Sunday, October 28, 2012

Book of Death by S Evan Townsend: Author Interview and Character Interview, Excerpt


Title: Book of Death
Author: S. Evan Townsend
Publisher: WorldCastle Publishing
Length: 266 pages
Sub-Genres: Vampires, Paranormal Entities

They live among us. We know they are there. No government can control them; no authority can stop them. Some are evil. Some are good. All are powerful. They inhabit our myths and fairy tales. But what if they were real, the witches, wizards, and fairy godmothers? What if they were called "adepts" and were organized into guilds for mutual protection and benefit? And what if some of them discovered a power that other adepts could not match.

During the turbulent 1960s, when American adept Peter Branton agrees to go to Transylvania for the CIA, he suspects it's not about ball bearings as he was told. What he finds is a plot that could kill millions of people and plunge the world into eternal tyranny and bloodshed. Branton doesn't know it, but he's about to face the adept guilds' worst nightmare: practicing necromancers with a taste for human blood.

Buy Links:
Amazon  |  Nook  |  Smashwords  |  CreateSpace

I'd never seen this type of meta before. At least I assumed that's what it was, as the wooden man inexorably walked toward me with a creak of moving wood, like tree branches in a heavy wind. It was raising its arms for another blow so I stepped back and shot an airbolt at it. I heard wood crack, but that didn't stop it. It swung again and its wooden fist pounded into my face, knocking me down and back on the sidewalk. Somewhere I heard screams and yells. A guy sitting on the sidewalk, his back to a storefront, muttered, "Wow, bad trip, man."
The Indian was bending over, its face expressionless except for the painted-on peace sign as it seemed to prepare for another attack. I shot fire at it, assuming old dry wood would ignite easily, and it did: the hippie dress went up in flames, and now the monster was a burning mass, still attacking me. It smacked me again with a flaming arm and I suffered from both the impact and the burns. Nearly screaming, I scrambled away on hands and knees. I don't think I'd ever been that scared. Still it came, oblivious to the fact it was on fire.
A motorcycle cop I hadn't noticed jumped off his bike, pulled his service revolver, and shot it into the Indian with six cracks of bullets being fired. It had no effect other than sending burning splinters of wood flying. The cop suddenly looked frightened, and was gripping his billy club but taking no further action.
People were screaming loudly now. I looked around, looking for an escape. If I could teleport away I might escape, but I could see no clear place to teleport to. Briefly I wondered what happened to Ernestine and if she were safe. I didn't sense the presence of another adept, but I didn't really have the ability to be quiet enough to do so. I just hoped she was okay.
The burning Indian smacked me again, hard, in the chest and I felt as if my feet left the ground as I was knocked into a car's side. I heard and felt sheet metal crumple and knew I'd hit the car hard. My vision was going gray. But I realized my shirt was on fire and that kept me from passing out; if I passed out I was probably dead. I pulled water from the air to douse the fire, but this took time and the Indian was on me again, even though it was moving very slowly.
I wondered if I'd survive until the wooden Indian had been consumed by the flames. It hit me again, knocking me to the sidewalk. There was an unpleasant smell and I realized my hair was burning. I used my bare hand to pat out the flames. This gave the Indian time to hit me again, hard. It almost felt as if I flew through the air and was slapped painfully to the sidewalk, the Indian still lumbering toward me.
In desperation I shot another airbolt at it. It must have been on the verge of falling apart because that hit blew it into flaming pieces that scattered over the street and also hit me, burning my skin or singeing my clothes. But it was no longer attacking.

Welcome!!!  Thanks for being here and agreeing to answer a few questions so we can learn more about you.  How did you start your writing career?

My writing career had an interesting start.  Well, my paid writing career, that is.  My writing career started when I was twelve and taught myself to type on an old electric typewriter (this was more than a decade before the first home computers).  My first paid job as a writer was almost accidental.  I was talking to the publisher of a local paper who was trying to get my business to buy advertising in her publication.  And she said, "Oh, I'm so busy, I have to go out to this estate winery and write a review of their restaurant and accommodations and I just don't have time."  So I said, "I just stayed out there, I could write a review."  I could see the doubt on her face and hear the trepidation in her voice when she said, "Okay, send me something tonight."  After work I went home, wrote up a review, and sent it off.  She published it, and paid me for it.  When I quit my day job, I called that same publisher and she has used me nearly every month to write a story for her.  Other local publications are noticing my work and hiring me.

As for my fiction writing, I first self-published a novel.  Then a local author who became my friend signed on with World Castle Publishing.  She suggested I send in my novel.  I thought, "oh, sure, another rejection slip for my collection."  So I did.  And World Castle has now published four of my novels, the latest being Book of Death.

