Indie Author Feature: Chris Reher

Hello, all!

Today comes with an interview! Chris Reher is the author many wonderful books, all of which I encourage you to check out, and she’s here today to discuss Entropy’s End!

-M

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Entropy

Tell us a little about this release – what inspired it, which characters were your favorites, what surprised you while writing it?

Entropy’s End is another adventure for Sethran Kada, who appeared in two previous stories. He’s just too interesting to fly off into the sunset just yet and so I gave him his own story which has received enthusiastic feedback from readers. This one, like the others, is a stand-alone story but a third book will pull things together into a trilogy.

The books of the Targon Tales revolve around a hundred-year old conflict between a colonizing Commonwealth and those who rebel against it. In this story, I wanted to take a look at a rebel’s point of view. She becomes his challenge as he once again saves the day. In some ways, current conflicts on our own planet were the inspiration for this.

As always, I ask myself: are we really the good guys? Are those rebels really evil terrorists and, if not, what makes them do what they do? Are some of them just victims of circumstance? This theme runs through all of my books, but this time a rebel is one of the main characters.

What Author(s) or Works first inspired you to write? Who inspires you now?

Margaret Atwood, for her use of language. I can only wish for such talent. Hugh Howey because he’s a cool guy. Larry Niven because of Ringworld and other really neat concepts. Anne McCaffery for her wonderful characters, specifically The Rowan who, in retrospect, served as a model for my main female protagonist. This reminds me that I need to replace my very tattered copy of her Get Off The Unicorn. Right now I’m inspired by writers who step out of the genre, or take it to another place. Michael Bunker and his Amish sci-fi is one of them.
Tell us about you – what do you do to unwind and relax? What are your hobbies?

Besides trying to remember to water my tomatoes, my way to relax is to learn things. Seriously. Thank goodness for the Internet. I can pick up a story and something in it will lead me to look up more detail, starting with basic sources like Wikipedia. Before you know it, I’m reading scientific papers. Most recently, I learned a great deal about President Johnson’s administration (and I’m Canadian!).

I think if some law enforcement agency ever examined my search history I’d be in great trouble. Good thing I can tell them I’m a writer and had to look up chlorine gas, mass extinction, dirty bombs, planet-wide exfoliation schemes, and laser weapons. I wish we found a better way to teach children. Instead of making them remember the gross national product of Lithuania, we ought to just let them explore. Eventually they’ll come across Eastern Europe, I’m sure.

I list links on my web site that offer factual information about the scientific concepts and inspirations I’ve used in my stories. Invariably, I get sucked into learning about quantum physics, space elevators, panspermia and neurology when doing research, even if I don’t dwell on these concepts in my book. So I think my readers may want to learn more, too.

Where can we find your work?

All of my books are listed on my web site at www.chrisreher.com along with excerpts and where to find them online.

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Questions for Chris? Leave a comment below!

Indie Author Feature: Tammy Salyer

Gentle Readers –

I have a very exciting feature for you today: today is release day for the Spetras Arise trilogy by Tammy Salyer! I have a little bit about the book below, and hope you will head over to Amazon to check it out!

-M

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Tammy Salyer

About Tammy

Tammy writes a bit, reads a bit, and frequently races cars across intersections from the saddle of her bike. Consequently, you could probably crack walnuts shells on her thighs, but she hopes no one ever tries, because … awkward. Find her on her blog (www.tammysalyer.com) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/tammysalyer), or sign up for her newsletter (http://eepurl.com/Trzh1) to be the first to know of contests, new releases, and special events you might enjoy. She’s currently working on a prequel to the trilogy and another project that has something to do with space Vikings. She hopes you enjoy reading her works and welcomes your reviews.

About the Spectras Arise Trilogy

Contract of Defiance, Contract of Betrayal, and Contract of War follow heroine Aly Erikson and her crew of anti-Admin smugglers through an ever-escalating glut of life-and-death adventures and trials of a living on the side of liberty and freedom—whether they agree with the law or not—in the far future of the Algol star system. As former Corps members, most are no strangers to fighting and dissent, but more than anything, they want to spend their lives flying under the radar without control or interference from the system’s central government, The Political and Capital Administration of the Advanced Worlds. But the Admin’s greed-drenched dualism of power and corruption has other plans, and throughout the series, Aly and her crew are reminded of one lesson time and again: when all other options run out, never let go of your gun.

