11 Jan 2015

Review: “Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark series 2)” by Ceri London #asmsg

2 Comments Book Reviews, News

Ceri 1“Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark series 2)” by Ceri London is the excellent and well constructed second book in her space opera series that shines with its masterful suspense, great depth and scientific competence. 

 

The scenarios are thought through and convincing, Niall a fascinating character with many talents and sides to him and the book is rich in plot and intrigue.
London is clearly not a one-trick pony and has many more up her sleeve as far as her stories go. Governmental politics (with some great references to current Earthly affairs), alien immigrants, time portals, telepathic powers, an evil nemesis, threats to Niall’s family and to himself – this really is a fireworks of excellent ideas, put together professionally with attention for detail, tight editing and great use of language.

 

I’m not a huge fan of science fiction and find myself bored easily. This reeled me in depite the late hours I was reading it and the multiple distractions and interruptions.
Truly remarkable.

Blurb/Synopsis:

“This man isn’t the exclusive property of the US any longer. He is answerable to the world.”

Major Niall Kearey is the only man capable of bridging space-time to create portals across the known universe. His government and the US military exploit his abilities, a secret society incites global unease in a bid to control him, and the alien refugees he smuggled to Earth revere him as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

Under threat of exposure, a potential one-man weapon of mass destruction, Niall and his family are forced back into hiding. Struggling to protect his wife and children, honor his oath to God and country, Kearey discovers he’s attracted the attention of a devourer of worlds – the legendary Balor – an enemy so powerful it enslaves or destroys everyone in its path.

The world needs Niall Kearey and his abilities, but the shady politics and dirty maneuverings of Earth’s power-brokers have tied his hands. Shackled by the unceasing suspicion and assaults on his liberty, Niall desperately seeks a means to protect planet Earth against the ancient predator hunting him down. Whether Balor’s purpose is Apocalypse or invasion, the threat escalates as Niall realizes the answer to the future lies in the past—his past.

How far can one man travel to preserve a world that has turned on him? Niall must accept his destiny as the nexus – a magnet for destructive forces and possibly mankind’s last hope for salvation.

An exploration of love and betrayal with the high-octane pace of military thriller, Destiny Nexus stretches a man’s moral fiber to breaking point and changes him forever. This action-packed sequel continues the epic space opera saga introduced in Rogue Genesis.

Book Links

 Ceri 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon

 

Author Information Ceri 5

Ceri London (pen name) is an author of science fiction / fantasy who has just published the second volume in her Shimmer In The Dark series. She is a member of ASMSG, a league of international writers.

Back on Earth, life is very normal. Ceri lives in the UK, is married, a mother of two girls, and a piano tutor following a fifteen year career in IT within the international financial industry. She holds a BSc Honors degree in Chemistry & Computer Science, but acknowledges that in no way provides her any authority with regards to the science in her fiction writing, relying on research and drawing on the experience of others far more qualified.

Looking forward, Ceri is committed to completing her Shimmer In The Dark series and developing a range of related short stories and spin off novels.

Author Links

 

Amazon Author Page

Smashwords Author Page

Website

 Facebook Page

Goodreads

Google+

Twitter

Author Email: cerlondon@yahoo.com

Link to my interview with Ceri 

 

Other Work Ceri 6

Destiny Nexus is the sequel to Rogue GenesisRogue Genesis is the first book in Ceri London’s Shimmer In The Dark series and can be read as a standalone novel.

“I’ve loved developing the characters from Rogue Genesis and have introduced a few more as Niall discovers his heritage and unravels the threat of an alien predator hunting him across the cosmos. I’m now looking forward to developing a cast of new alien characters in Galacticus Elecion, the third book in the series.” Ceri London.

Rogue Genesis Blurb/Synopsis:

One man. Two worlds separated by a universe. Space-time warped by black holes. In the passing of seconds on Earth, Major Niall Kearey has witnessed the birth and death of generations on Astereal. His mind shortcuts light years to visit a fantastical world of floating sky cities populated by telepaths.

Astereal is in decline, the dueling forces of black holes threaten extinction. Ancient prophecy predicts their interstellar visitor brings salvation. As Niall faces the staggering truth – that his alien dream world is real – he and his family are targeted by secret societies, scheming politicians, and the US military.

Time is running out as Astereal races towards annihilation and temporal alignment with Earth. Power brokers vie for control of his capabilities. Niall must act, balancing the needs of Earth, his family, and the alien civilization he has come to know and love. The fate of two worlds rests on Niall Kearey’s shoulders.

 

My review:

“Rogue Genesis” by Ceri London is a complex, highly intelligent and competently written Science Fiction / fantasy thriller. I don’t often read Science Fiction and only let my curiosity get the better of me because several of my friends raved about this book. They were right to do so.

The story is based on a excellent idea: A man from Earth who kind of lives in two worlds at the same time.
The other world, Astereal, is in danger because the fragile balance of black holes holding it in place is coming loose. The concept of time folds, time warps, astral travel or whatever phrase you would like to use for this double excistence is highly original, fascinating and certainly unique. It made the story stand out from others in the genre just for that. With this creative set up, the subplots and the competent military/ technological writing it is impossible to find fault with this book.

Our protagonist, US Air Force Major Niall Kearey, is a splendid character with his own family life, deep thought and with – literally – A LOT on his overloaded mind. The way the author blends the telepathic fantasy side with more technological science fiction and fantasy is brilliant and made me think that maybe I should read scifi books more often. This is a far cry from repetitive and formulaic writing; this novel is innovative and therefore hugely rewarding.
It is also a gripping thriller, a family story and simply a must read.

 

08 Jan 2015

“The Human Forged” by Anthony J. Melchiorri

3 Comments Book Reviews

amazonToday I’m pleased to introduce you to a very talented science fiction writer and share my reviews for two of his books.

“The Human Forged” by Anthony J. Melchiorri is a dark and deep psychological science fiction thriller about modern technology and cloning that follows a former US Army Specialist Nick on a misadventure.
Set in 2094 the world has technologically advanced and living ‘natural’, i.e. without technological enhancement or net connection, seems dangerous, particularly as Nick enters an underground rave in an abandoned Estonian prison with a Costa Rican and a Russian girl he literally just met.
To me the technology part of the story seems only too realistic as applications and technological advances replace natural skills and knowledge these days and the book captures current themes and places them into a fascinating future scenario. Melchiorri does a great job at showing us how this has both, advantages and dangers.
Not surprisingly Nick is abducted at the rave and on his break to freedom and back to civilisation we witness with him and his clone James a lot about cloning and some other ongoing conspiracies.
The book has some well paced action scenes, great inventive ideas about a future society, and it reflects well on the human condition and the dangers of cloning. Almost philosophical at times this is a feast for readers who like more substance to their science fiction stories.
A great read.

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Interview with Anthony:
Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.

