Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Resolution


               A midnight kiss draws near and with every passing second the smell of alcohol assaults your senses while the person standing several millimeters in front of you puckers. Instead maybe you are the person sitting on a cushioned wooden bench with head bowed and hands clasped tightly together. Different cultures share one thing in common when it comes to the New Year, which is a time for celebration and for customs to ensure good luck in the coming year. In this post I would like to take a closer look at the New Year’s Resolutions phenomenon and celebrations that come with the passing of a year.

The definition of the word ‘Resolution’ according to Dictionary.com: the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc. This is the right definition to encompass what our New Year’s Resolution is…, but wait, what exactly is this thing called a New Year’s Resolution and where did it come from. According to Wikipedia.com, a New Year’s Resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. At the end of the Great Depression, about a quarter of American adults made New Year’s resolutions. At the start of the 21st century, about 40% did. Now why is that? Why such a large jump in participation? Let us go back to the origins for a moment.

               January gets its name from Janus, the two-faced Roman god who could look back on the previous year and past events as well as forward to the future and the New Year. Janus was also the patron and protector of arches, gates, doors, doorways, bridges, endings and beginnings. When the Roman Empire took Christianity as its official state religion in the 4th century, they no longer made resolutions that worshiped and gave offerings to Janus. Instead, they were replaced with resolutions that strived to be good to your fellow man and by praying and fasting. Christians were reluctant to participate in some of the New Year practices affiliated with the idolization and worship of the pagan god Janus. In contrast, the Puritans urged their children to skip the revelry and instead spend their time reflecting on the year past and contemplating the year to come. In this way they adopted again the old custom of making resolutions. 

               Now in today’s world of the fast paced, all digital 21st century, how did the New Year’s Resolution become wrapped up into drunken debauchery when the clock strikes midnight. I cannot in good conscience sit here and try to act ‘holier-than-thou’ because I have, in the past, participated in unsavory activities as the year began anew then woken up with a headache for the ages. But that still begs the question, where do we draw the line. Moderation is easier said than done. How do we celebrate the past and also give thanks for the future? How do we strive to be better human beings and help our fellow man yet also rejoice in the moment?
              
               It is a fine tight-rope that we must walk as human beings. If we stray too far to the left or right then we face ridicule and annihilation. If we live our lives according to our own moral compass then we run the risk of falling over the edge of the map and into the abyss.

               *** Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. ~ Mathew 7:14 ***

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Doomsday


It seems like this topic is on everyone’s mind as 12/21/2012 approaches. As this infamous date draws near, we are inundated with television programs and other writings that state this date will be the beginning of the end. I believe that this is all a result of mass media, mass hysteria and a misinterpretation of ancient prophetic texts. People routinely point to the fact that several cultures separated by miles and centuries have similar world ending catastrophes.

Personally I believe that the earth will keep on spinning, on 12/22 just the same as before. Also, being as that I am a Christian, the Mayan prophecy is intriguing but at the same time the bible states that no man will know the time and date.

However there are a lot of once in a lifetime celestial events occurring in the year 2012 and with mass media it seems like more natural and un-natural disasters are happening more frequently. We are living in a golden age of information. Never before on earth has information traveled from remote locations in other continents and spread to the masses.

The focus on 2012 has given humanity the opportunity to re-examine itself. With the birth of the industrial age, the human population has exploded like never before and we have tipped the scale in our favor. With that being said, what happens to the other side of the scale? We have entered the realm of the Gods with the ability to alter life and potentially create artificial life and human clones. We are in uncharted territory and with the human exploration space age approaching, I think it is time for humanity to seriously consider leaving our home world if we truly want to survive. Threats from asteroids, comets, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and even killer planets could destroy everything that the human race has built.

Therefore, in the face of annihilation, can the human race truly come together and cooperate to save ourselves. Can we put aside or differences, whether they be religious, territorial, racial, etc in order to build a better life for future generations in the stars?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Guest Author Feature - Gwen Perkins - The Jealousy Glass



BOOK BLURB:

"We came to stop a war before it came to Cercia.  And it seems the war has come to us."

Responsibility and patriotism spur Cercia's new leader, Quentin, to protect his beloved country at all costs and he assigns Asahel and Felix to serve as ambassadors and secret agents to Anjdur. Their journey quickly turns awry and Asahel and Felix barely escape a devastating shipwreck, walk a tightrope of political tension, and rescue an empress before they learn they must face an enemy closer to them than they thought.

