I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Eads recently for his Cracked Sky blog tour, and I’ll be writing a review of Ben’s debut novel later this month. It’s a great read I highly recommend you check out. Interview and buy links below. Be sure to drop by Ben’s site and pay him a visit also: http://beneadsfiction.com/
Ben Eads Interview
LB: What did you find was your biggest challenge when you started editing?
BE: Finding the best way of expressing to the author their options to fix a character’s motivation, development or whatever may be lacking. Also, being capable of giving them good examples. Some issues could be surgical and some may be larger. I love helping out my comrades-in-arms with critiques, edits, etc… I love the community and everyone pays it forward. We’re all in this together.
LB: What particular books and authors inspired you when writing Cracked Sky?
BE: I avoided reading while writing Cracked Sky. I didn’t want anything spilling out or imitating a “voice” sub-consciously. Whether I like it or not—ha!—I can’t ignore the influence of Lovecraft, Machen, Borgis, Philip K. Dick, Barker, Gaiman, etc… I think Barker’s The Great and Secret Show was the book I kept reminding myself of and the emotions it evoked. I’ll never forget that one.
LB: I’m a sucker for books that involve other dimensions. What drew you to this topic for Cracked Sky?
BE: Once the “movie-trailer” for Cracked Sky played in my head, I knew that death was not the end for this poor, four-year-old girl. Her parents have a heart-rending journey, and there is very little light at the end of that dark tunnel. Also, given the weight of the character’s emotions, it really wrote itself and went into that territory by necessity. I sincerely want to crank the reader’s imagination up as high as I can while connecting all the dots. It’s the kind of fiction I like to read and write. Sure, I’ve written some horror stories bereft the supernatural, but I’ll always try and push reader’s imaginations to new levels. Keyword being try. Ha!
LB: Your antagonist, Darrell, reminded me somewhat of Pennywise. What antagonists provided inspiration for creating Darrell?
BE: Pennywise is one of my all-time favorite creatures! King knocked that one out of the park. For Darrell, I really looked at the human condition itself, in extremis. The old phrase: One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter, kept coming to mind. Hitler, Pot, Stalin or any real-life monster never viewed themselves as evil. Quite the opposite. These are people that found a way to justify their atrocities and believed in them whole-heartedly. Once someone loses their faith in humanity, especially due to a great loss, like that of a child, they may be capable of carrying out all manner of discord. Sadly, we see things similar to this on television all the time. Darrell is the best example of what could happen to anyone, should the proper stimulus exist.
LB: Describe the difference between wearing the editor’s hat and the writer’s hat?
BE: Night and day! When I wear the writer’s hat, it’s my world and my characters I’m creating. When I wear the editor’s hat, it’s all about making the story better. For me, it’s easier to beta-read and edit another’s work because I’m objective to it. It’s more difficult for me to see faults in my work because I’m subjective. We all need editors!
Grab Cracked Sky now at Amazon!
I meant to blog this days ago, but life has a way of happening. So thanks again to Milo James Fowler for interviewing me about Unsuper Translator, my story in Superpow. And if you head over and read it, you can enter to win this fine anthology! Link below:
I’m a little late blogging this, but Superpow is now available from e-junkie, Smashwords, and Amazon, and it’s coming soon to BN and Apple! Details taken from the Superpow site below. And you can read an excerpt from my story in this fine anthology, Unsuper Translator, here.
Cover Art by Astro
Cover Design by Amanda Pillar
Bang, crash, pow!–oh, but there’s so much more to the superpowered characters these Red Penny Papers alumni have created in Superpow. Our cover heroes come from two new pulptastic superhero novellas from Corinne Duyvis’s Pantheress, one of the rogue heroes of Sigma City, and William Vitka’s Ruben, trying to make a new life in a world where everyone has ‘funny’ powers… except for him. And these two are just the beginning of the villains, heroes, and observers waiting in the pages of Superpow. With a diverse cast of characters and a new spin on pulp fiction, his isn’t your mama’s superpowered storytime, either.
