Author Interview with Megan Tennant and upcoming Book Release

 

 

 

The Official Aletheia Book Trailer!

 

 

 

 

 

AVAILABLE SEPT. 7, 2017

 

 

Aletheia

 

 

Book Blurb

 

The first book in The Seventh River series, Aletheia, takes the young adult dystopian genre to new, and often dark, places. While coming highly recommended to fans of the Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Divergent, readers will find a gut-wrenching, original plot that dares to stand apart from what is expected of the genre. Brilliant and brutal, Aletheia is praised for tearing deep emotions from even the toughest reader. Whether you enjoy post-apocalyptic, dystopian, or general science fiction, reviewers agree, Aletheia is a must read.

Nearly two decades after the fall, the transcendent city of Iris is the only place rumored to have a cure to the disease that decimated the world. Beyond Iris, are the remnants of the old world, crawling with the Depraved. Infected with Lethe, they no longer remember the people or dreams they were once willing to fight for, and are left instead with familiar voices that whisper dark and unfamiliar words within their minds. Instinct is all that keeps the diseased struggling to exist another day.

Deep underground, below Iris, exists a compound, prison to the Nameless who traded their freedom for the cure to Lethe. It is here that 736 fights to protect those she loves. Not against the Depraved that she’s taught to fear, but against the society that saved her from that fate. She was willing to trade away her rights to regain the ability to form memories, but she won’t let the cult that cured her treat the lives of the Nameless like a resource to be used and discarded. At least, not without a fight.

How much is 736 willing to sacrifice for revenge against her captors? For those she cares about? For freedom? Everything has a cost, what would you be willing to pay?

 

Amazon | Goodreads 

 

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

 

 

interview-1018332_960_720


*Where are you originally from?

I’m originally from Angels Camp, California. A cute little town near Big Trees State Park.


*What’s it like living in Silicon Valley?

Expensive! But other than that, fairly nice. Silicon Valley is very diverse and full of science and art. It’s my kind of place, though cost of living could definitely improve.



*Is anyone else in your family a writer?

My mother has written some published children’s poems and stories, and my father is an aspiring science fiction writer. My brother is a great graphic artist who also dabbles in shadow boxes, but never caught the writing bug.

 

*Did you really spend half your life exploring wild jungles in Costa Rica? Have pictures?

I did, and it was incredible. From the age of roughly 8 to near 16 I lived on the Nicoya Peninsula, surrounded by jungles, beaches, and waterfalls. It was an amazing experience and has fueled many of the more fundamental aspects of my writing. And I do have pictures, which is a good thing, because I might not believe all of my stories if I didn’t have proof.

Costa Rica 3

 

 

Costa Rica 1

 

 

Cost Rica 2

 

 

 

*Why did you choose to be an indie author?

I chose to be an indie author from the very start, before even querying a publisher. For me, the choice was easy and ultimately came down to control. I knew what I wanted my novels to be, and I didn’t want them being twisted to fit into the market norms. A lot of beautiful things are lost from art when parts are carved away so it can fit in a more ‘market friendly’ box. I don’t recommend this route for everyone. But for those who can afford it, and want a high degree of control over their work, it’s definitely something to look into. My partner and I actually started a company (Cloud Kitten Publishing) to publish Aletheia, and we hope to one day soon offer services that mesh the experience and support of traditional publishing with the creative freedom of self-publishing.

 

*How do you personally define dystopian, or Post-apocalyptic fiction?

I believe there are many different ways to define a genre, but personally, what I take most out of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction is the way humans handle disaster and immense societal shifts. In both of these genres, we commonly see a society that was once our own but has been forced through a rapid set of changes whether due to disaster, war, disease, power shifts, or a combination. We see societies torn apart, and sometimes rebuilt. In these settings, characters are pushed to their limits and forced into gray areas that test them on levels we don’t often experience ourselves.

 

*Why did you decide to write this genre?

I decided to write my first series in the dystopian genre in part because the idea I had for Aletheia was dystopian by nature, but also, because I’m passionate about the genre. I love to see stories where humans are pushed out of their comfort zone and forced to face and overcome their fears. I love stories where characters are very real and have a gray range to their personality. The dystopian genre contains many of these stories. I also believe that it’s very important to write what you love. If a writer is truly passionate about a story, it will show and make for a better read. Also, writing a novel takes a very long time, so I reserve that level of dedication for genres I’m passionate about. In future projects, I’ll be exploring alien science fiction and fantasy, since those are genres I’m passionate about. But I don’t expect to stray much beyond the three. And you will never find a contemporary novel written by me.

