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To Face Untold Dangers

Wayne Gerard Trotman
Wayne Gerard Trotman Author Interview

Veterans of the Psychic Wars follows a normal guy with an unknown past who must face danger in uncharted space to rescue his wife and end the Second Psychic War. How did the idea for this novel start and change as you wrote?

It began with a conversation I had with my mother many years ago. We discussed the state of the world, and I mentioned feeling as if I didn’t belong. I said that I felt as if I was an alien. And, without skipping a beat, my mother replied, “You are an alien.”

We laughed but, long after the conversation, I considered the implications of such a thing being true. I imagined a scenario where a young man grew up not realising who he was. Writing the story, I had to consider what would drive someone to leave everything they knew behind to face untold dangers.

As the characters developed, they began to dictate the story more and more. There have been times when events completely surprised me; this is especially true of a few deaths.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

Writing isn’t always easy. On my best day, I wrote 4,000 words. For me, that’s a lot. I wanted realism in the characters and authentic world-building. I studied history, and it remains a deep interest of mine. As such, the novel makes references to a great deal of historical information. There are names, words, and phrases from over 24 languages, including Swahili, Japanese, Armenian, Sanskrit and Ancient Egyptian.

The real challenge was to write a book that is enjoyable on different levels. Some of the contents are esoteric. I have an interest in philosophy, and there are also themes regarding the nature of reality. There are also ethical questions. It’s an epic story, designed to be read more than once.

This is a very exciting story that seems like it was fun to write. What scene was the most fun for you to write in this book?

It’s somewhat difficult to choose. However, one scene that never fails to make me laugh out loud is Chapter 75. I approached this chapter intending to write dark, morbid prose. However, it quickly developed into a classic and humorous illustration of pride coming before a fall.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available? Are you starting a series with this book?

I am currently writing Architects of the Psychic Wars, the sequel to Veterans of the Psychic Wars. This novel will also feature cameos of characters from Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest, set in the same universe.

Four years each was the average time for me to write my first two science fiction novels because of the amount of scientific, cultural, and historical research I draw from for each work. It’s not an easy process, and it’s difficult to say how long the current book will take to complete. I plan to write three books in the Psychic Wars series and three in the Kaya Abaniah series.

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Thought is more dangerous than you think…
Roman Doyle has been living a normal life as a married 25-year-old schoolteacher. When five large men attack him, he’s confident in his ability to defend himself. But, this isn’t an ordinary mugging. Roman doesn’t know that he is Prince Sakara, heir apparent of the True Emperor of a distant galaxy and his muggers are agents, sent to kill him.

Roman’s life is saved by Chi-Ro Jin, a Veteran of the Psychic Wars. Chi-Ro’s mission is to secure Roman’s help in an interstellar battle between the forces of his father, the Emperor, and those of his uncle, the Baron.

Chi-Ro injects Roman with an alien drug that awakens Roman’s dormant psychic and astral abilities and he discovers a shocking alien plot that threatens humanity. Will Roman be able to overcome his fears, master the martial art of Hatari Ikou, and learn the secrets of astral projection?

Follow this epic journey to the Cosmic Sea where Roman faces evil and danger in uncharted space, as he attempts to rescue his wife, retrieve the sword of power, and end the Second Psychic Wars.

Song of Blue

Song of Blue by [J. A. Ebonlight]

Song Of Blue follows a child soldier trying to survive a brutal far future reality where an ageless king rules thousands of planets. Blu joins the king’s army in an attempt to escape his harsh life and is sent to quell a rebellion off world, where he learns that he has just traded in one gang life for another. Blu is forced to pick a side in a world with no easy choices.

Author J.A. Ebonlight’s uniquely gritty writing style captivated me from the start of this thrilling science fiction novel. This is a fascinating literary hybrid with a storyline I would normally find in contemporary urban fantasy, but set in the far future where humans inhabit thousands of worlds. I detected tones throughout this entertaining story that reminded me of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein, or another great sicfi writer John Scalzi, with unique views on humanity and deep commentary or society in a compelling and introspective story.

Blu is an intriguing and contemplative character, a bit of a trope, but grounded and endearing enough for me to be fully invested in his character throughout the story. Song of Blue is an ambitious story, edging into the epic science fiction genre with its particular world building, but remaining accessible with its simple but engaging language and dialogue. Author J.A. Ebonlight does a fantastic job of ensuring his characters feel as real as possible, which is important in a far future science fiction story involving aliens, and I appreciated the how easy flowing the dialogue was.

