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What Lies in the Darkness

Jon Gray Lang
Jon Gray Lang Author Interview

Twistin’ Matilda finds Jacquotte and her crew of misfits struggling to keep the ship while savage creatures threaten to break into the universe. What were some ideas that informed this novel’s development?

As planet-bound as we are, there’s always the idea that there is more out than we don’t understand. Even as we find a solution to one question, a ton of other questions spring forth from the answer. There is so much that we don’t understand. As a species, we’ve wondered at what lies in the darkness, what dangers lurk underground, in the skies above, and what slips beneath us under the waves. The wellspring of stories lies at the heart of these mysteries, as we struggle for explanations to that which we don’t know… yet.

Ancient sailors told stories of monsters attacking their ships at sea, of beautiful islands that glint with riches but are, in truth, traps with no escape. Populating these fanciful yarns are pirates and privateers, mutinous crews, ancient shipwrecks, and lost colonies. These tall tales are rife with other wondrous, mad things and they captured my imagination. They lead to a large part of what ‘other space’ is. I imagine the crew of the Matilda as they sail on the teetering edge of the world.

Space is the last great frontier and we’ve only stepped off the front porch.

What were some challenges you felt were important to Jacquotte’s character development in the story?

At the tender age of fourteen, Captain Jacquotte Delahaye was left with no choice but to take control of the Matilda and her life. From that point on, she decided where it goes, what it does, and who the ship flies for. All of that comes to an end when an old friend needed her help. She makes the rash decision to break him free from a prison ship and nothing, but trouble has been after them since. Now the haven she worked so hard to create is under constant threat and she has to make choices on the fly. All without knowing what the repercussions of those decisions will be.

Can she keep a handle on it all? Do the traumas from her past play a role in her choices? As the group splinters apart, how does she handle the separation? Do her coping mechanisms fail and spiral into more problems? Can she bring the family she made back together? Should she?

I don’t know about you, but that’s what I wanted to find out!

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?

From a writer’s aspect, I wanted to build up my processes and this book did not disappoint. Writing this book was a wild ride. My invisible muse whispered secrets into my ear and the story fell out of my fingers! I completed my first draft in a mere twenty days and it still is the most fun I’ve had writing.

It was a blast! It was intoxicating! I couldn’t wait to jump on the next one! Of course, I still had to work on the rewrite, but I was pumped!

The Matilda was very much an ensemble piece. By the end of it, the crew worked well together even as the Matilda fell through into ‘other space’. Derain knew everyone except for Anton and Anton knew everyone except for Derain. Anton has got to be wondering what Derain brings to the table and vice versa. On top of that, Galena is a wild card, and now the ship is brimming with others like her.

One of the things I wanted to learn about was how do individual crewmembers work with each other. Can they work together? Can they work with the other genorgs?

This is book two in your Matilda series. What can readers expect in book three?

The future looks dark for Jacquie and the crew of the Matilda. The mysterious Consortium ship, M33, found a lead and is getting closer to catching them. The past raised its ugly head and tore a rift in the crew. With all that happening, Luli Qing has disappeared, and no one knows why or even where to start looking. It seems like the only thing holding them together is finding and rescuing her.

With more places to visit as Consortium space expands, other questions pop up to the surface. Who covets the memories of the deep spacers and why? What nefarious plans does Mr. Leon have for the genorgs and for the Matilda? And what is going on with Lieutenant Galena Chadov?

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Cyborg.  Smuggler.  Fugitive.  Bounty Hunter.  Ex-Freedom Fighter. 

Far off into the future in a distant part of the galaxy, the Consortium controls the human colonies held together by the jump gates.  Where the Consortium doesn’t hold sway, crime flourishes.  Through the use of a hellish engine that goes where no one should, the crew of the Matilda slips its way between the two.  But nothing has gone right since they were involved in the battle over the planet Ninguiz.
Trapped within the folds of space and surrounded by living horrors, dangers lurk outside the ship and among the crew.  While their pasts ride shotgun with a vengeance, their future looks bleak.  Decisions made in the heat of the moment have consequences and payment is due. 
With mutiny and pirates on the horizon, can Jacquotte Delahaye and her crew of misfits keep the ship?  Can the lies of the past shatter this fragile family?  Will the savage creatures break through into our universe again?
Slam your harness buckles closed and sit back in the second book of the series, Twistin’ Matilda.

