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Interview with ‘Forbidden the Stars’ Valmore Daniels

We have a special guest today!  Valmore Daniels is here with us to talk about his new science fiction novel, Forbidden the Stars .  Enjoy!

Valmore Daniels 2In true nomadic spirit, Valmore Daniels has lived on the coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, and dozens of points in between.

An insatiable thirst for new experiences has led him to work in several fields, including legal research, elderly care, oil & gas administration, web design, government service, human resources, and retail business management.

His enthusiasm for travel is only surpassed by his passion for telling tall tales.

Valmore’s latest book is Forbidden the Stars, a sci-fi novel set at the end of the 21st century.

Visit his website at www.ValmoreDaniels.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Valmore. Can you tell us what your latest book, Forbidden The Stars, is all about?

Forbidden The Stars takes place at the end of the century and concerns the decade leading up to the point where humankind enters the Interstellar Age. There are three main plotlines that intertwine. A catastrophic accident in the asteroid belt leads to the development of an element which can fuel faster-than-light travel. The first manned mission to Pluto discovers signs of alien life. And from the depths of a criminal empire on Luna, an expatriate watches all of this and makes his move to seize control of interstellar travel.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Captain Justine Turner, NASA’s youngest female astronaut, journeys to Pluto, where she and her crew discover signs of an alien civilization.

Alex Manez, who accompanies his parents on a survey mission in the asteroid belt, is hurtled through space at near light speeds when a new element is discovered and reacts with the asteroid.

On Luna Station, a criminal mastermind, Chow Yin, intercepts communications between Pluto and Earth, and quickly makes plans to seize control of the new technology.

On Earth, Michael Sanderson has to juggle the politics of the discovery between two powerful nations, deal with the interplanetary war brewing, and at the same time spearhead the search for Alex Manez and the mysterious element that began the chain of events.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Every character I create borrows from some part of me, my life and experiences, or from someone I’ve known. It’s an interesting exercise to imagine average, everyday people in your life suddenly thrust into extreme circumstances, and extrapolate how they would handle that situation.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

My personal approach to writing a book has changed drastically with every new project. When I wrote my first novel, I flew by the seat of my pants, letting my imagination take me in whatever direction the story led me. While I had a lot of fun using this approach (and the novel will always be dear to me) the end product was less focused than it could have been. So I did some research, joined a writer’s group, and eventually adopted the outline method. While some detract from this method, citing that once you’ve completed the outline, your creativity suffers in the first draft, for me the opposite is the reality. Once I’m free from the bounds of figuring out what happens next, I can focus all my attention on characterization, character traits and quirks, conflicts, dialogue and world building.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Absolutely. Most (not all) science fiction on the market today deals primarily with either near-future events, alternate realities, or far-future space opera. Forbidden The Stars is set seventy years from now in our own future as humankind is on the brink between the space age and the interstellar age.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Michael Sanderson, CEO of Quantum Resources, is reconstructing the fatal accident in the asteroid belt which took the lives of two surveyors. They are trying to figure out why the asteroid completely disappeared, and speculating on the whereabout of the remains of the surveyors’ son, Alex Manez, who was also on the asteroid.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

Dark, cold, silent, inhospitable.

Wonderful.

Captain Justine Turner stood on the edge of the solar system. As captain of the Orcus 1, the historic honor fell to her.

It was another in a series of firsts for her; youngest female astronaut in NASA history; youngest person to get a captaincy of a space vessel; first human to set foot on the icy surface of Pluto.

She tried to think of something notable to say for the benefit of those on Earth who tracked their progress. Overcome with the tide of emotion, Justine could not think properly. The stale recycled air in her suit did not help clear her mind.

“Pluto,” she finally declared into her microphone. Swiveling her head to face the sun, a tiny glowing pinprick in the low horizon, she imagined she was speaking for the benefit of posterity.

“It’s been a two-hundred year journey to get here, since the dark planet’s existence was first theorized. Now, that dream is a reality. This occasion is a milestone in human history. From here, all that’s left is to conquer the stars.”

As she came over a rise, she shut her mouth tight with a clack that echoed insider her helmet. Below her, the science team and Helen gathered like acolytes around a divine statue.

Her eyes beheld a sight beyond anything she had ever imagined possible.

In a place where no human had ever before set foot, against the cold darkness of Pluto’s skyline, there was a monument the size of an aircraft hangar. The bulk of the structure resembled the nucleus of a complex atom.

Orbiting that nucleus, a number of spherical objects formed what looked like an electron cloud, hovering in the space around the monument without any visible tethers or supports.

An alien chill walked icy fingers up Justine’s spine.

Humankind was not alone in the universe…

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Valmore.  We wish you much success!

Thank you for having me.

You can visit Valmore Daniels at the following: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Forbidden The Stars is available at the following retailers:

Paperback: Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Barnes & Noble

eBook: Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

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Interview with Science Fiction Author Mark Oetjens: ‘I always know where I’m going…how I get there is anybody’s guess’

We have a special guest today!  Mark Oetjens is here with us to talk about his new science fiction novel, The Staff of Rahgorra (Conquer Publishing).  Enjoy!

Mark Oetjens 2Mark Oetjens was born in 1971. He grew up in suburban Chicago. As a child he was diagnosed with Dystonia, a debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Though there is no cure for Dystonia, surgeries and rehabilitation allowed him to walk with only a slight limp by the time he started high school. He received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Anthropology, both from Northern Illinois University. As an adult a brain tumor, completely unrelated to his Dystonia, threatened to disable him a second time. Thanks to radiation therapy the tumor has disappeared. Mark currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.

