Hell Week 2018 – Lady Gemini/Andrew Weston

Love is Hell-FB20

Who are/were you?

I am the Lady Gemini, Daemon Grim’s newest Hell Hound. In life, people knew me as Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d’Armont, (l’ ange de l’assassinat) – or simply, Charlotte Corday – the assassins angel. Born 1768, in France to a minor aristocratic family, I was executed by guillotine while still only twenty-four years old for the murder of Jacobin leader, Jean-Paul Marat.

Who is your ‘lover’ in Hell?

Though it’s unrequited, I’ve fallen for my boss, Daemon Grim. A bit of a sticky dilemma as he’s only recently lost his soul mate, Strawberry Fields, who he destroyed utterly in self defense.

Love in hell, isn’t that a contradiction? How does this work?

In a nutshell? It doesn’t! Not for the damned masses, anyway. But now I’ve risen to the ranks of the elite, I’ve been told I may express my desires in any way I see fit . . . so long as it’s away from the public eye and knowledge of such freedom isn’t bandied about for all and sundry to hear.

Many of the denizens of His Satanic Majesty’s realm have a curse – what is yours?

Though I have a nubile form, exquisite grace and speed, and am extremely athletic, I’ll never be beautiful again. Before my elevation, I complained once too often and am condemned for all eternity to wear a face of two distinct halves . . . as you can see in my picture.

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It makes smiling quite a chore, I can tell you. (And helps explain the ingenious name I’ve been labeled with)

Who are your friends/allies here?

I have very few, but they all count. After my fall from grace, I became an assassin of some repute throughout all the levels of infernity. That put me much in demand, at the cost of acquaintances. Regardless, since my inauguration into the Ancient Disorder of Hell Hounds, I’ve gained the closest thing you can get to family, and am determined to protect that treasure with all my strength.

Describe your home/environment in Hell.

I live in a suite situated on one of the top floors of Black Tower, in what you mortals would call the Tower of London. Here in the underverse, we called that ancient edifice the Den of Iniquity—or the Den for short. As with your topside version, it’s located at the center of the sprawling slum that was Olde London Town. By hell’s standards, it’s abject luxury. But we’re expected to get results. If not, well . . . what happened to the previous Lead Hound – Nimrod, and the former Chief Inquisitor – Strawberry, serves as a stark reminder how easy it is for the most privileged of the damned to fall again.

Hell covers all eras and technologies, there are many hells within Hell. How have you adjusted to this strange world?

I’ve been very lucky. As an assassin, I was allowed access to all sorts of weaponry and technology, and I didn’t really have to pay a diablo. Those who commissioned my services often footed the bill for the gadgets I needed. Gadgets I got to keep as part of the successful conclusion of a contract. Needless to say, that involved travelling to some of the remotest, most backward parts of the underworld. I got used to it pretty quickly. And when I became a Hell Hound? Wow! You ought to see the crazy stuff we have hidden away in the dungeons here at the Den.

What is/are your greatest fears here?

To fail. I’ve witnessed firsthand what happens to the privileged elite who do.

 

Author Spotlight

Name and bio.

Andrew P. Weston

Andrew P. Weston is a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.
As creator of the critically acclaimed IX Series, and Hell Bound & Hell Hounds, (novels forming part of Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell universe), Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, and the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.
When not working, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects and supporting charities. He also writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

Tell us about your story for this edition.

In The Devil’s Trull, Daemon Grim and the Lady Gemini travel to the Kigali homeland, Ki-gal, in search of information pertaining to the machinations of two of the biggest thorns in the flesh ever to cross the Reaper’s path: the infamous scientist, Nikola Tesla; and the renowned composer, Frédéric Chopin, who it is feared have trespassed upon Kigali territory in order to further their revolutionary aspirations.

Along the way, they discover just how ingenious the diabolical duo have been in fomenting rebellion, and how too the Sibitti have been at play, sowing seeds of doubt and mayhem in preparation for their final play against latterday hell’s most potent champion.

What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen?