Song of Blue is a riveting space opera that will satisfy any science fiction fan looking for a space marine story that reaches far enough out of the genre to feel new. J.A. Ebonlight provides readers with a unique perspective in a story that is dark, imaginative and thought-provoking.

Pages: 209 | ASIN: B08W1ZHB82

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Midnight Black

Midnight Black: Revised and Expanded by [R.J. Eastwood, Robert J.  Emery]

R.J Eastwood’s Midnight Black is a gripping portrayal of the dilemma facing one William Evan Russell (Billy). Billy’s life is a paradox. Having worked initially as a Drug Enforcement Agency agent, he finds himself serving time in a prison located literally out of this world. Without explanation he is released on parole five years early but has to work for the DEA once more, only this time, with different rules of the game.

Eastwood takes readers through an imaginative yet vivid journey from beneath one of Jupiter’s moons and back to a strange world. The protagonist’s hope of returning to earth after 17 long years mining on Europa is smashed upon return to a world unlike the one he remembered. In a twisted turn of events, what had caused his conviction 17 years ago – instant justice served – is what causes him to be released early.  But will he be able to measure up to what is expected of him?

Eastwood’s writing style is rich in character development. Through vivid description, I was able to form clear images of the characters and connect with them on a deep, albeit imaginative, level. For instance, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Billy while hate Chernov. The gripping dialogue Eastwood uses throughout the book not only got me moving through the pages swiftly, oblivious of time passage, but eager to find out what transpires next. As icing on the cake, I found some of these conversations humorous mainly through the author’s expert use of satire. I enjoyed how the author narrates current occurrences while lending the reader a unique perspective. Many current pressing issues, such as the COVID pandemic, are highlighted within the book. The author seamlessly switches from one scene to the next. Each chapter is short but engaging. This is where the genius of Eastwood is clearly visible.

In a way, the book comes as a warning to how the world may end up if we maintain the status quo. Eastwood expertly links current events – spoken as though occurring in some distant past – and links this to what it portends in the present – an imaginative future.

Imagine James Patterson’s Alex Cross but with a science fiction twist. Midnight Black is a character driven thriller that has something to say and knows how to tell a suspenseful story.

Pages: 258 | ISBN: 0578433036

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Veterans of the Psychic Wars

Veterans of the Psychic Wars by [Wayne Gerard Trotman]

Roman and his young wife are on their way to beginning a wonderful life together. They will soon be parents, and the biggest problem in their lives is deciding on a name for their unborn child. Roman’s midnight trip to satisfy his wife’s cravings should have been easy–in and out and back home. When Roman is approached by five strange men in the darkness, his errand turns into something much more sinister. Roman is prepared for muggers, but this has a much different feel. When one of the ominous figures addresses Roman as “Master Armon,” he is as confused as he is frightened. Nothing of his simple life will ever be the same.

Veterans of the Psychic Wars, by Wayne Gerard Trotman, is the action-packed science fiction thriller surrounding main character, Roman. Roman is not who he has been led to believe he is. As knowledgeable as he is in martial arts, he cannot possibly be prepared enough to tackle the otherworldly powers he meets when he is attacked and kidnapped on a late-night errand.

If I pick up a book and don’t feel an immediate connection to a character, I am done. Trotman gives readers no time to have to make that decision. His main character’s first moments are filled with trepidation and drama. There is an air of mystery that grabs readers and pulls them into the story. The malevolent presence that descends upon Roman and the sense of foreboding is overwhelming in a wonderfully inviting way.

Roman’s simple life as a teacher makes this story even more engaging. He is one of us–an average guy with an average life. The fact that he is the basis for the intense action and is the center of such an elaborate science fiction plot makes Trotman’s work all the more appealing. Roman is a fantastic character. He is relatable and has a personality readers will want to root for.

Science fiction stories can get complicated and aren’t for everyone. Trotman, however, has navigated the science fiction waters with ease. His writing gives readers the perfect blend of character development, gripping backstories, and technical content. Readers won’t find themselves bogged down in technical jargon. Exchanges between characters are genuine and actually peppered with humorous moments. Trotman has hit upon a riveting mixture of drama, science fiction, and lighthearted banter.

Pages: 424 | ASIN: B004GNFUIY

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The Butt of the Universe’s Jokes

Author Interview
R.M. Kozan Author Interview

The Voyages of Ralf follows the eponymous character on a series of adventures that he falls into and out of in humorous ways. What was the inspiration for the setup to this fun story?