Will they be able to uncover an assassin's plot before it's too late? Will Asahel be able to unearth a secret that is vital to their mission? Will Cercia survive its own revolution? In The Jealousy Glass, Perkins boldly continues a series of unforgettable characters and events that will leave you begging for more.








EXCERPT I
From Chapter 1

The white monster swooped down.
           
All that Asahel could see was a cloud of pale feathers as the Rukh lashed out at the cannon that had fired.  Screams throbbed around him as the Rukh lifted, golden talons now rusted with blood.  Broken bodies lay on the wood, ribs smashed by the weight of unearthly claws.  The men were too distant for Asahel to put faces to as he fell to the deck, heart pounding at the sound of the wings beating once more.
           
The Rukh dove again, its beak rending the ship's prow.  The heavy timbers cracked like bones against the pressure.  A slow tearing sound cut through the haze of chaos settling over the ship as panic took hold.  Spice spilled out of the hold the beast had torn open.  Pungent scents of oil and cedar clouded the air as chests smashed against the bow, breaking apart into the water below.
           
Asahel crawled on his knees toward the heart of the battle, his eyes stinging red from the spices in the air.  The Rukh thrashed as another cannon fired its shot, black powder belching into the fading light.  Angry cries from the monster above filled his ears as it lurched down, plucking a sailor off the deck and squeezing its talons tightly around the man's midsection.  Another series of screams began as the ship's port side blazed into flames, but he kept moving toward starboard, trying to reach the first cannon that had been fired.
           
"Zuane!"  He called, hoping that the captain was near.  When that failed, Asahel shouted out for others.  "Felix!  Nicolas!"  His knee edged forward as he crawled, the coarse wool of his trousers suddenly damp.  He looked down to see the blood of the fallen pooling in the cracks of the boards.
           
He was near the side of the Serenissma.  Asahel stood, crouching each time the Rukh let out another shriek.  Black smoke surrounded him, choking his lungs as he turned.  The white beast had grown dim as the wall of fire leapt up, flames feeding on the ship's planking.
           
"Soames—" 
           
Asahel turned but did not see who could have called him.
           
"Where are you?"  He whispered, afraid to raise his voice.  He saw a pair of hands gripping the railing.  He reached out, his own strong fingers clutching them and pulling the man toward the deck.  He could feel Felix shudder as he came up over the rail, his thin body battered.  The older man began to cough almost immediately as Asahel helped him back to the deck.  They stared through the flames at the carnage.
           
The Serenissma wrenched sharply to the right.  The Rukh cawed as it rose, white wings blotting out what was left of the sun.  Water splashed across the wood, shooting up from the hold as the lower decks flooded.
           
"We've got to get out of here," Asahel said.
           
"There's no rafts." Felix coughed and leaned back against the rail.  His eyes were bright with a fear the other man had never seen. 
           
"Aye."  The fire was close enough to warm them both.  Which will it be?  Asahel thought.  Burning or drowning?
           
"I can't swim."
           
"Sure, and now you tell me."  Asahel steadied his expression for Felix's sake, more nervous than he let on.  The Soames family had been merchants and traders for generations.  Unlike Felix, Asahel had been raised at water's edge.
           
"I never expected it to come up."  Felix grimaced.  "I know.  We're on a boat.  Clearly, I was being an optimist."
           
"Ship," Asahel corrected gently, looking over his shoulder at the waves.
           
"Grave—if we don't do something shortly."  Felix inhaled, his body clenched as he turned his back on the flames.  The Serenissma was moving downwards rapidly.  The remaining sailors leapt from the deck, disappearing into the churning tides as they plummeted through the darkness.  He looked at Asahel, his mouth twisting into a crooked grin.  "No time like the present."
           
Felix climbed back up on the railing, sweat trickling down his forehead, his skin mottled with bruise and shadow.  Asahel followed, his own ungainly body slower to take action.  The two men looked at one another a last time, then back at the burning ship.
           
With one breath, they jumped.

*  *  * 

AMAZON PURCHASE LINKS:

The Jealousy Glass:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AFESVVQ


GIVEAWAY:

In conjunction with the release of The Jealousy Glass, Gwen is running a giveaway for an autographed, first edition paperback of The Universal Mirror through Goodreads at: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/37726-the-universal-mirror

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gwen Perkins is a museum curator with a MA in Military History from Norwich University. She has written for a number of magazines, exhibitions and nonfiction publications. Her interest in history fueled the creation of the world of The Universal Mirror, inspired in part by people and events of the medieval and Renaissance periods. 