*What is Aletheia about?

In Aletheia, the world has been ravaged by a disease that causes a range of psychotic behavior, but most notably, interrupts the reconsolidation of memories. The latter means that when infected people remember things, the memories aren’t restored, and are thus partially or fully lost. The nature of this disease leads people to try to avoid thinking about the things most important to them, but there’s a catch.

Don’t think about the white bear.

You thought of the white bear, didn’t you? The memories people most try to avoid recalling are the first they lose, leading to a rapid breakdown of their mental well being.This is only further fueled by the voices in their heads, the deep set paranoia, and the very real fact that society has crumbled around them and they can’t trust anyone.

Aletheia starts roughly two decades after the fall of society. The protagonist was infected with the disease as a child, and in exchange for the cure, she traded her freedom to the Prophet, who is the main antagonist. She, along with thousands of other Nameless, are now imprisoned underground, working for the Prophet and the elite city of Iris, paying a debt that can never be repaid. 736 lives like this for a decade, until the game changes and the risks of staying in the compound, outweigh the risks of escape. But plans are underway, and 736 soon meets someone on the outside who promises a chance of freedom, not just for her, but for all of the Nameless. But freedom will come with a great deal of costs, not just for 736, but for those she loves.

Aletheia is all about a very gray and realistic portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world, the costs of survival, and the choices we make when trapped. In Aletheia, you’ll find a diverse cast in terms of ethnicity, sexuality, disabilities, motives, and more. Characters clash and plans Interweave, leaving a thread of difficult decisions that cost lives. In a world where no one can really be trusted, but alliances are the only way to win, Aletheia delves into the nature of sacrifice and victory.


 

 

*Is there a central character or protagonist?

Aletheia is written in first person present tense from the point of view of 736. Our protagonist, 736, is a strong female lead with a murky past. Having contracted the disease as a child, she has no real memory of her time before being infected. Living in the underground compound, and doing the Prophet’s bidding has left 736 stronger in some ways, but weaker in others. 736 struggles with PTSD, guilt, and anger, but she also has a lot of love for those she trusts.

 

*Can you tell us a little about the setting of Aletheia?

Aletheia is set in the crumbling remnants of a city built around science, art, and nature. The compound where 736 spends much of her time is deep underground and made of cold concrete. High above, the land is split between the magnificent, wall encased, city of Iris, and the nature strewn ruins beyond. Aletheia is set in the future, so you will see some slight technological advancements, but after two decades without society, most of the environment is in a state of partial ruin.

 

 

*When is the next book of the series due?

You can expect to see Aletheia’s sequel (The Seventh River #2) out sometime in 2018.

CONNECT WITH MEGAN TENNANT!

 

 

Megan Tennant Author

Main siteAletheia site

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Youtube

 

 

 

 

Thanks Megan!!

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

Breaking Six Figures as an Author – What does it take?

It’s Television Tuesday!

 

 

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Breaking Six Figures as an Author – What does it take?

 

 

 

What did you take away from this? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

 

Jerry B Jenkins & Joanna Penn talk writing Christian Fiction

ITS TELEVISION TUESDAY!

 

 

TV in cartoon style with bright color

 

 

 

 

Writing Christian Fiction And Success Over A Long Career With Jerry B Jenkins

 

 

 

 

Are you a fan of Jerry B Jenkins? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

Self-Publishing Podcast: Getting Paid for your Passion

SMILE IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY!!

 

 

 

tv APPLE

 

 

SPF podcast 75: Getting Paid for your Passion

 

 

 

 

What’s your story? Are you getting paid for your passion? Tell me in the comments!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

Mobile, Multimedia And An Audience Of Voracious Readers. Talking Wattpad With Ashleigh Gardner

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY!!

 

 

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Mobile, Multimedia And An Audience Of Voracious Readers. Talking Wattpad With Ashleigh Gardner

 

 

 

 

What do you think of Wattpad? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Exclusive Interview with Author Alexandria Szeman

 

Exclusive Concept.

 

 

 

Somebody get out the red carpet!

 

 

 

Red Carpet Festival Glamour Scene

 

 

 

Welcome Alexandria!

 

 

Alexandria Constantinova Szeman, Ph.D. is the auuthor of several critically acclaimed and award-winning books, including THE NEW YORK TIME BOOK REVIEW’s “Best Book” and Kafka Award Winner “for the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman,” THE KOMMANDANT’S MISTRESS. Her true crime memoir, M IS FOR MUNCHERS: THE SERIAL KILLERS NEXT DOOR, about surviving a serial killer, heals and empowers abuse victims.

