progress, they discover mounting secrets about both of their families. What starts out in conflict, they unite with one common purpose to discover who has been manipulating them. As the autumn leaves fall from the trees, Carolyn and Luca find themselves embroiled in the mounting lies. They begin to question, if they are the players or merely pieces in a greater scheme. Will the white side control the board, or will black rule the game?”

 

INTERVIEW

Why do you write the stories that you write?

I write, because I’m intrigued by the varied answers to a problem.  What would happen if… And if that happened, how would a character respond?  I like proposing situations and moving around the imaginary players within the little worlds of my creation.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

The earliest I can remember for desiring to write is at the age of two.  I had scribbled a picture of a boat, captained by my father.  I regaled a nautical tale about my papa, navigating the dangerous seas.  My mother wrote one sentence above the picture.  I was amazed that my long tale could be contained within one line.  When I was older, I found my “story” in my baby book.  At last, I could read the sentence my mother had transcribed.  Needless to say, the story was not the Charles Dickens’ length I had dictated to her.  I was mad and demanded to know why my mom lied.  She said, “Honey, you just told me too many stories.  I got tired of always writing everything down.”

What was your inspiration for writing? 

I went on my first writer’s retreat.  This was my first time being utterly alone with no distractions.  After my initial panic attack subsided, I knew I needed to produce something to justify my expense of time and money for attending the retreat.  I fell back upon the age-old writing advice:  write what you like.  So, I began a book that I would have wanted to read, a forced marriage with a twist.  What started out as a lark, ended up being my first novel.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I home-school my older two children, 9 & 13.  I also write a column for the Tennessean.  Most of my life vacillates between mom and teacher mode.

Where do you hang out online?
My on-line habits are pure fluff:  people.com, tvguide.com, ew.com, movieyahoo.com, yahoo scroll bar, and check my professional Facebook page.  I go to the same sites.  I’m a movie trailer addict.  I would love for my day job to be making movie trailers.  The trailer for Queen’s Autumn Gambit was a fantasy come true.

What books are currently on your nightstand?
I have a stack of magazines:  Smithsonian, Southern Living, Cooking Light, Everyday Food, and miscellaneous picture books that my four year old brings to me to read out loud.

Do you remember the first novel you read?

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan was the first book I ever truly read by myself.  I was sucked into it and transformed.  Reading had always been difficult for me.  I had a lot of trouble in school with most subjects.  I loved picture books and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to read a book with a lot of words.  For library class, I had to choose a book for a book report.  I was drawn to pick up Down a Dark Hall by the cover.  Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.  When I met Lois Duncan, I was all googly-eyed and gushed all over her.  I couldn’t help myself.  She was very gracious and sweet, though.

What would you like readers to know about you the individual?

I love to laugh and always try to find the humor in life.  I collect typewriters, because I like the sounds they make and the way they look.

Who are your favorite authors and why?
Some of my favorite authors:  Lois Duncan for opening the windows and doors to reading, Barbara Kingsolver for multiple characters with well rounded development, Robin McKinley for detailed descriptions, Kurt Vonnegut for his unique settings and plots, and Winston Groom for his Southern humor.

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you. 

I had my own radio show in college, called the Roomie Show.  My roommate and I strictly played Beatles songs.  I also wrote a radio drama for the show.

Where are you from originally?  Family?
I’m originally from Louisville, Kentucky.  I’m the oldest of three (sister and brother).

Is there anything unique about your upbringing that you’d like to share with readers?
Every summer, my family would travel up to Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota.  My Grandparents had a lake house there on the water.  Some of my happiest memories happened at the lake, it was a magical place.

 

Your Writing Process

Why do you write?
I write, because I have all of these stories which circle like tired buzzards in my head.  I need to clear out some space up in the old brain.

What excites you about writing? 

I get energized by finding the right combination of words, which expresses an idea.  I’m very interested in painting with words.  It is probably why I always liked poetry.  The idea of beauty on the surface, but beneath the words lie more complex thoughts/stories.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? 

Because of my life, I get up about 5 AM and write until my kids get up, around 7 AM.  I might work in the evenings, but I usually mark that as family time.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 

DEADLINES are my best advice.  I’m a lazy writer.  It is work to write.  There is pleasure in creating and developing, but it can be laborious at times.  I knew I needed something, an arbitrary due date to get my fingers typing.  I have never been possessed by the need to write, what consumes me are characters, situations, and storylines.  I don’t keep journals.  I have tried, but it seemed boring to write about my day-to-day existence.  It is why I like fiction and journalism.  I prefer writing about other people’s lives.

