Meet The Alt.Historians — J.E. Mac

Standard

ALT-History-102-eBook (1)Here we go. When I solicited interviews from my fellow authors in Alt.History 102, I never dreamed I would get this. This…I don’t even know what to say. I sent out four broad questions, expecting a short little interview. J.E. Mac (otherwise known as James McCormick) decided to send me a manifesto. He put words into my mouth, so turnabout is fair play, right? J.E. has a potty mouth at times, so since this is MY blog, I substituted some of his words for my own. Think 80’s TV censorship if you will.

So, if you see the word SNICKERDOODLE, FLAMETHROWER, DAGNABIT, DIME, CHEESES or GOLLY DANG, be assured that James has more of a potty mouth than me, and I’ll leave the interpretation of those words up to you.

So…strap yourselves in, get a beverage of your choosing, and enjoy my “INTERVIEW” with J.E. Mac.


 

In response to Alt.History 102, Will asked some questions. Some serious questions. Very serious questions.

WILL: Give us a brief introduction to you. Who are you? What else have you written? What brings you to Alt.History 102?

My name is James McCormick. Oh SNICKERDOODLES. That’s not what it says on my story. Well, FLAMETHROWER.

I write SciFi as J.E. Mac.

Why J.E. Mac? Well, it’s just my name super shortened. I always felt, that visually, McCormick is kinda a lopsided name. It’s very heavily weighted to the left—and that poor k is just a teeny tiny hook hanging on for dear life. I don’t know if many of you guys out there are typography nuts or anything (I was a big comicbook fan as a kid—also inked comics for DC a lifetime ago), but I just felt that I’d always have to capitalize my name (Brandon Sanderson style) and I didn’t really want that.

So… I thought J.E. Mac would look cool, big and blocky on a cover. (Yes, kids. “Cool” was my reason). I thought it’d be all BEN HUR. Big and Bold. And Simple. I’m not sure it does any of that. But whatevs. It’s what I use now.

Ironically, looking at the cover of Alt.History 102, I also noticed another advantage. It’s super short.

I mean, look at that long list of names. Then mine just pops out because of the visual contrast.

Wish I could claim having the foresight to do that (Or that I rigged the anthology to have all other authors with moderately longer names)… Actually, there’s no way to finish that sentence. I wish I had that foresight lol.

Now, I get it. Sounds like I’m super egotistical and all (I am! Nah. Not really). But your author name is your brand and I really want people to read my SNICKERDOODLES. So, you know, getting people to see and remember your name is a big deal.

Yet, you post on Facebook as James McCormick and not J.E. Mac.

SHUSH YOU! I AM A COMPLICATED MAMMAL DAGNABIT! /sobs into a pillow.

GOLLY DANG, James (he means J.E.) you wrote a FLAMETHROWING novel answering a sliver of the first question.

Well get used to it Interview Me.

WILL: Wait, isn’t this my interview?

J.E.: Is it?

Interview James: Nah. Bug off Will.

J.E.: Dude, I liked his story in Alt.History

Interview James: Lookit you, you sell out!

WILL: Can we like, move on please?

I nod. But Interview me rolls his eyes.

WILL: What else have you written?

I used to write screenplays. A lot. Had a few optioned. They were generally 1 hour action-y stuff (think J.J. Abrams). Or half hour comedies. Had moderate success. But not enough to write home about. (Or pay bills with. That last one being the more important. At least, I think so. Wonder what my mother thinks about that? I mean, I have to wonder. Obviously, I haven’t written home in awhile).

So why the hell am I not doing that?

Well, it takes money. And people with money get a lot of say. And I don’t generally like being told what to do. So, uh…

Yeah.

I actually didn’t like the idea of not being in control of my own creative destiny. I didn’t like that the stories I would write would ultimately not be reflections of me, but of what test market 22K deemed appropriate.

(P.S. It’s the type of creativity and logic that posits: Hmm, people love watching monkeys. Look at all the hits on YouTube. And man, people sure love doctor dramas. That’s it! We’re making a show called Dr. Monkey about a chimpanzee doc and all the hot trim he pulls on the side).

I know. I’d probably watch it too.

I decided to learn how to write a novel. I mean, I can write. Er, sorta. I mean, well Stephen King aside, ya don’t need a large vocabulary. So, I took that as a challenge. (Man, gotta say, it’s… different. Two dozen short stories in, one novel, and a bunch of half written novels, and all I can say is that the process is a very different one).