When I’m not writing or reading, I’m finishing up my PhD in bioengineering. My research focuses on developing new 3D printed medical devices to treat children born with heart defects. Research constantly exposes me to new ideas and technologies that help inspire each new novel I write. Outside of my research and writing, I’m an avid runner and love to travel when I can.

Tell us about your books.  When did you have the first idea for it? And how did you decide on the characters, plots and title?

My most recently published book, The God Organ, was inspired by the idea of ever-advancing medical technology. Over the past century, we’ve practically doubled the life expectancy of human beings born in developed countries, with developments in medicine and biotechnology a major factor in improving our lives. But I wondered what would happen when certain medical technologies become a luxury. For example, if a company were to develop an artificial organ utilizing tissue and genetic engineering technologies that we are research today, what would happen if only some people could afford the organ? And what would happen if others resented it, if they wanted to destroy that technology?

All the characters and the resulting plot spawned from those questions as I delved into various people and their conflicting roles in the development of the artificial organ, the god organ, that imparted virtual immortality in its recipients.

Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer? Black Market DNA - High Resolution

Since I first wrote “The Bunny Family Goes to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s” in first grade, I loved writing stories. I dabbled in writing while I grew up, concocting short stories and awful poetry. At the University of Iowa, I majored in biomedical engineering and earned a second degree in English, reigniting my passion for writing. At the advice of one of my instructors, I started plugging away more seriously, writing down 500 words a day in a short story or a start to a novel. Making writing a habit, like exercise, was the turning point in my productivity and seriousness as a writer.

Which genre are you most comfortable with and why?

I am most comfortable in the realm of medical thrillers and science fiction. The easiest explanation for that is not only in the books I like to read, but also my experience in the medical device and biomedical research arena. My constant exposure to biotechnology has inspired me to ask many “what if” questions that naturally spawn stories spiced with medicine and technology.

Would you say there is a message in your books beyond the story? Do you find it is well received and picked up by the readers and reviewers?

I try to not to proselytize too much in any of my books, but I do try to incorporate questions that I hope make readers think by addressing the potential implications of constantly advancing technology. It’s fun to see how readers see these questions in the books but will have drastically different opinions on what they think I meant when I wrote these stories. However, my number one goal has always been to write an entertaining and thought-provoking story without trying to push any specific agenda.

Did you have it all planned out before you write your stories or do the characters and story surprise you?

I do my best to outline my stories. But I often find, about half-way or two-thirds of the way through the book, my characters end up twisting the story and pushing it in new directions. That’s fine with me and I’m constantly adjusting my outline to fit the characters’ decisions.

What is your writing environment like? Do you need silence or music to write?

Most of the time, I write at my kitchen table with a drink within reach of my laptop. Depending on the time of the day, I might have a constantly refilled cup of coffee or just a pint of whatever ale I’ve got in my refrigerator. Music is a constant companion while I write and I couldn’t write without it.

Hot or cold?

I tend to prefer a bit of cold. I find I can always layer up to stay warm, but when it’s too hot out, there’s only so much I can take off before I get arrested.

How do you handle criticism of your work? 

1.) Not everyone is going to like your writing, and that’s okay. And 2.) you can learn from readers’ criticisms to constantly improve your writing. In my opinion, writing is a craft that can constantly be honed and I hope to continue doing so for the rest of my life.

Buy links:

The God Organ – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NPKZ87C

Enhancement – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L00LWBU

The Human Forged – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NBGD8EK

 

Social media:

Website: http://anthonyjmelchiorri.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anthonyjmelchiorri

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tony_melchiorri

 

God Organ B“The God Organ” by Anthony J. Melchiorri is an accomplished and thought-provoking medical thriller that touches upon a lot of contemporary issues within a plot rich and well paced storyline.

Immortality is within reach.

In 2063, a biotechnological revolution sweeps the nation. Behind this movement is Chicago-based medical giant LyfeGen. The company dominates the biotech industry with their Sustain, an implantable artificial organ designed to grant its recipients near-immortality. But many of those recipients are suddenly dying.

Biomedical scientist Preston Carter developed the Sustain to improve and save lives. Yet there are others that would see him fail. Extreme religious groups, radical movements, and competing corporations would prefer to see LyfeGen collapse rather than allow “the god organ” to fundamentally alter medicine and the human body. In a race against time, Carter must learn to trust resourceful journalist Audrey Cook. She may hold the key to discovering who is sabotaging the Sustain. And with the organ already implanted in his own body, Carter must uncover the truth before he’s killed by his invention.

THE GOD ORGAN is a near-future medical thriller that takes the reader on a suspenseful ride filled with sinister conspiracies, intriguing biomedical science, and rampant corruption that will leave readers wondering just how dangerous becoming a god may really be.

The book raises a lot of questions, such as medical and industrial ethics and the clash between technological advancements with religious beliefs. As the title gives away, there is controversy around the ‘god organ’.

The book is entertaining with a good pace, interesting characters and a really well chosen subject.

Very enjoyable.

02 Jan 2015

New Release: “Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark, Volume: 2)” by Ceri London #asmsg

Comments Off on New Release: “Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark, Volume: 2)” by Ceri London #asmsg News

      Ceri 1Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark, Vol 2) by Ceri London

 

I’m really looking forward to reading this. The genre is a bit of a hit and miss for me but Ceri’s first book in the series, “Rogue Genesis” really took me by surprise with its excellent characters, research and a brilliant premise. I’ve added my review of “Rogue Genesis” at the end of this post.

“Destiny Nexus” has big shoes to fill. 

 

 

Blurb/Synopsis:

“This man isn’t the exclusive property of the US any longer. He is answerable to the world.”

Major Niall Kearey is the only man capable of bridging space-time to create portals across the known universe. His government and the US military exploit his abilities, a secret society incites global unease in a bid to control him, and the alien refugees he smuggled to Earth revere him as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

Under threat of exposure, a potential one-man weapon of mass destruction, Niall and his family are forced back into hiding. Struggling to protect his wife and children, honor his oath to God and country, Kearey discovers he’s attracted the attention of a devourer of worlds – the legendary Balor – an enemy so powerful it enslaves or destroys everyone in its path.

The world needs Niall Kearey and his abilities, but the shady politics and dirty maneuverings of Earth’s power-brokers have tied his hands. Shackled by the unceasing suspicion and assaults on his liberty, Niall desperately seeks a means to protect planet Earth against the ancient predator hunting him down. Whether Balor’s purpose is Apocalypse or invasion, the threat escalates as Niall realizes the answer to the future lies in the past—his past.

How far can one man travel to preserve a world that has turned on him? Niall must accept his destiny as the nexus – a magnet for destructive forces and possibly mankind’s last hope for salvation.

An exploration of love and betrayal with the high-octane pace of military thriller, Destiny Nexus stretches a man’s moral fiber to breaking point and changes him forever. This action-packed sequel continues the epic space opera saga introduced in Rogue Genesis.

Book Links

 Ceri 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon

 

Author Information Ceri 5

Ceri London (pen name) is an author of science fiction / fantasy who has just published the second volume in her Shimmer In The Dark series. She is a member of ASMSG, a league of international writers.

