By nmurray, May 1 2019 09:56AM
Welcome to my blog, it is wonderful that you are here, please let us know a little bit about you and where you're from
I was a strange and unusual and precocious child who grew up to become a strange and amazing man. Lots of folks will talk about thinking "outside the box", but in all my years on this earth, I've never even seen that box or had any idea where it was.
I was born and raised in a place that's green and cold with snow on the ground for at least four months a year. When I grew up, I moved to a place that's green and warm all the time; both places are in North America. I have two boys and two dogs and two cats and one amazing wife who is proof that what my daddy told me was true. He always said to me, "Son, find smart people and hang around them all the time." I liked one of those smart people so much that we got married. Taken all together, this is all I've ever wanted for myself.
What inspires you to write?
Growing up, my favorite band was DEVO. They were just so different from everyone else out there, and I could surely relate to that! Most people remember them for those flowerpot hats and that one song, "Whip It", but trust me, they have it all wrong. Their best song was called "Beautiful World"and it says what I feel. Despite all the pain and suffering and evil out there, and in spite of all the bad stuff that has happened to me personally, it really is a "Beautiful World". And that's what I try to put into my writing. I always try to appeal to your best hopes, and not your worst fears.
Could you give us an example of how that works for you?
Oh sure! "Planet Earth Adventures" is my first published sci fi tale. Writing it was such a super intense experience that I never really stepped back and looked at it. I just so badly wanted to make it happen! When it was finished, I left it alone for awhile. When I went back and read it again, the first thing that struck me was how little violence there was in it. That's very unusual for modern sci fi, and if you don't believe me, check out the sci fi section at Smashwords, where I'm published, or Amazon, where I am not. The stories are saturated with blood; it's always some war or uprising or rebellion or clash of dynasties, blah blah blah. Sci fi is supposed to be progressive and forward thinking, a quest for a better and brighter future. Cops and robbers in outer space with laser zap cannons is not future oriented, not one little bit. If you wanna see gore and bloodshed, you can just turn on any cable news channel.
So there's no conflict or violence in Planet Earth Adventures?
Oh now, hold the phone, I never said that. There is conflict at many points in the tale, but most of them are resolved without anyone dying. There is a big climactic battle at the end, with hydrogen bombs exploding and ion cannons zapping, but that's only to set up the sequel.
OK, so what is in your book?
Well to begin with, there's a lot of things that are just plain different. For example, there are aliens in this tale, but they aren't cold blooded, bug eyed reptiles who came here to torture cows and enslave humanity. In my book, the aliens are an advanced race of super intelligent dogs, and their spaceship was sent here on a rescue mission. Long ago, their homeworld almost destroyed itself because of a planet wide civil war. Millions died and many more fled to countless planets across the galaxy, including Earth. The aliens we meet were on board a rescue ship that came here to find their lost people, but the ship crash landed and slammed more than a mile into the planet.
Also, there is another alien life form called the "Worlds Mind". It's a type of plant that is so tough it can survive outer space and can grow and thrive on almost any planet there is. Its also sentient and is clever enough to manipulate other life forms to do its bidding, without them even being aware of it. The Worlds Mind is actually the reason the good guys win in the end.
So there are good guys?
Well yes and they too are unusual: there are three humans who you meet at the very beginning of the tale. One of them is named Chris P. Critter; he's a millionaire inventor who created a device to break through traffic jams. The second is his best friend Krakken, who has several college degrees and a mountain of student loans. The third is Camadan, a small toddler who Krakken informally adopted after he woke up from a (for him) rare casual hookup. Or as he puts it "Some guys get herpes from a one night stand, I got a baby".
The aliens are also unusual, not merely because they are dogs, but because they are unique individuals. Bon'gorra is a massive, brooding soldier who never smiles and is feared by everyone. Except for his commander, a woman named DD'Curvv whose fearless leadership has kept them alive after the crash. Melah'dee is her trusted lieutenant and master of disguise, a woman who has often infiltrated human society and has a sharp, sarcastic wit. This is unlike most aliens in sci fi, who are either vicious cannibals who want to eat our flesh and wear our bones as a hat, or wise, benevolent beings whop are all knowing and never have morning breath. Either way, the aliens are made to seem exactly identical. Which is just plain stupid: no species higher than a bug is like that.
So if there are good guys, is there a bad guy?
Why, yes there is. Master Cannis is a dog alien who turned traitor after the rescue ship crash landed on Earth. All the aliens are telekinetic, so much so that they can alter what other races see and perceive. Cannis discovers a substance found only on Earth that heightens his powers a million fold. It also makes him paranoid and tyrannical. He and some followers seize control of the rescue ship, murder the previous commander -- DD'Curvv's father- and begin a reign of terror. It only ends when DD'Curvv kills him and becomes the new commander in her father's place. Or as she puts it: "I stabbed him in the eye with his own dagger. I killed that son of a bitch."
Speaking of which, there's a lot of swearing in this book. Was that really necessary?
OK, its first of all an adult book for adults. Adults sometimes use adult language. Heck, drive by any middle school in America, and you'll hear some Not Adults using adult language. Plus, its not as if there's cuss words every other sentence. Its generally during times of stress, like when the human heroes are chased by wolves or when the villains are trying to steal Camadan. Heck, think of the sweetest person you know, then imagine someone punching them and trying to kidnap their child. What kind of words might they use then?
Your story also has its share of politically incorrect ideas and dialogue. Do you think that's wise, considering the current climate of thinking?
Nuts to the "climate" when it gets in the way of the story. Art cannot coexist with censorship of any kind. A good story will have people that either overcome their flaws, or they are consumed by them. A great story will have characters who do the right thing in spite of being flawed.
Sounds pretty amazing. Where can I get a copy?
You can download it from Smashwords. Here is the link
So, you had mentioned a sequel. How is that coming along?
Well, I'm still in the beginning stages of that. I have found that the opening chapter is often the hardest part, and that once I get going after that, the story just literally starts gushing out like a fountain or an oil well. I am very pleased to announce that not only is the opening chapter almost finished, I have also been inspired by an idea for a huge plot twist. There will be a conflict, and this time it will be interplanetary. The resolution of that conflict will be the most unique in the history of science fiction. Also, there will be an exploration of some unique new topics, such as "is there prejudice on other planets?"
Do you have a method for promoting your books? And how well is it working?
My main method is to engage people, just like we are doing here. I do interviews, I ask for book reviews, I've joined and contributed to dozens of online groups at Facebook, MeWe and Quora, and of course I have talked up my friends and family. So far, its working moderately well and I've made some sales. Like anything else I've ever done, I jump in feet first and start doing things. There's no blueprint for success and everyone's path will be as unique as the people they are. Mostly, its about hard work and perseverance. My goal is to be the best selling sci fi author of the 21st century. That sure won't happen over night!
Any last words for us?
I'm not the best at what I do, I'm the only one who's doing it.
Thanks for sharing your writer's life with us and I wish you all the best for the future :)