Other award-winning books include LOVE IN THE TIME OF DINOSAURS, WHERE LIGHTNING STRIKES, NAKED WITH GLASSES, MASTERING POINT OF VIEW, LOVE IS A MANY ZOMBIED THING, MASTERING FICTION & POINT OF VIEW, among others.

 

Hmmm….Let us begin shall we?

 

 

How did you come to love literature and writing?
I’ve always loved books, ever since I can remember. When I was 6, I decided I wanted to be a writer. I fell in love with T.S. Eliot’s poems, then with Chaucer’s work (when I was 8), and with Shakespeare’s plays (age 12).  I just never thought of doing anything other than being a writer.

Wow, you had excellent taste at an early age!

 

 
What exactly is world literature?
When I was in college, most Literature majors studied only American and British literatures, unless they took advanced foreign language classes where they read the classics in their original tongue. When I was working on my PhD, it was in a department that called itself “English and Comparative Literatures.” We were encouraged to study the classics of the entire world, in addition to those in the American and British Lit canons. I really loved that approach, and when I taught University, I taught the World Literature class. I tried to include novels, stories, and poems from many different countries, by men and women, to make the students become more literate.

That approach is amazing. Sounds like it really broadens the literary mindset. Wish I had a course like that in college.

 

 

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What did you like most about teaching?
My students. They kept me young. With all their popular culture references, slang, clothing, hairstyles, music, and jokes, they forced me to be “hip.”

Love it. The teachers who care about their students are the best. 

 

 

Teacher

 

 

 
In your years of teaching what are some common problems that plague writers?
The most common problem new creative writers have is a lack of Urgency: what keeps the readers turning pages. They learn it quickly, though, even if it’s only urgency in plot. After that, the biggest problem for writers is not reading enough literature that is classic, non contemporary, or outside their preferred genre. That lack of reading shows up in their writing as poor or unimaginative plotting, weak character development, and stilted dialogue.

Oh, I love this. Food for thought for us newbies. 

 

 
How did you begin writing poetry?
I can’t even remember not writing poetry, though I’m sure my juvenile poetry was just atrocious. As I got older, I read more modern and contemporary poetry, like the work of T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Theodore Roethke, Walt Whitman, W.S. Merwin, Sharon Olds, etc. and my own work improved.

Wonderful, keep writing!

 

 

 

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” –Robert Frost

 

 
What is poetry to you?  
Poetry is like a photograph of a moment in a character’s life.
The characters could be completely imaginary ones, like those who came from unsuccessful short story attempts: Eddie Madison in the poem “Eddie Madison and the Theory of Evolution” or Auggie Vernon in “Auggie Vernon and the Eclipse.” The characters could be mythological, like Ulysses’ wife Penelope who relates her feelings after her husband returns to her after 20 years of wandering; or the characters could be biblical, like Cain, who rages against God’s injustice.
The most frequent character in my non-Holocaust poetry is the woman-poet persona, who is either the second or third wife, with children from her husband’s previous marriages: she feels isolated, alone, and unloved, despite now being part of a large family.
No matter who the characters in my poems, the poem is like a photo of their lives, frozen for a moment, but telling a definite story about them.
My short stories are like little videos, so they have more plot than my poems. My novels are like feature films or mini-series, so they have more complex plot, usually multiple perspectives, and often multiple Points of View.

I love seeing the answer to this question. Poetry is particular to each individual. 

 

 
If you had to write a poem to your younger self, what would you write?
I have to admit that I would never have thought of writing a poem to my younger self, even if that “younger self” was only a persona who appeared in my early poems. It took me over a year to write “While the Music Lasts”, if only because I hadn’t written anything in the Voice of the woman-poet persona in almost a decade.
I had a tremendously difficult time “hearing” that Voice again. After months of very bad drafts, I finally treated the poem and that Voice as I treat a novel which I’ve been away from for a while: I began re-reading Portrait of the Poet as a Woman, Part 2 of my book Love in the Time of
Dinosaurs, where that persona appears. I read that section over and over and over, trying to reach that Voice again. Eventually, that Voice came back, but then it took me another few months to get the poem itself right. The title was easy once I found the epigraph: it took me at least a month to find the epigraph (from a T.S. Eliot poem) that felt as if it fit the poem.
Here’s the poem to my younger self, “While the Music Lasts.”