WILL: Let’s try this again. What specifically have you written? Like, give us a title (mutters something that sounds a lot like ‘you DIMEbag’ under his breath),

DAMAGED GOOD.

There, happy?

I wrote a novel called DAMAGED GOOD.

It’s about an assassination attempt on the Los Angeles Mayor in the near future. It’s also about a six year old robot girl, Celia, who is left for dead and witness to some shnazzy SNICKERDOODLES. And a hard boiled detective, Jack Cutter—probably should lead with him, since he’s the main character and all—with a grudge against synthetics that needs to use Celia to solve the crime.

WILL: So BLADE RUNNER meets WITNESS?

Dude… You got some Harrison Ford love going there.

WILL: Who doesn’t?

Truth. /fistbump.

What made you write it?

Funny thing is, it’s the type of SciFi story I dig. Blade Runner is one of my all time favs. Altered Carbon is up there. (If I ever write fast enough, I have a story I want to flesh out that was heavily inspired by Altered Carbon—not how you’d think tho. Just gonna have to wait and see, suckahs! …if it ever gets written that is. /sadface).

I also discovered an odd thing about genre.

People either want detective stories / thrillers. OR Scifi. They don’t really want both. The audiences are two very dissimilar audiences.

You really gotta coax one over to opening the cover to get them to sit down with the characters a little.

NOTE: I’m not saying they don’t enjoy reading both genres. I’m saying getting them to pay for a book that isn’t another David Baldacci clone or George R.R. Martin clone is tough (P.S. Yes, I use a very broad term for SciFi. You know, like George R.R. Martin. The SciFi term. Not how broad he is).

I’m glad to see Hugh Howey is jumping into the future-noir detective stories, though. Hopefully it makes people realize that, hey, SciFi doesn’t have to be all dry and stuffy. It can be nail biting suspense. Or tales of murder and mystery.

The two can exist well together. And plenty of people cognitively understand this. Just convincing them to pick up a book is another behemoth task in and of itself. (One that I’m still learning, being a noob and all).

WILL: Sounds great.

Is that sarcastic?

WILL: No. It really. Sounds great.

You. Are speaking. Like you. Are. William. Shatner.

WILL: You know damaged goods has an ‘s’ on it right?

OMG, Will. You are so lucky this is the internet. I’d smack that smug smile off your face. Just. Punch you. Right in the mouf.

WILL: Well, you know. Grammar. It does.

Yeah, yeah. My reason was twofold (Meh, let’s make it threefold). It’s the idea of ‘good’ being damaged. It plays off the obvious ‘damaged goods,’ as in, maybe Celia is one. Or Cutter. Or everyone. And, I like the anomaly. I like titles that are a little off. That make you ask, I wonder what that means (without being so esoteric that you’re some Dada artist picking names out of a hatHi, every anime ever! P.S. Big fan).

So where are we?

WILL: Still question 1. Unfortunately.

What brings me to Alt.History 102?

WILL: Yes.

Truthfully?

WILL: I’d hope so.

I missed the deadline for Alt. History 101.

Like, I, uh. Slacked off?

Is there a way to put that, that, uh, like makes it sound like I did it because I knew 102 was gonna be awesome? That it would have a blue cover instead of a red one? (I love blue btw. Red, not so much).

WILL: No, James. There isn’t.

Yeah. Well, I had been following Sam’s (Samuel Peralta) Future Chronicles for quite some time. Actually, had read an anthology called Synchronicity that was somewhat of a predecessor to the

Future Chronicles: Time Travel Anthology. This one had a story from Sam, Nick Cole, Michael Bunker, Jason Gurley, and Susan Kaye Quinn amongst others. Basically, SciFi indie writers you see quite a bit on the scene.

Somehow, Susan and I started talking on Facebook… Um, if this interview is any indication, this is pretty much how I talk. It’s all stream of thought, but, ya know, I try to be entertaining or tell a joke or two. Some people respond to it. Others just block me.

And we hit it off. She’s a great lady. Read her stuff! Seriously. I’m partial to her DEBT COLLETOR series.

Interview Me: You unbelievable sell out!

Anyway, I don’t know for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that she told Sam about me. And Sam had just so happened to have an idea for an offshoot of Future Chronicles that was the Alt History series.

And I posted DAMAGED GOOD in his, by now infamous, “one book” thread.