It was twofold really. My contribution to the shared universe involves leapfrogging my individual novels regarding Daemon Grim’s adventures with the anthologies. This story is a natural progression of a bigger picture. However, it gives me an opportunity to peel open a particular juicy segment of Daemon Grim’s personal life. As fans of Satan’s Reaper will know, he recently lost two of the closest souls to him: Nimrod – his best friend; and Strawberry – his long-time lover.

Their relationship had been rather complicated in the events leading up to The Devil’s Trull. Because of Grim’s inability to bring all the fugitives from injustice to heel, Satan had punished Grim. Firstly by denying him a corporeal form, and secondly, by stripping him of the privilege of intimate contact with the only one he has ever loved. Grim couldn’t even touch Strawberry without her suffering the fate of the masses – who succumb instantly to the Reaper’s “death touch.”

At the end of Hell Hounds (the novel preceding this particular anthology), Grim was forced to execute both Nimrod and Strawberry, actually obliterating them from existence. So he’s hurting. Not only does he have to contend with deep personal anguish and hurt feelings, but he’s battling to hold his head above water against an ever-increasing tide.

Gemini is the only suitable candidate he could find to offset the shortfall in his ranks. And sure enough, because of her own demons, Gemini has also been denied the comfort of companionship too. Just look at her face! In such a close-knit, high-pressure environment – one in which Daemon Grim has been returned to his devilishly handsome pseudo-human form – romance was bound to blossom.

And of course, the phantoms of past relationships and failures loom large . . . compounded by the fact that Tesla and Chopin seemed determined to stick the knife in. And of course, there are the Sibitti. . .

How did you become involved with this project?

Like everyone else, I was invited to write by Janet Morris a few years back. And I haven’t stopped enjoying myself since.

What are you currently working on?

I’m just rounding off the third and final book in the Author’s Cut version of a new supernatural action-thriller series – The Cambion Journals (The Rage of Augustus; The Kiss of the Succubus; and – just completed, The Embrace of the Incubus). I can’t wait to find out what people think of the series, as Augustus Thorne is bound to be popular with the ladies.

Name the last two books you’ve read – tell us about them.

I’ve not long finished Cruiser Dreams by Janet Morris, and Convergence, by Matthew S. Cox, in collaboration with J.R. Rain.
The blurbs for the books are as follows:

Cruiser Dreams. . .

She is heir to an empire beyond all imagining, where interstellar cruisers have become increasingly sentient and man’s role among the stars is transformed.

In this epic of political treachery, interstellar security, human passion, and artificial intelligence, Morris continues the saga of the fiery girl Shebat, stolen away from a decaying and primitive Earth to be the adoptive heir to the Kerrion Empire. Moulded to serve the designs of the Kerrion state, Shebat instead becomes the harbinger of change sweeping the civilized stars.

Against the chaotic background of simultaneous social and technological revolutions, Shebat finds that the man she loves is her implacable enemy, that the man she reluctantly married is perhaps her single ally, and that her space-faring cruiser may be her only true friend.

***I really enjoyed this story, as it explores the minefield of human relationships and especially – if it can be imagined – the relationship between man and machine . . . ‘machine’ with an ever-evolving artificial sentience. If you want to find out more, see my blog for a more in-depth review. It’s a truly thought-provoking read. ***

Convergence. . .

Intrepid reporter Solstice Winters has spent most of her life halfway between normal society and that of her magical parents. However, when getting caught between two worlds becomes more than metaphorical, being able to summon light or open locks might not be enough.

Neither her love life nor her professional life are going anywhere in a hurry. Her boyfriend is successful and handsome, but she constantly has to compete with his job for affection. At thirty-two, she works as a photojournalist for The Spiritualist, a small paper dedicated to magic and the supernatural―that most people regard as a tabloid. Desperate for that ‘one break,’ she’ll do almost anything to get that big story and get into a ‘real’ media outlet.

Years of always not quite fitting in begin to make sense after an error at a particle physics laboratory alters the dimensional alignment of the world, strengthening magic and revealing an unexpected truth to Solstice: She’s not even human.

*** This was an entertaining little journey into relationships of another kind. Magical beings are suddenly appearing all over the Earth, and Solstice doesn’t even realize she’s one of them until it’s too late! Of course, she ends up in the middle of a monumental mess that makes her wish that ‘big story’ she’s been after all her life would just go away. Fun. Down-to-earth. And thoroughly entertaining. ***

If you could pick any quote about Hell which would be your favourite?

I like Daemon Grim’s quote: “Your life has been a stage, and hell is the curtain call.”

 

Dirty Dozen and Returning Author Interview – Andrew P. Weston – Sci-Fi

#Dirtydozen #Meetanauthor #Scifi

Name: Andrew P. Weston

Please tell us about your publications.

My publications have been produced with the guidance and support of the team at Perseid Press and as you will see, I tend to favour themes with a science fiction, fantasy and paranormal bent.

The science fiction slot is filled with the IX Series, detailing the trials and tribulations of the legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome who marched into the mists of Caledonia in circa 100AD and were never seen again. Needless to say, they didn’t just disappear, and the series has grown into something of a gem.

The trilogy is comprised of the following books: The IXExordium of TearsPrelude of Sorrow. (Just released, get it while it’s piping hot!)

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The fantasy paranormal niche is nicely filled by the exploits of Satan’s Reaper, Daemon Grim. His adventures are told through a series of anthologies and full novels incorporated within Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell universe.
The novels are: Hell BoundHell Hounds – (and Hell Gate out in the Fall of 2018 – stay tuned).

The anthologies that leapfrog the novels are: Grim – Doctors in Hell, Pieces of Hate – Pirates in Hell, and later this year, Devil’s Trull – Lovers in Hell.)
If you want to stay with the flow of Daemon Grim’s evolution, it would be best to start with Doctors in Hell, and then go on to Hell Bound; Pirates in Hell, followed by Hell Hounds. Do you see? Each of the anthology pieces is a complete short story in itself, but it also adds substance to Grim’s overall adventure.

What first prompted you to publish your work?

The challenge! There’s a well-known maxim that states we all have a book inside us. But how many actually sit down and do it? How many dedicate themselves to the uphill marathon of putting all those thoughts and ideas into a coherent mass, from which you have to pick out the nuts and bolts of an organized tale that grips and entertains? I nearly gave up a good half dozen times on my first book. But I’m glad I persisted … because now I can’t seem to stop.

What have you found the most challenging part of the process?

Now I’m progressing? Being too picky. When I write the first draft and complete my running edits, I’m paranoid about not repeating the mistakes I made in my first few manuscripts of overusing certain ‘descriptive’ words or expressions.

I can’t help it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which makes me my own worst enemy when it comes to relaxing and letting things roll naturally. (The amount of hair pulling and fist clenching that goes on in my house would entertain the most avid WWE fan).

However, I’m addressing that particular challenge and hope to grow my hair back soon.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?

I think it’s true to say I plot by the seat of my pants!

My readers will know I do plan things out rather meticulously before I start writing, especially during the world building stage. The same goes when it comes to the story arc. I like to chart the course I intend to follow so I can prepare sub-plots and mini-arcs along the way. You know, those little side-stories that keep the reader engrossed. However, I’ve learned NOT to stick rigidly to plan. Some of my best, most heartrending scenes came to me ‘mid-type.’ And when I went with those spur-of-the-moment ideas and allowed them to expand until they were interwoven into my concept…? Well, I think my stories have been enriched in every case. (Mac McDonald’s death in The IX being one such panster moment. Originally, he wasn’t destined to die, you see J ).

How influential is storytelling to our culture?

Nowhere near as influential as it should be.

I was very fortunate growing up, my mother would read to me every night before bed, and my father was always making weird and wonderful tales up with which to regale me. Whether it was written or no, I remember how I lived what I was listening to, imagining in my head what the monsters looked like, the creatures in the forests, the undersea caves full of treasure, etc. Storytelling stimulates the mind – in both the speaker and listener – and encourages a world of fantasy in ways mobile phones and iPods never will.

Which authors have influenced you the most?

Stephen Donaldson: for his use of descriptive prose. (and a darn good story-arc).

Tad Williams: for writing in a way that involves you in the most incredulous adventures as if they really could be a part of everyday life.

