1. Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:
"MYTHICAL: Heart of Stone" available for $.99 on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords.
When a super soldier comes back from the dead with no memory of who killed him, he sets out to complete his last mission.
2. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Originally, I planned this for ages 16 and up. I have since been admonished that it's a wee bit graphic on the violence side for that.
Anyone who likes pulps or big adventure should read "Mythical". I patterned it after the classic Doc Savage and Tarzan pulps but then amped it up with a bunch of paranormal and supernatural violence. It's about as over the top as you can get.
3. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
I wanted a nice simple, one-word title for the book, then ended up making that the Series name- "Mythical". There are two books up right now ("Heart of Stone" and "Brothers in Stone") and I'm trying to finish the third novel in time for October 1st. Then it's on to Books 4 & 5.
I think "Mythical" perfectly sums up the novels- they take place in a modern world where ESP and Magic are known by the general populace but not very common. Governments use the paranormal the same as other weapons, but out of the public eye. The heroes of the stories are soldiers protecting the U.S. from the magical and the mythical.
4. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
I designed the cover with some healthy critiquing from my cousin who has a graphic arts background.
Each cover in the first three books is linked- storm clouds, tinted Red, White and in book 3, Blue. The clouds are symbolic of the looming threat of the monsters in each novel. Each novel then has a unique symbol as well: For Book 1, "Heart of Stone" I chose an ororborous dragon eating it's own tail, held by a stone hand; symbolizing the shape shifting villain (who can turn into a dragon) and the living stone soldiers that fight it.
5. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
That's a tough call... I really like the old super soldier who's cursed and can never age or die. He's a relic of the 20th Century, left over and fighting to fit in as the world changes around him. But then there's the character of Josie Winters, a seemingly-typical teenage girl who overcomes her fears and wants to do what's right. I really like Josie, but that may be because I have two daughters as well. I purposely created the character of Josie so that the super soldier who can't have kids ends up in a father-daughter relationship (in future novels) that he has no idea how to deal with.
6. How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Femagick, a female sorceress who used to be a costumed vigilante but now moonlights for the FBI when she's not headlining in Vegas. I purposely wrote her to be a vile, vain, horrible person, but she makes such a brief appearance I think it's lost on the reader. I put a lot of thought into her then just didn't get to develop her better.
7. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
I'd have put more action in the beginning, instead of starting with a mystery that slowly builds to an action-packed climax. When I wrote this I wasn't sure that I was going to turn it into a series. Had I been positive of that, I'd have made the book have more action, sooner, to better fit in with the sequels.
8. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
The old super soldier, Mark Kenslir, was born in 1928 and possessed a natural immunity to magic and psionics. But then he got himself cursed and is now frozen in the same form he was in 1962. He can't age, he's stuck with the same goofy haircut, and he keeps coming back from the dead. He's buried a lot of his friends and fellow soldiers and may just be getting tired of all the fighting.
9. What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?
Warren Murphy's "The Destroyer" series is probably the closest, content-wise. Remo Williams is a super assassin who protects the world from all sorts of crazy, supernatural beings and mad scientists. With his super-martial art, Sinanju, there's plenty of violence and gruesome demises.
10. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
My kids are most impressed by my ability to belch at will- my wife, not so much. As for hobbies, I tend to watch a lot of B Movies and play Xbox with my friends and kids.
11. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
There's a sporadically-updated blog for the series at http://mythicaltheseries.blogspot.com, or you can follow my occasional snide remarks on twitter @troglodad
12. What can we expect from you in the future?
I'm set to do 5 Mythical books then will wait to see if the series gains any popularity. If not, I have a horror-comedy novel I'd like to finish about a mailman who finds out he's a werewolf- the same night zombies invade his subdivision.
13. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Read it, and spread the pulpy goodness. Writing is easy- I could crank one of these out every month. But marketing is rough. There's so much good, indie stuff out there to be read, and a lot of us are lost in the endless selections. "Mythical" isn't for everyone, but fans of pulp and big adventure should like it- if only they could find it.
14. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Like Yoda said, "don't try- do." Self-publishing is easy. Writing is easy. The only hard part is marketing and a lot of that is luck anyways. I'd rather finish some novels and say I tried then sit back and say I didn't try simply because I didn't think I could find readers.
15. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
"It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye." I like to tell my kids that. And if you read Book 2 & 3, you'll see how often that phrase pops up in my subconscious.
16. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:
It was the giant’s turn to attack. Despite the incredible pain in his kidney, he struck out, right hand held flat, knifelike. His six fingers struck Kenslir’s chest with blinding speed, tearing through fabric and flesh just under Kenslir’s sternum.
Kenslir grunted from the impact. He looked down at his chest and saw the giant’s arm in his torso, almost to the elbow.
The giant grinned. He had learned long ago to form his heart on the left side of his chest, to avoid the spears, swords, knives and other weapons that had so often been employed against him in this form. But the black haired man with the strange green-black eyes had normal human anatomy. His heart was exactly where it should be.
The giant wrapped his six fingers around the heart and jerked it out of Kenslir’s chest.
The giant stepped back, then raised the heart to his chest, opening his mouth. He wondered if he was actually salivating at the thought of all the power the heart held. He was just about to put it into his mouth when he noticed it had changed color. And gotten heavier.
The giant looked closer. The heart had turned gray. Blood no longer dripped out of it. The giant squeezed the heart. It had turned to unyielding stone.
“I’m going to be needing that back,” Colonel Kenslir said.
The giant looked up, more surprised that Kenslir was still alive than by the petrified heart in his hand. But there Kenslir was, with a gaping hole in his chest that wasn’t even bleeding. And with a large pistol in his hand, aimed right at the giant’s face.
Thank you C.E. for taking part in my Author Spotlight
interview! I hope your writing continues to flourish and we hope to see more of
you in the future.
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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