Would They Be Considered Human?

Jon Gray Lang
Jon Gray Lang Author Interview

The Matilda follows a ragtag space crew that must fight off a government and an alien invasion in a dangerous galaxy set against them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

For as long as I can remember, I have been enthralled by the worlds created for science fiction. From the beginnings with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, into the dark corners of H.P. Lovecraft’s mind, twisting through the philosophical questions of Phillip K. Dick, and into the cultural phenomena of Star Wars and Star Trek. Peppered throughout is my love of the crazy genre films from the 1980s, the cyberpunk cities of the 1990s, humans struggling to survive space travel in the aughts through to the colorful Marvel movies of the new millennium.

The Matilda is more like a love letter from me to science fiction in general. In fact, so is the whole Matilda Series and it is sprinkled with concepts that kept me attracted to the genre. I had the initial idea for the story locked in my head for close to a decade and it was going to be a television show. But it kept getting shoved to the side by other projects. Jacquie and the crew kept riding me to tell their story. Now, here we are and there is still more story to tell!

I enjoyed the creativity and depth with which you created your characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

One of the aspects of storytelling that has always appealed to me is the group dynamic of the ensemble. I am fascinated with how individuals work separately from their group but rely on it at the same time. I wanted my characters to be very human with all the merits and flaws that we carry around. I mean, the crew of the Matilda doesn’t always get along. But seeing the great lengths Jacquie goes to keep her people together and getting to connect with them as they worked together was amazing.

I wanted to show that they can learn from their mistakes and that colors how they handle future situations. But I also wanted to understand how those coping mechanisms can cause problems when they decide to not take those lessons to heart.

To be honest, behind the setting of an unjust universe, alien invasion, and all that, the heart of the story is more about the family we stumble into and the pasts that follow us in. Is that connection enough to keep people together when everything wants to tear them apart?

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I have always been fascinated by the people who exist on the fringes of society, the ones who do the work that isn’t entirely legal. I wanted to touch on the power of the individual or group of individuals versus the society that governs them. How does that color their perception of the world they live in?

I wanted to explore the power of love through friendship and how those bonds can form, bend, and break. Along with that is the capacity for perseverance and having the courage to carry on against all odds. Also, how vulnerability plays in that field but doesn’t necessarily make a person weak. I believe that it can prepare a person to be stronger in the face of adversity.

Lastly, I wanted to touch on the idea of what makes a person human. Is it the environment that raises us? Is it because we’re just born that way? What if an entity is made not born? What if a being has been technologically altered so much that they ‘resemble’ a human? Would they be considered human?

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

It’s been a crazy ride and I’ve been going full tilt for a while now. Twistin’ Matilda and Black Matilda, the second and third books in the series, are currently out and about on Amazon.

I recently finished my latest draft of the fourth one. It is currently in the hands of my editors. I’m sitting on the sidelines with bated breath as I await their corrections so I can get it done. Secret Matilda is set to be released in late 2021.

On top of that, the fifth and final book in the series is halfway through its first draft. The plan is for it to be released in 2022. Once that is completed, I have a compilation of short stories that take place in The Matilda Series universe set to be written. The future looks busy and bright!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Smuggler. Fugitive. Cyborg. Bounty Hunter.

Far off into the future in a distant part of the galaxy, the Consortium controls the human colonies held together by the jump gates. Where the Consortium doesn’t hold sway, crime flourishes. Through the use of a hellish engine that goes where no one should, the crew of the Matilda slips its way between the two. But nothing has gone smoothly after they broke out one of their own off of a prison ship.

Fighting their way past shadowy government agencies and a dangerous crime lord; monstrosities from an unknown layer of the universe seem dead set to break through into ours.

When their pasts come back to haunt them, can Jacquotte Delahaye and her crew of misfits come together as they are attacked from all sides? Will the galaxy work hand in hand with them to survive the alien onslaught?

Strap yourself in for a bumpy ride in the first book of the series, the Matilda.

The Matilda (Matilda Series Book 1)

The Matilda (Matilda Series Book 1) by [Jon Gray Lang]

The Matilda by Jon Gray Lang is a science fiction adventure set in the twenty-ninth century. The crew of the spaceship Matilda are a ragtag bunch moving through the grey areas of space that are largely governed by The Consortium. They are soon joined by mysterious and potentially dangerous newcomers that alter their path. They are thrown together against hidden dangers and have to battle them together all the while navigating their personal histories and animosities. Captain Jacquie and her crewmates are at the center as the drama unfolds and fight to find the truth before it destroys them.

