The Momentum Blog

Author interview: Steve P. Vincent

Posted December 10, 2015 by Michelle Cameron

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Nation’s Divided is OUT NOW!

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To celebrate, we thought we’d ask Steve a few questions for you.

Tell us about the setting of Nations Divided, why did you choose this particular conflict?

At its heart, Nations Divided is a book about the extremes a group will go to in order to achieve their aims, and the strength required to stop them. In this case, after the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, a group of ultra-hardline Zionists will do almost anything to destroy the deal, because they see it as the death of Israel. And, as the cover no doubt reveals, there’s a nuclear submarine involved.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one I’ve always been interested in. Both sides have legitimate wants and needs, both sides do some things that are questionable and, at various times, the two sides have started to frame what a peaceful resolution to the political and security situation might look like. I think it’s fair to say that many authors are also afraid of writing about the conflict and I wanted to have a crack at it.

This book is also the most globetrotting of the series to date. While The Foundation had a fair bit of zooming about the place and I kept State of Emergency geographically isolated to the United States, for Nations Divided I needed to capture the truly global ramifications of this conflict and this plot. Jack Emery visits four continents and ten or so countries in the race to stop the Zionists, and the whole book takes place over about a month.


Is Jack Emery based on anyone? What/who were your influences?

No. Given how much Jack has been beaten up, tortured, blown up, stabbed, shot at, stressed out and locked up over the past little while, I don’t think I could do that to someone. If he was based on anyone, and that person found out, I’d have a restraining order slapped on me. I wanted him to be a relatively normal guy, rather than a commando or one man action hero. He has problems and stresses and pain and weaknesses.

A heavy influence on my writing, and on Jack, was the early work of Tom Clancy. I devoured the Jack Ryan books as a kid, and Jack Emery got his first name partly in recognition of that. Otherwise, Nelson DeMille, John LeCarre, Robert Ludlam, Michael Connelly, Vince Flynn, Ian Rankin and many others in the crime/political/conspiracy thriller space have influenced me in ways large and small over the years. Beyond the genre, there’s too many to name. I read pretty widely beyond thrillers.


Why did you choose to have an Aussie protagonist for a series largely set in America?

I’m not American, but most of my political interests are there, and that’s what I wanted to write. Honestly, the prospect of writing about bad stuff happening in a system I’m not super familiar with from an unfamiliar point of view was a little daunting when I was starting out. Making Jack Emery Australian was a tiny crutch that was comfortable as I was trying to figure out how to write books. The unintended benefit has been a cool ‘outsider effect’ that I’ve really enjoyed.


Can you tell us a bit about the research you did?

I made a deliberate choice to avoid the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the peace deal – who got what and the exact terms of the agreement. I did this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the detailed contents of bilateral treaties are boring to anyone without a political science or a law degree. Secondly, there was a danger that, if I included the detail, the reader would be sidetracked (and potentially outraged, depending on their views) by the detail rather than the story.

I did do my best to understand the issues, the perspective of all the main players and the history of peace negotiations to date. Though most of this isn’t in the book, and the depth of research will mostly be invisible to the reader, I had to have it in my back pocket to give me the confidence to tackle a subject this weighty. Surprisingly, by far the most difficult area of research was on nuclear submarine launch procedures. It’s hard to find that stuff!


 

And finally, what’s next?

A little bit of a break while shadowy publishing industry figures read over a plot plan for my next novel, a psychological thriller that I’ve wanted to write for a while but have had the time to. I’ll start writing it around Christmas, I hope, with the aim of having a finished draft by mid-2016.

After that, I’m discussing a new series with you fine people at Momentum, and playing with a few more concepts that haven’t really formed fully in my head yet. And, of course, potentially some more Jack Emery novels in the pipe once I’ve had a rest, and he’s sat on a beach drinking cocktails for a while.

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In Conversation: Amanda Bridgeman and Steve P. Vincent

Posted October 21, 2014 by Momentum

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Momentum stable mates Amanda Bridgeman (the Aurora Series) and Steve P Vincent (The Foundation) just finished enjoying each other’s books. They decided to have a chat about their books and their writing. They could have done it in private, but where’s the fun in that?

Steve P Vincent: Hi Amanda. We’re Twitter buddies, but this is the first chance I’ve had to talk to you in more than 140 characters. Tell me three things I don’t know about you.

Amanda Bridgeman: Hmmm. Three things… Well:

(1)   I was raised a Catholic (but am one no longer – read my books if you don’t believe me).

(2)   I lived in London for over 1.5 years and was there during the London bombings (I got off the tube about 8 minutes before it all happened).

(3)   Once in a blue moon I dabble with singing. I do vocals on a track written and recorded by my brothers that you can hear/buy on iTunes (Bridge Music – ‘Made It Home’).

So what about you? Tell me three things I don’t know about you?

Steve: Ha! I don’t think I have a list that varied. Or that interesting. We should do karaoke some time. Here goes:

(1)   I’ve got a solid basis for writing about political intrigue. I studied it at university and have worked for government. I’m less solid on the shooting and violence and the explosions, though I do have a good imagination, and once did a commando roll down a hill.

(2)   I’m a big American football fan, much to the chagrin of most of my friends. It’s a love I share only with my brother in law, who’s from Denver.

(3)   My wife and I are both historians, and I proposed to her sitting next to the Roman baths in Bath, England. I thought that would get me out of the Jane Austen walking tour… It didn’t.

Okay. I’ve read book one in the Aurora series and I’m looking forward to the others. But for those not familiar with the series, give me your ‘elevator pitch’ – what’s it about and why might readers enjoy it?

Amanda: The Aurora series is about two very different people with one common goal, survival. It’s about a captain and a corporal who’ve been thrown together on a mission they discover is not as straight forward as it seems. Each book adds a new twist to what they know, as it builds up to a massive revelation. It’s for sci-fi fans who like character-driven stories with a nice blend of action, thrills, drama and even a bit of romance.

 

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So what about you? Tell me your elevator pitch for The Foundation?

Steve: Globe-trotting journalist Jack Emery has to fight a cancer in the heart of Washington – The Foundation for a New America. The Foundation is a think tank with a dark side and darker plans. They’re fighting for American rebirth. To achieve it, they arrange for Shanghai to be blown up, spark a war between the US and China, try to take over the largest media company on the planet and are involved in a whole lot of other nasty. Their boss is Michelle Dominique. Jack has to stop her.

 

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One thing that struck me was the detail you put into writing medical scenes, particularly when Doc (the Aurora’s medic) is stitching up people who’ve been shot, crushed, assaulted or blown up. I find this sort of thing really tricky to write convincingly, so tell me how you do it? Any secrets?

Amanda: For the most part I literally just used my imagination, but there were a few things I double checked with a friend of mine who is a nurse. Anything she couldn’t answer, she then asked the doctors at the hospital she works. So the medical side of things, I hope, is pretty realistic.

Now, tell me about your knowledge of international politics (particularly US politics) and journalism? Did you glean all your knowledge from the degree you did at university? Or is this an ongoing interest of yours?

Steve: A degree, a career in government, an obsessive interest in politics and current affairs and a wife who teaches this stuff too. It’s sick. Really. As for the journalism, less knowledge of that, even though the old man was a journo. I nearly studied it once I finished high school, but decided there was no money to be made in a dying industry. Then I decided to write books. Ha.

What’s one writing tip that will totally change my life?

Amanda: Listen to everyone’s advice, but don’t take it to heart. What works for one person, may not work for the next. Sometimes people think it’s wrong to do things a certain way, but if it works for you, well, then screw everyone else basically! When I first started I listened to all the ‘experts’ advice, and some of it was good, but some of it just didn’t apply/work for me. I soon realised that I had to forge my own path, taking bits and pieces of advice with me, and ditching the rest.

What’s the best advice you’ve heard so far?

Steve: Sketch out a loose plot outline then write like a crazy man. My biggest problem prior to writing The Foundation was trying to perfect a scene before moving on. It made for a few nice scenes, but not much of a story. Having finished a book, I realise the amount of fine-tuning that takes place. It’s far better to get the whole thing down and work from a full draft than trying to perfect as you go. It’s only when it’s all down that you see the giant gaping wounds in your plot that need fixing.

To close this out, what are you working on?

Amanda: I have more of the Aurora series lined up and ready to go, but I’ve also been working on a brand new, stand alone, sci-fi novel, which I hope to start pitching to agents by the end of the year (or thereabouts).  In some ways it’s very different from the Aurora series – it’s short and sharp, and set in the present-day on Earth. Told from multiple perspectives, it follows the immediate events of a world-wide phenomenon. The book is called The Time of The Stripes, and as per my writing tendencies, readers can expect the same level of tension, drama, and exploration of the human condition that I like to deliver.

What about you? What are you working on?

Steve: Momentum has begged and pleaded with me for two more Jack Emery books, so who am I to disappoint? State of Emergency is in the works, and going well. It’s a much darker book than The Foundation, dealing with the overreach of government in the United States and what might happen if that is taken to its fullest extent. There’s also a Jack prequel novella and a third full novel in the works. Beyond that, I’m casting my mind beyond the series and figured out a working title for my next project. In all I’ve got too much to do and no time to do it, just how I like it.

 

And that’s probably all we have the space for, given we’re now above the average length of one of my scenes. Just want to say it was great to chat with you, Amanda. I enjoyed the first Aurora book together, am looking forward to the next few, and congratulations of your announcement on Friday about being signed for three more!

Amanda: Thanks Steve! It’s been great chatting with you too. And congrats also on your debut rocketing up the charts – I look forward to reading about what Jack Emery gets up to next!

Steve P Vincent’s first book, The Foundation, was published by Momentum in September 2014. Connect with him on:

Web: http://stevepvincent.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/stevepvincentwriter
Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/stevepvincent
Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423932.Steve_P_Vincent

Amanda Bridgeman’s Aurora series (Aurora: Darwin, Aurora: Pegasus, Aurora: Meridian, and soon to be released Aurora: Centralis) are published by Momentum. Keep in touch with her via:

Web – http://amandabridgeman.com.au/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AmandaBridgemanAuthor?ref=hl

Twitter – @Bridgeman_Books

Google+ and Goodreads.

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Purcell v Purcell

Posted May 12, 2014 by Momentum

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Charles Purcell, author of new military thriller The Spartan, takes time out from his busy schedule to interview himself. Here are the highlights below.

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Charles Purcell, thanks for agreeing to talk to us.
No … thank you.

Charles Purcell interviews Charles Purcell – this is like Kramer v Kramer.
I’m Dustin Hoffman, then. You’re Meryl Streep.

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Oh … OK. So, The Spartan is your first book, now out as an ebook with Momentum. Please tell us about it.
Allow me to be lazy and quote the précis for you. “Chinese extremists want to destroy America – and now they’ve got the means to do it. When a rogue Chinese general threatens to unleash a biological Armageddon across the U.S., there’s only one man who can stop him: the Spartan. Tier One’s toughest soldier has just seven days to prevent China’s toughest special forces soldiers from detonating their plague canisters across the United States, poisoning millions and sending the world teetering towards war.
“Besides the terrorists, standing in the Spartan’s way is the mafia, the Mexican cartels, the triads, U.S. special forces … and one vengeful U.S. General who never forgot the recruit who refused to salute his superior.”

And when do the bombs go off?
The fourth of July.

Wow. Sounds intense. I take it there’s a lot of action.
There’s gunfights, swordfights, fistfights … oh my.

Finding and neutralising these plague canisters before they go off is the big goal of the Spartan and his colleague Teresa Vasquez, a former Juarez policewoman whose family was murdered by the cartels and now the owner of the world’s first invisibility suit. How dangerous is the threat of biological warfare to the world?
I think the whole world is vulnerable to the threat of a fast-spreading virus like SARS or bird flu or a rogue bit of Cold War biological warfare. Because humans live so close to each other now – and any country is only a plane flight away – the dangers of a lethal virus spreading rapidly  among the world’s population is very real and very dangerous.
And another thing: doctors are reporting that antibiotics aren’t working so well any more because we’re overusing them. There’s also the danger of some naturally occurring, antibiotic-resistant superbug coming into being. So such a scenario is not impossible.

Some 20 million people died from Spanish Flu in the early 20th century.
Yes. And they’re thinking of destroying the world’s supplies of smallpox. Imagine if it or something like it comes back to infect a population with no resistance. I think a supervirus or nuclear terrorism are two of the big threats of the 21st century.

You’re scaring me now.
Don’t be scared. Be a Spartan.

Ah yes, the Spartans. Why have your main character inspired by a people who lived 2000 years ago?
Because there is something impressive about those ancient Greek warrior people. There is something pure about a life dedicated solely to being a fighter, a warrior. And don’t forget – they were the ones that helped fend off the Persians at the battle of Thermopylae, giving Greece breathing space to plan their defence. The Spartans were an inspiration people. It’s not implausible that a modern special forces soldier – the best warriors in the world today – might seek inspiration from the best warriors of antiquity.

I think trying to combine ancient values with modern values and modern weaponry and the modern way of life would lead to considerable personal conflict.
That’s the Spartan’s cross to bear. Personally, I like all the comforts of modern civilisation. But I read once that as soon as a hero is comfortable and happy they are no longer a hero.

Heroes are there to suffer for our enjoyment?
Yes. Han Solo ceased being a hero in the first Star Wars movie when he took his reward from saving Princess Leia and took off. It was only when he returned to save Luke against Darth Vader and risked his life that he became a hero again.

A Star Wars reference … nice.
(Adopts Stormtrooper voice) These are not the droids we’re looking for.

Right. Speaking of Star Wars and high tech, just how credible is it to have one of your characters have an invisibility suit?
Well, it might be a bit sci-fictiony, but there is little doubt that various governments and corporations have been trying to invent some kind of invisibility garment. The US Army for one definitely seems interested. Here’s an example of something you might find on the net (http://news.yahoo.com/no-april-fools-real-life-invisibility-suit-created-115921082.html).
If someone did ever perfect this technology, I think it could be very dangerous.

Vasquez uses her suit to fight alongside the Spartan to stop the plague bombs going off. But what if one did fall into the wrong hands?
What indeed? No one would be safe … something I look at in the sequel to The Spartan.

The invisibility suit isn’t the only thing in your book inspired by real life, I take it.
No. Another theme is the potential clash between a rising China and a retreating America. The rise of every great power – France, Great Britain, Germany – has always been accompanied by conflict and war. Everyone’s hoping that China’s rise will be peaceful. No one wants to see the US and China duke it out.
However, you can’t deny that there are frictions already with China’s growth, particular with its neighbours such as Japan and Vietnam as China flexes its muscles in the South China Sea.
America’s choice, now that it is “pivoting” back to the Asian region after a decade of focusing on the Middle East, is how it will react to China’s rise. Will it seek to accommodate and work with it? Or will there be conflict on some level?
Hopefully China’s rise will be peaceful. But writing about peaceful events doesn’t make for a very exciting military thriller.

So … describe your writing process.
The first thing I do is get up in the morning and look out the window to see if the Apocalypse has arrived. If it has, I retreat back under the covers. If it hasn’t, I get up, have a coffee and some cereal, then read some Sartre and Camus and look for loopholes in their work.
After a while, I turn on the computer and, while it’s booting up, stick my head out of the window and yell, “This is Sparta!”

I think you’ve done that joke before.
And I may do it again. What are you, some kind of joke Nazi? Do you think you’re Steve Martin or something?

No.
Then say it – say you’re not Steve Martin.

“I am not Steve Martin.”
Good. Now we can continue.

Sadly, I think that’s about all we have time for. Any last messages for the reader?
I hope you enjoy reading The Spartan as much as I did writing it.

Charles Purcell, thank you.
A pleasure.

An exciting new thriller in the tradition of Chris Allen and David Rollins – preorder The Spartan here. 