Back on Earth, life is very normal. Ceri lives in the UK, is married, a mother of two girls, and a piano tutor following a fifteen year career in IT within the international financial industry. She holds a BSc Honors degree in Chemistry & Computer Science, but acknowledges that in no way provides her any authority with regards to the science in her fiction writing, relying on research and drawing on the experience of others far more qualified.

Looking forward, Ceri is committed to completing her Shimmer In The Dark series and developing a range of related short stories and spin off novels.

Author Links

 

Amazon Author Page

Smashwords Author Page

Website

 Facebook Page

Goodreads

Google+

Twitter

Author Email: cerlondon@yahoo.com

Link to my interview with Ceri 

 

 

 

Other Work Ceri 6

Destiny Nexus is the sequel to Rogue GenesisRogue Genesis is the first book in Ceri London’s Shimmer In The Dark series and can be read as a standalone novel.

“I’ve loved developing the characters from Rogue Genesis and have introduced a few more as Niall discovers his heritage and unravels the threat of an alien predator hunting him across the cosmos. I’m now looking forward to developing a cast of new alien characters in Galacticus Elecion, the third book in the series.” Ceri London.

Rogue Genesis Blurb/Synopsis:

One man. Two worlds separated by a universe. Space-time warped by black holes. In the passing of seconds on Earth, Major Niall Kearey has witnessed the birth and death of generations on Astereal. His mind shortcuts light years to visit a fantastical world of floating sky cities populated by telepaths.

Astereal is in decline, the dueling forces of black holes threaten extinction. Ancient prophecy predicts their interstellar visitor brings salvation. As Niall faces the staggering truth – that his alien dream world is real – he and his family are targeted by secret societies, scheming politicians, and the US military.

Time is running out as Astereal races towards annihilation and temporal alignment with Earth. Power brokers vie for control of his capabilities. Niall must act, balancing the needs of Earth, his family, and the alien civilization he has come to know and love. The fate of two worlds rests on Niall Kearey’s shoulders.

 

My review:

“Rogue Genesis” by Ceri London is a complex, highly intelligent and competently written Science Fiction / fantasy thriller. I don’t often read Science Fiction and only let my curiosity get the better of me because several of my friends raved about this book. They were right to do so.

The story is based on a excellent idea: A man from Earth who kind of lives in two worlds at the same time.
The other world, Astereal, is in danger because the fragile balance of black holes holding it in place is coming loose. The concept of time folds, time warps, astral travel or whatever phrase you would like to use for this double excistence is highly original, fascinating and certainly unique. It made the story stand out from others in the genre just for that. With this creative set up, the subplots and the competent military/ technological writing it is impossible to find fault with this book.

Our protagonist, US Air Force Major Niall Kearey, is a splendid character with his own family life, deep thought and with – literally – A LOT on his overloaded mind. The way the author blends the telepathic fantasy side with more technological science fiction and fantasy is brilliant and made me think that maybe I should read scifi books more often. This is a far cry from repetitive and formulaic writing; this novel is innovative and therefore hugely rewarding.
It is also a gripping thriller, a family story and simply a must read.

 

05 Apr 2014

“Shimmer In the Dark: Rogue Genesis” by Ceri London, Review & Interview

3 Comments Book Reviews, News

Rogue One man. Two worlds separated by a universe. Space-time warped by black holes. In the passing of seconds on Earth, Major Niall Kearey has witnessed the birth and death of generations on Astereal. His mind shortcuts light years to visit a fantastical world of floating sky cities populated by telepaths.

Astereal is in decline, the dueling forces of black holes threaten extinction. Ancient prophecy predicts their interstellar visitor brings salvation. As Niall faces the staggering truth – that his alien dream world is real – he and his family are targeted by secret societies, scheming politicians, and the US military.

Time is running out as Astereal races towards annihilation and temporal alignment with Earth. Power brokers vie for control of his capabilities. Niall must act, balancing the needs of Earth, his family, and the alien civilization he has come to know and love. The fate of two worlds rests on Niall Kearey’s shoulders.

My review: Shimmer

“Rogue Genesis” by Ceri London is a complex, highly intelligent and competently written Science Fiction / fantasy thriller. I don’t often read Science Fiction and only let my curiosity get the better of me because several of my friends raved about this book. They were right to do so.

The story is based on a excellent idea: A man from Earth who kind of lives in two worlds at the same time.
The other world, Astereal, is in danger because the fragile balance of black holes holding it in place is coming loose. The concept of time folds, time warps, astral travel or whatever phrase you would like to use for this double excistence is highly original, fascinating and certainly unique. It made the story stand out from others in the genre just for that. With this creative set up, the subplots and the competent military/ technological writing it is impossible to find fault with this book.

Our protagonist, US Air Force Major Niall Kearey, is a splendid character with his own family life, deep thought and with – literally – A LOT on his overloaded mind. The way the author blends the telepathic fantasy side with more technological science fiction and fantasy is brilliant and made me think that maybe I should read scifi books more often. This is a far cry from repetitive and formulaic writing; this novel is innovative and therefore hugely rewarding. 
It is also a gripping thriller, a family story and simply a must read.

Scroll down for an excerpt from the book at the end of this feature and watch the stunning Book Trailer here:  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI9X6qsXtc8&feature=youtu.be

Interview with Ceri:  7055294
Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?  

My first stab at writing a novel was about twenty years ago. I wrote a Star Trek story for fun and, in a moment of delusion, submitted it with high hopes to the authorised publisher of ST novels. Naturally, it was returned in due course. What was I thinking?  Undeterred, I took a writing evening class and wrote several stories that I shared on the internet under a pseudonym. They’ve been long removed and will probably never see the light of day again unless I rewrite them from scratch. Thankfully, writing is a labour of love that can’t help but improve over the course of time. I enjoy crafting an imaginary world and developing the discipline for writing a story that holds people’s attention, although there’s always room for improvement. Then real life got busy and the writing muse went into hibernation up until a few years ago when I enrolled on a Writer’s Bureau course. That got my creative juices flowing again.

Tell us about your Rogue Genesis. When did you have the first idea for it?

Much of the premise behind Rogue Genesis originates from stories I wrote ten years ago. I researched various ideas at the time, so I looked up old bookmarks, and started to research Earth history, related mysteries of the world, electromagnetism, psychic gifts, and anything else that interested me.  That’s when the Shimmer in the Dark concept properly came into being with Rogue Genesis being the first book in the series.

Rogue Genesis is a story about a military man, Major Niall Kearey, who has the unique ability to project his mind through tiny holes in space. I created a doomed world across the universe that exists in a faster timeflow, so he could live on and off with the telepathic civilization that live there, without ever leaving Earth. These aliens have a prophecy that a man from across the stars can save them from extinction, and their time is running out. Niall thinks Astereal is a dream, but he has an uncanny sixth sense for danger that’s been noticed by sinister forces on Earth. They secretly arrange his transfer to an environment that encourages psychic ability, and that’s when Niall begins to wake up to his destiny. The impact on him, his life, and his family, is dramatic, a thrilling rollercoaster ride set on Earth and spanning the universe.