Tell us about your current release.

My current release is Book of Death.  It is the third book in the Adept Series following Hammer of Thor and Agent of Artifice.  Like all the books in the series, it is set in the past, in this case 1968.  The narration starts in hippie-infested San Francisco and travels to Transylvania in the austere communist-controlled country of Romania.  It involves rogue KGB agents finding Vlad the Impaler's book of spells, called the Book of Death, and using their new-found power in an attempt to destroy the U.S. and win the Cold War.

Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?

Yes, Judith Ann McDowell, the writer of the popular Rougarou series who happens to live in the same town I do in Central Washington State, has helped me tremendously not only by introducing me to her publisher, but with marketing , sales, and publicity ideas.

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

My wife is very supportive and is glad I am doing what makes me happy.  To my amazement, both my parents are supportive.  I think, they too, are happy to see me happy in what I do.  My father even said, "As hard as you're working at this, you should be a millionaire."  My siblings, however, have not been so supportive and I'm not sure why.

How do you describe your writing style?

I'm very straight-forward.  I try to describe the action in as few powerful words as possible.  I love adjectives and adverbs, modifying nouns and verbs.  He didn't "fall to the sidewalk" but he was "slapped painfully to the hard concrete."  I often, during re-writes, have to go back and add more detail I forgot, especially in action scenes.  But I won't spend 300 words describing the wallpaper (as I once read in a Charles Dickens book).

What are your favorite TV shows?

Fringe, Mythbusters, British Top Gear, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Futurama.  And lately I've been hooked on Pawn Stars.  Makes me want to clean out my attic.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

Bach, Handel, and Mozart mostly.  Or late 60s to early 90s rock.  I'm pretty sure I have every song Led Zeppelin ever recorded on my iPod.

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.

Actually, I've never received a fan letter, but the best review I ever got was for my self-published novel.  It said, "I would compare it to a work by Piers Anthony or Robert Heinlein."  Heinlein is my favorite author of all time and someone compared me to him!  I was blown away.
Thanks so much!  And, I see that you brought one of your characters with you today.  So Let's here what Peter Branton has to say,too.  :)

Peter Branton - Star of Book of Death 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Alive and not in jail.  I grew up in an orphanage until I was seven when I left it because my choices there were to be a victim or a victimizer.  I joined a street gang and they taught me to be a pickpocket.  I seemed to have a special talent for it.  But there were also the beatings when I got caught skimming my take or some other slight offense.  My gang leader had a fetish for cigarette burns.  When I became an adept I healed the physical scars but the mental ones never seem to fade.

What are your favorite TV shows?

I don't watch a lot of TV on the four channels we get.  I do like "Star Trek" but sometimes it's just silly.  Especially the episodes with time travel.

What group did you hang out with in high school?

I didn't go to high school.  I guess you could say I hung out with my master, Mr. Pickard, and his housekeeper and his warrior.  He took me in when I was twelve and taught me everything I'd missed in school plus how to be an adept.  I truly loved the man.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

I'd like to apologize to my mother for being such a burden that she had to turn me over to her parents to raise.  And I'd like to apologize to my grandparents for being such a burden that they had to turn me over to an orphanage during the Great Depression.  And I'd like to apologize to the kid at the orphanage who I slugged and then he beat the tar out of me.  Sorry I didn't hit you harder.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I hate cigarette smoke.  Thanks to my gang leader burning me with cigarettes, I can't stand the smell of them.  And in 1968, everyone smokes.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

An i-what?  If you're asking about music, my hi-fi records are mostly Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, big band stuff from the 50s.  Can't stand this modern rock and roll stuff.  I cringe at the sound of The Grateful Dead.

What makes you happy?

Serving my guild to the best of my abilities.  Also alcohol.  Started drinking when I was seven.  Mr. Pickard wouldn't allow it but when I was of legal age and not his apprentice anymore, I took it up again.  I love a good drink.  I also like fine clothes and wearing them.  And I think the ladies like that, too.

S. Evan Townsend has been called 'America's Unique Speculative Fiction Voice.' Evan is a writer living in central Washington State. After spending four years in the U.S. Army in the Military Intelligence branch, he returned to civilian life and college to earn a B.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Washington. In his spare time he enjoys reading, driving (sometimes on a racetrack), meeting people, and talking with friends. He is in a 12-step program for Starbucks addiction. Evan lives with his wife and has three grown sons. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, history, politics, cars, and travel.

Author Links:
Website  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

No comments: