Author Interview – Barry Napier

Today, Everything Theory author Barry Napier joins me for a little one-on-one about his complex series and what awaits our beloved hero Gabe. Enjoy!


1. The plot of the Everything Theory series is quite complex. What was the inspiration behind it?


 I wanted to write a series that was a nice blend of those old sci-fi heavy Twilight Zone episodes with a nice dash of my love for The X-Files.  I also wanted to craft a story around the idea that everything supernatural is somehow related and from the same origin.  Of course, such a project would take up more than one book, so I started outlining the Everything Theory series. I knew right away that I might be on to something and spent about a year and a half writing the first book.

2. Agent Walthall reminded me a lot of other FBI agents I’ve read/watched, but he wasn’t a carbon copy of anyone. How did you manage to keep him from becoming a cardboard cutout?


As you’ll notice in the future installments, Walthall sort of evolves over time. We even see some of this in Cold Compass.  I purposefully made him as being stand-offish at the start of the book because I knew he’d end up going through a huge change.  I have always been of the opinion that for a character to be set up for monumental changes, they need to have an original base of either being very rigid or naive. Walthall is obviously the former.

3. Did you always intend for Cold Compass to have an overall horror-esque feel, or was that a feeling that came through as you wrote?


Absolutely.  There is a fine line between sci-fi and horror; I wanted to take that line and make it into a zig-zagging hedge maze.  There are, as of now, five books planned for the series.  The first two are much closer to horror than sci-fi. With the villain of Cold Compass, I knew I had to rely more on a horrific approach than one based on science. It’s hard to do, though, when developing a series or mythology because you feel like you need to do some deep explaining, which is often not a big draw for horror audiences.

4. Garrison Sleet. What on earth is he??? At first, I thought maybe something vampiric, but I’m not sure. Care to provide some insight?


Not gonna tell.  Although you will get more clues in the other books.  We learn a great deal more about him in Everything Theory: Blood Routes.  The only insight I can give without ruining anything is that, as we see in Cold Compass, his ability to take bullets and other violent attacks without much of a stumble makes him…well, not normal.

5. Can you give us any clue as to what the next installments hold for Gabe and co.?


Future installments will find Gabe in the deserts of the Southwestern US, on the grounds of a summer retreat that has a supernatural history, traveling the highways of the States, and in secret government facilities.  He’s got a lot of growing up to do and as he delves deeper into his father’s work and this mysterious government entity that has hired him, he realizes that there is much more to the world than it seems.  The path certainly won’t be easy or pleasant for him, but I think he’s up for the journey.

 

Thanks for the awesome interview, Barry! I am looking forward to reading the future installments of Everything Theory.

Review – Everything Theory: Cold Compass

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Rating: YAY!

 

THIS BOOK IS CREEPY. I wish I could leave it there, but I guess you guys want an actual review instead of a single sentence…

THIS BOOK IS CREEPY. In a really good way. A great way in time for Halloween, too. The book begins with a creepy murder. an old man and his dog are literally ripped to shreds by some unnatural force that’s now plaguing the tiny town of Hasper, North Carolina, and those grisly murders are only the beginning of the mystery Barry Napier builds throughout Everything Theory. The story follows multiple characters through multiple points of view, and each POV adds to the layers of complexity that make this book successful.

Gabe Warren has a gift untapped until FBI Agent Ambrose Jennings contacts him concerning work Gabe’s father had been involved in prior to the father’s death. Along with Agent Walthall, a skeptical newbie agent, they travel to Hasper to begin work on unraveling the mystery surrounding the supernatural murders plaguing the town. Throughout the course of the investigation, Gabe learns more about himself and his role in his father’s legacy.

What I enjoyed most about this book is the fact that it doesn’t slow down. The pacing is fantastic, especially for this genre, and Napier keeps building the suspense in delicious ways. From the creature posing as an FBI agent to the actual menace terrorizing the town, Napier introduces curve balls to keep the reader guessing. It’s quite an enjoyable thrill ride that will at times surprise and frighten the reader, leading to a pretty satisfying ending that sets up well for the next installment in the series.

This Week’s Read – Everything Theory: Cold Compass by Barry Napier

Gabe is a disenchanted twenty year-old that has been dragged down for most of his life by the bizarre legacy his deceased father left behind. At the age of seventeen, Gabe was contacted by government employees that once worked with his father, offering him an outrageous salary if he would take part in an effort to revitalize his father’s work. Bit by bit, Gabe discovers that the work his father was involved in was incredibly strange. His father was viewed by his peers as a mad scientist of sorts, dabbling in controversial projects concerning genetics manipulation, advanced space exploration, time travel, and ESP.

