Guest Author Day with T. M. Hunter/Excerpt


Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?

I usually stick with writing science fiction short stories and novels, simply because I like the freedom that comes from creating my own worlds, my own species, all from scratch. Granted, there has to be enough realism so that people don’t toss a story aside, but from that point on, the sky (and beyond) is the limit.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?

I read a lot of books growing up, but I wouldn’t say I was an avid reader. I enjoyed science fiction, but I think the Hardy Boys series (both the original and the “Casefiles”) were my favorites. Character-driven stories were (and are) always big in my book, which likely explains how my own stories turned out the way they have.

Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.

My latest, Seeker, involves my series character and space pirate Aston West facing off against a female mind-reader. Well, mind-reader is a bit of a misnomer. This woman can actually invade a person’s mind to find all of your inner-most secrets and demons. Aston’s been around a while, and has been part of plenty of nefarious schemes. For someone to be able to discover all the misdeeds he’s done, and turn him in for reward money, would be a disaster.

My inspiration for this story actually came from a publisher’s call for novellas. Unfortunately, they were looking for a bit more romance than I was able to provide, but ultimately, the story I’d developed was one that struck a chord with me and so I stuck with it. Now, I can share it with my fans and new readers alike.

Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?

As I mentioned, part of the beauty of writing the stories I do is the freedom to explore. There isn’t that much research that I need to do, other than maybe a refresher through my past material to avoid discrepancies and the like.

The time it takes for me to write a book varies. Seeker was actually one I finished in about six months or so (total working time). Some of my other pieces have taken a little longer. My third full-length Aston novel, for example, has been in the works for about six months, and is still just on the second draft. Life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes. Seeker was helped by having a deadline imposed upon me upfront. Maybe I need to find some way to have people impose a deadline on me for all of my material? *smile*

What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books?

I believe that publishing is going to be changing forever, with e-books becoming the prominent editions which most readers choose. I’ve been around long enough to remember when e-books were first coming onto the scene, and unfortunately, the publishing climate wasn’t ripe for them. Now, the entire landscape has changed. Miniaturized electronic devices are commonplace for our entertainment (movies, music, and now books), an entire generation has now grown up knowing nothing but the internet, and probably most importantly, we’re in the middle of an economic crisis that has impacted almost every person on the planet.

The fact that book readers are now comfortable with these electronic devices makes them a prime target to take off as the primary format for reading books. The fact that most e-books only cost a few dollars make it easy for readers to try even more books than they might have when a paperback would be three times as much (let alone hardbacks being even more).

What does this mean for authors such as myself? It means there’s going to be a boom in e-books being purchased, and those who have great books at prices readers are willing to pay are going to reap the benefits. Readers are going to be looking for material to fill their Nooks and Kindles and other e-reading devices (heck, I have a short-story collection available as an app for the iPad and iPhone, who would have figured?). It’s going to be a great time, and I can’t wait to see it all come about.

Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to placate her/it/him when she/it / he refuses to inspire you?

I generally have a decent relationship with my muse. On those rare occasions when the inspiration falls short, though, I usually end up doing one of several activities. Either I go and do some editing (or submission paperwork) that needs to be done, or I put together a list of submission locations that I need to send material to. If nothing else works, I then go and let my mind vegetate through movies, television or video games.

Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?

I do in fact have several projects coming out in the future, and in work both. I’m currently working on edits of my third (in the series) Aston novel. Hoping to have that done and ready to submit sometime this year, after which I’ll go to work on the first draft of the fourth. In the queue already, my short story collection DEAD OR ALIVE is coming out in a print version shortly (and you can see the first glimpse of the cover art here -- the first time anywhere!). On the burners of the stove, I’m actually working with some folks on some comic book scripts from the Aston West universe (which is ready-made for comic and other visual media formats). Hopefully that will come to fruition soon, but we’ll see what happens.

Have you ever experience weird cravings while you write? If so, what kind?

Can’t think of any. Mostly I seem to crave distractions, at least it seems so. Any time I write, I find myself getting on the internet, watching television, or balancing my checkbook. This may explain why it takes so long for me to finish up manuscripts.


Which do you prefer:
Denim or Leather on a man/woman/significant other?
Really depends on the person. I love seeing my wife in denim, even if she thoroughly hates wearing it. She has the figure that denim seems to accentuate. However, there are some people I know whose figures I would prefer seeing in leather. But let’s go with denim, because trying to explain that last sentence to my wife might make for a long, cold and lonely night on the couch. 

Front seat or Back seat to make out in?
Depends on the car, I’d say. I’m a big fan of manual transmissions, and despite what some particular websites out there might lead a person to believe, there’s really nothing sexy about attempting to navigate around a stick shift. So, one would think the back seat would be a big winner. Unfortunately, I’ve had several cars that say they have a back seat, only to reveal the fact the manufacturer made the wrong choice between giving us extra trunk space or claiming a passenger capacity of four. Even back in the old days, trying to make out in those back seats made for terrible leg cramps and skull contusions. I vote for the back seat, but only if the car gets single-digit gas mileage.

