I am super excited to be invited to participate in my very first blog tour! Thank you to Therese Gilardi for inviting me and for being patient with all of my questions. Therese is a novelist, poet, and essayist whose work has appeared in numerous publications.
My novel, The Energy Crusades, was published in May and is now also available in print. It is light science fiction suitable for all ages and is the first book in a series of three. I am a reader, writer, tennis enthusiast, and chemistry geek.
What am I currently working on? I am 95% done with my second novel, the sequel to The Energy Crusades.
How does my work differ from others in the genre? The Energy Crusades has been classified as dystopian. If you look up “dystopia” in the dictionary, the definition reads something like this: an imaginary place where people lead de-humanized and often fearful lives. The world I created in my novel does not feel bleak to me. I want to live there! Sure, the society is imperfect, as is any, but there is hope and it isn’t all doom and gloom. Hardly!
Why do I write what I write? I write what I want to read. And, since you have to read your own book countless times, it’s a good idea to like what you’re writing, correct? I still love reading The Energy Crusades.
How does my writing process work? I write slllloooooowwwwwwly. I am always amazed when authors can write 2 or more books a year. My agency brother and dear friend Stephen Alix (see his link at the bottom of this post) gave me some great advice, and I stick to it. He suggested aiming for about 300 words per day, a reasonable goal for a writer like myself. If the words aren’t flowing, I edit. Editing helps keep me inside the story, so to speak, and the characters in the front of my mind.
Okay so that is a little bit about me and my process. Want to hear about some other cool writers and their writing process? Simply click on the links below!
Well, in the mentions at least. Since it was released on May 6, I’ve had tiny bit of press coverage. First came this little blurb:
And today The Energy Crusades is mentioned in the Fresh Ink section of my alumni
Sometimes little things can lead to big things, you never know. Keep trying, don’t give up!!
The future, as I imagined it in The Energy Crusades, is closer than even I predicted. Lately, I’ve read articles on solar roads and the architecture of the future. In the Huffington Post article on architecture, this green power plant is the embodiment of how imagined buildings would look (Photo courtesy of AZPA):
Disaster-proof forts, green power plants, compostable towers, and wooden skyscrapers are all visions I would love to see come to fruition.
In my novel, The Energy Crusades, I imagine a future in which humans are a main source of energy. Is it even possible? Perhaps my imagination is not as far-fetched as you might first believe. Human energy is being used, even today, in a variety of capacities. Here is an article from Alternative Energy News which explores human kinetic energy and its uses.
In The Energy Crusades, humans wear energy suits which serve to capture and use energy as the wearer generates it. Am I crazy? Here is a quote from an article in Business Insider from November of 2012:
The technology can be used on the outside of the body as well. Nanotechnology researchers are developing the perfect complement to the power tie: a “power shirt” woven from pairs of fibres coated with tiny strips of zinc oxide and gold. As you move, the fibres rub against each other to produce a current. Prof Zhong Lin Wang, at the Georgia Institute of Technology, says that “we could provide a flexible, foldable and wearable power source that, for example, would allow people to generate their own electrical current while walking”.
And if you still don’t think it’s possible, how about this gym in Hong Kong which is Human Powered?
Furthermore, wearable electronics are in our very near future. Here is an article from The Conversation discussing just how close we are to energy generating clothing. Perhaps we’ll all be wearing energy suits very soon.
As I patiently wait for my own book cover, I’ve been looking at different artists and thinking about what I like to see. Jeroen Ten Berge designed a cover for me once upon a time, before I landed my agent Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group, and I loved his work. Now I am lucky enough to have a publisher and a cover being designed for me.
So, what makes a good cover? Here are some I like:
For as many good covers that exist, there are a ton of bad ones. Buzzfeed recently published an article about hilariously bad covers. It will definitely bring a smile to your face. There is also a website dedicated to lousy book covers and it’s fun to look at. There are definitely some covers that make you wonder ‘why in the world would anyone choose that’? But, taste is subjective and maybe it was exactly what the author loved. I hope so anyway.
The cover for The Energy Crusades is going to be awesome and I can’t wait for you all to see it. Coming soon…
I recently finished this biography of the ill-fated Queen of France, famous for words she never uttered. Sent from her home in Austria at the age of 14 to be wed to the future King Louis XVI, her tumultuous life at Versailles is vivid in Antonia Fraser’s book.
What I liked about the book:
Everything. A well written, detailed account of the Queen of France, you can’t help but feel enmeshed in the daily life of Versailles during her reign. From the descriptions of the clothes to the intimate letters she wrote and the abuses hurled at her, Marie Antoinette’s life feels timely and timeless in Antonia Fraser’s pages. A young ‘celebrity’ who for awhile gets caught up in the spoils of her fame, the Queen seemed doomed from the start. Accused of being not too bright, a lesbian, an adulterer, and burdened with the nickname ‘Madame Deficit’ for her lavish spending, Marie Antoinette weathered her bad press in style. She also showed tremendous courage and unwavering dedication to her husband, refusing ever to leave his side as revolution broiled around them. During her trial, her composure under intense questioning and horrible accusations remained steadfast. Certainly, I will never forget her journey and the sad ending to her too short life.
What I disliked:
For me, there was nothing to not like in this brilliantly crafted book. I loved Antonia Fraser’s style, which felt both intimate and removed at the same time. Ms. Fraser’s well researched biography might have read as ‘just the facts, ma’am’, but instead felt current and as if I was seeing history before my eyes.
I rate this book a 5 out 5 stars and give it my enthusiastic recommendation. Marie Antoinette and her entourage spring to life on the pages of the book and are not easily forgotten.