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The Amazing And Intrepid Lawrence Tuckerman

Craig Leener Author Interview

There’s No Basketball on Mars follows an autistic teenage boy who gets recruited into a top-secret mission to Mars. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Autism touches all of us — our immediate families, our coworkers, and our dear friends. It’s a disorder that’s very close to my heart. I have a dear friend who lives 1,500 miles away in Dallas. She has a neurodiverse teenage son — really quite an extraordinary young man — and she and I talk often about the challenges he faces and the achievements he celebrates.

When I first felt the calling to write a young-adult novel, I sat down for breakfast at a diner in Hollywood with a YA librarian. I was seeking guidance and a path forward. That librarian told me to consider including an underrepresented main character in my story, and I immediately thought of my friend’s son, and in that moment, the amazing and intrepid Lawrence Tuckerman was born.

What research did you do for this novel to get it right?

I read everything I could get my hands on regarding space travel to Mars and neurodiversity. I also did supplemental research on Vandenberg Air Force Base, the University of Kansas basketball program, medical testing devices, algebraic mathematics, the writings of Carl Sagan, and what goes into making great sushi.

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

The theme that rode shotgun alongside me as I wrote the book’s first draft was that of inclusiveness. Young folks on the spectrum are often overlooked and are faced with difficult challenges. I believe it is vitally important that we support these kids, and that we do so with an open heart.

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

I’m currently hammering away at the sequel to There’s No Basketball on Mars. Look for the moon to play a prominent role in the story. Of course, the great sport of basketball will make a cameo appearance in the new novel as well. I plan to publish in fall of 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Lawrence Tuckerman is a fan of probabilities — well, any numbers and math, really. It’s an interest that goes hand-in-hand with his autism. It’s also how he met his best friend Zeke, who is off fulfilling his dream of playing basketball at the University of Kansas. Now Lawrence expects his life in Los Angeles to become even less social and more
routine — just the way he likes it. He plans to finish high school as he pursues his own far-off dream of manning Earth’s first mission to Mars . . .

Then the improbable happens: Lawrence is recruited for a top-secret mission of cosmic proportions! The whole operation relies on him realizing the full potential of his 1-in-6-billion mind—without freaking out. The rocket-science math is a no-brainer, but is he made of the right stuff to manage the communication and cooperation of a team effort . . . without his best friend?

Dark Enemy

In Dark Enemy, we see the struggles and victories of Van Childs of the Galactic Force against the Arkon force as well as against the new force that betrayed them. The Allies have been promised more than six hundred Naskapi ships, making the force of Van Childs the largest group of Allies. Earth is not happy with this new development, and the dissatisfaction is fueled by a politician named McDuff for his gains. While all the politics from earth prevented the expansion of Allied forces, the Arkon forces were collecting in their space. This caused Van Childs to act fast and thus began the battle in space and politics.

Author Michael J. Farlow opens the book by giving readers some explanation regarding the background of the fight that has been occurring between several space forces. This leads to the political drama that is happening back on Earth, which is directly impacting the space forces. The ongoing political battles in this novel are not so unlike what politics look like currently. Each politician has their own agenda and wants to make sure their plan is executed.

This intriguing science fiction story is told in a third-person narrative. The author gives readers in-depth details regarding the mission background; which is fantastic for readers who love strategy. Farlow knows how to capture the excitement and anticipation that comes with battles. The descriptions are brilliant, and readers will get to see the battle plan as it is developing before the actual fight starts.

The author gives a captivating description of the battle, fully immersing the reader in the story. I found the euphemistic description of the deaths of those who die in the fight to be an interesting take, and I was able to empathize with the officers. In addition, I enjoyed reading about all of the technological advances of this Galactic Force world. The author made the creation of the technology feel achievable.

Dark Enemy is a fast-paced space opera. Readers that look for detailed action sequences and fascinating technological advances will find a lot to enjoy in this science fiction novel. A post-apocalyptic world with alien forces as friends and foes creates a drama that will have readers on edge as they continue the Host Saga series.

