Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Shadowzone


My guest today is Calgary author Simon Rose, who has published fourteen novels for children and young adults, seven guides for writers, almost 100 nonfiction books, and many articles on a wide variety of topics. Earlier this year he released Twisted Fate, the second installment of the paranormal Flashback series. Today, we’re looking at his latest release, the Shadowzone series.

So what’s the Shadowzone series all about?

The series involves the discovery of a grim dystopian version of Earth that’s ruled by a totalitarian dictatorship, the threat of a deadly virus, and a race against time to save the lives of millions. Without giving too much away, here’s a synopsis for each of the novels.


While watching intense flashes of lightning during a violent storm, Ben experiences mysterious and disturbing visions of another world, one very different from his own. In the chain of events that follow, Ben encounters Charlie, a girl from a dark version of Earth, a planet doomed by the effects of environmental catastrophe, where the leaders will stop at nothing to complete their deadly mission. 

   

On a doomed version of Earth, the sinister schemes of the Ministry are moving ever closer to completion, with dire consequences for the inhabitants of two worlds. For Ben and Charlie, an unlikely alliance, unexpected reunions, and the mysterious prophecy of the Chosen One offer a glimmer of hope, with the ever-present prospect of betrayal, as they embark on an unpredictable journey into the unknown. 



In a dark parallel world, following attacks by its most determined opponents, the Ministry has been forced to change its plans. Yet the ruthless Director-General is prepared to sacrifice anyone to achieve an entirely new beginning, no matter what the cost. In a deadly race against time, as events spiral out of control, Ben and Charlie must risk their lives in a desperate attempt to save two worlds from destruction. 

What inspired you to write these three books? What’s the story behind the story?

The original idea was about someone capturing mysterious images on a video camera of a person that no one else could see. It was around the time that a local hospital was about to be demolished. I imagined that my character was filming the event and captured the image of the person stepping seemingly unharmed from the rubble as the building came down. The idea of capturing unexplained images on film was something that I’ve continued working on and it also inspired me to write The Time Camera, which was published in 2011.

For a while, that’s all I had and it was one of those ideas that I was never sure would come to anything. It was early in my writing career and I put it aside and worked on other stories, but I’d periodically add another element to the story about the camera and the mysterious individual. At one point, I decided that the person that the boy caught on film wasn’t a ghost but from another dimension or perhaps a parallel universe and they were attempting to contact him for some reason. I then began to add details of this other Earth and the reasons for the connection to our world, and it went from there. An initial concept involving kidnappings from hospitals didn’t quite work, so instead I developed the idea of a deadly virus, which was a good fit with the type of government running the other Earth. Once that was all in place, I was able to get to work.

Was it always going to be a series?

Shadowzone was originally only one novel, but once I’d finished it I immediately realized that the story wasn’t over and that I need to write more. The final installment was written very quickly and in the process I knew that I needed to expand the earlier sections too, so in the end I had a trilogy.

 So of course, people need to read all three :)

You could certainly just read Shadowzone, but there’s a cliffhanger ending and hopefully most people will feel utterly compelled to be read on and learn what happens next. Into The Web and Black Dawn also don’t make sense if you haven’t read the first book in the series. Taken together, it’s an exciting, fast paced adventure that I hope everyone will really enjoy.

So it’s a good idea for authors to write a series of books?

It can be, but only if you have enough material for multiple books. If readers are sufficiently interested in the story and the characters after completing the first installment, they’d usually like to read more. However, the story or theme has to be strong enough to warrant more adventures. It’s important to remember that the reader won’t appreciate any novel that’s overloaded with filler, just for the sake of creating a series, and might easily avoid any books by the same author in the future.

So where can people buy all three books in the Shadowzone series?

The books can be purchased at most of the usual places, as follows:

Shadowzone
Ebook: Amazon CanadaAmazon USAKoboiBooks, and Smashwords
Paperback: AmazonCreatespace

Into The Web
Ebook: Amazon CanadaAmazon USAKoboiBooks, and Smashwords
Paperback:
Amazon, Createspace

Black Dawn
Ebook: Amazon CanadaAmazon USAKoboiBooks, and Smashwords
Paperback: 
AmazonCreatespace

You published these yourself, whereas most of your earlier work was traditionally published, correct?

The first eight novels were published by Tradewind Books, while Flashback, Future Imperfect, and Twisted Fate were published by Tyche Books, but my seven books featuring tips and advice for writers were self-published as paperbacks and as ebooks.  I hadn’t self-published fiction before and thought it was time that I did. The Shadowzone books were finished and I believed that they were as good, if not better, than my other work. I also asked some people read them to confirm this and then decided to go ahead with publication. A lot of traditionally published authors also self publish as well now, so it’s quite common practice these days. 

Will you self publish again in the future?

