Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Book Review: ‘Thread and Other Stories’ by Eric Halpenny

Title: Thread and Other Stories

Published: 13th July 2018

Publisher: Bookbaby

Author: Eric Halpenny

Facebook: www.facebook.com/halpennyauthor

Twitter: @dragonswordbook

 

Synopsis:

Thread and Other Stories is a multi-genre collection of short stories (single author) that includes science fiction, fantasy, urban fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and espionage. There are seven stories in the collection.

Prudence and her older brother Yannick face extreme poverty and hardship in Thread. They live day to day on the wages they earn at low paying, difficult jobs. They face hardships that seem insurmountable for two young children. Isidore, an impoverished boy trying to survive on his own, enters their lives with even greater needs than Prudence and Yannick. They integrate him into their family life even as their world begins to crumble around them. But, there is an ominous backdrop to these events as strange entities take a keen interest in the lives of the three children.

A military psychologist evaluates a Vietnam war veteran who has experienced psychological damage in Shrink. The veteran’s fellow soldiers and friends must support him as the psychologist attempts to uncover the reasons behind his trauma.

Emil, Annie, and their three children—Zona, Owen, and Abner—struggle to stay safe in a steampunk-inspired fantasy world in Chance. Abner finds himself in trouble as a powerful magical being terrorizes the family farm. Only Zona’s quick thinking along with her parents’ knowledge of magic will give them a chance against the dark sorcery of the enemy.

John and Greg, bound by friendship, embark on a journey of trial and tragedy in Conflict, a 20th Century historical fiction. They must deal with death, loss, and grief as compatriots fall in battle during this poignant snapshot of the Canadian military in World War I. John and Greg show a contrast in the ways that these soldiers adapted to the psychological effects of war.

Veera, an astrophysicist, begins to experience recurring déjà vu, the source of which she cannot determine in Oversight, a science fiction adventure. She is unknowingly set on a collision course with Misha, who challenges Veera’s perception of the world as she struggles to determine what is real and what isn’t. Misha must deal with his own psychological demons as he tries to salvage a failing mission that will either end in glory or in his own death.

Dmitry is a hardened spy in the Cold War who has no mercy for his adversary Olyesa in the espionage thriller Deception. Olyesa and Dmitry navigate their way through the murky waters of agents and double agents while simultaneously struggling against each other for survival. When their divergent plans collide, it threatens to destroy them both.

Explore a metaphysical debate in the literary short story Conversation, which is woven between each of the short stories in this collection. An unnamed protagonist and an unidentified and secretive entity discuss the metaphysical and spiritual meaning behind science and what it means to gain knowledge.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A collection of short stories. All are very different but each have a certain something to keep you intrigued to continue on to the next. Nice style of writing with this collection of shorts.

THREAD

A story connected by conscious thoughts of others perhaps? The main one itself is a trying tale of children living in poverty and having to work just to eat. The mines are for the boys and it’s cleaning for girls. They never feel hope for they can’t see a way out of the cycle they are part of. Work, eat, sleep and repeat. With the eating part sometimes being hard to come by. Yannick protects his sister Prudence but is still a child himself. A saying being you can’t look out for others, as you don’t have enough for yourselves. That’s Yannick’s way of thinking when Isidore comes into their lives. He’s younger than both of them but needs to work to stay alive too. Hardships become them and dangers of the world around them, work included, causes tragic results. Seems conscious minds might be merging to feel something new, hope might be born into their dark lives bringing some light and a connection thread to join them.

SHRINK

The perils of coming back from war and having to live with the consequences of what happened when you were there. A shrink to help the army vets before they go home but sometimes they are too far-gone to come back from the darkness. They need their crew and family to try to bring them round but is that enough?

CHANCE

Well what starts out as an everyday farmers family working life turns into something completely unexpected. Interesting twist with its’ direction and how the story evolves from there. Young minds are inquisitive ones so you should be careful to teach them to understand what’s at stake and not leave books around they might not understand. Creating a doll is one thing but this one had a mind of its own.

CONFLICT

Tales told of the Great War focusing on the Canadians fighting, all showing how and why different people would have signed up. What were they fighting for? Was it King, country, honour, family, friends or perhaps just a mixture of them all? Showing the day-to-day life of the battlefield slowly pulling them under. Two different men’s views on how they see the battle to be won. Who are the lucky ones? Those who go home physically injured, mentally injured, don’t go home at all or the ones who never got called in the first place? The letters or quotes from people who were really there mixing with the story were interesting. Gives you a little insight to what they really experienced.

