Blog Archives

A Different Moral Code

Jason Hubbard Author Interview

Jason Hubbard Author Interview

The Hunters Sign is a genre-crossing novel with elements of paranormal and dark urban fantasy as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

There were a few differences between the summary and the final draft, but the overall story remained intact. I always try to make my fantasy books atypical, so I avoid as many fantasy tropes as I can and I tend to cross genres to make a story that’s unpredictable and interesting.

The supporting characters in this novel, I felt, were intriguing and well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?

I’d say the main character, Adam, was the most fun to write for. He’s smart and also a smartalec, the kind of person I wish I had the nerve to be. I liked developing his relationship with Amy for I attempted to give them real chemistry. I’ve read a few books where couples come together out of physical attraction and having fun at events but don’t real talk about things they have in common. I guess the author is unwilling to have their couples touch on issues that a reader might take offense at, or perhaps a relationship is only meant to serve the story and nothing more.
I was once afraid that Ricky, the secondary character, would practically take the story away from Adam, but as the book went on that didn’t happen. He’s only meant to serve for expository purposes, to observe things for the sake of the reader that Adam can’t observe (or else the story would be over much more quickly). Still, it was interesting to write about a character who’s not exactly a bad guy but has a different moral code than Adam. He really is a scamp!

Magic is used throughout the book and I felt it was deftly handled. How did you maintain balance to make sure the magic that was used was believable?

I believe that in any fantasy story with magic-wielding characters, strict limits should be imposed on the magic. I did this by saying there are three different “schools” that mages can adopt, and while they can use magic from various schools, they can only be a master in one. I also said mages can be measured through “levels” that determine their adeptness, and I made it hard for one to become a mage by inventing “phosphorescent stones” which give people magic abilities but can be dangerous when handled incorrectly (an incentive for someone to not become a mage). If an author makes magic seem too easy, it may make readers raise questions such as “If this guy can do this useful spell at this time, then why can’t he do it at this other time?”

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be published?

My next book is titled “The Legend of the Three Roses,” which I’m very excited for! It takes place in a kind of medieval setting, and it starts out as a crime story only to evolve into a war story. The book reflects my thoughts on certain matters of spirituality, so characters touch on sensitive themes. It’s the most daring story I’ve ever written–graphic yet fun as well. I plan to release it sometime in June of 2017.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter

The Taming of Adam: Part 2: The Hunter's Sign

“Four years after the events of Part 1, 21-year-old Adam Taylor has moved to a new city, Almin. Here he plans to make a new start of things by attending a new school, learn new magic spells, and make new friends. And although love is not on his mind, he ends up falling for Amy Graine, the beautiful daughter of the CFO of Entercor Contracting. They are of two different disciplines of magic–him being a black mage and her being a white mage–yet they overcome their differences and begin a whirlwind romance that softens the scrappy young man’s heart. But Amy holds a secret that will test Adam’s conscience, and so he will be forced to side with either his girlfriend or those who wish to bring down Entercor.

Meanwhile, one of Adam’s school roommates, Ricky Grater, meets a mysterious man named Cameron Moss. Cameron is a fellow mage capable of powerful magic spells, and despite Cameron’s impulsiveness and abrasive behavior, Ricky looks up to him as a friend and mentor. The two men go through fast times gambling at the local casino, picking up lovely women, and enhancing their magic abilities. Ricky believes this is the start of a long and fruitful friendship that will further his magic career and keep the good times going. But behind his warm smile and easygoing attitude, Cameron has a hidden agenda, one that will ensnare Ricky in a web of lies, murder, and forbidden magic.”

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Let My Imagination Work its Magic

IP Spall Author Interview

IP Spall Author Interview

2PM On A Black Summer’s Day is a genre-crossing novel with elements of dark fantasy, paranormal, and horror as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

Definitely organic – I had a few ideas to begin with, but everything else just came flooding out as I let my imagination work its magic.

The characters in this novel, I felt, were intriguing and well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?

May Walker (the white witch) – I think there’s potentially a lot more to her character than we’re all told…

There is some amazing surprises in store for readers in this book. When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?