Contract of War begins in the aftermath of the system-wide war between the Admin and Corp Loyalists and the non-citizen population of the Algols, where everything once resembling order has been leveled. Scattered enclaves of survivors dot the worlds, living, however they can, in snarled lawlessness. Aly and her crew have carved out a niche of relative peace, doing their best to go on with their lives through salvaging, scavenging, and stealing. But with no force left to keep the lid on the pot, the pressures of chaos and discord soon cause conflicts to boil over. As enemies close in from all directions, even, sometimes, from within, the crew once again must fight—not just for survival, not just for their way of life, but this time for a future that can finally lay to rest the system’s bloody and savage past.

To learn more about the series and her other projects, visit former 82nd Airborne paratrooper and author Tammy Salyer at www.tammysalyer.com.

Where to Find the Books

Grab all three novels in the trilogy while they’re on sale for 99 cents each through August at Amazon {amazon.com/author/tammysalyer}, Apple {http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/tammy-salyer/id519481023?mt=11}, Barnes and Noble {http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/tammy-salyer}, Kobo [http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/Search?query=Spectras%20Arise%20Trilogy&fcsearchfield=Series}, Libiro {http://www.libiro.com/}, and PayHip {http://payhip.com/TammySalyer}.

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Comments? Congratulations to Tammy? Leave a comment below!

If you have another author you’d like to see featured, email me at moirakatson at gmail dot com to let me know!

M

 

Amazon vs. Hachette

Gentle Readers,

You may be aware that there is an ongoing dispute between Amazon and a publisher named Hachette. There is much speculation over the terms of the dispute, and proponents of both sides are claiming that the other is hurting authors.

I want to state my own stance up front:

Hachette Amazon

This means authors, and it also means editors, copy editors, publicists, agents, IP lawyers, cover artists, and many, many more people. If you keep buying books, I promise that the future of publishing is very bright, whether or not it includes either of the two companies involved.

Now, a few points that I don’t see coming up much:

  • Battle lines were already drawn before this dispute, so the waters are not only muddied with preexisting loyalties and dislike, but also with preexisting disputes (treatment of authors, diversity in publishing, quality of books, anything and everything). Publishing today is a web of allegiances, generally with traditionally published authors siding with Hachette and self-published authors siding with Amazon, although there are exceptions.
  • No one knows what this dispute is over except Hachette and Amazon – and both are bound by a confidentiality agreement during this time. While it seems fairly likely that the dispute is at least partially over book pricing, no one who is writing articles has the full details.
  • I personally believe that inefficient distribution channels and outdated stocking methods, among other things, have created a system in which ebook prices are kept artificially high to compensate for other losses – the largest component of a print book price is the cost of printing the book, so ebook prices on par with print prices are a bit weird
  • All evidence is anecdotal (there are a few studies about whether self pubbed or trad pubbed authors are happier with their situation, but nothing definitive), so all I have is my own experience: the disruptive publishing technology harnessed by Amazon and other companies has allowed me to make a budding career doing something I love. Amazon, in particular, has been easy to work with: clear in its terms of agreement, with easy-to-use technology, and comfortable providing me with stats on how my books are selling. (Some of the other systems are a real pain in the butt to use.) If you’re looking for an example of an author who has enjoyed traditional publishing, I would suggest reading John Scalzi’s blog, as he’s quite well-spoken and explains why he feels he’s gotten a good deal.
  • You will see a lot of bandying about royalty rates – some trad publishers arguing that Amazon can’t or won’t continue their high royalty rates, self publishers arguing that traditional publishers don’t give authors enough. The problem is that the dispute over royalty rates is not an exact parallel:
    • Authors who publish via traditional routes are given editing, cover art, distribution, formatting, etc., and the reduced royalty rate reflects the fact that many people are involved in the process
    • Costs for self-published authors are accrued through different channels and are taken outside the mechanism of royalties
    • It seems unlikely to me that traditional publishers set out to screw their authors, and it also seems unlikely that a bargain struck between a new author and a publishing company will be made with both parties on equal footing – generally speaking, the party with hundreds of lawyers has a leg up 😉  The truth is probably somewhere in the middle between “screw over” and “idyllic communal happy times,” just as it is with Amazon. Neither Hachette nor Amazon is in the business solely because they love books or because they want nothing more than to pay authors, but I don’t think the employees of either companies sit about rubbing their hands and cackling over how much they can extort their authors, either.
    • It is highly unlikely that Amazon will ever have the market power to establish itself as the sole publishing vector in the world and then screw over every author and reader – they’ll topple and fall before that happens. I mean, to do that you’d have to control the internet, and the FCC would never allow a company to … hmmm …
    • Seriously, though, Amazon has competitors waiting in the wings, willing and able to take it out at the knees if it becomes some crazy monolith
  • Following from the last point, if you enjoy books by a certain author and are comfortable with the price set on purchasing their work, do so. You are the only person who can make that calculation, and if you enjoy the books produced by Hachette and find the finished product worth the price, then please by all means DO compensate the author, editors, cover artists, formatters, secretaries, interns, and all other involved parties. Likewise with self-published authors and their helpers.
  • Likewise, if you think the price ISN’T worth it, well, don’t spend your money and DO speak up so that the publisher knows why you aren’t buying.