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Where do you get your great ideas? A brief chat with JR Carroll

Posted February 27, 2014 by Mark

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1. What is your daily writing routine?

In the past I used to write about 6 hours a day, beginning mid-morning. But now … a couple of hours, maybe 11 to 12 and then another hour during the afternoon. Much of my writing time is fragmented, done whenever it suits me or when I think of something that absolutely must be written at that time. I spend a lot more time actually thinking about the book – what happens next, where this or that character is going, how it’s going to end – than I used to. Thinking up plots doesn’t get any easier, I find.

2. Name some books or authors that have influenced you

Authors who have influenced me over the years are many – Graham Greene, who got me interested in fiction, Hemingway, for his taut, masculine style and the stoicism of his protagonists, Elmore Leonard ( who himself owed a debt to Hemingway, without whom, in his opinion, there would be no crime fiction as we now know it), Raymond Chandler, because of his literary qualities and his perfection of the suffering, lone wolf detective (we all have damaged cops these days; how much of that is owed to Chandler?), Philip Kerr, who carries on that noble tradition with Bernie Gunther, Michael Dibdin for the same reason and also because of the Venice setting, Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet, for his brutal style and evocation of place and time, Michael Connelly (who comes through that ‘Great Tradition’ of modern American crime fiction), Ruth Rendell, for her psychological insights into the twisted mind … And ditto for Colin Wilson. The list goes on. I suppose I have been influenced by every author I’ve encountered in one way or another.

3. Why should people read 8 Hours to Die?

I would hope people would read 8 Hours to Die to be transported into a truly frightening world, if only for a few hours, to experience vicariously blind terror at the hands of vicious desperadoes in that scariest of scenarios – the home invasion. One never knows how one would fare in such a situation. whether one would be heroic or not … Character is the core of a crime novel, and in this one I’ve pushed that to extremes, to see what human beings are capable of under great duress. The most unexpected things can happen, good and bad. I’ve always loved the idea of the ‘siege thriller’, ever since seeing Peckinpah’s horrific and controversial film ‘Straw Dogs’ back in the early seventies.

4. What do you hope readers take from your book?

Pretty much as above. I would also hope the reader is kept on a knife’s edge at the narrative level, trying to figure out what is happening and how it’s all going to pan out. And then, when it’s over, to experience nightmares, to jump slightly when the doorbell rings at night … So I would like the reader to carry this sense of fear, and dread, a knot in the stomach, that such things can and do happen to just about anyone.

5. What are you currently reading?

Since I’m living in Venice at present, my reading is determined by what’s on the bookshelf here, in our apartment. I have read and enjoyed Michael Connelly’s ‘The Gods of Guilt’, Philip Kerr’s ‘A Philosophical Investigation’ (1992, before the Bernie Gunther series), Robert Harris’s acclaimed Nazi thriller ‘Fatherland’ and one of Ian Rankin’s, ‘Black and Blue’.

6. Where do you get your ideas?

I get my ideas from everywhere I can. Real crime is a constant source of material. I’m particularly fond of long-unsolved murders, police corruption, disgraced politicians and businessmen, crime families and the culture of the outsider they instill in their young, to ensure that the cycle of criminality is perpetuated, organised blue-collar crime, terrorists, bikie gangs, the lot … I find that with each new idea I decide to base a book on, just a single incident perhaps, I have to create a new set of characters and a new setting, so I’ve never been able to settle into the ‘serial character’ pattern. That makes life more difficult, but also more interesting as there are so many bizarre and fascinating crimes out there waiting for someone to turn them into fiction.

8 Hours to Die is available now where all good ebooks are sold. Click here to find it at your preferred retailer

“Not for the faint hearted” – Shane Maloney, author of the Murray Whelan series

8 Hours to Die scorches along relentlessly, displaying all of JR Carroll’s trademark thriller-writing skills: hard-edged prose, vivid characterisation, a strong sense of place and tense plotting.” – Garry Disher, author of the Wyatt series and the Challis & Destry series

 

 

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Eli Anklebiter from The Forgotten City talks to Nathan M. Farrugia

Posted November 5, 2013 by Nathan M Farrugia

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Describe yourself in one word.

Short… or single… Single and short – can I have two words?

Why did you join the United Regiment?

For the uniform. Definitely. Actually it wasn’t that at all. There’s a long and complicated story behind it, but I’ll try to boil it down as much as possible.  At the time I was working five different jobs, each one more terribly paid and ridiculously awful than the next – honestly. One of them was physically crawling into sewerage pipes to dislodge clogs of all kinds of horridiousness. Another was at the zoo squeezing infected pustules sprouting on the testicles of a gigantic Bakslam, which is an extremely irritable type of desert gorilla. Another was working as a test subject for all kinds of experiments – including one where I had to sniff from jars of collected flatus – and…you get the picture.

As well as that I was living – well actually squatting – in a condemned building in Moris-Isles where a porno holo-film company, specialising in gargantuan-breeds, was filming pretty much constantly, so it was a strange day if some enormous naked guy didn’t accidently smash through my wall mid-action…or a gigantic cockroach didn’t try to wrestle me for my dinner… And all this was an entire lifetime away from what I really wanted to do – which was invent and design.

