Archive for the ‘blog hops’ Category
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!
We’ve got a return guest in the forest today, who sat down with me and the satyrs and nymphs for three questions about Chuggie, Brent Michael Kelley’s muse and drought personified. So pull up a stump and settle in for a quick Q & A that’s sure to entertain!
Brent Michael Kelley’s debut novel Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater was released in December of 2011 from Omnium Gatherum. His short story “Ride” was included in Detritus, a collection of stories about collections (also by Omnium Gatherum). His story-poem “Gnoem” was published in A Pocketful of Moondust, a children’s anthology from Rebel Books (UK). He recently finished Chuggie’s next adventure: Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways of Glughu, which is available now. His regular column “5 Keys” can be read in the pages of CadreZine, where every issue BMK offers five tips or insights for aspiring writers (or, at least he tries to until he gets derailed by his own logic). Visit him at: http://www.catbat.com/bmk/
Three Questions with Brent Michael Kelley
1. So who is this Chuggie anyway? A master of mischief and mayhem? A father of drought? Tell us more.
Chuggie is Drought personified on a world called Mag Mell. He’s the kind of guy who can drain a lake overnight, even rip the moisture from living creatures. He has vast destructive power inside that constantly begs to be unleashed. He has wiped out cities, turned forests into wastelands, and caused lots of misery the world over. Chuggie doesn’t like that aspect of himself. He found that when he got good and drunk, the thirst quieted. Naturally, he got all boozed up and put a curse of permanence on himself. He’s got an elongated skull with five horns growing from it, which combined with his drunkenness, makes it hard for him to fit in anywhere. He drifts about, getting in trouble and having adventures. His world is full of monsters and madmen, so there’s plenty of trouble to be found wherever he goes.
2. Chuggie already raised merry hell in a place called Stagwater. Now he’s back messing with the Bleeding Gateways. Can you tell us a bit about his latest adventures there, and what’s next for Chuggie?
Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater was the first book. Chuggie stumbles upon the remote city of Stagwater, where he finds himself caught in the middle of various forces battling for control of the city. In Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways, we pick up with Chuggie a few days after the Desecration of Stagwater. There’s work to do, there are people to find, and there are monsters to fight. Chuggie’s new dagger, the Bleeding Jaws of Glughu, has been doing strange things. Like the first book, we follow some other characters, too. A lot of people like Fey Voletta, the young blade cultist who works with the Steel Jacks. Covered from head to toe in the ceremonial scars of her order, she’s exotic, sexy, and as deadly as the day is long. The Steel Jacks themselves are lots of fun. They’re creatures of pure energy who live inside 8’ metal suits. They’re masters of technology in a world of magic and mysticism.
Next up for Chuggie… I can tell you the next book has a working title of Chuggie and the Prisoner Gods. I can say nothing more than that. No, wait. I can say a little more. It’ll be filled with horrors, funny drunken ramblings, and plenty of colorful profanity. There’s a good chance this will Chuggie’s most horrific adventure yet. Should be some grins in there, too.
3. How did Chuggie come to claw his way inside your brain?
Back in college, an instructor of mine told us about her muse. This ghostly woman in a brown dress stood behind her while she painted. I demanded the Cosmos send me a muse of my own. I’d hoped for a pretty lady in a bikini or a tight leather dress. Instead, I was sent a gravel-voiced drunk who always had a story about everything. Imagine a very drunk and surly Tom Waits dropped in the middle of Monsterland. Now give him a chain linked directly to his ribcage and an anchor on the end shaped like a lady. There are no vampires, werewolves, elves, fairies, dwarves, dragons, orcs, or trolls. It’s so much fun to write about Chuggie and his friends, I plan to do so for a long time.
You can pick up Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways now at: