Life Defined

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sci-Fi? Oh My! (Interview and Giveaway with Horton Deakins)

Good Day, Perusers of Ink:

Tis a bit hot around the country now, isn't it? The land is sweltering, the people are melting... Okay, so maybe not actually melting, but near enough - I dare to say! To cool us off on this rather warm week, I would like to introduce to you Science Fiction author, Horton Deakins. His debut novel, Time Pullers, has the capacity to bring us to another age. But don't let me spoil anything for you! Find out more about Mr. Deakins and his novel below (and stay tuned for a Giveaway at the end of this interview)!

Greetings, Mr. Deakins! It's a pleasure to have you here today. It is my understanding that you have a hard, military science fiction novel available through 4RV Publishing, LLC. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Certainly.  I wrote time pullers to be a fresh look at time-travel adventure.  I wanted it to “put the science back into science fiction,” to be educational, and to be as down-to-earth as possible.  I wanted my readers to see the story as plausible, workable.  As for the story itself, it is set at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, in an alternate reality.  Of course, the people in the story don’t know they are in an “alternate” reality, but a strange visitor tries to run one of the gates at the base with a huge semi, and that’s exactly what he tries to tell them—with little success, I might add.  He says that some enemy has sabotaged the continuum upstream from their current location—about 200 years upstream—and the result was the complete destruction of his own civilization, a civilization in the future.  He makes his case that, if they help him fix things, it will be in everyone’s best interest.  But would you be prepared to believe something so preposterous?  No normal, sane person would, so it’s a hard sell for him.

It sounds intriguing! Do you have any other published works? Tell us about them.

I wish I could say I did, but Time pullers was my first, and it sort came about by accident. You see, I wrote a chapter or two and sent it to my sister. She liked it, but, seriously, she’s my sister, so I took it with a grain of salt—until I discovered that about twenty years prior, she had briefly worked as a literary agent. So, I finished the manuscript.

What are sisters for, eh? :)

 What was the hardest part about writing Time Pullers?

Any writing is difficult; it’s a lot of work.  Time Pullers took me three and a half years to complete, and when you have a full-time job and chores to do at home, it’s hard to find time to write.  It takes a considerable chunk of your life.  To do it over now would take less time, because I know more about writing and about the publishing industry.  But it’s still a lot of work, and anyone who says it’s easy is either deluded or lying.

Goodness - I think we all understand tight schedules! Time is elusive indeed.

What do you mean by ‘military’ sci-fi? For that matter, would you mind clarifying for everyone the different between ‘soft’ sci-fi and ‘hard’ sci-fi? How does your novel fit into the mix?

I may have misspoken when I’ve used the adjective, “military,” in reference to Time Pullers.  True, Time Pullers takes place on a military base with lots of military and defense-related personnel, but this is not a shoot-‘em-up-with-the-alien-bugs story, nor does it describe more conventional wars.  There are just references to military ranks, equipment (including an aircraft I invented), and bases.  The military aspect provides the setting and some structure, but it’s possible I could have written the story without any military elements at all.  In a military setting, however, there is a command structure where things can be made to happen with little or no debate.

As for hard sci-fi versus soft, I see it this way: When the majority of the science in the story is real, then it’s hard sci-fi.  When the majority is made-up, or when the science is just left out, such as when someone goes back in time by willing it or when the mechanism is some random celestial or weather event, such as lighting strike or a vortex in the sky, then it’s not hard sci-fi.  Most of those stories end up being romance novels.

In Time Pullers, I have tried to invent time travel as it might actually happen.  In fact, one of my reviews says that you have to remind yourself that this is just fiction.  To that, I like to say: Are you sure it’s just fiction?

Aha! A question we all must answer. I'm still trying to figure it out.

I understand that Oklahoma’s Tinker Air Force Base is a major setting in your novel. Why did you choose this particular locale?

Glad you asked that.  Not many people know that General Tinker, after whom the base is named, was an Osage Indian.  There is scene, buried deep in the book, where, around the year 1812, an Osage Indian witnesses a strange, mystifying event.  The scene is very short, but those who are interested can see an extrapolation of that scene in a short story on my website, .  The story is called, “What the Osage Saw.”  It follows several generations of Osage through the mid 1930’s as they retell the tale of the encounter with Grandmother Evening Star, one of their deities.  Other than that, one of the cardinal rules is to write what you know.  I know this area—the Oklahoma City area.  Although I’ve lived in three other states and spent time in Japan, I was born here and have most recently lived here since late 1989.

I certainly did not know that! I will definitely have to check out the scene you mentioned.

You said it's difficult to find time to write, so I was wondering what your writing schedule looks like? Are you more of a ‘morning’ writer or an ‘evening’ writer?

More of a when-inspiration-comes writer, I think.  When I was doing the book, I think I did most of my writing in the evening, and I would read it again the next morning to edit what I had written.  Then I would read it again in the evening before starting anything new.  Of course, one must always read one’s writing aloud when editing (ooh, that sentence sounded rather snooty, did it not?  Snooty is a good one to highlight and hit shift-F7.)

*highlights word* *hits Shift-F7* *hears, "Detonation Sequence. Countdown: 10... 9... 8..."* Oops...

Can you tell us about your route to publication? What was the hardest part?

Wow.  What isn’t hard about publication these days, if you’re not self publishing?  I didn’t start out expecting to get published, but as my story evolved, and as my sister (the former literary agent) encouraged me, telling me she thought I would get published, I decided that all this effort should not be for naught.  Getting a major publisher these days, though, is rather a catch-22 situation.  They only accept materials that are agented, and many of the agents only take on clients who have been already published.  What’s left is the very young agents, the indie publishers, and self-publishing, and there are very few agents of any status who will take sci-fi. When I was ready to seek an agent and/or publisher, there was still a stigma associated with self-publishing, considerably more than today, just a couple of years later.  It’s never fun to get rejection letters from agents, in fact, it’s quite demoralizing.  There are those who have papered their walls with them.  I never expected to write but one book, and I didn’t expect to get rich off it, so I opted for a local indie publisher, 4RV.  My goal was to get published, nothing more.  With all the books and authors out there these days, getting noticed by the movers and shakers is nearly impossible.  You just about have to have friends with connections who can recommend you.

I've heard about authors who have literally wall-papered their room with rejection letters, as you mentioned. That's definitely a way to make a statement! 

Onto other business: Would you describe yourself as a 'plotter' or a 'pantser'?

Ha ha, I remember the first time I ever saw this question.  I didn’t have a clue what it meant.  What does writing have to do with pants, or with a machine that prints engineering drawings? I thought.  Well, I’m a software engineer.  How could I not be a plotter?  I have to lay out the plot like a flowchart, but as I’ve said before, sometimes the story just takes hold and takes me somewhere that I had no intention of going.  I often find myself pleasantly surprised with a story that writes itself.  But the outline of the plot is, to me, like a forest at a distance. The characters are children of the forest, hiding behind the trees, but until I enter the forest I can’t see any of the characters clearly. When I come close enough to get a good look at them, I write down all their particulars in a character dictionary. The plot gives birth to the characters, but the characters give life to the story.

You should have seen me when I first answered that question. *grins*

Is your favorite genre to read also science fiction? Which sci-fi authors have inspired you?

Not necessarily, but I find that I am really enjoying your book, Empyreal Fate.  I haven’t read much fantasy, but I have always enjoyed movies like The Lord of the Rings, so I’m a bit surprised with myself that I have, for the most part, avoided fantasy books.  I’m very interested to see how your story unfolds. 
But as to inspiration, I would say that Jules Verne has done the most in that department.  He put such detail in From the Earth to the Moon. Even though the story seems silly to us today, when it was first published, in 1865, it was cutting-edge sci-fi.  It might be the first true hard sci-fi.

Brilliant! I'm glad you like it. Genres of all types have the capacity to inspire us - even if they are separate from what we normally read. I've found this to be true numerous times while expanding my own library.

So, I'm curious: how do you summon the Muse? And - what do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any other hobbies?

Ah.  A writer does not summon the muse; the muse summons the writer.  It chooses the writer not for the writer’s merit, but because it wills it so.  Just like today, when I hadn’t written anything in quite some time, I was reading your book and it just came to me that I needed to write a humorous parody piece about the first chapter in your book.  That’s the piece of “fan fiction” that you posted in your blog.  It was a lot of fun to write, especially because I could just let go and have fun with it—no rules, constraints or obligations.  I had no idea it would be so well-received, but there you are.  I was both permitted and compelled to write it.