I thought it was an interesting idea. But I really, really didn’t want to do—History as you know it, but one tiny thing changed. Hitler tripped and fell on his way to art school and we all lived happily ever after! I was worried that was the type of stories ALT HISTORY would generate.

I also wanted to do something local. About something I knew. That maybe many people didn’t.

Anyway… I’m sure I’ll go more in-depth about it in a future question.

WILL: CHEESES! MORE in-depth? You’ve only answered one question.

Yes. More in-depth.

WILL: What’s your story about? What gave you the idea for your story?

Funny you should ask that!

WILL: (sighs and hangs his head in his hand). It’s not funny at all.

DROUGHT is about a future Los Angeles in which the events of The Rape of The Valley never took place.

Basically, the short hand is—you know CHINATOWN? Its plot and stuff? Yeah, well that really happened. (Not the Jack Nicholson stuff, but the screwing over the people of Owens Valley).

You probably know the name Mulholland. Well, you know it because they were responsible for a lot of shady shenanigans in a very corrupt birth of Los Angeles that made a handful of people very rich. As rewards, many of these men named streets after themselves. Woohoo!

As I mentioned before, I didn’t really want to do a past setting. I didn’t want to go back to the event and nudge a couple things around that would result in a different outcome.

I wanted to look at what would happen to the development of the city if it had never occurred. Where would a Los Angeles be?

Fun fact – A small group of powerful men wanted the Los Angeles population to grow because they needed crews to help pump oil. The city itself didn’t have the means to support a population like what they needed. Chiefly, being a desert climate, cheap easy access to water. Cuz, ya know, people gotta drink water to live.

So, you know, that’s not really a story. That’s just a setting. A world.

You need the human element.

And this is where I’m always terrible at pitching my stories. Because I don’t know which story to pitch. I prefer talking about the human element. But then you get questions like… Yeah, but what happens?! And honestly, the poster is usually the cool plot SNICKERDOODLE (blowing up).

SIDE BAR: Shane Black, amongst others, have this theory that must stories are really two stories. I tend to agree. One story is the plot. The things that happen. But the other story, is the WHY you’re telling the story. The ‘what’s it all mean?’ The ‘so what?’

Godard called it writing for the invisible. I like that.

You can have the greatest plot in the world, but without the human element no one is going to get past page one.

DROUGHT is also about a father who left Los Angeles that has intermittent business dealings there, who winds up taking his daughter to see the city for her first time.

(P.S. This is the “rookie cop” story model. It’s a really good, fast, simple way to introduce an audience/reader to something far out or exotic—Have a character who has been there and one who hasn’t. That way, the character who has, gets to tell the one that hasn’t (and the audience) a whole lot of exposition. Yes, it’s a cheap trick, but it’s effective. So good, check out how many television pilots use this device).

Anyway, I just wanted some sheer culture clash in a Los Angeles that resembled more of a desert wasteland than anything else. I thought it’d be cool to have a bunch of people living out in the desert. That have learned to live there without help or aid from civilization. And make civilization sort of a trap.

I mean, so many of our stories are about how civilization is good. But not many think about everything we have to give up living in a society.

People don’t stop to realize that a city, the rules and laws, are all man-made constructs. We’ve literally convinced generations that they have to do what they’re told – yet, we’ve somehow disassociated that with the notion that it’s some other dude (who tends to profit quite a bit off telling you what to do) telling you what to do.

The irony is—I started writing this a year and a half ago. Before I knew Mad Max was coming out. Before California started really ramping up about going into a drought. So, it was kinda timely in an odd way.

Anyway, I think I covered what my story, DROUGHT, is about.

WILL: Uh, yeah. Just slightly.

WILL: Moving along…If you could pick a previous Chronicles Anthology that you could alter history to go back and be included in, which one would it be and why?

Well, I did try to get in a (super short) story to the Time Travel Chronicles.

Maybe it was because of Synchronicity. I don’t know. Actually, didn’t really think about why I pushed for that anthology. But that’s probably a large part of it.

I submitted a story called, BUTTERFLY, that was about a father and son.

I had this revelation about my own relationship with my father. And about generations. And how limited we are by our own perceptions. Basically, the new generation always thinks the old is wrong, or crazy, until they get to the age where they realize the context of what the older generation was saying all along. Only now, they’re the old generation and when they go to tell the younger one, they don’t listen (Irony :p).

DAMAGED GOOD has some similar theme running through it as well, although it’s not the main one of that book.

