Originally published at Sherry D. Ramsey. You can comment here or there.

Today on the blog I’m starting what I hope will be an interesting series of interviews with other authors. First up is D. Emery Bunn. Emery is an author, editor, and engineer, though his pile of interests keeps on getting larger. He got his start in writing thanks to National Novel Writing Month, and is an avid supporter of free culture, the power of writing, and the creative arts. Darkness Concealed is his first novel, but he will be working on the sequel and a cyberpunk short story collection. He lives at his home in Clovis, New Mexico.


Darkness_Concealed_cover-(1500x940)Sherry: Hi Emery! Your dark fantasy novel, Darkness Concealed, releases soon. Can you tell us, first, a little about the book and what it’s about?


D. Emery Bunn: Darkness Concealed is a dark fantasy/mystery, with elements of horror, both psychological and physical, sprinkled throughout. It’s a story that feels dark, yet remains a hopeful vibe. And I could quote the synopsis, but what’s the fun in that?


The world suffers an apocalypse that it calls the Darkening. Well-named considering that the dawn doesn’t come, and the moon and stars bail out, too. In their place is a numberless horde of monsters, each of them more than happy to murder everyone they find, and tear civilization to shreds. Few survive the Darkening, but every other day for 149 years is peaceful and safe.


Nobody knows why the Darkening happens, and people have long since given up trying to find out when four strangers end up bound to each other by chance events. The strangers aim for the impossible: answering that “why”, no matter what it takes. And what it takes is more than they thought they’d ever be willing to give.


Sherry: It certainly sounds intriguing! Now, most writers–as readers–have a lot a influences over time. Who were three of your favorite authors when you were younger? What about now?


Emery: I started on “older” books at a fairly young age. I read Lord of the Rings, Dune, and the Foundation Trilogy at age 13. And in a lot of ways, J. R. R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert, and Isaac Asimov are some of the greatest influences. Tolkien for his world-building, Herbert for his philosophical depth, and Asimov for his ability to make everything relate to everything else.


More recently, I’ve also been entranced by the door-stopping work of Neal Stephenson. I’ve read three of his works, including the titanic Baroque Cycle, and still I want to read more. I love how he can go off on a seemingly random tangent, and still take you with him, coming back to the plot at another time that works for him and me. I don’t have anywhere near the confidence to do such a strategy, but it is intriguing.


Sherry: Although writing is usually a solitary craft, most of us have a “support system” of family, friends, and writing groups or colleagues. Who are your biggest supporters?


Emery: I have supporters everywhere. As crazy as it sounds, the people at my work are mind-blown that I’m writing and releasing a book. Every single one says they want to read it.


I’ve also got a large (and growing) support network on Twitter. The vast majority of my publicity push for Darkness Concealed was drawn by asking the people I knew best on Twitter if they’d be willing to help me out. I love interacting with everyone, and offering my own support in one form or another in return.


Finally, my family is supportive, though from a distance. I live on the other side of the country from them, so I don’t draw on them to help me keep writing as much as I would otherwise.


Sherry: That’s wonderful! So let’s talk about the publishing side of things for a moment. Writers have a lot of options today–what made you decide to go the “indie” route? What did you do to prepare yourself to jump into the process of indie publishing?


Emery: I have a very unique view on copyright: I loathe it. I decided early on that anything I ever release will be available, full text, as a free PDF the same day on my site. And that decision limits me to exactly one option: go indie and release it myself.


But beyond that, I love what independent represents, and what it enables. You can market yourself, your books, and your style of writing in any way you want. You can aim for whatever goals make sense to you. Myself, I’m not really worried about making enough to replace my day job (which I do like a good deal), but a little bit of extra money a month would be awesome.


And in no way does my goal limit any one else’s. Going indie can mean anything that you want it to, and I love that.


Sherry: And you’re in this for the long haul. I understand Darkness Concealed is the first book in a series…do you have a schedule in mind for the subsequent books to come out?


