Sunday, May 1, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Dean Moses

An interview with Dean Moses, author of A Stalled Ox.

 


Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

Thank you for having me. The road to 1888 Center publishing A Stalled Ox was paved in 2014 with the Summer Writing Project (SWP) held on JukePop Serials. The SWP is an annual competition that tasks authors to write a serialized novella, one chapter at a time. Once you submit a piece, readers, and other writers, can comment and vote for your story. I did not get my story published that year, but I did learn a lot from the experience. So, when the 2015 SWP rolled along I wrote A Stalled Ox, and to my great appreciation, it was chosen for publication alongside two other contestants: Let’s Stalk Rex Jupiter! by Allison Spector and Beneath Blair Mountain by Shannon Barnsley. If you are a writer struggling to have your voice heard, I highly recommend you enter the SWP.

What got you into writing?

I have always loved to tell stories. I have written stories for as long as I can remember. But, despite loving the process since an early age, I grew to adore the art form after reading more and more books by the trade’s greatest craftsmen. Studying their technique: how they set out their stories, the pacing, character development, the art of descriptions, and their word usage furthered my undying calling to write. The love and passion was already inside of me, but continuing to read the masterful ways authors tell stories cemented the art and wove it into my very core.    

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

It came from a few different avenues, one being addiction. Addiction can originate from many different paths: drugs, sex, television, video games, and food— things we could all, potentially, become dependent on. I remember my father becoming angry when he did not receive his dinner at the expected time, which almost always consisted of meat products. So I wondered: If something as widely available as meat suddenly became a rare commodity, would it also become an addiction? This, in turn, got me thinking about cults. Sects throughout history have often preyed on people’s desires and impossible expectations. A cult seemed to go hand in hand with my invented addiction.

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

Despite the fact he may or may not be a very nice guy, I have a soft spot for A Stalled Ox’s cult leader, known only as God. He is this unkempt, all controlling, and a rather terrifying individual. Despite this, one may be lucky enough to spot quick flashes of humanity in his piercing eyes. To me, characters that are either purely good or evil can be uninteresting. God may be both or neither, that is something for readers to discover and decide for themselves.

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

A Stalled Ox is about a near future in which the majority of the world’s livestock has been eradicated by a mysterious disease. Two agents investigate a cult that claims to, somehow, be eating meat despite this. One of my favorite scenes is one that was added in the editing process. Without giving too much away, this scene shows the cult’s recruitment process, and what happens to those who are not accepted. This whole chapter unfolds through the eyes of one young man who has grown up in a post-meat world. His mother used to describe the smell of bacon, the taste of steak—he wants nothing more than to experience the food of his parents’ era. This cult promises him exactly that, so he seeks this cult’s God.  

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

When I write, I often get frustrated. Sometimes the story I have put together inside of my mind, the beginning, the middle, and end is not emerging on paper like I believed it would. After many re-writes, edits, and hours of irritatingly pummeling my keyboard something happens: the words start to match the idea my mind had for them. That’s my favorite part, when I hit an obstacle, but I keep pushing and pushing until it reads the way it was meant to.     

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

It took about a full year for A Stalled Ox to get published from when I first started writing it, but that was a special circumstance. It has taken me years to write a story that still has yet to see the light of day, so I believe it all depends on each individual book. I usually write once a day, mostly after nightfall. I like to have a beginning, middle, and end setup in my mind before I start to write a story out.

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

I had never really written a horror/thriller story before. I have written historical fiction, drama, etc. However, my work in those genres has never been published. I had this idea for A Stalled Ox, and when I began to write it, it just felt right, from the beginning. Throughout the Summer Writing Project I received kind comments stating that it was really scary stuff, one person even said it was too scary for them to continue reading. A genre that, in the past, I never considered writing turned out to be one that got my work published. Sometimes you need to go outside of your comfit zone to discover your true potential. 

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

There are so many: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, J.M. Barrie, and James Randi. I also have a deep love for some screenwriters who have inspired me, such as Orson Welles and Rod Serling. 

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

While editing A Stalled Ox with my editor, Shuann Grulkowski, we discussed some changes. We wanted to add a few more chapters, ones that were not seen by anyone in the SWP. He came up with an idea for a great additional chapter, which prompted me to add another idea on top of that. Now, that chapter is one of my favorites in the book, and from what readers have told me, one of the most chilling. That all came from, like you said, talking about the characters’ lives which in turn took us to a subtle yet very fulfilling plot twist.