What would you consider is your favorite part of a book to write?The beginning, the middle or the ending?
My favorite part of the book would be the middle.  There is potential for change, and you have established the characters.

Is there any other genre you have considered writing in?
I’m honestly not genre specific.  That was the hardest part for me to identify a genre for Queen’s Autumn Gambit.  I’m attracted to good stories.  I like developed characters and complex plots or a twist on a predictable outcome.  Those are the kinds of things I like to read, too.

Do you listen to music or have another form of inspiration when you are writing? 

I listen to Classical radio.  It provides the right mood and blocks out external noises, so I can slip into my worlds.  I have to say the most creative spaces for me are when I’m driving and at church.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven on automatic pilot and said to my kids, “Wait!  Where are we going?”  Sad but true.

Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s the most unglamorous thing that you’ve done in the past week? 

I write in my PJ’s mostly.  I would say my characters lead a more fascinating existence than me.  I’m more mini van than jet set.

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission? 

This is my first finished book.  It took me a year to finish.  I would have finished it sooner, but I had to plot out the other three books in the series to make sure the whole story would align.

Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter? 

This happens to be a series, but I prefer to write what the story dictates.  My idea for Queen’s Autumn Gambit was so multi-layered the story couldn’t be written in just one book.  As it was, I had trouble containing the length within the first season, autumn.

What is the best and worst writing advice you have ever received? 

My English college professor had us write a short story.  When I got my paper back, I had a D.  I had never gotten anything less than A minus on any creative writing story I had ever written.  I was shocked and went to her office, trying to figure out what I did wrong.  She told me that my story made her cry and feel things that she didn’t want to think about (I wrote about the Vietnam War).  She told me that since I hadn’t lived during that time period I had no business writing about it.  I tried pointing out fantasy and other authors who wrote about things they hadn’t lived through.  She was adamant with her stance.  I went back and rewrote the short story with a different topic and received an A plus.  It taught me, there are opinions to listen to, and there are opinions to ignore.

Do you have a system for writing? 

I write and then go back and reread/edit.  It helps trigger my idea and thought process.  I like discovering along the way about the characters.  I could probably write faster if I did an outline; but when I have done that, I’m bored writing the story.  It’s like I solved the puzzle.

Do you track work count or write a certain number of hours per day? 

No, I know writers who track word count, but I don’t.  When I’ve attempted it, I felt defeated by not meeting the goal.  I found that by writing everyday is enough of a triumph.

What was the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced during your writing career? 

Every time I meet a reader, seriously every time someone comes up to me and says they read my column is a thrill for me.  When you write, you are in a void.  I have no idea who has bought or picked up anything that I have written.  The only time I have verification is when I have written plays.  Even then, I can’t make every performance.  I like when readers question me and want to get into a discussion about the characters.  The whole reason I write is understand the reason why things happen.  It is what intrigues me about life.

Your Books

Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel? 

My book feels like a child.  I always heard that comparison, but this labor was way more intense than actually birthing my three kids.  There are all those questions and fears you have.  You are exposed and vulnerable.  Usually when I have written anything in the past, I was so removed from it.  Queen’s Autumn Gambit has intensely inhabited my every moment, especially during the final edits and production phase.

When a new book comes out, are you nervous about how readers will react to it? 

I do feel like the girl by the punch bowl, desperately wanting a boy to ask her to dance.  I hope my novel will do well, and people will enjoy the story.

What can we look forward to in the upcoming months?

  I’m working on another book; it is a Southern Humor book.  I needed a departure from the intensity of Queen’s Autumn Gambit.  After I finish that, I will begin to write Winter Queen Vs. Pawns.

What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

  This book required an intense amount of research.  I had to learn military history, describe military uniforms.  It is set in England.  I had to verify that certain paintings were in the museums at the time I mentioned the artwork.  I would say that was fascinating and very gratifying for me to know the amount of work behind the scenes.

If your book is available in print, how does it feel to hold a book that has your name on the cover? 

Holding your book in print and reading it feels surreal, I still get excited by it.

Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? 

I don’t base characters on real people, because that can be tricky for many reasons.  Some of my characters share attributes that I have within my own life.  I’m a mother, sister, raised Catholic, married, etc.  I traveled in England, but never lived there.  I think you need to draw on your experiences, but not write your life.  It is probably the journalist in me that holds that belief.  The characters are very real to me.  It helps that I based it in England, so I imagine them living their lives right now over there in merry-old England.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters? 