Pages: 269 | ASIN : B083S1X8QZ

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I’m Holding On Tight To Some Really Crazy Ideas

C.A. MacLean Author Interview

Elysium Protocol follows two sisters as they continue out into the universe meeting more alien races and trying to end the Scourge war. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

First off, thank you so much for your incredibly kind words in your review! It’s funny to think about digging to the roots of inspiration, because this one goes way back. The concepts that finally became Elysium Protocol, and these first three Architects books as a whole, had been something that I’d been kicking around since I was around thirteen years old, but back then the core structure of the story was largely informed by the kinds of media I consumed and continue to love: standards like Star Wars, games like Metroid and Star Fox – those were the kinds of stories that made me fall in love with the aesthetics of sci-fi, the alien worlds, the fantastic battles, the epic sagas of good and evil and all the gray in between. That’s definitely where the basic backbone of the story got solidified.

Because I’ve lived with the ideas that would become Architects for so long, I’d go through all these phases of falling in love with more and more storytelling and art, and some of it would stick and influence me in a big way – series like Mass Effect gave me a love of worldbuilding beyond the simple aesthetics of the style, and it’s in Elysium Protocol where I think my love of Doctor Who really starts to show, especially in Alis’s arc. There’s a lot of things going on here of that nature, from absolutely massive timescales to the multiverse, that I wouldn’t have had the creative courage or the confidence to tackle a decade ago. But I’m deep into it now, and you can expect the next books in the series to lean harder in that direction.

As far as the setup and the journey of the Engami sisters, another funny thing is that Elysium Protocol and the previous book, The Great Scourge, were originally envisioned as one novel. As you can see, that didn’t quite pan out, but I’m glad it happened this way, because the two books ended up being quite different despite both comprising the wider Scourge War arc. The Great Scourge is a very visually spectacular experience; for that one, I went all-in on huge setpiece after huge setpiece, with some wonderful visuals and some really large-scale action pieces. I set out on that book with something to prove as far as that angle is concerned, and I feel like I’ve proven it; I didn’t need to retread the same ground as The Great Scourge because I’ve already written that one.

And that’s not to say that Elysium Protocol doesn’t have its share of massive setpieces and huge action beats; if we’re taking Hivena as one big setpiece, then it is easily the biggest setpiece I’ve ever done, both in terms of in-universe size, and page-time devoted to it. And there’s some really cool visuals in the first act when Ashy’s fighting her way out of a pocket-dimension composed of her own memories, which allowed me to do some really fascinating, trippy visuals I’ve never really had leave to do before, and so on, and so forth. But on the whole, Elysium Protocol ended up being a very, very character-focused story: we see Daniel finally completing his transformation from the cynical, jaded mercenary we met in Seed Of Treachery, to someone who is willing to put everything on the line to make the hard choices for the right reasons because he’s become the kind of idealist who believes in more than just himself. We see Eva nearly crumbling under the weight of her failures and her pressures, real or perceived, only to push through, push herself to extremes she never thought she’d face, and become a symbol for more people than she’d ever thought possible. Her sister Ashy goes through so much in this story; we see more of the trauma and anguish she’s gone through, and I think as we journey with her in this book, we understand her a lot more, the person she wants and needs to be versus the forces that try to break her. If Eva’s arc in Elysium Protocol is about the crushing weight of responsibility, Ashy’s is about refusing to let the best parts of yourself be destroyed when it feels like everything is trying to run you down. And without spoiling anything for readers, she too rises higher than ever before. The sisters’ arcs tend to weave in and out from each other, always connected in some way, and while I do encourage readers to think about Architects as an ensemble cast, the sisters have always been the beating heart of the story. If I can be totally honest, and this is not to talk down on any other characters, but Ashy’s my favourite character in the series. She’s one of the characters who lives rent-free in my head all the time and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But those are just a few examples of how very character-centric Elysium Protocol ended up being, and in a way that ended up defining the structure of the story: while the basic plot details pre-dates a lot of these characters, they’re the ones who really turned it into a living universe.

There are many new alien species in your novel I have never come across in other science fiction. Where do you get your ideas for all the alien races you create in your novel?

