Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Release Blitz: ‘Resisting Darkness’ by Amy L. Gale

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Other Worlds: A Limited Edition Collection of Science Fiction and Paranormal Romance

 

Featuring

Resisting Darkness by Amy L. Gale

 

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How can you destroy the world’s monsters when you’re in love with one?

 

Supernatural hunter, Dex Jager, will stop at nothing to find the vampire brood who captured his sister and take them down one by one. After a motorcycle accident lands him in the small town of Whispering Pines he finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation and partnered up with Cora Fisher, the beautiful town coroner. As Dex and Cora grow closer and secrets surface, Dex is faced with the toughest decision of his life. How can you resist the darkness when it’s the one thing you love?

 

Release Date: October 17, 2017

 

Price: $0.99

 

Buy Links

Universal/Multi-retailer link https://books2read.com/u/3L9akD
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Journey into a multiverse beyond the boundaries of your imagination…

21 award-winning and best-selling authors bring you the best of PARANORMAL and SCI-FI ROMANCE in this enticing boxed set of exclusive epic adventures.

Rogue spaceship captains, dark vampire lords, supernatural hunters, crafty hackers, uncompromising alien alphas, fearless shifters, and MORE await in this highly sought-after collection including BRAND NEW romantic, otherworldly tales!

Step into OTHER WORLDS as these fresh voices of SFR and PNR take you on a journey to immortal realms and extraterrestrial territories where your imagination takes flight and fantasies come to life. 

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Author Interview: ‘Aaru’ by David Meredith

About the Book:

“…Death and the stillness of death are the only things certain and common to all in this future…”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.

She is sixteen years old.

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.

Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

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

I’m a veteran English instructor with 18 years’ experience both in the US and in Japan. I’ve always had an interest in writing. It started with crappy fan-fic back in middle school or high school, (that I’d be really embarrassed if anyone read now), and I had several false starts before I actually completed a novel, but I’ve always had the feeling that I’ve got these stories inside that need to come out. I just needed the writing and life experience to express them in a way other people would want to read.

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

Especially since I just finished my doctorate degree, I’ve been pretty busy. I usually work on my laptop whenever and wherever I have a couple of free minutes.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I get inspired from many sources. I often feel the creative juices flowing right after reading a great book or watching a really good movie. However, I also derive inspiration from real life experiences, both my own and those of others I hear about, and even dreams.

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?

Usually I have a plan, at least up to a point, but I also try to leave myself open to going where the story leads. Quite often I end up very different places from where I thought I was going at the beginning, but it always ends up being better that way, I think.

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

They vary, but all of my work includes an element of fantasy. Those were the first books I read as a kid and I’ve continued to enjoy the freedom the genre allows. There are just lots of things you can do in speculative fiction that you can’t in other genres.

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

Rose and Koren are pretty young, so I might be most interested in some up and coming actresses who nobody knows about yet, but maybe someone like a Taylor Momsen or Elle Fanning for Koren, and a Kira Kosarin, Demi Lavato, or Kristen Stewart for Rose. I think Keefer Sutherland would be great as Magic Man, the antagonist. He does sinister and creepy really well. Maybe Ben Kingsly as Mr. Adams, the scientist who approaches Rose’s family with the Aaru proposal, (I’d really like to see how he looks with hair 😊). Woody Harrelson would be great as Rose and Koren’s dad, Bill Johnson. Someone like a Cherlize Theron for Gypsie Johnson, their mother. It’s all fun to think about. I’d love to see Aaru made into a movie.

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

Most of my reading lately has been required course material for my doctoral program, but some of my favorite authors are Tad Williams, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Robin Hobb. I also like work by Robert Jordan, Liza Dolby, and James Clavell.

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

Life has been pretty hectic, so I haven’t had a lot of time for pleasure reading, but I am still about two thirds of the way through the first volume of Game of Thrones. It’s good, so hopefully I’ll find some time soon to sit down and finish it.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

If I had to pick I guess I’d go with The Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Trilogy by Tad Williams (The Dragon Bone Chair, The Stone of Farewell, and To Green Angel Tower). I first read it back in high school and still go back and reread it every year or two. I guess it’s because I can identify with the characters, who are all very well developed, believably imperfect, and human. Even the villains are complex and relatable, and I’m always drawn to strong characterization. It’s what I strive for first and foremost in my own writing.