Mark’s latest book is the science fiction novel, The Staff of Rahgorra.

You can visit his website at www.conquerpublishing.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Mark. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Staff of Rahgorra, is all about?

The Staff of Rahgorra is a science fiction action-adventure. The crime lord Thrull wants to rule galaxy but he knows he must first find the mythical weapon known as the Staff of Rahgorra. Cam and his apprentice Kayo, agents of the Galactic Security Bureau, are determined to stop Thrull by finding the Staff first and avoiding the war that Thrull threatens. Along the way there’s space battles and firefights and all sorts of questionable aliens and unsavory allies.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Thrull is absolutely driven to build a galactic empire. Thrull’s supporting characters are mostly young disciplined military officers that he trained himself, though there are a few rogues among them. Cam, on the other hand, is about to retire. The last thing he wants to do is stop Thrull, but he knows he must. His apprentice Kayo, his old Galactic Security Bureau friends, and a host of questionable characters support Cam.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Thrull is loosely based on the character Toranaga from Shogun. I think Cam is more me (or what I’d like to be) than I care to admit. A lot of the supporting cast is based on friends, family, and acquaintances. As far as the aliens in the novel, most are loosely based to on real animals or things I’ve seen in movies.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

As an author I think you have to know the general plot and how a work is going to end before you start writing. That being said, you definitely have insights into characters and revelations along the way. I always know where I’m going, but exactly how I get there is anybody’s guess.

Q: Your book is set in another galaxy.  Can you tell us why you chose this galaxy in particular?

I wanted the novel to be completely fresh. By fresh I mean having none of the history or assumptions or hang-ups of humankind. What better way to do that than to start from scratch.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Absolutely. Having a brand new galaxy to play in gave me the freedom to create a history and a mythology that was vital to the development of the story.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Cam and his crew have just escaped from an attack by a bounty hunter. Cam’s Darkmoon has been damaged in the attack. The Darkmoon‘s copilot, Mook, is discussing their options with Kayo.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

Thrull did not react as a side door of the observation lounge hissed open. He continued to watch the shuttle’s approach as the sound of boots striking the cool marble floor echoed through the lounge. His visitor finally came to a halt two meters behind and just to the left of him. After more than a minute, when the shuttle had almost reached the landing bay’s magnetic doors, he glanced up to see Tok’s reflection in the glass.

“You have news for me,” he said gruffly. It was not a question.

Tok seemed to stiffen his posture. “We just received word that the transport has arrived,” Tok said.

Thrull nodded. “Has the rest of the trap been set?” he asked. This he phrased as a question.

“Yes, Sire,” he said. “Linu contacted us an hour ago. She and the Talon should be here within the hour.”

Thrull turned to face Tok. “Good,” he said. “Tell her I want to see her as soon as she gets here.”

“Certainly, Sire.”

Thrull paused, looking the young man up and down. Hard to believe it was almost fifteen years ago that he had first taken them under his wing. Tok had been the youngest, only nine. He taught them everything he knew. They became his family, his thirty children. And now, after just fifteen years, he had gone from a mysterious upstart with a band of teenaged commandos to the verge of taking over the galaxy. “Would you please escort our guest up here. I’ll be in to see him shortly.”

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Mark.  We wish you much success!

Thank you for having me.

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‘Forbidden the Stars’ Valmore Daniels on virtual book tour November ’10

Valmore Daniels 2Join Valmore Daniels, author of the science fiction novel, Forbidden the Stars (Mummer Media) as he virtually tours the blogosphere November 1 – 26 ‘10 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

In true nomadic spirit, Valmore Daniels has lived on the coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, and dozens of points in between. An insatiable thirst for new experiences has led him to work in several fields, including legal research, elderly care, oil & gas administration, web design, government service, human resources, and retail business management. His enthusiasm for travel is only surpassed by his passion for telling tall tales.

Valmore’s latest book is Forbidden the Stars, a sci-fi novel set at the end of the 21st century.

Visit his website at www.ValmoreDaniels.com Forbidden the Stars

Forbidden the Stars is hard core science fiction at its best. At the end of the 21st century, a catastrophic accident in the asteroid belt has left two surveyors dead, but the asteroid itself is completely missing, along with their young son, Alex Manez, who was accompanying them.

On the outer edge of the solar system, the first manned mission to Pluto, led by the youngest female astronaut in NASA history, has led to an historic discovery: there is a marker left there by an alien race for humankind to find. We are not alone!

While studying the alien marker, it begins to react and, four hours later, the missing asteroid appears in a Plutonian orbit, along with young Alex Manez, who has developed some alarming side-effects from his exposure to the kinetic element they call Kinemet.

From the depths of a criminal empire based on Luna, an expatriate seizes the opportunity to wrest control of outer space, and takes swift action.

The secret to faster-than-light speed is up for grabs, and the race for interstellar space is on!

If you’d like to follow along with Valmore as he tours the blogosphere in November, visit his official tour page at Pump Up Your Book. Lots of fun in store as you learn more about this gifted author as well as win prizes, too!

Join us for Valmore Daniels’ Forbidden the Stars Virtual Book Tour ‘10! Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in virtual book tours. You can visit our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

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