For the alien races, it’s part what I think will be cool and provide a lot of opportunities for storytelling and building, and part what I think will be workable as a believable race in this universe. Sometimes it comes from the gut – ‘I really want this’ – and sometimes it comes from the head – ‘this will be very workable’. The arkerians are one of the races that came from the gut in that way, because, to be honest, I always wanted space birds. Some permutation of that was always there from, really, the very start. It’s probably safe to blame things like Star Fox and the like for planting an appreciation for that aesthetic somewhere deep in me, haha.

But it gave me an opportunity to build them into the world in some ways that gave me a chance to enhance the narrative: the fact that arkerians have hollow bones means they’ve evolved a species-wide athleticism that lets them perform tricky physical feats, like genetic parkour. That’s also enabled by their flexible raptor-like feet. There’s a scene in Elysium Protocol where Eva’s falling and grabs a foothold with one of her claws, hanging upside-down in a very ‘birdly’ way, which is the kind of thing I can get away with when I’m writing arkerians, so I can make action sequences with them a bit distinct. That’s just one example of using your in-universe assets to be able to tweak things about the narrative that just makes it more fun, more entertaining.

Altarans are fun to write because their whole culture is built around biological empathy: their aura nodes, the crystal formations they have on their heads instead of hair, transmit emotional states and feelings in a visual format, through pulsing luminescence. And I think it speaks to an underlying theme I’m trying to convey, the fact that a species who can see its emotions on the outside, and thus would naturally evolve a society based on compromises, common ground, empathy and care for others, is the one that ended up being the most populous race in the Convergence. And more broadly, Elysium Protocol is a story about the things that bring us together being stronger than the things that try to tear us apart. Altarans were actually a ‘from the head’ species idea as opposed to being from the gut, because as I was writing the first book Seed Of Treachery, I specifically wanted an alien race that would be aesthetically appealing because we’d be seeing a whole lot of them from here on out, but also distinct and iconic, and I eventually landed on the altarans as we know them. I’d love to plumb deeper into altaran culture beyond what we’ve already seen.

Alis’s race, the Everani, is definitely something that grew and developed as the series progressed. They started out fairly straightforward, with this idea of an almost Lovecraftian eldritch creature, except it plays against type, and it’s actually not some amoral or evil entity. Which brings us to how they communicate using avatars rather than their true forms to better fit in with who they’re talking to. As the series developed and one of the major thematic threads became dimensions/the multiverse, making it so that the Everani and all those like them throughout the cosmos could view alternate timestreams, through this thing they call the Sight, only made sense. Now, these are extremely powerful creatures, and Alis’s arc in Elysium Protocol was the next major step for me when I realized I wanted to go deeper with her: we saw in the last book, The Great Scourge, that when the Everani were finally forced into battle, they absolutely shredded their foes. You take an Everani (or tracoent – trans-corporeal entity, as Ashy insists on saying) at full power, and they are the MVP of any team they’re on. So the idea of de-powering them, locking them inside their Convergence-friendly avatars, was such a natural step for Alis’s arc in Elysium Protocol, because it forces her scenes to have real stakes, with the threat of death around every corner, now that she’s been promoted to a much more prominent role than in the last book. There’s definitely some of the Doctor from Doctor Who in her, definitely some of Castiel from Supernatural, and this book gave me some great opportunities to give my own spin on certain tropes associated with super-powerful, super-long-lived characters. Alis’s arc is one of my favourites; fans of Doctor Who will certainly find something to dig into there, because it’s my take on a number of themes and ideas that Who’s showrunners have also tackled over the years. Alis’s arc was actually one of the first full arcs to come together during the writing process of Elysium Protocol because I was so keen to dig deeper into her, and I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to take her arc from the start because of that.

That said, I’m planning so much more for Alis, as her final scene in this book teases. As far as leaning into the interdimensional angle that’s been probed more and more over the course of the last two books, Alis’s arc going forward is going to go deeper and farther into that than I’ve ever gone before. I’m so very excited about it, but I’m afraid I have to keep a lot of it close to the chest for now, as it’s all quite early-stages at this point.

