Meet The Immortals — D. Robert Pease

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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.

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New Release – Jam Night

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Jam NightAbout a year ago, I wrote a short story inspired by things that were going on at the time. There had been some Internet bullying of indie authors, so I worked out some demons by writing a fictional story informed by my time in junior high. I can’t say by any stretch that I enjoyed junior high (with the exception of Mr. Henry’s Geography class and my 8th grade band trip to Michigan), but my experiences developed who I am.

Who am I?

I am a person who was bullied. Even now, over 20 years later, when I write that statement, my heart hesitates. Even admitting it makes me wonder if someone will retaliate against me. You might scoff, but that fear still runs through me to this day.

I was going through my blog the other day and found the story I’d posted, which I called Jam Night. I read through it, dusted it off a little, tightened up the wording and added a few hundred words to the narrative. It isn’t a long story — coming in just under 2,500 words, but it is one I needed to tell. I don’t care if anyone buys it or even reads it, but I wanted to put it out there for anyone who might be going through a tough time at school, or in their personal life with bullies. It is a trite saying, but it does get better. The first couple years of high school were no treat, either, but I can honestly say that a small group of friends made my final few years in high school some of my favorite memories.

Ultimately, writing the story helped me to tackle a few of my own demons left over from junior high. Will I ever be rid of all of the demons? I doubt it, but maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe those demons are there to remind me what it’s like to be on the side of the bullied. As an adult, it’s easy to say kids should just “suck it up,” but for them, the fear can be crippling and debilitating. I hope this story can at least help one person in that regard.

Free Book Today – Baking With Swords

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The short story collection I published a few months ago with my brother Paul and my sister Betsy is now available for free for a very limited time (just one more day!).
You can pick it up at no cost and enjoy three separate and different short stories. Paul’s story, The Price of Greatness, is about man’s eternal search rivaling the ordinary of daily life. Betsy’s tale, Flutter, tells about a mother and her daughter, who is undergoing inexplicable changes. My story, A Whimper, is an end-of-the world tale through the lens of one person and society’s dependence on technology.
To get it, just click on the large cover image above!

Paperbacks…dead? (Also a giveaway inside!)

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SPOILER ALERT — 100th Blog Post!

(Giveaways to follow in comments)


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After I opened my latest package from Amazon, I decided to take a picture at a lot of the books I’ve stocked my shelves with over the past year since I started as an indie author. I’ve definitely added to it thanks to my wallet, but I’ve been lucky enough to have been the recipient of fellow author’s good graces.

Here’s the thing — none of the books pictured are traditionally published. From Hugh Howey’s last two novels, Peter Cawdron, Jason Gurley, John Gregory Hancock, Michael Bunker, an outstanding Indie collection edited by David Gatewood, Paul Kupperberg, and myself — all are what you might call independently published. (There are a few others I have that aren’t pictured for whatever reason.)

With the arguments surrounding indie vs. traditional publishing, Amazon vs. The Big 5, digital vs. paperback, we all line up a choose a side. I would argue that we can have both. Indie can coexist with traditionally published books. Amazon and the Big 5 can get along and all can make a profit (unlikely, but I’m a dreamer), and we can have paperback and digital books. The more I got into my Kindle and reading books on various digital devices, the more I wanted to own some of these books in paperback form. I don’t regret it — what happens when the zombie apocalypse happens and the Internet goes dark? I’ll still have my copy of Jason Gurley’s Eleanor to keep me company as I trek across America under dark and grim skies.

I almost feel inadequate when I put my own books in the same picture as some of the others here, but that’s the beauty of indie publishing. My books are viewed on the same playing field as Gurley, Bunker, and even Howey — even Patterson, King, and Koontz on occasion.

Are paperbacks dead? Not for me. I certainly scour and search for books on my Kindle on an almost daily basis, but when I want a physical copy of a book, I don’t hesitate to add it to my collection. I don’t think I’m alone here, either. It is a special time in publishing and most readers are recognizing this as well. Go out and read!


 

Still here?

Good — in honor of my 100th blog post, I want to give a few books away. I’ll give away a set of Dead Sleep/Dead Sight and a copy of Baking With Swords as well. That is two (2) winners — one for the DS1/DS2 books and one will get the copy of BWS.

What do you need to do to win? Tell me what is the best book you’ve read in 2014 and whether it was physical or digital. That’s it. I’ll keep this open for a week (until July 8) and then choose a winner randomly then. (Sorry — winners will be chosen from U.S. only)

Book Review – Synchronic

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SynchronicFinalCoverAs much as the title suggests its relationship to time, Synchronic also has a hint of something else. My mind wandered to chronic health conditions that persist over time, or perhaps even a hint at an addiction.

By the time I finished Synchronic, I had developed my own addiction: a persistent desire to read stories about time travel. One after another, the 13 writers involved in the anthology created new and interesting tales of time travel without repetition or fatigue.

I’ve read works by some of these authors already, but one of the great things about an anthology like this is finding new and different authors I hadn’t yet discovered. After reading some of the stories in Synchronic, I wish I could go back in time and discover these authors in their writing infancy – to read their early works as they were first getting published.

There is a certain appeal to time travel stories. What is it that draws the reader to them? I imagine the pull of regret has a lot to do with it. After I first got a DVR at home, I used it so much to skip commercials and to rewind live TV if I happened to miss something. Eventually I started having urges in real life to skip back or replay something. At first, it was just a few moments at a time, but when I realized major mistakes, oh how I wished I could go back and correct those blunders. To make my life better with just a simple revisit to the past.