Prior to that I had been selling my designs to both the military and the gangs basically all my life, or at least since I was eight or nine year-cycles old, after I met Copernicus. It was completely illegal, but he’d set everything up so it worked and we were covered, but after the whole gangland incident between Copernicus and Christy Shawe, I lost all sources of income, plus my best friend within the matter of a day. After he informed on the Galleys, Copernicus was taken into custody and was disallowed all outside contact… I didn’t even know if he was still alive…

So things weren’t brilliant to say the least. And because I was a crossbreed no one legitimate would hire me or even give me an interview – even though I was quite rehabilitated at that stage. As soon as anyone saw Glee/Greer written on the application form, it was an immediate door slam – and, for the same reason, getting any type of tech funding was also impossible. Then finally they released Copernicus and it turned out that he’d actually been recruited into the Regiment and he encouraged me to apply for a military technology scholarship. If I was accepted in, it meant I’d get an apartment at Regiment Headquarters, my own laboratory and military funding to live the dream – and even so I was reluctant – I didn’t think I could handle the violence of it – but in the end I applied because it meant I would get to see my best friend again – so essentially I joined because of friendship – and found out year-cycles after that they’d only accepted my application because Copernicus allegedly dangled the assessor out of a window and threatened to drop him… but that’s another story.

So Copernicus is a good friend of yours. How did you meet?

It was in the gangland over twenty year-cycles ago when we were both kids and he was running with Christy Shawe and the Galleys. I’d just finished designing and constructing my first remote-controlled miniature transflyer and I was completely caught up in the moment of its test-flight. Somehow I managed to cross several suburbs without realising and accidently entered into Greenway – and had the extreme misfortune of bumping, literally, into Christy Shawe. And you don’t enter gang territory – and you definitely don’t cross paths with the boss’s son unless you have a death wish – so I’d pretty much just written Shawe an invitation to pulverise my face. And that’s exactly what would have happened if Copernicus hadn’t stepped in for me and stopped him – and physically shoved him away. He was the only one at that stage, and all the way through, that wasn’t afraid to stand up to Shawe. Christy took it very poorly, and stomped my transflyer to pieces, but at least it wasn’t me! And that moment is still really clear in my mind, even though it was a long time ago, because it shocked me – you know – up until that point I’d never had someone stand up for me before – I had friends – but imp-breed friendship is a very different concept from the human-breed idea of it, so I’d never experienced someone putting themselves on the line for me – and I would never have expected a kid like him – older, popular and tough – to do that for a kid like me – at the time I was struggling so much with my condition I could barely put two intelligible words together, but he saw through that –  he always has – and he gave me the chance I desperately needed.

Favorite snack?

This is a tough one. Not so long ago I would have probably said a strawberry ice-cream milkshake with ketchup, but since all the food shortages because of the war, anything that isn’t tinned, mouldy, rotting or blood-spattered seems like party food. Nothing induces appreciation like going without. But generally if it’s food, it tastes better with ketchup or sauce… that’s my life motto…

Your otter, Nelly’s, favorite snack?

Frizzy Fins Fish Bits – Frizzy Fins is a brand here – she’ll also have a bite of whatever I’m having at the time… Yes, I’m one of those people.

Number one thing on your bucket list!

Fall in love and get married…. Hopefully… one day. How about you? Is there a potential Mrs Farrugia currently in your sights?

Oh, um, I hadn’t thought – what sort of breeds do you know? I mean, ahem, so what do you like to read?

Everything. Absolutely everything. While I was still at school I got a job working for a friend of my grandparents, stacking shelves in his antique bookstore, and he fired me after two days because all I did was stand around and read – I couldn’t help it – I was completely fascinated with all the old manuscripts. Currently I have a collection of rare written word, but mainly I do my reading via holo-screen, and I have literally millions of books.

Something my gran’pa taught me was to read outside my interest zone. He’d take me to the Feld, the big main library here which, I think in your language would be like a virtual space – or something like that – where the books were still on display but only in holo-form. It was set up so that the experience of ‘going somewhere’ to hire or buy books still existed for those people, mainly of the older generations, who were attached to the ritual of it. So we’d go there and he’d tell me to choose five books that interested me and then five books that seemed the least interesting and to get all ten and read them – and it really gave me a wide appreciation of all kinds of writing and subjects that I may not have formed on my own – he was a smart man. I miss him.

How was your upbringing different to your fellow team members?

Well for starters I think I was the only one of us that wasn’t subjected to some kind of abuse or neglect… I know I complain a lot about my childhood, but even though my parents didn’t want me, my grandparents did and my life was paradise compared to what happened to the others. Copernicus’ childhood was a nightmare beyond words; Diega’s sister was murdered and afterwards her parents pretty much abandoned her; Jude, as you know, grew up in the palace but then his uncle tried to have him killed when he was thirteen and Silho was out in the desert with a drug-addled ex-soldier, hunted constantly by violent scullion tribes and desert mutants… So all in all we’re a bit of a messed up bunch, but in truth, this job does attract a certain type of person and more importantly, can only be done by a certain type of person – and that’s someone who isn’t a stranger to horrible things, a person who is a survivor and, to a certain extent, fearless – obviously that doesn’t describe me but, up until recently, I was the least hands-on team member when it came to the actual crime scenes…

What do you think of the mysterious Ev’r? Do you think she can be trusted?

Most would say no, but after everything we went through together, I would definitely say yes – I’d trust her with my life…

How about the team’s newest member, Silho? Has she proven herself and do you think she’s a good fit for the Trackers?

