1/3/13

Stephan B Pearl interview

Let’s welcome Stephen B. Pearl to Julie's Book Review. Stephen is giving away 3 e-book versions of his book The Hollow Curse they will be in a PDF format, so don't forget to check out the rafflecopter to the right of the pg.

Welcome to Julies Book Review. Can you tell me a little about yourself?


Let’s see. I’m a middle aged guy fighting a losing battle with a waist line determined to expand. I have worked a lot of different jobs but more as a lifeguard swim instructor than anything else. I’ve been married to a wonderful woman whom I adore, despite the fact she drives me nuts some times, for twenty six years and have no intention of changing that status. I’m a fair handy man and back yard mechanic with strong first aid skills. My politics are all over the map since I think a good idea is a good idea no matter its source though I do lean left of center over all. Really, I’m quite dull my work is where all the interesting stuff is so let’s move on to that.

What kind of books do you write? Newest release?
Now this is a loaded question.
At present my novel length works available for purchase are:
Tinker’s Plague: A post-apocalyptic, science fiction, medical and political thriller, ISBN 978-1-933157-30-6 Available in paperback and e-book formats from Draumr Publishing: http://www.draumrpublishing.com/store/cart.php?target=main
Slaves of Love: e-book: A futuristic, romantic, erotic, detective story of love and madness.
The Hollow Curse: e-book: A New age romance erotica involving past life regression spanning centuries and dealing with love and obsession
Available from Club Lighthouse Publishing: www.clublighthousepublishing.com
Nukekubi: A paranormal, detective novel, ISBN 978-0-9867633-6-6 - eISBN. 978-0-9867633-7-3 Available in paperback and e-book formats from Dark Dragon Publishing: www.darkdragonpublishing.com

In 2013 I have coming out:
Words Apart: a Paranormal Romance involving a wizard from a parallel earth and a second degree Wiccan priestess from our world. ISBN: pending Will be available in paperback and e-book formats from Draumr Publishing:
As well I’ll be venturing into the waters of self publishing for the first time with.
Havens in the Storm: Classical fantasy about a prince who must become a wizard to save his people. ISBN: pending Print and e-book.

This doesn’t mention my shorter pieces in anthologies such as
The Pagan Writers Press Sabbath series: http://paganwriterspress.com/
I’m also trying to market a space opera, Cloning Freedom, and a semi-hard science fiction book, Deep Black Charter, where humans have an interplanetary technology but no FTL capacity.

So for this question there is no easy answer. If it’s one step to the side of “normal” I’ve probably played with the idea. I write what I’d like to read that way I stay interested and I feel that interest reflects into the writing.

What should we expect in your book? action, adventure, drama etc.

See above… I guess I should elaborate. J  In my work you can expect a lot of action and a fast pace. I like characters that get on and do something instead of agonizing about the consequences of their actions. As much as I love speculative fiction I also feel that worlds must have a logic to them and a character’s actions have consequences. If you interrupt a Japanese Goblin’s feeding schedule it may well decide that your parents will be the next meal. One thing you should expect is flawed people doing their best in a bad situation. To me our flaws define us as much as our virtues and flaws can be exploited for conflict so my heroes are in no way perfect, moral, caring, brave, but not perfect. As to my villains, I try to make them three dimensional. The Nukekubi, Japanese Goblin, in Nukekubi doesn’t think of himself as evil. Frankly, he wouldn’t care anyway sociopaths rarely do. The political villain in Tinker’s Plague is selfish and self serving; he’s a politician, go figure. That may have been somewhat unjust. I don’t think that all politicians are incompetent, self-serving scum just about eighty percent of them, so I apologize to the twenty percent who actually give a damn whether I agree with you or not.
Enough of me shooting off my literary mouth.
How do you get ideas for your books?

I open my eyes. Take Tinker’s Plague. I asked myself based on current fossil fuel reserves and what is being done to deal with environmental problems what the world would be like in a hundred years. After I stopped trembling under the covers I increased the time frame to two hundred years so that things would have stabilized a bit. That gave me the basis for my world. I extrapolated the high tech societies that held on around the old hydroelectric plants and what the rest of Ontario would be like. I also looked at global trends and when I uncurled from a fetal position I decided that I could reasonably restrict my book to the great lakes region. Truth is, due to the moderating effects of the great lake distance above sea level and fresh water reserves Ontario is likely to be less hard hit by the coming changes. This illustrated something actually. After the initial concept the research will supply a lot of the ideas that flesh out your book.
Next I asked what would be a valuable skill set for dealing with the dark lands, areas without electricity. That gave me my tinkers, Doctors of General Applied Technologies; highly skilled Jacks of all trades who travel the dark lands helping people bootstrap themselves back to energy abundance.
Now that I had my world and my hero’s profession and skill set I needed a conflict. Several presented themselves but I happened to watch a news piece on Bio-research facilities about the time I was making these decisions and it seemed providential. A plague unwittingly released by the descendants of those who survived the collapse of society.
After this it was all reasonable extrapolations to make the characters and fill out the world.
If you have ever made a module for a role playing game, RPG, you’ve done the start up work for generating a novel. The too are more similar than many would like to think.