Emery: I can’t speak for the third book, but the sequel I’m tentatively planning to have out around July 2015. The first draft will be my NaNoWriMo 2014 project in November, the second draft will be January/February, third draft April/May, final editing late June.


IMG_20131213_205925375Sherry: We’ll be NaNoWriMo pals, then. ;) What else are you working on? Any other current projects?


Emery: During October I want to finish the second draft (and maybe third, we’ll see) of a novella called Nikolay. It’s set in my cyberpunk dystopia/utopia setting Normalization. Everyone is required to be mentally and physically “normal”, and the technology exists to make it happen in both directions (dampening, or enhancing). In return, life is very, very easy-going.


Some people don’t like that, and deliberately break the law by disabling their cybernetic dampening and installing enhancements instead. They live a shadow life, but they get to reach whatever potential they can manage without getting caught and shipped to the asteroid belt. Nikolay is one such person.


Sherry: Sounds like you’re a project-juggler like me. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received? What’s your best piece of writing advice for new writers?


Emery: Write a story you want to read. I did that, and no matter what feedback Darkness Concealed receives I will be happy with it. I’m mentally immune to the inevitable 1-star reviews.


For new writers, this is a long, hard road that there is no shortcut on. It might feel like a slog at points, but trust me when I say that the journey is just as fun as the result.


Sherry: Thanks, Emery! D. Emery Bunn’s novel Darkness Concealed releases on September 23rd, 2014. You can find out much more about the novel, Emery, and publication updates at his website, http://www.demerybunn.com. You can also catch up with him on Twitter @demerybunn.


Have a new project you’d like to talk about here? Let me know through the contact page!

Originally published at Sherry D. Ramsey. You can comment here or there.

questionmarkThere’s a very nice new interview with me, up at Nine Day Wonder. Pat Flewwelling asked some really interesting and fun questions, to which I hope I gave interesting and fun answers. :) You should really go and check it out!

When I complimented Pat on her questions, she noted that she likes to ask questions that go beyond what an interviewer (or reader!) could find out just as easily by visiting the author’s website (or words to that effect). Which I thought was a very sensible way to go about it!

Anyway, hie yourself over and take a look.

Image credit: Billy Alexander

Originally published at Sherry D. Ramsey. You can comment here or there.

TomorrowI’m very pleased today to be hosting an interview with Karen Henderson of Kayelle Press, to talk about the new anthology, Tomorrow. This post is part of the virtual book tour for this newest publication from Kayelle Press. Karen and I have been Internet friends and colleagues in writing for many years, despite being separated by about half the Earth! So while I couldn’t actually sit down with her for this interview, I think you’ll find our conversation interesting. And be sure to read to the end to find out how you can win a copy of the Tomorrow ebook!

Sherry: What sparked the idea for the “Tomorrow” anthology?

Karen: I’ve had a fascination for ‘the end times’ for many years. Couple this with a need to escape reality and I found myself reading books that took me to other worlds. But it was always the books that started in our world and then changed to something else that thrilled me the most. If the theme was realistic, there was more chance that it could actually happen.  And because I was desperate for something to change, I was easily swept away.

When that desperation disappeared and the need for change ceased, my view changed entirely but I found I still enjoyed the books. However, I was no longer looking for something and I realised that the worlds I believed would save me, would in fact be extremely difficult to live in.

As an avid gamer, my favourite PS3 game is “Resident Evil” (I have the entire set), I developed an obsession for killing zombies in post-apocalyptic worlds. This carried over to my reading and those imaginary worlds I used to get lost in became zombie infested instead.

The romantic notions I held dear were replaced with dark, foreboding civilisations where all we take for granted is gone—no electricity, no running water, no communication providers (phone or internet), no shopping centres; everything that makes life easy, gone. The thought is actually disturbing. Throw in reasons for the changes—human error or neglect, pandemics, natural disaster—and we could very easily find ourselves in a harsh new existence. That sparked my imagination and the idea for the “Tomorrow” anthology was born.

Sherry: What were you looking for, in particular, in the stories for the book?

