Friday, May 23, 2014

My Thoughts on Tomorrow GUEST POST: Megan Thomason


I am a huge fan of the dystopian genre and love to spend a lot of time thinking about societal extremes. The themes in daynight, many of which are very dark, are all designed to have readers think about parallels to our own society and where we need to draw lines.

The dystopia category is pretty broad these days. By definition a dystopian world must have deprivation, oppression, or terror. I prefer dystopias that explore interesting societal and moral dilemmas to catastrophic conditions/survival stories.

The very best dystopias most often have a well formed government enforcing extremes. I’m fascinated by these entities, and in particular:

- What events drove them to shift the way they governed? For example, in The Hunger Games the government instituted the games to punish and remind the districts of their former rebellion (and failure to succeed).

- What results are they looking to achieve? In 1984, the desired result was control over every action and thought. In Brave New World the government desired peaceful coexistence and happiness for its citizens.

- What methods do the governments use to achieve the desired result? The Capital in Hunger Games uses the games to terrorize its citizens into subservience, and tightly controls resources by segregating districts and limiting what each could produce. In 1984 the Inner Party uses surveillance (telescreens, microphones everywhere), controls information (rewriting history to support claims is the ultimate form of censorship), and all citizens are indoctrinated to be whistle-blowers on those committing ‘thought crimes’ (any thought contrary to the governmen). In Brave New World, the government breeds and then conditions (through their sleep) citizens to be in (and only desire to be in) a certain caste, to be sexually promiscuous, hate solitude, and to take the drug ‘soma’ if any contrary thought occurs.

Equally interesting is how the characters in the novel react to the dystopian government. Do they acquiesce? Do they rebel and in what ways? Outwardly? Inwardly? Each well done dystopia will have characters that question the status quo. Their actions will cause us to reflect upon our own, and how we would act in a similar situation. Katniss in The Hunger Games defies authority by bringing out a handful of berries and threatening to deprive the Capital of a winner and ultimately forcing them to back down and lose face. Winston and Julia in 1984 both commit thought crimes and engage in an illicit affair, but are outed by an informant and tortured into both subservience to Big Brother and betraying each other. John (the Savage) in Brave New World is so disgusted when he caves to societal immorality that he takes extreme measures to escape.

daynight came about as I hiked the canyons of San Diego on a particularly hot day and pondered what would happen if temperatures were so extreme that days and nights had to be switched. This became the impetus for Thera, the main setting for daynight. I mentally brewed the concepts of dark and light, and what kind of government would rule the dark, and The Second Chance Institute (SCI) was born.

The SCI is an interesting entity. They are in the business of providing second chances. But instead of nurturing and fostering the downtrodden, they use the Second Chancers as science experiments for new political ideas they want to push on Earth. One such idea, Cleaving is an extreme enforcement of morality. If two people have sex, they’re automatically Cleaved, a forced lifetime union. Violation of Cleaving results in exile or death.

Some of the things that went through my mind that I intended readers to think about while reading daynight were:

  • Freedom of being able to do whatever we want vs. consequences of our choices
  • When is it appropriate for the government to intervene in moral issues?
  • How should the government enforce rules? What is acceptable/not acceptable for enforcement?
  • When does ‘research’ cross the line? Is it ever okay to have test groups, when subjects don’t know they are a part of the research? Does our government “use” certain segments of our population to press their agendas?
  • Can altruistic purposes get so skewed they are no longer altruistic? The SCI claims to be giving people a second chance at life. Despite this being true and seemingly noble, is it okay if they are only do it to further their own agenda, and not to truly benefit the Second Chancers?
  • Is there ever an appropriate time for a government to play Big Brother (as in 1984)? Does our government do this to us? Where’s the line between societal protection and personal violation?
Don’t worry…the daynight series is not all serious. There is plenty of entertainment with highly flawed main characters, compelling love interests, despicable antagonists, lots of action, surprises, twists and turns.



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Bestselling, award-winning author Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone--over 600 in the last year--or attending to the needs of her family. Megan's fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Voight-Kampff Author Interview: Joseph A. Turkot

Time for yet another installment of the Voight-Kampff questions, part of the scheduled blog posts for WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING!  The featured author today is Joseph A. Turkot.  (To read his interview on his own blog and to learn more about him and his writing, click here.)