And how did you decide on the characters, plots and title?

I wanted a military man, at home in Special Ops, ruthless when he needs to be, but someone whose prime motivation is saving life. So after a lot of research, I wrote a character with a career based in the US Air Force Special Tactics, whose mission includes retrieving allies and US military in trouble behind enemy lines. I made him a family man who loves his wife and kids, giving him a lot to lose. Although he’s generally a well-adjusted guy, Niall keeps his psychic gifts secret, an issue stemming from his childhood. That secrecy will come to haunt him.

I wrote the outline of the plot as part of my Writer’s Bureau course, but it was frontloaded and centred on the alien’s plight, Niall’s growing abilities, and the different timeflows between the alien planet and Earth. The back end was in my head, but it was too complicated to write down, so I captured it in one line, maybe two. As it turned out, the end changed one night when I hit upon a solution to a problem and that radically altered the scope of the series. It did make the whole project infinitely more complex, but much more interesting to write.

I chose the title Shimmer in the Dark a long time back, and eventually settled on The Boat People as the title for the first book in the series. The aliens were facing extinction, they needed refuge and I thought The Boat People was a really apt title that resonated atmosphere. However, feedback suggested readers would connect it to a Vietnam refugee story, and it wasn’t sci-fi enough. So I looked for an alternative. It took a while to hit upon Rogue Genesis, but now I’m very happy I changed it. Rogue Genesis has more than one meaning that encompasses the story, but that doesn’t become obvious until the end.

What do your family or friends say about your books. Do they mind you taking so much time to write?

My family is very supportive, although they do think I spend way too much time on my laptop. Right now my daughter is having a fascinating, in-depth conversation with her boyfriend, but because I’m typing away, chatting to you, they’re oblivious to my presence. They think I and my laptop are one with the furniture, cocooned in our own little world. Little do they know I can type and listen at the same time!

I must admit I cringe when I discover friends or family are reading Rogue Genesis, I’m so convinced they will decide I’ve left this planet and wonder what possessed me to think I could write let alone publish a science fiction novel. They don’t know I’ve been secretly writing for years. It’s wonderful discovering several of them genuinely got caught up in the story. Their eyes light up as they tell me what they enjoyed most. Some love the science aspects. Others got caught up by the emotional drama. One friend doesn’t usually read science fiction, but it felt so real to her, she ended up feeling that some of it could be based in truth. Another friend’s daughter told me their dad was raving about my book to his family (good raving I hasten to add). That reaction makes all the work worthwhile.

When did you decide to write science fiction? Would you consider writing outside of the genre?

I’ve always written science fiction, but I have dabbled with romance along the way and recently published a racy sci-fi short story for a romance anthology. Any story I write has a thriller edge to it with dark overtones, so I won’t be churning out any chick-lit romance soon.

There is a military side to the story, a futuristic side and a family / personal side. Which one are you most comfortable with?

I carried out a lot of research to get the military side right. One of my earliest beta readers is US military. Generally, I’d got the military aspects right, but his main feedback was that the military characters were too generic—I needed to differentiate my hero as US Air Force.  More research followed, and I found more military beta readers who helped me craft realistic scenes. I also had two excellent beta readers (critique partners/editors) who constantly berated me to stop being so motherly and to let my hero toughen up. Of course, when I did let go, it was great fun. I’ll keep working at it, because I love writing military characters and they are an important ingredient for this series.

I’m definitely more comfortable with the futuristic scenes. Anything feels possible. Of course, the science needs research! Oh, to have a geologist, an anthropologist, and a theoretical physicist on my team. I tend to include too much research in the story and I’m often told to dumb it down. Every now and again I rebel, and some people have commented that they glossed over the science bits, but that it didn’t slow them down, or affect their enjoyment of the story.

So, to answer your question, I’m most at home with the family stuff. In my mind, the story is all about the emotional drama driving a character’s motives and hang ups, and I invest a lot of time on this aspect. My editors then invest a lot of their time cutting it out. I admit, I fret over the most ridiculous stuff, like making sure the kids have had their shots, because I can’t possibly risk them getting malaria—the lectures I got over that one!

Would you say there is a message in your books beyond the story? Do you find it is well received and picked up by the readers and reviewers?

I didn’t set out to sell a message or theme. Various themes evolved. If I was to try and pinpoint one theme in this story, Rogue Genesis explores what happens when the corrupt and powerful try to direct one man’s instinct to protect and serve in order to secure their selfish interests. In one wonderful review I received, the reader instinctively encapsulated several themes in the book, all without giving the plot away! In many ways she opened my eyes to my own story.

“Yes, a lot of the book made me sick. I want to howl in despair at the horror of the reality of what humans truly are, what they are truly capable of. Of human avarice, hatred, brutality and vicious self-aggrandizement, the truly black and horrific souls within. Sick, in that everything that London writes is so very gut-wrenchingly believable in so many ways. So real within the fictitious world that she creates. Amidst the black holes, space-time jumps, dark matter universes and other fascinating and well-researched portions of the book, London delves into the human psyche, and lays bare its soul. Leiah “So, I Read This Book Today . . .” Amazon

Which part are you most proud of?

There’s a section midway when all Niall’s secrets are leaking out and his family get caught in the crossfire. All hell breaks loose, Niall’s life is upturned in a way he’d never anticipated, and he can’t escape his responsibility for the train wreck that follows. From that moment, he’s in a fight for his life, for his family’s survival, at a time when he’s in turmoil and struggling to work out who he can trust. It’s a pivotal moment for Niall and the story.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I get a kick out of writing Senator Charles Biron. He’s a complicated antagonist—ruthless, cynical, and manipulative, but his love for his niece is as genuine as it is selfish and controlling. His interest in Niall Kearey is scientific at first, but as the story evolves, and Niall frustrates Charles ambitions, the senator has no qualms messing Niall’s life up even more. And yet, he does have a heart. In the end, his feelings for a woman will prove pivotal to the story, although that will emerge more in the sequel, and it will be very subtle. Blink and readers might miss it. If one of my beta readers had his way, Charles Biron’s atoms would be spread across the cosmos by now, but I continue to defend him to the last. Shimmer

Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it? Tell us about the artist.

My brother is the cover artist. He has experience in special visual effects and would disclaim he is a cover artist, but he did me this huge favour, and I love the cover he conjured up. It has a dynamic quality that is quite stunning. I had a lot of say in the cover, but we fought over the colours. I wanted warmer tones, more vibrant. He put his foot down, and I must concede he was right. There is a beautiful purity to the star background that is magical, and it blends in amazingly with the magnetic forces of the planet. His cover art draws many compliments.

Who are your favourite authors?