Coming up with characters’ names varies in difficulty.  The first names usually pop into my mind, but I find my best tool is the baby name books.  Last names are the hardest, that’s where I would do internet searches for “English surnames”.  I try to balance out letters, too.  I tend to gravitate toward certain constants.  I don’t know why, but I do.

Have any of your characters ever haunted your dreams or woken you up during the night demanding attention? 

My characters are very chatty.  Often times, I wish, they would shut up.  When I let them talk it out, they end up solving a particular plot problem.  I find that by giving them their time, they will let you have yours.

What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters? 

For me, the flirting and the witty repartee are the key to building up chemistry.  It’s what works in real life, too.
Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?  Stacey is the character that I adore.  Her gaiety and love of life.  She makes me laugh, too.  There is something special about her.

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Interviews, Writers and Writing

Interview: Michael Drakich, Latest Release “Lest The Dew Rust Them”

DSCF08011From the author: “No awards, no accolades, no writing degrees or diplomas, only a deep rooted love of reading and writing. You can find me at Goodreads.”

Lest The Dew Rust Them is a thriller released on February 23, 2013. Blurb: “Terrorism in America has a new game…decapitations!”

Cover

Description: “Homeland Security Director Robert Grimmson faces the task of catching five men in New York City. They call themselves the Sword Masters with a single minded plan of terror through decapitations.

Barely has the task begun when a new arrival at JFK is a man importing thousands of swords! Alexander Suten-Mdjai is a trainer in the deadly art of swordsmanship and Robert cannot help but believe there is a connection between him and the Sword Masters.

As he goes about the task, each step in his search is made more difficult through the interference of politicians, the media and his own government. Robert’s examination constantly draws him back to Alexander who regales him with a tale of swordsmanship from his lineage featuring events of mankind’s bloody past and often oddly having a connection to the case before him.

With the clock ticking as New York collapses into a deep panic, he must catch the Sword Masters before it is too late!”

INTERVIEW

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I consider myself a speculative fiction author as I write mostly science fiction and fantasy. My first two novels were exactly that. My first was a science fiction adventure entitled, Grave Is The Day. The second is an epic fantasy entitled, The Brotherhood Of Piaxia. Saying that, I have strayed just a little with my most recent release, a thriller entitled, Lest The Dew Rust Them. I’m currently working on two new novels, another science fiction entitled, The Infinite Within, and an epic fantasy entitled, Demon Stones.

As a youth, I grew up in the sixties and seventies when science fiction was entering its heyday. Authors like Isaac Isamov, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke were filling the market with great reads. Fantasy was also making itself known. Already out there was J. R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings, but a number of new authors, Terry Brooks and Stephen R. Donaldson for example, were making an impact. Needless to say, their works had a profound impact on me and why I chose the genre’s that I did.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Strangely enough, it arose out of reading what I considered a horrible novel. I have a habit of visiting the large Chapters/Indigo bookstore at the major mall. They have a Starbuck’s right in-house. My usual modus operandi was to buy a large vanilla almond latte and peruse the mark down shelves for something to read. Often, the book I ended up buying was cheaper than the coffee, but I digress.

Some seven years ago I picked up a novel that was part of a very successful epic fantasy series. It is always my habit to read in its entirety any book I purchase. This one was a task. I found it abysmal. No sooner had I finished the book when what to my surprise, they had made a television serial out of the series. I was flabbergasted.  If what I considered a very bad novel could have such success, then anybody could do it. I sat down at my computer to prove it. On Monday, February 20, 2006, at 5:23:53 PM, I began my writing career.

Over the next ten months I kicked out my first novel. Feeling like a proud papa I showed it to family and friends. The lukewarm reception it received was enough to tell me the truth. It was crap. But in the meantime, what had happened was I had been bitten by the bug. I wanted to be a writer. I dedicated most of my spare time to joining a number of online workshops and honed the craft. The results are the novels I am producing today. I’m proud to say they are being well received and getting glowing reviews.

Do you remember the first novel you read?

Amazingly, the answer is yes. I want to qualify it as not including children’s books such as the wondrous works by Dr. Seuss. I was ten years old and in the school library I chose Moby Dick by Herman Melville as my first reading project. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Bickerton, advising against it as being too difficult for a youth of my age. I set out to prove her wrong.

Your Writing Process

What excites you about writing?