OVERSIGHT

Two scientists following through with an 18-month task sending and tracking satellites – a link to the Mars project but also a new Jupiter one. Their project is failing and they know they need to go back through notes to find where they went wrong. This is where things get a little strange, as it seems they aren’t the only ones testing something, or should that be someone? Are you the tester or subject and can you tell the difference between the two? Quirky read that will have you questioning what could be out there and who or what everyone really is. Who is controlling whom? Maybe not knowing is the point.

DECEPTION

Spy masters at extracting information out of people. The top of a very select few that needs to stay hidden. Dmitry is one of them and believes he is the one always in control. He gets his pleasure out of tormenting others whether for work or fun. There seems to be no difference for him. He might think he is the one controlling the game but is he the one being played in a complex game of spy vs. spy. Cards are about to fall in a different way and he might not like where they land.

CONVERSATION

A need to have someone to talk to, but are they really there or just in your head? They say they will wait until you are ready to talk. Let’s hope it’s true. For someone to help do you need to be face to face or can they help you from afar? This story is broken up and interlinked between all the others. It gives the impression of time passing between the one who wants to talk but isn’t really ready to as they keep putting up barriers (I must meet you and you’re wrong) and the one who is willing to wait for however long until they are. A philosophical conversation with someone or something – do you really need to see them to talk?

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Science Fiction

Author Interview: ‘Control Freakz’ by Michael Evans

About the Book:

Alone. Abandoned. Threatened. Natalie has lost all hope for a better future. Everything she’s known and everyone she’s ever loved is gone, and it’s up to her to get her old life back. In Michael Evans’s first novel, Control Freakz, Natalie’s journey toward a better life begins.

When Protocol 00 is enacted, Natalie’s family is taken by the government, along with the families of her two best friends, Ethan and Hunter. With nothing to lose, and the threat of government hitmen kidnapping them at any moment, the three must battle to survive in a horrid, post-apocalyptic world run by President Ash and his invasive government. They want answers. And they’re willing to jeopardize everything in desperate pursuit.

Risking ruthless leaders, attempted mind control, and her very existence on the planet, Natalie, along with Hunter and Ethan, will stop at nothing in their quest to regain everything they’ve ever known. Her spirits crushed and her will to live destroyed, Natalie knows everything is dead and gone, and soon she will be, too.

Memories connect us to the past, and can often cause us to long for a better future, but they can drive our minds into a state of hell if a better future is unattainable. Nevertheless, Natalie’s hope for a better a future remains.

Add to Goodreads

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

Well my name is Michael Evans, and I’m currently a sophomore in high school! I am extremely passionate about the future and have always loved to read! I can’t say there was a definitive moment when I got into writing, it was more of something I just did for fun since the moment I was able to read. Writing was the gift I was born with, and I have always had an innate desire to express my thoughts on the world around me. Most of the stuff I wrote about as a kid (well I guess I’m a kid now but I mean little kid) was innocent and frankly dumb. I once wrote a chapter book about a talking, flying, super baby, and wrote countless amounts of short stories that were spin-offs of novels I had already read (I literally wrote fanfic before I even knew what the word meant). I have also always loved writing poetry, and still do to this day. What started my adventure on writing novels, however, was my passion for nanotechnology, and the desire to raise awareness of the potential detrimental effects that it may have on society. My purpose was and will always be to help humanity work towards a better future for all.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I literally write whenever and wherever my schedule permits me (I have even been known to write in the car on the way to practices/events). However, most of the time I am able to write after school in the library for about an hour. And if I don’t write for at least an hour everyday… yeah it’s not good. It happens.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

That’s a great question that I don’t really know the answer to. My inspiration behind writing or the concept of an entire novel comes from things in life that I’m passionate about, and issues in society that I would love to raise awareness about. But the actual plot of a novel normally pops into my head randomly, and the dialogue of the characters and their emotions is something that I close my eyes and can hear in my head as I’m writing.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

It depends. I find that I know where the story is going to end up, but all the little ins and outs of how it’s going to get there is something that culminates in my mind as I’m writing, which is always exciting to see what happens!

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

Young Adult Dystopian is the current genre of my writings, but I will soon be branching out into Young Adult Contemporary novels. What initially drew me to Dystopian novels is the fact that they can convey a world in the near-future that has crumbled from the mishaps of humanity, and by portraying these apocalyptic worlds, I hope to urge those who read it from relentlessly attempting to prevent the mistakes that occured in my fictional society, from occuring in our real society. And of course I write for Young Adults, because I am a Young Adult myself, however as I grow and mature, I still feel that I will always write in the Young Adult genre, because Young Adult authors have the unique opportunity and privilege to impact a next generation of thinkers that writers who direct their work towards other audiences do not have.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Wow, another great question that I don’t quite have an answer to. This might be a bad thing but I rarely watch any movies or TV, I mainly stick to reading books, watching the news, and reading scientific articles. From the limited amount of movie stars I know off the top of my head, I can’t see anyone one person playing the in depth, emotional of the specific characters in my book.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read a lot, but I would love to read even more if it weren’t for my voracious desire to write all the time! However my favorite authors all time are John Green, Stephen King, Veronica Roth, Rick Riordan, Alexandra Bracken, Scott Westerfeld, and of course J.K. Rowling.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

On Writing and A Bazaar of Bad Dreams both by Stephen King.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I have so many books that I love that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. However, the novel that has impacted me the most is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. That was the first book that I felt encapsulated by the story, and it was the first novel that inspired me to create my own captivating stories, just like that one.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

First of all I commend you for having the desire to express yourself in such a raw and beautiful way! Now let me tell you me three writing pro tips:

  • Write about something you’re passionate about. Books are just like people! No one will love you more than you love yourself, and no one will love a book more than the person who created it.
  • Write everyday. I know this is tough, but if you really want to be a writer you have to be decided to hone your craft every day of your life. Writing isn’t a job, it isn’t a hobby, and it certainly isn’t homework, writing is a lifestyle. Embrace it.
  • Write the first thing that comes to your mind. Your first thought is always the most original expressive. If it comes out sounding weird or even discursive, that’s what edits are for!

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Feel free to connect with me on any of my pages!

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mevansinked

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MEvansInked

Twitter: @MEvansInked

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/17306697.Michael_Evans

Link to website: www.mevansinked.com

About the Author:

Author Michael Evans lives in Charleston, SC, but is originally from Long Island, NY. He has always enjoyed writing, but his other loves include being in nature, and learning about science and technology–and he is fascinated with the future.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interview, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Author Interview: ‘The Stranger in 0-G’ by Kate K. Bassett

About the Book:

Pena settles for what is instead of what could be.

Pena Chado is a victim of circumstance. Elevated from rural poverty to power and freedom, she’s learned to stay silent when her soul screams and push her dreams aside for the bigger picture of duty.

Despite her loveless marriage, Pena remains loyal to her charismatic, alcoholic husband while shouldering the role of unwilling mother to an aloof child that terrifies her.

The scorching winds that bleach the bones of her desire ease when she is tasked with a delivery to a handsome, mysterious stranger; one that longs to consume the woman she is, not the one her responsibilities need her to be.

Trussed in ribbons and suspended zero gravity, her emerald haired seducer offers no name and asks for nothing in return except the passion she’s never known.

***

The Stranger in 0-G is a free sci-fi erotica novella in the world of the upcoming Timewalker Saga series.

 

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

Man, well…I used to work in Hollywood as a Post Production Producer and in corporate America as a PM for nearly twenty years. Literature was always my passion; I always wrote small stories since I was a kid and dreamed of writing for comics, video games and sci-fi shows but I was never encouraged to do so. Sadly, like many others…I ignored my desires and got a job.

What brought me back to writing was being stuck in an elevator. No joke.  I hated my gig and didn’t get paid for the stress I endured. Early one morning, a coworker and I took the elevator to our suite and it screeched to a halt on the third floor. We dangled there, crouching on the floor to avoid the acrid smoke pouring in above us, for two hours until the fire department rescued us with the jaws of life. I promised myself that if I ever got out of that situation alive, I would never work an office job again and follow my passion for writing. That was two years ago.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I’m an early morning person, so I get up at 6:30 am every day, do the daily eating, brushing and green tea and write at my dining room table until 2 pm. I’m creative when I wake up and I like my late afternoons and evenings to be free so I can train Brazilian jiu jitsu, read and play video games.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I’ve been having this very detailed, operatic science fiction Time Walker Saga world in my head since I was 14, so I’m hammering it out on paper as I go. My sporadic ideas just come willy-nilly. Maybe it’s a conversation I have, or something I’ve read or just a person I see on the street that interests me. What is consistent is I always ask the question: ‘What if X was different somehow? How would that go‘?