The crew was an endearing mix of quirky characters, Matilda included. She was given a surprising amount of character and personality for a spaceship. Luli Qing was my personal favorite– she was so effortlessly funny, competent, and generally cool. Jacquie was a delight in many ways: a sci-fi heroine in charge of saving herself and her friends. She was often in the  middle of complex moral dilemmas but she navigated them with finesse, keeping her crew a top priority. The chapter names were pretty wacky and, honestly, I was way too many chapters in before I gave in and Googled “Beauty and Stupid”. Turns out all of them are songs. I even listened to a few– more authors should definitely find ways to incorporate David Bowie in their books.

Even though the story was gripping overall, there some moments where I would have liked a little more clarity and straightforward explanation. I found myself having to re-read some passages to untangle what was happening to what. I suppose it’s a science fiction reader’s occupational hazard that one has to come across wild gadgets, events, and creatures and let our imagination make the best of it. The dialogue was snappy and humorous so that really helped in moving things along. The action builds quickly towards the end, leading to a twist that I did not see coming at all.

Ultimately, I thought The Matilda was a crazy and fun read. It is pretty quick paced, too– I was surprised when I reached the end and was left wanting to know what is to become of the crew. Author Jon Gray Lang gives science fiction fans a thrilling space adventure that is a ton of fun.

Pages: 320 | ASIN: B07H2JNGV8

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I Used Kaos

Simon carr
Simon Carr Author Interview

Apocalypse Blockers follows an odd group of unlikely heroes that take on a mission to prevent the apocalypse. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Apocalypse Blockers is a culmination of several different books of mine, each character has their own book in which they already stopped an apocalypse, all very different books and different genre’s, they all have very long back story’s that are not linked, I used Kaos as a way to link them and bring them all together in one place, I don’t think you need to read the other books first but the idea being they will be better after you have read Apocalypse Blockers or Apocalypse Blockers will be better after you have read them.

I enjoyed the creativity imbued in your characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted to move the characters on a bit, I did not just want to throw them all together without any of them changing or growing, this would be the last time I work with any of them so I wanted to leave them all in a good place, the Running theams with Rick Tonail in every book he has been in was that he needed to stop doing everything alone and get some freinds, Bob and Karen found eachother and a new dynamic was born for them two, the good father’s and Green had their own issues that they worked through and Larry and Max finnaly got to stop being in a post- apocalyptic zombie apocalypse.

This seemed like a fun book to write. What was the funnest scene for you to write?

For me the scene were Bob and Rick first meet fathers O’Malley and O’Riley who were coaching at the over 80s wrestling championships was the funniest thing to write.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on my first young adults book at the moment called, Noobs, it’s a story about two friends caught in the afterlife when a meteor takes out the kabab shop they were in, the Grim reaper makes a deal with them that they can go back if they retrieve ten keys from inside different video games, it should be finished by June.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Website

The fate of every living thing in the multiverse that’s has ever existed or is going to exist rests in the hands of a band of, well, weirdos if I am honest but they are our only hope.Our reality and every possible reality are under attack from an evil force called Khaos that has sent apocalypse after apocalypse at every reality around the planet earth.Not every version of earth fell, a mighty few stopped the apocalypse sent by Khaos, these few are all that stand in the way of Khaos, these warriors, these heroes, these apocalypse Blockers!

Intergalactic Saviours? Mysterious Spy? You Got It.

moeez hatanian
Moeez Hatanian Author Interview

The Rise of The OMEGA Empress is a unique and entertaining continuation of your riveting science fiction series. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that was different from book one?

After the completion of the first book (Echoes for Celia)? I decided to combine the genre with space Adventure taking it to the limit as much as possible. After having a talk with an Author of Ancient Mysteries. Thought to explore the universe full of freedom, equality, calm, and no problem with colours or sexuality.