I’d have to give a definite and resounding yes there – Silho is just… amazing… singular… none of us would be alive if it wasn’t for her, but as far as her fitting into the Trackers – well – to be honest the landscape of the team is changing. I can’t say too much at this stage, with everything still being classified, but yes…. In some ways it’s been a very difficult time.

Copernicus seems to have a soft spot for Silho. What’s going on between them?

🙂 Good question – I’m actually not sure how much I’m allowed to say about their personal lives, but something is definitely happening… I should probably leave it at that… let’s just say I’ve learnt to knock before barging into any closed rooms. I’ve discovered I have a particularly unfortunate knack for intruding into people’s private moments.

You’re a very observant fellow. Tell me your favourite thing about each member of the Trackers.

Another tough one. There’s so much good about each of them… but if I had to pick one thing each – for Copernicus it would be his strength of mind and determination – if I ever need advice he’s the first one I always go to. For Diega, it’s her sense of humour – she doesn’t let me get too serious about myself or anything else – she keeps me laughing. For Jude – his heart – his compassion, and Silho – she’s the least likely to judge anyone – I always feel like I can be completely myself around her… Do you know what I mean?

It’s great when you can truly be yourself around someone. Now, I read about the adventure you had last year with the demon invasion and the rival gangs. Was there a point during this ordeal where you thought you weren’t going to make it? And what got you through?

Yes pretty much every step of the way I was thinking we weren’t going to make it – but I guess what really got me through was the thought that the others were depending on me and also that Ev’r needed me, and having her beside me kept me strong. I don’t think I would have survived without her.

I look forward to reading about your new adventure with the Commander and his team. Without giving anything away, how did this compare to the previous adventure? Did you have to do anything really scary this time?

Scary is one way to describe it – terrifying and horrifying probably work as well… It’s been – yes… it’s been a year-cycle that I won’t ever forget – even with therapy – and it’s definitely not over…

 

 

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You can catch up with Eli Anklebiter’s latest adventures in The Forgotten City: The Demon War Chronicles 2 and The Last City: The Demon War Chronicles 1

 

 

 

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Rockstar Interview

Posted July 15, 2013 by Anne

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The lovely ladies over at Book Chick City interviewed Kylie Scott last week. Read our excerpt below and then head over to their site to check out the Lick giveaway – you have three more days to enter!

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Lick and the Flesh series are from very different genres. How did you find slipping from a post apocalyptic zombie infested world, to the sometimes hedonistic rock and roll lifestyle?

It was a bit strange not having gun fights and zombie slaying pushing the story forward. But I loved doing something different. Lick is more emotional and character driven. The Flesh series is my version of an action flick with sex scenes and a loved up Happy Ever After.

Which character in Lick was the most fun to write and why?

Mal, the drummer in the band, was the most fun. He’s got a great sense of humour and doesn’t mind taking it over the top sometimes.

Was there any character or plotline that seemed to spring up from nowhere when you were writing Lick?

Yes, the heroine’s best friend wound up getting involved in her own romance. I won’t say with whom. But it wasn’t something I planned. She’s one sneaky babe.

You’ve said on your website that Lick is the first in a NA contemporary romance series? What can you tell us about the next book?

I’m planning four books in all and am hopeful to have book 2 out early to mid next year. It would be Mal’s book. He needs love to give him a good slap upside the head.

Back to the Flesh series, is this series complete or will we see more books?

Definitely more to come. In fact I’ll be starting work on book 3 in that series, Bone, shortly.

Is there anything about Flesh, Skin or Room with a View (a novella set in the same world) you would write differently?

I tend to think if you’re not learning something from each book, trying to improve your writing, then you’re not doing it right. So yes, there are things I would change. But I’m happy to learn my lessons (hopefully) and move onwards and upwards (hopefully).

Which character/couple was the most fun to write about out of the three books from the Flesh series?

I still love Nick and Roslyn from Skin best. They had it tough. I put them in a bad situation and then watched them squirm. Nick was my first attempt at an anti-hero and poor Roslyn got chained to the bed. They had issues, those two.

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Where do you write? Do you have a schedule? Is there any music you like to listen to?

I generally write during the day. Keeping off the internet is the hard bit. There’s nothing like a deadline to make you focus. I make up a playlist for each book. It’s usually a list of rock and pop. Sia, Kings of Leon and Ed Sheeran are favourites at the moment.

What five things would be on your rider, if you were a rock and roll star?

You mean my list of extravagant demands? One half-naked heavily tatted male model to act as my love slave. Ciroc vodka. Die Hard on replay on a big-screen TV. Crystal bowls full of white jelly beans and salted caramel macaroons. Red peonies. How’s that? (Gemma really likes the idea of a half naked tatted male model love slave, and the vodka! )

Which band/popstar was your teenage crush?

Oh, I had a lot of them. I was all about watching the music videos on MTV back then. For a long time, I loved Robert Smith from The Cure. He was so dreamy and melancholy. About fifteen years ago I got to see them play Wembley. That was great.

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This interview originally appeared at Book Chick City. Head over to enter their Lick competition. 

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One week ’til Lick: NSFW Edition

Posted June 24, 2013 by Anne

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With exactly one week to wait until the release of Lick, the first instalment in Kylie Scott‘s Stage Dive series, it’s time for another sneak peek. This one is a little bit NSFW, so be warned.