The hiven were definitely a ‘from-the-gut’ choice for a race, dating way back to when I was a teenager. I tend to wear my influences on my sleeves in some regards, in this case being part inspired by the Space Pirates from Metroid Prime, one of my favourite games of all time (and funnily enough, yet another sci-fi series that has anthropomorphic space birds, although I can honestly say that the arkerians were not inspired by the Chozo specifically). Basically, the hiven started out as the kind of enemy that could provide fertile ground for big, thrilling action pieces (and I like to think they did!), but as the story developed, I turned a worldbuilding eye to the hiven themselves, a whole species whose cultural development appears stunted and broken off at the root. Or to put it another way, I became more self-aware about the sci-fi narrative tropes that the hiven represented, and I found a chance to really turn things on their head. I just had to wait until the eleventh hour, through like two whole books, to really pull the rug. In my last interview with Literary Titan for The Great Scourge, I remember teasing that there was ‘a twist coming’ about the hiven, and now it’s come. For the sake of readers, I definitely can’t just say that one out loud, but it’s one of those things where – as soon as you find out, everything about them makes so much more sense. In broad strokes though, they’re a race I definitely enjoyed writing because they offered a real chance across the last two books to bring so many of the action-forward big setpieces I’d been clawing away at since I was a teenager to life. I feel very lucky to have had that sort of opportunity.

I could go on all day about more species, and what makes various species tick, because it’s also good for me to talk about these things and keep it fresh in my mind, but I’d better cut myself off here before I start going into literally everything. =)

When writing a novel, what comes first for you, the characters or the plot?

It largely depends on the novel. Plot, characters and theme all can’t co-exist without the others, but since the basic skeleton of this story pre-dated a lot of these characters, you can say that plot came first here, which allowed me the luxury of building all these character arcs around the plot structure, knowing that there were certain plot beats that I needed to hit at certain times, which helpfully kept a lot of things anchored. And in a story this size, when you as a writer are trying to keep this many plates spinning at once, you really want to have an anchor or five.

But in the case of this story, character arcs developed organically around, along and within that structure. If we take Ashy’s arc in the second act, for example, that whole sequence where she infiltrates the Serronan pole base to acquire hiven signal codes was originally just her going it alone, way back at least a decade and a half ago (the story structure has been in the cooker for that long!). Her whole arc with Enistea came along because I found a way to integrate an earlier subplot, involving the Black Dwarf black ops organization who had framed Ashy for murder, into the story and move that forward at the same time. Then I was able to parlay the scenes I had with that into some thematic commentary on justice systems that mercilessly focus only on vengeance; so that sort of ended up being an example of character, plot and theme all winding around the same set of scenes and coming together to make the finished build what it is. (Incidentally, the theme of ‘justice without mercy is only revenge’ ended up dovetailing into a much more major game-changing decision taking place in the final arc as well.)

Or if we look a bit earlier in the story to the Stellar Hope arc, Caleb’s plot thread in this story was already set before the Stellar Hope scenes came out, but the Stellar Hope arc turned out to be a wonderful place to really express the core themes of his arc in a way that I feel turned out really well.

Vuroka’s arc, by contrast, is definitely a case of character coming after plot. She gained a lot more nuance in Elysium Protocol compared to The Great Scourge. It was also a really refreshing way for me to take the hiven scenes in a somewhat unexpected direction – she was fun to write from top to bottom, actually, from the absolutely bonkers aesthetic she’s rocking in Elysium Protocol with her biomechanical upgrades and the fact that her true form is just totally showing through her stolen host body (She almost feels like a sci-fi version of some crazy boss-fight-type character from the manga Berserk or something) to the fact that she’s so close to questioning everything she ever fought for – actually, her role in the story ended up getting more than double the screentime when I realized I had to completely re-work one of the subplots, and it gave me a great opportunity to deepen her role so that her newfound inner conflict is present through most of her scenes, not just a few.

And sometimes scenes or whole subplots can blossom out of single images that end up sticking in my mind. I have a very visual mind (even though I can’t draw to save my life), especially when I’m listening to music, so this happens all the time. One super-quick example being, most of the chapter at the server hub on Hivena expanded outward from this single visual I had in my head of Hannah carrying a wounded Naomi away from the battleground, fire from explosions licking at her back.