Once I started, it all just came flooding out… so all the little twists and turns just appeared before me. It was like watching my own film inside my head, with the added benefit that I could take the story in any direction and anything could happen.

What is the next book that you’re working on and when will it be published?

Although I am a great fan of horror – primarily supernatural or fear-based horror – when the first thoughts of writing came to mind, I decided to challenge myself to see whether I was actually capable of writing a book, but also whether I was capable of writing different types of story or genre, and not just horror. I wrote the book back in 2015 and since then, I have written a few more, although all unpublished so far, so 2pm is my first and so called trial run.
The next book will be monster based – huge colossal monsters, so completely different in every way, although after repeatedly re-reading it, I do feel like it could definitely be my best work to date.

Finger’s crossed, it will be released later this year.

If that goes well, I’ll then return back to horror again, with another dark and menacing local story that will raise the hair on the back of your necks. This story will not only be a hair raising adventure, but it will also have added elements of real life events that I personally experienced as a teenager….

Author Links: Facebook

2pm on a Black Summer's Day“It all started with an ancient wooden box…

Little did Chris know that in years to come, despite being unknown to the world, his actions would have such an impact.

His idea for a bit of alternative fun one night went terribly wrong, leaving his best mate’s house in ruins and a few of his closest friends dead and missing.

No one could foretell the devastation that would occur or the destructive forces that would be released that night, as a series of events ended in total disaster, leaving the city with a multi-million-dollar clean-up bill and the death of thousands.

The fight soon build’s to an immense and climactic battle, with their only hope being an alliance between age-old opposing enemies that had been fighting each other for thousands of years.”

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How To Plot A Novel Like A Well-Timed Mechanical Ambush (Part Two)

by Don Templeton

Welcome to Step Two in the Blue Falcon Press plot planning process.

What I’m about to reveal here is something professional screenwriter’s already know backwards and forwards. This diagram was originally brought to the world by the late, great Syd Field. Now here is something novelists need to internalize: this schematic works Jim Dandy as a template for your novel as well as a screenplay. I’ve written EVERY novel of mine using the Paradigm above to map out the major movements and turning points in my plots. EVERY. ONE. This diagram keeps you on target, keeps you focused, and keeps you from writing crap that has no business being in your story.

The first thing to do in figuring out your paradigm is write a sentence which describes how the story is going to END. Then do the same thing for the BEGINNING. In my novels, the beginning is always the INCITING INCIDENT. It is the event that starts all the other story dominoes falling. In Pretty Hate Machine, this is the Sadie Hawkins attack on her school. Next, decide what PP1, PP2, and MP are. Let me explain what a Plot Point is. A plot point is defined as any incident, episode or event that “hooks” into the action and spins it around into another direction. (from Syd Field’s SCREENWRITER’S WORKBOOK) Now notice where your plot points fall: at the end of Act One and at the end of Act Two.

The Mid Point is some kind of incident, episode, or event that occurs in the middle of ACT 2 and breaks ACT 2 into two halves of dramatic action. Act 2 becomes two halves joined together by the Mid-Point. The first half of Act Two now has a target you know – the Mid-Point.. The second half of Act 2 has another target to write towards, everything that happens after the Mid-Point and concludes with Plot Point 2.

Let’s illustrate how this works by examining the Peter Jackson remake of King Kong. I’m not using Pretty Hate Machine to illustrate this because it will ruin the wonderful surprise for readers of the book. I’m not going to spoil that surprise for you. In King Kong, Act 1 ends with Plot Point 1 which in this case is when the expedition reaches Skull Island. The Mid-Point of the story is when King Kong shows up for the first time, taking the girl into the jungle with him. So, the first half of Act 2 shows all the incidents that take place exploring the Island. The second half of Act 2 details the girl’s relationship with Kong and her shipmates attempts to find her and rescue her. Plot Point 2 is when Kong is captured and the ship leaves for New York. See how that works? It makes Act 2 absolutely manageable now. No reason to fear Act 2 anymore.

