Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Reblogged from majankaverstraete.com

AuthorInterviewwithGordonA.Long

I’m interviewing Gordon A. Long today, author of fantasy novel “Zoysana’s Choice”. Welcome!

AuthorInterview

  1. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
The quick answer is that I didn’t; it just happened. I started out as a theatre director, and soon discovered that the theatre does everything backwards. They get a play written by somebody they don’t know, and then try to find an actor that fits each role. When you’re dealing with amateurs and students, that’s very hard. I soon found that if I chose the actors and wrote the script for them, and sometimes with them through improvisation, they fitted the roles much better (and remembered the lines better, too). So I ended up writing my own plays for years. I have always been an avid reader, and I just sort of slipped into writing novels. First one book, then another, and then I realized I really enjoyed it, and here I am.
  1. What inspired you to write Zoysana’s Choice?
Looking back on it, I think I created Zoysana after my two sons were born and I realized I was never going to have a daughter. So I made one up. I was also inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth (I even borrowed the main character). And if you want to get esoteric, I have always been fascinated by the existential concept of stripping a person down to his or her essential being, and making a choice completely independent of the influences of the world. So Zoysana’s Choice is an Existentialist novel. Take that, Herman Hesse and Franz Kafka.
  1. What is your editing process like?
When I start writing every day, I go back and read what I wrote yesterday, to fix up any details I notice, and put me in the picture and in the mood for today’s writing. So that’s my first edit. Then I read through about a thousand times when I’m writing and polishing. Then I use an online digital editing service to pick up technical errors and typos. Of course, I have a real human editor, because that’s essential. Then I go through a few more times looking for typos before I upload it to the printer. Once I get the first proof copy back, I read the story backwards, one paragraph at a time with a ruler under each line. That makes me focus, and I pick up a lot of errors.
And I still find mistakes in the final copy. That’s editing.
  1. What do you find the most challenging about being an author?
Promoting and selling a book. I’m a writer, not a salesman. But I think everyone says that. I’m forever grateful to people like Majanka who can take part of that task off my hands, and use their skills on my behalf.
The part about writing that challenges me the most is villains. I don’t like nasty people, and I object to having them in my books. So I tend towards conflicts that are character against environment, especially character against social environment. The best villain I ever wrote was based on a boss I had once, and I won’t say anything more, because I might get sued. But he’s a great villain, because he’s realistic.
  1. Do you have any writing goals for 2017?
I will be publishing “The Innkeeper’s Husband,” book 5 in the Petrellan saga, some time in the summer. It’s at the editors right now. It’s about a minor character from “Zoysana’s Choice” whom she recruits to become a leader in her battle against the Inari, Petrella’s enemy in that novel. Unfortunately for him, he’s very good at it, but he wants to quit to become an innkeeper.
I’m also publishing “Queen of Mischief,” Book 5 in my World of Change series. The main character in this book is Jameta anDennal, the main character and friendly rival of Aleria in “The Trouble with Tents.” “Queen” is about half way through the first draft, and at the moment I’m having trouble creating conflict between Jameta and her new husband, Erlon, because I did such a good job of making them compatible in the last book. Serves me right.
 I’m also going to publish a stand-alone fantasy I wrote ten years ago, “The Power to Serve,” which joins together the two best-known cattle-worshipping societies in history, the Minoans of Ancient Crete and the Californios of the American South-West.
  1. Are you working on something now?
Isn’t that enough?
I’m also working on the ElderStory Project: recording, collating, and editing a book of tales collected from seniors in my community, on a grant from the federal government. I now have 250 stories from 80 storytellers, so we’re making good progress. It will be published in the spring.