If you’ll indulge me…

WILL: Like I haven’t already?

…I’d like to share the opening of that story. It’s my favorite opening I’ve ever written.

“What’s this?” my father asked holding up a baggy.

He knew what it was. I knew that he knew. And he knew that I knew that he knew. That came with knowing the future, I guess. He had been there and I hadn’t.

I’m a big fan of repetitious dialogue. But not repetition for the sake of repetition. More, repetition in how words can change meanings in different context.

So that’s one answer.

WILL: ONE?! HOW MANY ARE THERE GOING TO BE?!

Three.

WILL: (falls over in his chair).

The other is the Cyborg Chronicles. There’s a story that happens offscreen (offbook?) between DAMAGED GOOD and FOREVER SIX (the sequel) that makes Celia somewhat of a quasi-celebrity. I wanted to tell that story in a Future Chronicle.

WILL: And the third?

Is going to be in 103.

WILL: That’s, uh, not how alternate history works. That’s in the future.

We don’t know that. I don’t know if I’ve been accepted. Hell, there might not even be a 103. We can’t tell.

WILL: Right… therefore you CAN’T alter it.

I’m altering it right now. I’m making it happen.

WILL: OMG. Is this almost over already?

What was the last question?

WILL: Anything else you’d like to plug?

Nah. I think I’m good.


Editor’s note…

WILL: FALLS OVER. DIES. Gets resurrected as a mosquito somewhere near James’ house in Hawaii. 

THE END

Advertisements

Meet The Alt.Historians — Drew Avera & Asha Bardon

Standard

ALT-History-102-eBook (1)We’re changing history this week with the upcoming publication of Alt.History 102. The anthology, curated and co-edited by Samuel Peralta, is ambitious and bold. (I might be a little biased…) The release is slated less than a week away on January 31, and we’re all geeking out a little over here, so excuse the glee. 🙂

The list of authors is fantastic and I can’t wait for readers to see the fruits of our efforts.

Yesterday, I introduced…myself. Today, I’m thrilled to present two interviews with my co-authors Drew Avera and Asha Bardon. Don’t worry…the rest of the line-up is in the wings. So, without further ado, let’s hear what these two have to say.


 

Drew Avera

11742948_1461996154122086_2371206396599843693_n

Give us a brief introduction to you. Who are you? What else have you written? What brings you to Alt.History 102?

My name is Drew Avera (pronounced Avery) and I’m a science fiction author who lives in Virginia. I’m known more for the books I’ve written in The Dead Planet Series, but I also write a lot of science fiction short stories. Sam invited me to Alt. History 102 because of a story I wrote called Reich, which is a blend of alternate history and a dystopian future. I also have a story featured in The Immortality Chronicles which was my first anthology with the other Chroniclers.

What’s your story about? What gave you the idea for your story?

My story is called “The Tesla Gate” and it is about Nikola Tesla building a device to help his friend relive his life with his recently deceased family members. Tesla is a bit different in my story than he was known for, but every brilliant person is hiding something. You’ll have to read my story to see what is lurking in one of the greatest scientific minds in history.

If you could pick a previous Chronicles anthology that you could alter history to go back and be included in, which one would it be and why?

I would have loved to be in “The AI Chronicles” or “The Galaxy Chronicles”. Maybe they will do another round of those…

Anything else you’d like to plug?

If you would like to jump into The Dead Planet Series then check out the first book in the series for free. It is called Exodus and you can pick it up here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1KP6SS


Asha Bardon

lesley

 

Give us a brief introduction to you. Who are you? What else have you written? What brings you to Alt.History 102?

Hi I’m Asha and I live in a quiet town with my cats and guide dog. Under the name Lesley Smith, I’ve published two novels (The Changing of the Sun and The Parting of the Waters) as well as a story in The Z Chronicles and various self published shorts that you can find on Amazon. I come to Alt.History 102 under the guide of a chance to write historical fiction, something I’ve never tried before. I pitched Samuel three ideas: one focusing on America before it was discovered as the New World, another focusing on Hannibal’s success against the Romans and the final idea was a reversal of the Space Race. Sam went with Hannibal and so “The Elissiad” was born.

What’s your story about? What gave you the idea for your story?

I spent the first year of my degree continuing my study of Classics (a subject which basically covers every aspect of ancient Greece and Rome) and we read a number of classical texts, most notably Virgil’s Aeneid which I always preferred. Homer’s Illiad was basically a war movie and bored me; The Odyssey was pure fantasy but Virgil, he mixed both and came out with a much more memorable epic.