Let’s discuss briefly the purpose each act serves. Act 1 is known as the Set-Up. It shows your character’s in their normal world before the real meat of the tale kicks in. Plot Point 1 is really where the steam of the story picks up and spins us into The Confrontation which occupies the entire length of Act 2. Act 2 is where you put your heroes in a tree and throw rocks at them. Act 2 ends with Plot Point 2 which spins the story around into another direction, which is the straight down nose dive into the Resolution or Act 3. This is where your heroes regain the initiative and turn the tables on the opposition, smacking them down smartly. Or if you’re into tragedies and such, this is where the heroes are defeated by the opposition. I don’t like those kind of endings so I don’t use them. I believe the good guys will always best the bad guys. That’s how I roll.

Next, impose the length restrictions of the screenplay on your novel. In a screenplay, Act 1 is one-forth the length of your script. For a 90 minute show, that’s roughly 22 and a half pages. Act 2 is half the length of the script or 45 pages. Act 3 is the same length as Act 1. In a novel, you do this by dividing your word count by 4. GREEN MAJIK novels are 100,000 words in length. So Act 1 and 3 are roughly 25,000 words in length; Act 2 is 50,000 words, which is divided into two chunks of 25K by the Mid-Point. Simple Simon.

Here’s your homework assignment. 1st, get Syd Field’s book The Screenwriter’s Workbook. It’ll be the best $16 you’ll ever spend. Next, read Pretty Hate Machine and tell me what Plot Point 1 and 2 are and what the Mid-Point is. Email your answers to don@bluefalconpress.com. Once you know what you are looking at, these events are easy to spot.

Next, we will talk about planning the most important part of your novel: your characters. See you there.

Author Links: Website | Twitter

The Jinxed Pirate

The Jinxed Pirate (Graylands, #2)5 Stars

Adventures like these don’t come very often. Riddled with intrigue and building up a world The Jinxed Pirate by M. Walsh is a definite read. We have a delightful cast of characters from the mercenary to the tragic warrior princess with a splash of other-worldly beings as well. All of their lives and paths will come together in an excellent adventure where you might find yourself rooting for the bad-guy without realizing it. Each character is on a journey of sorts and where it leads them is anything short of ordinary. What happens when the warrior princess can’t save her people? What about the mercenary who doesn’t seem all that interested in what he’s doing? Our title character himself even seems to shift his shape depending on what his needs are. The carnal animal driven only by his desires. These all come together with fantastic story-telling and riveting action to create a beast of a tale.

The language in this book is intellectual without being dry; descriptive without being desperate. Walsh knows how to craft a tale and the way the narrative flows demonstrates an excellent grasp of a writer’s tools. Our prologue and epilogue are written in the first person, yet we don’t know much about who is showing us this world. The rest of the tale is told from the third person and that effortless transition really speaks to how well Walsh has command over the story. Some authors can let the tale run away from them and it ends up becoming nonsense. Walsh takes on a large task, and delivers.

While this book appears to be part of a series, it can stand alone just fine. It is rare to find an excellent book that is part of a larger tapestry that can be enjoyed on its own. The Jinxed Pirate achieves that sense of completion without discounting the possibility of the world being expanded either before or after the events we read about.

In the first few chapters we are introduced to our cast of characters. The descriptions that Walsh provides enhances the image in the mind of the reader. The reader is also not overwhelmed by excessive information. There is a delicate balance to be struck here and Walsh appears to be no slouch with his craft. The imagery and information flow effortlessly together.

If you’re looking for an excellent read with the potential to be wrapped up in a bigger world, The Jinxed Pirate by M. Walsh is a must-read. Too often writers attempt to create worlds that span multiple books but rely to heavily on the audience consuming every single volume in order. Enough backstory is explained in this edition that prior knowledge of the world is not required. This only proves to intrigue the reader and assist in capturing their attention and desire to know more. This is not a book to be underestimated. Readers will not go wrong adding this to their ever-growing pile of ‘must-reads’. This reviewer suggests that, perhaps, you place this one near the top.