To sum it up in a book everything must flow naturally from the world you are setting the action in. So where do I get my ideas from.
1)      What if the world was a certain way or contained certain elements.
2)      How would this change the world?
3)      Who would rise to face the challenges created by these changes (my protagonist)
4)      Who would profit at the expense of others (my antagonist)
5)      What specific thing does my hero need to address? (My conflict which grows out of the circumstances of the world.)
6)      Who else would exist in this world as a logical consequence of its nature?
7)      After that I just have fun.

Anything in your stories based on real experiences?
Quite a lot but not all.  I think we all draw from our experiences. I have spent time in all the real world environs I use in my books. I also incorporate bits and pieces from my life and experience often in a twisted form.  I’ll leave you all guessing when it involves my smutty books. ;-)

Toughest criticism? Best compliment?

“I think it’s a pipe dream,” among the last thousand or so words my father said to me before he died, it was in regards to my writing. The source and the circumstances        are what made it hard to take. He never forgave me for not becoming an Air force office and an MD, his unrealized dreams. Fathers and sons, one of us had to be the grown up.
The best complement has been repeated several times. People who bought Tinker’s Plague have come up to me at personal appearances smiled said hello scanned my table picked up Nukekubi and pulled out their wallet. They didn’t even ask about the price. That tells me I did my job and did it well.
Another one I received was a nine and a half star review from a reviewer who averaged about six stars and had reviewed things as low and one star. Some reviewers always give high ratings. This is very nice and Gods bless them for pulling up peoples ratings on the various websites but as a reader I question its value as a purchasing tool. With a person who gives a range of ratings the review reflects an honest opinion. It may be a flawed opinion, but it is meaningful for people who share that reviewer’s taste. That nine and a half star review means a lot to me.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Get out while you can! There is little money in it, it consumes your life, people don’t get what it takes, it’s harder than you think it is.
Now if you are still so masochistic and or addicted that you have to write, may the Gods have mercy upon you, write what you love. If you try and churn out something production line style it will smack of that. This isn’t to say you don’t have to work at it. Think of yourself as a craftsman. Each book is a custom piece. A cup may be a cup but the unique qualities the potter brings to a hand thrown and fired cup are what distinguishes it from something mass produced in a factory.
This being said, the potter works the wheel, he / she will spend hours turning cups and so must the writer. So in particle terms, write, turn off the TV, sit down at the computer and put something on that screen, not solitaire! Get the words out and don’t worry if they stink making it good comes later at the start just write.
When you have a story down realize this, no matter how much you love it at this stage it is a steaming pile of what the cow left behind. So now you edit. Make every word pull weight. Look at the characters, are they all important? Can you combine two or more into one? Do you give your audience a reason to care?
After you’ve done your first edit start over and edit it again. Then take it to a writers’ group. I prefer on line writers groups because all people see is the work just like with an audience. Take the suggestions you receive from the critiquing group look for common threads and repetitions then go back and fix the problems in your work.
Now you can either go through the critiquing process again, the smart thing, or shell out a lot of money to get a professional editor to go over your work. I have the advantage of being married to a technical writer which saves me a lot of dosh. Fix the work once more.
Then and only then should you approach a publisher or consider self publishing.
It can take years from starting a book to when it’s published, keep this in mind at the start.
All the cautions aside I will say this. When you hold that book in your hand, have people come up to you and praise your work, know your words have touch someone it is a marvelous feeling. Just be prepared for all the blood sweat tears and effort that precedes that moment.

How about some fun stuff?

Dogs or cats?
Cats, three at the time of this writing.

1 Fav book? why?
Lord of the Rings, within this tome is the template for living an honorable life and a story of the will indomitable. The language is like a poem and the characters are a nearly pure expression of the character archetypes all fiction draws on. I write in a completely different style than Tolkien but I recognize a true master of his art.

Favorite place to travel?

Thus far England in future I’d love to visit Egypt.
1 fav author? Why?

J.R Tolkien, see above.

Frank Herbert, his works weave together all aspects of society and humanity in a logical manner where you can see why things are as they are.

Living authors: Jim Butcher, the Harry Dresden wizard for High books bring a flawed yet moral man fighting the good fight empowered by knowledge into the modern era.
I love the Jim Butcher as well, His wife's is awesome as well! Shannon K Butcher
 
Where can we find you and your books?

Tinker’s Plague: Draumr Publishing: http://www.draumrpublishing.com/store/cart.php?target=main
Slaves of Love: and The Hollow Curse: e-books only: Club Lighthouse Publishing: www.clublighthousepublishing.com
Nukekubi: Dark Dragon Publishing: www.darkdragonpublishing.com
WORLDS APART: coming soon: Dark Dragon Publishing: www.darkdragonpublishing.com


Thank you for coming on Julie's Book Review. I wish you lots of success and hope you and your families all have a Happy New year.
Julie Ramsey
Julies Book Review 

Thank you for having me and may the blessings of the strengthening day be yours and all that you desire increase with the sun.

Stephen B. Pearl http://www.stephenpearl.com author of
Nukekubi a paranormal, detective, action adventure

2 comments:

  1. I've enjoyed Tinker's Plague and Nukekubi. Looking forward to World's Apart.

    ReplyDelete

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