I really enjoyed all the unique and intriguing characters in your story. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Some times one wonder what would have happened or will happen if part of our past was so different or we had proper plans set in motions for the future? Personalities I created for the Protagonist were my driving force and were mentoring me throughout the creation of the novel during one incident involving one character as I had to combine past with the present? I had to experience drops of tears falling. Enough to say excitements of the next series will surpass anything I tried hard to add in this short novella. I was writing the book with the character called Ardan as an Alien? Without giving too much away? most of his unique features and personalities were developed honouring Leonard Nimoy, AKA Spock. (illustrations of Protagonist and rest of the cast now visible on tweeter, website and other social links).

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I left enough tips and clues for lovers of cosmology and stars to wander about if this fiction can become fact one day. Word OMEGA has explained what it actually is, but I deliberately didn’t go to one chapter detail as I thought it wouldn’t be fair, although few more pages would have been fun. For those who are quick or especially into archaeology? They may notice a character resembling the name given to the fossil of a 3.2 million-year-old woman, which up to a few years ago considered to be the mother of mankind. Although I tried not to create a sweet love story like the first book? I equally showed a better side of the relationship after some sacrifices were made and some hard decision had to be executed by the ruling Empress. Hope to ascertain if this was an absolute law on Earth?. There would not be any hate or disrespect between couples.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

When I published the first book, I quickly went on to this book, however as for the 3rd book, I have not named it yet, but all I can mention. Adding Alpha twins who want to rule with a fist is terrible enough. Now you are someone who born on Earth now in another Galaxy. How would you help all Earthling as their cousins / friendly Aliens without creating worldwide panic? Likely as a student of nature and Educated Astronomer. I am working on theories that can make sense, even though the story supposed to be fictional. The following book likely to be 70 to 80K words. My 3rd book should be available by August. Currently, my two publish novellas are priced as 2 for 1.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Celia, having become accustomed in book one – Echoes of Celia to her ‘strangeness’, finds destiny calling on her but this time she is not alone, her beloved sister Avalyn, Empress of a far-away galaxy is by her side.
Having received warnings of terrible things to come, Celia and Avalyn are made Empresses of Omega – protectors of a great vessel containing all of the secrets of creation. However, the two sisters are thrown into a war with the mysterious and foreboding Alpha twins. Will Celia and Avalyn win the day or will the dire warnings come to pass?
Click the button for your preferred reading format, purchase and enjoy Rise of The Omega Empress, a unique story with it’s own mythology – the second book in the Meet our Destiny and Cherish series by Moeez Hatanian.

The Rise of The OMEGA Empress

Universal Champions? intergalactic Saviours? Mysterious spy? You got it. But beware of OMEGA its powers are costly. The Rise of The OMEGA Empress: Interstellar ... , Meet our destiny and cherish. Book 2) by [moeez hatanian]

The Rise of the Omega Empress is the exciting first installment of the tale of Celia and Avalyn, twin sisters with a unique part of their DNA that has marked them forever. Celia is held by a psycho who was promised one of the twins aeons ago. However, there is more going on than a hostage negotiation. Celia and Avalyn will be thrown into a war with the mysterious and foreboding Alpha Twins. They must be careful who to trust and which steps to take. This richly-imagined science fiction novel will take the reader on many twists and turns with the sisters as they reach their full potential.

The Rise of the Omega Empress is a unique tale with its own intriguing mythology, science and physics that really makes the book feel original. The author has cleverly manipulated the laws of physics and science and adds his own spin so as to create rich and detailed worlds that feel fantastic yet believable. The addition of diverse and inspired characters also makes the story much more gripping, especially when our protagonists are placed in precarious situations. I appreciated the diversity of the characters, which are a wide range of ethnicities and sexual orientations. This gives the story a wonderful dimension that I was not expecting but greatly appreciated. Another noteworthy aspect of Rise of the Omega Empress is how it showcases the perseverance of life, even aboard an alien spaceship or at war. Life goes on and people have to find the good and positive things even in horrible situations as these characters do.

This space adventure is infused with creativity at every turn. There is so much to explore in this novel, and so much going on, I would have appreciated a bit more length to explore some of the more compelling aspects of the story that otherwise feel rushed.

The Rise of the Omega Empress is an action-packed romantic adventure novel that offers an imaginative perspective on alien life. This book is a light but entertaining read that will appeal to science fiction fans or anyone looking for a story with an innovative plot and alluring characters.

Pages: 154 | ASIN: B08WRTXWKG

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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.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

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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