Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coming this week!

We have interviews with Susan Stec on her novel "The Grateful Undead: They are so vein."

And a special guest we're thrilled to have ZeeZak, a for real zombie!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Interview with Brian Poor author of the Megazaur series

Tonight we're roasting—I mean interviewing Brian Poor, my co-collaborator in this crazy endeavor called Prehysteria Imprints.  His 2nd novel Megazaur: Akysha's Fury is our first effort and it'll be followed by my novel Freaking Wicked sometime in Jan or Feb. Oh by the way i'm Bryant James my questions will be in grey and Brian's answers in green.

So, let's get down to it and fill free to jump in with questions and comments at any time. 

Okay Brian, What does it take to be a Megazaur (dino rider) in your novel?  What do you have to do to control a T-rex with your mind?

Well, you have to be the strongest most stubborn minded individual in the omada.  You have to have  the attitude that nobody gets in your way, and they shouldn't even dare to think about getting in your way, cause you'll tear them apart.

What in the hell is an Omada?

Omada is Greek for the word tribe.  There are 12 tribes of dino-riders and each has a particular dinosaur they omogolize with.

Okay, I know your just dying to reveal some of your ingenuity…What does each name of the 12 Omadas reflect?

It tells you what dinosaur they ride…A(rex)nos ride the T-rex.  T(cer)nos ride the triceratops, etc.

In the first book (Megazaur: the 13th Omada) the 13th Omada had no real dino-riders, just some they kind of used as horses.  But no meat-eaters like the T-rex.  They depended on Technology to protect them.  Why in this book do they suddenly have Megazaurs?  I thought that went against the father god's wishes?

In the first novel (Megazaur: the 13th Omada) a former Jugnid Megazaur serving in the 13th Omadas army gets a 2nd chance with a giganotosaurus.  And remember the gods are modeled after Greek Mythology.  They all have their own agendas.  So In this novel you see they have at least three Megazaurs.  They are still greatly outnumbered.

You made it clear the Megazaurs control their dinos by strength of will, and the rider and the dino read each other's emotions, telepathically (thru color).  So how is it Okaru (giganotosaur) can talk to Akysha using words?  And why the []'s when they do talk?

It's a different type of omogilization.  A nation of former slaves will have problems showing the prerequisite 'alpha personality' need to rule a dino with their will.  That goes against everything their culture is built on.  So their bonds with the Gigantozaur are a volunteer partnership.  But don't think the Giga is smarter just because they can talk to their riders.  Each dino's emotions and personality is transmitted thru colors and can be translated to words.  The Megazaurs of the 12 omadas just don't listen.

As for the []'s—I needed someway to distinguish telepathic communication from direct thought and dialogue.  That's what I came up with.  I just hope it doesn't annoy the reader.

Yeah that brings up another thing…lol.  What is up with cutting off sentences with the three dots?

LOL, my word program refused to make the long hyphen, so I used that.  It's my signature trademark now.

Writing 'rules' or guidelines say that action sequences should be short sentences.  You're suppose to save the complex sentence structure for passive moments.  Do you think you're above the rules?  I mean, seriously dude, your action sentences could be easily broken into two or even three sentences.

Good question.  For new authors struggling to figure out how to write, I recommend following the rules to develop good writing habits.  However…

there he goes, LOL

Writing a novel is not telling the reader a story but rather strapping them onto a homemade rocket and lighting the fuse.  LOL—the well mannered author will tell them—good luck and have fun—all the while laughing manically.  As an author, I try to make my novel a rollercoaster ride.  And I want it to have all the elements of a good coaster.  Suspense (lift hill), surprise turns, hidden hills, dives into tunnels, and of course that first huge plunge.  I want to give them airtime and I want give the reader those moments when the coaster goes thru the break-run giving the rider a  chance to catch their breath.

Soo…I try very hard to choreograph my story with my words.  I'm designing the ride, so My responsibly is to grab the reader and throw them in the train and send them screaming down the tracks.

I'm very particular about action sequences.  I rewrite them about 3 to 4 times just to get them right.  To answer your question, there are times when I want the action to continue into the effect—thus the complex sentence.  Eg: Sam smacked Eric in the nose, smearing his face with blood and knocking him to the floor in a daze.  But there also times when you want the short sentence because the effect of the action isn't important and only bogs the reader down.  And trust me I agonize over those things and just not sentences.  Pacing is everything.  Plunge the reader down a huge drop and then give them a chance to say OMG before twisting them around into a loop.  Hopefully I'm doing that.  So yeah I feel like I know what I'm doing and can break the rules. LOL

I'll give you credit and I'm not saying this as your partner.  Most times your pacing is nearly perfect even when it flies in the face of convention.

