Interview with Author Clayton Graham

Interview with Clayton Graham

1) Tell us a little bit about how you got into writing.

I have written intermittently for many years and always loved Science Fiction. As retirement approached I thought that would be a good time to get serious!

It’s our connection with the rest of the universe which fascinates me. Science Fiction has been with me since I was a teenager, escaping to new worlds in the cobbled back streets of Stockport, England, where I grew up as a child. Halcyon days, when education and school milk were free, and summers were real summers. I treasured the ‘old school’ science fiction written by authors such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham – well before many were made into films.

2) What was the inspiration behind Milijun?

I wanted Milijun to explore how humanity would react when faced with an intelligence it cannot understand? It’s a good question, for it may happen someday. We are not currently prepared, of course, we are light years away from understanding how we should behave in such a circumstance.

Milijun challenges our mindsets through the eyes of a mother and son, and as such is perhaps more powerful and meaningful than if that challenge was through the eyes of the United Nations or the President of the United States.

I trust the book is about more than an alien incursion into the Australian outback. The story challenges the reader to contemplate our place in the universe, or multiverses (as we are now led to believe may be a possibility).

3) What was it like to fuse the science fiction drama with the complex theme of spirituality?

In a word, fascinating. Humans have always searched for the meaning of life. The idea that, like humans, intelligent alien life will more than likely have a spiritual side is worthy of consideration. We have developed our spirituality through thousands of years. We are growing closer to understanding it, and where our place is in the universe. An advanced alien society will have progressed much further – for example, maybe they will have proven the existence of the afterlife, or maybe they will have entered other dimensions. Anything is possible – we should not deride anything even if it’s outside our comfort zone.

4) What is more important to you when writing: developing plot or creating characters?

Because I love Science Fiction, the plot intrigues me most. And I love plots which interlink with the paranormal or the supernatural [which can be the natural we have yet to discover]. Dialogue is driven by the characters and is probably the easiest to compile – I just let it flow as I believe it would in real life, bearing in mind the people and events involved.

Scene description I spend a lot of time on, and is probably the area which is revised the most.

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5) What social media site has been the most helpful for reaching your audience?

To be honest there is not that much out there beyond the obvious players. My primary focus has been on Facebook and I am just starting on Google Plus. Currently I do not do Twitter but I do rely on Book Bloggers and several Book ‘Clubs’. If anyone knows of any efficient media they are more than welcome to contact me at my website.

6) If you were to come face to face with one character in Milijun, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I would choose Laura Sinclair – an ordinary mother, really – until she encounters mysterious events!

The novel explores the relationship between a mother and son. How far can it be stretched before the links break? How far would a mother go to save her son? Would she be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, or undertake actions she would never have deemed possible prior to the alien incursion?

Based on that, I would ask Laura two questions.  What are her true feelings towards Major General Sebastian Ord? What does she think she is escaping to?

Knowing Laura, the answers would not be simple!
7) What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

We can start with the obvious one – read your genre. Don’t start to write before reading, that’s like running before you can walk. If you have done your reading, and you have the urge to write, just write and see what comes out. Never throw anything away – a lot easier now with the advent of computers.

Also keep a pencil and pad on your bedside table. Quite often you will wake up with an idea, a thought, maybe just a sentence or phrase, or even a piece of dialogue. Scribble it down, file it somewhere safe.

Also don’t release your book too soon. Check out marketing options and maybe get some reviews, but don’t be a slave to them.
8) What are your future plans/upcoming projects?

I am working on ‘Saving Paludis’ at the moment, which is set in the year 3898 AD, some one hundred and forty light years from Earth. This story is totally different to MILIJUN, but with the same elements of action, technology and the paranormal. It also includes some romance.

It explores the links between an alien culture and mankind, interplanetary economics, military force and power. It also asks the question: what happens when a culture concentrates on a single purpose-driven technology over a period of hundreds of years?

Web Site: http://claytongraham.com.au/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/claytongrahamauthor/

Authors Show Radio Interview: http://claytongraham.com.au/authors-show-interview/

YouTube Trailer:  https://youtu.be/d_0Na9Zu8JE

 

SALES AND REVIEW LINKS:

GOODREADS:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28525954-milijun?from_search=true

AMAZON:      viewBook.at/Milijun

APPLE:     https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/milijun/id1071758740?mt=11

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/milijun-clayton-graham/1123213251?ean=9780994495600

 

The Book Depository [Australia]:

http://www.bookdepository.com/milijun-Clayton-Graham/9780994495600

MILIJUN

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Interview with Author K. Hanson

Interview with Author K. Hanson

1) Tell us about the inspiration behind The Azrael Initiative.

I’ve always enjoyed the books of Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, and other thriller writers. I love the idea of writing books that tackle modern issues, so I wanted to start a series of books that does just that. The Azrael Initiative is also about taking a normal person and turning her into someone who would willingly head into dangerous situations, such as being dropped into Syria to fight ISIS. As the series progresses, the events of this first book will prepare her for new dangers.
2) Why do you think it was important to tackle such a complex subject like terrorism and specifically the threat of ISIS?

I appreciate books that challenge me and make me want to learn more about a topic. I wanted to use The Azrael Initiative as an opportunity to challenge the reader to think about terrorism and ISIS from the perspective of someone who is on the ground and in the fight. I also wanted to highlight the fact that just as many Muslims are victims of their hateful acts as non-Muslims are. I hope that The Azrael Initiative inspires readers to pick up a nonfiction book or two on the topic of terrorism to learn more.
3) What made you want to get into the world of writing?

What got me into writing was actually me desire to make my own video games. For a long time, I’ve had story ideas for games floating around in my head. Unfortunately, to make those games the way that I want to, I would need to hire more people to help me, and that requires money. Eventually, I realized that while I couldn’t make games alone, I could write the stories myself. From the moment I made that realization, I studied some books on novel writing, outlined my first story, and got into hammering out the rough draft.
4) What social media sites have been the most helpful with developing your readership?

For me, I think Facebook has been the most helpful, though I’m still working improving my Twitter game and learning how to use Goodreads effectively.
5) What matters most to you when writing: developing plot or creating characters?

I actually give equal weight to developing an engaging plot and creating interesting characters. An exciting journey is important, but I also need someone memorable to go on that journey. There also needs to be an internal journey that matches the external events in the story. Story events should change characters and what they learn should be on display with how they act.
6) What are your future/upcoming plans? Any plans to continue with the Kayla Falk series?

Right now, I’m working on editing the first novel in a fantasy series. This book is titled Storm Raven and features a pirate captain who stumbles into magical abilities. Once I’m done editing that book and while I’m waiting for beta readers to get through Storm Raven, I plan on starting the second book in the Kayla Falk series, which will focus on the issue of human trafficking within the United States.

Website: http://khansonbooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KHansonBooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/khansonbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16149902.K_Hanson
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Azrael-Initiative-Kayla-Falk-Book-ebook/dp/B01NAGQQ2F

Red Death by Jeff Altabef Book Review

Fantasy and Dystopian genres blend together beautifully in author Jeff Altabef’s novel, Red Death. Exploring the impact of religion on various
groups of people and the dangers of how it dictates their lives, Red Death delves into the lives of several young people throughout this
deadly world, with various tribes and Kingdoms conflicting with one another and the mysteries of this world waiting to be unlocked by one
courageous hero. Here is the synopsis:

Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient
sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close. They must
keep Eden a secret if they are to survive.

Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained and dedicated Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother discovers a cure to
the plague, her world is turned upside down. The discovery is a miracle, yet miracles are dangerous in Eden.

The corrupt, all-powerful High Priest brands Aaliss and her brother Wilky as traitors, forcing them to run. They seek refuge in the last
place Aaliss thought she’d ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden, and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval
world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders who are only a few years older than her.

Aaliss yearns to return home to Eden, but she must protect Wilky at all costs. And when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the
Soulless, she questions everything she once believed, everything the Priests had taught her about those who live outside Eden—they are
forever cursed, savage, soulless.

Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens
to tear apart the Soulless world? Or… might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?

This was an incredibly well written novel. The dark dystopian world is so vividly described that you can visualize the characters in your
mind. The action and plot of this incredible book took this reader on a roller coaster of emotions and created a world that can easily
pass for a dystopian version of our own. The themes of this novel have never been more true than in this day and age, from the dark side of
power in religion, to the judgement we often have for anyone who isn’t a part of our own culture, to the true meaning of family and how
a person can find family in the most unlikely of places.

It was refreshing to see the gender roles reversed from the “traditional” book styles, where a man is the hardened warrior and the female
needs rescuing or needs to be taught how to fight. Aaliss is a seasoned warrior, and the male lead of this novel that fans will meet must
seek her help for a quest, and must use her skills in order to learn and survive. It shows a welcome trend of strong female characters that
may be flawed but still become the epic hero of the story and prove that they don’t need a man to save them. It helps to break down the
gender stereotypes of our world and showcases that a person’s gender doesn’t define a hero, but rather their actions.

This is a beautifully dark world that has been created by Jeff Altabef, and is a promising first novel in a brand new series. This new world
promises to bring deadly threats to Aaliss and the rest of the people she befriends in this novel, and shows that the world she knows is
going to change drastically. Filled with twists and turns, characters we love and characters we love to hate, this is a fantastic read that
every dystopian and Fantasy reader must check out, so make sure you pick up your copies of Red Death today!

10/10 Stars

Powered by Indie: Why I Love Being An Indie Author

It’s not easy doing things on your own. Yet as many have said before me and as many will say once I’m long gone, nothing in life worth doing is
easy. It’s these words that have kept me inspired to pursue a career as an author, and have kept me going all these years. Over time, my writing
has improved and has grown, as have my ideas and ability to connect with readers and writers alike. The sense of community, of creative vision
and of belonging have helped reinforce my belief in the written word, and that’s why in honor of Amazon’s month long celebration of indie writing,
I thought I’d talk about why I love being an indie author.

There’s a very simple reason why I love being an indie author: I love having creative control over my story. While I dream of being able to work
with a publisher someday, I love being able to decide how to develop my story. I like having a say in not just the story, but the direction I take
the marketing and the way my story is formatted. When you have a creative vision, you like to have a sense of control over your final product, and
with indie publishing you don’t have anyone to answer to in that regard.

Overall, I think I enjoy the deeper connection I feel with my readers as an indie author. I think indie authors have an added advantage of being
closer to their audience because they come to it as readers themselves, and they are more in touch with what the average reader is looking for.
I know my writing has improved greatly as a result of connecting with readers over the years, and that’s why I wouldn’t trade being an indie
author for anything. Like I said, I hope to be able to work with a fantastic publishing company someday, and I actually have an opportunity to
work with a great publisher in the coming year, which I’m looking forward to. However my career began in indie publishing, and I love the
freedom that comes from having control and passion at your fingertips. That is why I love being an indie author, and I hope you aspiring authors
out there will consider taking a shot on yourself and self-publish your book.

You fellow authors out there: why do you love being an indie author? And all you readers out there, who are some of your favorite indie authors?
Leave your comments down below!

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