Tag Archives: science fiction

Author Interview The Matriarch Matrix

 

Have you been writing for a long time?

It feels like forever after completing The Matriarch Matrix. I started seriously considering attempting a novel in spring of 2016 when the good fortune of a more open schedule came my way. My writing proclivity started in primary school when I attempted to write an epic emulating the Hornblower series. I never finished, but the teacher was generous with my grade. I continued to write stories and plays through secondary school. Then that fateful moment comes when your parents ask “what do you want to be when you grow up.” Philosopher, historian, or writer as an answer does not play well in those conversations. So STEM I went until I completed a very successful STEM based career. And now, I am blessed with opportunity to be that philosopher, historian, and writer that I had once aspired to be.

What inspired you to start a writing career?

A number of years ago, I searched for ways to help high IQ analytical people work on their EQ as, among others, I managed many gifted people who fit this description. And to my surprise, reading fiction came to the top of the solution list. Not watching film, but reading which forces you to use your imagination, forces you to envision how people feel, think, and emote. So that I walk the new talk, I began to read fiction. Paperbacks at first, but I then dared to download the Kindle app onto my phone. And wow. Speed reading on steroids! I could polish off a novel every three to four days on top of a full and long executive work day.

I read an author say that if you are prolific reader, you already know how to write. He said you have subconsciously absorbed the writing styles and techniques of every book, of every author you have read. And in the spring of 2016 when the opportunity presented, I made the commitment many people do – to write a book. I spent two months reading and listening to every source I could find about writing novels as I simultaneously outlined a story in a daily writing journal. And finally after my brain overflowed with strands and clumps of varying advice, I ended the learning and just started writing the story I outlined. And what that author said came true. What came out of my fingers represented a synthesis of all the fiction, all the genres, all the authors I had been reading.

Is your book a stand-alone, or part of a series?

If you had asked me after the second of three rounds of beta-readers, I would have said a stand-alone. As I attended writers conference after writers conference over the past year, many told me to break up my manuscript into two books. Yes, it is long. Like a Dan Brown Robert Langdon series book or Mary Doria Russell’s Sparrow. I did an extensive re-write trying to make Part 1 stand on its own, but thought it would have been a weak stand-alone book without Part 2 which the third round of beta readers concurred with.

But I always thought there was a follow on story for which I have most of the synopsis underway now. The premise of ancient giants, of mysterious objects, of the origin of our faiths, permeates through cultures and myths around the world. I did not wrap up The Matriarch Matrix as tightly as some reviewers would have liked, which may have left some not fully fulfilled. But I left the threads open for the second book. And maybe a third.

Why did you choose this genre?

Another great question. What genre is this book? At a recent writers conference hosted by a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, I heard the best articulation of different genres definitions. It was there that I realized that I had pulled what I need from different genres to create this story. One lunch I sat with a well-published author and shared with her this story. And she affirmed that is what a debut author should do. Write the best story they can regardless of genre definitions.

Kindle lists the book as Religious Mystery and Metaphysical Fiction. Why? Originally it was listed as Science Fiction/Action-Adventure and Metaphysical Fiction. As I saw the first thirty reviews, I saw the words “suspense” and “mystery” come up often. So I asked Amazon for a change. Why Religious and Metaphysical? The origin of faith and the religious beliefs of the characters are foundations of the conflict created in the story. It is not “Inspirational Fiction” as I have heard it defined at RWA conferences, but it is a story about characters with deeply held religious background – a Sufi Kurdish woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien believing atheist – and their need to overcome their differences to solve the problems in the storyline. Ironically, Amazon Books also lists this book as Romance/Science Fiction and Romance/Action-Adventure. Did what I learned from RWA shine through?