AbouttheBook

Title: Zoysana’s Choice
Author: Gordon A. Long
Genre: Fantasy
Discovered as a child living alone in the forest and growing up an orphan of mixed parentage, but under the protection of the king’s youngest son, Zoe is appreciated for her own merit by everyone, from the royal family to the lowest kitchen wench. But her secure nest is shattered by conflict in the king’s family, and soon she will have to decide where her loyalties lie.
She flees to her former home in the mountains, where she finds many answers, but not to the questions she is asking.
Then she is offered the chance to visit Kyabra, the home of her grandfather, to learn about that ancient culture.
But all of these travels come to naught when she hears of war at home, and she returns to Petrella to be faced with a decision that could stop a war and change the lives of thousands, but only at the greatest personal cost.
This is the first published work of a 7-book saga of standalone novels tied together by characters and setting. Books 4 to 7 are sequential, and Books 1 to 3 happen 400 years earlier.

AbouttheAuthor

Brought up in a logging camp with no electricity, Gordon Long learned his storytelling in the traditional way: at his father’s knee. He now spends his time editing, publishing, travelling, blogging and writing fantasy and social commentary, although sometimes the boundaries blur.
Gordon lives in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, with his wife, Linda, and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Josh. When he is not writing and publishing, he works on projects with the Surrey Seniors’ Planning Table, and is a staff writer for <indiesunlimited.com>

Links

Buy on Amazon

Reblogged from thesinglelibrarian.weebly.com


Author Interview Zoysana's Choice

1/27/2017



























Picture
Please welcome Gordon A. Long to my blog today, the author of fantasy novel "Zoysana's Choice", the fourth book in the Petrellan Saga. I had the opportunity to ask Gordon some questions. The interview is below.

1.
       What is the hardest part about being an author? 
I think most authors will tell you that they took up writing because they love to create. Then they discovered that they had to learn to be promoters and designers and all sorts of other things. I’m learning to promote my books, and it’s tough, because I don’t naturally put myself forward. To give you an idea, I work in the theatre and film world, but I direct and do backstage work. That’s the kind of person I am. I take pleasure in the act of creating, and I don’t care that much about saying, “Look at me, aren’t I great?” Which is a good character trait, but it doesn’t sell very many books.
If it wasn’t for people like Elise, here at the Single Librarian, I’d be in trouble.

2.       Can you give us a short synopsis of your book? 
I’ll try to give something different from the blurb on Amazon. This is the story of someone who is of mixed parentage and uncertain social class in a highly structured medieval society. She tries to solve her lack of position through loyalty. However, early in the book she discovers that you can’t base your self-image on external factors, because when those factors change you can be placed in a difficult situation. So she goes back to the place she was raised, looking to find who she was. That helps, but it doesn’t completely do the job. So she goes to the country of her heritage. That helps her discover who she is, but there is still something missing. So finally she comes home to discover that she is needed for herself, not for where she came from. She is forced to make an extremely difficult choice that will affirm her own individuality and at the same time change the course of her realm’s history. 

3. What inspired you to write this book?
I have always been an avid reader, using imaginary lives to fill the gaps in my own. So I created a set of characters I wanted to know, and turned them loose. I have also worked on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and studied it thoroughly, and Macbeth is a favourite character of mine. So one of my characters (and even some of his dialogue, if you really look) is based on him. 
  
3.       How many hours per day do you spend writing? 
Usually from 4 to 6 hours. I am definitely not a “sit yourself down and write a set amount every day” writer. I’m much too ADHD for that. I have other responsibilities, so some days I don’t write much. On the other hand, if nothing else is going on and the words are flowing, I have been known to sit down and write for 10 or 12 hours at a stretch. 
One year I taught ESL in Korea for a month. I dealt with the culture shock by creating my own world to slip into. I would get up, write for two hours, go to school, drop by the market and do my shopping, go home, write for two hours, have supper, then write for another four hours. I worked 6 hours a day and wrote 8 hours a day for four weeks, and finished 70,000 words that month. 

5. Name your top five favorite books.
“Dragonsong” by Anne McCaffery. Anything from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. “The Helmsman,” a space opera you never heard of by Merl Baldwin, “Pride and Prejudice,” by Jane Austen, and whatever book of my own I’m working on at the moment. I mean, if I don’t love what I’m writing, how can I expect you to love it? 