My story revolves around the idea of Hannibal winning against the Romans but it’s not set in that period. Rather it focuses on the Golden Age of Carthage, a generation or so later, where the city has been blessed by gods and is the new Eternal City. Except the gods, Tanit and Baal, aren’t all they seem and the city isn’t as peaceful as it appears with a religious faction, the Warriors of Mithras, having incited the people to question their benevolent deities.

If you could pick a previous Chronicles anthology that you could alter history to go back and be included in, which one would it be and why?

All of them? Actually I’m happy with the ones I’ve been in and hope that I’ll be included in future line ups (my inner geek would love to be in Gamer, for example). Oh and something apocalyptic but we’ll see.

Anything else you’d like to plug?

Sure. As I mentioned I have a couple of novels out with more to follow this year. You can buy them from Amazon and peruse my backlist here: http://www.amazon.com/Lesley-Smith/e/B00BXA1MXA

I also blog at www.ashabardon.com and live on Twitter as @AshaBardon. Come and say hi!

Meet The Alt.Historians — Will Swardstrom

Standard

The next anthology up in the Future Chronicles line steps back in time — Alt.History 102.

 

ALT-History-102-eBook (1)Samuel Peralta, the curator of these anthologies, put out Alt.History 101 last summer to critical acclaim (including my own), but he always had a plan to continue the series with 102 and 103. I love the covers with an almost textbook feel to them, almost as if readers are being “re-educated” on past events if they had gone just a little differently. The next in the Alt.History series is being released on January 31, 2016 — less than a week away.

To introduce readers to the authors of this collection, I’m rolling out a short interview series with many, if not all, of the authors. To give everyone a brief taste, I figured I would start with myself. It’s always tricky interviewing yourself, but I powered through. I’m super proud of my story and I really hope people enjoy the entire collection like I have as I’ve gone over an early edition.

Some phenomenal authors in this one as you can see from the cover over there — Drew Avera, Asha Bardon, J.J. Brown, Artie Cabrera, Jennifer Ellis, Hank Garner, Therin Knite, J.E. Mac, Alex Roddie, Adam Venezia, and Rysa Walker. I can’t forget the amazing job Sam did in putting it together along with co-editor Nolie Wilson.

Enough from me…let’s hear from me!


 

Give us a brief introduction to you. Who are you? What else have you written? What brings you to Alt.History 102?

My name is Will Swardstrom, the son of Paul D. and Eileene Swardstrom, of the North Dakota Swardstroms.

I’ve written a few things. My Amazon page hasn’t gone on to three pages…yet. I have a suspicion that once this volume goes live, I will. I’ve written three novels (one currently unpublished), and a couple handfuls of short stories and novellas. I got my first crack at a Future Chronicles story with Uncle Allen in The Alien Chronicles, then I published Z Ball in The Z Chronicles, and then The Control in The Immortality Chronicles. Samuel Peralta, curator of the Future Chronicles anthologies knew I was a history teacher during the day, so I suppose it was only a matter of time until he asked me about doing some alternative history. I pitched him three stories, but I knew he was going to pick the one he did.

What’s your story about? What gave you the idea for your story? 

My story is entitled Requiem and centers around Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One of those quirky facts of history is that Mozart and his family gave some performances for the Austrian Royal family as part of a European tour. Mozart was just six years old and the young Austrian princess — the future Marie Antoinette — was a few months older at the time. The two were smitten with each other; a confirmed case of puppy love.

That’s where the story ends in the history books, but suppose Wolfgang harbored feelings for his childhood crush. That their lives continued on, but in the end…when the French Revolution is just in its bloody, violent beginnings, he seeks out that first love of his life in a quest to rescue her?

If you could pick a previous Chronicles anthology that you could alter history to go back and be included in, which one would it be and why?

There have been so many great anthologies, but I think I would love to go back and get a spot in The Galaxy Chronicles. I’ve dabbled a little in space opera, so getting my feet wet alongside the other ridiculously talented authors there would have been a hoot.

Anything else you’d like to plug?

As a matter of fact, yes! My latest novel is just a few days away from publication. It’s entitled Blink, and it was co-written by me and my brother, Paul. It is the first full novel in our Utility Company series about a government agency that specializes in the strange and unique. We had a blast writing it and I think readers will have as good of a time reading it. Look for it soon!

the party

Meet the Immortals — ALL the Interviews!

