Friday, February 29, 2008

Lightning Days by Colin Harvey


Why did you chose that particular setting?
First of all, the setting for Lightning Days is plural -- settings. I suppose in its most general term, its Earth, all around the world, but there are perhaps a dozen or so alternate Earths, some so similar as ours as to indistinguishable, some almost like other worlds, reflecting the diversity of parallel universes.

What does the setting add to the story?
The many different settings give it an epic feel, which was what I wanted, and the alternate Earths allowed me to tell the evolution of the Thals from the sort of sword-and-sorcery feel of the ‘Warriors’ story to a current day world, but inhabited by a branch of Neanderthals who have become more human, as the universe applies a conservation of divergence.
Most parallel worlds stories tell of things being very different from some very small event, such as the film The Sound of Thunder, whereby everything changes because you’ve stepped on a butterfly millions of years ago. But there is a counter-theory, that if Hitler were to die as a child, someone else would come along and run Germany in the same way. It’s a sort of Historical Inevitability.
I wanted both theories in the same book!

Could you write the same story in a different setting?
It would be a very different story; if you set it on another world, it would just be Stargate by any other name. Similarly, remove the parallel worlds concept and have alien invaders, and you have standard SF.
Did you use a real place as a basis for your setting?
A lot of real places; the first part takes place in Afghanistan, and I read several books by British correspondents -- John Snow’s Shooting The Past and several of John Simpson’s books -- to get a feel for the conflict as it was unfolding (I started Lightning Days as the Allies went into Afghanistan the first time, and finished it as we were hunting Saddam after the fall of Iraq) and googled the terrain as much as I could; I contacted the Meteorological Society and several Antarctic-based scientists to get a feel for the Mawson’s Base sequence. Plus there were sequences in California , Florida and Bangladesh .

Or, did you create the setting from scratch?
The Thal sequences I wrote from scratch, although the three early ones were based on Asia, the Greek Islands and Spain , but the last two just went off into The Wild Blue Yonder, onto an alternate Earth where an arboreal semi-amphibious version of humanity had evolved, and the last, where the Thals had a whole Commonwealth of alternate Earths.
Tell us some specific details about your setting. What would we see? What sort of people are there? If we were traveling to your setting, what should we bring with us? For visitors, what do they need to know to visit your setting?
In some places, there is huge volcanic activity, so think of One Million BC, but without Raquel Welch! In others there are crystalline deserts, world-spanning forests and walled cities surrounded by jungles. And you wouldn’t go this setting, it’s a war-zone… J

Is there anything else about your setting that we need to know? Feel free to share.
There were lots of bits that I had to cut; a sequence in Iceland , one in Ireland , and one that made it into a short story that was too good to lose!

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?
As well as the link above, you can get an electronic version at fictionwise:
Novels from Swimming Kangaroo Books:
Lightning Days -- SF, Finalist for the USA Book News Awards
The Silk Palace -- "compelling" Library Journal
"Intrigues, betrayals, murders, love affairs, transformations, and
revelations," Bruce Boston, author of The Guardener's Tale

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cover of the Year - Asking for Your Vote

I just scanned the covers for Cover of the Year on Erin Aislinn's website and saw a lot of familiar covers - many were on my Judge A Book By its Cover blog last year :)

I invite you to visit http://www.erinaislinn.com/BookCoveroftheYear2007.htm and I hope that you will vote for Lady Lightkeeper which is one of my covers and it is listed as the winning cover for September.

If you prefer the easier route - feel free to email webmail@erinaislinn .com and put "VOTE for Lady Lightkeeper" in the subject line. I appreciate every vote :)

Nikki


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"Coastal Suspense with a Touch of Romance"
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nimrod Rising - A Novel By Steven Clark Bradley

Why did you pick the setting you used in your story? I'm not looking for -- "because I live there". I want you to dig deep and tell us... - Because Nimrod Rising is a vast story of International significance, my setting is really two/fold. I like to think that I have spent a large portion of my life in the cradle of civilization. The main setting of Nimrod Rising is really, Israel. Though it takes a bit of time before the book finally settles in that small but significant country, there is a real sense throughout the book that the story is heading that way. In a real sense, Israel is the spiritual center of the world. For Muslims, there really is no breakdown of society vs. religion. The religion of Islam encompasses every part of life. Sense I have worked with Muslims for over twenty years, I could see the radicalization of the religion long before Osama Bin Laden came on the scene. Most of the first section was written before 9-11. I have never claimed to be a prophet, and actually the need of such foretellers was never necessary. The changes taking place around the world were easy for me to see having lived there for so long. With the changes hitting America spiritually and socially and with the radicals in Islam beginning to strike us because of our support of the State of Israel, it was natural that the end game scenario should take place in the nation. The Israel is a tiny nation; its impact due to its very existence keeps lights burning in the great capitals of the world.

The other major setting is right inside the United States. We picture a nation and a world that has been devastated by terror and a nation that had lost its ability and will to defeat it. America is dissolving and the social attacks slapping the nation against the family, marriage, children and the elimination of civil rights required to fight the terror has left the nation devastated. The two settings converge into a massive wild ride that, of course you'll have to read the book to discover.

What does the setting add to the story? - I spent two years in the country of Pakistan and Bangladesh. That was an eye opener and it gave me a real feel for the culture, the lives and even the various smells of the Middle East. I also spent almost three years in Senegal West Africa where I lived amongst the people and grew to understand the impact of Islam on the lives of its adherents. Even in France, where I lived for over six years, I worked almost exclusively with the Muslim population. Later I went to Turkey and worked there for four years and traveled to Iraq and Israel and truly got a feel for Muslim society. By painting my story with words from my Middle Eastern experience, I was able to create a very true-to-life experience for the reader. Of course, the story itself only lent itself to the Middle Eastern setting.

Did you use a real place as a basis for your setting? - In the case of Nimrod Rising, it was easy to find the place of my story. Though Nimrod Rising is a work of fiction, it is based on historical fact and the events that form the story took place or will take place in the lands I describe. Also, Nimrod Rising spans several countries and they are all key locations. In some ways that made it easier, but in other ways it demanded very precise descriptions. I was helped a lot in that I had spend considerable amounts of time in each location, which helped me in the various cultural, political and layout of the land aspects of Nimrod Rising.

Could you write the same story in a different setting? - From the historical aspect and the biblical and extra-biblical material, Nimrod Rising could only have been written in the areas I used in the book.

Did you use a real place as a basis for your setting? - Yes, especially in the battle scenes of Megiddo and Pakistan and Israel. They are as real as they can get.

Is there anything else about your setting that we need to know? - I really want the readers to know that this is not a scary book as much as it is truly a book of hope and faith and a means of making sense out of a rising chaos throughout the world. There is a lot to be learned in Nimrod Rising. I know that those who read it and feel the power of the story will feel they will have had time well spent.

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