Author of six novels and many short stories, Joseph Turkot grew up and lives in New Jersey. He began writing and drawing at a young age. As a kid, he dreamed that he was A) Luke Skywalker, B) A hobbit, or C) Goku/Bruce Lee, depending upon what day it was. Today, he has crafted his own worlds, filled them with characters, and painted their stories. He writes in a variety of genres that include: realistic fiction, science fiction, dystopian, horror, and fantasy. Subscribe to the mailing list, found on his website, for notification of new releases.


* HAVE YOU WRITTEN IN ANY OTHER GENRES BESIDES YA DYSTOPIAN? WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS GENRE?
I started in fantasy, rather epic, Shakespearean fantasy: Darkin. The sequel, Darkin 2, was toned down (as far as its Shakespearean-sounding language), but still retained some of it. It definitely became more readable. After the second book, I moved into horror for a brief spell, writing a couple short stories. From there, I jumped again, publishing a serial novel called Black Hull. This was a fun ride through time and space for me, and a chance to work on terse language. Something I wanted to get good at. Some say I did this too well, and they wanted more description. In either case, I jumped again, going into writing a YA mystery novel called Neighborhood Watch about a serial murderer. This was a blast to write. I felt like I was reliving parts of my own childhood because the setting was so similar. And then, yes, finally, I arrived at the post-apocalyptic, or dystopian world of The Rain. I’ve always been attracted to dystopian literature, maybe because I see so much of the real world in there. It’s not all far-fetched and impossible to me. Okay, maybe The Rain is. But some of the stuff, like 1984, or Oryx and Crake, seem pretty possible. And so I see the cautionary tale thing writ in all its glory within the framework of those stories. And although the setting in The Rain is maybe not as believable in my story, it still provides a place for the characters to think about some aspects of humanity that might otherwise be overlooked or seen as ordinary. I’m all about examining beliefs with an open, malleable mind.


* DO YOU HAVE AN INTOXICANT OF PREFERENCE FOR THOSE TIMES WHEN YOU ARE WRITING?
It used to be coffee. And it still is–kinda. I have been mixing in tea. I know, this isn’t very exciting. Sometimes I’ll have several cups of coffee in the same day. But I’m supposed to cut back, so, yeah. That’s the tea. Black, and sometimes Green. Also, running. It acts as an opiate to my mind. Really. I get a lot of thinking done during my runs.


* IF YOU GAVE ONE OF YOUR CHARACTERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, WHAT WOULD THEY SAY?
Get us the hell of this ice. Put us some place warm and dry. Stop having fun with us. No, in all seriousness, it depends on which story we’re talking about. If I chose Colin from Neighborhood Watch, he’d tell me it’s time to hit the streets. Pump some air into your tires, grease the chain, and ride through the fall leaves. Smell that air and see those pumpkins.


* DID YOU DO ANY SPECIFIC OR UNUSUAL RESEARCH FOR THIS BOOK?
I like to incorporate wacky scientific facts into my book. Well, maybe they’re not so wacky. One of my favorites, from Black Hull, is the M-82 anomaly. That is pretty much the basis for the Utopia of that book. And as far as The Rain, it’s usually just looking up something like the way a waterspout looks, or confirming something I’ve read in the past about exposure. One area I love, but am lacking in still to this day, is seafaring terminology. I’d love to know more, and incorporate more. I didn’t know, for instance, that I couldn’t use rowing when it concerned a canoe. I honestly never knew that. He said it had to be paddling. I don’t know if I managed to go back and fix that yet. But now it’s in my head–rowing for boats, paddling for canoes. Little things build up in my brain. Most of them useless. Sometimes, crucial to the plot. I try to double-check those ones.