Standard

qg7p8

Today is the launch day for The Immortality Chronicles

(That means you should be reading the book, by the way…)

Not convinced?

A few reviews:

“WOW….All these authors created an awesome collection of stories of the possibilities of living forever…All of these authors were amazing! There wasn’t any story I didn’t love.” 

“This book was really good. There were so many interesting takes on the theme of immortality, and they all had a different spin on it. Every story kept me immersed to the end, I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down.” 

“This anthology is ambitious in its reach and rich in its delivery.”

“If you haven’t read any of the FC series yet, I highly recommend starting with this one. You won’t be disappointed.”

……

BUT maybe you’ve already had a chance to read it….maybe you are waiting until Labor Day…maybe you still aren’t convinced…maybe you want a break. If you haven’t yet caught each of the author interviews for the anthology, this is Union Station of a sort for that. Following this, I’ll post the pictures of each of the interviewees. Click on the picture to be taken to their interview. Thanks for reading and as one of my old friends used to say, “Live Long and Prosper!”


983813_10205162354238622_7090703755502509662_n

Patricia Gilliam

John Gregory Hancock

John Gregory Hancock

11742948_1461996154122086_2371206396599843693_n

Drew Avera

D.K. Cassidy

D.K. Cassidy

Thomas Robins

Thomas Robins

Gareth Foy

Gareth Foy

E.E. Giorgi

E.E. Giorgi

Harlow C. Fallon

Harlow C. Fallon

David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns

D. Robert Pease

D. Robert Pease

Paul B. Kohler

Paul B. Kohler

Will Swardstrom

Will Swardstrom

Meet The Immortals — Will Swardstrom

Standard

Hey look, it’s my turn! I’ve taken time and used this space to interview each of the other eleven authors featured in The Immortality Chronicles. I thought it only fair that I got to cap the interview series today.

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of The Immortality Chronicles for just $2.99 for a limited time. To check out the other author interviews, just click on their names: Patricia Gilliam, John Gregory Hancock, Drew Avera, Gareth Foy, D.K. Cassidy, Thomas Robins, E.E. Giorgi, Harlow C. Fallon, David Bruns, D. Robert Pease & Paul B. Kohler.

And now…me!

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

Okay…okay. I’ve asked this question of enough people at this point, I should have this down pat. I’m…24601. Shoot. That’s not right.

Okay…my name is Will Swardstrom. I’m a husband, father of two, high school history teacher, and author. Since 2013, I’ve written two novels and a couple handfuls of novellas and short stories. I enjoy teaching for my day job, so there isn’t a huge rush to quit and focus entirely on writing, but perhaps one day… Until that day, I’ll continue to find a balance between my two careers.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

I was on board with The Immortality Chronicles from the get go. Chronicles curator Samuel Peralta approached me about a volume that would act as a vehicle to foster charity donations and he chose Immortality for that. I’d done a previous anthology with my LOOW writing group, so he worked with me early on that side of the book. Eventually I was able to write my own story to help benefit First Book and contribute my third Chronicles story (I’ve also appeared in Alien and Z).

Also, now that I’ve read the entire collection, I’m thrilled to be sharing page space with these immensely talented men and women. Each time I get a story in a Future Chronicles anthology, I am just in awe of the words that surround my story on all sides, from the Foreword to the final acknowledgements, each book is a work of art.

11936983_10207733939815640_650787208_nWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles? 

My contribution to The Immortality Chronicles is a story called The Control. It spans much of human recorded history going back to ancient Egypt. I guess I started with the idea that aliens were behind the construction of the pyramids and the other monuments scattered around the Old Kingdom upwards of 5,000 years ago. From there my protagonist goes through history, always alive, but not always living. Not when your life is under someone else’s control. 

How can we find out more about you and your writing?

Well, right here is a great place to start! Up above there are links for many of my books and stories (although I have been terrible at updating this site in the past year or so.) Ultimately to check out my current works, visit my Amazon page HERE. I’m fairly active on Facebook and I can guarantee there aren’t any other Will Swardstrom’s out there. Just search and find me. I’m also on Twitter, but I am a terrible tweeter.

What’s next for you?

Oh boy. Here we go.

My brother, Paul, and I are co-authoring a book. I started it on a whim and he asked to help out and now it may be the best longform fiction I’ve been a part of. We’ve got nearly 83,000 words as of the start of September and I have a goal to finish it by the end of the month.