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

Keep at it. False starts and failures are all part of the process. And mind your craft. You can always get better.

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

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/-/e/B013R6K5R6?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/DavidMeredithWriting

Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7383607.David_Meredith

 

About the Author:

David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

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Author Interview: ‘Bystanders’ by Phillip Murrell

About the Book:

Colberton has a vigilante, named Votary, attacking the criminal element that operates in a city with a limited police force. A social climbing reporter, Claire Kennedy, is determined to discover the identity of this would-be hero to boost her station’s ratings and her own clout with her boss. Her investigation will quickly reveal that real-life vigilantes do not reside in the fantasy worlds that comics and movies allude to. Death and trauma affect not just Claire, but the other residents of Colberton. They include the police officers, paramedics, surgeons, criminal bosses, and teenaged fans of Votary. All of them will experience the lasting effects associated with over-the-top battles in the back alleys and residential streets. During it all, Votary will keep his identity a secret, even from the audience.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

 

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

I’m 36-years-old and have been an active duty army officer for over 15 years. I am an Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician. I’m currently halfway complete with earning my MBA at Arizona State University. I also have and Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I’ve been happily married for 11 years to my wife, Jen. I also have three children. Tommy is ten, Sam is eight, and Cammy is six.

I’ve always enjoyed writing since I was a child. I enjoy telling stories. I started writing more significantly during my second deployment to Iraq. I bought a screenplay software and wrote scripts for movies. I eventually wrote a ten-episode television series called “Bystanders.” I realized that I had a lot of information, and decided to self-publish it as a book. I converted the script. I also wrote the manuscripts (without being screenplays first) for three more stories in this universe. This way I knew how everything had to intersect. I believe that a lot of exceptional stories are out there, but the inventors don’t necessarily have the money to get them out there. We have the passion and the creativity, but the purse strings are often closed by people who just want more of the same. The safe investment.

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

I write all day. I usually think up an idea and then create a treatment. It may take several weeks to then begin the actual writing process, but once I do, it usually goes quickly. When I feel the inspiration, I’m usually good for approximately 9,000 words a day. Obviously, it takes a whole weekend day to finish this amount, but it’s fun and I let myself imagine a reader’s reaction to a specific plot twist or revelation.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I’m a huge fan of all forms of storytelling. I enjoy novels, comics, movies, television, plays, and standup comic routines. Often, (my wife can confirm this) I can predict what will happen because of the “paint by numbers” method to storytelling we often find in the mainstream mediums. I then think of how I would give it a more realistic portrayal. For example, superheroes do massive damage to cities. Many people would die in these fights, but that is rarely taken into consideration. When it is, it usually means that the desperate victim will become a villain for the hero to fight. I wanted to point out that if a tank is thrown through an apartment complex, that many people are now homeless. Many more will need psychological counseling. I like to look for the cliché and give it a genuine feel.

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 have a plan for the major points. I know that character a must meet character b, so they can have a dinner date at a restaurant. However, when I write, I prefer to start from the beginning and go to the end. The conversations and specific actions will evolve as I write. Many times, I go back and add something and I find out that it helps to explain an obscure detail. My younger brother, Tim, likes to write, too. He tells me that this is the author in me subconsciously setting myself up for something better. I’m inclined to believe him.

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

I enjoy sci-fi and fantasy. I’m drawn to these genres because they are impossible to happen in the real world (at least currently). They still allow for the emotional development and jokes that other genres allow, but I’ll never see a pair of elves slay an undead ice dragon. If I want to hear about this, I have to get it from books. Some movies do an excellent job of this, but it’s a lot easier to allow my imagination to display it, than to get $300 million to make it look believable on a movie or television screen.

