INAUGURATION BLITZ, FINALE!

Okay! It's our last day of blitzing, and though we took a loooooooong break, we saved a pretty great piece for the end. We have to say, we're pretty stinking proud of our authors at this point. A couple weeks ago, we started an Inauguration Blitz—not annual, since this only happens once every four to eight years! Our … once-every-four-to-eight-years Inauguration Blitz, then. And this week we're finishing up, since we had so many authors involved that we couldn't fit them all in. We've focusing on government, how the country was born, presidential and congressional behavior and ethics, and—most importantly—the idea of revolution. Because we are firm believers that any country deserves the best possible government--and that ours is facing ... a leader who is failing, honestly. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of our favorite revolutionary characters for some down-and-dirty answers about their fights, who they’re fighting against, and when they know it's time to stand up and fight for the right side.

We focused on new authors and older, and did interviews with their main characters--and what they were doing to survive. Our final interview is from Sonya Craig who writes hard sci fi and space operas (and is also a scientist and an illustrator!). Her first book with Glass House features a space mission gone ... well, wrong, and the revolution that may--or may not--be born of it. We took a moment to interview her main character about her world, the situation, and how she's fighting to stand up and take control.


1.     So first, the obvious. Tell us about your world. Where do you live? What’s the story there?

My name is Taiga and, well, I’m a soldier. So I live wherever the State sends me. Sometimes I’m on base. Sometimes I’m sent to the bottom of the ocean to help some civvies stuck on a crumpled section of the Pacific Subway Crossing. Sometimes I’m at various survival camps: Camp Essex, where I got my oh-so-unattractive scar, Camp Shackleton, where I damn near died of hypothermia, Camp Blige, where I damn near died when a broken rib punctured my lung, and Camp SanJohn, where nothing exciting happened and I damn near died of boredom. The only good thing that happened at SanJohn was Hansen the slime muppet wiped his butt with poison ivy and waddled like a pale, annoying duck for a week.
But hey, right now I’m on my very first Outbound mission, so huzzah for that, even if it is some kind of sciencey assignment about studying alien flora and fauna and other text-bookish words like Worthiness Litmus Test and Comparative Zenology. I’ve only been trying my whole seventeen years to go Outbound though, so I would’ve taken the commission even if it was scrubbing latrines on a distant gas dwarf.
I earned this high honor by stunning the crud out of a bunch of anarchist protesters, and maybe I’ve got mixed feelings about that. But if I do I sure won’t be sharing them with the State. That kind of touchy feely shiz will get you booted out. “Booted out” being one of the many euphemisms for “permanently discharged” or “given notice” or, as we soldiers call it, “dead.” This alien planet the State sent me to, though? It’s freaky. And its inhabitants? Well, let’s just say they give new meaning to the word “wildlife.”
But stuff is happening here—stuff I can’t talk about, stuff involving the aliens and the State … and it’s making me feel really weird and confused. Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone I said this. I mean really don’t tell anyone, or that booted out thing? It’ll be me next.
And I’d rather not go out that way.


2.     Got it. And now, the bad guy. Who are you fighting against? And why?


      That’s the thing: I don’t know who I’m fighting against at this point. Everything is a confusing, muddled crapfest of what-the-ever-absolute-hell-is-going-on. This mission ... it isn't what it seems, and I don't think it's just a la la nature study anymore. I think it may even be … oh, Mustafo’s mangy mudrat, I can’t believe I’m saying this … it may be something not right. Something ... sinister. And in the middle of this shizpile, surrounded by chaos and cryptic orders from above, I think I'm gonna have to pick a side soon. Choose one side and I'm a loyal soldier. I get to make my lifelong hero, kickbutt Beta Quinslo, proud. I earn the respect of my superiors. And I probably get some medals and ribbons and a commendation and other nifty stuff.
      Choose the other side and I get the title of Earth's Biggest Traitor Ever—and the personal firing squad that goes along with it. Blindfolded and gunned down by my peers on camera while crowds cheer my demise. But here's the thing: Does following orders always make you a good soldier? I'm not so sure anymore. And I’m starting to think that an awful lot is riding on me figuring that out. And when I say awful lot, I mean only the future of the entire Sol System and its billions of people, and the future of this planet and its possibly endearing or possibly menacing weirdo aliens. The fate of billions riding on little ol’ nobody me. No freakin’ pressure.

