Monday, October 27, 2014

Up The Tower by J.P. Lantern Excerpt & Giveaway

Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn't be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go...UP THE TOWER.

Where did you get the idea for the novel?

It was a combination of things. UP THE TOWER features an earthquake happening on the San Madrid fault, and that's something that will happen sooner or later (just like the San Andreas fault along the California state line). I really just enjoyed the notion of a very diverse cast of characters stuck together in a crappy situation, trying to work together to get out of it. They each have varying levels of success with it.

  1. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?

I came up with this one. I think I wrote it down as just...I don't know, a simple, direct way to explain what I wanted to happen with the story. I thought it was sort of catchy, so it stuck.

  1. Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?

I love science fiction and dystopian novels because of all the possibilities they open up for writers. You're allowed to create sort of whatever fantastical reality you want, and as long as it's got that aura of verisimilitude, then you're good to go.

  1. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

Oh, I don’t know. I got married? That didn’t have a lot to do with writing, but it was exciting.

  1. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

The last book I read was Hell House by Richard Matheson. It’s a terrific novel by a real master of the craft. I think everybody should walk around with some Matheson in their bag. It's a real slow-burn of a horror story, but well worth the price of admission.

  1. What is your writing process?

I sit down and I write (or adjust my desk and stand up and write), usually after reading for fifteen or twenty minutes to cleanse my palette a little bit. And then I just write until I hit two or three thousand words. I get up and walk around and stretch every thirty or forty minutes, because I’ve got neck and arm issues. A general writing day for me, if I'm staying on top of what I'm doing, is about four hours. If I'm flitting around doing other things, it takes longer.

  1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I wrote this in my underwear!

  1. How do you react to a bad review?

From what I've seen, there are basically two sorts of bad reviews. The first is just the one that doesn't make sense—the reviewer is complaining about something not being explained when it absolutely was, or there's no real substance to what they're saying because of a reliance in their language on generalities, or something like that. You tend to just ignore those, because that person wasn't really in a place to read your work anyway.
The other sort of bad review is the one that starts picking apart all your choices as a writer, which is a little more personal, and harder to process, but you still do. Either way, I tend to just take what I can to improve my relationship with my audience and then ignore everything else. It's not my job to write for everybody. That's no one's job. If enough people don't like something I write, my general philosophy is to just try to figure out what wasn't working and then to write something new. There's nothing that can be done by sticking in the past. 

Before anything else—before the riot, before the flood, before the gap and the deaths and the fires and the pain—before all of that, Ana just wanted to get the hell out of Junktown.

But she was stuck there with Raj, and Raj had all the bodyguards, so she couldn't very well leave on her own. Walk into Junktown without any protection? No, thank you. She had a knife on her, but that was hardly enough. The knife fit neatly in a small, luxury Cardion-brand sheath at her side.

The rest of her outfit was direct out from a fashion magazine. She wore tight black Cardion slacks, her patent leather Aushwere ankle boots sexy and stylish and perfect for inner-city walking. Her dark blue blouse was Cardion again (there had been a sale); already she had noticed the way Raj had been hugging his eyes to how it cupped and clung to her body. He would have been looking a bit more, perhaps, but she wore her favorite Kadaya Sarin-brand leather jacket, allowing her a bit of modesty with the long sleeves and tight collar, despite the thinness of the material. She was a woman dressed to impress, but also was no whore—she had her man. He liked her dressed attractive, but not like some slut. Ana knew what he wanted, because that was her entire life, as she saw it, from now on.

They were inside the ground floor of a tall building. Cleanbots rushed around them, sweeping up dust, guided along by retrofitted eyebots that spied out areas of dust and disrepair.

 “Here's where we'll have the lobby,” said Raj, opening his hands out wide to the open space.

Ana had presence of mind to hold her tongue.

What she wanted to say was, “Really, dear? Here in the first possible place that someone could enter from the street? That's where you'll have the lobby? That's so inventive. You're so smart.”

What did she say was, “Oh! It will look beautiful, I'm sure.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed "rugged," though he would also be fine with "roughhewn" because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.
Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.


twitter: @jplantern
The author will be awarding a backlist ebook copy to a randomly drawn winner at every stop during the tour and a Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon GC will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour.  the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
Click HERE for rafflecopter!