Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Author Interview : Apocalypse Rising by Eric Swett
Little Blurb about yourself:
I am the husband of Tracy and the father of Zachary and Connor (with a third one on the way). I work in the IT industry and I am a recent transplant to North Carolina. I lovesall things science fiction and fantasy and openly claims the title of geek.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I suppose if I had to pick one thing it would be Dungeons and Dragons. I started playing in third grade and I loved the storytelling aspects of the game. I didn't start writing fiction really until after high school. I would get bored with some of my classes and just start writing little short stories. I didn't try my hand at novels until I took a class on it. From there it was sort of a casual flirtation with being a writer until I lost my job and had a bit more time to spend working on it. That is when becoming a writer really turned into something I wanted to become
2. How long did it take you to write Apocalypse Rising?
It took a little more than a year. I actually started writing it as an exercise where I wrote 100 words per day, every day. When I hit the one year mark I decided that I really liked the story and cranked up the pace until it was finished.
3. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?
I do it only a few times really. Apocalypse Rising was revised only a couple times, but another work in progress I have is in the process of its fourth major plot revision.
4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?
Nowadays I head to the children's section first because I have my kids with me, but when I am looking for my own reading I'll go to the science fiction/fantasy section.
5. How many books in a month do you tend to read?
Normally, three or four. Sometimes more, but a lot of the non-indie books I read tend to be pretty mammoth in size.
6. In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?
Yossarian, from Joseph Heller's Catch-22. What could be better than a man trying to make sense out of a world that has lost its mind? I love the way the character's mind works and how he copes with the madness around him. He is one of the most tragic heroes I have ever read.
7. State 5 random facts about yourself.
1. I would gladly give up television. 2. I drive like an old person now, but my wife would disagree. 3. I have never left the country. 4. My favorite comic book character is Spider-Man. 5. My favorite beverage is chocolate milk.
8. Your favorite Genre?
Science Fiction, at least for right now.
9. What are you currently reading?
Todd Maternowski's Exmortus 2: Temples Diabolic. It is a gritty, brutal fantasy novel.
10. What is the best book you've read?
Man, that is one tough question. I would say the best I've ever read was Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard. It is huge and I am left physically and emotional exhausted by the time it is done, but I love it.
11. Any new projects coming up?
I am working on the sequel to Apocalypse Rising at the moment. I plan to have it finished so that I can write another book during NaNoWriMo in November.
Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it. And why readers should pick it up?
Apocalypse Rising is the story of a fallen Angel who witnesses a brutal murder. He and his friend, a heroine addicted prostitute, must flee for their lives from the powerful businessman and his otherworldly servants if they are going to survive. Along the way the Angel realizes that he must regain his faith if they are going to have any chance at all.
As for why readers should pick it up, well it is a quick-paced read and at sixty-thousand words it is a great weekend book. There is suspense and betrayal mixed with a heavy dose of action.
“What the hell…”
“Shut up! They’re already here,” I whisper as I clamp my hand over her mouth. “Damn it! I thought we’d have more time.” I look around, hoping to find something that might help out, but sometimes an alley is just an alley and it is filled with nothing but other people’s refuse. I pull my hand from Lilly’s mouth. “Get on my back. We need to get out of here.” I turn around and she climbs on board. ‘Thank God she’s small,’ I think to myself as we jog into the darkness away from my escape plan.
I turn the corner into another alley and hear two gunshots behind us. They are muffled, probably from within my apartment. Whoever had gone to find me had not been to my room before or they would not have shot the full-length mirror that hung on the wall opposite of my door. More than one visitor has been startled by seeing themselves upon entering. It does not surprise me that some thug would squeeze off a couple rounds after breaking down my door. It will not take long to figure out I am not there. They will start asking my neighbors and Charlene will tell them we were on the bus.
I would like to say that I have a backup plan, but my escape plan is my back up plan. I need some time to figure out what to do next. It takes time to stop and I know that they are too close and stopping means dying. My mind races for somewhere to go, someplace that Albert will not think of. I have been a local fixture for too long. Albert knows where to find me and probably knows where to find Lilly too. The only place we can go is nowhere we have been.