Although my second published novel, The Voyages of Ralf is actually the first novel I ever completed. A very early version of it, created during my high school years, was based on three sequential short stories. Changes and updates occurred sporadically over the next few years, and then the manuscript lay fallow for decades until I began the final, complete re-write in 2019.

Despite the long interval between conception and delivery, the book retained its three-voyage format, and much of the story line of the original first two voyages. The third voyage was entirely reconceived this millennium. The pandemic provided inspiration to remain hiding in my room and finalize the manuscript during the spring, and into the summer of 2020, no doubt hastening the book’s release.

Ralf is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

Borne in a gale of adolescent frustration and confusion, Ralf emerged as a non-character, the butt of the Universe’s jokes, a perpetual virgin and neophyte. He is often unsure what to do in the moment, and unclear about who is on his side; this leads to trouble. He has, however, ‘a good heart’, and by taking the side of those he deems on the right side of history, he stumbles through to better days.

The books takes a satirical view on several topics. What were some themes you wanted to explore in this book?

The book is intended to be fun; however, there are strong themes of humanism throughout. The impacts of racism (species-ism?), abuse of authority, malign impacts of abusive personalities, and the struggle for identity formation are revealed through a comedic lens. The idea of the alien mind fascinates this author, and how we deal with those who are different from us is at the heart of the book.

This is volume one in the series. What can readers expect in the upcoming volumes?

The next volume, tentatively titled ‘Love Triangulum’, will explore more of Ralf’s background, explaining what happened to his father, and settling Ralf’s true place in his Universe. Some previously introduced characters will return, but many exotically alien ones will also be introduced. The history of Martiankind has not yet been fully revealed. Also, the central tenets of the Alliance and its religion, Aronism, specifically the exaltation of beauty, were merely glanced upon, and their social impacts will be more fully explored.

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In the year 1969 SR (Since Reset), Mars leads a flourishing tri-galactic alliance. Space Corps Intern Ralf has had a brain-load full of the Academy and now, as he starts his second internship, he has already completed one top secret mission, suffered a great personal loss, and dealt with Zin pirates.
In a world where ‘ugly’ is a swear word, and the Equal Sign (=) is the primary religious icon of the status quo, Ralf is on a far-ranging adventure of personal discovery, growth, and a quest for the truth, even if it upends Martians’ long-held beliefs about themselves.

The Decision to go to Mars

R.L. Dean Author Interview
R.L. Dean Author Interview

A Country Among Countries is a political thriller inside of a space opera that’s filled with intriguing characters up against tough obstacles. What was the initial idea behind this story and how did it change as you wrote?

There were two story elements that needed to be accomplished. The first was winding down the incidents at Ganymede, and the second was getting the majority of characters to Mars because of the approaching mid-series conclusion in the next book. It was tough for me, and don’t feel like I’ve told half the story that I wanted to tell in this particular novel. One major events in the story is the rejection of Mat’s ore at A40, thus leading to the decision to go to Mars.

The story is filled with intriguing characters. Who was your favorite character to write for?

Ludwick or Mat. Ludwick because he’s so easy to write, and Mat because of his personal values.

The science inserted in the fiction, I felt, was well balanced. How did you manage to keep it grounded while still providing the fantastic edge science fiction stories usually provide?

Well I did do my research with regards to propulsion, fuel, speed, orbit and gravity. I like novels with ‘real science’ in them, but because it’s fiction you can hedge a little bit. But it is a balance. I believe my audience is educated, and they’ll know when I push the tech too far out of bounds. I just tried to make it as realistic as possible without the benefit of an engineering PHD.

This is book three in your Harmony series. What can readers expect in book four?

Rashomon’s War will conclude this part of the series. The events surrounding Modi’s take over of Mars will likely be quick, and the majority of the story will be found in the resolutions for the characters, and most of those were determined by Book 2, Year of the Child. (psst. then we start again in a new timeline.)

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SHUTLZ– As the UN ramps up production of ships and opens new training facilities for soldiers, the first elected governor of Mars realizes that he might be facing an invasion. With Lieutenant Governor Jung dead, murdered by a soldier on Ganymede, Shultz must bear the full weight of the office he chose alone, and find a way to keep Mars free.

COMPTON– Amidst a pending court-martial the Lieutenant Colonel begins to reflect on what it means to be a soldier. His most trusted ally and friend, Sergeant Jenkins, is silenced about the events on Ganymede by a superior, and Compton knows the order to enact martial law looms over Mars. One day soon he will be ordered to monitor and arrest his own neighbors.

