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We’re thrilled to have here today Caleb Madroc from Donna Galanti’s new paranormal suspense novel, book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element. Caleb is 25 and an Elyon Community cult member living in the wilds of Oregon in a secret community his father created.
It is a pleasure to have Caleb with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so for this interview, Caleb. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
I am not as saintly as the author makes me out to be. I train our community to kill people with their minds, and I cannot save all the lost souls hurt by my father’s oppression. I should do more to escape his evil rule, and stop him! He believes I’m weak and I can never be as strong as he, and I think he may be right. But I should still try to stop him, even while he threatens to kill my sons if I don’t obey him! And I know I’m weak, because I’ve never tried to stop my father’s hateful leadership because he is my father. Even while I hate him, part of me still loves him and yearns for his fatherly love that I once had as a child.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
I help others in my community. I save them from severe punishment, and even death, and in doing so put myself in the position to be punished by whipping. I can stand the whippings—if it means sparing the punished some pain. Those scars I can bear. The scars of my lost love, Rachel, and not knowing my sons sear my heart forever.
Not having the strength to fight my father and stop him from his evil oppression of our people. I fear he will kill my sons if he does.
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?
Sam Winchester from Supernatural! He is strong and tormented and on a dangerous mission like me, yet has a full heart ready to give away if he only had the chance.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
In my community we are forced to breed as dictated by my father. This sickens me and so for years I pretended to be impotent, but lost my will just once at nineteen. She had been such a beautiful, sweet female. Rachel was her name and she pleased me across a sea of soft nights. I fell in love with her from that first night, possessing her body, soul, and mind. But our bond was soon severed. She was sent to mate with another…and then another and another. But she was already pregnant then with our twins I would never know, raised by a community of women. And I would never get to touch her again, until the day I led her to her death. You can read about my first love interest before I came to Oregon in The Dark Inside.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
When I was betrayed by an evil whore, my father was taken away, and I thought I’d lose my sons forever. I grew so weary of helping everyone else and never helping myself. All seemed lost.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really want to be and why?
Ben Fieldstone. He and I are very much alike. We both are willing to sacrifice all for our families, and for love. Yet he’s lucky as he got to be a father to his son, unlike me who’s been separated from my own sons. He also gets to love Laura, who is beautiful inside and out. I will always keep close in my heart the secret night I spent with her where we were forced together in an intimate space. We did not betray Ben, though it was difficult to not make love to her. My desire for her was – and is – very strong.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
Torn. I get a sense of hope, but what I also know about normal society drives fear in me that all may not go well. I am afraid of going from one prison to another prison of a different making.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?
Please give me someone to love of my own choosing. Live has been so full of ugliness and loneliness these past few years. And let me watch my sons grow to become the amazing men I know they will become.
Thank you for this interview, Caleb! Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
I am hopeful I can assimilate into regular society and that the world can accept me, even with the terrible things I’ve been forced to do. Don’t judge me by what I’ve done through oppression rather judge me for what’s in my heart.
ABOUT A HIDDEN ELEMENT:
Evil lurks within…
When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?
PRAISE FOR A HIDDEN ELEMENT:
“Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world.” —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall
“Fascinating…a haunting story…”—Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath
“Will keep you up long past your bedtime…a pulse-pounding read.”—Allan Leverone, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Final Vector
Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.
BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS:
Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: http://amzn.to/1p1YD1o
Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element: http://amzn.to/1mNcyCO
ON SALE NOW THROUGH 8/31 FOR JUST $.99cents!
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Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Author: Natsuya Uesugi
EBook: 288 pages
Release Date: July 21, 2011
Follow the lives of the main characters as they come together in the backstory to grydscaen:retribution, the fi rst volume of the grydscaen saga. Faid is tired of life on the run in the Echelons, trying to keep his psychic power in check, he founds the Packrats establishing a safe haven for psychics. As a hacker he uses his jack to support his neurocyne habit. Lino is recruited by the Psi Faction and is sent on a mission to kidnap Faid. Riuho, Lino’s half brother becomes a prisoner of the Elite military and they experiment on him, train him and subject him to mind control, then send him out on a mission. On his return, Riuho is set on escaping and recruits Faid who hacks into the Psi Faction systems. They escape and return to the Packrats leading up to the start of grydscaen:retribution.
Pump Up Your Book and Natsuya are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
- By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
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By Joanne Elder
Four years ago, my over-active imagination tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “You should write a book.” A crazy thought, perhaps, but is it any crazier than daydreaming about thrilling, sci-fi adventures? I had always been a sci-fi fan, but a writer of science fiction? I pondered this notion acknowledging that I had a great deal of technical writing experience under my belt from years working as an engineer. But, to make the leap to fiction? I dismissed any uncertainties and sat down at my computer, knowing that when I start something, I like to take it the max. Now, with two science fiction books published, I thought it’s time I tell my story.
For months, I dedicated myself to writing Spectra. I became consumed with the plot, and the background research. All the while, I felt certain that upon completion of the manuscript, I’d get a literary agent to represent me and land a contract with one of the big publishing houses. After all, how many people could possibly dedicate themselves to a project of this magnitude and see it through to fruition? Well apparently thousands.
My cocky attitude was quickly humbled as I queried agents and larger publishers. Letters of rejection filled my inbox, but they didn’t crush my spirit. I turned my sights to the smaller presses and very quickly signed a contract with MuseItUp Publishing.
One year later not only did I hold a printed copy of Spectra in my hands, I had a second contract for its sequel, Entity. My overzealous attitude reignited. Launching my debut novel was akin to starting up a business and I believed success would come with the proper investment of both time and money. I did a press release, a book trailer, and threw myself into the social networking scene with a website, Facebook page and Twitter. I started blogging on my website and as a guest on others. I actively participated in forums, and Facebook and LinkedIn groups. I attended conferences. I even advertised with key science fiction magazines and websites. I watched my sales statistics each step of the way and, at no point, found any positive correlation between books sold and my efforts.
Next step, I hired a publicist. I will give a word of warning to any author considering this promotional avenue…shop carefully. They can lure you in with their promises and provide few results. That was my experience with the first publicist I used, which I will refrain from naming here. Their efforts, although well intentioned, lead to nothing more than a few reviews from mediocre review sites. Once again, no increase in sales. Bad fortune can make us smarter and I’m now working with a publicist I’m very pleased with. Will sales go up…time will tell.
Of all my efforts to promote Spectra, there is only one success story, which I inadvertently fell into. I submitted the novel to RT Book Reviews Magazine for review and they gave it their rating of TOP PICK, which they give to few books. For the month it appeared in their magazine, sales soared. Perhaps there is one lesson to be learned here. Good, reputable reviews sell books.
So how do authors get their name out there? What’s the right promotional recipe for success? I had hoped that with my experience I’d have these answers by now. The writing world is a changing place with ebooks and online sales dominating the marketplace. This has increased the selection of books for the discriminating reader, yet many still gravitate to the big name “Cadillac” authors. Readers often don’t realize that the latest novel penned by their favorite author may have actually been written by a ghost writer. Book clubs often stack their shelves with the latest media hits boasting vampires or things that are best kept behind closed doors. Are these books literary works of art? I think not, but they sell. I try to take things to the max and I’d like to think I’m not there yet with Spectra. Beyond perseverance, if the key to an author’s success is out there, I’ll find it. In the meanwhile, I’ll keep writing for no better reason than that I love it.
Joanne Elder is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering Science at the University of Western Ontario. During her professional career, she spent several years in the aeronautical and nuclear industries, published numerous technical papers in the field of Metallurgical Engineering and presented at international conferences. She now resides in King City, Ontario with her two teen-aged children and husband. Spectra, Elder’s debut novel, and the sequel, Entity, were published by MuseItUp Publishing.
You can visit Joanne Elder’s website at www.sciencefictionthrillers.com.
Award-winning author Hank Quense lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife Pat. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. He writes humorous fantasy and scifi stories. On occasion, he also writes an article on fiction writing or book marketing but says that writing nonfiction is like work while writing fiction is fun. A member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, he refuses to write serious genre fiction saying there is enough of that on the front page of any daily newspaper and on the evening TV news.
He has a number of links where you can follow his work and his occasional rants:
Strange Worlds website:http://strangeworldsonline.com
Follow him on twitter: http://twitter.com/hanque99
Facebook fan pages: https://www.facebook.com/StrangeWorldsOnline\
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Hank. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
A: I currently have 13 books published; 6 in print and e-books and 7 in e-book only
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
A: I honestly don’t recall the name. I wrote it early in my writing career. I tried to get an agent and/or a publisher but, after a year or so, I came to the conclusion that it was rubbish and I gave up on it.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
A: I had maybe a dozen rejections. Eventually, it was accepted by a small indie publishing house and made it into print. The reading public was unimpressed.
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
A: Before starting a writing career, I was an account executive selling high-tech telecommunications equipment. Rejection is part of the selling job. I grew accustomed to it and writing rejections were the same as selling rejections. You shrug them off and try somewhere else.
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
A: It was published by eTreasures and I didn’t choose them, they chose me. They offered to publish the book and I let them, since no one else made that offer.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
A: At the time, I felt quite proud. I don’t recall what I did (It was about five years ago)
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
A: After I got over the shock of realizing I was now the marketing manager and the sales manager for the book because the publisher wasn’t going to do a bloody thing, I started wasting money on useless promotions since I didn’t know have an idea on how to market a book.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
A: No. I think the process I went through was a valuable learning process.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
A: Yes, I have a number of books published since my first one. My story design skills and story-telling skills have improved greatly since the time I wrote that first published book.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
A: I don’t think I could have speeded up the process. I read once that to become a decent writer, you have to write a million words. You can’t expedite that process. However, with the ease of self-publishing now, you now have tons of junk stories getting published by writers who haven’t spent the time learning how to design the stories and learning how to tell a story.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
A: I have become famously unknown
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
A: An alien hunter.
Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
A: I’d do both. t takes a lot of time to travel between galaxies and I could write fiction during that travel time
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
A: Probably dead. But maybe not. It’s hard to tell.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
A: Don’t start writing the story until you know the ending.
About Falstaff’s Big Gamble
This novel is Shakespeare’s Worst Nightmare.
It takes two of the Bard’s most famous plays, Hamlet and Othello, and recasts them in Gundarland. There, Hamlet becomes a dwarf and Othello a dark elf and Iago and his wife, Emilia, are trolls.
If that isn’t bad enough, these two tragedies are now comedies with Falstaff, Shakespeare’s most popular rogue, thrown in as a bonus.
Both Hamlet and Othello are plagued by the scheming Falstaff, who embezzles money from Othello. After Hamlet becomes king (with help from Falstaff) the rogue becomes the dark nemesis behind throne.
About The Strange Worlds of Hank Quense
Hank Quense has written about the Strange Worlds that he has developed as a background to many of the books he has written. One of these worlds is called Gundarland, a planet inhabited by humans and fantasy creatures. The second is Zaftan 31B, home world of the alien race known as Zaftans. The books contain information on culture, races, religion, politics and other topics. His latest book in this series is Zaftan Enterprises.