Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blood Brothers: Escape to Creeporia by Dean C. Moore Interview & Giveaway

Fraternal twins are separated from birth, and raised to be assassins.  They were never meant to meet.  But even when kept apart, they’re just too powerful.  Their paranormal abilities cease to be an advantage when they can no longer be controlled.  So they are scheduled for cancellation.

Their paths cross before they can be taken out.  It is only then that they discover the true depths of their betrayal.  Not only are they stronger when they’re together, they’re half-breeds, sired by an all-powerful warlock.

The question is, are they strong enough even together to take him on now that he’s coming for them?

They have an ace up their sleeves they are not aware of.  Drawn to the same kind of women, they find themselves married to a pair of sorceresses whose magical abilities are only now surfacing.

But one encounter with dear old dad is all it takes for them to realize, they’re still the underdogs.

From the back of the book:
“The series is called Blood Brothers, but this adventure is really a family affair: the brothers, their partners, children and even their old man in a starring role as the villain.  Think Disney's Incredibles, but in a violent and bizarre fantasy world.”  Rob May, Dragon Killer

“With incredibly detailed world building and action scenes, this story seems like it would make a phenomenal film or TV series.

Moore pulls out all the stops with dragons, telekinesis, shapeshifters and insurmountable odds in this battle of good versus evil - and a villain who just won't lay down and die.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift

“When you read a Dean C. Moore novel, you can expect rich, original characters, witty dialogue and unexpected plot turns.  Blood Brothers doesn't disappoint.”

  1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?
There were several sources of inspiration for Blood Brothers, truth be known.  Among other things, I wanted to explore the dual themes of family estrangement and intense, abiding love, which strangely coexist in the same household.  Is it possible for people to love each other completely, to the point of loss of oneself in another, and yet feel entirely alienated from the other party at the same time?  It’s been my experience that in real life this is closer to the truth than most people would care to admit.  In Blood Brothers this dichotomy is echoed on a number of levels.  There exists the estrangement between the fraternal twins that are raised apart, trained as assassins, and only discover each other later in life, initially with the task of killing one another.  I think we can call that estrangement with a capital E.  Once they get to know one another, the pendulum gradually swings to the other side, but never without entirely erasing that tension of opposite, concurrently held feelings of love and alienation.  Then there is the estrangement between the men and their own wives despite the great affection both sides have for one another.  Always there’s that paradox to resolve of feeling closer than close and yet worlds apart.  I won’t go on listing examples because I think you get the idea.

I also wanted to take a look at what truly constitutes a family.  So throughout the book there is the biological family ensconced within a larger ad hoc family.  Which is more valuable and important to us and our ability to mature and evolve?  To what degree do they need one another for either to be sustained indefinitely? 

Of course, this is me and my writerly concerns.  It’s quite possible to enjoy this story and be oblivious to these underlying themes.  In part because there is plenty else to sink your teeth into.  

  1. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
It just popped into my head without trying.  Not all titles come that easily.  And then I did a search on Amazon and found that there are at least a million books with the title Blood Brothers.  Sigh.  So now you’re better off searching for the book by putting in the subtitle for this particular installment: Escape to Creeporia.  Or do a search by my name.  The smart thing would have been to change the title, perhaps.  But it had gotten under my skin by then, and seemed to convey the closeness of the brothers in the story and the affinity they have for one another.  If after reading the story you feel you have a better title for the series, let me know.  It’s never too late for a redo. J  

  1. Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I’ve always been less concerned about where we are now than where we’re going to be, both individually and as a species in the future, sometimes that’s far into the future, sometimes it’s just a little ways down the road.  When I tackle this question from a paranormal stand point, i.e. growth in psychic abilities like telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, I end up with my paranormal fantasies like Blood Brothers.  When I tackle the issue from the vantage point of how technology will affect us, I end up with my sci-fi novels like Escape From the Future.  And sometimes I split the difference and end up with a tale that’s a hybrid of the two, like The Warlock’s Friend or The Hundred Year Clones and the Renaissance 2.0 series.

I love fantasy and sci-fi as genres because traditionally they’ve granted the writer a lot of room to explore thorny social and ethical issues that might be harder to pull off in traditional drama.  Especially if you’re contemplating a state of affairs that hasn’t happened yet.  I guess if I was trying to make a living in the workaday world, I’d be doing scenario games for corporations, as it’s much the same thing; you’re looking into the future to see what changes are coming down the pike and how they’re going to affect us.  And I don’t mean how they’re going to change our moods; I mean how they’re going to change the entire definition of what it means to be human. 

  1. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
There was a time when writing was a very lonely occupation.  We do still spend a lot of time alone up in our heads.  But thanks to the internet, writing has become far more social.  I rely on fellow writers to help with editing my novels and I in turn do theirs.  By trading services like this we keep the expenses down with getting a book out the door.  And until you’re discovered as an indie-author, that means a lot, as that’s no overnight thing.  But the new renaissance in self-publishing also means building closer relationships with your readers, even crowd-sourcing editing as with my early drafts on wattpad.  Again, these are highly social phenomena that are not only transforming how books get written but bringing writers out of the closet and coaxing traditionally introverted individuals to become a lot more extroverted.  As my own personality includes a bit of both traits, I think I’m weathering the storms of change a little better than some.  I struggle with the social aspect to a degree, but I also welcome it.  We all need our support groups, people to bounce ideas off of, and what better supporters than other writers working in our genres and readers/fans that have elected to become parts of the creative process?

  1. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
For fans of the Castle TV series, there are books that accompany each season.  I’ve read them all.  It’s a guilty indulgence, but I’m usually looking to read something light when I’m done with a lot of my own writing and editing.  The series of novels, moreover, are a close analogue for what to expect with many of my shorter titles like Blood Brothers, The Warlock’s Friend, and Escape From the Future.  The genres might be different, but as with Castle, there’s a healthy mix of humor and drama.

  1. What is your writing process?
I’d say I was a workaholic, but in truth that would be a vacation for me.  In one way or another, I’m always involved with some aspect of the process of cranking out novels.  If I’m not writing, I’m editing.  If I’m not editing my stuff, I’m editing someone else’s so they’ll edit me in return.  Or I’m winding down at the end of the evening to my favorite books, TV series, and movies—all of which point me in the direction of what I want to write next.  Or I’m socializing with friends who remarkably function well as muses.  Maybe I just have them well trained.  Maybe I gravitate to the kinds of characters that invite novels to materialize out of the ether. 

And when I want to get away from it all, I go somewhere far away, get lost in a different culture, different set of people, stop writing altogether.  But arguably that’s just to give me the breathers I need to get back in the ring.  To call this cyclic, repetitive behavior obsessive is probably to be too kind.  To call this addictive behavior is probably too kind.  To say my entire life centers around my writing would be true, but it would miss the more salient point of the Machiavellian means I use to maximize my creative output.  Of course, I did have a normal life once.  Come to think of it, I better get to writing it down before I forget it entirely. 

  1. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 
I have the worst penmanship on earth.  And not wanting to mar someone’s book with it, I practice beforehand to warm up and recondition whatever part of my brain was damaged when I gave up writing for typing a hundred plus words a minute.  Honestly, I have no idea how writers survived the pen and paper days; I certainly would have had to take up another living.  My mind is just a little too racy for that.  So I have to change wavelengths in my brain, get into an altered state entirely in order to write my own name.  To slow down enough to do it.

I try to leave some note with my signature, even if it’s just a brief, “Enjoy the book.” 

  1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I practice Insight Meditation.  It involves clearing the mind and allowing thoughts to drift in to my consciousness without holding on to them, and letting them go once the reason for their appearance becomes clear.  It’s an awesome method for finding sticking points in my life and releasing them.  But it’s an equally powerful tool when applied to getting past road blocks in my writing.  Whenever I’m stuck with what direction to take a story in, this method has never failed me. 