6. What are you working on now?
 “The Innkeeper’s Husband,” book 5 in the Petrellan Saga, is at the editor’s at the moment. It’s about a minor character from Zoysana’s Choice who becomes important in her battle against the Inari, in spite of the fact that he wants to give up soldiering and become an innkeeper.
I’m also going to publish a stand-alone fantasy, “The Power to Serve,” which joins together the two best-known cattle-worshipping societies in history, the Minoans of Ancient Crete and the Californios of the American South-West. It’s already written, but needs a lot of polishing. 
I’m also writing “Queen of Mischief,” Book 5 in my World of Change series. It’s the further adventures of Jameta anDennal, the heroine from “The Trouble with Tents.” It takes place on a paddlewheeler exploring an unknown river, so I’m doing a lot of research about early British Columbia river navigation. That story is about half way through the first draft, so that’s going to take most of my writing time this year.
Picture
About the Book

Title: Zoysana’s Choice
Author: Gordon A. Long
Genre: Fantasy
Discovered as a child living alone in the forest and growing up an orphan of mixed parentage, but under the protection of the king’s youngest son, Zoe is appreciated for her own merit by everyone, from the royal family to the lowest kitchen wench. But her secure nest is shattered by conflict in the king’s family, and soon she will have to decide where her loyalties lie.
She flees to her former home in the mountains, where she finds many answers, but not to the questions she is asking.
Then she is offered the chance to visit Kyabra, the home of her grandfather, to learn about that ancient culture.
But all of these travels come to naught when she hears of war at home, and she returns to Petrella to be faced with a decision that could stop a war and change the lives of thousands, but only at the greatest personal cost.
This is the first published work of a 7-book saga of standalone novels tied together by characters and setting. Books 4 to 7 are sequential, and Books 1 to 3 happen 400 years earlier.

Picture
About the Author

Brought up in a logging camp with no electricity, Gordon Long learned his storytelling in the traditional way: at his father’s knee. He now spends his time editing, publishing, travelling, blogging and writing fantasy and social commentary, although sometimes the boundaries blur.
Gordon lives in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, with his wife, Linda, and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Josh. When he is not writing and publishing, he works on projects with the Surrey Seniors’ Planning Table, and is a staff writer for <indiesunlimited.com>


Links

http://www.airbornpress.ca/
http://www.airbornpress.ca/newdir
http://airbornpress.ca/arepeoplestupid/
https://twitter.com/gordonlong
https://www.facebook.com/gordonalongrenaissancewriter/

Buy on Amazon

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Monday, 9 January 2017

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog: The Gateway

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog: The Gateway: The scarecrow’s evil knows no bounds ... Having failed to save her friends from the scarecrow’s malevolence, Sullyan...

Monday, 16 May 2016

Just Books: The Captives by Cas Peace

Just Books: The Captives by Cas Peace: Let's get to know the Author before we take a look inside this book. Cas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, wh...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Hello everyone! Today I'm pleased to welcome to my blog author Terry W. Ervin ll, creator of the First Civilization Legacy series and the Crax War Chronicles, and author of the short fiction collection, Genre Shotgun.

Terry has a new release this month - Relic Hunted, sequel to Relic Tech - and further down you will find a fascinating insight into Security Specialist Krakista Keesay, the main character.

First, let's get to know Terry a little better ...



 Terry W. Ervin II is an English and science teacher who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. His First Civilization’s Legacy Series (fantasy) includes Flank Hawk, Blood Sword, and Soul Forge.

The Crax War Chronicles, his science fiction series, includes Relic Tech and Relic Hunted (his most recent release from Gryphonwood Press).

In addition to writing novels, Terry’s short stories have appeared in over a dozen anthologies, magazines and ezines. Genre Shotgun is a collection containing all of his previously published short stories.

To contact Terry or learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at www.ervin-author.com and his blog, Up Around the Corner at uparoundthecorner.blogspot.com


If you'd like to know more, and you're keen to discover Terry's writing for yourself, here's a link to where his work is available:  http://www.ervin-author.com/whereavailable.htm

Now let's take a closer look at some of Terry's previous work:


Flank HawkWhat happens when fire-breathing dragons battle Stukas for aerial supremacy over a battlefield? Can an earth wizard's magic defeat a panzer? Krish, a farmhand turned mercenary, witnesses this and much more as he confronts the Necromancer King's new war machines resurrected from before the First Civilization's fall. Worse yet, a wounded prince tasks Krish to find the fabled Colonel of the West and barter the royal family's malevolent Blood-Sword for a weapon to thwart the Necromancer King's victory. Flank Hawk is set in the distant future where magic exists and brutish ogres are more than a child's nightmare.