3.     What do you think of revolutions, then? Obviously you’re starting to believe that everything isn’t as it seems—and sometimes it’s not right. If you come across a corrupt government or system, do you think it’s your responsibility to fight them?

      Corrupt? Who’s corrupt? The aliens? The State? Hansen in all his jerkwadishness? The suit that sent me down to this planet, and his toadie scientists? If you know the answer, please let me know because I’m in a ginormous, hot mess here. Confusing orders, my superiors acting sketchy, explosions, shuttles crashing for no reason that makes any kind of sense… Argh! But okay, let’s say I did find out that someone was being a lousy, slimy creep. Then yeah, I’d take them down. That’s what soldiers do, right? We fight for good. We stand a post and say, “No bad stuff is gonna happen to you. Not on my watch.”

4.     What’s your goal right now? What do you hope to see happen?

      Um, my goal is to know why I was sent here. And why in the ever lovin’ hell the snafufest of crashes and explosions and germy infestations keep happening. And what the hell is my role in this mission and hell, in this freaky life? Because you’re right—something is going on here, and it may be something bad. Which means I need to figure it the hell out before it destroys me and maybe everyone around me and maybe millions and billions of people; bouncy babbly babies, wise old pie-baking grannies, goofy uncles, huggy moms, hardworking dads, adorable-beyond-belief kiddos, etc etc etc…
      What do I want to see happen? How about we all get out of here alive. And by that I mean everyone, including a certain secret someone I really, really can’t talk about because of a sticky little offense called treason. Just eff me. Oh man, am I in deep.

5.     Do you think you’ll succeed?

      I’ll succeed at whatever the heck I’m supposed to do or I’ll die, hopefully not in one of the yucky ways I learned about in my Gruesome Ways You May Die class.

6.     How do you know you’re doing the right thing? Don’t you think there are a lot of other people who are probably on the other side of the line?

      I guess I’ll know if I’m doing the right thing if:
a.     I see that a person or group of people is being shoved in harm’s way and I protect them—and do no harm along the way myself.
b.     My actions do good to the world/galaxy/universe, like making universe-sized peace a thing. Although as a State soldier, I’ve never seen that one in the instruction manual.
c.     Maybe I could get rid of gross stuff like people looking down on other people, and in its place, make something better … like people maybe trying to get to know each other?

7.     Final question. What do you think of being a heroine rather than a hero? Does it matter? Can a girl be just as revolutionary as a boy?

      Whaaa…? Ridic question deserving of a solid kick to the shin or somewhere more painful. Except I have restraint (depending on the situation and the person or Hansen-like asshat talking to me) so I’m just gonna shake my head and roll my eyes and forget I was ever asked this. Excuse me while I go look at pictures of cute kitties to decompress and then go heroically try to save the universe. Because GIRL.

Get the low-down on Sonya's kickass characters and their coming battle via her social media!

Instagram: @sonyakcraig



 
INAUGURATION BLITZ DAY SEVEN!

Right, so we're ending the second week of this gig, and we have to say--we're pretty stinking proud of our authors at this point. Last week we started an Inauguration Blitz—not annual, since this only happens once every four to eight years! Our … once-every-four-to-eight-years Inauguration Blitz, then. And this week we're finishing up, since we had so many authors involved that we couldn't fit them all in. We're focusing on government, how the country was born, presidential and congressional behavior and ethics, and—most importantly—the idea of revolution. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of our favorite revolutionary characters for some down-and-dirty answers about their fights, who they’re fighting against, and when they know it's time to stand up and fight for the right side.

This week, we're focusing on some of our newer authors--and their main characters, who are fighting for their right to survive. Next up is JD Wilcox, who writes hard sci fi and space operas (as well as fairy tales, if the rumors are to be believed!), and his first book features a space mission gone ... well, wrong. We took a moment to interview his main character about her world, the situation, and how she's fighting to stand up and take control.