* WHAT BOOKS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING?
Wow. This is like the impossible question. I mean, I’ve read a lot of books, and they all sort of blend together now. Just a big pile of plot, character, conflict, and setting, all congealing in my imagination forever. But honestly, I can think of it in time. That makes it easier for me to answer this. In the beginning, there were the Goosebumps books. This was the first series I absolutely fell in love with. Like, cherished the covers and everything. Smelled the pages. Later on, as I got older, I got into the science-fiction and fantasy stuff. You know–Lord of the Rings and all that. Still, on the side, because of high school mostly, I was exposed to Steinbeck and Orwell and Hesse and some others. Good old literary fiction. And lately, it’s all about non-fiction. This is the way it’s gone for me for the past few years. It started with The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, and then, I’ve been tracking down new adventure survival stories ever since. It’s no wonder my current series is a combination of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian Earth and a survival adventure.


* ANY MOVIE, ANY BOOK…WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE PROTAGONIST?
Man. Another impossible question. I mean, who has favorites anyway? Aren’t they supposed to change as we do? But, just for the heck of it, I’m going to go with Alan Grant. He was my biggest hero from about age 8 until about age 12. Seriously, who else knew that much about dinosaurs? And dinosaurs, that’s about the most important thing to know something about. So he was tops. Not to mention how he handled himself when they wanted to kill him and everyone around him. So suave. And the outfit he wore–so amazing. But again, the list of heroes would be long.


* IS THERE AN AUTHOR THAT YOU WOULD REALLY LIKE TO MEET?
There have been many. I think right now, who it would be, I have to pick Hugh Howey. He’s been a real inspiration to me, mainly from his forum posts. He’s really encouraging. The stuff he says makes you think you can do it. Anyone can do it. He’s not spewing mindless enthusiasm, it’s actually all concrete and meaningful. So yeah, I’d really like to have a cup of coffee with the guy. Talk about his days at the bookstore.


* WHAT ARE YOUR PET PEEVES?
People who are not open-minded. They have a completely closed belief system, and you can’t do a thing about it. I for one will change my mind if the evidence shows up to change my mind. I’m not going to stick to an outdated belief because it feels better, or sits right, or is more comfortable. So there you have it. I’m pretty open to anything. In fact, the principles I cherish most might be open-mindedness and willingness. When someone has the willingness to learn something new, try something new, be open to the possibility even, of some kind of change, that really turns me on. Not sexually of course, but intellectually. I am a philosophical kind of guy, deep down, but there aren’t too many people you can really talk about that kind of stuff with.


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Friday, May 16, 2014

My Thoughts On Tomorrow GUEST POST: Susan Kaye Quinn


I’ve always read dystopian novels, although I simply thought of them as “science fiction.” Stories like I, Robot and Foundation filled my spongy adolescent brain with concepts like the Three Laws of Robotics and how utopias couldn’t happen as long as the flawed nature of humanity still existed. This is where I first understood the term dystopia as what happened when humans tried to monkey with society to make it “better.” Not only did I enjoy the mental gymnastics that went with these (usually cautionary) tales, they seemed to be “equipment for living.” They influenced my young adult thoughts about the future—what it should be, and what it should not.

My novel Open Minds is a mild dystopia, although, as I wrote it, I thought of it more as a classic SF story. I sought to change one thing—what if everyone really could read minds?—and play it out. That turned into an exploration of how, as much as the world may change, human beings fundamentally remain the same.

I think this is the understructure of the current dystopian trend—classical science fiction retooled for our modern era and sensibilities. Dystopias are more than a simple reflection of our post-911 world, a mirror held up to our fears of environmental disasters, terrorism, and pandemic. Our modern world isn’t solely a bleak place—it also shines with aid flowing to natural disasters, soldiers building schools, and the rejection of hatred as an ideology. Most modern dystopias search through their dark fictional world for those threads of hope. They find someone who will rebel against the wrongness of the world and attempt to set it right, or a third way through two dire world-changing choices.

The ever-more complicated world we live in needs more of the thought experiments found in dystopian stories, rather than less. Hope is a fundamental part of being human, and stories that forge hope out of the most difficult situations are always the most compelling.

I write those stories, the ones with that persistent thread of hope, because those are the kind I want to read.

And the future I want to live in.