Pages: 494 | ASIN: B06VWKX52Q

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The Seventh Sentinel

The Seventh Sentinel (The Sentinel, #1)5 Stars

An ancient order. A young man with no knowledge of his past. Three friends who have trained and grown up together since infancy. This has all the trappings of a great fantasy-adventure tale with a back story that can rival even the most intricate video game. Yolanda Ramos has definitely done her homework with her epic tale The Seventh Sentinel. We have our main character, Cristiano, as he is raised in an orphanage by his mentor Julio Sierra: the man who has lost everything but is given the opportunity to retain meaning in his life. A boy with no apparent past. The boy becomes a man and is rigorously trained and skilled in various forms of combat and intrigue, but for what purpose? Readers will take an incredible journey in our modern day where the purpose of angels is still alive and well as they commune between man and God.

Even if you don’t particularly enjoy stories based on biblical characters or events, The Seventh Sentinel has a knack for focusing more on the actual adventure portion of the tale. Yes, there are angels. Yes, there are the Seraphim who are said to serve God alone. These angels have a purpose, and a personality, thanks to Ramos’ hard work. The descriptions in this tale are elegant and vivid. It seems as though it is based on actual events. In our modern world many feel as though God and His angels have abandoned us. Perhaps they have no need of us. Ramos is able to bring that slightly mythical sounding ideal into our century. These angels have a plan for Cristiano: he has a purpose. He will see it through.

Like most protagonists in this situation, Cristiano is an apparent orphan who was raised under the watchful eye of a male mentor. Julio cares for and teaches Cristiano as best as he can. Our protagonist is plagued with visions for a purpose he does not yet understand. And like most protagonists in this situation right as the truth is about to be revealed there is an attack and his mentor falls.

This is a fantastic book that deftly uses inspiration from religious ideals. Some may be uncomfortable because this book makes assumptions about what certain celestial beings can do while others may feel as though religion is a separate fairy tale. In the end, the way Ramos wove her tale together is entertaining in any case.

A story where a young man learns his purpose for our world is usually a delight to read. Yolanda Ramos does her research and attempts to be as faithful to the real monuments and angelic characters as she can be in The Seventh Sentinel. This book ends in such a way that if ever there were more, that would make sense. However it also ends in a fashion where questions are answered and another book is not entirely necessary. Readers will enjoy the journey Cristiano and his fellows take as they epically travel the world on a quest to discover whether or not the past truly matters.

Pages: 286 | ASIN: B00JVR7YPW

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Thing in the Pond

Fawn Bonning Author Interview

Fawn Bonning Author Interview

The Leader of Lors is a genre-crossing novel with elements of fantasy, romance, and suspense as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

It carries on in the same vein as The Heart of Hannen as an erotic fantasy romance. Other elements – horror, suspense, adventure and mystery – just fell into place as the story progressed.

The supporting characters in this novel, I felt, were intriguing and well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?

I would have to say Eubreena. She’s fiercely protective of Christine, mainly because she feels responsible for maiming and nearly killing her, unwitting though it may have been. Her heart is kind and her friendship true.

What was the initial idea behind this story and how did that transform as you were writing the novel?

The Atriian Trilogy actually began as a horror short-story called Thing in the Pond. It was originally about an earthquake that opens up an underwater cavern in the family pond, releasing a monster from another dimension. Instead of this creature wreaking havoc on Earth, I decided to let Christine follow it back through the caverns. And thus the Atriian Trilogy was born.

How do you feel you’ve developed as a writer between The Heart of Hannen and this book?

I believe my growth as a writer between the first and second book of this series was quite remarkable. For the first book, time restrictions only allotted an hour here and there for writing, a method not very conducive to good storytelling. By the time I sat down and got my head into the story and wrote a few sentences, it was time to call it a night. I was able to dedicate more time to the second novel, between five and six hours a day. Needless to say, the writing began to come much more easily, seeming to flow naturally, and the results were amazing. For the third book, I doubled down, writing between eight and ten hours a day, and did it ever pay off. By the end, I merely had to place my fingers on the keyboard and the story practically wrote itself.

What is the next book that you’re working on and when will it be available?

My next project will be an erotic paranormal romance based on another short-story from my horror collection Thing Bailiwick. A bodark is a creature of Russian lore, a man capable of shifting into a wolf. Though they are not bound to the cycles of the moon. They can transform at will, and whilst in wolf form they not only possess the enhanced senses and abilities of the wolf, they are able to maintain human awareness and intelligence. Except for when the time comes to mate, an event which occurs but once in their lifetime. Then all must beware the bodark, lest his senses become overpowered by the feral instincts of the beast lurking within.

Projected release date – Jan 2019.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Leader of Lors (Atriian Trilogy, #2)

“How far will a mother go to protect her child?
Christine will go to beyond the ends of the Earth,
back to the brutal world of Atriia,
back to the man who will possess
her at any cost.

He is Lor Zeria,
the very Leader of Lors,
revered and respected by all,
yet feared by Christine as no other.

This is a tale of fantasy and bravery,
of adventure and horror,
of passion and obsession,
of survival and betrayal.

And for Christine Clavin . . .
it is her own harrowing tale
of destiny.”

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The Creep Evil Ones

D.P. Joynes Author Interview

D.P. Joynes Author Interview

Goo of the Gods centers around the life of teen prodigy Jonah and his traumatic past involving suspicious accidents and missing people. This is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a science fiction, horror, and fantasy as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

A little of both. I’m a nurse whose also worked in the manufacturing and customer service industries while I was in college, so science, horror, and fantasy will continue to blend in my writing. Missing people, accidents, these are things that I’ve witnessed, so I knew what elements I had to have in the book. I began with a timeline, but, like life, the timeline continually grew as my characters took on lives of their own. Although, I should mention that not everything came from my own personal experiences. Changes to the timeline and character encounters were drastic when I chose to use my teenagers living at home as a resource.

Jonahs friends in science club form a group called Sci-6. I felt the supporting characters were well developed and intriguing. Who was your favorite character to write for?

I love all of my characters, including the creepy evil ones. I chose a male protagonist over a female one because I love writing about villainous women. Turning them into demons and putting them up against a wiz kid was a bonus, but, ultimately, that wiz kid has my heart. Jonah has a horrible past because, in truth, he has horrible parents whom he just can’t avoid even when they are missing from his life. His identity is important to him, but he’s still trying to figure out who he is. As he’s growing up, he has to learn to find confidence in the presence of self doubt and what’s expected of him. Most teens, I believe would relate to the struggle of figuring out what you want versus what others want of you.

Sci-6 embark on a mission to conduct risky experiments in order to uncover the truth and defeat demons. This sets up the novel to deliver some very entertaining scenes. What was the funnest thing about writing this novel?

I think you said it! Some of the scenes are definitely “risky.” There is some genuine physical and medical science I used to formulate speculative fiction. The most fun was throwing the teenagers into these crazy experiments and seeing how they’d manage to get through it. I love the bickering and arguing when you have no clue what to do-that’s the most fun.

This book is part of the Rising Saints High series. When will the next book be available and where will that take the characters?

Blade of the Crones is the second installment of the RSH series and will be available at the end of 2017. Raz, Jonah’s ex-girlfriend mentioned briefly in Book 1, will make an appearance causing more teen drama. But Sci-6 has a job to do. One of their own needs rescuing, so they’re going to have to put their heads together and formulate a rescue plan. I also have a companion novella coming out next month in March, entitled Hella. Same school with a separate cast of characters in a plot involving time travel and a few friendly visitors from Book 1.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Goo of the Gods (Rising Saints High, #1)“Visions haunt him…

Memories of madness torment him…

And a voice, trapped in sixteen-year-old Jonah’s head, will reveal something not of this world…

Teen science prodigy, Jonah, doesn’t know if he’s seeing ghosts or if he’s inherited a mental illness. Either way, he wants the voice out. He wants to free the speaker from his mind and put her into flesh of her own. But he’s going to need more than his father’s old laboratory to do it. He’s going to need the help of his ingenious new friends.