1.     So first, the obvious. Tell us about your world. Where do you live? What’s the story there? 

Well, I don’t live on a world. I hope to one day, I think. I live on Endeavor, an interstellar colonial transport. Or what’s left of it. We were only one year from our destination when everything went wrong.

2.    Got it. And now, the bad guy. Who are you fighting against? And why? 

I … don’t know. We don’t know what happened. We’re trying to figure that out. But right now, our first priority is finding a way to survive. Whatever it takes.

3.    So your fight is a completely different one, then. And it sounds like someone who was supposed to take care of you left you in a bad way. What’s going on there?  

My mom was our captain, and my whole life's been spent in her shadow. But she died with the rest of the adults. And now, with everything that’s happened … I'm realizing I’m not ready for this. I might have thought I was, but I was definitely wrong. Everything’s going sideways, and I don’t know what to do about it. Do I trust my older brother, even if I think what he's doing is wrong? What if it means watching my friends die? How can I live with myself if I stand by for that?

4.    Ouch. So what’s your biggest fight right now? 

 We have to live. The few of us that are left have to survive. Whatever it takes, I have to be capable of doing it. Even if it means standing up to my commander. Even if it means alienating the others.

5.    Do you think you’ll succeed? 

I hope so. I think my brother’s strong enough to lead us.

6.    Sounds like you’ve got a fight on your hands. And that the fight might set you up against members of your crew. How do you know you’re doing the right thing?  

When I feel lighter, when my chest flutters like it’s in the vacuum of space, I think I’m doing what’s right. But how do I know my reality isn’t wrong? My brother would never intentionally lead us into danger. And if he made a mistake, and I said so, would the others even believe me? I wish I knew.

7.    Final question. What do you think of being a heroine rather than a hero? Does it matter? Can a girl be just as revolutionary as a boy? 

Yes. Of course! It doesn’t matter if she’s a girl. My mom was captain of the most ambitious undertaking in the history of humankind. Everyone loved her. Didn’t they?

Keep up with J David and learn more about his world--and the process!
Twitter: @jdavidwilcox
Instagram: @granitespire







 
INAUGURATION BLITZ DAY SIX!

Okay so that's SORT of a lie since we took the weekend off ... and then took a day off since our last post ... but we had a march to go to, signs to paint, letters to deliver--you know, the stuff you do when you want to make your voice heard. The last week has been an awful lot of work for those of us who like to be involved! We're watching our country go through a historic change--and whether you have optimism for our new president or not, no one can argue that the country is facing a challenging moment. Last week we started an Inauguration Blitz—not annual, since this only happens once every four to eight years! Our … once-every-four-to-eight-years Inauguration Blitz, then. And this week we're finishing up, since we had so many authors involved that we couldn't fit them all in. We're focusing on government, how the country was born, presidential and congressional behavior and ethics, and—most importantly—the idea of revolution. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of our favorite revolutionary characters for some down-and-dirty answers about their fights, who they’re fighting against, and when they know it's time to stand up and fight for the right side.

This week, we're focusing on some of our newer authors--and their main characters, who are fighting for their right to survive. Next up is RK Brainerd, who writes about an alternative future based on environmental success ... and social chaos. We took a moment to interview her main character about her world, the government's secrets, and how she's fighting for her rights. 

 
1.     So first, the obvious. Tell us about your world. Where do you live? What’s the story there?

I live in the Independent City of Farfalla, in the Northwestern tip of Spain. My father moved us here because there were better prospects for his business. An Independent City is essentially just what it sounds like—a city not associated with a country. Basically, when the environment collapsed a few hundred years ago, a lot of cities said ‘hey, let’s live on our own,’ and figured out how manage themselves self-sufficiently. Yes, it did take a combined coalition of countries to fix the planet as a whole—but it was the independent cities that figured out the secret to self-sufficient environmental care: focusing at the community level to grow food, create power, and live. You know, your basic starting-from-the-ground-up principle.