Though I will say this: the one character we see here who does pre-date the basic structure of the story, is Talon. In some form or another, every permutation that these ideas took prior to being fully realized as Architects, was anchored at least in part around Talon’s long-game arc. Being able to finally reveal so much about this villain in Elysium Protocol – though we still don’t know everything, we know a lot more than we did – was really fantastic. You get me talking about the creative process and I don’t know when to stop (…as you can see), so having to bite my tongue about so much of this for so many years was – I’ll call it “not easy” and leave it there. =) So there was really the weight of expectations when I was doing When The Devil Already Knows You’re Dead, the chapter where we get some pretty big revelations about his true nature, and it’s that weight of ‘oh god do not let me screw this up’, but I really feel like that chapter turned out to be one of my proudest moments as an author so far.

But as far as the characters’ arcs informing the overall plot and vice versa, something very deliberate happened along the way: given with the many Greek myth references and imagery in the novel, the story is divided into the acts Tartarus, Hades and Elysium, going from the deepest and most forsaken parts of the Greek afterlife to the highest and brightest. And our protagonists’ journey in Elysium Protocol reflects that, from the first act where everyone’s scattered and at the edge of losing everything, to the final act where everyone comes together at last, we get some long-awaited reunions, and things turn around, perhaps, for some who deserve it most (without spoiling it for readers!).

Were you able to accomplish all you wanted with this series or do you think you will need to write another novel?

Well, as it stands the series is only halfway done. There will be six mainline installments at the end of the day, with the second half of the series picking up and building on certain plot threads left dangling in Elysium Protocol, and introducing several new story arcs. But I’m also planning side-stories, and the next adventure in the Convergence is going to take us into the past instead of forward, with a side-story novella that is tentatively called The Kyre Crucible, which shows us what happened when Eva confronted the Kyre colonies that were abducting her own people as slaves, an event we’ve seen referenced numerous times throughout Architects. The novella is going to be taut, gritty, and absolutely packed to the gills with sharp, intense action. I’m in the middle of writing it now, and I’m finding it a wonderful way to refocus after spending so long finishing the post-production work on Elysium Protocol, which is just a huge, huge story with so many interwoven threads, that it’s really been refreshing to just dive into telling a story that goes full steam ahead on one tight thread. I’m also excited for everyone to see it because the action is going to have a whole lot of that arkerian agility that I mentioned up there, which is always so much fun to write and visualize. (We’ll see if I can keep it as a novella, knowing me there’s every possibility it’s going to just end up being a full-length novel, but on the shorter side.)

As for what’s next in the mainline series, though, I can tell you that we’ve only scratched the surface of the dimensional/multiversal side of the series, and I couldn’t be more excited to dive deeper into that. I have a ton of really cool ideas I can hardly wait to put onto the page, and I’m holding on tight to some really crazy ideas that I think readers are going to love.

I hope I didn’t go on too long, but I hope it’s been interesting! Again, thank you so much for your generous words, thank you for your time, and thanks for having me!

Author Links: Twitter | Website | GoodReads

We are not the dark between the stars. Taxed to the limit in the brutal Scourge war, the people of the Arela system fight on against the ravenous hiven, scrounging for the one thing that could bring them a decisive victory: Project Olympus. But it’s going to take everyone, working together when discord is but a fracture away. Only courage can prevail: courage on the battlefield. Courage to sacrifice. Moral courage in a time of desperation. But the enigmatic Talon has yet to play his hand. And the unthinkable truth of the Fireseeds’ elusive foe could change everything. Join the rejuvenated Fireseeds in the world-shattering climax of the Scourge war!

New Horizons

New Horizons, the fourth installment of the Host Saga by Michael Farlow. This science fiction, drama, and action novel feature Van Childs and his allies as they prepare for imminent hostile contact with the Arkon. When losing crew members and mysterious sabotage efforts hinder the shipbuilding process, Van and his allies struggle to gain the upper hand as the Arkon fleet approaches. Will Van find a way to gather the allies and resources the Galactic Host needs before it’s too late? The suspense has never been greater than in this installment of the series!