I know it seems hopelessly naive to cry, “but can’t we all just get along?” But, honestly…we’re all here because we love books: writing them, reading them, editing or advertising them, making art for them. Hachette and Amazon are locked in a battle of wills on a grand scale, but the rest of us have two options:

  1. Make dramatic posts siding with one or the other and decry the future of publishing if the opponent wins
  2. Continue to make rational decisions regarding price and value of books, and consume media accordingly

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got, I’m off to read Ancillary Justice.

-M

P.S. Happy 4th, American readers!

 

The Reading List (and News!)

Fullcover_for_internetA poll! Right off! If you had your choice of the following to be revealed first for Novum, which would you pick?

  • Cover
  • Character Artwork
  • Music

Leave a comment, and next Monday, the group vote wins!

Moving onwards, your friend neighborhood author has dived into a pile of books with wild abandon. First Earth’s Last Citadel, then Consider Phlebas, The Headmaster’s Wife, and Seating Arrangements. On my kindle now are The Privilege of the Sword, The Martian and How Not to Write a Novel!

I’ve got a varied and wondrous pile of things to work through in the near future, including:

…and that’s only a sliver! I’m also playing through Halo and Titanfall, as well as FFVI and FF Tactics, and have been told to watch Sherlock, Orphan Black, and Modern Family. (One of these things is not like the others, but I love me some comedy!)

As for the news …

Yours truly is working on the story and dialogue for a videogame! My goodness, yes! For now, the details remain deliciously mysterious, but there will be a blaze of concept art, story fragments, and gameplay demos coming along in the next couple of months. Stay tuned!

-M

Review: As the Crow Flies

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Hello, Gentle Readers!

A few months ago, I interviewed indie author Robin Lythgoe, and I am pleased to announce that this week, her book As the Crow Flies will be on sale on Amazon! Read onwards for a review!

As the Crow Flies is, at the heart of it, an adventure tale centered around the scrappy and self-sufficient Crow, a renowned thief. His enemies (to wit, a law-keeper named Tanris), his major weakness (his love for a dancer named Tarsha), and one fairly psychotic wizard (a noble named Duzayan), have all collided, sending Crow traipsing off into the middle of nowhere after a magical artifact, with a poison-ensured deadline on his activities, and his least favorite person (Tanris again) as an unwilling participant. In a nutshell, all the two have to do is get to the middle of nowhere without getting killed by bandits, find the artifact, defeat the incredibly powerful guardians of the artifact, bring it back to Duzayan, and hope that he decides not to just kill both of them and their loved ones.

Unless, as the synopsis points out, they come up with a better plan…

What I enjoyed: As the Crow Flies has plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. There were several events I did not see coming at all, which helped keep the story interesting and fresh. The dialogue was snappy (if occasionally veering a bit modern) and our protagonists well-rounded characters. Duzayan, if he did not possess unexpected depths and backstory, was a very good power-crazed, diabolical maniac. The story wrapped up on a satisfying note, with plenty of room for more adventures, but no cliff-hangers!

What I enjoyed a little less: I got a little muddled with how much time was passing at any given point in the book, and there was a definite cluster of events at the very end while everything tied together, which oddly caused a bit of a slog, meaning that the ending was not as snappy as the rest of the book. In addition, I felt like one or two characters had disappointing endings; I had high hopes for one of them in particular, who disappeared about halfway through and returned as a minor antagonist. Oops.