I live in one of the cities famous for that. And as the planet got better, and the countries became stronger, Spain did try to get Farfalla back. But it never really happened. Farfalla is now an epicenter of industry and Capitalism (an economic method I’m not so sure about yet, though my father is ga-ga about it) … and also has one of the biggest concentrations of demons I’ve ever encountered. I don’t know the why on that, but you better bet I’m going to figure it out.

2.    Got it. And now, the bad guy. Who are you fighting against? And why?

Well firstly, there’s my mother. She’s convinced that if I don’t get my act together soon, I’m never going to be marriageable. Oh darn. As if that wasn’t my intent or something. *cough *

The real story is that my battle is with the culture as a whole. Farfalla may be moving ahead, technologically … but in most of the world, women can’t even vote unless they’re married. Forget running a business. Or surviving without a ‘patron’ of some sort, as if we can’t make decisions for ourselves. And of course no one wants to talk about it. Everyone is too concerned about keeping up appearances and returning to old ways of doing things and not talking about anything real. And there’s something off about the whole thing. If I could just figure out what it was…

And speaking of real. Let’s get back to those demons. You want to talk about antagonists? Let’s talk about my sneaky Mr. Mysterious, who I KNOW has dirt on the demons and what they’re doing here. I saw the way he dealt with that strigoi, and the weird thing he had in his pocket. I’ve been searching for answers for years—for a lot of good reasons that I could go on and on about, not the least of which is my sister’s death—and I’m NOT about to let him get away.

So you ask who I’m fighting against? I’m rebelling against my mother. I’m seriously considering a rebellion against our social strata. And I’m fighting against what the government says I can or can’t learn about. I refuse to let them dictate what I know – like about demons. And figuring out why they’re here … and why the government works so hard to keep them a secret.

3.    What’s the government like in your world?

Well, Farfalla is overseen by a coalition of businessmen and interested parties. So far it seems to be going okay, but there’s a lot of worry about what they’ll turn into … because there aren’t really any checks or balances. In Britain, where I was born, they have a constitutional monarchy. That’s working better. But I’m not really pleased with it either. Lots of stupid laws and norms … and very little choice for the people. Which rubs me the wrong way.

4.    Right. So it seems you’re not a big fan of government, really—at least not the ones in your world. And I’m picking up that you’re inclined to revolution. So if you come across a corrupt government or system, do you think it’s your responsibility to fight them?

I mean, if you want to live in a fascist state or dictatorship or monarchy, it’s not your responsibility to fight corruption. But if you want something more than that, you’re going to have to do something about it. It’s not going to do it itself. Unfortunately, human nature is prone to sitting around and hoping for the best … which has its place, for sure.

But not here. That’s not me. I’m not going to sit around like a good girl and watch the world happen around me. I want more. I want answers. And I’m going to get them—even if it means fighting the people in charge.

5.    That sounds ominous. Can you tell us more?

It is ominous. And I’m starting to draw too much attention to myself, I can tell you that much. I’ve had my phone shut off and privileges revoked when I’ve gotten too close to answers about the magic in our world (remember the demons?)—and the Council for Defense Against Magic (CDAM) has been sniffing around again, so I know they’re watching me. That doesn’t scare me, though. Nothing scares me much anymore. Not after what happened. Well, maybe being forced into marriage—that does terrify me. But this thing with the government? Nah. I’m getting my answers about magic whether CDAM, the British Government, or the world as a whole like it or not.

Something is going on, and I want to know what it is. I think we all deserve to know what it is.

But I know my time is running out. I’m going to have to start fighting to live the way I want to, and try to make changes. I just … don’t know where to start.

6.    All right then, what’s your goal with your fight? What do you hope to see happen?

I’m going to discover secrets. I’m going to find out the truth about magic—and that freaking Mr. Mysterious running around—and maybe I’ll actually find a place I belong. There have to be others like me, wanting truth over fiction. There have to be others who want to fight for it. I can’t be the only one. And if we end up changing the world while we’re at it—even saving it—well, everyone wants to be a hero, right?

