I’m interviewing Charles Brass, author of science fiction novel “Earth Cell”. My questions are bolded, author’s responses are in regular font.
1) What’s the hardest part of being an author?
For me, the hardest part is the marketing. Getting the word out there about who I am and what I have to say. I published my debut novel, Terrorcruise, back in 2010. This book blog tour for Earth Cell is my first substantial marketing event. So that should tell you something about my thoughts on marketing. But now that I’m getting my foot in the water, I’m finding it’s not all bad. That, and having a few more books and stories published. Like the writingprocess, I just have to devote time and attention to the marketing aspect. This is a business, after all.
2) Can you give us a short synopsis of Earth Cell?
Earth Cell is the story of Maels Raptori, the last of his kind, and his efforts to walk the path of a Warden in the League of Cells, following in the footsteps of his adoptive father, Cellmaster Dell. Maels is seriously injured during an attack on Earth Cell, but his kind heals quickly. During his recover, though, Earth Cell is again targeted by invaders intent on making Earth a source for food and slave labor. Maels is taken captive, brought to the invaders’ home world, and subjected to horrible abuse as a poison in his blood, injected by the leader of the invading army, crushes his ability to resist. Maels must somehow overcome the relentless enemy seeping through his blood while figuring out a way to bring the fight back to Earth, all while draining himself just struggling to stay alive.
3) Is this part of a series, or stand-alone?
The full title of this book is Earth Cell: The Ux-Blood Trilogy, Book I. However, where my Ux-Blood universe is concerned, it is the second story of the series. As I mention in a later question, I am working on a novella that chronologically takes places a thousand years before the events in Earth Cell. (Those who’ve already enjoyed Earth Cell will recognize one of the races involved.) I did write Earth Cell with the intent of making it a story that can stand on its own legs (all three books of the trilogy, actually). It’s my hope the character of Maels Raptori is engaging enough to draw readers in to the remaining stories. And for what it’s worth, the other novella in the series, A Child of Byne, takes place between the second and third books, Witchblood and Witch Warden.
4) How many hours per day do you spend writing?
I don’t go by time, really. I aim for a word count- around 2000 words. Some days that does take a couple of hours. Some days I write less, as low as 1500 words. Some days I hammer out a good 2500 or even 3000. All depends. If I get on a roll, I can even hit the 5000 word mark (and whew!). But I do try to get down 2000 words. And at the start of the next day’s session, I usually go through and edit the previous day’s words. It helps that I work two nights a week at a quiet, stand-alone 24-hour Emergency Department and two nights at the affilliated local small city hospital (two 8-hour shifts and two 12-hour weekend night shifts). I do CTs and MRIs on ER patients and, at the hospital, in-patients, but the workload some days is so slow I get plenty of time to write.
5) What is your favorite book in the same genre as yours?
Lately, I’ve been reading Kindle versions of books I get for free or at a reduced price through a couple of daily newsletters with such offers. Right now I am reading Edward W. Robertson’s Breakers series. In these independent books, the quality is all over the map. I’ve read some real stinkers, story-wise and writing-wise. Finding such good writers as Robertson makes it worthwhile. I plan to enjoy all the stories in his Breakers series, then find the next jewel in the rough. So as far as my favorite book goes, it’s the next really good story from what might be called the Kindle slush pile. While I pay a reduced rate for the first or second book from a particular author, I aim to pay full price for subsequent stories. This is a business, after all. (Ha!)
6) What are you working on now?
Right now, my work-in-progress is a second novella set in my Ux-Blood universe. It’s called A Ghastly Gillion Stars and revolves around a Shiss warder’s efforts to remove Pheelm influence from her planet. (A warder is an ux-worker before the Witches Guild came along.) As mentioned earlier, it takes place about a thousand years before the events of Earth Cell. I hope to have it available for sale by late August, 2014. Right now my plan is to release it only in Kindle format.
About Earth Cell
Author: Charles Brass
Genre: Science Fiction
For centuries, the League of Cells and the Witches Guild have worked together to maintain order and stability across the overweb’s countless worlds.
Walking the pash of a warden for the League of Cells requires dedication, sacrifice, and devotion, as young Maels Raptori, the last of his kind, has learned. But he’s embraced these hardships, for serving as a warden represents the highest honor one might achieve in his lifetime. For six years under the tutelage of his adopted father and the wardens of Earth Cell, he has prepared to fulfill this dream.
When a powerful intruder nearly seizes control of Earth Cell, Maels is tested beyond anything he has experienced. He finds the strength to defeat the invader, but his trials have only begun. Chaos is spreading across the overweb, engulfing all who stand in its way. The conflict soon breaches Earth Cell. Alone on a world of violence, at the mercy of ruthless captors, Maels discovers his years of dedication and devotion may not be enough. To save Earth, he may be called upon to male the ultimate sacrifice…
Charles Brass works as a CT/MRI technologist in a new stand-alone 24-hour emergency clinic in a small town south of where he lives, some thirty miles west of Minnesota’s Twin Cities. During his six years of active duty service in the United States Navy, he served five months in Bahrain during the first Gulf War. Now, with a BS in Animation under his belt, he has visions of a successful patient education video business filling his days while CT and MRI scans on sick and injured people visiting the local Emergency Center fills his nights.
For more information, visit his blog at http://seabrassproductions.com or his Author Information page at http://clearviewpressinc.com. Additionally, he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charles plans to devote time to a few shorter works that have been brewing in his brain juices for some time, then resume writing novels. He expects to publish his next novel by the end of 2015.
This book is available in softcover and Kindle formats at amazon.com.