Twitter: @helleder



Friday, November 23, 2012

Heaven's Fate Promo Book Trailer

Heaven's Fate Trailer


Above is the book trailer that I made for my debut novel, Heaven's Fate and the YouTube link to the video. Hope you enjoy and please be sure to pick up a copy of the book either in Hardcover or EBook (available on www.evaporent.com)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review: Heaven's Fate






Title:  Heaven's Fate
Author:  Andre Alan
Pages:  360
Publication Date:  2012
Version:  PDF version via author for honest review
Genre:  Adult Fiction/Fantasy

Summary via Goodreads.com:

"Thame Elliot, an expert Rietsu martial artist, is consumed with thoughts of avenging his father's death and rebuilding the legendary Tundra Sword. Little does Thame know that his aunt, the first empress of the human continent, Eioda, Autumn Augustus, has set the nation on a course that can only lead to war with the Orcs. The mystical inhabitants on the planet, Threa have been plunged into a struggle for the ancient artifacts buried in the mysterious, Consummate of the Trust. Not only that but his aunt is hell bent on marrying him to a corrupt military admirals daughter while Thame's spiritual guardian, Masaya from the Astral Plane tries to manipulate him in order to keep the heavens from falling apart. The fate of mankind rest in Thame's young hands but does he even want the responsibility that goes along with being the chosen one. Or will Thame's spiritual twin, imbued with dark powers granted by the evil one, assassinate him before he can fulfill his destiny."

My Review: 
Thame wants nothing more than to get revenge for his father's untimely death.  He refuses to believe the things he hears from others about how his father was a traitor.  His goal is to rebuild the Sword of Tundra, a sword that is more powerful than even Thame can grasp.  Can rebuilding the sword really help Thame, or will it only make his life worse?  What can go wrong with recreating a weapon that can act on the owners emotions right?  Standing in Thame's way is his spiritual twin, a twin that is nothing but evil.  Besides trying to figure out the past about his father, trying to rebuild the Sword of Tundra, and dealing with his evil spiritual twin...Thame's aunt and empress is dead set on helping Thame marry.  Can Thame deal with all of this and still come out on top and alive?

How did I feel about this book?  Well, to be honest I am not sure.  It had great characters and a good plot line, but it just didn't do it for me personally.  It was well written and had a very natural flow, that was not the issue. The issue was just my personal preferences.  I am a fantasy reader, but not an avid one.  I enjoyed reading this book because it was new to me and a different genre than I normally shoot for.  I don't like to always read the same thing so this book was good to break that up for me.  I think my indifference to fantasy is why I didn't enjoy this book as much as I very well could have.  I think this would be a terrific read for someone who loves fantasy.  It just wasn't for me.  I did like the action/adventure of it all though and, like I stated before, I very much enjoyed the characters.  I may not have loved the book personally, but I didn't feel I had to quit reading it either, so that to me says something about the book itself.  It had enough in it that made me want to finish it, rather than putting it down forever.  I think the author did a fantastic job writing this book and would read other works by the author.

4/5 Stars!!

Heaven's Fate

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Witches Don’t Die…, They Multiply



Three witches enter the basement
Immediately whispering spells and incantations
Ghosts appear, dancing and howling
Until towns-folk storm the building
Burned, screaming their last words


Despite it being Halloween, can humans every really and truly escape the allure of the dark and mysterious people known as witches. Even the world number one bestselling book, the Holy Bible mentions their names:

Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
Leviticus 20:27 “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.”

Despite what was written in the good book however, in the early 400’s, Saint Augustine argued that witch craft is impossible. He stated that it was the error of pagans to believe some other divine power than God. For a while, that held true and people thought to be witches were ignored, for the most part. That did not last forever because we are all aware of the witch persecutions throughout Europe. We also know that in order to obtain confessions from supposed witches, brutal torture techniques were used. As the enlightenment age approached and reason reigned supreme, humans realized that confessions obtained through torture were unreliable. I think we all realize that if you are in pain you will probably admit to anything to make it stop.