Blood SwordThe Necromancer King has been defeated and his surviving forces are in retreat. But a new threat marches against the Kingdom of Keesee, promising destruction. Scouting along the western frontier, Flank Hawk and Grand Wizard Seelain discover an army massing, the army of Fendra Jolain, Goddess of Healing. Weakened and battle weary, Keesee and her allies cannot withstand Fendra Jolain’s powerful army of men and beasts arrayed against them. One hope of survival remains: Retrieve the Blood Sword from the immortal Colonel of the West and bring its sinister strength to the battlefield. To accomplish this end, Flank Hawk accompanies Grand Wizard Seelain as she leads a mission across land and sea. Together they find new allies while confronting new foes, learning that the war ravaging Keesee is part of a larger struggle whose roots stretch back to the First Civilization’s Fall. If the Blood Sword can be obtained, it must be done quickly. Every day means more death for the defenders of Keesee. Every day is one day closer to utter defeat. Even if Flank Hawk can deliver the Blood Sword to King Tobias’s hand in time, will the malevolent blade’s magic be enough?

Soul Forge: Young Enchantress Thereese lays stricken and silent, her vital essence sapped by the Shard Staff, edging ever closer toward death. Supreme Enchantress Thulease refuses to allow her daughter to fade beyond recovery. To that end, Enchantress Thulease recruits Mercenary Flank Hawk to accompany her as she seeks the legendary Sleeping Sage, and confronts the secretive Svartálfar, known only for their magical prowess and for their menacing cruelty.
    But first, the mercenary and enchantress, and their stalwart company, must survive brutal beasts and ruthless nomads roaming the Southern Continent’s harsh desert. Then, the untamed wilds of the Northern Mountains must be traversed in a final bid to reach their ultimate goal—the Soul Forge. 
     Even if Flank Hawk and Thulease reach the mythical forge in time, can its magic revive the ailing young enchantress, the one whose life is somehow tied to the Kingdom of Keesee’s ultimate fate?

Wow, that all sounds very exciting! Let's see the cover of Relic Tech and read the blurb:


Relic TechThe Silicate War has been over for fifteen years, and the tension among the dominant galactic races is growing. Many fear that the Umblegarri, the ancient alien race that ushered humanity into the interstellar galactic community during the Silicate War, have been targeted for conquest by the Crax and their allies. It’s no longer speculation. The invasion is underway and Kra finds himself strapped to a hospital bed, critically injured and surrounded by hostile corporate lawyers, high ranking military and intelligence officials, ambitious members of the criminal justice apparatus, and an Umbelgarri diplomat. All are demanding answers or their pound of flesh. Krakista Keesay, a Class 4 Security Specialist, doesn’t have the answers they demand. Why did he sabotage a top secret research facility? What was he doing on a quarantined planet? Why did he set up the civil transport Kalavar for destruction? Is that all? Not even close. Kra turns to his only option: Allow his brain to be hooked up to an experimental device so that he might prove his innocence. Or lose his mind.

Ok, now I want to see the new cover and learn all about Class 4 Security Specialist Krakista Keesay:


Character Interview: Contract Discussions Regarding Security Specialist Keesay

Location: Secure Conference Room, Io Colony, adjacent to the Umbelgarri Sector
Participants: Deputy Director of Intelligence Cavelvar, Special Agent Staygar Guymin, and Special Agent Allision Vingee
Topic: Recruitment of 4th Class Security Specialist Krakista Keesay

Agents Guymin and Vingee enter a small conference room. Guymin is middle aged, nondescript, with short dark hair and matching eyes. Vingee is young, tall, and with her braided hair affixed in tight bun. Behind the small table stood a bald man, elderly with a round face. He signals for the two agents to take their seats across from him.