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

1. Write what you believe in. Over and over again, experienced authors espouse the importance of authenticity for readers. And if you don’t believe in what you are writing, how can it read authentic to the reader? After reading some of the more critical reviews last month, I broached to one my alpha readers drafting a new edition to soften some aspects of the book. And she said with all firmness, as only a strong matriarchal figure like her can, that I need to stand by what I believe. And I knew what she meant. I could have edited those sections differently, but chose not to. My message, my belief, my research into the tragedy of the oppression of different people and cultures throughout time, all needed to be prominent to decry the tragedy and terror of unchecked tyranny as contrasted to the heroic recovery of the story’s heroine.

2. Surround yourself with expertise. You need an editor. One who has the experience in the type of book you want yours to be or with working with an author like you. They are like your conscious. Think of your book like a loved one. Your love for them may impede your objectivity concerning their
health. Usually you bring your loved ones to a doctor, an expert who is dispassionate and who can make object recommendations on your loved one’s care. A good editor is like that doctor for your book.

If you can before the final edit, utilize beta-readers who you do not know, who are willing to say unfettered what they really are thinking. Reading their feedback is the ultimate in highs and lows, sometimes seriously painful, but I found real readers’ beta comments were 100% predictive of reviews I have seen once my book launched.

Finally, spend the resources you can in the editing process – go through each of the three recommended rounds. Each round makes your book that much better.

 

About the Book

Title: The Matriarch Matrix

Author: Maxime Trencavel

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

The Matriarch Matrix – A speculative fiction novel of origins, faith, passion, and the pursuit of peace.

It was always his destiny to save her. It was always her destiny to die. The fate of the world hangs on their choices… 

The past foretells her future…

What does it take to change a loving child of peace into an assassin for a dangerous and powerful oligarch? Zara Khatum knows. Once a fighter for her Kurdish people, the memory of the atrocities inflicted by her captors has Zara seeking one thing: vengeance. But the voices of the ancients call to Zara. In the past, in another life, she knew the secrets of the artifact…

Twelve thousand years ago…

She is Nanshe, revered matriarch of the family she led away from the monsters of the north. In the land that would one day mark the treacherous border between Turkey and Syria, she created the temples at Gobleki Tepe and founded a dynasty, heirs to a powerful object. For millennia, Nanshe’s descendants have passed down the legend of the artifact: “The object can save. But only a man and woman together can guide the salvation of others.”

Heirs to destiny…

By fate or destiny, Zara is thrown in with Peter Gollinger, a quirky Californian from the other side of the world and the other side of everything she believes. But he, too, is heeding the voices of his ancestors. Joined by Jean-Paul, a former Jesuit priest, these three people—from wildly different religions and cultures—must find a way to work together to solve a twelve thousand-year-old mystery of the powerful object that spawned a faith. The world teeters on the precipice of war. The outcome depends on them. And one of them is living a lie.

The Matriarch Matrix is a rich and deeply layered epic story – a spiritual odyssey with a heartbeat of an action adventure. It may make you think, ponder, reflect upon where we came from and where we are going. It blends our past with a speculative future of things that are not so far-fetched. It blends the drama, the comedy, the romance, the tragedy of three protagonists with different cultures, traditions, and beliefs – a Sufi woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien origin believing atheist. Their journeys separately and together will be a test of their respective faiths and their inner search for personal and family redemption.

 

Author Bio

Maxime has been scribbling stories since grade school from adventure epics to morality plays. Blessed with living in multicultural pluralistic settings and having earned degrees in science and marketing, Maxime has worked in business and sports, traveling to countries across five continents and learning about cultures, traditions, and the importance of tolerance and understanding. Maxime’s debut novel was written and edited in different locations in Belgium, including the Turkish and Kurdish neighborhoods of Brussels, in South America, and on the two coasts of the United States.

 

Links

tailofthebird.com
https://www.facebook.com/MaximeTrencavel/
https://www.instagram.com/maximetrencavel/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17168784.Maxime_Trencavel
https://www.amazon.com/Maxime-Trencavel/

Get “The Matriarch Matrix” on  Amazon

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Cover Reveal Blitz The Matrix Matriarch

About the Book

Title: The Matriarch Matrix

Author: Maxime Trencavel

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

The Matriarch Matrix – A speculative fiction novel of origins, faith, passion, and the pursuit of peace.