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Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, which is young adult science fiction (and dystopian!). Her latest release is Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1) which is her excuse to dress up in corsets and fight with swords. She also has a dark-and-gritty SF serial called The Debt Collector which has been optioned for Virtual Reality. That turns all her geeky gears! She always has more speculative fiction fun in the works. You can find out what she's up to by subscribing to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!). See all her books here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Voight-Kampff Author Interview: David J. Normoyle

It is time for interview #2, as part of the scheduled blog schedule for WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING, the YA Dystopian boxed set.  Today we have the chance to "hear" from David J. Normoyle.  (To learn more about David or read his interview on his own blog, click here.)  Off we go!

David was born in Australia, but moved to Ireland at an early age. The early globe crossing must have gone to his head, as he has since backpacked through and lived in numerous countries. He grew up on a farm as the eldest of nine unruly siblings, but since his escape, he prefers city living. His electronic engineering degree is currently gathering dust while he tries new and strange pursuits such as novel writing.  


* WHAT IS THE FIRST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?
Either the Foundation books by Issac Asimov, or Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Foundation is a really cool premise, where a giant inter galactic empire has formed and a mathematician is able to scientifically foresee its collapse, so he implements a plan to restrict the fallout. Ender’s Game is still one of my favorite books. Brilliant idea, perfectly executed.


ANY MOVIE, ANY BOOK…WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ANTAGONIST?
I’m going to go with one of the oldest villains of all time. Loki, the Norse trickster god, who is currently being excellently brought to life by Tom Hiddleston in the Avengers universe. I wrote a book that combined Norse and Greek myths, called Myth Weaver, and he was my favorite character to write in that.


WHEN YOU GO TO SEE A MOVIE, DO YOU TRY TO READ THE BOOK FIRST?
Yes, generally. Only if I have no interest in reading the book, will I’ll watch a movie based on a book without having read the book first. My list of movies -better-than-the-book is small but includes Schindler’s List, The Godfather and Silence of the Lambs. In the rest of the cases where I’ve read the book and watched the movie, the book is better.


DO YOU BUY A BOOK BY THE COVER?
It’s certainly a factor. If I don’t have a recommendation and I’m browsing on Amazon, then it’s the cover that will make me click on it to check out the blurb. The cover indicates the book’s genre. Once I’ve clicked, then the blurb/sample/reviews will decide whether I actually buy.


HOW IMPORTANT ARE NAMES TO YOU IN THIS BOOK. DID YOU CHOOSE THEM BASED ON SOUND OR MEANING?
Not terribly important, but at the same time the name has to be the right one. Sometimes the first name I choose, will be the correct one, other times I have to keep trying until I find one that I’m happy with.


DID YOU CHOOSE TO SELF-PUBLISH OR GO THE TRADITIONAL ROUTE? WHY?
Selfpublishing is the best way to go right now, and that’s only going to become clearer as time goes by. With a novel, ninety percent of what the reader cares about in the product comes from the author. The other 10% can be contracted out. So what does the publishing company do that means that they take the majority of the profits? They used to be essential when they controlled the distribution, but now that ebooks are starting to dominate fiction sales, the landscape is rapidly changing. I feel that traditional publishing will have to radically change if they want to stay relevant.
Of course that doesn’t mean the selfpublishing route is easy. Anything but.


JUST HOW FAR IN THE FUTURE IS YOUR TOMORROW?
Hundreds of thousands of years. Earth has been destroyed and the remnants of humanity have travelled across thousands of light years looking for inhabitable planets. Although, it’s actually in the far future, in a way, it’s also set in the past. That’s because this world has eschewed technology in the hope that they can avoid previous mistakes. So the technology level is medieval.


QUOTE A CHARACTER, ANY CHARACTER.
“My killing hand is a bit tired.” Bowe shook his arm. “All that slashing and beheading—nothing like a bit of shopping to take your mind off the blood and gore. So, you have anything in Bellanger azure?”


GIVE US THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR YOUR TOMORROW.
It’ll be hot in the morning, get hotter in the afternoon, then still be hot at night. Before long, it’ll be so hot that the only way to survive will be to seek refuge in underground caverns, cooled by the sea.


WHO SHOULD NOT READ YOUR BOOK?
Those who would prefer a nice book without much death and violence. Those who would like a story and world that isn’t too complex.