Overall: I heartily recommend this book. I had a great time reading it, the issues were very minor, and there were were some touching moments. Also, there’s a lot of potential for sequels. Lythgoe is a talented author, and I am looking forward to her new releases! (She participated in NaNoWriMo, so we can hold out hope that sequels will be on their way shortly!) While it’s a holiday and you’re incredibly stressed and just trying to get to New Years…why not do so with a book you can read? 😉

You can find As the Crow Flies here (on sale, as mentioned above!), and Robin Lythgoe on Facebook here!

Updating-ness

writers are not normal

Hello, Gentle Readers, and welcome to a new week!

A few updates for you, and assorted coolness from around the web…

Comments, questions, concerns? Queries about Novum?

-M

7 Favorites Giveaway!

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Hello, Gentle Readers, and happy Friday!

Today I have something wonderful for you all: a giveaway and an indie author feature all wrapped into one! You see, just after I started planning the indie author features, the wonderful and talented Tammy Salyer suggested this blog hop – and it seemed just perfect! So today, I have not one, not two, but SIX other indie authors to show off to you all.

Keep reading for more cool information about each author and their work, and when you get done, leave a comment to be entered for a bundle of all seven giveaway books! (That’s right, all seven of them. This blog hop is just that cool.)

  • Tammy Salyer – not only is Tammy the coordinator of this shindig, she is an award-winning author, staunch supporter of indie authors, and an editor! Tammy will be giving away a copy of Contract of Defiance.
    • Contract of Defiance: In a few hundred years, the Algol system becomes humanity’s new home. The question is: is it a better one? When a crew of arms smugglers botches their latest job, Corps-deserter and crewmember, Aly Erikson, is separated from her brother, the only person she can trust, and left behind to fight for her life. In the aftermath, as she tries to piece together what happened, a crew of roughneck settlers pressgang her into a dangerous mission in the heart of Corps territory. Time is running out to get back everything she’s lost: her crew, her brother, and her options. But no one is taking her gun.
  • Ren Zelen – Edit: Ren is, unfortunately, unable to participate in the giveaway. However, I encourage you to check out The Hathor Diaries, to see if it’s something you might enjoy!
  • Scott Whitmore – a former sports writer and US Navy Officer who now writes speculative fiction with paranormal, steampunk, and hard SciFi elements. What’s that, you say? Awesomesauce? Agreed! Scott will be giving away a copy of The Devil’s Harvest.
    • The Devil’s Harvest – France, 1916: The Great War in Western Europe is at a stalemate with the Allies and Central Powers facing each other from muddy trenches on either side of the deadly No Man’s Land. To end the years of bloody warfare, the Germans plan to unleash the perfect weapon in a villainous attack that will guarantee an unconditional victory over France and Britain.Bullet-proof and impervious to shellfire, a horde of the undead is about to sweep over Europe in a wave of unrestrainable death. Except no one told the Germans two things: anyone killed by the bite of a zombie becomes a zombie … and zombies don’t pick sides.

      To stop the Germans, an elite team of British soldiers led by Major Daniel O’Brien set out on a daring raid behind enemy lines. But in war no plan survives intact, and when the Germans lose control of their perfect weapon O’Brien’s group, including two vampires and a raconteur dame, must fight their way aboard a highly-armed German airship to halt the spread of the zombie plague throughout Europe.

      The Devil’s Harvest, an action-packed Steampunk/paranormal thriller and the second book in The Carpathia Timeline, is set thirty years after the events of Carpathia.