I had to name fifteen authors recently for a friend. All these authors wrote books that captured my attention and their stories stayed with me for a long time: Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, David Eddings, Clive Cussler, Anne McCaffrey, James Clavall, Jean M Auel, Patricia Cornwell, Catherine Cookson, Jack London, Richard Adams, John Grisham, James Patterson, Julian May, Stephen R Donaldson. Not in any particular order!

What is your life like outside of writing? 17826638

I tutor piano, so on Saturday mornings and weekdays after school, my home is open to children and their parents. Sometimes, I’m awestruck by the young talent coaxing my rebellious piano to life and it’s fascinating to see them develop. My family is my main focus, and my parents live nearby. My daughters often have friends around. The house veers from quiet during the day to noisy and busy from three to evening. Usually, it’s quiet again by nine p.m. when I get back to writing or editing. I used to watch a lot more TV, but recently it’s become a treat to sit down with my daughters or husband to watch a favourite show. We got behind on one show by a year! Thirty-three episodes stacked up on the viewer.

What makes you laugh?

My daughters. We can have the most insane conversations. My youngest especially can give me a raised eyebrow with an “I can’t believe you just said that,” look and I instantly crack up. Proper tears of laughter.  Once I start, she joins in. We get so hysterical I once had to stop the car.

What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?

I don’t read as much as I should. I save reading up for holidays when I devour book after book. So I would take a stack of books, paper or e-books, I don’t mind.

Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live.

Winnie the Pooh lives not too far from us. The High Weald is to the north, the South Downs to the south, so it isn’t far to reach beautiful countryside. It’s a bad idea to cross town during the London to Brighton Cycle Ride.

What are you working on now? 

I am working on the sequel to Rogue Genesis. I have completed the first draft, and have nearly completed all the revisions following a developmental edit, and will soon start a first full edit. I’m thrilled because my editor did not predict where the story was going to go, despite a glimpse of the world ahead in the rest of the series, and there were enough twists to keep him happy. And <drum roll> I’ve just had a short story published in World of Worlds, an ASMSG anthology of science-fiction and fantasy. Bridge Builder follows the fate of a character from Rogue Genesis and offers a teasing glimpse of the story to come in the Shimmer in the Dark series. It’s free and full of great stories by indie authors.

Christoph, thank you so much for having me on your blog today.  I’ve had a great time and I’ve loved answering your questions!

Links:

http://cerilondon.wordpress.com/shimmer-in-the-dark-rogue-genesis/

https://twitter.com/CeriLondon

https://www.facebook.com/Ceri.London.Author

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7055294.Ceri_London

Places to buy Shimmer in the Dark: Rogue Genesis

SPECIAL OFFER: Shimmer in the Dark: Rogue Genesis will be on special offer on Saturday, APRIL 5th at $1.50 via Amazon and Smashwords.

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/ShimmerRogueGenesis

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/335025

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rogue-genesis-ceri-london/1116227104

Kobo US: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/rogue-genesis-shimmer-in-the-dark-1

 

Excerpt from Shimmer in the Dark: Rogue Genesis

~oOo~

Niall pressed back against a stone feed barn for cattle and primed a device best described as a shock grenade. He caught the tiniest of movements in a drainage ditch several yards south east of his position.

Earlier, when an enemy scout failed to detect his presence, Niall had let the young Morrígan pass. Their job was to ambush the main force, and he was certain Paladin’s huge powerhouse of an engine had to be their next target. Now, his every instinct screamed that the bulk of the Morrígan forces was seconds away from overrunning their position.

He bit his lip in an effort to keep his mental shields strong as his body sweltered in the torrid humidity of the northern hemisphere. No wonder the Astereans preferred the upper atmosphere with its comfortable temperature and clean air. Action would be a relief after the long hours of waiting. Failure wasn’t an option. Paladin must not fall.

The stakes wouldn’t be so high if the city was already grounded.

He understood why the High Council vetoed his suggestion. He wouldn’t want to face the ire of its residents either. But something was driving the Morrígan, and it was noteworthy that refugees from the downed cities were allowed to pass into Asterean territory unchallenged. Understanding the enemy was key to defeating it, and if turning off the magnetic fields supporting Paladin diverted the Morrígan to another target, it would have been valuable strategic information.

In ten.

Niall tensed as his young lookout on the barn roof began a mental countdown.

Nine. The number passed through his mental shields like osmosis, a neat trick that Niall had not mastered. Pwyll was a seriously talented telepath.

Seven.

On five, Niall released the pin.

On three, he drew back his arm.

One.

Niall stepped out and hurled the grenade high into the air. He dived to the ground and rolled behind the building. For a split second, he thought he had escaped unseen and unscathed. A quick body check revealed a circular blade embedded in his thigh. A searing agony from the severed muscle in Miach’s leg threatened to cut out his mental shields.

“Shit!”

The shock wave from the exploding grenade drowned out his curse. Sweat beaded on his brow. Pwyll dropped down beside him and they both ducked beneath the meager cover the stone building afforded them. Niall choked back a cry of pain.

The pulse mines detonated by the shock frequency obliterated every unprotected ear in range, and would, in theory, knock their enemy unconscious en masse. The agony torturing Miach’s central nervous system was a good indicator their ear protection worked.

“Your leg,” Pwyll mouthed, pointing at the semicircle of blade sticking out of Niall’s thigh.

For a moment Niall forgot why he couldn’t hear him. Then he took out his ear-plugs as sweat broke out on his forehead. His leg burned like fire.

“Don’t take it out,” he said when Pwyll moved to grasp it. The razor-sharp blade was cutting deep into muscle tissue, possibly a major artery. “Don’t want to bleed out. Rip your shirt up. Then we wait for the falc’hun. Let a healer deal with it.”

Pwyll gave him a strip of his shirt.  Niall tied a tourniquet above the angry wound then banged the back of his head on the shed to help him think.

He nodded to the corner of the building. “Take a quick look and tell me what you see.”

The kid moved so fast Niall wondered that he saw anything at all.

“Everything is quiet. Do you think they are waiting for us to check they are dead?”

“Maybe, which is why we’re gonna sit tight and wait for the falc’hun.” They sat quietly for several moments. “At least we have falc’huns,” Niall added.

The young Asterean guard snorted; even rookies knew about the enforced ground surveillance at Zorachi Plains when the magnetic grid shifted. Niall’Kearey had instigated new protocols for navigation updates. Astereal would not be without air support for so long again.

Although . . .  Niall thought about it, the grid would become increasingly unstable as Alignment approached.

Pwyll remained nervously watchful. “They were close enough to get you,” he explained, his voice little more than a whisper.

The boy would go far. Good instincts. Fire shot up Niall’s leg. Fuck. Mustn’t. Scream. Think of something else. “Are those mines as good as I’m told?”

Pwyll grinned. “Better.”

Niall nodded. Miach would be fine. Asterean weaponry might suck—with the possible exception of these pulse mines—but their healers were second to none. At least he could report his host’s nervous system fully intact and functional. They both heard the approaching whine at the same time.

Niall released a chunk of lower lip from between his teeth. “Exfil’s here.”

The familiar words churned the permanent knot in Miach’s gut. The falc’hun wouldn’t take Niall home. Nor find his family.

~oOo~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 Jan 2014

Curran Geist – The Sity

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Early on in my blog days I kept coming across the memorable name Curran Geist and “The Sity” which seemed to reap great reviews and admirati0n everywhere. Not a huge fan of Science Fiction I took some time to finally download the book and read it, but curiosity got the better of me. I am glad I did. Here is the verdict and an interview with Curran.

“The Sity” by Curran Geist is a gripping futuristic, interstellar thriller in which three armed green skinned aliens called Kuljiks are ruling the world. Acid rain is making the word less habitable and our story features a kind of circus where humans are being shown on display and made to fight each other.
Carina escapes and hides in a sanctuary where she learns about a time where humans were masters of the world. Victor has helped her but in the process has become a target himself. The only way is to form an army and fight back.
This is great action with some deeper psychological edge to it. It is not just a well done science fiction opus with action and suspense it has also great characters, depth a message relevant independent of its futuristic setting. I loved the ending and am looking forward to finding out where the series is going from here.
If you love sci-fi…you will love The Sity! This is book one of a planned series of four.

Summary:

Victor’s memory has been damaged from months of torture and enslavement. But there’s one thing they couldn’t steal from him…the hope of finding his lost family. Carina is haunted by strange visions and the symbols etched into her skin. She will stop at nothing to discover her true identity.

In this tale of survival and vengeance, two young humans fight back against the oppression of an alien race called the Kuljik. Dangers and unspeakable horrors lie around every corner of the Sity, a violent metropolis where enslaved humans are abused for the pleasure of the aliens. Victor and Carina are both blessed with mysterious supernatural powers and represent humanity’s best hope to escape. Will their personal demons cause them to unravel as they forge the destiny of their futures?

Can friendship, community, and even love survive in the darkest of worlds? Dreams are dashed and nightmares are realized in this Sci-Fi Fantasy novel by author Curran Geist.

BIO:

Curran Geist grew up in the quaint town of Schwenksville, PA. As a home educated student, Curran often lived within books and his vibrant imagination allowed him to escape to fictional worlds beyond the tiny town where he was raised. Writing is and has always been Curran’s passion. By the age of 12, he had already begun writing novels. This included a series called Captured and a children’s book The Ultrasaurus That Was Afraid of Heights. As a teenager, he won multiple youth poetry competitions and started his own independent art newsletter entitled In-Between Dreams.

While studying Religion at Gettysburg College, Curran participated in numerous poetry slams. Human rights has also always been very important to Curran as evidenced through his experience in the Americorps, with Amnesty International, and at the Museum of Tolerance New York. In writing his first self-published novel THE SITY, Curran Geist has merged his love of science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres with his belief in combatting social injustices. THE SITY paints a dystopian, post-apocalyptic, extraterrestrial landscape that mirrors many modern day social issues, including: the exploitation of children, sexual slavery, and cruelty towards animals. The lead characters embark on a harrowing journey of survival and vengeance while trying to unravel the mysteries of their pasts and forge a destiny to save humanity. Curran Geist received his Master’s Degree at Hunter College in New York City.

Interview with Curran:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person. Curran Geist

I am a quirky idealist with lots of different sides to my personality.

People have commented that I have a unique writing style. I love that because I see myself as a unique person. I don’t really fit into any boxes, and I don’t think my writing fits into any one genre or category. My writing does, however, reflect the complexity of being human and the best and worst in people. 

What made you decide to write science fiction and The Sity in particular?

I’ve been writing fiction since I was a little kid. I wrote my first sci-fi novel when I was thirteen. I always used to say that the most exciting thing about my hometown was the public library. I lived within the books there and eventually began writing myself. Writing and publishing a novel, whether independently or traditionally, has always been something on my bucket list. Of course, I don’t plan on dying any time soon. Knock on wood. However, I decided a few years ago to really focus my energy and get back to the thing I love most – writing. That, of course, led to The Sity.

Tell us a little about the history of the book. How did you have the inspiration for your story and your characters?


The Sity is considered sci-fi, however, it is inspired by moral issues in the real world, including child slavery, terrorism, and animal abuse. About six years ago, I spoke with a former child soldier by the name of Ishmael Beah. He wrote a memoir of his traumatic experiences. His story resonated with me on the cycle of violence and impact of war on young lives. My own book started out as a three-page comic spread that I drew of an enslaved child. I then decided to turn it into a novel.

How much of the stories was fixed before you started writing and how much changed during the process?


I start with an outline of the major plot points for each chapter. However, the story has changed quite significantly through the writing process. For me, the characters are like real people. So it’s an organic process, where I will let the characters’ personalities dictate the decisions they make. This might cause drastic shifts in the direction of the book. For example, a very early conversation in the novel, which was supposed to be pleasant and civil, turned hostile due to the volatile emotions of the protagonist.

Which of your characters was most enjoyable to write?
 Who would play them in a film?

It was actually quite fun to write one of the smaller characters, Qhoro. Although he’s only in a few parts, they are all quite significant. I think Ryan Gosling would be great for that role. My wife would be very happy with that casting. She is quite the fan of Gosling.

Are you like any of the characters in the book?

Sure, I am like all the best aspects of the characters. Just kidding. I do think there are aspects of myself in some of the characters. A key theme in The Sity is how people reconcile with their pasts and self doubts. I see a bit of myself in Victor and Logan.


What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

Right now writing is my priority. However, I also spend my time being a good uncle to a two-year old, taking care of my pets, cooking for my wife, and getting my heart broken by my hometown Philadelphia sports teams.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favorite books/ films/ albums?

Many readers have mentioned that they think The Sity would be great as a comic book. It’s interesting, because my writing is very much influenced by comics, such as the Walking Dead and The Watchmen. I would say one of my favorite films is Lord of the Rings and my favorite album is In Utero by Nirvana.

What are your views on independent publishing?

I think indie publishing is great because it gives more authors a chance to get their stories out into the world. There are just so many barriers to break through in the traditional route. Some really great books would never have seen the light of day if not for indie publishing.      

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?


Any book by Christoph Fischer. Ok, no more kissing up. I recently read a great indie horror book called Small Things by Joe DeRouen.

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

Best quality is probably my helpfulness to others, whether friend or stranger. Oddest quality is that I talk to animals as if they are humans. For example, some times I will wave at dogs and say “Hi”.

 

What are your favorite animal/ color/ outdoor activity?

Otters, purple, tennis

What would you take to a remote island?


I’m not a big fan of remote islands. I prefer to be around people and mountains. I also don’t like the heat and most islands are hot. This might be a boring answer, but I would mostly think of my survival. So number one, I would take some type of water purifier bottle and cutting tool.

 

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?


George R.R. Martin. I’m tired of waiting for his next book and hopefully he’ll tell me some spoilers. Plus, his favorite food is barbeque, and I like that, too.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?