Karen: When I put the call out for submissions I didn’t have a definite list of ‘must haves’. The one thing I wanted was a variety of ‘predictions’—zombies, biohazard, space travel. Action and entertainment is always high on my list. Connecting with the characters is always good too. Other than that I let the author and the story do their thing. I’ve always loved surprises!

Often, the stories I enjoy the most are the ones that reach out and grab me. It can be something I can relate to or something that speaks directly to a memory or a feeling or a thought in my mind. It’s wonderful when it happens. It allows me to become totally engrossed in the characters and the plot.  Strangely, the author may never know that a simple sentence they have written changed the entire reading experience for me. Of course, it can easily work in reverse too.

Sherry: Was there anything that surprised you in the submissions you received?

Karen: I guess the biggest surprise was to discover that I’m not alone in my obsession. Over 200 submissions proved that there are a lot of people out there who think like me. That shouldn’t surprise me really, but it did.

It was interesting to read other people’s predictions. The manuscripts proved how vast an imagination can be. When I think about how much thought had gone into developing some of the storylines I read, I was amazed. The authors had me convinced that what they had written could come true.

Sherry: One of the questions you’ve asked in talking about the book is “How do you think you would fare in an apocalypse?” So I thought I’d ask you: How would you do?

Karen: Terrible! Honestly, I couldn’t light a fire without a match or a lighter. I’d be doomed unless I could connect with people who could help me.

After initiating the “Tomorrow” anthology, I spotted a book on wilderness survival in an opportunity shop. I purchased it and now have a few tips for finding water and making shelter, but feel quite sure that getting enough friction between two sticks to spark a fire is totally out of my range of capabilities.

And when it comes to food … I really don’t want to think about it, let alone experience the hunger I’d feel due to my lack of skills. Killing an animal would be difficult. Hunger would force me to do it, but skinning and gutting it would be beyond me. And how would I cook it? Yes, I’m back at the fire making problem … again.

I could become a vegetarian and that would solve some of the issues I would be having. However, it would be just my luck that the first root or berry I ate would be poisonous!

I have a question for your readers: How would you fare in a post-apocalyptic situation?

Sherry: What’s next for Kayelle Press? Do you have a project waiting in the wings?

Karen: There’s a few actually. The first of our “Awesome Aussie Tales” books is due for release later in the year. “The Obelisk Trap” by Margaret Pearce is a fantasy story for younger readers. It will make a brilliant addition to our list.

Submissions are also open for Volume 2 of the “Hope” anthology series. These books contain speculative fiction short stories by various authors from around the world. The second volume will focus on a theme of “courage”.  Also included in the book are small factual snippets on suicide awareness. The profits are donated to Beyondblue, a leading suicide awareness advocate in Australia.

Finally, the third instalment of The Land of Miu series is due for release in 2014. “The Lion Kings” by Karen Lee Field will conclude the fantasy trilogy for younger readers.

****

This interview is part of the “Tomorrow” Virtual Book Tour starting on 6 July 2013. To find out more about the stories, the authors and the publication go to the virtual book tour schedule page at http://www.kayellepress.com/2013/06/tomorrow-virtual-book-tour-schedule/.

I am offering Sherry’s readers a chance to win a copy to the “Tomorrow” ebook (in the format of the winner’s choice). Just leave a comment on this post and your name will be in the draw. One name will be randomly drawn and the winner will be announced in the comments section, in a couple of days.

Before I go, I’d just like to say a big thank you to Sherry for hosting this stop on the book tour. Please take a few minutes to look around.

About Karen Henderson

Karen Henderson is an editor at Kayelle Press, a small independent publisher of speculative fiction in Australia. Their latest release is “Tomorrow”, a post-apocalyptic anthology exploring the possible outcomes of plagues, biohazards, human error, natural disasters and intergalactic travel. The book is available in paperback and various digital formats from their website and from most online bookstores. Visit the website (www.kayellepress.com) to find out more.

 

Thanks, Karen, and continued good luck with Kayelle Press!

June 2017

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