Yeah, well I hate convention when it tells me I have to keep the book roaring down the road with out pit-stops or even downshifting.  Or the push to have every chapter end in a cliffhanger. Novels aren't movies.  They're not for people with short attention-spans. I read because I want to get inside the characters head and know what he's thinking.  Boom this happens and how do they react to that.  What's going thru their head.  I just like to pause sometimes to let the reader catch his breath and maybe emphasize a particular sequence.

Yeah you have a reputation as a head hopper…lol  I'll let em read it to see what I mean.  But what do you struggle with as a writer?

Descriptions, descriptions!  God I hate writing them.  As a reader I just want a sketchy, glossed over description.  I want to get right to it and into that character's head.  I don't need to know what they look lie, my mind draws its own image from their thoughts, actions, and dialogue.  Usually I skip over those and then make myself go back and write them. LOL

Okay Now I'm going to elaborate on the comments I've made about you writing like a girl—

You're just mean—

You have this great story and a Kick-ass character in Akysha.  I mean she could be Laura Croft, but yet you somehow manage to capture the girl in her.  When she's thrust into action she doesn't hesitate, she just goes for the kill.  But when she's not, she acts very much like the young, inexperienced woman she is.  She worries about everything and you really show how being the leader really burdens her with responsibility.  And she hates it.  Not in the heavy handed, over-melodramatic way of a certain popular character in a popular Vampire series we won't mention---because I hate that book, but you seemed to capture the insecure-uncertain teenager in Akysha.  You find a balance between the gung-ho—I wanna kick some ass—girl, to the OMG I feel so overwhelmed with all this woman.  How—as a guy—did you achieve this balance without really being a woman in disguise?

Lol, like most of my characters, Akysha just came to life and took over.  Any script I had for her went out the window, she did she what she wanted and I just followed writing it down.  And most of my characters are like that.  They come to life and do what they want. But no, I'm not a woman and can't relate to exactly how it feels to be a woman, let alone a teenager growing into an adult.  Akysha just woke up and I think she's pretty real.

Oh, she's real all right.  The contrast is good, though I'd love to get some outside opinion on this. (Hint hint)  I know you work-shopped this in a writers group and got a lot of criticism on the lack of conflict you thrust on her.  Wanna explain?

There is overt conflict and subtle conflict.  I personally get tired of what I call the Spiderman syndrome.  You have a superhero that's constantly getting his butt kicked and having all this external conflict dropped on him.  I mean he swings out to break up a bank robbery, gets leveled by the green Goblin, and then is late for a date or class and gets in trouble.  And I see a lot of manufactured conflict in today's drama.  You know I'm a huge star wars fan, but one of my biggest crits of that franchise is the Jedi.  They're suppose to be the superhero's of that world, but in almost every fight, it gets dragged out to put conflict in it.  Like when Dooku and Yoda fight in number 2.  First there is a battle of throwing thing then they get to the light-saber duel.  Why not inter-mix it.  You don't really see a good fight until Anakin and Obi-wan go at it.

Akysha's got a gift.  Her sword is already cutting off your head before she has time to think it.  Nobody is going to survive for more than a few seconds going head to head with her.  The raptors are the same as a regular warrior.  You have to gang up on her and even then it's most likely a draw. But on the other hand she can't stand up by herself to an Allozaur or T-rex.  Stabbing a rex with a sword is like stabbing a human with a pen.  It won't kill or even debilitate, just hurt and make you mad.  And she knows that.  No…

I really wanted to give her subtle conflicts.  She wins every battle but is always losing the war.  She believes she was given this power to defend her 13th Omada from the next invasion by the 12 omadas, just like her father and she's worried that she will  fail when that time comes.  Plus, she doesn't fear dying for that cause, just that she can't live up to her father who did.  Akysha gets saddled with an Arexnos Megazaur (whom she has reason to hate for reason I won't  reveal so I don't give away a spoiler for the first novel.) and has to deal with that.  So she has the conflict she needs to arc with as a character it's just subtle.