Thanks for stopping by!

About the Book
An isolated religious cult has reportedly been consuming meat while the rest of the planet has been forced to live a life without it. Presuming this sect has resorted to cannibalism, two agents from an organization known simply as The Agency are dispatched to investigate. Will they find evidence of humans eating one another? Or is something even stranger taking place?


Connect with Dean Moses:


Twiter: dean_moses

Instagram: dean.l.moses


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Guest Post by Andrew Joyce

Andrew Joyce
My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Mary has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog, Danny—Danny the Dog. He always has a bad attitude, usually does not speak highly of me, and you can’t always believe everything he says. But please understand that we do co-exist as the old Soviet Union and the United States co-existed. We tolerate each other. So without further ado, here’s Danny.

Andrew cut short my meditations today so that I could help him out here. For a person that works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll tell you about my friend Mike. I like to write about my friends and what I write is 100% true—good or bad.

I have written about my friend Mike before in other venues, he of Mike and Beth fame. But now, I want to go into a little more detail concerning him.

However, before we discuss Mike, perhaps I should introduce myself to all you neophytes out there. Not that there are many. Everyone knows who Danny the Dog is, or at least they should by now. Oh yeah, there is also my hapless human, Andrew. We live together on a boat. I keep him around for laughs. Now on to Mike.

Danny the Dog
Last night just after sunset, I’m reading the collected works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Andrew is playing with his yo-yo when the phone rang. Because it takes all of Andrew’s concentration to get the yo-yo back up, I decided to answer the call. Now, I understand human, but I cannot speak it; something to do with my vocal cords or my tongue or something. I don’t really care because when I have something to say to a human, he or she understands me just fine.

It was Mike on the phone and he invited me to a cookout featuring hamburgers—my favorite next to hotdogs. He didn’t mention anything about Andrew, so I woofed once into the phone. Mike knew what I meant and said, “Okay, just for you. You can bring him along if you want, but if he gets drunk and falls into the water again, I’m not pulling him out this time!”

I can’t leave Andrew alone. One time I left him for just a few minutes to go and bark at a dog walking its human down MY street and when I got back, Andrew had locked himself in the boat. He was pounding on the door and crying like a little girl. So I have to keep him on a short leash, so to speak.

Anyway, we get over to Mike and Beth’s boat and Andrew goes right to the bar, as usual. I situated myself right in the middle of the throng of humans to make sure I’m close by when the food comes out.

Beth came over, rubbed my head, and gave me a kiss. I love Beth! Then everyone else welcomed me. Mike was in the galley getting the food ready to put on the grill. Nobody spoke to Andrew.
When Mike came out and saw me, he came right up and said, “Thanks for coming, Danny. And please see what you can do to keep Andrew from drinking all my booze tonight.”

Mike was holding a bowl of raw hamburger meat and when he noticed me sniffing it, he dipped his hand in, came out with a big glob of the stuff, and put it down on the deck for me to eat. Now, this is my only complaint about Mike. Who or what does he think I am? I’m Danny the Dog! I have a sophisticated palate; I’m a gourmand. I do not eat raw food! I don’t care if you call it steak tartare or sushi; I’m not eating it if it’s not cooked.

After Mike picked up the meat, put it to my mouth, and me turning my head away a few times, he finally got the message. He shrugged and told me he’d make a special hamburger just for me and asked how I wanted it cooked. Two woofs meant well done. And that’s how I got it. Mike sure makes great hamburgers. He puts a lot of stuff in them, but the ingredients are top secret. He won’t even trust me with the recipe.

Just one more thing: As Mike was mashing up the meat to make into patties, Big Joe, who lives on the boat next door, put on some music and Mike started to do a little jig. Having no hands, I can’t clap, so I barked along with his dancing. Mike ain’t no Fred Astaire, and he ain’t no twinkle toes, but—for a human—he has a certain rhythm.

So that was my night out. Somehow, Andrew did not fall in the water and I got him home in one piece. As I was putting him to bed, I noticed he still had the yo-yo in his hand. I gave him a questioning look. He told me he had tied the string too tight around his finger and couldn’t get it off. As I turned off the light, I looked at the poor guy; he was clutching his precious yo-yo to his bosom like it was a teddy bear.