Even with this colorful path for witches, we still today idolize them on the big screen and in fiction novels. I guess that the unknown will always capture the imagination. Weird and isolated people usually draw side long glances with people wondering ‘what is wrong with that person’ or ‘does that person have some special power’. Me personally, I think the latter is what it all boils down to, everyone wants to be special. If casting imaginary spells and riding on broom sticks is your thing then by all means, do you. From firsthand experience I can tell you that being different is not a bad thing, isolation is not a bad thing, being misunderstood is a bad thing. People consider me a little weird and possibly a bit mad. Who knows, perhaps I am raving mad. I would be lying if I did not inform everyone that Shakespeare inspired the 5x5 short story above. Therefore, in the words of the timeless Shakespeare and his immortal play Macbeth:

“ALL: Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”

Happy Halloween everyone, be safe and have fun.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Cost of Day Dreaming


I usually don’t watch television, but when I do, I like to watch either the news or some other type of informative program like the ones on Science chancel, Discovery, or History. Although I do not have a degree in science or physics, I do consider myself a space geek, among other things - like tech, and comics. I have always found a fascination with space however.

Late at night, staring up at the twinkling balls of gas and energy that are thousands of light years away really makes you wonder about your place in the universe. Sure I can create a blog and write a book, but is there any guarantee that any of those things will stand the test of time. When you look at where humanity has come from and still how far we have to go, I am not sure how to the answer that question.

I envision humans one day landing on asteroids and mining them for their precious minerals, and since these items will no longer be such a scarce resource once humans conquer the void of space, hopefully the cost associated with them will decrease and humans will have the resources available to colonize other worlds like Mars in the short term. In the long term I see humans spread out onto colonies similar to that of Star Wars movies or the video game Mass Effect.

With that being said, in the grand scheme of things, how much is a science fiction book really worth?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Heaven's Fate Brief Book Review


Let's Read It: "Heaven's Fate"


"Scheming Empress, Legendary Swords, A prince, sounds like an epic adventure..." 

Teaser: Protagonist, Thame Elliot is an expert in a magic based martial art called “Rietsu”.  He is on a journey to avenge the untimely death of his father and rebuild a mystical sword, known as the “Sword of Tundra”. He is constantly troubled by the meddlesome ways of his aunt, Empress Autumn, whose grand design will place their nation on the path to a devastating war. Thame will have to resist the manipulative ways of both his aunt and his spiritual guide, who habitually impedes his pathway to the greater good. Faced with the ever constant quandaries and the looming threat of his spiritual twin, bent on his assassination, will young Thame become the hero he is meant to be?



Did I like it? : It has a wide array of characters, with decent pacing and doesn't tend to drag between plot points. The novel has a complete concept and encompasses the proper scale of a fantasy world. The story is meant to be grand and that is exactly how it feels. The dialogue between characters is generally engaging and adds to the development of the plot.

This book has a lot of merits however at times the author’s  writing style tends to make the story feel disjointed and leads exponential detail that is not always necessary. Though the story is based in a fantasy world, the use of modern terms can sometimes be slightly confusing. Some of the terminology makes the fantasy too ambiguous to place.

  However, as an introduction to the fantasy genre I think readers would enjoy this book. For readers that aren’t regulars of the genre, fantasy worlds can seem cumbersome and over bearing.  What I liked best about this book is that it was enjoyable for me to read as a non fantasy aficionado ( I do dabble in it though).  It is an epic classic type grand story. Overall I liked this book, and with a little polish, I think this author can be a real contender in the fantasy genre.


Caveats:  None


Who’s It For:

  • ·         New fantasy readers
  • ·         Casual readers
  • ·         All ages
  • ·         Heavy fantasy readers


Overall Rating: 3.5/5 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: Amped

Book review of the science fiction novel Ampred written by Daniel H. Wilson.


Let me start of this review by saying that I cannot wait until this book is turned into a movie, I can see it now. It has the components to be a blockbuster hit or at least a cult classic for us science fiction geeks.

This science fiction novel centers around the main character, Owen Grey, and the Neural Autofocus MK-4 which can turn a normal guy into a genius to rival Einstein, or make a skinny person into Bruce Lee. Owen begins his day having to watch one of his students, who is by the way an amp like him, jump from the roof and kill herself. 

She saw what was coming, Owen did not. 