Yes, I think so. The third part of the Flashback series will be published by Tyche Books next spring, but I do have several other projects that I’ll most likely publish myself as well soon. 

What are you currently working on?

I always have a current project or two and right now I’m working on a historical fiction novel for young adults set in the turbulent era of the English Civil War in the 1640s. The novel’s about half finished, but I still have a lot of work to do. I’m also working on sequels to Future Imperfect and The Sphere of Septimus.

Are your other books in this similar dystopian genre?

No, although my novels are all in the science fiction and fantasy genre. The Sorcerer’s Letterbox and The Heretic’s Tomb are historical fiction adventures set in medieval England, The Alchemist’s Portrait is a time travel story, The Emerald Curse is all about superheroes and comic books, The Doomsday Mask is all about the legend of Atlantis, and The Sphere of Septimus involves the characters traveling into another world and is in the same vein as the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, or Lord of the Rings. Future Imperfect is a technology-driven story featuring mysterious messages from the future, and Flashback and Twisted Fate are in the paranormal genre. I’ve also written nonfiction guides for writers, including The Children’s Writer's Guide and The Time Traveler’s Guide.

You also work with other authors, don’t you?

Yes, I do quite a lot of that these days. I’ve edited books in all kinds of genres for a wide range of writers in the last few years, offering both substantive and copy editing. I also work as a writing coach and consultant for people with works in progress or those that are struggling with writer’s block. You can learn more about some of the projects I’ve worked on that have subsequently been published are here on my website. I also offer online courses for adults and workshops on a variety of themes for aspiring young writers.

Thanks Simon, for being my guest here today and the very best of luck with the Shadowzone series. I hope the books sell thousands of copies in the coming weeks and months.

You can learn more about Simon and his work on his website at www.simon-rose.com or online at the following social media sites:

·      Facebook
·      Twitter
·      LinkedIn
·      YouTube
·      Google +
·      Pinterest

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Twisted Fate


My guest today is Simon Rose, author of many novels and nonfiction books for children and young adults. His latest novel, Twisted Fate, has just been released.

So another new book, that’s very exciting. So what’s this one all about?

Twisted Fate is the second part of the paranormal Flashback trilogy. The first instalment, entitled Flashback, was published in 2015. The novel features ghosts, psychics, and Project Mindstorm, a secret operation involving deadly mind control experiments, as Max investigates events concealed for over twenty years.
 
Twisted Fate begins around the time of Max’s fifteenth birthday when he receives a box of personal items that once belonged to his mother and soon begins to have strange dreams and experience disturbing visions. Max steadily learns the shocking truth about his mother and her possible connection to Project Mindstorm. Max also meets Julia, a girl with dark hidden secrets, as he attempts to alter his mother’s fate and his own, for better or worse. He and Julia embark on a seemingly impossible mission involving deadly psychics, paranormal phenomena, and multiple shifting timelines. On the run and pursued at every turn by the powerful and ruthless Kane, Max and Julia engage in a desperate race against time in an attempt to save countless lives and transform their own destiny.

Did you plan at the outset that the books would form a paranormal trilogy?

Flashback was originally a single novel but more or less as soon as it was published I realized that there was more to the story. My father also read Flashback and asked when the next one was coming out. I thought that he was referring to my next novel but he meant the next paranormal adventure and pointed out several areas in Flashback where there were opportunities for more stories. There were also some unanswered questions so I got to work on a further installment. While writing part two I knew that there was a third story and had an idea for a novel involving parallel universe that I realized would be a perfect fit to wrap up Max’s adventures. The third part of the trilogy, entitled Parallel Destiny, will be published early next year.

Is it a good idea for authors to write a series of books?

It can be, as long as you have enough material. If the reader is interested enough in the characters and the story they’d often like to read more. However, the story or theme has to be strong enough to warrant more adventures and the reader will not appreciate a novel that’s overloaded with filler, just for the sake of creating a series.

From the author’s point of view, readers are more likely to buy more books if a series is available and they enjoyed the first installment. Flashback was been very well received so hopefully the other two books will be equally popular with readers.

Do you always write in the paranormal genre?

Flashback and Twisted Fate are in the paranormal genre, but the other novels are all in the science fiction and fantasy genre. The Sorcerer’s Letterbox and The Heretic’s Tomb are historical fiction adventures set in medieval England, The Alchemist’s Portrait is a time travel story, The Emerald Curse is all about superheroes and comic books, The Doomsday Mask is all about the legend of Atlantis, and The Sphere of Septimus involves the characters traveling into another world and is in the same vein as the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, or Lord of the Rings. Future Imperfect is a technology-driven story featuring mysterious messages from the future.

Although most authors are usually known for writing in a particular genre, some occasionally decide to write something a little different, if only to test the waters. I’ve written seven nonfiction guides for writers, including The Children’s Writer's Guide and The Time Traveler’s Guide, but also recently published a romantic comedy under a pseudonym. While very different to all my previous work and certainly not for a young audience, writing When Sally Met Sally was an interesting exercise. Whether I’ll be creating more novels like this remains to be seen. We’ll have to see if the novel continues to sell.