Evelyn Thomas’s plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure as hell never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hang-over to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man beside her, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened. 

I felt all lit up inside. Like a potent mix of hormones was racing through me at light speed. His other hand curled around the back of my neck, bringing my mouth to his. Kissing David threw kerosene on the mix within me. He slid his tongue into my mouth to stroke against my own, before teasing over my teeth and lips. I’d never felt anything so fine. Fingers caressed my breast, doing wonderful things and making me gasp. God, the heat of his bare skin. I shuffled forward, seeking more, needing it. His hand left my breast to splay across my back, pressing me against him. He was hard. I could feel him through both layers of denim. The pressure that provided between my legs was heavenly. Amazing.

“That’s it,” he murmured as I rocked against him, seeking more.

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The Up All Night book blog has an excellent interview with Kylie up today, as well as a review (and some visual inspiration that is very much appreciated, above). Here’s an excerpt from the interview;

Up All Night: We loved David and Evelyn’s story! Can you share any details on what’s next for the Stage Dive band? And whose story are you most excited to tell?

Kylie: Everyone loves Mal! The reaction to him has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s brilliant to see. You know, I had plans to do Jimmy next because he really needs a good smack upside the head from love. But people are so into Mal. I haven’t decided yet.

Up All Night: Well, we vote for Mal!

So, you have several others books in publication. Can you tell us a bit about them? How are they different or similar to Lick?

Kylie: The Flesh series, Flesh and Skin, is an erotic romance set Post-Zombie Apocalypse. Flesh is a bit darker than Lick. It’s been described as The Walking Dead with much more sexy times and romance. I really wanted to do a book about survivors. And after the downfall of society, all bets are off. The setting lends itself to some extreme situations which makes for a hell of a lot of fun. Colonist’s Wife is another erotic romance. This one is a novella size sci-fi tale of a mail order bride sent to a gritty mining colony on one of the moons orbiting Jupiter.

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To read more of the interview, and for the reviews of Lick head over to the Up All Night blog. For more about Lick, or to pre-order your copy, the book page is here.

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Ben Pobjie talks blokes

Posted December 5, 2012 by Mark

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Ben Pobjie was interviewed on the ABC Adelaide Drive show about his new book, The Book of Bloke. Click below to hear the full interview, it’s ten minuted of Ben Pobjie gold as he discusses bogans, snags, tunesters, and chats to some Adelaide citizens about their takes on what it means to be a bloke in 2012.

Book of Bloke – Ben Pobjie Interview

The Book of Bloke is available for a limited time at the special price of $2.99. Click here to purchase

 

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Nina D’Aleo interviews Nathan M. Farrugia

Posted August 2, 2012 by Nina D'Aleo

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It’s now my turn to interview my fellow Momentum writer, Nathan M Farrugia.

Hello Nathan! Your debut novel The Chimera Vector has seen phenomenal success, topping the charts and gaining an army of fans. How do you feel after ten drafts and years of work to see this??

Wait, I did what?

It’s taken a while for things to sink in and for me to actually say, ‘Hey, I done wrote a published book.’ There’s a brief moment where you pat yourself on the back and stare blankly at all those years writing—and learning—along the way. And then you remember to keep writing and worry about the charts and cocaine later.

 

What is your favourite part of The Chimera Vector – and why?

The ending. I can’t say too much without turning this into a plot spoiler, but I can say that I wrote three different endings and the third one gave me an author-boner.

I’d also like to see a Jay mix-tape of all the inappropriate things he says throughout the book. He is my spirit animal.

 

Have you always wanted to be a writer or is it something that you were inspired to do along the way?

I always was writing, just because. I think everyone who is driven to a particular thing, whether they’re a painter or a long distance runner, will always be painting or running from a young age. It’s just in their makeup. Not the cosmetic kind, I save that for special occasions.

I was a bit all over the place, to be honest. When I was young, I wanted to draw comic books, then I wanted to make video games. After that, I wanted to make movies. Somewhere along the line I realised I wouldn’t have $10-40 million to do that, and that’s the fantastic thing about being a writer. You can create worlds without needing an army of monkeys or humans or a lottery win. All you need is a pen or keyboard, your imagination and bacon.

Movies take years to make, especially with all the time spent on script acquisition, financial backing and the various other hoops in pre-production. Whereas an author can have an idea, write a book and have it digitally published inside of six months. Like a boss.

 

You are currently writing book 2, The Seraphim Sequence. How is it going? Are you feeling more pressure following the success of The Chimera Vector? Are you feeling more pressure following this question?

*runs away*

I wrote the plot in Scrivener a while ago and it’s been itching to get written ever since. I finally started last month and I’m halfway through. The pressure was on when I started, but now I’m in the groove. Which is also the only groove I’ll ever know. Unless you count poorly executed karaoke.

I’m currently writing the bit where Jay rides a trail bike through a shopping mall and shoots down a helicopter. Because why not?

 

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?

This is a tricky one. Everyone says write what you enjoy writing, which is sound advice. But what’s fun to write and what’s fun to read can sometimes be two very different things.

I’ve found that it’s better to write what is fun, exciting or interesting to imagine, to experience and to read. This may not be as fun to write as your other less demanding chapters. You might prefer to write something easier—read boring. The “amazing” chapter you want to write, however, could be challenging and headache-inducing. It might slap you around a bit. But that’s OK because you’re into that sort of thing. Stick with it and once you’re finished, you have something people—including yourself—will love to read.

