Friday, October 24, 2014

Blood Brothers: Escape to Creeporia by Dean C Moore: Interview



Tell us about your next release.

 I’m never working on just one thing at any one time.  Currently I’m engaged in writing a spate of sci-fi paranoid conspiracy thrillers.  Some of them have paranormal fantasy elements, some don’t.  Sentience is one of the ones that does.  It’s very Virtuosity meets Star Trek Into Darkness (for fans of the Denzel Washington film on the one hand, and the Chris Pine flick on the other.)  A form of artificial life escapes the virtual world and enters our domain.  Not just is his intellect far superior to anyone’s on the planet, but his entire way of thinking is alien to us, which makes him a very formidable bad guy.  As it turns out, he has more to his agenda than just putting the world under his thumb.  He intends to reign over the whole multiverse.  And by the end of book one in the series, we see just how qualified he is to embark on such an audacious undertaking.  Among other things, Morbius, our chief antagonist, reads minds, teleports, and flies; and these are on just the short list of his paranormal abilities. 

For Brewster, the protagonist, and his entourage, the challenge involves figuring out how to possibly narrow the gap between them and their adversary, who is surrounded by his own inner circle of super-achievers from the digital realm.  Anyone trying to survive our current day world, which very much involves continuous improvement agendas of one type or another, and figuring out how to find the superhuman in ourselves just to compete another day in a global marketplace, will find this near-future world curiously like ours, only just a little more scary—just when we thought that wasn’t possible. 

As with all my stories, female co-protagonists and co-antagonists are every bit the strong characters as their male counterparts, and constantly shift the scales of power and the outcome of plots in play. 


What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Honestly, it’s the sedentary lifestyle.  I’m constantly fighting, on the one hand, the urge to keep writing, and keep the natural high going, and, on the other, the increasingly pressing need to attend to the demands of my body.  I have a hundred books in my head for every one I seem to get out the door, which creates this urgency to write faster and more prolifically, to stay at the computer for longer hours, to extend my work days past all reason. 

In a way I never stop working.  When I’m not writing or editing, I’m reading or researching the next novel, or editing someone else’s writing (if they’re in my writing circle).  And when I’m just too mentally exhausted to do any of that, I relax my mind to my favorite books, plays, movies, and TV series, which honestly, is just another form of homework for the next type of novel I want to write.  I go to sleep with questions I pose to my unconscious about how to get around current sticking points in my stories.  And I will wake up at night with answers that I couldn’t arrive at in other states of consciousness (which are many over the course of the day, I can assure you.)  I keep a notebook by my bed for this reason, but I also keep the computer on in case my mind is racing too fast to keep up with via mere pen and paper.  Even my closest friends stimulate my mind in some way, and get my imagination racing; they’re my muses.  It all adds up to a diagnosis that could probably benefit from meds, but if it’s a form of madness, then it’s divine madness.      

I think I suffer from Morgan Freeman syndrome.  No one saw him in films when he was younger, but then suddenly, he’s everywhere.  In the same way, I suppose, I feel the need to make up for lost time with the prolific output of books and with the discipline required to stay in shape for what is more a marathon than a sprint.

So, how do I keep myself going twenty-four seven?  I do tai chi, yoga, dance, P-90X, I jog, I do long nature walks, in no particular order or pattern that lasts for more than a few days.  And I do short twenty minute workouts off and on throughout the day.  And I’m always looking for a better way to get more accomplished in less time, whether we’re talking about my workouts or my writing. 

When I have to jump off the Ferris wheel to feel human again, I get lost in the many exotic characters I always seem to find around me.  It’s quite the vacation to get engrossed in other people’s lives, their problems and hardships, and to help in some small way with their challenges.  And when I’m not writing my own escapes from reality in novel form, I enjoy the other side of the coin as well, reflecting deeply on the things which trouble our planet.  I get lost in philosophical debates about the massive shifts in global consciousness underway, and the tug of war I see going on between the old world order power interests, which resist change, and the new renaissance spirit, which resists concentration of power in the hands of so few. 