What do I do when I’m not writing?  There’s not enough space here, I’m sure.  I have to constantly retrain myself in the software engineering industry.  I maintain my own website using ASP.NET, and when I have time, I add things to my blog.  I’m always playing catch-up with chores, and I’m trying to get more exercise.  

Concerning hobbies, one of these days we will find time on a day that’s not over 100 degrees to take our bikes to the lake an ride for a bit.  I’d love to go sailing, but I don’t have a boat, and it’s been nearly four years since I set foot on one.  But if anyone out there wants to invite me ... (hint, hint).  When I was younger, I liked to build and launch rockets, and while I was in college I studied Okinawan karate.  One of the highlights of that time was getting to take private lessons on the samurai sword, or katana, from the legendary, but now late, Glen Rabago, of Hawaii.  Glen was a student of Tadashi Yamashita, who still lives, and who was featured in the Chuck Norris movie The Octagon.  He was the mean-looking dude who was teaching the mercenaries and who’s favorite weapon was the kama, or sickles.

I envy your samurai sword lessons. May I take a swing?

Can you describe your writing style for us? What processes do you go through while writing? (i.e. outlines, character maps, index cards, etc…)

As I mentioned before I do create a character dictionary, or map.  Much of what I put in there never shows up directly in my writing, but it does show up indirectly. It sets the scene for the character and shapes the way the character speaks and acts.  My book had so many characters that I had to make several tables of them and what their part in the story was or whether they existed in certain scenes or chapters. I also drew a picture of a conference room from the story, with each person’s place around the table identified.  In designing time travel, I drew many sketches of the technology I was inventing, and I did many mathematical calculations to make certain that things would work out the way I described.  I won’t guarantee all the laws of thermodynamics are respected in my book, but the math works, and the history in the book is accurate, not contrived.  In the first chapter, which you can download from my site and from Goodreads, the truck used by the visitor is called a “turnpike double.”  My understanding is that this is the largest semi on the road, and I needed it for it’s particular capabilities.  More I shan’t tell you; you will have to read the book.

 And read it we shall! I always appreciate when an author retains as much accuracy as possible.

What is your writing environment like? Do you have a particular chair you must sit in or room that inspires you more than others?

For me, it’s catch-as-catch-can.  I have a desk with a screen and keyboard plugged into my laptop running Windows 7, and that’s where I write at this time.  For most of Time Pullers, however, I used an XP desktop in a cherry wood computer armoire, which was less than ergonomic.  Sometimes I went to the lake on lunch breaks and wrote while sitting in my vehicle, but I discovered there were nefarious activities going on there, so I quit doing that.  I’d like to have a better chair, though.  Perhaps that would inspire me!

I adore Nature! Beautiful, serene, quiet... (depending on where you go, of course). But I find that I can easily connect with the divine in Nature's arms.

So, I'm curious: What were your favorite books to read as a child? As a teen? How about now?

As a child, I’d say my favorites were dog-hero stories and stories about historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln (not as a vampire hunter, of course).  Most of what I read as a teen was whatever I was forced to read in school, such as Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, and Brave New World. Mostly what I read is non-fiction, because I have to constantly retrain myself in order to keep up with the computer science industry.  It changes all the time, and if I fall behind I can’t do my job.  Over the past several years, however, I’ve been trying to get exposure to many of the classics I missed earlier in life.  Along the way, I found the Master and Commander series, also known as the Aubreyad.  Russell Crowe played Captain Jack Aubrey in the movie version, which was a compilation of the first four books in the series.  I’ve been completely taken by the nautical terminology, and it led me to getting my basic keelboat certification.  It’s a fine t’gallant breeze we have today, Captain.  Stu’n’s’ils alo and aloft!  Belay those braces.  Scandalize the fore tops’il. Up helm, and clear for action. Beat to quarters!

Have you always known you would be a writer? What inspired you to begin your first novel?

I never ever thought I’d be a writer.  Perhaps I can’t even now say I’m a writer—merely an author.  The consensus of opinion is that when one gets published—by a recognized publisher, the title of “author” is bestowed. A writer, I think, is someone who writes all the time, especially to make a living at it, or one who writes in anticipation of getting published.  For me, writing often has to take a back seat to other life issues.  It’s been said (by various people other than John Lennon) that life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans.