  • Joseph Lallo – you may know Joseph from his bestselling Book of Deacon series, full of magic and adventure! Haven’t started it? The first book is free, yo! Get reading, get hooked, and then follow it up with Joseph’s giveaway book, Rise of the Red Shadow, which follows one of the main characters from Book of Deacon.
    • Rise of the Red Shadow: Every story must begin somewhere. For the warrior who would come to be known as the fearsome Red Shadow, the story began in a forgotten glade deep in the land of Tressor. It was there that a pair of trackers, eager to retrieve a lost slave, instead found an orphaned malthrope. Had it been a human, it might have been treated with compassion, but in the eyes of human society a malthrope was a monster, a mix of fox and man believed to be a murderer and thief by its very nature. The beast was to be sold for a handful of silver, but fate intervened in the form of an old blind slave named Ben. Under the learned hand of the one human who believed in his potential, the young malthrope would instead be given the wisdom to take his first steps on the long journey to his destiny.The Rise of the Red Shadow chronicles the early life of one of the most mysterious figures of the Book of Deacon trilogy, the creature called Lain. It tells of his years working and learning on a Tresson plantation until a dark day of vengeance and bloodshed finally set him free. From there you will follow as he finds his place in the world, learning what it is to be a malthrope, and turning to the purpose that will guide him for the rest of his days. It is a story of love, hate, and lessons hard-learned, revealing the painful choices one must make to become the hero the world needs.
  • Peter Lukes – Peter is a SciFi author who describes his latest protagonist as, “part Han Solo, part James Bond, and part Tony Soprano.” How can you resist that?
    • The Dominus Runes: Thomas Gianmarco likes his liquor strong, his women plentiful, and his friends well-armed. While the rest of the human race is barely surviving in the rubble of destroyed cities and scorched countrysides, he enjoys a life of debauchery through the spoils of his contraband empire.Until he kills a Commander of the Titan Army, capturing the attention of the overlords who have subjugated humanity. The supernatural forces are on the verge of war, and Gianmarco finds himself caught in the middle of powerful competing interests. Some want him dead, but others want him alive, and working for them. Will he be able to transform from rogue to rebel in order to survive?Gianmarco is a master at leveraging the perfect deal. But this time, he’s the item for sale, and the art of this deal could change the course of human civilization forever.
  • Isaac Hooke – Isaac will be giving away the whole of the Forever Gate Compendium, a SciFi series. Check out his blog to read about his experiences writing, reading, traveling, and more!
    • The Forever Gate Compendium: 3740 A.D. The ice age has immobilized the world. Colossal walls seal off the cities from the uninhabitable Outside. Humanlike entities called “gols” run society, and force the humans to wear collars that block the innate powers humankind has evolved.What one man will do to save the woman he loves could destroy his world.

Leave a comment below to be entered for the drawing to win! While you can only enter once here, you are absolutely allowed – nay, encouraged! – to enter at the other blogs as well! Happy reading, and I will announce the winner on October 24th (so make sure to leave your email address)!

-M

 

Welcome, Fussy Librarian Readers (and an update)!

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Welcome!

If you are here from the Fussy Librarian, thanks for stopping by, and take a look around!

For those of you who have not yet heard of the Fussy Librarian, it is a daily book email…with a twist! Not only do you tell them about the genres of books you enjoy, but also the levels of profanity, violence, and sex you are comfortable with. Also, that name is genius. You can sign up by going to www.thefussylibrarian.com

Now, an update: one of the best, but also most infuriating, talents for writers is the ability to know when the story is…lacking. After plotting out the Novum trilogy, I could not shake that feeling, and I have spent about a week at this point re-focusing each plot line, adding in or taking out elements until each one is not only super cool, but ends with a bang and not a whimper! I am extraordinarily pleased with the result, and I hope you will be, too, in a few months.

Shadow’s Reach is in its final stages! Look for an email sometime next week to tell you it’s been released!

I am working on the next Author Feature – if you have any requests, leave a comment below.

I hope fall (or spring, for readers in the southern hemisphere!) is going smashingly, gentle readers!

-M

Author Feature: Robin Lythgoe

FLASH-Sale as the crow flies robin lythgoe

For our second author feature, I am delighted to welcome Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies. Read onwards, learn a bit more about Robin, As the Crow Flies, and upcoming works! (And then, if you have decided that it has been too long since you’ve read an awesome epic fantasy story with thievery and plenty of twists and turns, I encourage you to snap up As the Crow Flies today, while it’s on sale!)

Robin lythgoe author photo
Can you tell us a little bit about where this story began for you? An image, a story fragment, or something else?
AS THE CROW FLIES started with the image of a man on a ledge—literally. He’s looking down from an upper story window into an icy, turbulent river, and he’s GOT to move. Now. Someone is coming after him! It’s windy and cold. His choices are few; which way does he go?
Tell us a little bit about your next work!
THE SHARPNESS OF THE KNIFE is the first in a series set in the world of Tairenth. It is more serious than Crow’s story, more emotional. Sherakai, the protagonist, is captured by a powerful mage with an ax to grind. Or maybe we should call it a blade? His goal is to make Sherakai over into a weapon that will earn him a prize he’s been denied. Sherakai is, understandably, disinclined to cooperate. I don’t want to call it a “coming of age” story because it is more than that, and covers a considerable period of time in Sherakai’s life, but I can say that there will be a good slice of the typical fantasy fare with my own twists and interpretations.
What is the book you buy extra copies of to give away to friends?
I have two at the moment (though that’s always subject to change!): The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams and Brood of Bones by A.E. Marling.
Who do you see as influences on your writing?
Tad Williams and A.E. Marling? Hehehe … I’m also a fan of Terry Goodkind, Robin Hobb, and is it possible for a fantasy reader and writer to be unaffected by J.R.R. Tolkien?
What do you do to unwind and relax, aside from writing?
I like to read and eat chocolate! I also like to take a break from the computer or e-reader screen, so hubby and I watch a little television together, and a new season with fun new fantasy and sci-fi shows has me geeking out. The real treat, though, is when my kids come over for dinner and games; our favorite is a version of Solitaire Frenzy, and it can be a little competitive!
What’s one thing about you that people might not guess from your writing?
Maybe … that I’m a fan of popera? (Operatic pop music)
What was the last book you bought?
Torrent (Rust & Relics, Book 1) by Lindsay Buroker. She got me hooked with her steampunk Emperor’s Edge books.
Which of your secondary characters has been your favorite to write?
Havoc Sadani. He will appear in the Tairenth books and, like his name suggests, he can be a little unpredictable and moody! He has a capricious sense of humor, his own definition of loyalty, and a bit of a temper. I look forward to introducing him to the world, but unfortunately he doesn’t appear in book one, but and there’s no fixing that. No, really. It’s impossible. Sad, but true …
And that’s all I have to say about that! Thanks so much for inviting me over, Moira!
You can find Robin on her website, on facebook, and on twitter, and you can find her books, including As the Crow Flies, over at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords!
Do you have a favorite author you’d like to see featured on this site? Contact me or leave a comment below! Happy reading! – M

Author Feature: Alexes Razevich

Alexes Razevich Author Photo Khe cover bright

When I decided that I wanted to feature other authors on the website, Alexes Razevich came to mind at once. At that point, we had never talked, but I had just picked up her debut novel, Khe, and I was impressed by the immersive writing and the incredibly detailed world! Alexes kindly agreed to be the very first featured author – and today I am pleased to present you with some details about Khe, Alexes’ next work, and her life outside of writing!

I loved the world and immersive quality of Khe. Can you tell us a little bit about where the story began for you?

This sounds almost silly, but Khe popped into my head fully formed with red skin and emotion spots, bald and earless, at work on the commune. Developing her world was a slower process. The greatest challenge was working with no human characters. Not only did the entire world—society, family relations, methods of reproduction, foods eaten—have to be developed solely from imagination, but the two sets of alien species had to be distinct and unique, yet close enough to us that the reader could relate. Once that was done, it was a matter of letting Khe and the others live in their world. It was such fun to discover how clever and determined Khe was, and to watch her come into her own.

Which of your secondary characters has been your favorite to write?

Marnka, without a doubt. She’s completely unfiltered. I keep wondering what happened to her. I’m planning to start the second Khe book next month, and hope to find out.

Tell us a little bit about your next work!

“Shadowline Drift” is a sort of paranormal tale set in the Amazonian rainforest. The main character, Jake Kendrick, is sent to negotiate with a local tribe for benesha—a mineral that holds the potential to end world hunger. He’s chosen not only because he’s good at his job, but because he and the tribe’s chief are both three and a half feet tall. He soon realizes that benesha is not the salvation of humanity, but a threat to its very existence. Blocking his escape to warn civilization are the dangerous jungle, a mysterious group of indigenous people, a teenage sorceress, a beautiful anthropologist – and madness. “Shadowline Drift” will be released in December.

What is the book you buy extra copies of to give away to friends?

It varies by the friend. I like to give books that fit someone’s preferences or is maybe just a little outside.

Who do you see as influences on your writing?

Tough question. Rather than a person, I think I’m influenced by originality and craft. When I read a great book, hear a wonderful piece of music, see great art, read about a scientist or someone working in his or her garage who’s made an amazing breakthrough or discovery, I think, Wow! I want to be that good at what I do. I’ll keep working and working until I get there.

What do you do to unwind and relax, aside from writing?

Read, of course. I love ice and roller hockey and play on several teams. During the professional season, days are spent writing and nights either playing or watching the pros, though I play all year round. I like to crochet, and usually have a project or two under construction.

What’s one thing about you that people might not guess from your writing?

That I’m in my sixties.

What was the last book you bought?

“Self-editing for Fiction Writers,” by Renni Brown.

Alexes Razevich is the author of Khe, available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can follow Alexes on Facebook and Twitter!