After that, I’ve got a few short stories to write and/or finish. One I can’t really talk about quite yet, but I can mention the story I have planned for the Alt.History 102 volume coming up. My deadline for that is November with a publication date of early 2016. My working title is “Requiem for an Austrian Princess.” (I’ll leave it there for now and reveal more details later.

In terms of anything else, we’ll just have to see what time allows for. I’m always up for something new, but I gotta make sure I take care of the day job, too.

Anything else we need to know about you and your story?

I was really drawn to The Immortality Chronicles by the epic tale of Gilgamesh. An ancient Sumerian story — in fact, the oldest story we have on record — that tells about Gilgamesh as a king in the Sumerian city of Uruk. Gilgamesh is a great king, mighty and powerful, but he has flaws. Eventually those flaws attract the gods who send him a friend, Enkidu. The two have a great bromance and go on epic adventures, but Enkidu eventually dies and much of the blame can be laid at the feet of Gilgamesh. In order to avoid Enkidu’s fate, he embarks on a search for immortality. The journey is long and tough, but he eventually learns man cannot become immortal, but immortality happens for those who live full and complete lives, allowing others to remember their deeds long after their mortal death.

How can we become immortal? Ultimately we can search for man-made ways — faster than light travel, gene therapy, freezing your body, etc. — but the true way to achieve eternal life isn’t found there.

Meet The Immortals — Paul B. Kohler

Standard

We’re nearing the end of the author interviews for The Immortality ChroniclesWe’ve gone through ten interviews so far and Paul B. Kohler is the final one before I share my own thoughts tomorrow. I’ve known Paul for a while now, enjoying his Linear Shift stories back during their first weeks being released into the wild. He’s full of some vivid and wonderful story ideas and we certainly get a doozy with his story in this anthology.

If you missed a previous interview, check them out with the following links: Patricia Gilliam, John Gregory Hancock, Drew Avera, Gareth Foy, D.K. Cassidy, Thomas Robins, E.E. Giorgi, Harlow C. Fallon, David Bruns & D. Robert Pease. Don’t forget, The Immortality Chronicles is just $2.99 through Launch Day (Sept. 4!).

Thankfully I was able to get Paul’s interview in and he chipped in a wonderful photo of himself with his exceptional responses. Enjoy the following (along with that photo):

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

Hmm. What can I say that I haven’t already said on the umpteen bio’s scattered around the internets? I am Paul B. Kohler. I hail from Littleton, Colorado, and I enjoy long walks on the beach… oh wait… I think I’ve used that one on another kind of website. Ok, seriously though, my name is Paul, and I am a late comer to the writer party. I’m in my mid 40’s, and only started taking my writing seriously a few years ago. I’ve always had the desire to write fiction, and have been inspired by the likes of Stephen King, but never took the leap until 2013. Maybe someday I could even call myself a full time writer, but until that magical day happens, I’ll keep my day job in architecture.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

I am writing for the Immortality Chronicles, because the entire Future Chronicles authorship is awesome, and I am beyond honored to be included in a volume. Samuel really figured things out correctly when he started putting together these fabulous anthologies. I can only hope that I get tapped on the shoulder again for another future chronicle.

11223824_10207875057263614_6072123625252704075_oWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles? 

My contribution to The Immortality Chronicles is titled Rememorations. It is a story about a man who buys into Immortality, but didn’t pay too much attention to the fine print, per se. After a certain amount of time, his mind became full of memories, and he had to have an additional “procedure” to make room for new ones. The hardest part was deciding which memories to eliminate. Once the decision is made, unknown consequences take over.

How can we find out more about you and your writing?

I write a blog… sometimes. OK, Most of the time, but only sometimes. You can find my ramblings at www.paul-kohler.net, where I try and keep an up to date progress section for anything in my writing queue.

What’s next for you?

Right now, I am mid-way through writing a 7 part serialized novel, titled The Borrowed Souls. The first part, self-titled Borrowed Souls originally published in early 2014 as a stand-alone short story. Since I wrote that piece, my mind would not stop thinking of the possibilities of that world. So, after I finished my last novel, Linear Shift, I began working on new episodes. I recently retitled the first part to The Soul Collector: Borrowed Souls: Book 1 and republished it. The second of 7 episodes is currently available on pre-order, and is titled Regretful Absolution: Borrowed Souls: Book 2. It will publish live on Tuesday, September 8th. I have the third installment ready to go as well, and is scheduled to publish on Tuesday, September 29th. Beyond that, a new episode will publish every three weeks – like clockwork.