Tell us – without giving anything major away – the basic construct of your system of time travel as depicted in your novel.

That is a tall order.  Obviously, some new technology has to be injected into the picture, whether through discovery or from some external, alien source.  Imagine, if you will, something that could completely freeze your movement—and I mean completely—so that something else could perform actions on you without interruption.  Throw in quantum entanglement, circular polarization, continuum waves, matter stream injectors, and gravitational waves, and there you have it.  Just don’t leave that cake out in the rain, because I’ll never have that recipe again ...

Whew! Sounds like a mouthful. But more delicious than cake. :)

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?

Now that’s funny.  I just got through making a reference to a song, and you ask me if I listen to music.  Actually, no, I don’t.  I grew up studying music, and I even considered majoring in music.  I wrote the music for my book trailers.  If I were to listen to music, I’d constantly be analyzing it, directing it, fantasizing playing or singing with it.  I could no more write and listen to music than I could drive and send text messages.

"Music feeds my soul." I'm with you there~

Would you say that readers are able to suspend their disbelief quite easily with Time Pullers? Is there any bit of science that would cause doubts or hesitation?

The readers will have to judge whether I caused them to suspend disbelief.  I certainly hope so.  Certainly there has to be some science that is not real, but the trick is to blend real science into the invented, making the crossover between the two as plausible and as much of a grey area as possible.  I also had to be careful not to use mechanisms that had a high chance of being disproved in the short term or things that have yet to be discovered but that might be discovered next week.

Describe how your experiences in life influenced Time Pullers. I know you've had several fascinating episodes.

I started off in college at (what is now) the University of Central Oklahoma with a physics scholarship.  I had long imaged myself as a nuclear physicist, working on the generation of power with nuclear fusion.  Then reality set in.  Long story short, after a brief hiatus, I reentered college as a computer science major.  But I have always had a love for science, and it just seemed a foregone conclusion that if I were to write, it would have to somehow be related to science.  There is a lot of me and my personal experiences that I introduced into the characters in my book, but if I were to tell you where some of the stuff came from, well, lawsuits do happen (he bites his tongue and chuckles).  

*chuckles* I'll be on the lookout now. The Psychology Major in me will analyze every character. Be warned. 

Seeing as you are keen in the field of science, can you tell us which of the different sciences are incorporated within your novel? How does physics broaden the plot in particular?

There is no plot without the physics.  This is about time travel, and no one has figured out how to make that happen yet ... or have they?  It has been speculated that travel backward in time might be possible, but travel forward could only be possible if someone in the future with a time machine goes back in time to get you.  We have known for some time that if an astronaut goes very fast, then when he returns to earth, the people there will have aged more than he has.  This is a way to travel forward in time.  But Time Pullers also has elements of the medical field, engineering, logistics, linguistics, and, interestingly enough, nutritional sciences.  You’ll have to read it to understand what I talking about, though.

Are you reflected in any of your characters? How about friends and/or family members?

We touched on this earlier, but some say there’s a little of me in Craig Brewer.  Certainly there’s some Will Rogers—another Oklahoman—in him.  I did draw from some farmer sayings my dad taught me to help formulate Craig’s personality.  I’ll give you one example here:  When talking about planting seeds, Craig says, “One for the bug, one for the crow, two to rot, and one to grow.”  That means you have to plant five seeds just to get one plant to grow.  Some of Craig’s other personality traits, as well as his history, were taken from certain periods in my life—my past life, to be sure.

I understand you have had quite an adventurous background, filled with travels and interesting excursions. Therefore, I would like for you to expand upon this, if you will. Can you tell us about some of them?