  1. How do you react to a bad review?
I don’t know anyone who reacts well to these things.  But I take a deep breath and think, is there something here of value I can actually apply to the next book and to becoming a better writer?  Or is this just one of those situations where you can’t please all of the people all of the time?  Sometimes no matter how good a book is, it isn’t for certain folks.  But so long as there’s something helpful and constructive in the feedback, I will certainly use that to become a better writer. 

An additional perk of being a self-published author, moreover, and having control over the tools and processes, is that I can always go back and redo sections of the book and simply release a later edition.  I’ve re-released books after finding and correcting a single typo.  Good luck getting a mainstream publisher to do that for you.  Just set your Kindle to auto-update. J   And I’ve yet to see one of the books from a mainstream publishing house have less than a half dozen typos.  I guess I just have a keen eye for the little buggers.  I think this is one of the many reasons indie authors may well surpass what is possible with mainstream publishing over time.  Not just with more unique subject matter that isn’t overly neutered or censored for fear of offending people until the last of the drama is squeezed out of the story, but with higher quality standards.  Indie authors can find niches, what’s more, too small to be catered to by bigger publishing houses.  Sadly, with so much consolidation in the industry and so much expense behind launching a book by traditional means, it has created a situation in which books have to be just like every other novel you’ve ever read in a genre; there’s no willingness to take risks.  This self-defeating attitude ultimately drives away readers until indie authors are their only hope for something fresh and different. 

  1. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
Death by chocolate.  Followed by several reincarnations as characters whose entire personalities were formed and informed by chocolate, to say nothing of their altered states of consciousness. 

The electricity out throughout the house, both baby dragons soared into the kitchen, lighting the candles for Myrna with their fiery blasts, the star and heart shaped ones, the ones molded like mugs of beer with big foam headers, and the magic spell casting ones with the different colored flames. 

Their work in the kitchen done, they dashed out to attend to the other rooms.  Before Myrna could prance halfway up the stairs after them, she took out her Bic lighter, and put the flame to her forearm.  “Ah!  You're awake, all right!”

Her next thought was, she suddenly had a pair of dragons to care for.  How was she going to manage that?  Oh dear, what do you guys eat?

She rushed back to the kitchen.

Myrna held a candle inside the refrigerator, as she ripped food out left and right.  The roasted artichoke.  The blue cheese and citrus bruschetta.  The apricot pistachio halves.  Everything meticulously wrapped.  The dragons came swooping back into the room.

They looked at her, bewildered as she continued to plow through the itinerary.  The vegetarian chili and macaroni.  The tempeh and tapenade wrap.  She was sure she had something to accommodate every palate.

“Whada ya think?” she said, gesturing to the buffet covering the entire kitchen thanks to her throwing food willy-nilly.  One of the dragons bounded up and swooped to the floor, where it gulped down a mouse.

Myrna put up her hands gesturing, “Oh no, we're all vegetarians here.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor.  Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises. 
I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining.  After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope.  I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock.  I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area.  But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice.  For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination.  I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels.  Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments.  But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point.  That too may change over time; we’ll see.  Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.
My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years' worth of work.  I'm currently averaging a couple books annually.  Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.) 
I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature's balance.  When I'm not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.
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  1. Kudos on this awesome blog site you’ve put together, Alisia, and a huge thanks for hosting me! I’d also like to thank anyone who might be stopping by and leaving comments or questions for me (perhaps based on the answers to some of my interview questions). I’ll be in and out throughout the day to interact with readers.

  2. I just sent the title and author of this book to a friend who's been looking for dragon novels.
    Your answer to interview question #9 is honest and thoughtful. I'm glad I stopped by Books and Other Spells today.