That’s about it for now. Reckon I’ll get back to meditating on the meaning of life. I kinda already know what it is—attaining unlimited hot dogs.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot—go out and buy Andrew’s book.


This is Andrew again. On behalf of Danny and myself, I would like to thank Mary for having us over. It’s been a real pleasure.

About the Book

It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year. 

By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure. 
Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.” 

When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.
On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite. 

It is into this world that Huck and Molly race. 

They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs. 


About the Author

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn't return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR.

Monday, April 18, 2016

COVER REVEAL: DEBBIE (A Helen of Mars novella)

When I read George Ebey's Brave New Girls submission, Helen of Mars, I knew right away that I was looking at something special. Hard sci-fi inspired by real-world recent Mars discoveries, starring a brilliant teen heroine who uses her tech smarts to save her family's future... Oh, and did I mention there are robot fights ON MARS?



So when I heard that Glass House Press had contracted George for a series about Helen and her Mars rover, I was like OH MY GOD YAY!!! And today, the cover and official description were released... Feast your eyes and get excited, because this is going to be AWESOME!!!

A game to end all games. On the line: her family’s future. Will Helen’s creation be enough to win the day? Or will she lose, and take her family down with her?

Helen Hunter’s father hopes to make his fortune by sending a robotic rover, controlled from Earth, to mine the surface of Mars for precious ores.

But there’s a catch. To do it, he’ll have to assume financial responsibility for the rover.  And on the harsh and desolate surface of Mars, one false move can mean the difference between untold riches and utter disaster. It’s a risky move that could spell doom for the entire family … and their hopes for the future.

Unless Helen can intervene.

The company behind the mining system—MARSCORP—is holding a junior gaming competition at their annual convention, and this is her chance. Grand prize is a one-year lease on a brand new Mars mining rover. Winning would mean that her father gets his shot at the Martian bonanza without any risk to the family.

But it won’t be easy. Teens from all over the country have come to compete. Some are smart. Others, ruthless. And Helen’s not the only one who needs to win. The mission: use her personally designed robot to fight it out in a high-tech arena that can simulate any environment, real or imagined. Beat the competitors. Bring home the prize.

Luckily for Helen, gaming and robot design are her specialties.

And when she unleashes her newest creation on the competition, a miniature homemade rover she calls DEBBI, the world is going to see just how skilled she really is.

The question is … will it be enough?
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Friday, April 15, 2016

REVIEW & AUTHOR INTERVIEW: From a Broken Land (Broken Throne, #1) / William R. Herr

TITLE: From a Broken Land (Broken Throne, #1)
AUTHOR: William R. Herr
PUBLISHER: Self-published
AVAILABILITY: Amazon



GENRE

Fantasy - Epic fantasy

REVIEW

In FROM A BROKEN LAND, Will Herr creates a dark, mysterious fantasy world where the mist is alive and a supernatural blight threatens to end humanity. Gidon is a young Sidhean soldier who has witnessed the blight's horrors first-hand. Though well-trained in combat, he hasn't exactly been battle-tested yet. The Church sends him to Hammat, a rival land that believes all Sidheans are monsters, on a desperate mission: Gidon is to seek the help of the College of Seers, whose mystical powers may be able to stave off the blight. Since the Hammat are known to kill Sidheans on sight, Gidon disguises himself as a Hammat guard and winds up in East Carwich, a small village nestled in the snowy, misty woodlands, where he seeks Seer Renault, an old mystic with a tenuous relationship with the College. To maintain his guise, Gidon joins the local guard and soon finds himself drawn into their conflicts and politics.

Meanwhile, a young noblewoman named Kiranae flees an unwanted marriage, disguised as a commoner called simply Kira and determined to define her own fate. When her journey collides with Gidon's, forces of fate are set in motion, culminating in an epic battle for survival against the dark monsters within the mist.

The mysterious tone, dark worldbuilding, and steady pacing of FROM A BROKEN LAND make it a hypnotic read. The setting really comes to life, with intricate details about the magic, religion, lore, and politics woven into the narrative. The story takes place in a medieval-esque high fantasy world, with swordfights, taverns, and codes of honor. I love stories that take place in reimagined medieval worlds, so this book was like catnip to me. I also loved that Herr's book focused on the rank-and-file citizens of the world. While the nobility does play something of a role, the story is really about the everyday guards and citizens trying to survive in a harsh world.