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I’m a religious user of the Snowflake Method. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but since I worked in technology for so long, I think like a coder when it comes to plot and pace. What I do ad lib is dialogue. If there is one thing I love the most, its writing dialogue off the cuff. Its fun and the voices give some interesting wiggle room to what will happen next.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write whatever I like. I might write a snarky novella one second or an erotic novel the next. My passion is science fiction, super hero lore and cyberpunk. I love imagining a rich world that is experimental and primal in its technological manipulations. Androids and dark web excite me and deep space allure me. My late father and I used to watch lots of Star Trek, The Twilight Zone and the Stephen King television series.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Man… When it comes to The Stranger in 0-G, I’d love to see Benedict Cumberbatch to play Creffo, Viola Davis to play Pena, Rick Fox to play Hosea and Jack Black to play the Opera House Manager.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I always have a book in my hand, but my favorite authors are Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Neal Stephenson, Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, Patricia Highsmith, Phillip K. Dick and Margaret Atwood. Ursula Le Guin, too.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m reading Communion by Whitley Strieber, the first contact alien book. I know people are scared by it, but when it got to the alien probe/butt stuff…I couldn’t help but to giggle.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Whispers by Dean Koontz, hands down. To this day I never saw the twist coming and every time I read it, something new always rears its ugly head.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Just write. Even if it’s bad, write. Ignore what people say about its competitive; everything is competitive. Just write, edit, publish and move on. Learn how to read out loud to catch your mistakes and find a good person to be your editor. The magic is in the edits, not the first draft. Also, don’t market your books…gift your books. If you really love what you’re doing and you think it would benefit someone else, talk about it. Show your enthusiasm. You have a talent and people will be swayed if you genuinely love what you’re doing.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

You can find me everywhere:

Website: www.kanobassett.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Kate-K-Bassett

Instagram: www.instagram.com/katekanobassett

Twitter: @KateKBassett

Google +: www.plus.google.com/106088484413283741722

Tumblr: www.kanobassett.tumblr.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/14429541.Kano_Bassett

Amazon: www.amazon.com/-/e/B016CUZSKI

But if you want some up to date snippets, I am very active on Quora.

Thanks for having me! This was completely fun!

About the Author:

Love Stories? Join the mailing list! http://bit.ly/2yaIcb9

Kate K. Bassett was a former Senior project manager who worked for Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Fox, Turner Television and God Knows Who Else in her twenty year career.

Her last project drove her so bonkers that she quit her white collar job and became a dirty, dirty creative. Health and sanity was WAYYY more than a paycheck. She’s not bitter. She really isn’t.

She codes mobile phone games and writes horrible erotica ebooks depending on the mood she’s in. Kate is an avid gamer who loves Street Fighter 5 and anything Shin Megami Tensei Before Persona 4. Kate’s a snob.

She dreams of having coffee with Brian Micheal Bendis and ask what was he smoking when he wrote Sam & Twitch: Udaku. She wants to talk to Frank Miller, too but he’s too important.

Currently, she lives in Seattle, WA with her two cats and some dude who puts up with her. For stress relief, she practices jiu jitsu. OSSSS!

And yes…it’s pronounced like Kano from Mortal Kombat.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interview, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Author Interview: ‘The Wealth of a Nation’ by T.B. O’Neill

About the Book:

This dystopian tale takes place when the jobs are gone — that is, except for an elite class of Workers. The story opens as Nathan Englander’s grandfather is jailed, and Nathan defends him in court. He soon begins to make connections about his grandfather’s past, while just down the street from his office, the city of Bakerton is building a Border Wall to separate Worker enclaves from Citizens. Protest is inevitable. The violence unexpected.

Thrust into the spotlight for his heroism at the Border Wall, Nathan prefers to keep his distance from the politicians, but is already on a trajectory to challenge political corruption and the shadow government exercising extra-constitutional power. He soon learns of an imminent terrorist attack, and may be able to prevent it, but not without placing those he loves in jeopardy. The culprits come from within. But from which side of the Border?

Awakening to the restrictive order of his city and nation, Nathan must nimbly negotiate between two power states, try to mend his city, and save those he loves. And he must face a larger question: In a place and time where the dependents of society are convinced that they are “privileged,” and the right to work or engage in commerce is severely constrained, here does one find dignity? And is anyone really free?