Ultimately, that regret has a necessary place in our lives and helps us as we encounter new, but similar circumstances. That doesn’t lessen our desire to alter our past, though. I imagine if we were really able to go back, the tragedy of our actions would resonate throughout our lives. Most of the time travel stories I’ve read or seen on the big screen have that tragic element and over and over we see that in this collection as well.

There are so many great stories contained in Synchronic, but I want to highlight a few of my favorites – the stories that stuck with me long after I’d read them.

The Mirror by Irving Belateche

For me, the standout of this collection. I usually like my time travel to be science fiction-based, but wow, I’ll take it with a supernatural twist after reading The Mirror. Peter Cooper is a Manhattan antiques dealer who stumbles upon the titular object that reshapes his life, and has defined who he was before he even knew it. I really loved this story and made me think twice before looking in any antique mirrors.


The First Cut by Edward E. Robertson

When I first started reading Robertson’s contribution, I thought of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Timecop, but this story had a mind of its own, putting these time police officers on the case of time violators who go to alternate histories of Earth. Our protagonist, Blake Din, is at the bottom of his class from the Academy, but we find out that Blake thrives once the simulations end and the real life situations emerge, taking us on a who-dun-it set in a time like the mid-90’s (where the Internet is in its infancy and cell phones aren’t ubiquitous). Wonderful twist at the end pays off for the reader.


Reset by MeiLin Miranda

This story struck me kind of like a Groundhog Day-type of story, except that Catherine lives almost an entire life over and over. This not only reminded me of Groundhog Day, but also the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the Enterprise is stuck in a time loop and Data is the only one aware of the repetition. Again, both those two tales are just a day or a few days – Catherine’s story involves years. What would you do if you lived decades over and over again?


Reentry Window by Eric Tozzi

Tozzi wrote one of my favorite books of 2013 – The Scout, and his knowledge of NASA and the space program pays off fantastically here. With hints of Andy Weir’s The Martian, Tozzi gives us a “chicken or the egg” story set in outer space that leaves you thinking for a long time.


Rock or Shell by Ann Christy

What is the effect of time travel on the space-time continuum. If you’ve watched enough Star Trek, you’ve heard of the continuum and Christy gives us a look behind the curtain so-to-speak with Rock or Shell. When the world as we know it starts to collapse, what do we hold on to? What keeps us centered – keeps us grounded? There was a bit of the Leonardo DiCaprio movie Inception here – you’ll know it when you read it – and Christy’s story pays it off wonderfully.

Like I said – all the stories are winners. It was tough for me to pick my top 5 and I’ll say that Susan Kaye Quinn’s Corrections was right there on the outside. Some other fantastic stories from Nick Cole (who also penned the amazing Foreward), Michael Bunker (what a twist!), Jason Gurley, Samuel Peralta, Jennifer Ellis, Christopher Nuttall, and Isaac Hooke round out the collection. I really could go on and on about this collection. And of course, I couldn’t forget to mention that editor extraordinare, David Gatewood, compiled this outstanding anthology, just a few months after publishing his last indie anthology, From The Indie Side.

This collection gets and deserves five stars and also deserves a paperback on your bookshelf. The short story is not dead and this collection proves it.

My TBR Pile (I’m working on it!)

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I try to read a lot. I love to read, but here is a problem. When you also write a lot, it leaves you less time to read. I do have a healthy TBR pile built up (of which, these 8 are just the start). When I polish one off, I promise a review.

Books on by TBR (To Be Read) Pile:

*IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

ImageWICK Omnibus by Michael Bunker – This man is quickly becoming a name to be reckoned with in writing, and I am glad to call him my friend. His short story, Pennsylvania, has an Asimov/Heinlein tone to it that is very relatable, in spite of its “Amish Sci-fi” moniker. WICK is the book Bunker sharpened his sci-fi teeth on and I can’t wait to plunge into the post-apocalyptic tale.

Monsters by Peter Cawdron – I was recommended to Peter by Hugh Howey back some months, but I never pulled the trigger. That is, until Little Green Men a few days ago. That book is outstanding and I will recommend that to anyone interested in hard scifi. This was 99 cents at the same time I bought LGM, so I pulled the trigger on this and hope for more of the same magic from Mr. Cawdron.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – I don’t remember where I read about this a while back, but they were saying it would be like the next Harry Potter. Well, we’ve had a few attempts (some more successful than others), but this one looked intriguing. For $4.99, I figured I’d give it a read when I got the chance.

ImageSilo 49 by Ann Christy – If you don’t know already, I am a WOOLite, or member of LOOW or whatever you want to call a devotee to Hugh Howey’s WOOLiverse (or is it WOOLverse). Anyway, I’ve read most of the stories released, but for some reason, I just haven’t gotten to Ann’s tale of Silo 49. My sister read it and loved it, so I will have to dive in at some point.

Earthman Jack and the Ghost Planet by Matthew Kadish – Once again, I deferred to the taste of Hugh Howey on this one. If my memory is correct, I think he posted a story about Kadish and this book and it was compared to Star Wars meets Harry Potter. I’m in for that, especially at 99 cents. Really a big reason why this is on the list, however, is that I am letting my daughter read it right now and I want to talk to her about it later.

Brilliance by Marcus Sakey – the Brilliance of Amazon’s marketing, that is. I saw this advertised for a couple weeks on Amazon’s Kindle page and it looked a lot like a book I would want to read. It wasn’t super-expensive, so I bought it.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – I am a sucker. I love Harry Potter. When I heard about this book conning people, I bought it. Still haven’t had a chance to read it, though.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – What can I say? It’s Neil Freaking Gaiman.