It was always his destiny to save her. It was always her destiny to die. The fate of the world hangs on their choices…

The past foretells her future…

What does it take to change a loving child of peace into an assassin for a dangerous and powerful oligarch? Zara Khatum knows. Once a fighter for her Kurdish people, the memory of the atrocities inflicted by her captors has Zara seeking one thing: vengeance. But the voices of the ancients call to Zara. In the past, in another life, she knew the secrets of the artifact…

Twelve thousand years ago…

She is Nanshe, revered matriarch of the family she led away from the monsters of the north. In the land that would one day mark the treacherous border between Turkey and Syria, she created the temples at Gobleki Tepe and founded a dynasty, heirs to a powerful object. For millennia, Nanshe’s descendants have passed down the legend of the artifact: “The object can save. But only a man and woman together can guide the salvation of others.”

Heirs to destiny…

By fate or destiny, Zara is thrown in with Peter Gollinger, a quirky Californian from the other side of the world and the other side of everything she believes. But he, too, is heeding the voices of his ancestors. Joined by Jean-Paul, a former Jesuit priest, these three people—from wildly different religions and cultures—must find a way to work together to solve a twelve thousand-year-old mystery of the powerful object that spawned a faith. The world teeters on the precipice of war. The outcome depends on them. And one of them is living a lie.

The Matriarch Matrix is a rich and deeply layered epic story – a spiritual odyssey with a heartbeat of an action adventure. It may make you think, ponder, reflect upon where we came from and where we are going. It blends our past with a speculative future of things that are not so far-fetched. It blends the drama, the comedy, the romance, the tragedy of three protagonists with different cultures, traditions, and beliefs – a Sufi woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien origin believing atheist. Their journeys separately and together will be a test of their respective faiths and their inner search for personal and family redemption.

Author Bio

Maxime has been scribbling stories since grade school from adventure epics to morality plays. Blessed with living in multicultural pluralistic settings and having earned degrees in science and marketing, Maxime has worked in business and sports, traveling to countries across five continents and learning about cultures, traditions, and the importance of tolerance and understanding. Maxime’s debut novel was written and edited in different locations in Belgium, including the Turkish and Kurdish neighborhoods of Brussels, in South America, and on the two coasts of the United States.

Links

tailofthebird.com
https://www.facebook.com/MaximeTrencavel/
https://www.instagram.com/maximetrencavel/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17168784.Maxime_Trencavel
https://www.amazon.com/Maxime-Trencavel/

Get “The Matriarch Matrix” on Amazon

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Promo Post Ernie and the Evils of Insurance

About the Book

Title: Ernie and the Evils of Insurance

Author: Brent Ayscough

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Ernie, an experienced logger from rural Washington State, loses his job when the logging operation he works for is shut down due to the spotted owl. When he goes in to apply for unemployment, Ernie is persuaded to take a job out of state as a temporary insurance adjuster in Los Angeles. While he knows that Los Angeles will be a lot different than Sedro Woolley, Washington, and insurance adjusting a lot different than logging, really, how hard can it be? And there are lots of downed trees in Southern California after the recent earthquake and storms they had there. So packing up his trusty chainsaw in his saddlebags, Ernie hops on his motorcycle and heads south. But to his dismay, Ernie discovers that LA is a lot farther from Washington in more than just miles. Unprepared for the corruption and callousness rampant in the insurance industry, Ernie soon finds himself not only in trouble with his job, but on the top of an assassin’s hit list. Still, although Ernie might be a hick from the sticks, he’s far from stupid. Blessed with an innate intelligence, an abundance of common sense, and a redneck sense of humor, Ernie will give his enemies a hilarious run for their money…if he can just survive long enough.