Downtown is the only place I can think of where we will not be found right away, but downtown is pretty far for us to walk and we have no other means of getting there. I could steal a car, but I do not want the police involved. Albert owns most of the local cops and most of the downtown ones as well. You do not get to be a big time player like him if you do not have the law on your side. It is times like this when I wish I could call for help.
Lilly’s muffled crying against my shoulder makes up my mind for me. If I am going to save us, I have to go back to my old life. It has been a long time since I left, but some lessons learned long ago become more instinct than memory. I know I am not as good as I once was, but the real question is whether I am good enough for right now. I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but we have to get downtown to stand a chance.
I say a little prayer as I run through the alley and take it as a good sign that my prayers are answered as we leave the alley. Sitting there on the little side street is a taxi with its “available” light lit. It is against all odds, but that is the beautiful thing about prayer. I walk over to the passenger side and knock on the window.
“Jesus!” The cabbie would have jumped out of his chair if not for the seat belt strapped across his lap.
“No, Justin, but I appreciate the compliment. Now can we get a ride?”
“You got money?” he asks.
“No, but wouldn’t you like to do something nice today and take us to downtown?” I am straining, trying to eke out as much goodwill and good fortune as I can.
It has been a long time since I have tried to bring forth the power and I have to throw all of my concentration behind it to get the trickle I am starting to feel.
“Ha! You’re a funny guy you know that? Ha!” The man in the cab pulls out a cigarette and lights up. He looks at me over his thick fingers as he delicately holds the cigarette to his lips. “What’s wrong with the girl?”
“She had a bit too much to drink and I need to get her home.” I keep my eyes locked on his while I feed the flow. I push at his heart and soul, trying to get him to let me in, but I am too weak, too out of practice.
“You two don’t look old enough to be drinking,” he says after taking a long drag. His smoke stained fingers grip the filter tightly. “In fact, you don’t look like you’ve been drinking at all.” He eyes me suspiciously.
“I wasn’t. I was just along for the ride. Before I knew it she was falling all over the place and I thought I had better get her out of there.” Suddenly I can feel it, the crack I am looking for. I push my will into the crack, feeding as much positive energy into it as I can muster.
There is a change in the cab driver. It is almost imperceptible, not much more than a twinkle in the man's eyes, but it is there. “Look kid, I can’t take you all the way downtown, at least not for free, but I can take you about half way okay?”
“Bless you Carl.” I open the door, put Lilly in and climb in beside her.
“All right, let’s get going,” Carl says as he turns the car on and quietly drives off. I feel something pull at my consciousness so I look over my shoulder in time to see three men walk out of the alley. It may be my imagination or the exhaustion from reaching out to Carl, but I see a glint of red through the darkness. It is the light in Carl’s eyes in reverse, only it comes from the men behind us. What have I gotten myself into?
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Haileybug Publishing
Number of pages: 178
Word Count: 58,042
Cover Artist: Jan Marie Parupia
Long ago, an Angel surrendered his memories and his power when he left Heaven behind, so that he could make a difference in the real world. A couple thousand years walking amongst the teaming masses of humanity has left him disillusioned, but he refuses to give up. He spends his time with the forgotten souls of an urban slum, making a difference wherever he can.
When Justin witnesses the brutal murder of a woman at the hands of a ruthless business tycoon, he must run before his eternal life is cut short. Justin must swallow his pride in order to save himself, and the one friend he has left. The journey back to the fold is filled with danger and discovery as he finds himself in a race towards the end of the world.
Book Trailer YouTube
Eric Swett started writing a story at 100 words a day in the spring of 2011 as an exercise while he worked on his novel. One year later and that exercise turned into his first novel, "Apocalypse Rising."
He is the husband of Tracy and the father of Zachary and Connor. He works in the IT industry and is a recent transplant to North Carolina. He loves all things science fiction and fantasy and openly claims the title of geek.
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