YOU CAST YOUR CHARACTERS FOR A MOVIE. WHO MAKES IT?
That’s an easy one. Josh Whedon. I love his storytelling ability. I’m a huge Firefly fan–each time I watch it I’m ever more amazed that such a great show could have been canceled after one season. In virtually everything Whedon has done, he weaves character and plot, action and humor into a superb story.


WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR MAIN CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?
This is tougher. There are many great actors for older characters but not as many for teens. I would go with Asa Butterfield, who did a great job of showing Ender’s vulnerability in Ender’s Game.


WHAT FIVE SONGS/ARTISTS WOULD FEATURE ON THE SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR TOMORROW?
Hurt, Johnny Cash
One, U2
The Whole of the Moon, Waterboys
Blister in the Sun, Violent Femmes
Rains of Castamere, The National

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Friday, May 9, 2014

My Thoughts on Tomorrow


We, as such beautifully imperfect creatures, crave perfection.  We long for that perfect existence where everything is ideal and fair and safe.  So we try.  We create laws.  We enforce rules.  We embrace change, fight change, dream of change.  Then, when the bad things still happen, we question everything.  Can we make utopia?  Who knows if the answer will ever be found.  That is why we create dystopian stories.  To read, work out, understand and even enjoy the idea of society gone wrong.  Perfection would be too boring.  We need imperfection to fight, to live, to learn and grow.  

Dystopians are not only about society gone wrong.  They are about the people living in that society who choose to stand up and do something about their existence.  They are beautiful.  And imperfect.  Some fight and fail.  Others rise to the top and succeed.  And in the end, we all learn that even at its worse, life is worth living.  That is a dystopian.  And I love it.

PRISON NATION was inspired from one little moment that grew into an entire world.  Many say this story is frightening in the sense that so much of it is already happening.  Laws are intense and getting more strict every day.  Prisons are overfilled and growing.  We fear we have all lost control.  In PRISON NATION, that is the world.  Prisons and control and laws, all the way to the point that children are raised behind bars and freedom is just a dream.  So what would you do?  How would you survive in a world where near everything is illegal?  From an inspiration to a project to a debut novel, PRISON NATION is a journey I fell in love with every word of the way.  I hope you do too.


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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Voight-Kampff Author Interview: Cary Caffrey

As part of the blog schedule for WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING, our crazy set of authors has agreed to post answers to a random selection of questions created by Deborah Rix.

Today is the first post, and the author is Cary Caffrey!  I decided to pick and choose some of the answers from Cary's post.  If you would like to read everything Cary shared, go visit his blog!  (Trust me, there are some entertaining answers over there.  Just do it.)

Now, onto the interview...

Cary Caffrey studied at Concordia University in Montreal as well as the University of British Columbia, earning a BA and MFA in Creative Writing. After witnessing the eBook revolution, Cary (a die-hard Indy artist), jumped into ePublishing head first. The Girls from Alcyone is Cary's first novel. It has gone on to become a best seller on both Amazon and iTunes Science-Fiction charts. 



* HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER'S BLOCK?
When I figure it out I’ll let you know!
Seriously though, the key for me is to never let myself get bogged down, and to make sure I keep slogging along. I wage a daily war with my confidence (or lack thereof). I’m not sure if that’s writer’s block or anxiety. What came as a surprise to me is that this anxiety got worse, not better, after the success of my first novel. Perhaps that’s the pressure of added expectations (expectations I put on myself, not from readers). My readers have been great. Super-supportive. They’re my main source of inspiration to keep moving forward. Readers are my cure for writer’s block.


* WHAT BOOKS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING?
Anything by Harry Harrison! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Deathworld, Homeworld or the Stainless Steel Rat.


* DO YOU BUY A BOOK BY THE COVER?
Absolutely. I freely admit I’m attracted to shiny things. I’m a very visual person. I love visual arts. Painting, photography, graphic-design, I love it all. I’m constantly drawn to great cover art, and I have a particular weakness for bold covers featuring powerful, swashbuckling heroines.


* HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR OWN BAD HABITS?
Always! I wouldn’t trust a writer who wasn’t willing to put the worst of themselves on the page. Someone asked me once (about writing): aren’t you worried that people will think it’s you? My answer was: if you’re not worried about that—if you’re trying to hide, or disguise yourself—you’re not doing your job.


* WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU TEND TO OVERUSE?
Apparently in the first edit of TGfA I used the word ‘managed’ nine-thousand, four-hundred and fifty-seven times.


* DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?
When I saw the Indy-eBook explosion I decided it was time to take the plunge and do this full time. I don’t know how people write and hold down a day-job. If I had a job I’d be a terrible employee. Or worse, a terrible writer!


* WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Risk everything (they can’t say “yes” if you don’t ask).


*WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LIE YOU’VE EVER TOLD?
That I’m really a woman. I can’t help it. I have clothes envy. Dresses, high heels… I would have made an awesome drag queen (if only I were taller!).


* HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE AUTHORITIES?
Let’s just say, spending a night in the “slammer” was a life-altering experience.  It definitely made me stop and take a hard look at myself—who I was, what I was doing and where I was going.

I almost think everyone should go to jail at least once. Nothing makes you appreciate freedom more than having it taken away.


* HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOES?
No, but would love to! I should imagine they are quite lovely. I’m picturing a pair of shiny black pumps, perhaps with those fancy red soles you see everywhere these days.



ABOUT THE BOOK...

* WHERE DID YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?
That one’s easy too. I feel as though we’re already living in a crazy dystopian future. A study came out recently showing how Americans are actually already living in an oligarchy and not a democracy (https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/14). The study showed extremely specific examples of how public policy in the US is dictated, not by overwhelming public opinion, but by the whims of a very small minority of wealthy and elite corporatists. Take gun control, for instance. 88% of Americans want stricter gun laws, but even with that overwhelming support nothing’s been done. If anything, we keep moving toward more liberal gun-laws, as evidenced by what just happened in Georgia (guns in schools and bars! Yay! What could go wrong?). And how about what happened last week with the FCC? They actually killed net neutrality, paving the way for internet monopolies (say goodbye to freedom of the online press as we know it). These are just two examples of a globally unpopular policies that are turned into a laws to service a very small number of people in the upper-fringes of society.

Call it a corporatocracy, an oligarchy or plutocracy, this is not how democracy is supposed to work.

Oh, and before you label me a conspiracy theorist, remember what Noam Chomsky said (and I’m paraphrasing): It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s just good observation.


* DID YOU DO ANY SPECIFIC OR UNUSUAL RESEARCH FOR THIS BOOK? 
I had to do a lot of research into martial arts. I spent a great deal of time reading about jujitsu and watching lots of videos. It was very important that the more physical acts of combat be real. I was fortunate that one of my early alpha-readers was experienced in Jujitsu, as well. She came to my rescue on a number of occasions.


* IS THERE ANY SUPER-COOL FUTURISTIC TECHNOLOGY/WEAPONRY IN YOUR TOMORROW?
What’s scifi without cool tech! TGfA features some seriously overpowered ballistic weapons. Who doesn’t want a hulking 18 mm recoilless sidearm strapped to their thigh! I mean, that is hot.


* WHO SHOULD NOT READ YOUR BOOK?
Bigoted, intolerant, ideological, hateful people. These people would best be served by avoiding my book at all costs. Judging from some of the angrier responses I’ve received since publication, there are still certain people in this world who do not like to think about 'non-traditional' relationships. Apparently, even 350 years into the future, such things are still 'ew, icky gross!


* WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR MAIN CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?
Easiest question on the planet! Elle Fanning (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1102577/?ref_=tt_cl_i4). She absolutely is (young) Sigrid Novak. If we start preproduction on the movie now, Elle will be the perfect age to start filming in two or three years.


* YOUR MAIN CHARACTER VS BATMAN, WHO WOULD WIN?
No contest. Sigrid Novak would kick Batman’s butt. It’s not Batman’s fault. After all, Sigrid Novak has all the genetic and bionic advantages, as well as the kind of years of training that would leave Bruce Wayne envious. I believe Batman would literally never see her coming.




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the YA Dystopian boxset, including Cary's novel The Girls from Alcyone!

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Monday, May 5, 2014

RELEASE: Moments of Julian by Keary Taylor

What's that?  ANOTHER Keary Taylor book?  Darn right!
This woman doesn't stop.