I am working on The Sity: Book Two and hope for it to be done some time this spring. You can follow my progress on my website http://thesity2012.wordpress.com.

Last year, I also launched an independent art website called In-Between Dreams at http://dreamsinbetween.wordpress.com. This online newsletter includes poetry, short stories, drawings, and photos from a variety of indie artists. I invite you to check it out or to even submit your own work.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?


Something random about me is that I often get mistaken for Jimmy Fallon. I wish I was as funny as him! Regarding my book, I would just say read it. If Sci-Fi is not usually your cup-of-tea, I think you’ll find that my novel is really a mixture of many different genres. Ultimately, it is about relationships and the power of people to overcome inner demons and achieve their destinies.

BOOK LINKS:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sity-Curran-Geist-ebook/dp/B008MNR49W

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sity-Curran-Geist-ebook/dp/B008MNR49W

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sity-curran-geist/1112181856

http://thesity2012.wordpress.com

@CGeist_thesity

 

09 Jan 2014

Terry Reid: “Crashing down to Earth”

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“Crashing Down to Earth (Part One)” by Terry Reid is a hugely entertaining paranormal story about the relationship between Hayley and her Guardian Angel Alex.
Although Alex has a lot of ‘regular’ angel attributes and behaviour he often appears all too human, which makes him a really great and often unpredictable character. He fights demons and protects Hayley but not all of his actions are approved by the ‘Elders’, who summon him for help in a much bigger plot.
Having insight into both Hayley’s and Alex’s perspective through the omniscient point of view enables the reader to understand more clearly where the two of them are coming from and for me this added to the charm of the novel.
The book is written with fresh and realistic dialogue, the plot moves fast and sets us up for the next part in the series. There are plenty of surprises and unexpected events as we follow the many likeable characters through the smaller problems and bigger adventure.
In a market almost saturated with paranormal and supernatural books to me this is a refreshing and welcome addition to the genre

Interview with Terry:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.

I mainly write fantasy and science fiction novels but I do try to give them a realistic feel as much as possible (as silly as that sounds, I know). As for myself, I live in Dumfries in southern Scotland and have done so for a number of years now. I work full time, so sometimes it’s hard to juggle the job and finding the time to write. I also enjoy painting and running as hobbies.

What made you become a writer? Have you always written?

I have always written, ever since I was a child. Although it has only been this last year that I’ve felt confident enough to release novels. It’s always been my first passion.

Where did you get the inspiration to write about a guardian angel?

It actually came from a dream I had about seven years ago now. Alex was modelled on someone I met in my dream. There’s actually a train scene early on in the prequel to Crashing Down to Earth, Stars and Satellites, which is based on this dream.

Do you see the angel component as religious or simply paranormal?

I see the angel element as simply being paranormal. I’m not a religious person and I only wrote the book for entertainment only. It doesn’t carry any religious messages and it’s not intended to step on anyone’s beliefs. It’s just a bit of fun!

How did the character come to you and why did you decide to write him so human? 7803_161852973986944_1203517126_n

As previously mentioned, Alex was based on a dream. Alex was written the way he is so he can gel easier with the other, human characters. Although there are settings I have thrown in when he will say and do things that will remind the reader that he is not. Also, he needed to be relatable on some level.

Who would play the characters in the movie – if you could chose any actor?

Hayley would ideally need someone who is brunette and a bit feisty – Natalie Portman might be a good choice. As for Alex, Jake Gyllenhaal might fit the bill if he dyed his hair black.

Do you have a favourite genre to read yourself?

Yes, my favourite genre is fantasy. But I do read others.

Tell us a little about the history of “Crashing Down to Earth”. How long did it take you to write and publish?

It took about eight months from concept to the finished product but it was a hard slog. The sequel will likely take longer to finish as it will be a longer book. I started the sequel in June and I’m about two third or the way through.

How do readers respond to the book?

Feedback has generally been positive (thankfully), which is nice after the slamming I’ve received for previous books.

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

The easiest part to write was the characters. The hardest had to be the ending, as it is the first of a two part story. The last chapter in Crashing Down to Earth was originally going to feature at the start of the sequel but I felt it would leave a little too many unanswered questions for readers, so in it went!

What are your next projects?

The next project is Crashing Down to Earth (Part Two), which I am currently writing.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My life’s quite boring most of the time but it has its moments. I have a large family, which keeps me busy, as I see them a lot. As previously mentioned, I enjoy running long distances. I also paint and I read books. I also play video games, but I’m not sure which next gen console to get just now.

What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

I really like the Song of Ice and Fire books (Game of Thrones as they’re known to the masses). My favourite films include How to Train Your Dragon, The Shawshank Redemption and a ton of other ones I can’t remember right now.

What are your views on independent publishing? 472044_105804122925163_1814082543_o

Independent publishing gives authors a lot more control over their books but it also means a lot more work. If you’re not sure about marketing (like I was when I first started), it is best to speak to people who have gone down this avenue for advice. It does take a lot of hard work.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

I would recommend Travis Luedke’s Nightlife Series and CJ Sullivan’s Wings of the Divided. They’re some of my favourites.

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

They would tell you that I’m odd, full stop. (Lol) What is your favourite animal/ colour? My favourite animals are dogs. I grew up with them and I’ve always had them around. I’m not sure if I have a favourite colour but I do like red and blue.

What would you take to a remote island?

A knife, a box of matches, a fishing rod and a tent. Who would you like to invited for dinner and why? I can’t say it’s something I’ve ever really considered. Sorry! I know that is such a boring answer!

 I sometimes post updates on my author Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTerryReid or on

Twitter @AuthorTerryReid

Amazon: http://bookShow.me/B00EF7XIXK

08 Oct 2013

Ben Manning: The Vril Codex

2 Comments Book Reviews

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Vril is a force which to its believers can heal or destroy.’ For famous journalist Jane Wilkinson, a peaceful architectural assignment in Berlin is a chance for some much needed relaxation. Until she notices that something very sinister is happening… she is touched by an occult evil more terrifying than anything she has ever known. An evil that will engulf her and reach out remorselessly to her husband Bob who is literally haunted as he tries to discover her fate and what lies beneath the ancient legend of the VRIL CODEX’
Part romance, part conspiracy thriller, involving Nazi’s, and the mysterious cults of the “Thule Society,” and the “Devils Bible.” Supernatural forces and conspiracies combine, leading Bob and his companions into danger and a confrontation with the ancient Vril power’.

“The Vril Codex” by Ben Manning is an unsual and to me a highly original read.
While the main protagonist is a widower and tries to overcome his grief with a work trip to Berlin, the plot edges into paranormal area and sheds light on some supernatural cult around Hitler and his hardcore followers.
I have read quite a few stories and articles about it, all handled as rumours, but their existence is so persistent that the plot – speculative conspiracy as it may be – sounds very plausible to me.
The book is well written and held my interest throughout.
The most pleasant aspects of the book are that the characters are so real and believable, more dimensional and that the storyline is far from flat, as I find so often with books in the genre.
I found it a compelling and fascinating read.