Without a doubt, it’s the entire creation thing. You start with an idea and over the next several months you expand it into something formidable – a complete novel. If you know Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, then you can appreciate how the pinnacle, Self-Actualization, is achieved through writing. It is a most rewarding experience.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Be prepared for the long haul. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t take short cuts. They all end up in dead alleys. Don’t get discouraged. There are many roadblocks you will have to circumvent. I like to think of the character, Captain Peter Quincy Taggart, from the movie Galaxy Quest and his famous quote, “Never give up! Never Surrender!”

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?

I don’t think you can pinpoint a specific amount of time. Different novels are different lengths and I usually only write about fifteen thousand words a month. I still do have a full time job as other than a writer. Using my current release, Lest The Dew Rust Them, as an example, including the editing process, it’s about eight or nine months.

Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?

There is a trend in speculative fiction for writers to write series. They are all bent on producing the next best trilogy, or quadrology or octology or whateverology they can produce. As a reader, I find it most frustrating to read a novel and discover it’s the first part of a series where the rest of the books have yet to be written or released. I’ve decided to make my novels stand alone. Saying that, my current work in progress, Demon Stones, is set in the same world as The Brotherhood Of Piaxia, but one would not have had to read both. The links between the two are small.

What would you like readers to know about you the writer?

My style. My editor describes me as an easy style. Simply put, it flows. I think one of the most distinctive things about it is my practice of never using dialogue tags. Instead, when necessary, I use actions to identify speakers. It gives the reader a visual as to what is occurring during the dialogue.  Filling up a novel with a number of – he said – she said – is disconcerting to the reader. And don’t even get me going on descriptive dialogue tags! If you are unable to portray the way a character says something without having to use words like mumbled, whispered, screamed, and taunted, or whatever, you need to hone your craft. It disturbs me to see their use becoming more prevalent in writing today. It’s the lazy way out.

Your Books

When a new book comes out, are you nervous about how readers will react to it?

When I released the first novel, absolutely. I’m only human in looking for acceptance. In the early days of learning the craft of being a writer I suffered my share of indignity from those critting my work. It was, at first, a hard pill to swallow. My apologies for the cliché but I think it is the most appropriate term I can use. Now, I’m no longer so concerned. I have faith in my work as a result of the good acceptance of my earlier novels. With success comes confidence and with confidence comes the strength to write even better.

What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

This is an important issue to me when writing. I have always recognized the order in the title, science fiction. “Science” is the first word. I want my science fiction to have some measure of believability. I am an avid watcher of the science channel, the NASA channel, and the history channels. They are a great source of ideas and information. Programs such as “Through The Wormhole” are filled with mind bending concepts.

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?

I haven’t really ever found a problem with my muse. Whenever I sit to write I am able to roll out the prose without having to wait for my muse to kick in. As to deadlines, I like to think of an entertaining quote from the author, Douglas Adams. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I believe characters are everything. As a writer it is imperative to get the reader to emote with your characters. Failure to get this connection is certain doom for your novel. They must love them, hate them, and want to be them. Understanding this concept is what drives how a character is portrayed. I visualize how I want the character to be perceived then drive the makeup of that character in the direction needed. I would be lying in saying that is the be all and end all of their makeup. In some, I insert certain attitudes to resemble my own. Call it a weakness.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters?

Normally, no, but in Lest The Dew Rust Them, it was a challenge. The diversity of the cultural backgrounds required a lot of research in selecting names. All I can say is “Thank God” for Google.

Which of your stories would make a great movie?  Who’d play the lead roles?

I believe they all would. I have even had reviewers comment so. Rather than address all three I would like to keep my focus on the new release, Lest The Dew Rust Them. The three central characters are Homeland Security Director Robert Grimmson to be played by Tom Hanks, lead terrorist David Crombie by Leonardo DiCaprio and enigmatic sword trainer played by Johnny Depp.

Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?

Not a character, but a name. Early in my writing career I wrote a short story entitled, The Intrepid Explorer. The main character was named Bartholomew Higginbottom. Since then I have reinvented this character in a number of ways to appear in my novels – sometimes as a cameo, sometimes a major character. Each reincarnation is unique. It’s just a little quirk of mine.