Anything else we need to know about you and your story?

I think I’ve talked enough about myself and my stories for the moment. I would like to first thank Will for opening his blog to all the writers of the Immortality Chronicles. I’ve been following along with each of the interviews, and can only say that I am humbled to be included with such great talent. The act of writing a book is no easy task for any of us. Between the first spark of inspiration to the umpteenth rewrite along the way, hundreds of hours are involved. Some of us can do it more quickly than others, but that doesn’t at all diminish the effort involved. As I am relatively green in this exciting new world, I am most likely spending more time than the others, because I want things to be as “right” as possible. Beyond the authors involved, there is Samuel (Peralta). Even though he doesn’t have a story in this volume, I would almost guarantee he is has put in double the amount of effort than any single author involved. Please keep that in mind when you buy fiction. The small amount of money we ask is a mere pittance to the value you get. To help sweeten the pot for involved, please consider leaving a review where you purchased the book. Reviews help other potential readers decide whether or not to take a chance on an unknown title.

Meet The Immortals — D. Robert Pease

Standard

It’s Launch Week!

The Immortality Chronicles officially launches this Friday. As of this writing, four reviews are up on Amazon. All are five stars and are raving about the stories in the latest Future Chronicles anthology. One of those stories is D. Robert Pease’s The Scout. Pease can craft a story and does so here with beings out of place…and out of time. They are given immortality, but is it worth it? Can there possibly be a difference between humanity and the rest of life around the universe? There is a lot going on in this story with philosophical questions, and action that will thrill most readers.

An interview with Pease follows, but we’ve already heard from most of the other Immortal authors, including Patricia Gilliam, John Gregory Hancock, Drew Avera, Gareth Foy, D.K. Cassidy, Thomas Robins, E.E. Giorgi, Harlow C. Fallon & David BrunsThe Immortality Chronicles is just $2.99 for Kindle through the launch date. 

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

My name is D. Robert Pease. I write science fiction and fantasy for kids through adults. My Middle Grade series, Noah Zarc, has won numerous awards, and readers from all over the world. I also have the first book in a YA urban fantasy series called Dream Warriors, A Joey Cola Novel. Finally, I’ve published an epic fantasy called Shadow Swarm. If you like sci-fi or fantasy, one of these books might be right up your alley.

I live in the gray-skied world of Northeast Ohio and am married with two amazing kids, a dog, a cat, and a pond full of fish. All of whom are smarter than I.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

Writing can be a tedious, lonely experience. Spending months, even years sitting alone in front of a computer writing the next great American novel can drive anyone crazy (by that I mean writing something that kind of, sort of, doesn’t suck.)  So when I have the chance, I love to sit down and, in just a few days, crank out a story with a complete beginning, middle, and end. When I saw that Samuel Peralta was looking for authors for his latest anthology, I jumped at the chance and submitted my name into the hat. I’m excited about this fabulous group of authors, and love the camaraderie of working and promoting together. I’ll enjoy the few days out in the sun, but soon enough I’ll retreat into my quiet little world to bang away on the keys, seeking that next story which will hopefully be better than the last.

received_10153003353805458What did you write for The Immortality Chronicles?

An ancient alien race, whose whole civilization is built on conquest of other worlds, has taken an interest in Earth.  “The Scout” follows one such alien as he works to prepare Earth for invasion. It’s his job to make humans immortal, so they’d be worthy of conquest, but his deepest desire for himself is to die.

How can we find out more about you and your writing?

There are a number of places you can follow my writing journey:

Website: www.drobertpease.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/drobertpease

Twitter: www.twitter.com/drobertpease

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/drobertpease

What’s next for you?

I am currently working on the first book in a planned trilogy called Enslaved, Exodus Chronicles, Book 1. This is set in the same universe as my story in The Immortality Chronicles. It’s part alien invasion/first contact, part space opera, and part hard science fiction.

Anything else we need to know about you and your story?

As always seems to happen, I just set out to write a fun story with maybe a little meaning and end it there, but I really enjoyed the tone of the character, and the questions that were left unanswered. So I have this strong urge to go back and see what happens to this guy after the closing words of this story. Maybe after I finish the first three books in the Exodus Chronicles, I’ll have to go back and revisit him… or, who knows, maybe he’ll make an appearance before that.