TETSUYA– For Detective Takahashi the way of justice is clouded. He knows Matthew Middleton and his crew have committed crimes, but they are not criminals, and he finds that the demands of duty no longer align with his heart.

ALEXANDRIA– For every mountain there is a valley. Her plans to change the world have led Alexandria to this place. Confined, interrogated, and with her company crumbling under Modi’s UN, she finds that she has lost the vision.

MAT– Feeling the weight of family on his shoulders, he can do nothing but watch as Misaki buries her pain in endless work, and Yuri, returning to his depression drinks himself into oblivion. To add to his burdens, no one wants to buy Apex ore.

Tomorrows End: The path of a savior

Tomorrow’s End, the first installment of the series The Path of a Savior by G.R. Morris is an action-packed story that is both engaging and intriguing at the same time. This brilliantly woven science fiction story deals with some gory episodes, while also exploring the deep and philosophical aspects of life. 

The beginning of the story is set in the future, where there has been a massive war between the inhabitants of earth and aliens. The plot moves between past and future, taking readers back to a time where the earth had not been turned into a barren stretch of nothingness. Kevin is the designated savior of humanity, but he has been imprisoned for murdering his step-father. A strange alien called Robert rescues him, and together they embark on a suspenseful mission to follow his destiny. But things go haywire as various intergalactic creatures start considering Kevin a threat. Can Kevin come out victorious and save humanity? Or will he be destroyed by powerful enemies?

The one thing that I enjoyed most about this story was that the plot was never linear, it can be confusing at times to follow the numerous series of incidents happening at different times and places, but it all makes sense and I was blown away by the complexity of the story. The story is a slow build, but I was invested in Kevin’s character and I was desperate to find out if Kevin can emerge victorious and save the inhabitants of earth. 

Kevin and Darren stand out as some of the most intriguing characters in the book, with each one having a backstory that has shaped them into who they are and has pushed them to fulfill their destinies. The story effectively captures their growth, allowing the reader to empathize with them and makes the story much more suspenseful because of it.

Tomorrows End: The path of a savior (1) is a thrilling space adventure with an intense story, a complex plot, and interesting characters. The book explores the timeless conflict of good against evil with a unique take on our existence that will appeal to any science fiction fan.

Pages: 436 | ISBN: 0615852378

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A Country Among Countries

A Country Among Countries (Harmony Book 3) by [R.L. Dean, Crissha Figarella, J. N. McLaughlin]

A Country Among Countries by R.L. Dean is a science fiction thriller with deep socio-political commentary. The lives of many characters are intertwined and move towards a satisfying climax. Tetsuya is concerned with ideas of justice and duties and carries the burden of his past mistakes as a cop. Misaki and Middleton are caught up in a complicated game of loyalty and trust where neither can give up their secrets without harming the other. Compton is a soldier struggling with the pressure of tough decisions that lay ahead of him. The UN is intending the economic ruin of Mars by creating a dependence on the businesses on Earth. All of them are connected through Ganymede, a planet where the assassination of Governor Jung had occurred.

There are interesting illustrations woven throughout by R.L. Dean that builds a delightful tension before the chapters. All the characters are given a rich inner life. All their motivations and behavior came from a natural place. I almost felt like I was part of their group, and that is definitely the biggest strength of this book. The characters are three-dimensional and feel alive that you can’t help but feel that this is happening somewhere in an alternate universe. The banter between Asha and her dad was endearing and adorable. There’s also a lot of diversity in the characters- even though some of their origins are not explicitly mentioned, a variety of cultures are portrayed in a realistic manner. In the science fiction that I have encountered, this is a pretty uncommon element, but greatly appreciated. On the flip side, there are hordes of characters present in this book. So it was a little hard keeping track of all of them, but I found that making a note of their names and the relations in a text file helped.

Of course, since it is a science fiction novel, there were some fantastic and fascinating gadgets and devices- like the air recycler systems and the “boxes of water” in hatch pads. I was intrigued by the descriptions of the different spaceships and the inter-space transportation. There are some parts of the story that felt like a commentary on the ongoing political situation in some countries. Especially when a character shares the same name as a leader of one of the most populous countries in the world. However, this didn’t bother me much as the fictional aspect is obviously kept at the forefront.

A Country Among Countries is a thrilling space adventure, with something in it for everyone, especially for people interested in examining the modern political world from a new perspective.

Pages: 265 | ASIN: B08PSBYZB2

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