How do you describe your writing style?

I come from a background of writing screenplays, which I imagine I might still be doing if it was at all possible to sell the things, as I relish the fact that I can do a rough draft (after so many years) in a matter of days, and edit the next draft in a matter of hours.  But alas, selling a script to Hollywood for an unknown writer is honestly more difficult than winning the lotto.  So when the self-publishing renaissance came along, I decided to put the control of my future back into my hands.  Novels, however, are no joke.  There’s far more black ink to edit, and good luck writing even a very rough first draft of one of those in a matter of days.  Still, it offers other advantages, not the least of which is a chance to get into character development in ways you just don’t have time for with screenplays.  Even for a 90 to 110 page script, the format is closer to a short story or novella than a novel.  Novels thus give you far more room to spread your wings.  That’s that much more space to carve out more intricate worlds, and go into depth with things that would be impossible with screenplays.

Still, we are very much molded by our pasts.  For that reason, when I describe my writing style, I have to acknowledge the years spent screenwriting, which definitely influences how I approach things.  To this day, my novels remain very dialogue and character driven (playing to my strengths.)  But because films are very visual by nature, my books are also powered by intense imagination and detailed world building, and read, quite frankly, like high-octane action adventure or thriller movies (regardless of the genres).  Because with film, the pacing can never let up. 

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I need to have what in screenplay parlance is referred to as a “through line” before I can start writing.  That’s a sense of beginning, middle, and end, and how the lead character develops throughout the story by way of the various challenges he faces.  Once I have that, I’m good to go.  I find it’s a bit like driving a car at night.  I can only see so far ahead with the headlights.  What’s closest to the car (the scene I’m writing) is in bold relief, but what’s a little further out will need some added illumination that I can only bring to the subject once I get to that location.  So at the end of the day, I’m an equal mix of both plotter and pantser, I suppose.  I don’t think I could ever be one or the other; the first approach would rob me of any sense of adventure and discovery, while the latter would likely get me entirely lost and lead to a ton of re-writing. 

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

I spent what felt like an eternity agonizing over this one.  When I finally did make a decision from a long list, I landed on Dayton Wilder.  I lived with this name in my head for some time, thinking, yeah, I’m really feeling it.  This is the new me.  Then, for whatever reason, I did an anagram search on the name.  Ah, that’s right, I was researching anagrams for a very clever serial killer for my Renaissance 2.0 books.  The anagram for Dayton Wilder turns out to be: Tawdrily Done.  I thought, maybe not.  Not sure I want that associated with my writing.  Though a bit shattered, I picked myself up and moved on.  I ultimately went with Dean C. Moore.  It’s a play on words (as in “Dean sees more” of the future).  I figured I write a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, so why not?  I borrowed the idea from John C. Wright (another writer of sci-fi) who I assumed went with the name for similar reasons (“John sees rightly about the future.”)  But for all I know, that’s his real name. 

My reward for my cleverness?  I recently discovered there is a DC Moore writing sci-fi plays out of England with a very similar darkly-comedic tone and who gravitates to storylines I could see myself writing as well.  Perhaps I have a doppelganger out there.  And perhaps the moral of this story is: you can be too clever for your own good.

What book are you reading now?

Lee Child’s 61 Hours.  His Jack Reacher hero would likely be at home in any of my fantasy and sci-fi titles; he’s certainly not too far afield from my similarly heroic leads with his warmth, his dry humor, his chivalry and his smarts and fast-thinking under pressure.  But, as with this author, I’ve always been determined to write a cold-weather book.  His is set amidst winter storms and the pages chill you to the bone.  I also thought I might tackle a series that is high tech but more anchored in the present day, if I can possibly tone down my sci-fi and fantasy imagination enough.  If I can—big if—this book is great homework. 