 

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Hi Ben

Your novel has quite an unusual theme. Can you explain it to my readers quickly. How did you hear about it and when did you decide to write this story?

Sure I was influenced to write this novel series  – the Vril Chronicles – by reading “Morning of the Magicians”- a cult new age book that covered everything from secret societies to the unexplained.  It was strangely written and published back in 1962 ish but influenced me as did a rather tacky but interesting history channel documentary aired in 2009.  It was in 09 that I completed my first draft, which I rewrote at author workshops in 2010.  Then I got it published in 2011 and 2012 but the final edition with a reputable publisher has come out in 2013. 

How did you research for it? Especially since so much of the information is contested. What was the most fascinating aspect in the research and the writing for you?

I enjoyed travelling to Germany a lot and finding obscure libraries and meeting characters that influenced the book.  To be honest the internet was useful but I enjoyed meeting real people such as Anthony J Hilder who is probably the most unusual conspiracy theorist out there with a fascinating past in entertainment. I also wrote off to lots of obscure people and cults to differentiate what I was writing with what’s really out there, when it comes to Vril.  There are some rare books on the subject but not a lot is out there.  Not many people realize the esoteric traits of Hitler and especially Himmler, either with the Vril Society or the Thule Society or the Black Sun.  There is some on youtube and many obscure pamphlets were printed about it after the war.        

Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?

Well the plot was kind of roughly planned but I added to it as I went along. I knew nothing much had been written on Vril and the Nazi’s but paranormal Nazi’s have been written on a lot – from Indiana Jones to James Herbert – so I wanted to create my own myths and figures rather than just using Norse myth and Hitler.  That would have been obvious; they were just the starting point.  Hence my characters such as Helena Hister and the whole mythos around that, that I invented. More recently there have been a few more vril novels out there but it is still few and far between.  There are hundred on the spear of destiny and the Nazi’s for example. As I often say – mine was the first ever on vril and the nazi’s – a fact I am proud of.    

This is part of a series. How many books will there be and can you tell us where this will be going – without any spoilers?

Well part 2 was self-published in 2012 but that will have a proper final release, possibly with Double Dragon Publishing.  That is set in Dresden and is called the Dresden Benefactor.  It is more of a mystery and the one I am working on right now is more of a thriller perhaps.  

How did you choose the characters for the story?

I wanted characters people could relate to.  It is hard trying to be original because you have to produce characters that are familiar so to an extent they have to be based on universal types.  I did base Warwick Blake – a psychic archaeologist – on the late Michael Baigent who was co-author of “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail”. 

How did you come to writing in the first place? Apart from this historically themed blend did you have other genres in mind, too?

I wouldn’t call the Vril series historical fiction as it is set in the present but yes there are historical elements.  I did think of making it more science fiction like because of the aliens and UFO’s but then the whole vril universe is very “Fantasy” too – couple that with the fact that there are paranormal romance elements and crime thriller ones that we have one of the strength’s to critics a possible weakness .  It is primarily a thriller but does genre hop.  But why not break the rules?!  

I wrote short stories as a small child and poetry (cringe!) and as a teen and in my twenties mainly did journalism.  Then in my thirties I decided to turn to novels as I felt the need to be creative. 

Who is your favourite character and why?

Warwick Blake- 

This is simply because he is an interesting outsider.  I imagine him portrayed by Michael Gambon. 

Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?

Yes –

I guess Bob is loosely based on me.  Make of that what you will!

Did you have any say in the cover art and who was that process?

To be honest both covers came largely from my idea.  I still do not think there has been a definitive cover and vril 2 and 3 are yet to have a professional cover done.  I do like vril codex’s second “alien” cover most which I designed with Riley Steel. 

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

Best aspect is when people like it and the worse is when people don’t but then no writer in history is liked by everyone.  I love the creative highs but I don’t like the writer’s block lows.  I am also dyslexic which makes me a slow writer. 

How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?

With difficulty!  I know the internet has opened up some opportunities but it is also a boon to criminal publishers.  I worked in marketing and part of me is repulsed by mixing it with my creative side.  In the past, if you had the money to self-publish  – pre web – marketing had to be done by the writer or paid for.  These days whether you self – publish or go with a publisher you still have to promote which is kind of a shame as it used to be more the domain of marketing at the publishers.  

What do you do when you don’t write?

I am a keen actor. 

What would be the cast in a Hollywood or British film?

Michael Gambon or Bill Nighy as Warwick

Rufus Sewell as Bob – depending on budget!  If not – me! 

Romola Garai as Jane

Who are your biggest influences?

Rod Serling

Alfred Hitchcock

Roald Dahl

Gothic Horror

M.R James

Hammer Horror and Amicus  – Vincent Price, Peter Cushing ect…

Which are your favourite books and authors?

I have always loved I Claudius by Robert Graves.

Other favourites are Douglas Adams, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Herbert and Isaac Asimov.

I would also pick Roald Dahl as an author and Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a poet.
Dahl always fascinated me with his short stories for “Tales of the unexpected” on the TV from “someone like you” and “kiss kiss” – but what im most impressed by is that he could write, horror, humour –in a book like “my uncle Oswald” and for children with stories like “Charlie and the chocolate factory”. I think he understood the way people think – in terms of how children feel and react and also the very adult world of intrigue, where there is always a moral twist. A tribute I wrote to both him and Coleridge is at the Roald Dahl museum here in the UK.

ST Coleridge – I would love to know his theories on the universe and life in general, as well as the subconscious and life after death.  Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner is incredible and I used to work at his cottage where he lived in 1797 and wrote it. 

Douglas Adams – “The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy” 
Aldous Huxley –”Brave new World”

Voltaire – “Candide”  *** Charles Dickens –”A Christmas Carol” *** George Orwell – 1984

 *** Edgar Allen Poe – Murders in the Rue Morgue *** Mary Shelley – Frankenstein.

Which indie writers can you recommend?

Terry Ravenscroft.  His books make me laugh a lot. 

What would you take to an isolated island?

A cat

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

David Bowie

What else would you like us to know about yourself and your books?

I am in a forthcoming major horror film called “Zombie Snuff Movies”  and I am interviewed in the major magazine “Haunted after Dark” who are sponsors of the British Horror film festival held in Leicester Square, London. 

Links –

http://vrilcodex.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vril-Codex/151342004886833
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vril-Codex-Fanpage/192024584186066
Twitter – “@TheVrilCodex”

New from DOUBLE DRAGON publishing…the number one award winning publisher…the VRIL Codex…a paranormal thriller and the first to ever be written on vril and the Nazi’s…conspiracies and norse myth…

http://www.amazon.com/The-Vril-Codex-ebook/dp/B00EPQT0GA/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1377430967&sr=8-1&keywords=vril+codex

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Vril-Codex-ebook/dp/B00EPQT0GA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377432705&sr=8-1&keywords=vril+codex

 

 

 

 

 

 

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