 

The Chimera Vector has an array of international settings – what is your favourite place in the world and why?

I actually have two favourite places, and they’re pretty much opposites.

Sagada, Philippines. What it lacks in crystal blue waters of the surrounding islands, it makes up for in tranquillity. Nestled deep in the mountains, Sagada has breathtaking views and crisp mountain air. It also has coffee and food that puts Melbourne to shame. I could easily spend a year there, convince myself I’m actually living in Skyrim, and disconnect from everything to write. But I need my Twitterz fix, so no.

The other place would be the abandoned subway tunnels in New York. Exploring these illegal environs, you’re pretty much walking the pulsing arteries of Manhattan. And when the tunnels run deeper and it’s just you and your torch, it doesn’t take much imagination to think you’ve just survived a zombie apocalypse.

 

You’re a man who is known to eat foods others might not – what is the worst food you’ve eaten?

Ha. I’m glad to be known for this, not really. The worst I’ve eaten was balut. Balut is a fertilised duck embryo that is boiled in its shell. You eat it like a hard boiled egg. With plenty of salt because crazy. I ate one during my stay on Boracay Island in the Philippines. If you’re feeling brave, you can see the Wikipedia entry here.

 

To give your fans a bit more Nathan insight – What is your most embarrassing moment to date?

My Twitter feed is basically a long list of embarrassments, but if I had to pick one:

A few years ago I burst into my housemate’s bedroom while he was working at his computer. Having just emerged from the shower, I was just wearing my underwear. I leapt onto his bed and gave my best Wolverine impersonation, complete with crazy Wolverine hair, facial hair and angry teeth. Then I demanded he tell me who I was. At this point I realised he was in the middle of a webcam conference call with multiple work colleagues and the camera was pointed in my direction.

 

And now for the most annoying interview question ever (sorry had to do it) – Describe yourself in three words…

Ron Swanson bacon.

 

Nathan M. Farrugia is the bestselling author of The Chimera Vector

The Last City by Nina D’Aleo is available now. Purchase a copy here


 

 

 

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Nathan M. Farrugia interviews Nina D’Aleo

Posted July 31, 2012 by Nathan M Farrugia

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Hi Nina. I’m Nathan, I live next to you on Momentum’s author page. So … do you come here often?

Hello neighbour! It’s my first time here and the view is awesome!

 

I’m reading this very addictive book called The Last City by Nina D’Aleo, perhaps you’ve heard of it?

🙂 (transferring funds now…)

 

One thing I always love to know about authors is why they write. I mean, other than for the generous amount of gold bars writers receive as payment, with which we use to build our beach houses. And utilise as improvised weapons for the forthcoming zombie apocalypse. Human extinction aside, why do you write?

Yes I’ve always been interested in how writers answer this question too…

For me – I write because I absolutely love it – just can’t stop!

 

Are there writers, musicians, directors etc who inspire you?

So so many that thinking about narrowing them down gives me an instant and simultaneous asthma attack and nose bleed…

 

The world inside The Last City is rich and disarmingly vivid. Give us mere mortals one gem of advice on authentic world-building.

Many thanks for your kind words. It’s incredibly humbling…

Probably my best advice is to refer to the best advice of others – I’d definitely recommend having a look at Patricia C. Wrede’s Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions (http://www.sfwa.org/tag/patricia-c-wrede/).

 

Your characters have a wide array of brilliant abilities and distinct skills. From Jude’s super strong cybernetic limbs to Copernicus’s mind reading, or Silho’s precognitive talent and Ev’r Keet’s mysterious abilities. If you could have one ability from The Last City, what would you choose?

Oooo… hard question…man I don’t know… It’s a question that’s started many arguments amongst my family (that’s how cool we are). I think if I could only have one from the book, then maybe I’d choose the simpler, but super cool ability to fly.

 

WE WANT MOAR ADVICE. I noticed while stalking your bio that you have a degree in psychology. Give us one hot tip on how to bring a character’s personality to life.

Something that has helped me while creating characters was to do an in-depth character profile for each character. Sometimes I imagine sitting across a desk from them and asking them the questions… I guess every writer has their own processes, some more crazy than others!

 

Why Momentum? What is it about this digital imprint that appeals to you? Aside from the gin / Star Trek infused tweets and the close proximity to Korean karaoke

I was extremely fortunate to have my book picked up by Momentum (through my wonderful agent) and am so excited to be one of their writers. I love the idea of digital publishing and all its creative possibilities.

 

Show us a picture of your secret bat-cave / writer’s lair.

I could show you a real picture, but then I’d have to cry from embarrassment because it’s so messy.

 

Also, I think I speak for everyone when I say I would like to see a photo of your two cats, Mr Foofy and Gypsy.

🙂

 

 

What are you working on next? Is it the next book in The Last City series or is this top secret information guarded closely by Mr Foofy? I have the security clearance, Mr Foofy, I swear. Please … no, I was just … argh!

MR FOOFY ASSAULT MODE.

ENGAGE.

Heh heh!

I’ve got a few stories in the mix – definitely the next book in The Last City series and several other ideas – that’s all Mr Foofy will allow me to say at this stage 🙂

 

The Last City by Nina D’Aleo is available worldwide on August 1. Purchase a copy here

Nathan M. Farrugia is the bestselling author of The Chimera Vector

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