Neil Gaiman: Because it’s Neil Gaiman and I don’t think there’s a topic in existence he can’t turn into a weirdly, wonderful marvel that will hold you spellbound to the end.

Edgar Allen Poe: He inspired me to bear my dark soul in poetry, and damned the consequences.

What is your writing space like?

Think of what a gaily decorated and fully-laden Christmas Tree looks like after playful kittens high on catnip have been let loose on it for a while, and you won’t go far wrong.

Tell us about your latest piece?

I’m just concluding the Author’s Cut edition of Kiss of the Succubus, book 2 of the Cambion Journals. This particular series is being completed in tandem with the first Guardians trilogy. Both were debut works I completed as I broke into the business and I’m ensuring to give them the attention they deserve. I can’t wait for readers to meet these characters – especially Augustus Thorne. (You’ll see, ladies. You’ll see.)

What’s your next writing adventure?

I’m still thinking about it. Once the Author’s cut versions of the Guardian Series and Cambion Journals are out the way, I have the foundations in place for several projects: Something from the IX world – most likely a prequel; the completion of the second trilogy from the Guardians universe; new adventures within the Cambion multiverse; the further exploits of Daemon Grim; and a brand new untitled project set in a dystopian future.
I know…so much to do, so little time, and only one pair of hands!

What is the last book you’ve read?

The Artisans of Albia trilogy by Cas Peace. (It comes as one book you see…a cunning ploy) I really do recommend it. It’s great fun to read and will definitely pique your interest in the follow-ups. (I know I’ll be reading them)

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?

No. True readers love real books too much. The smell and atmosphere in a bookshop can’t be replaced. This subject reminds me of a wonderful little one-liner the actor Stephen Fry said to an interviewer who asked him a similar question. His reply ran along the lines of…”Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”

Isn’t that awesome? And it makes a powerful point, doesn’t it?
Yes, I enjoy ebooks and the ease by which you can buy them online. But buying and reading them that way will never usurp actually holding the real deal in your hands and feeling its cover, the texture of the page, the smell of the printing process and the ambience of a shop. Heaven.

Is there a message in your books?
Always. The thing is, spotting them.

Some are tongue-in-cheek. From the very beginning, I’ve sprinkled cross-references to my other works in each novel. Little phrases here and there. A name, a title, a term of endearment or address. (Here’s a good one – when The Rage of Augustus, Book 1 of the Cambion Series becomes available, see if you can spot a direct nod toward ME – Andrew P. Weston, author). I’m there if you look carefully. And no, I’m not talking about my name on the cover. J

Apart from that, I do like to include some form of real-world moral or ethical dilemma within my story arcs that helps the reader appreciate, “What if?” What would I do if I faced that predicament? Would I be as restrained? That strong? That determined? Or would I simply take the easy course and go with the flow?
Again, they are there if you look, and each of them are specific to the story arc in question.

Links:

Links to Prelude to Sorrow

Amazon UK

Amazon

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Blog: http://andrewpweston.blogspot.gr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewpaul.weston

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Bio:
Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and criminal law graduate, he is the creator of the internationally acclaimed IX Series and Hell Bound & Hell Hounds (novels forming part of Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

 

Book Spotlight – Prelude to Sorrow – Sci-fi

Title: Prelude to Sorrow

Author: Andrew p. Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

Main character descriptions:
Marcus Brutus. General of the 9th Legion and Field Marshal of the combined taskforce.
Samuel Pell. Captain, Royal Marines and commander of the Special Forces contingent.
Jake Rixton. Captain, U.S. Cavalry. OIC of the mounted brigade.
Gul Shaní:  Deputy Magister of the Senatum of Arden.
Psi Calen: Chief Scientific Advisor of the Senatum of Arden.
Va-ákil: Supreme Magnate of the Kresh (Horde).
Altás: Prime Catalyct – Battlemaster – of the Primus Host of the Kresh.
James Houston. Turncoat and murderer. Onetime officer-in-command of the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Rifles. Now a Horde changeling.

Synopsis:

The task force dispatched from Arden to eradicate the Horde menace failed, and for those few left alive, the tenet by which they have survived for so long resounds as never before.

Fight or Die!