That brings up another question.  You got a lot of criticism for having your two protagonist fall in love so early in the book.  Can you explain with out giving too much away?

Again back to the spiderman thing.  Serak and Akysha are meant to be together, but the purpose of their romance isn't so much to add more conflict.  Akysha has enough problems and she needs someone to help her balance that conflict or share it.  And there are small conflicts in their relationship, just nothing dramatic.  But I am a Star wars fan, and Akysha's purpose is to explore the balance between love and hate.

What do you mean?

Well, her powers amplify her emotions.  She is a forthright woman who sincerely believes it is her purpose and duty to protect the innocent.  To serve out justice for those who have no hope of it.  And ironically, her justice is meted out by killing people and dinosaurs with a sword.  And that pushes her to the edge of being out of control, to losing control of her emotions and killing out of pure hate.

Well that sounds like conflict to me…lol

Yeah, but going back to Star Wars and the story of Anakin/Darth Vader, love is the reason he turns to the Dark side.  He loves and therefore he can hate and is susceptible to turning.  I'm exploring the opposite.  Love is what keeps Akysha from going berserk and turning into an indiscriminate killing machine.  Therefore love had to come early into the Novel.

You're sex scene really shocked the hell out of me.  You are aware—unless you're writing romance—that you only write sex scenes to advance the plot?

Lol…both characters needed it badly and I wrote this in a workshop and was dared to write it.  I thought about it taking it out but it does at least define their relationship.

You talk about pacing and one area of the book I thought really dragged the pacing was the bit about the Apatozaur and Aruthra. 

Well, The Apatosaurus is my favorite dinosaur and after being shunned by Spielberg in Jurassic Park, I wanted to make sure ‘Brute’ had a big part.  Yeah that slowed down the pacing but I’m trying to throw in stuff for dinosaur fans and I also though the more ‘war minded’ of us would appreciate that. 

Let me ask you about dialogue tags.  There is a raging controversy about their use.  Your thoughts?

Again as a writer use everything to craft the story.  Sometimes dialogue tags can be used to show how a character reacts to the dialogue.  Sometimes I drop them when I want the dialogue to zip back and forth.  I also like to add direct thought as a reaction.  So to answer your question I vary and don’t let them drag down the pacing.  Its all about what you want to the reader to see, feel, and experience without jarring them out of your world.

I’m going to give a shout out to a writer who was my best friend when I was in the writer group---Susan Stec.  If you want to see how to write snappy, hilarious dialogue, check out her works-- http://www.amazon.com/Grateful-Undead-Theyre-Vein-ebook/dp/B004X1UJ4O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-

I called her the queen of dialogue.  Examine how she uses dialogue tags and how she links action to them.  Her characters are running around in a neurotic state of hysteria for most of the novel.

Yeah, we’re  suppose to interview her next week, I’m looking forward to it!

Do you need to read the first Megazaur novel: the 13th omad, to read Akysha's fury?

No,the first Novel is a stand alone so you don't need to.  Now you will have to have read Meg2 to read Meg 3 when it comes out.

Which is when? 

I'm writing the 3rd and 4th now, so hopefully early spring.  We will launch them within weeks of each other and between now and then will let some excerpts slip out for our fans.

What kind of advice would you give to new writers?

Like you? LOL.  Join a workshop, like the NextBigWriter.  Learn how to show not tell.  Pick out an author you like and identify with and break down their writing stucture. Don't steal their work but emulate it until you find your voice and style.  Get use to editing and editing and then editing.  And most important. if your really like something you have written...a particular sentence or paragraph...delete it. it's probably too cutesy and will jar the reader.

You mean like this?
A steady rain botched the day’s plans and Akysha’s defiant stare at the meadow separating
the village from the Green Forest did nothing to dissuade it.

Yeah, I really liked that sentence and it set her mood instantly. LOL...do as I say, not as I do.

LOL, see there is the woman coming out in you.  Okay folks that wraps up this interview but Brian promises to check in frequently to answer any comments or Questions.  Thanks for reading this!

Monday, October 17, 2011


We are going to roast. I mean interview, brian poor on his Novel--Megazaur: Akysha's fury on Thursday at seven pm for anyone who want to come in and join the fun!

Don't miss it!

We are open for business!

Despite my overwhelming need to call this the bathroom reader, because I do most of my reading in the bathroom, Brian and I decided to name it after our company name. Sooo...without futher ado...we would like to announce that we are open for business!