The rest of the day could be classified as one from hell. He was evicted from his apartment next since Amps no longer have any rights. Next, Owen loses his dad, but not before it is revealed that the neural implant inside of Owen’s head is special. Owen is what’s called a Zenith, a special amp. Keeping the suspense tight, Owen is also thrown into the most wanted list along with a special team of military amps, the first set of amps to ever exist and now Owen is labeled as a terrorist. The US is primed with fear to a fever pitch and regular humans are just waiting for a stray spark to light the ensuing inferno. Before that happens Owen hikes west to find Jim and discover what is held within his head.

Jim Howard lives in the Eden trailer park in Eastern Oklahoma. This is the man that takes in Owen and tells him more about the device in his head. This sets up an internal struggle with Owen and if/when he will turn on the Zenith. Owen tries to deny the power that is locked away within his skull but ultimately has no choice but to go ‘Whole Hog’ and give in to the incessant urging by the other amp and captian of the Zeniths, Lyle Crosby. 

Owens nemesis, Joe Vaughn is a ‘pure priders’ who is in charge of an organization of regular humans that basically discriminate and hate against the amps. With the rest of America either joining the side of hating the amps or supporting the amps, the lines are being drawn to decide which position is right, that of the pure priders or the fact that the amps are human beings and deserve rights.

Amped is a pager turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. When Owen activates his Zenith and becomes what he is meant to be the action scenes are great and Dan Wilson does an excellent job of making you care about what happens to all of the characters. You cannot help buy sympathize with the amps living together in trailer parks with flood lights being shinned in on them every night. As Owen finds out from Lyle, the amps in Lyle’s gang do not plan on going quietly into the night and letting the regular humans subjugate the amps. Or is nothing as it seems to Owen. Is his budding relationship with Lyle’s twin sister Lucy, real or staged. Is someone actually hunting down and killing the remaining Zenith’s or is Owen being played for a fool. Not only that but how many people must Owen lose before he stands up and does what needs to be done in order to protect the amps. When the newspapers highlight that the amps have attacked, is the entire US being taken for a fool. Can Owen stop the regular humans from crushing the amps who are confined in camps across the country? Is Joe Vaughn even the true leader of his group of pure priders? 

All of the answer are within Amped, a sizzling, sensational, sci fi surprise for everyone if you like a bit of fantasy, action, suspense, love, and deep characters. I give this book four out of five stars. 

~ Andre Alan

Monday, September 17, 2012

Character Interview: Autumn Augustus




Character Interview: Autumn Augustus of Heaven’s Fate

Today I’m pleased to be interviewing Autumn Augustus, a character from Andre Alan’s epic adventure, Heaven’s Fate.
A little about the novel:  
Thame Elliot, an expert Rietsu martial artist, is consumed with thoughts of avenging his father’s death and rebuilding the legendary Tundra Sword. Little does Thame know that his aunt, the first empress of the human continent, Eioda, Autumn Augustus, has set the nation on a course that can only lead to war with the Orcs. The mystical inhabitants on the planet, Threa have been plunged into a struggle for the ancient artifacts buried in the mysterious, Consummate of the Trust. Not only that but his aunt is hell bent on marrying him to a corrupt military admirals daughter while Thame’s spiritual guardian, Masaya from the Astral Plane tries to manipulate him in order to keep the heavens from falling apart. The fate of mankind rest in Thame’s young hands but does he even want the responsibility that goes along with being the chosen one? Or will Thame’s spiritual twin, imbued with dark powers granted by the evil one, assassinate him before he can fulfill his destiny?
Without further ado, I’m happy to present Autumn Augustus!
Gwen:  Tell us a little about yourself, Autumn.   Where have you come from?  What do you want out of life?
Autumn: As you wish, my name is Autumn Clementine Augustus. I am from Las Anglas, Eioda where I served as Rear Admiral of the Western Fleet before joining Parliament.
What I want is tough to answer since my job for so long has been to take orders. Now as empress, I seem to take orders from the Eioda people. But what I wish for is simple, for my people to prosper and for my family to be happy and healthy.
Gwen:  The novel opens with talk of your brother Alexander being a traitor.  What’s the real story there?
Autumn: Alex was a hero, a patriot, a one of a kind leader. He was betrayed, plain and simple. That day was like a living nightmare. I blame myself though. If I would have done more than he could still be here with his son, Thame.
Gwen:  Your nephew, Thame, refuses your offers of help.  What do you think motivates him?
Autumn: Revenge motivates him. A white hot hatred over losing his parents at such a young age. I believe that he is also angry at himself for not being able to help more I think, but he was so young.
Gwen:  How do you feel about Thame’s behavior?
Autumn: Well I don’t think there is anything too extreme about his behavior. Sure, he can be a bit snarky at times, some may say that he is a little selfish, and a bit of a jerk but he truly does mean well. I blame myself for spoiling him growing up.
Gwen:  If you could change anything about your current situation, what would it be?
Autumn: If I wanted more time, then I would wish to be born in a different age but if I could change one thing, it would be fate. If I could change anything, it would be to have Alex alive. I would change the fact that the Tales of Arcadia have come to incorporate everyone that I care about.
Gwen:  What do you think lies ahead for Thame?
Autumn:  I think that Thame will accomplish all of his hopes and dreams. I think it will be a rough road ahead, full of bumps, ups and downs but overall a great career and a long, happy life.
To check out this novel (and hear more of the characters’ stories), visit Heaven’s Fate at Amazon.
You can find out more about Andre Alan, the author of Heaven’s Fate, at one of these places:
Twitter: @AndreAlanAuthor