Adventurous?  Hmm.  That depends on one’s point of view.  I think I would say that my life has been replete with many unexpected twists and turns—say, did I just come up with an idea for a book?  Actually, one or two of my own life experiences show up in Time Pullers, but I’m not going to reveal which ones! My editor claimed, “No one would ever do that.”  Wrongo. 
I did live in Japan for about fifteen months, and I saw things most Americans have never dreamed of seeing, and I ate things most Americans would never dream of eating.  No one in America can even begin to understand what the Japanese culture is like until they have immersed themselves in it, and no one who has lived in it can explain it to anyone who hasn’t.   In that respect, I share a bond with other Americans who have lived there.  How many Americans do you think would eat raw horsemeat if it were offered?  Over there, it is called sakura sashimi. “Sashimi” because it is sliced and raw, and “sakura” because of the pink, cherry blossom color.  How many of your friends have shared a hot bath and a meal with someone in the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia?  I assure you, it wasn’t intentional.  But I also assure you that the thing about cutting off the little finger is absolutely real.  Did you know that in the public baths, the women who mange the bathhouses conduct conversations with the men as the men strip completely down for the bath, or while they are getting dressed?  That’s just normal, everyday life for them—no big deal.  They don’t see it in a sexual connotation.  And have you ever ridden in an elevator with two young Yakuza who were discussing whether and how to kill you?  Those are just a few of the many amazing things I experienced in Japan.  Omoshiroi, ne!
In another part of the world, on a trip through Europe, it is quite the adventure to find out that the spur rail line that leads up the mountain to your hotel in Zermatt, Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn, is not part of the Eurail system.  Therefore, your Eurail pass that you’ve been using all day does not suffice for passage.  Furthermore, Switzerland uses Swiss Francs, not Euros, and the train conductor doesn’t take credit cards.  We were almost thrown off the train, halfway up the mountain and as the sun was setting.  It was May, and it would have been a cold night, indeed.  Fortunately, when we crossed the border from France, I bought almost exactly the number of Francs that we needed to pay for our tickets, and we made it safely to the hotel that night.
Going back to days of yore, I was attending college on a physics scholarship, and I was also playing trombone in a jazz-rock band.  I got disillusioned and depressed about the fact I couldn’t keep up with the math, the language of physics, so when the band said we were going to California, I jumped at the chance.  I hit the road with forty dollars in my wallet, and an adventure ahead—I thought.  Two weeks later, the band broke up, and a month after that, I was back home, working at the Oklahoma City Stockyards, driving cattle, and cleaning pens.  When the fall semester came around, I had decided that life as a cowboy was not for me, so I went back to school and majored in computer science.  I was still able to keep physics as my minor, however, but I lost my scholarship.
Over the years, I’ve touched forty-nine of the fifty states, and I’ve been in ten countries, if you count crossing over Austria in a train from Switzerland to Germany.  Those uniformed border agents who check your passports as you cross over were unbelievable!  It was just like the Gestapo running through the cars, asking for our papers!

Adventures. What did I tell you?

Is there any sense of the fantastical in your work?

I think for sci-fi, there has to be.  Otherwise, it would be science-fact.  The trick is how well are you masking it, how plausible are you making it.  If the reader doesn’t buy into it, if you can’t suspend the reader’s disbelief, then it’s just a comic book with no pictures.  That doesn’t mean it can’t be an enjoyable read, but in that case I call it fantasy, not science fiction.  There has been so much argument about that, however, that they merged the two genres into one.  Now, I suppose, it doesn’t matter, but I like to say that Time Pullers puts the science back into science fiction

That's catchy. I like it!

Can you tell us about some of the technology used in Time Pullers?

In the book, the answer to that would be considered Top Secret Codeword.  If told you, I’d have to send you back in time, or something like that.  Let me say this, however: I think I’ve created something new, something fresh.  The technology may look familiar at first, but its details are unlike any you’ll find in any other sci-fi.  And there are many details for the reader to uncover.

What makes a science fiction piece most believable?

That is the question we’d all like the answer to, isn’t it?  Then we could all be on the best-seller list. I’d like to think that believability is in the eye of the reader, but if one reader thinks the story is not believable, certain more will come to that same conclusion, and vice versa.  In Time Pullers, I have tried to do that by making the story about believable characters, real people like your next-door neighbors.  I avoided like the plague any strangely-named aliens and weird, unearthly creatures.  Although one of my tag lines is It will forever change the way you think about UFOs, there is no mention in the story at all about UFOs or alien spacecraft.  It’s just the feeling you get when you’ve read the story and begin to put two and two together.

Now for some 'fun and random' questions: If you had the ability to travel through time, would you choose to go back or move forward? Why?

Yer killin’ me here!  I think we need a Web survey on this one.  I think I would have to say “back,” but not too far.  Just far enough so that there are no nuclear weapons, and machine guns haven’t really begun to catch on. Before The First World War, and after Pasteur, I’d say. That’s a pretty narrow stretch of time, but if I could choose, then why couldn’t I choose to repeat that segment over and over again?  Life was slower, more relaxed then, even if people had to work a lot harder. I’m not going to worry about the hard work, though, because I’m taking my gold with me—even though it costs a lot more in this current time.  Better yet, I’ll just go back in time to some Spanish galleon that’s headed for a hurricane and bring back its treasure.  But as I was saying, during that time there was no TV, no radio, and no Internet.  Few people even had Edison cylinder players, which didn’t exist until 1887.  I’m thinking somewhere between 1885 and 1900, give or take.  Of course, if you get an infection, you die, but if I’m smart enough to have a time machine, I think I can take care of a few microbes.  Or send forward for a doctor.

There you go. Pack a doctor in your bags, and it sounds like you have your travel plans set! 

If you could have a discussion with any author (living or deceased), who would you choose and why?

Amazing.  Just when I think I’ve already hit your hardest question!  I’d say Benjamin Franklin, but I suppose that’s cheating a bit.  I wouldn’t want to talk much about his writing, but rather his inventions.  But if I had to choose based on the author’s writing, I think it would have to be Patrick O’Brian.  He wrote what is affectionately known as The Aubreyad, the series I mentioned earlier in this interview.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

I suppose it would also be cheating to involve the use of a time machine here.  Alright, then, Tahiti, but not when any hurricanes/typhoons are expected, and not unless I can travel first class.  And our dog gets to come with.
Star Wars or Star Trek?

This one’s easy: Star Trek, but only the original series and the movies.  Oh, alright, alright, some of TNG can come along, too, and some of the STE series, as well.  Oh, I can’t decide—help me, Obi-wan Kanobe.

 *tsk tsk* Just remember to 'let the Wookie win', eh?

Novels or short stories?

I like to see a story develop quickly and end quickly. Not many authors can make a living on short stories, though. Short stories can be unsatisfying though, because it takes a while to really develop characters.  Just when you think you’re getting to know a character, the story ends.

Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate?

Depends on whether I feel like a nut.  Actually, I wish they made Almond Joy with the dark chocolate, but sometimes an old-fashioned Hershey bar is just what the doctor ordered.

Sunrise or sunset?

Now you made me hear Fiddler on the Roof in my mind.  See what you did? That’s too hard to choose, but I have to say I’ve seen more spectacular sunrises than sunsets.  Problem is, I’m usually not up early enough and/or have the right view that enables me to see the sunrise.

Hardback or paperback?

There’s just something magical about a hardback.  It would be especially magic if the book had my name on the binding.  Sorry, Kindle—plastic doesn’t count.

Agreed! *nods*

Favorite word?

At this point in time, I’d have to say “sailboat.”

With Hunter written across it, right? ;)

Favorite time of day?

It’s always been the waning hours of daylight right after sunset—from dusk ‘til dark.  When I was a small child, an older girl down the street used to tell me that was the time when the faeries came out, but only when the clouds were pink and the dogs began to bark.  She told me she could take me into their land, but I would have to be blindfolded.  Then she would lead me through the garden, where the asparagus plumes would tickle my arms.  She said that was the faeries.  Then she would take me back into our world and remove my blindfold.

How enchanting! You should craft that into a story.

Favorite character (movie, book, etc…)

Captain Jack Aubrey, of the Aubrey—Maturin series.  Both the book and the movie version.

Favorite quote?

"We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."  —Benjamin Franklin, in the Continental Congress, just prior to signing the Declaration of Independence, 1776.

Favorite villain?

Khan Noonien Singh, from The Wrath of Khan.

Favorite Monty Python reference?

How about this one: “Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time.”  But I can’t decide between that and, “One day, lad, all this will be yours!” “What, the curtains?”  Oh, there are too many, I can’t choose.  “Noooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”  “I came here for an argument.”  “Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.”
Are you going to ask my favorite color now, to complete these questions three, e’er the other side I see?

Ah - the French Knights. *chuckles*

Hop, skip, or jump?