Now marooned, out of time and out of place, the survivors lick their wounds and struggle to recover while the Horde gathers their strength for a final strike that will change the course of history forever. The fate of the galaxy – and more – hangs in the balance.

But fate, it seems, isn’t done with the Ninth, and our heroes find themselves forced to mount a last-ditch attempt to end the threat once and for all.

Will the darkness be vanquished, or will our heroes’ efforts finally signal the beginning of the end of their adventure?

 

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

A deafening cry split the heavens and boomed across the savannah. He looked up and saw what could only be a huge bird in the sky, roaring a challenge that twisted the fabric of everything he held dear and caused every other living creature lurking around the watercourse—both friend and foe—to flee in mutual panic.

Instinct took over, and the entire clan stampeded back through the reeds in a mad dash toward the welcoming protection of the jungle.

The alpha risked a quick glance over his shoulder at their nemesis.

Wings as voluminous as clouds and pregnant with fulgurous discharges blotted out the sun. A monstrous beak and unbelievably large talons blazed like a furnace, searing his eyes and baking the ground where they passed.

Morbid dread froze his heart, and as he watched, the awful thing belched fire and cleaved in two. While the bulk of its mass fell on prey to the northeast, the vehemence of its thermogenic gaze continued on toward his troop, shrieking of death and retribution.

He screeched, and the tribe increased its pace.

Moments later, he could hear his family crashing into the undergrowth. He had no doubt they’d be paying scant heed to the thorns scratching at their faces or the twigs yanking out divots of hair.

Safe now?

His concerns were timely.

Thunder pealed and the ground shook. A sweltering exhalation swept by, igniting leaves, bushes, trees, and exposed fur alike.

 

Why should readers buy this book?
The story of the “Lost” 9th legion of Rome has been a matter of conjecture for centuries, as well as the subject of countless works and two major Hollywood films. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the truth of their disappearance was explained here, in all its bitter glory?

 

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Links:
Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Blog: http://andrewpweston.blogspot.gr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewpaul.weston

Book Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

 

Bio:
Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and criminal law graduate, he is the creator of the internationally acclaimed IX Series and Hell Bound & Hell Hounds (novels forming part of Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

 

Dirty Dozen – Author Interview – Andrew Weston – Fantasy

#Authorinterviews #fantasy #dirtydozen

For the first of the new format of interviews, I’m pleased to welcome back Andrew Weston.

Please tell us about your publications. I’m very happy to be with Perseid Press. In my relatively short time with them, I’ve managed to produce two trilogies. (Yes, I’m a bit of a workhorse driven by an unquenchable fire).
The first is a science-fiction saga – The IX series – detailing what really happened to the legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome who marched into the mists of Caledonia in circa 100AD and were never seen again.
That trilogy is comprised of, The IXExordium of TearsPrelude of Sorrow.

The other trio form a fantasy adventure following the exploits of Satan’s Reaper, Daemon Grim, and are incorporated within Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell universe.
So far, I’ve completed Hell BoundHell HoundsHell Gate.

In addition to the main novels, I also contribute short stories to that same Heroes in Hell universe. (Grim – Doctors in Hell, & Pieces of Hate – Pirates in Hell).
Although each short story is a complete tale within itself, they form part of – and actually leapfrog – the novels to ensure a level of continuity that adds a spicy tang to the characters and plot.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I’m a bit of an anomaly.

People familiar with my working process know I plan meticulously before I start writing. I’m a detailed world builder, moulding a depth of history and culture into the places I create so I have them at my fingertips, ready to call on when the need arises. I usually plan out where I’d like my story to start, and the route the plot will follow in order to reach my goal.
However, I have a vivid imagination. When I’m writing, I have all sorts of things bubbling away inside my head along with the actual work in progress. Sometimes, this triggers fresh ideas. I’ve learned to let those new eruptions take me where they will with delightful results. (Some major characters have lived or died on the basis of “going with the flow”).
That’s why I’m glad of my world building stage. I use it like a bank vault of plot points and extra details I can turn to if things need to change…with interest J

If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat? Good question. I had to think long and hard on this.
If you’re going to spend time with a “familiar stranger” you’d want it to be someone who is as appealing as they are refreshing. Someone you could instantly relate to and have fun with, yet still be blown away by their quirkiness. That narrows the field down quite a bit.