This book is something of a coming-of-age story for Gidon, who starts off as just a simple messenger, posing as a simple guard, but soon finds himself thrust into a position of leadership, having to make decisions he never thought he'd face. His journey is reminiscent of the classic hero's journey we all know and love. And so is Kira's. Though she doesn't turn up until several chapters in, once she arrives, she makes a big splash. Stubborn, intelligent, and tougher than she seems, Kira quickly defies expectations and becomes a hero in her own right. She's determined to be "one of the guys" in a world that expects her to play the role of damsel-in-distress, and her tenacity makes her a fascinating character to read about.

Also worth mentioning is the colorful supporting cast, which includes the cantankerous old guard Rinkins, the roguish gambler Bergeran, and the icy Countess Damarc. And the mist itself. There's a creepy, atmospheric quality to this book, with the mist having a life of its own and an ominous voice that hums in the background of several scenes. Herr's writing reminds me somewhat of Ursula LeGuin's in the Earthsea books, with its flowing phrases and sharp descriptions. And the atmosphere reminded me of the Battle of Helm's Deep in the Two Towers... where you have supernatural darkness closing in on a group of ragtag underdogs.

I always know I love a book when I find myself having trouble writing a review, because I feel like my review can't do the book justice. And I find myself in this predicament right now, since there are so many layers to this story that can't be aptly described. This book grabbed me from the start and drew me in with its mysterious atmosphere, classic medieval-esque world, and intrepid characters. I ended up reading the entire second half in one sitting (staying up way later than I should have) because I just *had* to know how things turned out. Since FROM A BROKEN LAND is the first in a series, there's much that's left open at the end of the book, but it does have an ending in its own right (and a very satisfying one - enough to tide me over until book 2).

With its amazing worldbuilding, action-packed battles, and character conflicts, FROM A BROKEN LAND makes for thoroughly engaging and entertaining epic fantasy.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Visionaries, migrants, soldiers and thieves - Will, as his friends call him, surrounds himself with all of these and more. Obsessed with "the wisdom of the lowest classes," he views the world as a perennial outsider, in the company of men and women most would not want to meet in a dark alley. His work reflects this, as he winds dramatic irony and sarcasm together with romance and drama to paint a picture of the world that others prefer not to see.

William R. Herr was raised on the road and continues to live there. When not travelling the United States behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, he can be found in Central Pennsylvania, either writing, editing, or arguing with college students over cups of coffee.

HE lives with his wife and an extremely vocal Irish Staffordshire Terrier named "The Duke."

An Interview with William R. Herr

Reposted from English Informer with the author's permission

What/who inspired you to write initially, when did you start to write?

                  When  I was young, around the tender age of 8 or so, two coincidences conspired to spiral me into the madness of writing. First, my father enrolled in a 'classics of the month' club. The shelves of our home became loaded with tomes such as the Oxford English Dictionary, The Analects of Confucius, The Art of War, and other timeless works.
                  The second coincidence was that we began to move. Every year or two, we would pack up the house and travel across the country to a new city, as my father pursued his career with IBM. This meant that a normally hyperactive child needed some outlet for his wild imagination (I had, after all, both attempted to fly my bicycle off of a roof and blow up our garage) and my mother chose books. She let me pick whatever I wanted from a bookstore, and I chose the John Carter of Mars series, by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
                  I was enthralled, and read all 11 books at a single sitting. My mother was ecstatic at the sudden peace, and let me live in my new-found heaven. No one told John Carter to sit down and be quiet. He did not get grounded when he started a war, not even for the big ones. There were no bed-times. Just he, and I, as we fought our way across the surface of a distant planet.
                  And so, I was hooked. I moved on to the classics on the shelves, because we could not afford my reading habits. Shakespear fell before me. Confucius became my BFF. Ayn Rand confused the dickens out of me, but seemed nice enough. Lewis Caroll let me wonder and laugh. Ogden Nash convinced me that lyricism could be fun.
                  At the age of 12, I entered and won the Young Authors Conference, at the insistence of a brilliant English teacher named Mrs. Callahan (Sahuaro High School, Tucson, AZ). At the age of 13 I placed as an honorable mention. I have been writing ever since.

Did you have ambitions of becoming famous, have you had other works published? Basically a background outline opportunity for you as the writer. What do you find most rewarding about writing? Perhaps a little on your background. Do you use a pen or real name?