CRASH! BOOM! KAPOW! There’s a new breed of superheroes at Rising Saints High and they’re not your typical teenagers. They’re nerds, but dark creatures are lurking among them—waiting to exploit the innovative young team for their collective intelligence.

In this action adventure, geeks will battle gods to piece together mysteries of science. But beware—Jonah and his friends will soon discover that science cannot always explain everything and that somethings are better left unknown.”

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Monster Literary Book Awards March 2017

The Hungry Monster Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and The Hungry Monster is proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Book AwardGold Award Winners

This God, I (The Onryo Saga Book 2) by [Ryg, Rocco]Witch Heart: Leadership always requires sacrifice (Gray Girl Book 3) by [Spieth, Susan I., Spieth, Susan]

The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women (The Blood, Sun, and Moon. Book 1) by [Breaux, Kevin James]The Leader of Lors: Book II in The Atriian Trilogy by [Bonning, Fawn]

The Sightseers Agency (The Dreadnought Collective Book 5) by [tumbler, terry]

Silver Book AwardSilver Award Winners

Fractured (Lisen of Solsta Book 1) by [St. Martin, D. Hart]The Husband Who Refused to Die by [Darby, Andrea]

The Bug Boys by [Hoffman, Stewart]The Status Update by [Buck, Sonia J.]

The Wanderer's Last Journey (The Orfeo Saga Book 4) by [Eiland Jr., Murray Lee]Uncle Stubby Gets Married (Shadow and Friends Series Book Five 5) by [Jackson, S., Raymond, A., Schmidt, M.]

“Books bring to life aspects of literary genius.” – Mary Schmidt, author of Uncle Stubby Gets Married.

Visit the Hungry Monster Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

Super-Powered Fights

Rocco Ryg Author Interview

Rocco Ryg Author Interview

This God, I, is a novel based around a group of teenagers turned Japanese superheroes as they band together in a battle against evil. Where did the inspiration for the thrilling action come from and how did it develop as you were writing?

I’ve always been a fan of comic books, anime and the action genre, so I’ve had ideas brewing in my head on how to construct a story full of car chases, paranormal battles and science fiction. For the scenes with domestic terrorists, I read about the history of nationalist extremism in the United States, such as Ruby Ridge, Waco and the Oklahoma City bombing, and tried to emulate what I learned. For super-powered fights, I had to come up with creative ways the heroes and villains could use their surroundings.

Japanese anime styled characters cross political extremists which sets the tone for this action packed adventure. What were some ideals you hoped would drive the narrative of the story?

Every character needs a believable motivation, and a political agenda can provide just that. Our cultural backgrounds and political views are a reflection of who we are as people, and I sought to create characters that would embody their various ideals and principles. While the extreme villains use their powers to force their ideas onto the world, the heroes have to be open-minded, consider all sides and work together to come to a reasonable conclusion. It was important for the heroes to put their values above the need to win at all costs, lest they end up just as bad as the people they’re fighting.

The superheroes come from a range of backgrounds and have a varied mix of super powers. How did you balance the characters powers to keep them interesting yet believable?

Every superpower has been thought of before, so it was important that my characters would utilize them in different ways, such as turning a roller coaster into a giant robot or controlling a crowd’s emotions to ignite a protest. It was also essential for every ability to serve a purpose, either to move the plot forward, reveal more information and create an action-packed spectacle.

This God, I is book 2 in the series. Where will book 3 take the characters?

In “The Genocide Gene,” Chikara and her friends travel to Africa to stop two demented brothers from starting a civil war and committing genocide. Along the way, they have to save hundreds of kidnapped schoolgirls and take on merciless rebel groups.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter

This God, I (The Onryo Saga Book 2) by [Ryg, Rocco]“Japanese superhero Chikara Kaminari has accepted her destiny: to save mankind from powerful political extremists. Joined by her friends, the empathic Renka and the shadow-controlling Gen, Chikara journeys to America to rescue her friend Michiko from the Ayn Rand- obsessed billionaire, Chillingworth.