Quantum jump.  Always happens after an atom has an energy drink.  Stop me if you’ve heard this one:  What did one electron say to the other?  You are in such a state!  Oh, gee, if people don’t get that one, I’ll look like such a nerd.

Don't worry, we're all nerds here. I can attest~

Crossword or wordsearch?

I could never solve those crosswords in the paper, but for some reason, a guy I used to work with always came to me for help if he couldn’t finish his daily puzzle.  But as for me, I’d have to pick wordsearch if I were going to have a chance at succeeding. I’d probably have to write a program to solve it.

Thank you most kindly for being here today, Horton! It's been lovely chatting with you.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about Time Pullers (and perhaps securing a copy of your own), never fear! For Mr. Deakins is currently hosting a Goodreads Giveaway for a free, signed copy of his work! (I believe there are three copies available in this giveaway). So, without further ado, allow me to present the link:

Be sure to check out Mr. Deakins' sites for updates, photos, book trailers, and other such features:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Empyreal Fate's First Fan-Fiction (Try saying that five times fast)

Good Evening, World!

Today, I received an email from fellow wordsmith, Horton Deakins (author of science fiction novel Time Pullers). When I opened said email, I was not expecting to find the piece of Fan Fiction within that I did. But - alas! he had attached the very thing: For while reading my fantasy novel, Empyreal Fate, Mr. Deakins became inspired to write a rather humorous account of Rhothdyn's demise. (For those of you who don't yet know, King Rhothdyn is the corrupt ruler of man in Llathala's realm. He is the royalblood of the kingdom of Erandor, and he rules with an iron fist. Nasty figure, he.) Therefore, when I read the Fan-piece on the king's death, I could not help but laugh aloud - and chuckle to myself.

Don't worry - this is not a spoiler for the story and is in no way a part of it at all. Rather, it is the kind and humorous writing from a fellow reader and writer who thought Rhothdyn deserved a sorry end. Enjoy~

Rhothdyn's Demise (A Fan-Fic)

As Rhothdyn retreated angrily into the castle keep, he sensed a presence in the shadows and halted abruptly.
“Who is there? Show yourself at once or submit to my ultimate wrath!”
But the darkness remained mute.
Rhothdyn drew his dagger.  “Come, now, and kneel before your king and beg his forgiveness for your impudence.  Fail me in this, and you will taste my steel.”
“Right behind you, Kingy-baby.”
“Who dares address his king —” but Rhothdyn’s words were cut short. As Rhothdyn spun around to meet his confronter, Horton, known as the farmer who does not speak, moved inside the king's grasp, making it impossible for the insulting tyrant to stab him.  With one harmonious, swift action, he grabbed the king's greasy locks, pulling his head back and exposing his throat.  Simultaneously, Horton brought his right hand high up behind his ear, and, with lightning speed, he struck Rhothdyn’s larynx with a deftly-placed, one-knuckle punch, crushing it.
Rhothdyn fell to his knees and released his hold on the dagger.  He seized his throat with both hands, his eyes pleading with his assailant for mercy as he gurgled, drowning in his own blood.  But mercy was taking the day off.
“That was a little something the elves taught me.  They said it comes from some island called ‘Okinawa.’”
Rhothdyn fell to the ground in a mass of royal robes.  The farmer who does not speak grasped the deceased monarch by his collar and dragged him to the courtyard where the assembly still lingered.
“Hey, dudes, ding dong!  The king is dead.  Like, no more starvation, and that stuff.  I mean, you know, you can go out and celebrate now, ‘cause he can’t, like, threaten you or anything like that, right?  Come on now, have a drink, cheer, or something.  You get to elect a king now.  How cool is that?  Huh?  Dudes, come on, who’s with me?  I’m going down to the tavern and toss back a few.  The first round’s on me.”
Jen rolled her eyes and whispered to her husband, “Now we know wherefore he hath not afore spoken.”

Thank you, Mr. Deakins, for that enjoyable piece. I can say I enjoyed a fair chuckle with that one!

Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Horton Deakins relating to his debut sci-fi novel, Time Pullers. In the meantime, feel free to enter his Goodreads Giveaway here.

Until Next Time!

Rachel Hunter~
Google Analytics Alternative