Cold Compass, the first book in the Everything Theory series, opens as Gabe is tasked with his first assignment as an unofficial member of a shadow organization known as the Center for Scientific Anomalous Research (CSAR). With the assistance of a CSAR official posing as an FBI agent, Gabe travels to the small town of Hasper, North Carolina where people are being killed by an ancient evil that lurks beneath the town. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Gabe learns that it could all very well be the result of one of his father’s failed studies.

Along the way, Gabe must also contend with the fact that he is beginning to see ghosts and is being hunted down by an enigmatic figure that calls himself Garrison Sleet. As he slowly unravels the mysteries of his father, Gabe slowly understands that even the evil lurking beneath Hasper is tied to not only his father’s work, but to some integral part of him as well.

Everything Theory at:

Amazon

Goodreads

Author Interview – Kate Fuentes

This week, the lovely (and wonderfully understanding) Kate Fuentes joins me to chat about her book and a couple of future projects!
1.      Gaelic/Celtic mythology is starting to become prevalent in a lot of fantasy books. What made you choose to include the Maori traditions as well?
I like to spotlight different portions of history that are rarely highlighted and I tend to go out of my way to create a storyline that hasn’t been heard of before. The Maori traditions and history have been overshadowed in the western culture and I thought it would be a refreshing change of pace to shed light upon. The Gaelic feel comes from my Irish lineage, and one I am proud to be a part of, even if it is watered down from 4-5 generations of Americans.
 
2.       What made you decide to follow the boys from infancy through adolescence instead of starting when they were older?
Again, I like to be different from others who have come before me, even if that means going outside the norm and portraying heroes as infants. This particular aspect, in my opinion, shows vulnerability, instead of overpowering our young heroes with a sense of impenetrable forces. This may draw the reader in and create a more relatable character as opposed to an immortal being. The story will then have the opportunity to set the stage for future installments with a series of unexpected twists. Although it might have been easier to gain more of a teen-girl fanbase if I started with the twins being objects of desire rather than cute babies, toddlers, young boys and finally young teens.
 
3.       I enjoyed the dynamic between Gage and Talon, how one was more cautious and the other more reckless. Did you want to play with the idea of good twin/bad twin or did they reveal themselves to you that way?
I took most of my characteristic aspects from my real life sons who have completely opposite personalities. It is quite interesting to see the personality parody of brotherly love and relationship unfold before your eyes and be completely lost as to how they get along when they are so very different yet so very alike. It’s an anomaly. I’m quite grateful to have the real life Gage and Talon inspiring my writings each day through their bantering, arguing, bonding, playing, sincere moments of sheer love, loyalty and devotion.  As far as the novels go, I think most people like to see the stark difference between characters. It helps move the story along and create an interesting plot. If we were all the same, how boring would that be?
 
4.       What part was the most difficult/most enjoyable to write?
The most difficult part of writing the novels is trying to conjure up mystical powers that haven’t been overplayed already. My villians tend to have powers that are unique and I try to develop scenes that catch the reader off guard. I ALWAYS enjoy writing and can get lost easily inside the fantastical world for hours. It is my refuge to escape the world of reality.
 
5.       The second installment, Elements: Veil of Darkness is already available. Can you give us any idea as to what awaits our young heroes in the next books of the series?
I really pulled from a dark place and tried to show the depths of loss, anger and guilt while simultaneously showing the parallel world of hope, faith and perseverance. The reader is able to jump between the intriguing thought of far off worlds tied to the earth realm and the element of surprise mixed with unpredictable avenues of fiction. Basically, I’m unwilling to give you a spoiler, but I will let you know Veil of Darkness is action packed with plenty of new material and characters.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Kate!

Review: Elements: The Beginning – Kate Fuentes

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: Maybe

 

Two brothers destined to save mankind from the malevolent forces who desire its destruction; a Maori warrior teaching them to use their Gaelic talents; and a father who’s trying to make sense of the tragedy that brought them from a ranch in Montana to a new life in New Zealand.

These are the threads running through Kate Fuentes’ Elements: The Beginning. And it truly is the beginning. Fuentes introduces us to fraternal twins Gage and Talon Thorn while they’re still in-utero. Even in this state, they’re causing trouble for their mother and speaking to her telepathically. It’s an interesting beginning to be sure.

Fuentes weaves a tale mixed with Maori and Gaelic mythology. Maui, the Maori warrior who takes in the boys and their father after their mother’s death, is a unique and entertaining character and quickly became one of my favorites. The father, Gable, is struggling to cope with his wife’s death and with the extraordinary gifts his sons possess. He adds a grounding element to the story (think Eureka’s Sheriff Carter), and through him, we learn just how bad things are.

These parts worked for me. Gable, especially, since he’s just so…normal compared to all these fantastical occurrences and didn’t feel like a throwaway character because his understanding is central to our understanding. Maui is just a fun, lighthearted character and he keeps the mood up throughout most of the book, keeping it from feeling too weighty. And the boys are mostly adolescent boys who bicker and fuss and quarrel with each other. The family dynamic is well done.