So, I’d choose “Hatter,” from Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass.
As for food, that’s easy.
We’d have to wet our appetites with an aperitif of tea,

Lots of it, strong and hot, both for Hatter and for me.

Then for starters, I think, Wonderland mushrooms would have to follow,

Though the risk involved, as you know, would be rather hard to swallow.

The main course would be simple, yet crafted to entice,

Poached Rabbit stuffed in its waistcoat, upon a bed of rice.

Extravagance would follow, for then we’d greet our sweet,

Unbirthday cake in layers bright, the perfect festive treat.

And what finer way to end this, very important date,

Than by sharing a final cup of tea with my crazy madcap mate.

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How do you deal with bad reviews? I read them whilst medicated in the off chance they might contain something constructive – as sometimes, they do – and then I use those little snippets to improve my writing.
Sadly, I usually end up having to drink gin until I’m intoxicated and morbidly depressed before crying myself to sleep on an absorbent pillow.

Sort these into order of importance: Good plot – Great characters – Awesome world-building – Technically perfect.
I would approach this exercise as if I intended to construct a wall.
My foundations would have to be in place first. That means the world building phase kicks everything off. Once you have something on which to work, you need a picture in your mind – or on paper – of the dimensions of the wall. I think that nicely describes your plot. Then you need the right materials. Queue your characters.
As for technical perfection? I know I’ll probably knock a few noses out of joint when I say this, but …I’ve read hardback copies by current world-renown – megabucks – authors from all 4 of the “big” houses and found them sprinkled with spelling, and in a few cases grammatical and constructive errors.
But, that’s just part and parcel of the editing process. Nobody will ever produce a perfect manuscript.
On a similar point, I’ve read some self published works that lacked proper editing. (And clearly so). In many cases, it made me grind my teeth. HOWEVER, there have been one or two instances where I’ve enjoyed the world, the plot and its characters so much I didn’t let the technical glitches spoil my enjoyment of a great story.

Push come to shove? Give me a choice between a good, technically perfect story and one I know is great – though littered with errors – I’d choose the one I’d enjoy most. I don’t get the chance to simply read for fun all that often, so I wouldn’t want to waste the opportunity.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? As my readers will be aware, I complete an absolute shedload of research before putting pen to paper. And it’s all topic-specific.
(Hot off the press. I’m already researching certain factual, scientific and esoteric aspects to a story I won’t be writing for another four years yet. What is it? Aha…you’ll see…)

And to the wildest subjects? That’s difficult to define, as it will be dependent on each person’s perspective. I’m not easily shocked, so it might be better just to list some of the subject I’ve dipped into for storylines:

I have delved into the rituals involved in demon possession and exorcism; sex rites of Incubi and Succubae worshipers; psychic, sexual and physical appetites of supernatural half-breeds such as Cambions.
I’ve also researched some of the world’s most notorious serial killers. By comparing their backgrounds, home environments and the external stimuli they were subjected to over time, I’ve learned something about the behavioural triggers that motivated them to act in the way they did, and how each one evolved their own respective modus operandi.
Not particularly wild, but diverting nonetheless.

How influential is storytelling to our culture? Sadly, I think it’s becoming less and less influential as the techno-age advances. Too many modern-day parents tend to leave things to gadgets when they should be giving their kids the most important, most essential thing required for their development: time.
That’s a great pity. I could read and write before I went to school, but that was down to Mom and Dad spending time with me.
Mom was the reader, she’d get my favourite books down off the shelf and we’d go through them together. But Dad was the master storyteller.
I grew up in a haunted house, and my parents soon realized that the spooky goings on didn’t faze me all that much. So, my Dad would make up the darkest, most macabre and twisted bedtime stories imaginable. I loved them!
The only downside to that is…I can’t watch horror films. They’re just too darn boring. I’ve only ever seen one thing that sent a little tingle along my spine.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? The Silver Surfer.
When I’m awake, I try and turn strange dreams into reality, and my thoughts are often floating through the vastness of space, imagining what’s out there. When I’m asleep, I’m fishing for fresh ideas that come to me in a kaleidoscopic rush of warped details. But to be able to experience all that – and more – for real? To be able to roam the cosmos at will and witness every aspect of its grandeur in minute detail?
Yes please…I’ll be there, a fellow traveller cresting the next intergalactic wave on his journey into…?