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’m 71. Always longed to write fiction. But as a practicing lawyer, I was writing constantly at work and had little energy for the avocation until I retired and started writing about 6 years ago.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I habitually go to the word processor each morning (between 6 and 7), after my coffee and email duty, and write for the next four to six hours. I have a study where I do my dirty work.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I came from a working class family. The inception for the idea of this book came as I was sitting on the porch one evening, contemplating how technology, robotization, globalizing the work force (out of this country) and immigration, have each contributed, to ever diminishing employment opportunities for people who work with their hands. Most people in fact. I witnessed what happened to the lumber industry in the Northwest, and the garment industry in the east. Then I asked myself, what will happen when the jobs are gone? When only those with smarts and specialized educations can get decent pay; when tradesmen must compete with failed baccalaureates; and when speaking the King ’s English is required for even service jobs? What will happen to economic mobility? How will the government keep the peace, keep the rabble from rioting. Pay for it all? I sat down the next day and started to write, not knowing where it would take me.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I didn’t with the first four books I’ve written, although I am currently mapping out an outline for the prequel to this book, The Wealth of a Nation. The prequel will be entitled The Fall of a Nation, and the series will end with a sequel, The Rise of a Nation.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I’ve written two memoirs, one legal thriller, and this book, which reads like a thriller, but meets the criteria for classical dystopian fiction.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Can’t say.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I’ve always read a lot, although, personally I’m slow and careful as I read. For modern writers I love Cormac McCarthy best, but also John Irving and Pat Conway. More recently Hannah’s Nightingale, and especially Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See, whose book set my mind ablaze. So I guess you’d say I like rhythmic writers, those who feel the language as they tell their story.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

We, the Russian classic; and The Handmaids Tale. Just finished Homo Deus, Ordinary Grace by William Krueger, and Fleet, by Brian Marshal.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy. It is the great American Novel. The flow, the rhythm, the mood, like a symphony. A total immersion of sound and images and story that melt into a whole gut churning and mind emblazing experience.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

You can say you are a writer when: you do it steadily, love it more than a child, and have put in your 10,000 hours learning the craft.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I’m working on this; no answer to date.

 

About the Author:

I admit I spent three decades practicing law.

But I would have rather been a writer. Trial work did allow me to fight the old battles of my youth (primarily against authority of any kind), and it provided a treasure trove of material that writers search for tirelessly. Courtroom work, if you do it right, is essentially story telling. Not just any story. It must ring true because In court emotions are tense, senses are acute. The result can be comic in its absurdity, or sad enough to make you weep. The stories juries hear can be full of hubris and defensive pride, or fearful, shy and pleading. Either way, they all churn your gut. And your adversaries at the bar can be insidiously cunning, though skilled in the art of deception. As often as not, the truth is hard to find. But these were my peers, my fellow lawyers, and sometimes me, who later came to populate my fiction.

So, it is not surprising that I use the law as a backdrop for my novels, and lawyers as characters to explore story lines where justice and the moral consequences of its execution are major themes. The protagonists in The Wealth of a Nation and Slugger are lawyers, and I require them to make hard choices. Whether in life or in fiction, one must be careful not to align oneself with the wrong faction.

I began this second career as a writer by accident, although in earnest, when my brother asked that I chronicle our family history. The result was a two-volume saga: A Mile Beyond, and Dangle Him Purposely. Each is a tale about my family. The first volume explores a family wracked by violence, alcoholism, ignorance, and chronic poverty. The second volume, taking place in the ’60s, concentrates on my generation’s loss of innocence during the Vietnam era, and my memory of the war. Both memoirs are essentially stories of well-earned guilt and redemption.

Now that gray is the predominant color of my hair and skin, and I’ve been able to see more clearly the follies of my past, I hope to impart the lessons of my youth. One upside is that reliving your past will scrub your soul clean, although it will never shine like it did in your youth.

For those who are curious: I love this avocation . . . writing. Getting up before dawn and discovering what is revealed on the blank page. I live with my wife, Beth, and my three-legged dog, Joe, in a Northern California walnut orchard with a view of the mountains. And I dream that someday my grandchildren will read the history of their family in my memoirs, and be strengthened by the mettle and resilience of their ancestors.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interview, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Author Interview: ‘Afterdeath’ by Benoit Chartier

About the Book:

Death is a country we see through the tiny keyhole of an immovable door. Raised by their grandmother after their parents’ death, Chloe and Olivia Borders are now in mourning for Rose. The Alzheimer’s that forced them to be split into separate foster homes has taken their last living family member. As a way to rekindle their friendship, the twins commit to a road trip— which spells their demise. Now the question is: What comes after, and how will they get back to life?