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

I have a lot of characters in my stories, but I always “cast” them before writing. I find it easier to describe and outfit or physical features by drawing on a real person. Some of the main characters in my book would best be cast as follows:

Claire Kennedy played by Sara Ramirez

Keith Douglas-Sanders played by a younger Jesse Williams (I’m not a Grey’s Anatomy fan, but that’s how it seemed to work out)

Benji Tanner played by Jack Black

Alex Williams played by Ryan Gosling

Donald Singh played by Aziz Ansari

Maria Pecos played by Selena Gomez

Karen Whitmore played by Lucy Lawless

Carlos Tanner played by Diego Luna

Father Tom played by Colin Hanks

Julie Trass played by Zhang Ziyi

Tina Sanders played by Angela Bassett

That being said, I don’t associate specific ethnicities to most of my characters. That way the reader can cast to his/her desire.

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

I do read a lot. Specifically, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. Therefore, I like Timothy Zahn, James Luceno, Karen Traviss, etc. I also enjoy John Steinbeck and J. R. R. Tolkein.

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

Like I said, I love Star Wars. I’m currently reading the Aftermath trilogy. I like to wait until all books are in print and the third one will be available in paperback next month.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My gut reaction is to say Bystanders. I guess it’s because I’m more intimately involved in every aspect of it. Technically, I would say the last book, Our Contest, because I believe each book in the series is better than the previous. Taking myself out of the running, my favorite stand-alone book, is The Hobbit. It was one of the first “real” books I ever read and it got me into the fantasy genre.

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

Write what you enjoy. The only critic that I must impress is myself. It’s clear that many people cut out what makes their story unique because they “think” the readers will want it that way. I can accept other people hating my book because of not liking the genre, or the profanity, or the violence. I can’t accept working this hard to create something that I don’t like. If you’re a fan of your own stuff, it’ll stay fun. That’s what’s most important.

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

I created accounts for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram because of this book. I’m as new to social media as they come. My Twitter and Instagram are “EODPhil.” My Facebook account is Phillip Murrell, but I invite everyone to also like my “Bystanders Saga” Facebook page, too.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/eodphil

Facebook Fan Page: en-gb.facebook.com/bystanderssaga

Twitter: @EODPhil

Instagram: www.instagram.com/eodphil

About the Author:

I am an active duty army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer who is currently earning an MBA. I have been married for eleven years and have three children who are ten, eight, and six years old. I love stories in all mediums, including books, comics, movies, and television. I also enjoy high adrenaline activities, such as skydiving, whitewater rafting, and roller coasters. Bystanders is the first of four books that I have written with these characters. I also enjoy writing screenplays and teleplays.

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Author Interview: ‘Dawn: Freedom Takes Fight’ by Weston Westmoreland

About the Book:

On a planet forsaken by a pan-stellar Empire in times long forgotten, old stories tell of an infamous day when swarms of imperial starships clouded the sky and abducted all able men and women. Nothing was ever known of them thereafter. The planet, known as Arweg, was left stranded, inhabited only by orphaned children, the unlearned elderly, and the helpless. Years went by, the old died, and the children grew to become adults in an ignorant world surrounded by crumbling technology they were unable to understand and much less operate. After ages of darkness, civilization reemerged to a point where a small portion of the little technology preserved in time could be worked.Two young Arwegians unearth a metallic capsule and trigger a chain-reaction. The strange pod will relay a signal into deep space and summon an immense octopus-shaped starship known as Goddess. The Empire is back, and it wants to restore Arweg to its former status as a full member of the Confederacy. It is the Dawn of a new Era. Or is it?

A voice from the past will warn the Arwegians the real purpose of the Empire is to modernize the planet only to make it suitable for a renewed colonization and slavery. Some will believe it and some will not. The Revolution has begun.