Other works by the author:

Grave Is The Day CoverMDRAKICH COVER 2

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Filed under Interviews, Suspense/Mystery, Thriller, Writers and Writing

Interview: Ute Perkins, Author of Timeless Conflicts Book 1 & 2

1VTAuthor Profile:

I grew up in a small southern Nevada town on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Just after graduation from high school I served in the U.S. Army for 5 years during which I participated in Operation Desert Storm. Upon completion of my military obligation, I earned my bachelors degree from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tn. Later, after a move to south central Pennsylvania, I completed my MBA from Eastern University in Harrisburg, Pa. I have traveled a great deal for my job and enjoy traveling and spending time with my wife and family.

Book1 CoverTimeless Conflict -The Amons - low res

Timeless Conflicts, Book One: When the remains of a missing student are found near the small college town of Missoula Montana FBI agents, Marcus Reading and Travis Russell, are called in to investigate. Although local newspapers are reporting this and other attacks as animal related, the two agents believe there is something more. As the investigation continues their only suspect, a local college student, holds the key that not even she realizes will eventually unlock a 5,000 year old secret. As events quickly unfold, one agent is violently and unexpectedly thrust into the unravelingmystery as an unintended attraction threatens the lives of everyone involved

Book Two-Timeless Conflicts “The Amons”: Abandoning the life he so desperately wanted Warren roams the sea ports of the Atlantic, searching for a way to replace the emptiness in his chest, by filling the pit in his Anubian stomach. Bitter and angry with the Masons about his current state, he feeds his vindictive appetite on unsuspecting humans as he struggles reluctantly to dismiss his past. While the Masons expand the depths of their immortal ranks and continue to defend threats against their secret society, Warren accidentally happens upon another immortal race . . . The Amons. Being one of the last remaining ancient tribes that holds the power to assist him they are not pleased that he has found them. In a furious pursuit to urge the Amons to help, Warren finds himself forced to choose preserving his own life, or a tempting alternative that will lead to a horrific addiction. When his hunt for the Amons eventually collides with a past that has been desperately trying to catch him, the events of their meeting result in a catastrophic reunion that threatens the lives of everyone involved.

Author Interview

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

Paranormal-suspense-thriller with some romance… at least that is the genre of my first three books. I enjoy making up a story and letting my imagination take me on a ride. With the first story, I just sat down, no outline, no direction, just an idea. Three months later I had a book.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

About ten years ago. I am an engineer by trade but found a love for reading when I was stuck in the Houston airport for six hours. Since then I read a lot. When I sat down to write my first novel, it just poured out. It is so much fun creating a story and finding people who enjoy it. Much fun.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I watch a lot of movies. Have, ever since I was young. I watch cartoons, Adventure Time and Regular Show are a couple of my favs right now. I also watch a lot of sports, hockey, football, lacrosse and baseball.

Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?

Facebook mostly. I have a twitter account but I think I have been on it only five times.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

You can find Ludlum, King, Koontz or Vince Flynn.

Do you remember the first novel you read?

Yup, it was the eighties and post nuclear war was big. The book was Doomsday Warrior. It was a long series and I read the first three before I graduated and left for US Army boot camp.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

The ones I mentioned above are the guys I go back to. There are other good authors out there but I repeatedly buy books by these guys.

Where are you from originally?  Family?

I grew up in a small town outside of Las Vegas, Nv. I spent five years (except for Desert Storm) stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. I met my wife there while attending church. We married and now have four children. We now live in York, Pa and love it.

Your Writing Process

Why do you write?

Because it is so much fun. I get to create a whole new world based on my imagination. It’s awesome.

What excites you about writing?

Some folks don’t like fiction or make believe or fantasy. I love it. Life can be tough sometimes. With a good book, you can get away with just a few dollars. Sure I would like to vacation in New Zealand, but until I can afford it, I will write AND read.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

It’s tough. Since I am on my own with this I have to go to work each day. Like I mentioned, I am an engineer. With four children that I don’t think I could love any more I want to spend time with them. From sports they are participating in and such my evenings are usually taken up. I also find a couple hours to work out and after that, I write. I have to work out because I get a lot of ideas when I lift weights or go running. When I do finally sit down to write, it is usually about 10pm and I can go till pretty late. There have been times when I have gone to three or four in the morning… get up at 6:30, grab a low carb monster and plow through my day.

What would you consider is your favorite part of a book to write? The beginning, the middle or the ending?

That’s tough but I would probably have to say the ending because it’s if it has been good, like a rollercoaster, you’re like… “man, that was great… let’s do it again!”

Is there any other genre you have considered writing in?

I would like to write is a fairy tale for my six year old daughter. I just have to find the time. I really like the Princess Bride and would love to create something that would be that much fun to read.

Do you listen to music or have another form of inspiration when you are writing?