However, parts of the book drug for me a little too much. I felt like the mom’s death and the boys’ growing up in New Zealand could have been worked in differently because it takes so long to get to the danger. Once that aspect is introduced, the story picks up and is much more interesting, but for me, the beginning was just too much. The story could easily have started when the boys were closer to ten years old.

Elements is a good read. It’s an engaging read, especially for younger readers who would definitely appreciate the banter between Gage and Talon (and also the whole magic aspect of things [like Talon can shapeshift, which is pretty sweet]). The worldbuilding is well done and the story is interesting. I would recommend for younger readers and to people who are wary of fantasy.

This Week’s Read: Elements: The Beginning – Kate Fuentes

 

Destiny brought them into this world to save mankind and malevolent forces will stop at nothing in order to annihilate them.

Born with extraordinary powers, fraternal twins Gage and Talon Thorn learn how to control their mystical abilities. Tragedy strikes the family and their ordinary father Gable is forced to raise them on his own. Pain and loss encompass the Thorns as they persevere to live a normal life in a place determined to destroy their happiness.

Soon their incredible gifts need proper nurturing and Gable recruits a special group of people to help in their upbringing. A sassy, tenacious nanny named Leia and an eccentric unorthodox warrior named Maui complete the dream team of mentors to aid in the complexity of their lives.

Evil, wicked forces lurk in the shadows and the boys are in danger if they don’t learn how to control their unique talents and harness their elemental powers. Humanity rests in the hands of the young brothers as they embark on an epic adventure to save mankind from the dark emperor.

Author Interview – Donna Cummings

Lord Midnight author Donna Cummings was nice enough to join us for a little interview! Thanks, Donna!

1. I’ve read multiple romances set in similar time periods, but this is the first one I’ve read that dealt with highwaymen. Was that your catalyst for writing the book or an interesting element you came across while researching?  

When I first started reading romances, a zillion years ago, highwaymen were a little more prevalent in romances. They captured my fancy pretty quickly, probably because they are witty and charming, even though they are essentially robbers. So when I started this book, I knew I wanted a highwayman, but when I needed a reason for my hero being a highwayman, the idea came to me from some research. The funny thing is it wasn’t research about the time period or highwaymen. I was reading an article about how the U.S. Vice President’s political fortunes depend on something horrible happening to the President, so that person could move up. It made me wonder what would happen if somebody wasn’t willing to wait their turn! And that’s when I decided my highwayman was in that profession because his uncle believed the title and estates belonged to him, and he was willing to kill for them. So the hero has to rob carriages in order to survive, and it gives him a chance to plot his revenge.

 

2. Marisa is a fantastic character, strong-willed, determined, and best of all, smart. Your enjoyment in writing her comes out in her scenes. Did you have a favorite of hers to write? 

I’m so glad you enjoyed Marisa. I really did enjoy writing her, although she was the last of the bunch to really define herself clearly in my mind, causing some frustrating moments. My favorite scenes were the ones she had with Gabriel. She could be herself during those times, so she was spirited and funny and determined to experience life, even though she was a virtual prisoner. I really enjoyed the scene when she’s hiding the highwayman in her bed. And I’m particularly fond of wedding scenes, but I don’t want to give too much away!

3. Gabriel is certainly swoon-worthy, though also crafty and deceptive like his uncle. Did that give you trouble while writing him or was that something that added extra excitement? 

I always fall in love with my heroes when I’m writing them, so I’m glad when I hear them described as swoon-worthy! You’re right about him being crafty and deceptive, but I’m a little lenient with him about those traits, since it’s a result of him being forced into the life of a criminal, and he has to be that way in order to survive. It does make him a bit reckless at times, and that definitely made him fun to write. Since I’m the type who always weighs and considers all the risks in life, I’m envious of my characters just jumping in and worrying about the fallout later!

4. The budding romance between Marisa’s aunt and Jaime was kind of a surprise. Did that surprise you as well? 

It did catch me by surprise! I guess that’s bound to happen when they’re off-camera, spending time with each other while I’m busy working out the problems between Marisa and Gabriel. I have to admit, I want everyone to have a happily-ever-after, so it made me glad that they got a chance to escape the heartbreaks in their life. I guess I’m a matchmaker at heart.

 

5. Can you tell us anything about future projects? 

I have a few things in the works. I’m working on The Curse of True Love series, where the goddess Aphrodite tries to play matchmaker in Regency times, with disastrous results. The first story is Lord Rakehell, about a rake who is late to his own wedding, and I hope to have that novella available soon. I’m also finishing edits on a contemporary novella coming out from Samhain in April. It’s part of a series called Strangers on a Train, with individual stories about couples falling in love on different trains — there are five authors involved, and it came about because of a conversation on Twitter!

 

Thanks so much for the fun interview. Your questions made me think about my book in some new ways, which I really enjoyed. I had a great time!

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