                  I considered using a pen name, but my work is not truly mine, to my mind, if my name is not prominently featured on it. If I fail to entice, to enthrall, or to generate wonder, I should be as culpable as I would be lauded, in the reverse case.  I am proud of my work, and will not hide from its result. If I ever try to laughingly publish erotica, I will choose a name like “Dr. Bigguns” or some such nonsense. Otherwise, William R. Herr is the only name under which I ever intend to publish.
                  As to fame, I view it as a necessary evil, if my work is strong enough. Regardless of how others might view me, I can never forget that I have, through the course of raising my son, shoveled liquid manure at a dairy, to make ends meet. I am no better than the least of my readership.

Can you tell me a little about your book(s)/memoir/ (perhaps add the/some title(s) here if applicable). Is it/are they available now?

                  From a Broken Land is currently available for pre-order in ebook, paperback, and hard-cover. It is, at its core, a gothic epic high fantasy—it incorporates aspects of horror, fantasy and romance to tell the story.
                  Of itself, the story follows the tale of a seemingly simple messenger who has been sent to his almost-certain death, and a young princess who seeks to escape a marriage she cannot abide. They are pushed together by dark forces beyond their control, and together face the slow advance of an apocalypse that cannot be stopped, spurred on by an evil which cannot be defeated.  And yet, somehow, they must.

Is this the type of work/style you prefer to write, (eg crime)? Do you write in a variety of styles?

                  I write in a variety of styles, and in a variety of genres. My first loves are Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I also love Noir, Comedy, Drama, and anything else that seems to fit a story. Really, the plot and the characters will tell me the proper genre, setting, and time-period. I am only an interpreter for their needs and desires.


How long does it normally take to produce your novel(s)?

                  This really depends. If there is a great deal of research necessary, it can take a year or more. If my research is already completed, or on a subject in which I am fluent, the process requires only the proper outline, efficient character diagrams, and a quiet space in which to work. From a Broken Land was one of the latter cases. It required 1 ½ months to write the initial draft, and three months to edit.

If you have had several books published which was your personal favourite and why?

                  My favorite, actually, is a play that I never produced, entitled Memorial in Green. In it, a young soldier struggles with who he has become, and the loss of who he once was, as he fights his way through an all-consuming addiction that threatens both himself and those who love him.
                  That play almost killed me. I laughed. I cried for release. I couldn't sleep, for the nightmares. I went on multi-day drunks to deaden the pain, and started bar-fights to erase the shame. In the end, I was too much of a coward to ever complete the final scenes, and I had to set it aside. Those who were closest to me, at the time, and who witnessed my downward spiral (among them, Jay Smith, Parsec award winner and writer/producer of HG World), wisely removed the play from my records and I have not seen it, since. I have never achieved that level of blissful and self-destructive angst since the play was taken from me.  I hope one day to rediscover it and finally put those demons to rest—just without alchohol, and as perhaps the final work of my career.

How did you come up with your titles for them?

                  Titles normally reveal themselves with the overall book-concept. Somewhere between the first and second draft, I discover that they are hideous, and replace them with something more attractive. Then I throw that out, and pick something that will maybe attract interest. In the end, my editor is proud to laud my stupidity, and the title reverts to something I threw away earlier. Titles are always in flux.

Would you like to tell us about your home life, while writing?

                  I have no home life, or at least not one that the average person would identify as such. Many years ago my wife and I chose to leave our home and possessions, to support our son through college. We embraced the lifestyle of over-the-road truck drivers, and have never looked back. Our functional homelessness works, for us, and we live the ongoing adventure. Our son is pleased that he does not have to proof my work. To date, it has made no sense for us to revert to an anchored existence, although that day may soon arrive.

Where do you normally write? We have some writers who like to move countries and go to a quiet venue.

                  This changes, as locations and background duties change. Right now, I am responding to your questions in the jump-seat of a 2016 Western Star 5700XE, outside of Atlanta, GA. Later, I may sit in the far corner of a diner whose waitresses know me and respect my need for coffee. On occasion I rent a hotel room (La Quinta is best for this, in my opinion) and do nothing but write for a week.

What about the process of writing the book(s), how do you go about it?