This post originally appeared here: http://gwenperkins.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/character-interview-autumn-augustus-of-heavens-fate/

Saturday, September 15, 2012

First Author Interview


Christine Rice interviews Andre Alan. 
New sci fi, fantasy book Heaven's Fate available now.

Hello folks,
I recently met and interviewed author Andre Alan. His recently published fantasy novel, Heaven’s Fate, sounds very interesting and entertaining, and I look forward reviewing it in the future. Today I’ll post the interview so that you can get to know him better and learn about his new book.
First, here is a little background information: Andre Alan is from Hartford, CT and attended college in New Haven, CT. After graduating with a degree in international business and a brief career as an IT data analyst, Andre Alan decided to follow his lifelong passion of creating fiction entertainment. With a small amount of artistic talent, some of his first memories are of drawing. After a brief stint at poetry and comics, the timing seemed ripe to pursue fantasy novel writing. An avid video gamer, when there is time, and an addict for cup noodles. Andre is a sports fanatic and a lifelong student of business.
Hi, Andre. Welcome to my blog. It’s a pleasure to have you with us today.
Thanks, Christine. It’s great to be here.
Where are you from?
I was born in Hartford, CT and lived there with my younger sister. We were raised by our mom, a single parent. I have spent most of my life in CT, and went to school in New Haven, CT.
Do you recall how your interest in writing started?
Basically by being inspired by R.A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan after college. Before that I was always creating things. I grew up drawing Ninja Turtles and GI Joe. Later in life, it was a comic strip in my college newspaper and now I use words to paint the pictures in my head. I figured that since I like to read so much, I am going to try and put out a book for one of the many ideas that I have come up with over the years for the plethora of characters that I have drawn and created.
When and why did you begin writing?
While working at a help desk right after college is when I first decided to start on this journey and pursue novel writing. Not that I want to date myself too much but that was around a decade ago.
Can you tell us about your book, Heaven’s Fate?
Thame Elliot, an expert Rietsu martial artist, is consumed with thoughts of avenging his father’s death and rebuilding the legendary Tundra Sword. Little does Thame know that his aunt, the first empress of the human continent, Eioda, Autumn Augustus, has set the nation on a course that can only lead to war with the Orcs. The mystical inhabitants on the planet, Threa, have been plunged into a struggle for the ancient artifacts buried in the mysterious “Consummate of the Trust.” Not only that but his aunt is hell bent on marrying him to a corrupt military admiral’s daughter while Thame’s spiritual guardian, Masaya from the Astral Plane, tries to manipulate him in order to keep the heavens from falling apart. The fate of mankind rests in Thame’s young hands, but does he even want the responsibility that goes along with being the chosen one? Or will Thame’s spiritual twin, imbued with dark powers granted by the evil one, assassinate him before he can fulfill his destiny?
What inspired you to write it?
The need to express myself in some form of entertainment. I read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and then I thought to myself that I wanted to do what he did.
How did you come up with the title?
Because the fate of the heavens ultimately ends up in the hands of my main character, Thame.
Did you learn anything from writing your book?
I learned a lot actually, but the major thing I learned was patience and following a process. No matter how fast I would like to go and get the book out and get a movie deal, it all starts with putting the words to paper and then following the “book-making process.”
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The editing is always the hardest part for me because it feels like I have to cut out everything I just spent months writing. But the editing process also makes the book better because I correct so many of my mistakes.
What are you working on now?
Right now I am working, mostly, on promoting Heaven’s Fate. But I always try to find time to write in my new book, Winter’s Legacy, which is part two of theHeaven Trilogy (I just now decided that I was going to start calling it that, hope everyone likes it). But in book two we pick up with Thame, married… I won’t say to who yet, gotta read it to find out ;) and also he is the leader of the special ops search team sent to the other continent to find Miles Xavier, not to mention that now he can no longer enter the Oresme Sphere.
Is writing your sole career?
Yes, writing is now my career, besides also being the CEO of my own publishing company, EVapor Entertainment. If it was a perfect world I would hire someone else to manage the company so that way I could spend all of my time writing.
What book are you reading now?
Amped by Daniel H. Wilson.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would choose R.A. Salvatore. I love the way he keeps his books action packed. He writes his fight scenes with such clarity and vigor that you can put yourself into the characters’ shoes and dodge punches along with the hero. He also manages to keep the global theme of story prevalent and bring through the emotion in his characters.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Being an avid reader gets you through a lot. Taking a step back from your own work to briefly enjoy someone else’s does make a difference. I think that it allows your mind to take a break and reset, in a way.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you very much and you are greatly appreciated from the bottom of my heart. The reason why I write is for the reader. So that they can be thoroughly entertained. So stick with me on this journey for a great ride.
You can pick up Andre’s book at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords. It is available in hardcover and ebook formats.
You can find out more about Andre and his book on FacebookTwitter, and hiswebsite.