Cavelvar: Taps his computer clip, bringing it to life. “Computer, record this meeting, Security Protocol 43-B.” After a second he continues. “The Agency is considering picking up the contract of Security Specialist Keesay. In addition to both of you having witnessed the Documentary, the downloaded audio-visual recording of his memories, requested to prove his innocence, you have each spent time with the security specialist. I request your thoughts on the topic before making my decision.” His eyes stray to the base chronometer mounted on the plain gray wall. “Please be succinct as I am on a strict schedule.”

Guymin: Glances to his right, at Agent Vingee, before beginning. “Specialist Keesay would be an asset to the Agency. Although he is not always a team player, he has demonstrated the ability to work with individuals he dislikes, especially under difficult and dangerous circumstances.

Cavalvar: “You are referring to his working with Senior Engineer McAllister.”

Guymin: “That is correct. Their history—Specialist Keesay killed her fiancé. Despite the fact that she attempted to kill, and subsequently frame him, when given orders and a direct mission, both he and she were able to put that aside.”

Cavalvar: “Do you concur, Agent Vingee?”

Vingee: “Engineer McAllsiter used the specialist as one would a tool. As a weapon directed against the Crax.”

Guymin: “Keesay recognized this, Director. During that time and others, such as serving as a conscript in the defense of the Tallavaster Colony, he proved capable of moving from subordinate to leadership positions as needed.”

Vingee: “Specialist Keesay has spent a good portion of his career securing warehouses on Pluto.”

Guymin: “Due to his participation in the Colonization Riots. After he survived, Intelligence saw that his next and only contract offered was in an out-of-the way assignment.”

Vingee: “Because he killed fourteen citizens, including Engineer McAllister’s fiancé.”

Guymin: “As you know, Director, the objective was to draw the ire of the crowd, and public discontent away from the planned Umbelgarri breeding area. The situation got out of hand. Snipers killed the Security Supervisors. Keesay took charge of the largely untrained and unprepared mass of newly graduated security trainees. He and his group of trainees broke up the riot. He survived.”

Cavalvar: “That is true. The mob wasn’t expected to be armed with anything more dangerous than clubs and sonic blades.”

Vingee: “The Specialist’s solutions to problems favor violence. While he can work with others, he is a loner and holds a measure of enmity for I-Techs. For modern electronics and equipment.”

Cavalvar: “He does use old-style equipment. Com-sets with headset and mic, shotguns and revolvers, and a bayonet. His chosen attire is the button and collared, loose-fitting R-Tech style, which sets him apart from his peers when aboard ship and space colonies.”

Guymin: Tips his head with eyebrows raised. “And he favors brass knuckles when he gets into a brawl, Director. But shotguns are still used on penal colonies, and he survived using his old-style equipment. Keesay is trained and competent in the use of magnetic pulse firearms, and light and medium-duty lasers. He is competent interfacing with standard computer systems and networks.”

Vingee: “Surprisingly, Director, Specialist Keesay is marginally competent as a pulse laser gunner.”

Cavalvar: Nods. What about his motto: Nemo me impune lacessit?

Vingee: “Which translates to: Nobody injures me with impunity. On more than one occasion, Specialist Keesay has gone looking for trouble. A reason to be insulted or injured.”

Guymin: “More accurately, he made a point of not avoiding the confrontation. That could be detrimental, functioning as an agent for Intelligence, depending the assignment. He is intelligent and well-read, and can problem solve.” He smiles. “Even if part of the solution includes the application of brass knuckles.”

Vingee: “Specialist Keesay is loyal. We all witnessed that not only through his actions, but thoughts revealed through the Documentary.”

Guymin: “His dedication to humanity’s survival, even at his own expense, can’t be questioned. He’s a proven Crax and Stegmar Mantis killer, and his opposition to the Capital Galactic Investment Group is obvious.”

Cavalvar: “Yes, their treachery, working with the Crax to the detriment of humanity and her allies...the Specialist did play a major role in uncovering their deceit.”