 If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

I’ve actually written two series to date.  The first, Renaissance 2.0, is a parallel present  hybrid that’s part sci-fi, part paranormal fantasy.  I was very disturbed by the events which led up to the crashed global economy and a return to the kind of hardships many haven’t seen since the Great Depression.  But rather than focus on the negatives, I thought, how can people turn this to their advantage?  They say it’s always darkest before the dawn.  Was it possible that if you put people under sufficient, sustained pressure you could end up with something transcendent, the same way that base metal is turned into Samurai steel to make the finest, sharpest blades in the world? 

So I put my hero through the kind of crippling psychological trauma that all but destroys a person, and working with him to find inner reserves he didn’t know he had, explore the extraordinary abilities which begin to surface on the other side.  As he takes a tour through the DSM-IV of psychological imbalances by way of his various breakdowns, so he discovers advantages in each of these aberrant outlooks, ways of coming at the world that are highly advantageous with his criminal investigations.  His paranoia, his ADHD, his catatonia, even his schizophrenic episodes, each varying in intensity and duration, all teach him things about his cases that are vital to advancing them.  In his quest to become whole again, however, he discovers psychic abilities that may well serve him even better.  

The first book in the series is so massive I had to split it up into five parts (each a decent size book in its own right.)  And like with Game of Thrones, there is one continuous story arc that connects the different installments.  But because each of the five parts constitute an individual act in that story, rather than risk misleading readers, I continued the chapter and page numbering from the prior installments.  I doubt the 2nd volume in the series will be this extensive.  This was my first attempt at writing novels, and admittedly the story got away from me.  These days I’m a bit more sensible about what the market will bear.  But for those readers who enjoy big books and heady psychological thrillers, whether they’re framed by sci-fi, paranormal fantasy, or some other genre, it’s worth a look.

My other series, The Hundred Year Clones, is also a hybrid of sci-fi and paranormal fantasy, but set instead in the far future.  This is a post-Singularity period.  For those readers not familiar with the concept, Singularity is a state in which technological change accelerates so rapidly that it quickly outstrips our ability to keep up, and so we must be upgraded in one form or another.  Some see this as a transition into a trans-human era and a time of great abundance and prosperity for everyone.  While I believe Singularity certainly holds that promise, my stories pursue the concept from a different angle.  What if it is instead a progressive apocalypse?  What if it leads to dystopian worlds far more difficult to survive than our present-day reality (which is tough enough)?  This approach tends to make for better storytelling, moreover, than trying to write about a world which is somewhat utopian in nature.  That said, I’m also a big fan of positive sci-fi, so I will likely tackle the Singularity concept from the other side of the coin eventually. 

The characters in The Hundred Year Clones sagas are genetically enhanced; they are bred for rapid assimilation into off-world habitats.  Some humanoid species share a hive mind, while others are more cybernetic in nature, part human, part machine.  All of them are on a quest to be all that they can be, because times are so tough that only by continuously challenging themselves to surpass their earlier accomplishments can they expect to stay in the game much longer.  This is an epic tale that shares some things in common with Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels, in that the far-future universe imagined is vast, complex, and hopefully, equally engaging.  

Both the Renaissance 2.0 franchise and The Hundred Year Clones books are heady, philosophical and psychological sci-fi mixed with no shortage of pulse bounding action and paranormal abilities on display to keep the stories as much fun romps as they are an invitation to make your mind bleed with profound social issues, ethical dilemmas, and other frightfully contemporary themes.  They can thus be read at either level.  Folks less interested in the deep stuff, can just enjoy the books for the rollicking action adventures slash thrillers that they are, couched in the sci-fi and fantasy genres.

My shorter titles, like the one on tour here, Blood Brothers, are more unmitigated fun.  They have a profound theme (I would hope) underlying each of them, but the name of the game is entertainment and escape, with less pretense about giving folks the Cliff notes on how to survive unbelievably challenging economic and social environments inscribed into the subtext of the fiction.  Though hopefully the characters in my shorter books too embody enough of the hero myth and enough moxie to benefit us to the same ends, providing we can absorb what it is about them that drives them to greatness. 