Table of Contents:
The Masks of Sigma City – Corinne Duyvis
Leather Boy v. The Zombie Horde – Fox Lee
Birthplace Revisited – Edward Morris
Lighting Time and the Time of Thunder – Alexandra Seidel
Autumn of the Greatest – Alan Baxter
Free, Proud, Imbued with Liberty – John Medaille
Starlight – Milo James Fowler
Ice Child – Alexandra Seidel
Unsuper Translator – Louise Bohmer
Portrait of a Better Man – Jocelyn Adams
Bruiser – William Vitka
Superpow is the first and only fiction The Red Penny Papers has ever charged for. So apart from just being a gorgeous collection of superhero pulp short fiction and poetry, it’s a great way to help us a little around the house. All e-versions are $5.99, and all the money goes to the mag.
Buy your copy from…
B&N • Apple
and in print!
Red Penny Papers will release Superpow Oct. 27, 2014, and they’ll also be celebrating the re-opening of RPP. I’m pleased to be a part of this fine anthology, which also includes authors like Fox Lee, Corinne Duyvis, and William Vitka. Superpow includes unconventional superheroes, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read. Below, I offer you a sneak peek at my Superpow short story, Unsuper Translator.
Be sure to stop by the official Superpow site: http://redpennypapers.com/superpow/
And check out the official announcement here: http://redpennypapers.com/2014/09/14/superpow-for-everyone/
Many thanks to KV Taylor and everyone involved with Superpow for all their hard work. And congrats on the re-opening of RPP!
Excerpt from Unsuper Translator
The underground parking garage now served as a dwelling for earth stragglers. When Roger emerged from it, he squinted against a washed grey sky until his eyes adjusted to the weak light. Did that snot-nosed Sector 4 prince have a hunter on his tail yet, he wondered, and how would the hasty punch to the prince’s face effect his job options? It wasn’t the first time he’d lost the Elites’ favor, but he was getting too old to play their games anymore.
He heard a metallic whir, and then a low level blast from a matter scrambler knocked him on his ass, stealing his breath and making his heartbeat erratic. A booted foot pressed into his back as he swallowed sand. Next came the melodic beep of a G9 Comtracker, and the distant purr of a patched through connection. Roger tried to squirm from beneath his captor, but the matter scrambler blast had temporarily paralyzed him.
“Yup, it’s him. Picking him up now,” a woman said. Someone on the other end squalled loudly in reply. “What? No way. Remember what happened last time I went through that town?” Silence from her. Screams from the speaker. “Fine, but it’ll cost you fifty more gold pieces.” A beep ended the caller’s caterwaul.
“Can you feel your legs yet?” she said to Roger. “We need to get moving.”
“You know, we could’ve done this face to face.” His words came out a dust-choked croak. “You didn’t even read me my rights. I call hunter brutality here.”
“Sorry,” she said, but she sounded less than sympathetic. “I’ve been contracting for those elite bastards too long.”
The boot left his back. His legs and feet tingled with the return of feeling, so he flipped over. A winged woman, her profile silhouetted by the sun, trained a matter scrambler on him while she offered a hand up.
She was about his height, and her features and sky blue skin indicated some Venush genes. A well-muscled woman who had no scalp, just a translucent dome, through which he could see the snaky pathways of her brain. Glimmering wings the color of dying sunlight jutted from her back; they were mechanical, which surprised him. Wings were usually a natural birth trait of any Venush/human hybrid.
She shook her head and squinted at him. “Roger Mantus, the great alien translator. Gotta admit, I never thought I’d be hunting you.” With the matter scrambler, she motioned for him to face forward and walk.
Roger shrugged. “Not the first time Sector 4 Elites have sent a hunter after me, or stripped me of my super hero status when I didn’t fulfill their agenda.” He looked over his shoulder, sneered at her. “Besides, if you had a conscience you’d let me go.”
“Look, I appreciate your motives, but it was still a stupid move.”
He spoke through clenched teeth: “All that snot-nosed sector prince had to do was answer the lady’s question. Then I wouldn’t have punched him. Where is she gonna get her medicine if that bastard closes the free clinics, eh? You know those private hospitals charge an arm and a leg–sometimes literally.”