You also work with other authors, don’t you?

Yes, I do quite a lot of that these days. I’ve edited books in all kinds of genres for a wide range of writers in the last few years, offering both substantive and copy editing. I also work as a writing coach and consultant for people with works in progress or those that are struggling with writer’s block. Some of the projects I’ve worked on that have subsequently been published are here on my website. I also offer online courses for adults and ones on a variety of themes for aspiring young writers.

What are you currently working on?

I’m always working on something but currently I’m putting the finishing touches to a dystopian parallel universe novel that I hope will be published later this year. I’m also working on a historical fiction novel set in the turbulent era of the English Civil War in the 1640s. Both these novels are for young adults.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

Twisted Fate is available in paperback and as an ebook worldwide on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Indigo/Chapters in Canada, and at many other locations online. Your local bookstore should also be able to order a copy.

You can learn more about Simon and his work on his website at www.simon-rose.com or online at the following social media sites:

·      Facebook
·      Twitter
·      LinkedIn
·      YouTube
·      Google +
·      Pinterest

Monday, April 25, 2016

Author Interview with Simon Rose



My guest today is Simon Rose, author of science fiction and fantasy novels for children and young adults. Simon’s books include The Alchemist's PortraitThe Sorcerer's Letterbox, The Clone Conspiracy, The Emerald CurseThe Heretic's Tomb, The Doomsday Mask, The Time Camera, The Sphere of Septimus, Flashback, and the recently published Future Imperfect.  

Tell us about your latest novel.

Future Imperfect is an exciting technology-driven adventure featuring teenage geniuses, corporate espionage, and mysterious messages. In the novel, we’re introduced to Andrew Mitchell, who was one of the leading experts in highly advanced technology in Silicon Valley, until he vanished following a car accident, which also injured his son, Alex. When a mysterious app later appears on Alex’s phone, he and his friend Stephanie embark on a terrifying journey involving secret technology, corporate espionage, kidnapping, and murder in a desperate bid to save the future from the sinister Veronica Castlewood.

This sounds very exciting. Why do you think kids will enjoy Future Imperfect?

The story will appeal to all young readers for whom technology plays such a large role in their lives, whether it’s cell phones, laptops, tablets, gaming, or the online world, but it’s also a very compelling adventure story, with lots of cliffhangers, twists, and turns. There might even be a couple of sequels, but we’ll wait and see what the future holds, I guess.

Where can people buy the book?

Future Imperfect is available at local bookstores, online at Amazon Canada, Amazon USAIndigo/ChaptersBarnes and NobleAmazon UK, and other locations, and autographed copies can also be purchased directly from me via my website.

Future Imperfect is very much in keeping with the themes you’ve explored before in science fiction and fantasy, but very different to your last novel.

Yes, my previous novel, Flashback, is a paranormal adventure involving psychic phenomena, ghosts, imaginary friends, mind control experiments, secrets, conspiracies, and time travel with a difference. The story was inspired by numerous ghost stories, books, and movies about psychics and the paranormal, past lives and hypnosis, and the concept of going back into your own life armed with your current knowledge to somehow attempt to change the previous course of events, for better or worse. Flashback has two sequels coming out in 2017, one in the spring and the third installment in the summer.

Is all of your work for young adults?

In addition to the novels, I’ve written more than 80 nonfiction books for children and young adults, but have also written books for adults. These include The Children's Writer's Guide, The Working Writer's Guide, The Social Media Writer's Guide, School and Library Visits for Authors and Illustrators, and Exploring the Fantasy Realm. These titles are all available as ebooks or as paperbacks. I’m also a contributing author to The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction and have written some picture books for younger readers.

What do you do to promote yourself and your books?

I’m in all the usual places online and on social media but I’m also active in the local writing community. I conduct book signings at bookstores on a regular basis in Calgary, most often at Indigo Signal Hill, Chapters Crowfoot, and Chapters at Shawnessy. This spring I’m also at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and will be connecting with readers at schools and libraries in Montreal and Quebec City during Children's Book Week.

What other work do you do?

I work as an instructor for adults at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary. These classes and courses focus on writing for children and young adults or preparing your work for publication. I also offer coaching and editing services for writers in all genres and conducts online writing courses, such as Writing for Children and Young Adults and Writing Historical Fiction. I write screenplays, articles for magazines, and offer copywriting services for websites, blogs, social media, and businesses.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

You can visit my website at www.simon-rose.com or subscribe to my newsletter, which goes out once a month and has details of my current projects and upcoming events. 

Thank you Simon for a great interview and telling us about your books! Can't wait to read your latest novel Future Imperfect!

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