Keary's newest novel creation, MOMENTS OF JULIAN, has released!  It is now available in paperback, along with Kindle, Nook and iBooks.  Keep your eyes out for it!

It was just a work party, filled with kissing the well-dressed rear ends of clients and fake smiles. Until my boss accused me of something I didn’t do. Until I got pissed and then there was this guy who was hot and flirting with me, and then there were his hands and the backseat of my car and a night of everything but you know what.

I never expected to see him again. But suddenly Julian Dohring is everywhere. And I can’t get over the endless tattoos that cover his arms, how he’s apparently a recovering video game addict, and dresses like he’s ready to walk down the red carpet at any moment.

Ten years ago I made a pledge to stay away from alcohol and sex, and to never get too personal with anyone. It’s gotten me this far. I’m twenty-seven, I have a career I’ve worked my heart and soul into, and more money than I could ever blow on shoes and the finer things in life. My attitude and pride have always been enough to keep any man from getting too interested. Until Julian…who claims I can’t dance, and has the nerve to call me a “peach.”

I’m Sage McCain, and needless to say, Julian has my attention.





Friday, May 2, 2014

My Thoughts On Tomorrow GUEST POST: David Estes


I love dystopian novels. And I don't just mean The Hunger Games and Divergent, although I love those ones, too. I've read dozens of dystopian novels and I never seem to get tired of them. For me, dystopian novels capture so much of what makes reading awesome. They explore social issues and imaginative futures that may be only decades, or even years, from coming to pass. They are dark and suspenseful and funny and interesting, and, most of the time, scary.

But what I love the most is that they almost always contain an element of hope. The characters, who are many times thrust into terrible situations, endure and persevere and usually accomplish what they set out to do, against challenging odds. Hope.

Do I think any of the themes in dystopian novels will actually come to pass? Absolutely. Hopefully not in my lifetime, or my children’s lifetimes, but bad things will happen and new heroes will have to rise to the forefront and meet the challenges of their day.

But for now, I’ll imagine my own futures and the heroes that live them, and do my best to entertain my readers with stories of hope. Starting with my first dystopian novel, The Moon Dwellers. For this series, I’ve created two different societies, one living underground (three books: The Moon Dwellers, The Star Dwellers, The Sun Dwellers), one living above ground (three books: Fire Country, Ice Country, Water & Storm Country), which then come together in a final epic 7th book, The Earth Dwellers, where the characters and plot lines smash into one story. I hope you enjoy the dystopian world I’ve created!



David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he's now been happily married to for three years.

A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 17 novels, 14 of which have been published. In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with his wife while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs.

David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes! Recently he's been inspired by some of his favorite authors, like Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Maggie Stiefvater.

David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table. He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING [Release Day]



Tomorrow becomes today.  What will it bring?

Our potential for good is matched by that of destruction. At any moment, change can fall on the world, people fight and die, and our comfortable lives can be lost to corrupt leaders. These are circumstances we can’t imagine, but places like this exist in the world today.

What if tomorrow brings that grave reality to us, and we wake to find our lives in flux, poverty and confusion? Perhaps humanity’s insatiable appetites drive us to the brink of survival where sanity is redefined and life, as we know it, changes forever.

Tomorrow, our lives could be very dark.

Dystopian tales take us to these lightless places where suffering is a daily chore. But they also show us that in the deepest part of the night, pitched against a backdrop of despair, a beam of hope will shine brighter than ever before. And in our darkest moments, it can show us the way back.


RELEASING TODAY!
Follow 11 authors into 11 dystopian tomorrows, where the dark portions of our humanity have taken hold of today, where the fabric of society is torn and greed consumes us all. Follow us down a dark path.

And find out what tomorrow may bring.

Open Minds, Susan Kaye Quinn
The Moon Dwellers, David Estes
Prison Nation, Jenni Merritt
Daynight, Megan Thomason
Stitch, Samantha Durante
The Annihilation of Foreverland, Tony Bertauski
The Girls from Alcyone, Cary Caffrey
The Narrowing Path, David J. Normoyle
The Rain, Joseph A.
Virulent: The Release, Shelbi Wescott
External Forces, Deborah Rix

BUY IT NOW
Get updates on upcoming promotions for WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING:
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