Dawn follows a small group of characters from both sides who will be drastically changed—those who survive—through war, love, loss, courage, hate, compassion, and friendship as the years go by, extreme events take place, and hope is almost the only thing left…

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

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

I had always seen writing as a means to express myself across the distance. I kept handwritten correspondence with several friends for years and thoroughly enjoyed both the intimacy it offered and the way writing allowed me to put my thoughts and feelings into words, thus giving me a better way to explain and therefore understand myself. I soon found out that thinking about something and explaining it in written words were two different things, and that I enjoyed the process, the extra reflective effort to dissect ideas, thoughts, feelings, and to finely define them with words. I have never stopped ever since.

The way I got into fiction writing, however, was purely coincidental. I was sitting one Sunday evening with an old friend on my porch stairs, and he started a game: a shared story. I said the first paragraph, he added a second, I added a third… the following day I simply started writing. I had never written a single short story before. It had never occurred to me. Seems like I thought I had something to tell, because it caught. Story making lets you write about anything while playing God at the same time. The power you have over your characters and their world is both exhilarating and terrible. I am always glad when my characters are doing fine, and I always have a hard time when they suffer. Even after having finished, re-reading certain paragraphs always comes at a price. I didn’t expect that. And I like it.

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

I write at any time and normally on my PC, but that’s incidental. I could write anywhere, provided I have an urge to. I never push it. When I feel I have something to say, I write. When I don’t, I do not. And when I do, neither the time of day, the place, or the distractions are a factor. Everything vanishes, the text flows, and something concrete is distilled from a general idea. It’s pretty nice.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

From everywhere? From nowhere? I don’t know. I blog about things that matter to me and write about these same things in my fiction work too, albeit metaphorically. I normally write about feelings, although I often disguise the message. In the end, I think many of us writers are just trying to fix our own worlds. I didn’t want to write a sci-fi novel, I wanted to write about the irreversible, about how we face and cope with those life-changing experiences that cannot be turned back. The characters who carried my hopes and fears just happened to live on another planet.

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?

More than a plan, I have a concept, a line of ideas or of feelings I want to explore, and a rough context in which to place it. When I started Dawn, I wrote the first part in two months. Then I stopped for five years. I had known what I wanted to say first and I had written it. I knew what was expected to happen then but I didn’t know how or why. It is like I knew the question, that was the first part, but not the answer. Took me five years to figure it out. Once I did, I wrote the second part in another two months.

The details, the little intertwinings that make the plot fresher and more interesting are the “chance” result of thinking about the story over and over again. Most of these big-little things come from the subconscious and are like tiny gifts that explode in your mind without warning. I enjoy those events quite a lot.

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

My first and only novel is Science Fiction. I have a non-fiction book almost finished and have started a third work, a prehistorical fiction novel. The reason why I picked sci-fi is quite simple. I wanted to tell a story, but I didn’t want to burden myself with the documentation effort it would take to properly fit it in any given time-period. Sci-fi allowed me to start from scratch. Later on it turned out I extremely enjoyed adding to the sci-fi part of the story, but that is something I didn’t expect in advance, although I do read sci-fi with certain frequency.

My next novel is all about documentation. It’s a long term project, hopefully to be finished. It’s yet to be determined if I will be up to the task.

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

Ha ha ha that’s a nice question. I do not know. All my characters have faces of their own, of course, but they do not always come from real people. Brod is a guy I know, Mara takes after a marvel comic hero called Longshot, Arlet might look like Marvel’s classic Dr. Strange (comic, not movie). Dunali comes from several women, Arzo Barr could be Rob Reiner with black hair, General Suwen could be Lee Van Cleef, or a short haired Dr. Gero from Dragon Ball.

If you push me, Jared Leto/Jake Gyllenhaal could be Brod, Eddie Redmayne/Tom Holland could be Mara, Marion Cotillard could be Dunali, James Franco could be Arlet, and Emma Stone could be Rora. I’d love to have Clint Eastwood for General Trop or the Pilgrim.

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

I don’t read much but I read all the time. I do not have favorite authors, I have favorite books. My top 30 books are probably from 25 different writers. I could name Patrick O’Bryan as the author of my most loved historical novel saga, I read all Stephen King in my youth, but not anymore.

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

Right now I am reading Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. Just finished Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan and Two Westerns by Forrest Carter. I spent the winter and spring either aboard WW2 U-boats or in the Eastern Front, which I didn’t know much about.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

If I have to choose a novel, it would be Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey Maturin saga. There are so many reasons. I love the history period, absolutely love the main characters and how you accompany them as they get on in age along the 21 books. I find the way O’Brian depicts tall-ship warfare fascinating, and I love the kindness and the humor of the author’s tone. So much more than frigates shooting canon. It would be Frank Herbert for SF, Tolkien and Abercrombie for fantasy… I read a lot of non-fiction and the books and authors are simply unaccountable. You can learn more through my Goodreads page.

If you want an unfair list, apart from the mentioned ones, I could Add One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, To Kill a Mockingbird, Life of Pi, Flowers for Algernon, The Physician, Aztec, The Journeyer, Shogun, With the Old Breed, Russia’s War, Guns, Germs and Steel, Q, A higher Call, I am Legend, Gates of Fire, It, White Fang, The Hitchhicker’s guide to the galaxy, Cryptonomicon, Hyperion, Armor, Band of Brothers, The Chosen Species… and comics…

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

That’s pretty simple. Stop thinking and start writing. Go one step at a time, get your idea, put it down black on white, and finish it (the hardest part). If you enjoyed the process, repeat freely as often as you want. If you are asking about becoming a selling author, now that is a totally different issue that has not much to do with writing.

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

I am not a very dedicated social media inhabitant. I tweet now and then and I blog, or used to (always depending on me having something to say). I also have a web-page, but it is a store for my work as a freelance photographer, not to my writing. My FB is next to nonexistent.

Website: www.WestonWestmoreland.com

Blog: www.InspiringThoughtsAndImages.com

Twitter: @WWstmoreland

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/16893100.Weston_Westmoreland

 

 

 

About the Author:

Weston Westmoreland was born in the spring of 1972. He is married and father of two kids.

Weston earns a living working by himself as an engineer, teacher, and freelance photographer, but not from writing. In all honesty, even though he enjoys writing in different forums and used to blog every now and then, he does not see himself as a fiction writer. Dawn is his first work of this kind, which is the reason why he invested in it far more effort and love than it probably deserved.

Avid reader, lone traveler, slow trail-runner, passionate photographer, terrible guitarist and worse singer, amateur modeler, persistent sketcher, weekend trekker, occasional painter and sculptor, self-taught gardener, committed father and husband, and first of all, a curious man… you can learn more about the way Weston sees life through his old but still current blog.

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Author Interview: ‘Mr Either/Or’ by Aaron Poochigian

About the Book:

Aaron Poochigian’s Mr. Either/Or is an ingenious debut, a verse novel melding American mythology, noir thriller, and classical epic into gritty rhythms, foreboding overtones, and groovy jams surrounding the reader in a surreal atmosphere. Imagine Byron’s Don Juan on a high-stakes romp through a Raymond Chandler novel. Think Hamlet in Manhattan with a license to kill.

Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published in 2009. The Cosmic Purr, a book of original poetry, was published in 2012.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

 

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

In high-school I was all about music—my band, musical theory, songwriting—but as soon as I took a poetry class in college, the rhythms and sounds of language re-focused my creative impulses. I had a sort of religious experience during my Freshman year. I was reading the opening lines of Vergil’s Aeneid in Latin—Arma virumqute cano. . . Though I didn’t know the language, I was so moved that the sky became brighter and everything became clear: I should learn the Classical Languages and spend the rest of my life writing poetry. That’s what I have done. No regrets. I guess I’m lucky in that I never had a phase when I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.

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

I write best in the morning at my favorite coffee shop. My mind is at its loosest and most open. The sentences arise on their own without any effort on my part. Writing full-time, I often have to push through afternoon doldrums with lots of caffeine and sugar. Sometimes evenings are productive for me as well but, ah, what would I do without those fertile mornings?