Vingee: “And those remnants of Capital Galactic are motivated to seek Specialist Keesay out for retribution. It is reliably reported that they are now, offering a substantial bounty.”

Cavalvar: Presses his hands together before glancing at the chronometer. “Thoughts on the modification the Umbelgarri made to the Specialist’s cerebral cortex while under the experimental Cranaltar IV?”

Guymin: Shrugs. “He is able to comprehend the Umbelgarri’s visually color-coded language. Like all humans, he remains unable to detect the low frequency sounds that add emption or emphasis to their ‘words.’ Dr. Goldsen relayed that the procedure was necessary to better enable the Specialist to survive and recover from the Cranaltar’s downloading of his memories. Otherwise, all higher-level thought processes would’ve been destroyed. Are there deeper implications to the implanted ability?” Again, he shrugs.

Vingee: “There is his affinity with the Chicher, beyond being a fellow Relic Tech. The Chicher diplomat Specialist Keesay befriended while aboard the Kalavar, and worked with to escape Selandune, the quarantined planet then under Capital Galactic’s control.”

Cavalvar: Nods. “It is believed in the Chicher Diplomat’s death throws, a ritual which included biting Specialist Keesay, altered the Specialist’s DNA, so that he releases a pheromone combination which marks him as a sort of pack member of that alien race.” He pauses. “Your thoughts, Agent Vingee?”

Vingee: “The Chicher appear to be more direct than the Umbelgarri. I believe the Chicher Diplomat responded to Specialist Keesay’s loyalty exhibited over time, which runs along the line of their inbred pack loyalty. The bond formed between the Diplomat and the Specialist, serving as a surrogate pack member, during times of peace and through several shared life-and-death struggles is what did it. Specialist Keesay’s bond, now apparent to every Chicher, regardless of pack, could be an asset if his contract were picked up by the Agency. As for the alterations made by the Umbelgarri?” She mimics Agent Guymin’s shrug. “Dr. Goldsen is of the most experts when it comes to neurology and human psychology. She doesn’t believe the procedure altered the Specialist’s personality or reactions to the Umbelgarri. He still refers to them using the derogatory term, Phibs. His strong disapproval with respect to the subservient role the Bahklack play, even though they’re genetically bred servants to their Umbelgarri masters. That remains, which wouldn’t track if they’d altered the Specialist in some manner to align his allegiance with them. ”

Cavalvar: His eyebrows rise as Agent Vingee completes her extended answer. “Any final thoughts before I call an end to this meeting?” He nods toward Agent Vingee.

Vingee: “Specialist Keesay has survived cold sleep, future use of that procedure isn’t a concern.”

Cavalvar: “That closing thought isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, or recommendation against.”

Vingee: “He could be an asset or a liability. He loyal and driven, but I am not sure he will fit in with Agency culture or methods. He’d make a better soldier. He’s proven that.”

Cavalvar: “Fair enough. Agent Guymin?”

Guymin: “Specialist Keesay is relentless and daring. Not the most socially astute, yet tends to get the job done. I doubt the Agency will assign him to management or culturally inappropriate assignments. He may make bad decisions, but the root of the choice is always to pay back others who’ve injured him, which in the most pertinent case tends to be those loyal to the renegade Capital Galactic Investment Group and the Crax, and their allies. On the balance, he would be an asset to the Agency. At least until the war is over.”

Cavalvar: “Your recommendation would be to end his contract upon the war’s end?”

Guymin: “We’d have to win the war, Director. Currently we are losing with little evidence of our turning the tide. I agree with Agent Vingee in that Specialist Keesay has the characteristics of a good soldier. But I believe the Agency could make better use of his talents. If he is assigned the right job, he’ll get it done.”

Vingee: Tips her head side to side. “Or die trying.”

Cavalvar: Taps an icon on his computer, deactivating it. “Thank you, Agents, for your input on the matter. I will render my decision within the hour. If Security Specialist Keesay is offered a contract, his first assignment will be as part of your team. In either case, details will follow before I depart. You are dismissed.”

And that's it, folks! If you enjoyed hearing about Terry's novels and his new release Relic Hunted, please show him some love, and feel free to leave a comment.