Certainly. Music fuels the emotions and I can really get into a scene if I play something dark and menacing… it really helps to set the mood.

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?

Since I am on my own, it can take anywhere from eight to fifteen months depending on how much life gets in the way.

Do you have a system for writing? 

Not really. Only that if I am not in the mood to write, it is hard to get cranking. However, when those times happen, I take a break, read a book and usually the juices start flowing.

Have you ever had one of those profound “AH-HA!” moments while you were writing?  Would you be willing to share it?

Yeah, a couple. Not really, only that I was like “ah-ha” that would be really cool right here.

What was the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced during your writing career?

When someone tells me they enjoyed my story and felt their money was well spent.

Your Books

Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?

Scarcited (scared and excited obviously)

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Three. The third is just going into the review phase but it has been my favorite. It the last in the Timeless Conflict trilogy and the ride has been a lot of fun. Lots of action in this one…

When a new book comes out, are you nervous about how readers will react to it?

Sure. When my first book came out I had sold a lot of copies to friends and family… that was on a Friday. By Sunday night I couldn’t sleep worried they would hate it. They didn’t  and I was very relieved.

What can we look forward to in the upcoming months?

Book three of Timeless Conflict.

What story haven’t you written yet but would like to?  Is there anything holding you back from writing it?

I have a couple I would really like to put together but I just don’t have the time.

What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

To an extent. I love to learn but when I am in the zone, I don’t like to stop and research.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I just start writing. I tried and outline, but that really didn’t work. I ended up blowing past it in another direction.

What was your first published work and when was it published?

Timeless Conflict. Jan. 11, 2011.

Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released?

Sleep.

 

Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I have an idea what they look like, but that is all. I like to create the rest.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters?

Yes. Not sure why, but it is.

Have any of your characters ever haunted your dreams or woken you up during the night demanding attention?

Not so much wake me up, but kept me up demanding I paid attention to them.

Which of your stories would make a great movie? 

I am told my first book would make an awesome movie. I have had several book reviews stating that they would love to see it put to film. As great as that would be, I know it is a long shot.

Do you make a conscious decision to write a certain type of character with a certain occupation, or do the characters decide for themselves what they want to be? I decide.

Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?

There is a piece of me in just about all the characters in my story. The one I can relate to most though is Aaron.

Random Questions

Where do you get your daily dose of news?

Radio and my wife. I try not to watch the news as it is depressing. I would much rather watch something that will make me smile or spark my imagination.

 

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Retro Neon Super Life By Brendan Borba

Review: Heavy on description, many were completely imaginable, and vividly so, though like a bright, flashing scene viewed too long: it can be tiring. But considering the synopsis of Retro Neon Super Life, a “boundary testing unreality; a glittery, vibrant cyber-world,” that is exactly what the author might have been trying to convey, and so seemed to have achieved this aim.

You’ll have to suspend disbelief or either immerse yourself fully, accepting of whatever comes, and though a short novel or longer novella at almost 115 pages, initially you’re provided with a lot of information rapidfire. Why and how, a seemingly average, level-headed young man came to be in the situation he was: coming in contact with drugs, people, and ways of living for which he was unprepared and unfamiliar. These things were the bulk of the “rapid download.”

There was some POV tics and lack of punctuation that had me rereading for clarity a few times, and I felt the story could have benefited from clearer breaks in scenes or character flashbacks, but even referencing the issues I felt were in the story: I felt Retro Neon Super Life was a little gem that more people should read and enjoy. I felt the author’s strong vision, could understand the emotions and motivations of April and Jake Avery, the main characters. Minus a few things that could be teaked, it is a stand-out piece, and a cover more suggestive of content might help make it more so.

Description:  “Gritty and mesmerizing, Retro Neon Super Life follows Jake, a straight laced, hard working victim of identity theft and Alice, a young product of the digital age as they traverse the glittery, vibrant cyber-world. But all is not as it seems. Beneath the polished, user friendly surface lurks something much darker. In a world that is not real, it is the question of self that tests all boundaries.”

  • Published: June 13, 2012
    ISBN: 9781476178233
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure
  • Source: Author

Author Profile

Brendan Borba was born in Burnaby, BC, on April 27, 1988. He currently still resides in the metro Vancouver area and writes books about pretty much whatever he feels like. Get in touch with him at brendanborba@hotmail.ca. Blog site http://brendanborba.wordpress.com/the-novels/.

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Filed under Action/Adventure, Science Fiction