This novel excels for several reasons, but the biggest is the apparent military experience from its author. It will be clear to anyone who reads this exciting novel that the writer authentically understands the politics and drama of the military and knows how to instill it into the plot of his story. If you’re a military enthusiast, these books will be an excellent addition to your library.

For me, though, I have been fascinated with each book and the growth of these characters. Specifically, I’m heavily invested in how they interact with Van, their leader. It says quite a bit about the author that there is so much attention given to interpersonal conflicts, even amid space warfare. It really is about the people, no matter the setting, and Farlow captures that sentiment entirely. I’m not a military buff, but these books have captured my attention because Farlow has made likable characters, and you want them to succeed in their endeavors. If this author continues to publish books, I’ll continue to read them. He knows how to develop characters, build suspense, and paint an action scene while staying authentic to the military experience of his past.

New Horizons: Host Saga Book 4 is a well-crafted space opera that takes readers on a suspenseful and thrilling action-packed adventure through space.

Pages: 311 | ASIN : B07L1CRSBH

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Literary Titan Book Awards January 2022

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Award Winners

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Storm Front 8 by Steven Paul Germane

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.

Tribes

Tribes (G.W. Morgan's The Enlightenment Protocols Book 1) by [G. W. Morgan, Don Ciers]

Tribes by G.W Morgan is an action packed space opera which follows the trials and tribulations of two empires and wars that encompass many worlds. We are first greeted with a very detailed introduction to the world in Tribes, showing how technologically advanced the civilization is and the various struggles faced by the empire. As the war comes to an end, one soldier of the alliance is about to start a whole other conflict based on a dislike for the empire’s actions. The book then takes an entertaining turn, driving us through a decently paced science fiction adventure that is full of twists.

This is an engaging and intellectually invigorating story with a detailed and compelling world that I feel we are only scratching the surface of. The book was engaging, relying on science fiction tropes many fans will recognize and appreciate if you enjoy classic science fiction.

The book is relentlessly moving forward. It is filled with war and conflict, making this is an action oriented story that utilizes its characters effectively to move the story along and serve readers a compelling plot rather than getting bogged down in character development. While I felt the characters were overshadowed by the fascinating and well-developed plot I still felt that the characers felt authentic and will resonate with readers.

Tribes tells a rich and thoughtful story that was entertaining to the very end. The novel leads the reader through some interesting wars and sets up a classic battle pitting one philosophy against another. Readers who enjoy space fleet science fiction will be engrossed in this vivid and intense story.

Pages: 434 | ASIN: B01HH2O77A

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Secret Matilda

Secret Matilda (Matilda Series Book 4) by [Jon Gray Lang]

The Matilda Series by Jon Gray Lang is the space saga that keeps on giving! Secret Matilda is book four of the series, and continues to be a riveting science fiction adventure and a page turner full of action that will satisfy the needs of every sci-fi lover out there. The book starts right in the middle of the action, setting the space-faring mood for the rest of the story. Chapter after chapter something new and exciting is introduced, the characters are always moving and the entire plot is incredibly dynamic. It is impossible to get bored while reading the story.

It’s so much fun getting to follow, yet again, the Matilda crew on their adventures and misadventures as they travel throughout Consortium controlled space. The bond between the members of the crew feels even more realistic as one can sense the worry and the love that they have for one another. Fans of the Mass Effect video games will enjoy this story as I felt the character relationships against a sci-fi backdrop were reminiscent of that game. This time, the characters find themselves once more in the middle of danger. Imprisoned and with Galena missing, they’ll have to figure out a way back to freedom to save their friend, having only worry, love and a need for survival uniting them on their quest. The characters are quite fierce and all around strong willed, however, as they deal with dreadful situations their vulnerabilities start to appear, a detail that is highly appreciated and has made them very engaging.

In this well-defined space opera we get to see a bit more of what could be happening with Galena Chadov, a mystery that has kept both readers and members of the crew on edge in the last books. With this though, new mysteries emerge and the plot thickens. Now, new possibilities are presented and the crew may have to encounter unknown dangers. Strange creatures seem to be creeping from remote dimensions, a serious threat that appears to be looming for the next books. The revolution against the Consortium is finally on its way as well, adding a new layer of complexity and intrigue to the story.

As with the other books, Secret Matilda has been brilliantly structured, with short yet gripping chapters that keep the story moving at full speed. The plot is quite complex, supported by unique characters with intricate motivations, and a highly creative setting that lets your imagination fly.

Author Jon Gray Lang has again created a captivating book filled with possibilities. The state of the Matilda perfectly represents all that the crew has been through, getting to escape each time just by luck. Is the end of the Matilda near? Will the crew find their friend Galena and save her? Will the revolution succeed? Or perhaps everything will be tainted by the appearance of these strange, yet highly intelligent alien creatures? These questions remain unanswered and one can only wait with lots of excitement for the next book of the series. Secret Matilda is a gripping space adventure whose characters will, with time, steal the hearts of readers.

Pages: 444 | ASIN: B09G5Y5YKS

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What Fueled My Imagination

Bobbie R. Byrd
Bobbie R. Byrd Author Interview

Into the Well is book two in your Warlock Chronicles series. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that was different from book one?

In LADY SILVER, we saw the beginnings of romance between Bryanna and Bastion. Neither of them was at a point where they were ready to acknowledge their emotions but they were getting there. INTO THE WELL brings their relationship into full bloom. Each of them is forced to admit that they need each other — that they need other people in their lives. And they have to make the conscious choice of what direction they want their lives to take, knowing the consequences they’ll have to face for the choices they make. That’s something too many of us have forgotten these days, I think (myself included.) Bryanna has enormous power, for example. Yet she is just like everyone else: she makes her choices and lives with the consequences of her actions. That’s sort of an on-going undercurrent through the entire series.

Your characters continue to develop in this novel in new and interesting ways. What were some obstacles you felt were important to Bryanna’s character development in this book?

Bryanna is incredibly powerful, and I kept thinking of the saying, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In more than one of my characters, we see that in full display. Because of the enormity of the magic Bryanna wields, I felt she had to be in a position to make the conscious choice to succumb to absolute power and all it entails, or walk away from it if that was the right, moral thing to do. Would she let the magic control her, or would she control the magic? She had to be willing to give up everything in order to become everything she could be. All in or all out — there’s no middle ground for her. I think more of us than are willing to admit it actually face a point like that in our own lives.

What were some sources that informed this novels development?

I don’t know that I can pinpoint one or two precise sources. It’s a culmination of my almost-65-years of life experiences and the influence of the books I read in my youth. Authors like Frank Herbert, Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman, Anne McCaffery, Jennifer Roberson, Larry Niven, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Terry Brooks, Kathleen Woodiwiss, to name a few. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy today’s sci-fi and fantasy authors. But the “old school” authors were my bread and butter in my formative years. Throw in the original “Star Trek” series, “Lost in Space” series, “Twilight Zone” and the old serialized “Buck Rogers” and you get an idea of what fueled my imagination back in the day.

What can readers expect in book three of your Warlock Chronicles series?

There’s an empty throne that has to be filled. A civil war needs to be rectified. Chaos has a strong foothold in the galaxy and that always brings out the worst of man’s inhumanity to man. And there are past sins that must be accounted for. Bastion, Bryanna, and all of the characters face some difficult choices. New characters are introduced, others may come face-to-face with the end of their story arc. I’m in the same boat as my readers: I won’t know how it ends until I get to the final page!

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The Well is forbidden space. Dangerous, deadly, unpredictable, unforgiving.

A forgotten planet. Dark secrets buried for millennia in dark magic.

Not for much longer…

INTO the WELL continues the treacherous journey of Bryanna D’Isaac, the warlock known as Lady Silver, and Admiral Devon Bastion deep into the Well in search of the lost homeworld of their ancestors. Convoluted space-time, dimensional rifts, and festering conflict brought the Cataclysm that took humans and warlocks to the brink of extinction millennia ago.

History is about to repeat itself.

INTO the WELL: Warlock Chronicles, Book II, is the sequel to LADY SILVER, the first book of the Warlock Chronicles series.
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