                  First comes the concept, and it usually is an offshoot of something else that I am researching at the time. For From a Broken Land, and the Broken Throne series in general, it was the nature of truth, as it related to politics and economics. How could I make that an approachable subject for the common reader? As I spun possibilities in my mind, at 70 mph through the Rocky Mountains, first images, then scenes and characters took shape. This was the first stage.
                  When I had a moment to myself, I began to outline in stark detail. I drew character diagrams and wove subplots into the overall plot, until it approached something that I found interesting.
                  Then it was time to write. Nearly all of the book had been composed, before-hand, so all that was necessary was to translate it onto the page. In the process, I deviated horribly from my outline, rewrote the characters as something more believable, and found an editor.
                  The editing process was brutal, but efficient. Every writer/author should have someone to whom they can turn, who will not only spot the inconsistencies, but also belittle the author into fixing them. I was most lucky that I was able to find that person in Jessica Gang.

Was your latest book a difficult book to write? Why?

                  Actually, From a Broken Land was a joy to write. The story wanted to be told, and it wanted me to tell it with my own style. The characters were alive and vibrant from the very beginning, with their own unique personalities and quirks. Again, all that was necessary was to translate the story that they fed me, within the bounds of their subplots and story-arcs.

Do you have a favourite chapter in this book? Why?

                  I enjoyed The Hand of the Trapmaster the most, throughout the writing process. That chapter is the point where the greater number of threads coalesce to create a staging-area for the final scenes—the pay-off for the reader. It is always rewarding to see your work take shape, and become something more than you expected it to be at its inception.

Do you feel that your books have an underlying message for readers? What will people find interesting about this/and previous books and what do you think will attract readers to them?

                  From a Broken Land has underlying questions. There is a great temptation among authors to preach to their readership, and that is something I do not want to do. I want to ask important questions—questions which can only be answered by the reader, from their own unique perspective. If, in the end, my readers discover something profound, I am only the imperfect translator for their own self-discovery.

What is the most rewarding part of being an author?

                  When the proofs first tremble beneath your fingers, the concepts become reality. You have created a thing of importance, even if only minor. You have frozen a dream into hot wax and copied it to vinyl, to be shared with the world. What drug can convey that level of absolution?

Have your family and friends been supportive in your chosen career?

                  I am fairly certain my family and friends think I am insane. Writers, after all, are unbearably cool. They think great thoughts, and write them down in squirreled-away notebooks, never to be treated by the public. They know things, important things, that mere mortals can never embrace with their puny minds. Writers are the gateway to all that is hip, immediate, and striking.
                  Authors, on the other hand, suck.
                  Authors suck worse than black holes and vacuum cleaners. Authors write schlock, and every writer knows it (and will tell you so, as they thumb through their unfinished manuscripts). Authors trip over their plots, stumble through unreasonable dialogue, and miss deadlines. They argue over minutia, and sacrifice their principles for a quick cuddle with a publisher. Authors are about as uncool as one can ever become. Their only saving grace is that they aspire, some day in the distant future, to suck less.
                  My family and friends understands this, and endeavor to outlive the shame.

What is next for you when this book is published, what are you doing with your time now? Any other literature-based projects on the go? (Include your website, Facebook and  any details you wish here for promotion please).

                  Currently, I am fully engaged with the promotion and publication of the Broken Throne series. Over the next month or two, it is my intention to finalize the first draft of book 2, In the Captivity of Choice (see my comments regarding titles, above). In the wings is a Broken Throne novella which I set aside, an Arthurian historical fantasy which I think will break new ground, and outlines for several hard SF titles. Which will garner my attention first? The one that beats me over the head, likely. In the end, this series takes precedence.
                  Readers may keep up with my many projects at www.williamrherr.com .

So how can people get hold of a copy of the book? Please do not make the list of contact details so long that it turns off readers. You can add these to Café Pause section with a precise or text from each book.

                  From a Broken Land should be available at all booksellers in the english-speaking world (and some other locations as well), starting April 15. All formats are available for pre-order, up to that point. Electronic copies should be available wherever ebooks are sold, in all acceptable formats. While there are suggested retail prices listed on the books, themselves, pricing is exclusively the responsibility of the retailer, depending on their required markup. Failing all else, enthusiasts and adventurers may go to www.williamrherr.com and select their favorite title from the drop-down menu under 'books'.

                  If none of the above are acceptable, I will be attending TusCon (Tucson Science Fiction Convention) in mid-November of 2016. Fans may acquire signed copies there, or at any other convention I might be invited to attend.