 

Author Bio

Brent Ayscough or Ace, as he is known to friends, retired from the practice of law and lives in a house overlooking the sea in Southern California. He has always loved machines, from airplanes to motorcycles, structural design, and other interests. He has enjoyed the acquaintance of diverse and interesting people, and is widely traveled. Bits and pieces of characters he has known, places he has been, seasoned with the spice of his imagination, help him create unusual stories and characters. Extensive collaboration with experts and sources, hopefully, make his stories credible and interesting.

 

Links

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance on Amazon (Kindle)

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance on Amazon (Paperback)

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance on Goodreads

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Cover Reveal Blitz Hell Holes Book One: What Lurks Below

About the Book

Title: Hell Holes: What Lurks Below

Author: Donald Firesmith

Genre: Apocalyptic Science Fiction

It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…

“I enjoyed my time in Firesmith’s world. I did not want to leave. I really got a kick out of it, and would happily come back for more. Recommended.”
MJ Kobernus, author of The Guardian: Blood in the Sand

“This book rocks.”
Barton Paul Levenson, author of Dark Gods of Alter Telluria

“a quick, enjoyable read. Full of action and fraught with danger”
Dave Robertson, author of Strange Hunting, Strange Hunting II, and The Brave and The Dead

“The book is an easy and quick read and an action-filled one that you’ll imagine as a TV series or a movie with no difficulty.”
Olga Núñez Miret, author of Escaping Psychiatry

“Your book is excellent. As for the ending … it leaves the reader wanting/needing more. I’d absolutely love to read more of your work.”
Patty Beaty, coauthor of Sunshine in the South

Author Bio

A computer geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He is also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat worrying whether the term “distinguished” makes him sound more like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still more red than gray.

By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his son Dane, and varying numbers of cats and dogs.

Links

Amazon

Author Website

Book Trailer

Giveaway

We’re hosting a giveaway for autographed copies of “Hell Holes 1: What Lurks Below” and of “Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton”.

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Author Interview The Visitor

Have you been writing for a long time?

I wrote my first book in 1999

 

What inspired you to start a writing career?

I love telling stories.

 

Is this book a stand-alone, or part of a series?

Both The Visitor and Ernie and the Evils of Insurance are stand alone

 

Why did you choose this genre?

The Visitor was a super challenge in that I actually found out how to create a race-specific Ebola and it is explained in the story, as incredible as that may seem. The book has SI FI aspects, but that part is very real.

 

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance is based on actual cases that I had as a lawyer.  It was easy to incorporate them

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

No

About the Book

Title: The Visitor

Author: Brent Ayscough

Genre: Science Fiction

Tasked by the Federation of Planets to determine if Earthlings present a threat as they venture into space, Tak, an alien anthropologist, leaves her starship orbiting Earth and takes a shuttle to Kansas. Intending to study humans in the United States—as she has learned no Earth language but English—she is detected while descending through the atmosphere and only evades capture by fleeing to Europe, where she lands in Poland. There, she meets an international arms merchant, Baron Von Limbach, who becomes her guide. She studies “typical” human behavior by accompanying the baron as he fulfills his latest assignment—to get the Dalai Lama back into Tibet. His method of halting the communist takeover of Tibet is to create a race-specific Ebola that will only attack Han Chinese, giving Tak a prime example of how barbaric humans can be. However, the CIA and US military are aware of Tak’s presence on Earth and are determined to capture her. And if she is unable to complete her mission and return to her starship—her captain will destroy every living thing on Earth.

 

Author Bio

Brent Ayscough or Ace, as he is known to friends, retired from the practice of law and lives in a house overlooking the sea in Southern California. He has always loved machines, from airplanes to motorcycles, structural design, and other interests. He has enjoyed the acquaintance of diverse and interesting people, and is widely traveled. Bits and pieces of characters he has known, places he has been, seasoned with the spice of his imagination, help him create unusual stories and characters. Extensive collaboration with experts and sources, hopefully, make his stories credible and interesting.

Links

The Visitor on Amazon (Kindle)

The Visitor on Amazon (Paperback)

The Visitor on Goodreads

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Book Review Redfern

Title: Redfern

Author: Gary Tinnams

Genre: Science Fiction

“Humans don’t project past their own frequency. It’s why you’re so isolated as a species. The beings of other frequencies can only witness what you build and feel what you destroy.”