  3. I laughed at the book signing answer. I feel exactly the same angst about ruining someone's book... I bet my penmanship is worse than Dean's.

    Great interview and great blog site.

  4. Thanks, Sapphyria. Glad to hear my thoughts touched you in some positive way. And I appreciate the recommend!

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Ken. For those of you who don't know this wonderful author, he penned Dark Tidings, a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid, and two follow ups. He's currently working on a new franchise. I guess we were destined to cross paths as we have a similarly darkly humorous tone to our writing. As to the penmanship thing, Ken, I honestly wish I could hire a calligrapher, someone who could turn my signature into art. Technically, I'm a certified hypnotherapist. That's plan B. Hypnotize myself into being this artful signer prior to doing any more autographs!

  6. Hi Dean! I've read a couple other of your works and loved the dark humor so I will check this one out, too.

    How the heck do you manage to be so prolific. It seems you write faster than I can read.

  7. Good to have you following along with the tour, Alex. For those of you who don't know this author, I trust you will soon. He's putting the finishing touches on False Idols, which can be found in rough draft form on wattpad. It's a brilliant near future sci-fi I couldn't recommend more. So keep your eyes peeled for when it goes live on Goodreads and Amazon.

    As to how I remain so prolific, Alex, there's some smoke and mirrors involved in that magic. Several of my published titles were in the works for many years, and existed in earlier incarnations as screenplays before actually being published. I have a habit of working on multiple titles at once, moreover. While that prolongs the release date of each, they tend to come out in clusters. It's a matter of picking the low hanging fruit, the ones that are now polished enough to go out, while continuing to work on some other novels in parallel. It might strike some as a harebrained approach, only best adopted by someone with ADHD. But I find the method keeps me productive, and just about eliminates all downtime. After all, you need a certain distance from a draft you just finished. So when I finally come back to it some weeks or months later, I have that detachment I need to look at it with a cold eye, and without the "my, this is the greatest draft of anything ever written."

  8. I agree with Alex's comment, the prolificness (and writing qualities) of this author are something to behold!

  9. I enjoyed the interview, thanks for sharing.

  10. Thanks, Rick. Appreciate you checking in. For those of you who don't know R. D. Hale, he's the author of Sky City: The Rise of an Orphan. Sci-fi and paranormal fantasy fans owe it to themselves to give him a try as well. No surprise, as we're both indie authors, that we crossed paths some time back, being as we both write heavily in the sci-fi and paranormal fantasy genres.

    To reply to your comment, Rick, I think balancing quantity of output with quality of output is the main thing. I'm averaging between two and three books a year currently, which is somewhat prolific, just not hugely so. Keep in mind I've been writing for a long time, and as with anything, the more you do it the faster and better at it you get. Also, I'm writing full time (at least for now) which gives me an edge on output over some writers who work a full time day job in another field and still somehow manage to get a book out a year (they're the real marvels if you ask me.) That puts my rather impressive time management skills, which I think is the other factor, to shame.

  11. Glad you enjoyed the interview, Serena. That means a lot!

  12. I do like the family dynamic you will be exploring here in Blood Brothers. That along with the plot promises to make this story great.

    I had no idea about the Castle accompanying books. They have Nikki Heat and everything? I will have to check those out. It's also great to meet a great group of people who also provide you with a valuable (or should I say invaluable) resource. It's also great you can update so easily being an indie. This is a great blog and I thank you both for giving us a glimpse into your process Dean.

  13. Thanks, Roshelle. I think I enjoy reading author interviews for the same reason. You pick up a lot of juicy morsels from hearing about how other writers approach things. Sometimes there are angles you can incorporate in your own writing, sometimes it's a marketing avenue you haven't tried or would never have thought to try. Sometimes just the common bond between you and another writer once keenly felt can re-energize you.

  14. Bn100 and Mary, thanks so much! I had tremendous fun doing these interviews for the various blogs on the tour and hopefully that comes across in the writing!