This is a reposting of the interview orginally found here: http://christinericeauthor.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/interview-with-andre-alan/

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Busy

It has been a while since I last posted anything in my blog. They say that you should post at least once a week but at the rate that I am going it seems to be at least once a month (if that). But with everything that has been going on I have let the blog fall to the waist side. Being a CEO and a writer is very tiring work.
Not only do I have to work on writing book 2 of my current trilogy but I must also try to run and grow a company. Since this is a very small business I get to wear many hats, from CFO to COO to web designer and editor. When you are the whole, entire company, then there is no room for complaining and no time for sleep.

Sorry blog, I will try to make time for you too =D

Friday, July 6, 2012

Reading, Writing, Relationship


When I finally decided to pursue fiction writing as a career I was already well on my way to a pretty good career in Information Technology; I was pretty good at troubleshooting and putting computers together but that was not where my passion was. To me it was a job just like any other that paid the bills. When I decided to pursue my writing career I took baby steps. Starting out with short stories, then a novella and finally a full-fledged novel (none of which has been published officially, by the way). But, the point is that I had started well on my way to becoming a full time writer. Luckily I had the background knowledge and hopefully the foresight (that will eventually payoff) to start my own publishing company.

In the beginning I racked up piles of rejection letters like so many other authors. Then, I finally decided that these agents did not know a good book if it smacked them in the face. So I decided to pursue independent publishing and do it all myself. By starting EVapor Entertainment Inc, it now means that I am the flagship author, and the CEO of my company, the publicist and the marketing manager; I am every position rolled into one man and I must wear many hats. But then again, the days of traditional publishers holding all the power is changing due to this technical world we live in.

When I first starting writing I would check website like Writer’s Digest and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America daily. I devoured guest blog post by established writers and how-to books. But most importantly I decided to sit down and write. I did not do what most people tell you which is, write a certain amount every day, sorry, sometimes I get lazy. So instead I set up a weekly quota for myself. Now, it is to the point where if I don’t get in my daily writing session I feel like something is missing and I stay up all night biting away at my already non-existent fingernails. Not only that but I imagine what I am going to write and daydream about my characters having epic battles and clashes on the fantastical world I have created. The hardest part for me is getting my actual words and thoughts down on paper. I can spend so much time fantasizing that I forget my starting point and then sit down and stare at the dreaded blinking cursor until it drives me crazy (which has contributed to my fingernails being a constant source of fascination).

