The Rising Author Tag

Hey all! It seems there’s a new tag making the rounds, and it honors new authors. And thanks to a friend of mine (a fellow author), I’ve been nominated! Wow, a chance to join other authors and talk about my writing. That plays to my strengths rather nicely…

Okay, so here are the tag rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Answer the questions they came up with.
  • Nominate four people to do the tag (no tagging the person who tagged you originally).
  • Come up with 10 new questions for the people you nominated.

The first one is easy enough. A special thanks to Rami Ungar for nominating me and keeping this site of mine active. Ever since I began writing for a living, my time here has predictably suffered. But I try to make the time to post updates and thoughts when it’s important. Here are my answers to the questions:

Tell us about what you’re working on or recently released.

The second book in my Formist Series, titled The Jovian Manifesto, was recently released by Castrum Press. Since that time, I’ve been working on the third and final installment, The Frost Line Fracture.

Where in the process of writing are you?

I just recently finished the tenth chapter, which brought me to about 24,000 words. Soon enough, I will be polishing off Part I of the novel and getting into Part II.

What is the most difficult part of writing the story at this point?

For me, the third installment in a three book series is always the toughest one to write. Not only do you need to come up with a compelling story that will live up to (or surpass) the first two, you also have to keep track of everything you’ve established so far to keep things consistent.

What about your main character do you like the most?

Well, the series has kind of shifted MCs. But for the second and third book, there’s a central protagonist. She’s tough, independent, and not afraid to be occasionally vulnerable.

What is your writing process/routine, if you have one?

Not much to say, I pretty much write when I feel inspired. I prefer to do it at home, but at times, the feeling strikes me when I’m out and about (usually at a cafe with my laptop).

Do you pants your way through a story, or do you plot it out?

I plot it out, always. I’ve never been a seat-of-the-pants person when it comes to writing. Before I start writing, I prefer to create a framework that addresses how it will all unfold. I don’t work out all the details in advance, just the bare bones of the plot. That leaves me enough room to improvise and add things along the way.

What are your characters’ musical interests?

Hmm, I haven’t really thought about it that much. But I imagine she would be into jazz and music that melds Latin and African influences. That’s her background and she’s big into poetry and travel.

What’s next for you in terms of writing?

Well, I’m working on the third installment in a trilogy. Once that’s done, I plan to start a new series (another trilogy) that will be set in the same universe, but takes place later, and with higher stakes!

If you could pick a narrator for your story’s audio book, who would you pick?

Tough call! I feel like I should say Morgan Freeman, but my gut says Idris Elba. Natural gravitas in either case, but Elba is freaking cool!

Share an excerpt or snippet, if you’re comfortable.

The place smelt like a Cronian pleasure dome on a Sunday morning. A crush of bodily odors, sweat, bad breath, hot food, and recycled air. It made Adler want to instruct his implants to shut down his olfactory receptors. Given the choice, he might even want to instruct them to shut down all his senses, make him forget where he currently was.

But that would deprive him of the lovely view, which he was taking from a upper tier overlooking the settlement’s main bazaar. Everywhere he looked there was the same signs of decay and turpitude. The same mix of people living in a transitional area between traditionalism and transhumanism. 

Hygeia. The name was practically a pejorative, as far as Adler was concerned.

During the Great Acceleration, Hygeia was one of many rocks in the Main Belt that was established as a stopover and refueling station for missions headed towards the Outer Worlds. Like Ceres, Vesta and Pallas, the first waves of workers and engineers had done a bang-up job establishing the necessary infrastructure, which included the docking facilities that serviced haulers and freighters.

However, the plan soon changed and a second wave of moved in, seeking to turn the asteroid into a self-sustaining colony. These people were responsible for hollowing out most of Hygeia’s rock and ice to make room for living quarters and speeding up its rotation to provide artificial gravity – roughly 0.8 of Earth normal. They also created the biome that ensured a steady supply of recycled air and water.

But as time went on and the Great Migration occurred, the asteroid gradually changed into a place for black-marketeers and people looking for sanctuary. Retros, Extros, and people who were somewhere in between all found themselves drawn to Hygeia because its unique combination of accessibility and nobody giving a shit.

Those qualities, which had always given Adler an aversion to the place in the past, were precisely why he found himself in Hygeia right now. When someone needed to hide, or to travel discreetly across the Frost Line, this was where they came.

Leibster! Leibster! Rah-rah-rah!

liebster-award-e1355858473421It seems award season is upon us again, and I’ve received a nod from a respected colleague who decided to send a nomination my way! So thanks to Rami Ungar the writer, and best wishes on the Quiet Game as it goes into its third month since publication. And now, getting to the rules of this award, I must share the following 11 details about myself, make my nominations, and answer 11 questions. Here goes…

  1. I am an Aquarius
  2. I was born in Ottawa Ontario on a Saturday during the depths of winter
  3. I have a natural resistance to cold, being burly and furry, but have trouble with heat
  4. For the first twenty-five years of my life, people though I was older than I actually was. Now it’s the reverse! For some people, this may sound like a good thing. But for me, its just plain weird!
  5. I never really fit in with crowds. I always tried to, but found that I was destined to either stand on my own or make up my own social circles
  6. I have a natural thing for animals. Doesn’t really matter if they are cats, dogs, or a wild creature. We just seem to get each other
  7. I don’t get out to the theater much at all anymore, which seems nuts since I’m more invested in new movies than I ever was before
  8. In the space of a year (Dec 2006 – Aug 07), I traveled to southern Mexico, Europe, across Canada and visited New York City. It was a crazy and awesome year!
  9. Unlike a lot of indies, my desire to write and share goes beyond the desire to express myself creatively. Much depends on it for me, and the prospect of not succeeding is frightening to me
  10. I am very susceptible to germs, seeing as how I get sick with the seasons like clock work. You’d think a teacher would have better immunities. Sadly, no
  11. I love kids, but am not sure if I would ever want to have some of my own. But as I have been told many times, no one is ever really ready, so I don’t worry about it too much

Alright, that was deep. Now here are the 11 questions Rami came up with for myself and his other nominees to answer. A word of warning, I was not brief!

1. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?

Yes I do. While I so often find myself railing against organized religion for its excesses and abuses, I have never been an atheist, nor do I consider it a likely possibility that we live in a universe devoid of any higher order. I guess I’ve always been a monist/deist, a person who believes that the universe is guided by a conscious force that underlies and connects all things, was responsible for its creation and the laws that guide it, but does not intervene or exercise direct control over things.

2. If you could meet any historical personage, who would you meet and what would you say to them?

Tough call. But if I had to choose, I’d say Montezuma II, the last emperor of the Aztec civilization and people. And once the troublesome problem of translating from English to Nahuatl was worked out, I’d give him one very simple bit of advice. “Kill the Conquistadors on sight!”

3. What scares you the most in the world?

The idea of something bad happening to someone I love, and that I couldn’t be there to stop it. Either that or that I could, through negligence or inaction. be responsible for something terrible happening to someone else. Don’t think I could live with myself either way.

4. Morning, afternoon, or evening person?

Definitely evening. Not an early riser by nature, and my most creative and active time is always late at night. Were it not for this incessant need to get a good forty winks a night, I’d work til the wee hours of the morning all the time!

5. What was the worst job you ever had the displeasure of holding?

Again, tough call. There was the two summers during school that I worked for the city doing maintenance on public parks and parking garages. For those unfamiliar with job-speak, that means you clean up garbage. During the months I worked there both years, I cleaned up a ton of puke, feces, urine, and disposed of I don’t know how many used needles, half-smoked joints and even a bottle of heroine. I also got solicited by a few prostitutes, and was accosted by several homeless people.

But then there was the few months I taught in a remote community on the west side of Vancouver Island. Out there, joblessness, idleness, isolation and the problems of drug abuse, suicide, broken homes and behavioral problems create a very tough challenge for teachers. I was there for three months, replacing a teacher who went nuts and ended up suing the school board over a nothing issue. That kind of hostile work environment and the politics of the dude’s lawsuit and how it effected work for the rest of us led to many people quitting and the school almost imploding. I slept very little for those 11 weeks, got sworn and freaked out at almost every day by the kids, and was happy as hell to get out when I did!

I’d say it was the teaching gig. No job was ever that bad before or since.

6. If you could dress up as anything for Halloween this year, regardless of price, what would you dress up as?

If price weren’t an option, I’d go as Iron Man. And the exoskeleton would be real!

7. What’s your dream job?

High-paid author, article writer and traveling guest-lecturer. Basically what I’m doing everything I can to become right now!

8. If you could be somebody else for a day, who would you be? (This could be anything from an actual person–President Barack Obama or Vera Farmiga, for example–or it can be anything as simple as “a dancer” or “a music producer”)

I would love to be Chris Hadfield and go around talking about science, technology, and what its like to go into space. And then I’d unleash a guitar riff on my classic guitar!

9. What is your favorite color?

Rainforest Green. That’s the kind of deep, dark green that puts me in mind of driving across this here island, breathing clean air, and then staring out at the ocean as the high waves pound against the cliffs and the sandy shore.

10. What do you think you’ll be doing in 10 years?

With any luck, living in a nice home in Victoria, writing novels and articles for an obscene (okay, decent) amount of money, and living with my wife and our cat and a dog. She will be working in government with a senior position, the animals will be happy and rambunctious, and we will be busy contemplating what’s next for our family 🙂

11. If you had to brave some sort of apocalypse or natural disaster in your city/town/village, who would want to brave it with?

Tossup. There’s my wife, the natural choice, but if we’re venturing into the realm of the fictional, I would say Daryl Dixon. He’s a good man to have around in a fight, and underneath his tough, redneck exterior beats a good heart.

Alright, that’s me done! And now we move on to my nominations and the questions I would like to see them answer. First, here are the people I would like to nominate for this award:

Nina D’Arcengela

Khaalidah

Professor VJ

Likeitiz

MythRider

Writerlious

Casey Sheridan

Raven Lunatick

Mona (Ramblings)

Eddie Two Hawks

Dangerously Daydreaming

The Wandering Gourmand

And here’s the questions I’d like all of them to answer:

  1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would go and what would you do there?
  2. If you had a million dollars, what would you do?
  3. If civilization were to end tomorrow, what would be your first priority? Securing a source of food, water and energy? Procreating to ensure the continuation of the species? Or preserving the knowledge of mankind?
  4. Would you rather have:
    A. A puppy
    B. A kiss from your sweetie, or
    C. A well formatted hard drive?
  5. Describe your perfect relationship partner
  6. Who’s your favorite superhero and why?
  7. What was the best science fiction, horror, fantasy movie or television series you ever saw?
  8. If you had a chance to go to another planet, what would you take with you?
  9. Favorite pet (cat, dog, bird, etc.) and why?
  10. What stands out as the single greatest experience of your life?
  11. If you could do just one thing before you died, what would it be?

Thank you again, Rami, congrats to all the other nominees, and hope everybody is having a good week and looking forward to the weekend. Hope to hear from y’all again soon, and stay tuned for more on my end!