As they search for their adversaries, Chikara and her friends encounter a murderous cell of homegrown terrorists called RAMPAGE (Revolutionary American Militant Patriots Against Government Enslavement). This militia of neo-nazis, white supremacists and anti-government extremists will stop at nothing to bring down the public sector, and only the three heroes can stop them before their war on the state claims innocent lives.

The future hangs in the balance as Chillingworth lures the world’s most powerful leaders to the United Nations. Using Michiko’s mind-controlling voice, he seeks to lead the Earth into a new era of selfishness and Anarchy. The heroes have to stop him, but the conservative Chikara and the socialist Gen have different definitions of the term “save the world.” While one wants to stop the plot, the other wants to control the politicians his own way. The three must put aside their disagreements and work together before America’s most extreme ideologues tear the world apart.”

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Confronting Death

Tom Adams Author Interview

Tom Adams Author Interview

Coffin Dodgers takes place on a pre-historic world where thrill seeking competitors fight to be the last man standing. What was the inspiration for the Survivathon the characters must survive?

The story as a whole sprung from a nightmare I had where I was trapped amongst rapids with a bunch of other people, and we were being stalked by predatory dinosaurs – a bit like Jurassic Park! The dream was so vivid that I plotted out a simple outline immediately. As with many of my stories, I weave in a lot of ideas from books, films and experiences in life. I’m fascinated by people who drive themselves to the limits and it seems like extreme sports are springing up left, right and centre. The sports in the story, such as wing-suiting and volcano boarding actually exist and the dangers are very real. Recently, I was reading that two experienced wing suiters died in the US after attempting a risky drop. I imagined a future where this Type T mentality is extrapolated even further. Wouldn’t earth’s challenges seem a bit tame by the year 3154? The rest of the story basically wrote itself and incorporated the horror element of two contestants going rogue and using the whole event as a hunt to satisfy their psychotic desires.

This competition takes place on a dangerous planet called Atrocitas. Where the plants and animals are just as eager to kill as the competitors. What drove the development of this planet and how did that change as you were writing?

I’m a zoologist by training so I have always been fascinated by the living world. One fact I wasn’t aware of until a few years ago, was that at the time of the dinosaurs, grass and other cereal plants had not evolved. Much of the world was covered in more primitive plants such as cycads and ferns. So I researched the Cretaceous period to try and lend some authenticity to the flora and fauna. It was fun inventing the challenges for the ‘Coffin Dodgers’, from the peak known as the ‘Tooth’ to the white water rapids of the ‘Angelwater.’ The setting, the characters and the nature of the challenges worked together to produce what I hope is a fast-paced story.

The contestants range in gender, nationality, and skill-set. They can either work together to survive, or split up to try to win the whole bounty. What were some of the emotional and moral guidelines you followed when creating your characters?

I wanted to stretch myself and write a female lead character, together with a multi-cultural cast that might reflect a more homogenised society in the future (although recent world events seem to show that this is a long way off yet.) The T-type or ‘Coffin Dodger’ mentality is very different from your average person in the street. They crave and live for that adrenaline rush, the dopamine infusion that comes from confronting death full in the face. Such an extremely competitive spirit can, of course, lead to selfishness as everything else is given second place to being the best of the best. This tension is explored in the relationship between two of the main characters, Wade and Eden. They are from the same mould and are engaged to be married, so they think they understand each other’s life goals and motivations and accept them. However, the circumstances they find themselves in challenge this assumption. What is more important, relationships with your fellow men or the prize of knowing you are the number one multi-athlete in the world? Other characters are conflicted in terms of their desire to survive. Are they likely to increase their chances if they go it alone, or is it better to work together as a team? I think it’s fair to say that none of the characters are completely black and white in terms of their morality, and all of them are changed by the terrors they face on Atrocitas.

What is the next book that you’re writing and when will it be published?

I’m already half way through writing the sequel to my first dark fantasy novel. It’s the second book in the Psychonaut trilogy and will be called ‘Demon-Slayer’. This should be out in the late Summer. In the meantime I’m committed to getting my previous books, including Coffin Dodgers out on audio. I narrate my own books as well as produce for other authors and have a profile on Audible/ACX. So I’ve got a lot to keep me busy in the next six months!

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