Yes, the words come easy sometimes but, of course, they often do not. Here’s some advice for writers—if you are committed, make yourself do it, even if you aren’t in the mood. Treat writing as an obligation, like any other job. You have to put your hours in. Breakthroughs can happen at any time, even during the dull, slow afternoon hours—don’t lose your chance to have one.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

A good question. Where do my ideas come from? Out of my curious mind and out of all that I have read, yes, those and out of daily experiences—the doppler sound of traffic passing in front of my house, the sheen the barista’s mop leaves on the floor at the coffee shop, out of the crazy junk in my backyard and backlot, out of the many, many places I have lived. You’ve got these lines from Yeats’ “The Circus Animals’ Desertion” running through my head:

A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder’s gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.

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?

When writing poetry, I usually let the poem crystallize around phrases and rhythms I have put in a word.doc. I just play around until something happens. “Mr. Either/Or,” however, is narrative, so I took the time to story-board the entire plot. I then created one word.doc for each plot event and allowed myself to go crazy creatively in each file, so long as I also narrated that one plot event. I then fitted all the files together into the whole narrative and polished the transitions. That way, I found I was able to get the story told while still giving myself freedom for creativity.

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

“Mr. Either/Or” brings together all of my great loves—epic poetry, genre fiction (noir and thriller), action films and Americana. I really don’t know what to call it—sometimes I call it a thriller, sometimes urban fantasy, sometimes an epic poem. I guess I see “Mr. Either/Or” as reviving the genre of the verse adventure-story (à la Homer’s Odyssey and Byron’s Don Juan). It alternates between free-rhymed iambic pentameter and the pounding alliterative verse of Beowulf, so that the poetic rhythms cue the action like the soundtrack to a film. Yes, the book has its own soundtrack built in.

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

For the hero, “you,” Zach Berzinski superspy, Chris Pratt, who plays Star-Lord in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, would be perfect. I would love to see Lynn Chen from “Saving Face” playing the heroine Li-ling Levine. And, oh, for the old spy “handler,” Zero Zero One, please, please give me Jonathan Lithgow.

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

I do spend more time writing than reading nowadays. I’m trying to break myself of my habit of simply re-reading my favorite poets and writers—W.B. Yeats, W.H. Auden, Raymond Chandler, P.G. Wodehouse. I find myself returning to their books as if they were so many Bibles to guide my career.

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

This week I am reading “Portnoy’s Complaint” by Philip Roth and a poetry collection by Adrianne Rich. I would be reading the new Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child (love that series) but I am cheap and thus waiting for it to come out in paperback.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My favorite novel is Thomas Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49.” It was another major model for “Mr. Either/Or.” It taught me that the needs of the plot need not restrict wild creativity. The writer should never be merely telling the story—he/she should do that, of course, and do it well but always at the same time be enjoying him/herself creatively. Pynchon’s novel is a mad whirlwind of a thing, a boundless conspiracy theory. I highly recommend it.

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

I’m afraid that I won’t be able to give anything more than boilerplate advice: craft, craft, craft. Work, work, work. Force yourself to know boring subjects like grammar backwards and forwards, so well, in fact, that you don’t have to think about them any longer. The time you spend early on studying grammar, for example, will pay off down the line, I promise, by making you a clearer and more efficient writer. Preachy, boring advice, I know, but it’s sincere as Hell.

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

I’m big on Facebook—I have 5,000 friends and quite a few people following me. Facebook has been very good at fostering literary communities at the local and national levels. It’s also a good place to learn about events such as readings and giveaways. I have even gotten in the habit of posting my most topical new poems on Facebook—my profile page has become its own literary venue.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/aaron.poochigian

Website: www.mreitheror.com

About the Author:

Aaron Poochigian earned a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Minnesota in 2006 and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Columbia University in 2016. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published by Penguin Classics in 2009, and a translation of Apollonius’ Jason and the Argonauts was released October 2014. For this work in translation he was awarded a 2010-2011 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Cosmic Purr, (Able Muse Press), a book of original poetry was published in 2012, and many of the poems in it collectively won the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan Prize. Poochigian’s work has appeared in such journals as The GuardianPoems Out Loud and POETRY.

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