7.    Do you think you’ll succeed?

That or die trying.

8.    Final question. What do you think of being a heroine rather than a hero? Does it matter? Can a girl be just as revolutionary as a boy?

*bangs head repeatedly against wall * I’ll show you that girls can be just as revolutionary as boys. Just watch. 


Follow RK for updates about her process, her books, and her upcoming news!

FB: @RKBrainerd 
Twitter: @awakedragon 
Instagram: @rkbrainerd 
INAUGURATION BLITZ DAY FIVE!

Okay so that's SORT of a lie since we took the weekend off ... but we had a march to go to, signs to paint, letters to deliver--you know, the stuff you do when you want to make your voice heard. The last week has been an awful lot of work for those of us who like to be involved! We're watching our country go through a historic change--and whether you have optimism for our new president or not, no one can argue that the country is facing a challenging moment. Last week we started an Inauguration Blitz—not annual, since this only happens once every four to eight years! Our … once-every-four-to-eight-years Inauguration Blitz, then. And this week we're finishing up, since we had so many authors involved that we couldn't fit them all in. We're focusing on government, how the country was born, presidential and congressional behavior and ethics, and—most importantly—the idea of revolution. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of our favorite revolutionary characters for some down-and-dirty answers about their fights, who they’re fighting against, and when they know it's time to stand up and fight for the right side.

This week, we're focusing on some of our newer authors--and their main characters, who are fighting for their right to survive. Up first we have a brand new character from Kimberly Mitchell.



1.     So first, the obvious. Tell us about your world. Where do you live? What’s the story there?



Water is scarce in my land. The Nas, our ruling class, mostly live in the City and leave us alone, but when my people, the Abed, started refusing to allow them access to the wells that have been in our villages for centuries, things got … bad.

They attacked us. They firebombed our villages. My brother and I, along with the other children, fled into the desert. My parents and the other Abed were either killed or rounded up and taken to the City to live in refugee camps. But we survived in the desert.

After the war, the giftings came. I'm a Dreamer. I dream of the water hidden in the desert—and it helps us stay alive another day.

2.    Got it. And now, the bad guy. Who are you fighting against? And why?
        
              I'm fighting for my life. It wasn't enough for the Emperor to win the war. His soldiers hunt down the Abed children in the desert. If they’re captured, those children are never heard from again. Even with the giftings, I'm afraid of what the Emperor will do to my 'family': the other Abed children I've lived with since the war. We are not safe. No amount of gifting will keep us safe.

               But there are rumors of a hidden city in the desert, a safe place that is for gifted Abed. How could such a place exist? Is it truly a sanctuary? It seems that it could mean safety for us—badly needed safety.

              But will we fight to reach it only to find that it, too, is a lie?

3.    Do you think you’re in the midst of a revolution? Are you fighting the system?

               I don't want to start another war, but my people are imprisoned in refugee camp or           dying in the desert. I will do anything I can to keep the people I love alive. If I have to take down the Emperor to keep my family safe, I will.

4.    What’s your goal? What do you hope to see happen?

We want to live in peace on the land that was ours before the Nas took it from us and put the Abed in refugee camps.

5.    Do you think you’ll succeed?

We have to. We can't stay in the desert any longer, and the Sickness is spreading in the City, to Nas and Abed alike. Something must change. The Emperor must see that, too.

6. How do you know you’re doing the right thing? Don’t you think there are a lot of other people who are probably on the other side of the line?

It can't be right to force people from their homes, firebomb their villages, and put them in refugee camps with armed guards, can it? Don't the Abed have as much right to live as the Nas? The Emperor must be made to see that. No matter the cost.

6.    Final question. What do you think of being a heroine rather than a hero? Does it matter? Can a girl be just as revolutionary as a boy?

The Emperor doesn't discriminate between us. Neither will I. I will do what I can to protect my family. What does my gender have to do with that? We fight for the people we love. It doesn't matter who we are. 







Keep up with Kimberly on her social media to learn more about her books--and her first release!

Twitter: @KSMitch17 
Instagram: @KSMitch17