 

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’m a French Canadian who shares his time between his home country and Japan, where my wife is from. I have two kids, one born there and one born here. I got into writing very young, when an author came to our school and it finally clicked that all the books in the library came from somewhere.  That week I wrote my first book. It was thirty pages long. I still have it.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Morning, at my computer in our room, when there’s no one in the house. I’ll drink green tea and plug away at the computer for four or five hours. I’m getting ready to leave for Japan again, so I’ll probably work on my new novel over there for a spell.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Out of the blue, mostly. They’re an amalgamation of everything I think about, and the new stimuli that comes knocking on my brain, out of nowhere. I once got the idea for the currency in the land of the dead from kids playing with pennies at a table a the restaurant.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I usually know the ending before I start the long slog. I changes sometimes, but I have a fairly solid stick in the sand to aim for.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I like to write cyberpunk, fantasy and paranormal (for now). I was heavily into fantasy as a kid (Piers Anthony, Tad Williams, Robert Asprin). My father was more of a sci-fi nerd, so I started picking up his books from his shelf. A lot of Isaac Asimov, if I remember correctly. Then I got into more newish stuff, Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov, Jeff Noon. I really like weird fiction at the moment, and my favorite publishing house is out of Toronto: Chizine Publications. I’ve found everything they publish is gold.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

In my latest, I would love to see up-and-coming young black actresses playing the twins. Maybe Fallon and Felisha King?  I can easily picture Morgan Freeman playing Toussaint, Idris Elba playing the Baron Dimanche, Sigourney Weaver as Larunda and Emma Watson as Angelina. Yeah. That would kick ass.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I try to read as much as possible. Right now, my favorite authors are my friends who are breaking through in the writing world. People like Meghan Negrijn and Craig Munro. They’re the best. Otherwise, I very much enjoy William Gibson, Robert Shearman, Helen Marshall and Neil Gaiman.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

The Bones of the Past, by Craig Munro

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Sure, make me pick my favorite child. Okay, let me tell you about my favorite-book-as-artifact. It’s called “S.”. It is the most wonderful thing I’ve ever encountered in the literary world. Let me tell you about it. It comes in a box, so you can’t see what it looks like. It was written as a collaboration between J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. When I got it, I had no idea what I was getting into. I asked for it for Christmas. So I open the box, and inside, is a book that looks like it was printed in the 1950s. The book itself is an artifact. It’s made to look as if it’s a library book that’s been borrowed for years. There are stamps at the back, it has the Dewey Decimal sticker on the spine; the whole nine yards. The book itself says that it is called “The Ship of Theseus”, written by V.M. Straka. Inside the book, you will find, written in the margins, conversations between two people, for the duration of the book. Back and forth, back and forth, written in different penmanship and color, (making it easier to identify the writers). These two are a man and a woman who go to the same College. The man was kicked out, and sneaks back in sometimes to study the book. The woman is a student trying to figure out her life, who also likes Straka (as an author). Now, there is a mystery surrounding this book, and who the author is. The “original” story was written in German, and so there is a translator who leaves footnotes. The two readers discover more and more about the book, and a very present danger by secret societies still extant, and must figure out together what’s going on. Throughout the book itself, which, on its own, is beautifully written, there are clues. The translator points to them, and eventually the reader must figure them out him or herself. As well, the two leave each other little odds and ends inside the book (pictures, postcards, napkins with hidden messages, little newspaper clippings, obituaries, etc.), which add to the authenticity of the thing. You’ll never find this book in a library, just because of the bits of memorabilia that will get lost. It is the most wonderful little jewel, and the most complicated, that I’ve ever had the pleasure of wrapping my head around.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Read a lot, write until the thing is finished. Take the criticism. Improve. Learn. You’ll make it.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

Website: www.trode.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/calumnist

Twitter: @chartier_benoit

YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCfopDTGimofA7OAXoyu69zA

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7030391.Benoit_Chartier

 

About the Author:

Benoit Chartier is a Science Fiction, Fantasy and Paranormal author who also does a podcast called Adventure In Your Ear and writes a philosophy blog. He lives in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada with his wife and two sons. He shares his time between Canada and Japan.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interview, Reading Nook Blog Posts