WHO ARE THE KINDLE ALL-STARS?
A series of 20+ short interviews with the team behind the Kindle All-Stars short story anthology ‘Resistance Front’ posted daily in the run up to its publication.
Please be sure to check any relevant images and links for each individual at the end of their interview.
Please enjoy this exciting and enlightening interview with B Throwsnaill, the author of Hemlock and The Wizard Tower. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be getting on my Kindle and downloading the sample tonight! Why don’t you do the same?
Click HERE to visit the Amazon page!
FS: How did you come to hear about the Kindle All-Stars project?
B: I saw an announcement by Bernard Schaffer on Twitter, and I went to his webpage and read about the project. By the time I noticed it, it was apparent that the project was well conceived and already well organized. It seemed like a winner so I thought I would take a shot at being included.
FS: What’s your contribution called?
B: My story is called “The Gene Priest”.
FS: And without giving too much away, what’s it about?
B: The story is about a future where the evolution of the human race has been entrusted to a religious order. When a priest discovers a dark secret he is confronted with a choice that could shake the order to its very core.
FS: What was the main inspiration behind it?
B: I had been thinking at length about the popularity of the superhero archetype in modern culture, and I began to develop a theory that this could be the result of our collective minds preparing for a future where genetic engineering could make superpowers possible. Then I got to thinking about how people would react to this inequity. Science tells us that as man evolved, the lesser species got eradicated by the superior ones. Wouldn’t that happen again? How could that threat be managed? It all came together for me one day in the car while listening to some inspirational music. I went home and immediately wrote the beginning of the story.
FS: Did you write it specifically for the Kindle All-Stars, or was it written prior?
B: I had written it prior, but it really came into its own during the editing process with Bernard.
FS: Obviously the primary goal behind this anthology is to make some money for disadvantaged and abused children. But secondary to that, it is to promote fresh, new writing talent – the punk rock of literature – and show that Indie writers are out there, dedicated and working hard to produce Class-A work.
If people take notice of what you’ve written for this anthology, what do you hope the outcome is of that attention?
B: My hope is that readers who enjoy the story will check out my fantasy novel called “Hemlock and the Wizard Tower” and my blog at http://www.wiztower.com . Beyond that I hope that all of the authors in the anthology will gain exposure and connect with new readers. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.
FS: How do you write? Are you a plotter? Do you fly by the seat of your pants? When do you write, and where? I write at night, at the dining table, when the kids are in bed and the place is finally peaceful and quiet. And I work everything out on paper before I sit down to write. What have you found works best for you?
B: I fly (or crawl) by the seat of my pants. If I am writing something from scratch—and it is short—I can truly fly by the seat of my pants. If it is a longer work, I will have to take significant breaks to allow some ideas to “organically” form in my mind. This is a big part of my process. The unfortunate side effect of this is that I am a relatively slow writer. I’ve found that I can force matters, but the result is inferior. So I take the time to do my best.
FS: How did you find the editing process with Bernard? I found it to be like a smack in the mouth and a pat on the head at the same time, saying “I like this” at one point, to a specific sentence, and then “You need to stay in Active Voice!” the next. I learned a lot, and I think I have a much stronger piece of writing now than I did when I submitted it. What was your personal experience?
B: In retrospect, when I first submitted my story to Bernard, the second half of it was poorly executed. He rightly pointed that out and gave me enough encouragement that I felt very inspired to improve it. I submitted again and he pointed out that the ending was still weak and gave me some good ideas for it. I wrote another draft, got it reviewed by a good friend, revised and submitted the version that was ultimately accepted. I thought working with Bernard was a very positive experience. He was able to give me concise feedback and once he did so became apparent that he was spot on in his assessments.
FS: Is there anyone in particular who’s contributed to the anthology that you’re excited to be included alongside?
B: Ellison and Foster are obviously very exciting. My excitement continues to grow, however, as I learn more about the other authors in the anthology. Everyone that I’ve interacted with has been both talented and personable. It’s been a blast.
FS: We know that there will be a KAS 2 at some point. Plans are already afoot. Is there a dream name you’d like to see involved in it the next time around? Me personally, getting published in a book that includes a story by Alan Dean Foster is one of those “Wouldn’t it be great if one day…” things that I can now tick off of the list.
B: William F. Gibson and Michael Moorcock are my two favorite living authors and would be my “dream names”.
FS: So when you’re not helping to fight evil, what do you get up to in real life?
B: I’m a digital plumber and a business process analyst. I enjoy board games and video games. I have a small collection of old video arcade cabinets and an old pinball machine. And I have a habit of buying old sports cars that always break down because I haven’t learned how to fix them. I enjoy spending time with family and friends.
FS: Are you working on anything now? Anything you’d like everyone to know about?
B: I am working on a sequel to my fantasy novel “Hemlock and the Wizard Tower”. It’s tentatively titled “Hemlock and the Dangerous Depths”. These books will be part of a 3-4 book series.
FS: And to your readers – both potential and existing – is there anything you would like to say? They might be reading this months after Resistance Front has landed, wanting to know more about you. What would you like to say to them?
B: “The Gene Priest” is a good representation of my style even though it is Sci-Fi and my main project is fantasy. My stories are usually full of adventure, scheming, drama and violence and have a sort of Wagner-esque gravity about them. I read a lot of history and try to blend historical elements in along with the fantastic. If this sounds good to you, then please consider following my work.
FS: Thats it! Time’s up! Hopefully we’ll the chance for a much more in-depth chat at some point in the near future when KAS is out on sale!
Hemlock and the Wizard Tower:
The Maker’s Fire Book One
In a magical city that travels through multiple dimensions, a young girl named Hemlock has risen from being a lowly cutpurse to discovering that she is a powerful fighter. Under the guidance of an aging freedom fighter named Safreon, Hemlock battles to keep the peace in her run down district, while across the city the upper class Elites enjoy peace, prosperity and freedom.
The Wizard Tower looms in the center of the City, casting a long shadow over its affairs. The Wizards rule behind the scenes, dictating and controlling the use of magic. Hemlock instinctively feels that the Wizards are her enemies, but Safreon will not discuss openly opposing them, as he seeks to methodically mentor her and advance his own cryptic plans for the City.
Hemlock makes a decision to make a bold attack on the Wizard Tower alone, convinced that she can destroy or undo whatever method the Wizards are using to control and ration magic. As the novel opens, we join Hemlock just after she has infiltrated the Wizard Tower, learning what happens through a narrative interspersed with flashbacks to events leading up to the attack.