 

 

 

While the Music Lasts

 

For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment… or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.

T.S. Eliot
Four Quartets: Dry Salvages
5: 598-604

 

to my younger self

 

Each night, standing in the hallway at the open
door of the bedroom, I see you lying in the
fading light, his arms around you, your head on his

chest, his lips against your hair, and I want to tell
you how he takes your words – wrapped in ribbons of poems –
and gives them away to others. I want to tell

you how his own words change depending on whether
his sons’ crying woke him in the night, on whether
his first wife called again to complain that you have

moved into her house, on the color of some strange
woman’s eyes in the village market when she looks
up at the sound of his deep, burring voice. Standing

there each night in the hallway, I want to tell you
that one day, when his children are grown, they will seek
you out because you gave them seeds to plant in their

own corner of the garden, because you chased them
through piles of brittle autumn leaves, because they told
you they hated you more than they hated the sound

of their mother’s weeping. And they will offer you
their own children. Because you helped them build a fort,
so very long ago, in the cold and bitter

snow. Standing there each night, watching you sleep, I want
to tell you that he will do worse than meeting your
best friend three afternoons a week at motels while

you make dinner for him and his sons. One day, he
will toss out your heart with the coffee grounds, wrapped in
yesterday’s newspaper. Standing there in the dark,

leaning over you in the deep dark night, I start
to tell you, to whisper you all these things, but the
chill of the night air, the chime of the clock in the

downstairs hall, the look on our face when you open
your eyes to gaze at him lying there beside you,
and once again my tongue stumbles and goes still. The

unbearable weight of your happiness steals all
my words and buries them deep underground in some
faraway place, some place not marked on any map

but the map of our own heart, some faraway place
where you will have to find these words and dig them up
yourself, one day, many years from now, on your own.

Alexandria Constantinova Szeman

 © Copyright 2017

 

 

“Poetry is like a photograph of a moment in a character’s life.”–Alexandria Szeman

 

 

 

 

100 percent quality

 

 

 
If your life were a metaphor, how would you describe it?
I survived the fire.

Love your spirit of survival here. Actually, you’ve done much more than that dear friend.  I wrote a poem. 

 

 

Life after the Flame

 

the fire consumed

but I survived its wake

for the ruin of flame

was powerless to take

my withering soul

laid bare

 

Nor ashes to ashes 

or dust to dust

could bury my will 

to live I must 

ascend within

the embers of the flame

 

the fire consumed

yet could not earn

the precious ether of life 

in turn but rather proved 

that hope can never burn

 

-Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

You not only survived. You lived, and you exceeded.

 

 

 

Hope. Inspirational quote typed on an old typewriter.

 

 

 
If you had to give a quote to the world, what would you say?

If you can imagine it, it can happen.

I love this one! According to Einstein, imagination is the true intelligence. 

 

If you had to give a quote to the next generation of young writers, what would you say?
Read everything you can, learn your craft well, and never, ever give up on yourself.

Amen to that! Love it.

 
What’s the best part of being creative?
As soon as most people hear that I’m a writer, they think I’m weird, and that keeps them guessing.

I got a kick out of this one 🙂

 

 

Thanks Alexandria!

 

 

Links

Blog & Website
The Alexandria Papers
Poetry
Love in the Time of Dinosaurs

 

Love in the Time of Dinosaurs (cover)

 

 
Where Lightning Strikes: Poems on The Holocaust

Where Lightning Strikes Poems on the Holocaust (cover)

 

 

 

Connect with Alexandria!

Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

ACS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for ridin’ the train folks. Don’t be a stranger!

 

 

 

black train

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

Real Artists Don’t Starve. Creativity And Money With Jeff Goins

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY!!

 

 

TV in cartoon style with bright color

 

 

 

 

Real Artists Don’t Starve. Creativity And Money With Jeff Goins

 

 

 

 

Writing a book? Don’t miss out on Jeff Goins!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

Official Aletheia Book Trailer by Author Megan Tennant

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS!!

 

 

movie-1673022_960_720

 

 

 

Official Aletheia Book Trailer!

 

 

 

 

Awesome trailer! What do you think? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

Determining the Genre of your Book

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS!

 

 

TV cartoon image

 

 

 

 

Determining the Genre of your Book

 

 

 

 

What genre are you writing? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

How to Write Faster and More Consistently

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY

 

 

 

 

Television Tuesday pic A

 

 

 

 

 

How to Write Faster and More Consistently

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have tips for writing faster and more consistently? Tell us in the comments!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com