Providing I can rein in my divergent thinking long enough, these shorter works too will ultimately be serialized.  As to which one I get to first, well, that I imagine will be based on the success of the various franchises.  But because readers first have to know about them in order to give them a try, and for my audience feedback mechanism to work, I’ve embarked (at long last, and at the behest of wise counsel) on the virtual book tour circuit.  Wish me luck!  And if so inclined, please be part of the biofeedback mechanism by reading ALL of my books and getting back to me with your votes on which franchises I should throw myself into next. 
BLOOD BROTHERS: Escape To Creeporia

by Dean C. Moore

Fraternal twins are separated from birth, and raised to be assassins.  They were never meant to meet.  But even when kept apart, they’re just too powerful.  Their paranormal abilities cease to be an advantage when they can no longer be controlled.  So they are scheduled for cancellation.
 Their paths cross before they can be taken out.  It is only then that they discover the true depths of their betrayal.  Not only are they stronger when they’re together, they’re half-breeds, sired by an all-powerful warlock.
The question is, are they strong enough even together to take him on now that he’s coming for them?
 hey have an ace up their sleeves they are not aware of.  Drawn to the same kind of women, they find themselves married to a pair of sorceresses whose magical abilities are only now surfacing.
But one encounter with dear old dad is all it takes for them to realize, they’re still the underdogs.
From the back of the book: 
“The series is called Blood Brothers, but this adventure is really a family affair: the brothers, their partners, children and even their old man in a starring role as the villain.  Think Disney's Incredibles, but in a violent and bizarre fantasy world.”  Rob May, Dragon Killer 
“With incredibly detailed world building and action scenes, this story seems like it would make a phenomenal film or TV series. 
Moore pulls out all the stops with dragons, telekinesis, shapeshifters and insurmountable odds in this battle of good versus evil - and a villain who just won't lay down and die.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift
“When you read a Dean C. Moore novel, you can expect rich, original characters, witty dialogue and unexpected plot turns.  Blood Brothers doesn't disappoint.”  JC Gatlin, Designated Survivor
The electricity out throughout the house, both baby dragons soared into the kitchen, lighting the candles for Myrna with their fiery blasts, the star and heart shaped ones, the ones molded like mugs of beer with big foam headers, and the magic spell casting ones with the different colored flames. 
Their work in the kitchen done, they dashed out to attend to the other rooms.  Before Myrna could prance halfway up the stairs after them, she took out her Bic lighter, and put the flame to her forearm.  “Ah!  You're awake, all right!”
Her next thought was, she suddenly had a pair of dragons to care for.  How was she going to manage that?  Oh dear, what do you guys eat?
 She rushed back to the kitchen. 
Myrna held a candle inside the refrigerator, as she ripped food out left and right.  The roasted artichoke.  The blue cheese and citrus bruschetta.  The apricot pistachio halves.  Everything meticulously wrapped.  The dragons came swooping back into the room. 
They looked at her, bewildered as she continued to plow through the itinerary.  The vegetarian chili and macaroni.  The tempeh and tapenade wrap.  She was sure she had something to accommodate every palate.
“Whada ya think?” she said, gesturing to the buffet covering the entire kitchen thanks to her throwing food willy-nilly.  One of the dragons bounded up and swooped to the floor, where it gulped down a mouse. 
Myrna put up her hands gesturing, “Oh no, we're all vegetarians here.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor.  Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises. 
I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining.  After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope.  I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock.  I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area.  But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice.  For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination.  I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels.  Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments.  But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point.  That too may change over time; we’ll see.  Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.
My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years' worth of work.  I'm currently averaging a couple books annually.  Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.) 
I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature's balance.  When I'm not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.

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