Earth – Tomorrow – The Singularity:-

The machines have taken over and mankind is cast out.

Millennia later, the inhospitable planet of Redfern is in the process of being made habitable for the proposed rebirth of the entire human race. All is proceeding as planned until Enforcer, Ted Holloway, witnesses the unexpected appearance of a long dead and former friend – A man who can become invisible and immaterial, a man that can penetrate any and all security.

A man whose very existence should be impossible.

As Ted and his superior, Lisa Carmichael, investigate further, they face dangers and creatures that challenge their very concept of reality and also encounter the colony’s caretaker Machine Mind and the human Security Commissioner, both of whom have opposing and intricate agendas of their own.

For the true nature of Redfern is stranger and more deadly than anything Holloway or Carmichael can possibly imagine.

And it could change or destroy humanity forever…

Review: What impressed me the most  about Redfern was the writing style. It was fluent and still managed to tell the reader enough details to picture every scene. The characters felt like real people, epsecially Ted and Lisa. The story is very creative, and the plot keeps surprising the reader.

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Promo The Visitor and Ernie and the Evils of Insurance

visitorbanner

About the Books

Title: The Visitor

Genre: Science Fiction

Tasked by the Federation of Planets to determine if Earthlings present a threat as they venture into space, Tak, an alien anthropologist, leaves her starship orbiting Earth and takes a shuttle to Kansas. Intending to study humans in the United States—as she has learned no Earth language but English—she is detected while descending through the atmosphere and only evades capture by fleeing to Europe, where she lands in Poland. There, she meets an international arms merchant, Baron Von Limbach, who becomes her guide. She studies “typical” human behavior by accompanying the baron as he fulfills his latest assignment—to get the Dalai Lama back into Tibet. His method of halting the communist takeover of Tibet is to create a race-specific Ebola that will only attack Han Chinese, giving Tak a prime example of how barbaric humans can be. However, the CIA and US military are aware of Tak’s presence on Earth and are determined to capture her. And if she is unable to complete her mission and return to her starship—her captain will destroy every living thing on Earth.

Title: Ernie and the Evils of Insurance

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Ernie, an experienced logger from rural Washington State, loses his job when the logging operation he works for is shut down due to the spotted owl. When he goes in to apply for unemployment, Ernie is persuaded to take a job out of state as a temporary insurance adjuster in Los Angeles. While he knows that Los Angeles will be a lot different than Sedro Woolley, Washington, and insurance adjusting a lot different than logging, really, how hard can it be? And there are lots of downed trees in Southern California after the recent earthquake and storms they had there. So packing up his trusty chainsaw in his saddlebags, Ernie hops on his motorcycle and heads south. But to his dismay, Ernie discovers that LA is a lot farther from Washington in more than just miles. Unprepared for the corruption and callousness rampant in the insurance industry, Ernie soon finds himself not only in trouble with his job, but on the top of an assassin’s hit list. Still, although Ernie might be a hick from the sticks, he’s far from stupid. Blessed with an innate intelligence, an abundance of common sense, and a redneck sense of humor, Ernie will give his enemies a hilarious run for their money…if he can just survive long enough.

Author Bio

Brent Ayscough or Ace, as he is known to friends, retired from the practice of law and lives in a house overlooking the sea in Southern California. He has always loved machines, from airplanes to motorcycles, structural design, and other interests. He has enjoyed the acquaintance of diverse and interesting people, and is widely traveled. Bits and pieces of characters he has known, places he has been, seasoned with the spice of his imagination, help him create unusual stories and characters. Extensive collaboration with experts and sources, hopefully, make his stories credible and interesting.

Links

The Visitor on Amazon (Kindle)

The Visitor on Amazon (Paperback)

The Visitor on Goodreads

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance on Amazon (Kindle)

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance on Amazon (Paperback)

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance on Goodreads

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