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What is your writing space like? Think chaos space meets the results of an antimatter explosion, and you’ll be getting close. It sounds messy, and it is…But I know where everything is, so I don’t let my wife touch a thing.

What’s your next writing adventure? My next venture involves the completion of an “Author’s Cut” version of my debut novel and related works. I cringe when I look at them now, as my method has developed and matured into quite a distinctive writing style. I much prefer being able to express myself using rich and descriptive prose that paints a vivid tapestry of the world in which each story is set. Injecting my true voice into the Guardian and Cambion series will hopefully make these stories shine in the way I know they can.

What is the last book you’ve read? American Gods by Neil Gaiman,
I’m really taking to Gaiman’s writing. He’s so obviously quintessentially English that I can guarantee a good helping of afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches with every portion of his work. And yet, he has a universal appeal that will engage just about anyone at every level of reading.
American Gods is superb, a road trip across the bridge spanning old world and new; a place where myth, legend, nightmares and dreams come together on a smorgasbord of dark and dreadful delight that will leave you as disturbed as you are fascinated. You think you know all there is to know about gods? Think again.
And how better to expose their double-dealing ways than by revealing the never-ending cycle that keeps them in power?
As I say, a great story into which Gaiman manages to inject his morbid, warped sense of humour. (My kinda guy).

How important is writing to you? I can honestly say, I get twitchy if I don’t write or do something creative every day. It’s the same when I go to bed, as I invariably start making up new stories and plotlines, only to go to sleep living them out.

Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Blog: http://andrewpweston.blogspot.gr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewpaul.weston

 

Bio:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestselling IX Series and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

 

Character Interview Number Twenty Six – Lex Fox – Sci-fi/historical

Tell Us About Yourself

Name (s)

Lexington Fox – but everyone calls me Lex.

Age

Twenty-five
Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was a first lieutenant with 1st Platoon, 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Rifles Cavalry, under the command of Captain James Houston. Originally from Boston in Massachusetts, I enlisted on my twentieth birthday, July 3rd 1855.

I must admit, I enjoyed serving as an army officer, and the only thing that blighted my life were the circumstances leading up to my death in 1860…on earth, anyways.

Our unit was selected to complete a special mission on behalf of Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln. Little did we know at the time that our commanding officer’s cousin–Governor Sam Houston of Texas–had arranged the entire thing to support his conspiracy among a number other southern state governors to form their own breakaway confederacy.

Anyway, our supposed task was to escort Princess Inuck-Shen, daughter of Chief Blooded Chin of the Blackfoot tribe, into the Bitterroot Mountain range in Kalispell, Montana. Once there, we were to hand her into the safe custody of her husband-to-be, Snow Blizzard, self-styled Chief of all Cree nations.

It was doomed to failure, for if the wedding went ahead and peace between the plains peoples was forged, it would have strengthened Lincoln’s position in the House, especially against those dissidents who didn’t like the way the war of attrition with the native American peoples was developing.

As it turns out, Snow Blizzard was in on the plot too, and together with a number of other tribes–AND Captain Houston and his ever present lapdogs–he set about hunting us down in an attempt to wipe us out. Of course, the blame would have been put squarely on those tribes sympathetic to Lincoln’s agenda.

It looks like Houston got his way, and I often wonder if our great nation ever split as he intended.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less.

A cross between Brad Pitt and Jude Law.
Would you die for those you love?

I didn’t get much choice. Although I died doing the job I loved. My father was a colonel in the 2nd Company 1st Mounted Rifles, and like him, I have a strong sense of duty. Dying for what you believe in is the greatest way you can honor those you serve with, and the great nation we strive to protect. In my case, I’ve been given a chance to do that all over again on Arden.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?