With the line between reader, writer and CEO blurred beyond recognition, no longer are the days when an author can sit down and put out his book and then be and island unto himself (unless of course you are already a legendary and established writer). For the new guys, like me, my reading fuels my writing, which in turn fuels my passion to make by business a success in the demanding and changing world of eBook and hardcover publishing.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Martial Arts is Only Natural


My debut novel, Heaven’s Fate, due to be released on 06/26/2012 in ebook and hardcover, focuses heavily on science fiction, fantasy, young adult, sword & sorcery and of course, martial arts.

I have loved martial arts for as long as I can remember. Ever since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Bruce Lee dominated the television and movie screens it has been something that has fascinated me. Not only is martial arts a great discipline that helps people young and old stay in shape but also generates, promotes, and extends a persons mental capacity in terms of helping the mind and body focus to become one. Therefore, after learning different forms of martial arts while growing up, now as an adult and choosing to go into the profession of fantasy fiction novel writing I chose to focus on and make martial arts a major part of my novel, as most (if not all) of my characters are great martial arts masters.

Not only does martial arts refer to the physical hand-to-hand combat but also the ‘science and art’ of sword play which also plays a major role in Heaven’s Fate. As I am an avid collector of swords, knives, and throwing projectiles which fascinate me to no end, it was only natural that it gets thrown into my debut novel. As they say, ‘write what you know’; and one of the things I know more than anything else is weapons and physical combat.

In, Heaven’s Fate, there are several different forms of martial arts in the world of Threa. Since there are different races (species) of humanoids that live on different continents, it is only natural that in order for the novel (story) to be believable, then different peoples from different parts of the world will specialize in different forms of martial arts. Not only that but another major aspect of martial arts incorporated into the novel is the relationship and integration with magic seamlessly flowing together. With a plethora of weapons to choose from and draw upon in the ‘real’ world it was almost easy to transfer those into unique martial arts styles in the world of Threa. Not only that but I love to keep the action live and dynamic as you read the novel. A major part of making the story compelling to readers is having the characters focus on using long range weapons; because then what happens when the characters confront each other in an enclosed area where long range weapons are of little use. Even in the military, they focus on the basics of hand to hand combat and since Heaven’s Fate has a heavy ‘futuristic’ military presence, it was only natural to have martial arts styles and masters in the book.

By Andre Alan

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Turning on the Light Bulb


Since I told people that I will be writing a science fiction, fantasy novel titled Heaven’s Fate; people always ask me: how do I get my ideas and where did the idea for this particular book come from.

Well, from an early age I have always been interested in artwork and cartoons. From that point on I have sort of lived two separate lives; one in my own little world and the other amongst the normal people in the real world. In class, I routinely daydreamt about characters fighting each other and magnificent and grotesque monsters clashing. After a while my head became crowded with creating storylines and worlds for those characters to populate and I started writing things down. This particular idea started out in graphic novel format while I was in college, which was nearly a decade ago (I know that I am dating myself here, but oh well). Although the names for these characters have changed from initial idea conception to hardcover and ebook execution, the storyline, more or less still remains the same. I came up with the idea for the storyline at a time when I was lost in a world of Japanese animation and when Dragon Ball Z was all the rage. Although, Heaven’s Fate initial creation idea drew heavily from anime, its transformation into a YA, science fiction, fantasy novel had to undergo several stages that every book goes through such as world building, creating laws for magic use, and overall character, plot, and storyline development that make any entertainment property – whether it is a movie, book, or tv show – a full-fledged product for human consumption.

I get a lot of my ideas from the randomness of life, as well as other random readings or television shows. Some of my favorite programs to watch are documentaries and specials on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, etc. Really any show, book, or random sight can insight my imagination and my creativity takes over from there. Anything that sparks a thought in my mind I tend to write down, either in a notebook or my iphone’s notepad app and then create characters and storylines from that point forward. Then I ask myself a fundamental question that I believe all writers should ask: ‘Why is my character doing what they are doing.’ I feel that if you can answer that question then you potentially have the makings of a great story.

But for Heaven’s Fate specifically, I always wanted to do one of those series where you have a guy who is the chosen one; similar to so many other fantasy tales out there (ie: Robert Jordan’s – ‘A Wheel of Time’ series and Frank Herbert’s - ‘Dune’ series or even the movie Star Wars) where a young man is destined to follow fate and save the world and so on. I wanted to do one of these series because I felt as though I could do it better than all of the other books and movies out there. Not only that but because those other titles have inspired me. When you ask the question, ‘what if’ and go from there you will be surprised what you can come up with.