My strength lies in the fact that I have a strong sense of honor and duty. Give me a task to accomplish, and I’ll always strive to complete it to the best of my ability.
As to my weaknesses? Perhaps, it’s trusting others to have the same high standards I do. My presence here on Arden proves there are too many dishonorable backstabbers hiding behind a uniform…and that’s not right.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why

Hey, I’m only twenty-five and I’m in the saddle for most of the time. But now we’re on Arden? Who knows, there are a surprising number of women here. They’re tough. Strong. That’s because they’ve had to learn to adapt and survive. I can’t think of a better kind of person to settle down with. So we’ll see… J

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you?

Yes I can. I was nine at the time, and my own father was on leave from the army. We went to visit his brother, Uncle George, out at Fort Smith in Arkansas. While we were there, a huge group of Plains Indians came into town to trade. It was the first time I’d ever seen any of the Native American people up close, and I found them fascinating, and much friendlier than I was led to believe they’d be.
As a treat, my family went to watch them hunt horses. I saw some of their braves chase after a colt on foot. They kept running and running. It was incredible. I thought, one day, I’ll get to work with people like this and hopefully learn something of their traditions. They were so free, and in harmony with their surroundings, it made me appreciate how much we could learn from them.

Do you have any phobias?

Men without honor. I won’t have them in my company.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I can bend my thumb back until it touches my wrist. An absolutely useless skill if ever there was one. Oh, and I can lasso a fly at twenty paces.

Tell Us About Your World

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live.

As I’m sure some of the other guys have already said, Arden is a beautiful. It’s like earth in many respects. Vast sweeping grasslands. Mountain ranges. Forests. But the colors…how can I say this. They’re off. Just when you start to relax, this place reminds you it’s not really home, especially when some of the critters jump out to say hello. They’re not used to humans, so they’re not afraid of us.
Only last week, my patrol were taking a break and enjoying a coffee, when this woodpecker type bird swooped down, perched on the rim of my cup, gave me a “who do you think you’re staring at?” look, and then proceeded to wash himself in my beverage!
I couldn’t believe it. Even when I tried to shake him off, he just kept at it until he was good and ready. Then he jumped down, took his good time preening his feathers, and flew away without even saying thank you. That’s Arden! Shame the Horde spoil it!

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where?

As you can imagine, travel is difficult because of the Horde. Thankfully, we’ve got a large supply of bullets to keep them at bay. I love riding out into the Sengennon plains. It reminds me so much of Oklahoma

Name and describe a food from your world.

This is probably getting quite boring for you, as I know you asked some of the other guys this question. But, everyone – and I mean everyone – loves the rhobexi. God, what a taste. However, I also enjoy provat. It looks very similar to our sheep, and tastes like pork mixed with beef.

What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.)

There’s no real politics here. We’re all survivors, and most of us are from one form of military service or another. That’s spilled over into our everyday way of life. It’s strange really…there’s a disciplined aspect to the way things are done, but, everyone is entrusted with the responsibility to fulfill their respective duty. So in one regard, everything is quite relaxed. I like it. If it wasn’t for that idiot, Houston, I think everybody would be happy.

What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without?

I come from the nineteenth century. From what I’m told, I lived at a time leading up to a technological explosion on earth…but I guess I’ll never know now. Anyhow, as you can imagine, coming here is like living in a dream. We stick to our own group and methods, especially when we’re out on patrol, but once were back in Arden, wow! It’s like the best of both worlds…My particular favorites are the food dispensers that can serve multiple meals all at the same time, and the sickbay. Life in the saddle can be quite hard, and it’s a refreshing change to be able to heal the niggling injuries we pick up in a matter of minutes. Awesome in fact. J

Anyway, thanks for asking me about my life. You must come and visit once we’ve got the Horde under control. Things will be much more relaxed then and perhaps I can show you around?

 

Bye for now,

Lex.

 

Author notes:

 

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

 

The IX

 

Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/IX-Andrew-P-Weston-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA/

Amazon.UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/IX-Andrew-P-Weston-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA/

Author name:

Andrew P. Weston

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Blog: http://andrewpweston.blogspot.gr/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew
Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Andrew-P-Weston/e/B00F3BL6GS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0