Coffee or Tea?
I can’t stand coffee unless it’s thoroughly drowned in cream, sugar, and other artificial flavors, so I’m going to have to go with tea. We used to have an excellent tea shop here in town that we would frequent twice a week (the only days it was open). Sadly, they decided to close up the storefront and switch to their internet business full-time. I really miss that place, but I still love their tea. Make sure to visit them at 52teas.com.

 Sneak Peek into Seeker by T. M. Hunter
Buy at Amazon HERE

Space pirate Aston West has been in trouble with the law before, so thinks nothing of a random cargo check. That is, until the authorities reveal their ace-in-the-hole, a female mind-reader they call the Seeker. She could unravel every illegal deed he's ever committed, putting him in risk of losing his freedom or even his life.

Excerpt:

My senses were assaulted with an overwhelming aroma of honey. The mixture was a rare delicacy out here in the depths of space, something I’d only had a few times in life. I looked off to my left as the lieutenant started off in the opposite direction. A woman faced me, shimmering black dress brushing along the floor, her breasts jutting out against the fabric. A hand-crafted shawl was draped across her shoulders, the same color as her fire-like tresses, making it hard to tell where the garment ended and her hair began. Her eyes were two milky white globes against a face of smooth, pale skin. Her petite frame seemed as though it would break just by looking at her.

And look I did.

It wasn’t often I stood this close to such beauty, let alone caught a woman’s stare. At least I assumed she was looking at me. Those milky globes haunted me, somehow conveying warmth despite their cold, empty appearance. It was a shame she was so out of place standing between her escorts, a pair of tall, armor-clad monsters.

A bright flash blinded me. Quick glimpses, images, random visual fragments bombarded my vision. Two bodies, intertwined, slowly came into focus.

Then, blackness collapsed it all.

Massive pain radiated through my skull. My sight slowly returned to normal, and I found myself chest-down on top of the cushioned floor panels. I was back on-board the assault ship.

“Move, scum,” a familiar voice spat above me.

I climbed to all-fours and looked back at the red-haired vixen, fear in my eyes. What just happened? The woman’s forehead creased as I stood.

The armored guard gave off a deep belly laugh. “She’s already in your head, isn’t she?”

It finally made sense. This was the seeker the lieutenant had mentioned.

The bastard kept up with his jubilation, speaking to his comrades behind him. “She’ll crucify him.”

I kept my eyes on the woman and my mood turned from bad to worse. I had no idea what she was capable of, but she could get inside my head, and that scared me to death. I was privy to a lot of information not meant for anyone to know, much of it illegal activities. I’d mistakenly thought my present innocence would lead to freedom. Now, it seemed past misdeeds might be my downfall.
Fear building, I followed the officer, who watched with a subtle laugh under his breath. He hadn’t reprimanded his subordinate this time, which meant I’d used up my one get-out-of-being-assaulted-free card.

He let loose his chuckle. “Afraid of a pretty woman?”

I didn’t bother to answer, instead figuring out my options. I couldn’t fend off another mental invasion.

In other words, I was screwed.

Visit T. M. Hunter at his website HERE

Comments

AstonWest said…
Thanks for having me today, Dawn!

And for an extra incentive, I'm offering a free copy of SEEKER to everyone who comments here today (just provide an e-mail address so I can send along the promo code).

In addition to the free book for everyone, I'll also be giving away a signed print copy of my first novel HEROES DIE YOUNG to two lucky commenters chosen at random.

So, feel free to ask questions, make general comments or anything you like. And don't forget to post an e-mail so you can get your free copy of SEEKER!
Dawn R. said…
Hi there and thanks for dropping by. What great prizes...thanks for doing this. :)

I love tea and am definitely checking out that tea web site you mentioned. :)

We have a local place here where the guy will come out and you can make your own flavors at a Tea Party. :)

Dawn
AstonWest said…
Every Friday, this fellow (when he had a storefront) would let you buy a "tea party" which was all-the-tea-you-could drink for the whole night...it was a blast.
Munkie said…
I can read minds... :-) I love Aston! Haha.... imagine that, you liked sci-fi books growing up. :-) keep up the good work, friend!
AstonWest said…
Hopefully I still have your e-mail stowed away somewhere...thanks for stopping by! :-)
robb pollick said…
I love these stories. When is the comic/webseries coming??
Sharon Durmaskin said…
I think it's about time Aston West got laid!
robb pollick said…
oh yeah, lensman664@yahoo.com
AstonWest said…
Supposedly, the artist has been working on the samples for the comic book. I haven't seen them yet. Hopefully that'll come up soon.

Robb, I don't seem to have your e-mail saved...shoot me one at engrboy at msn.com and I'll get your free copy of Seeker to you.
AstonWest said…
Thanks, Robb and Sharon! It should be on the way to you...

And Sharon, patience is a virtue. Just saying... ;-)
rhythempoets said…
These are some pretty different questions. Brings a lot of good information to the readers :) Always good.

hollylhunt at hotmail dot com
AstonWest said…
Thanks for stopping by! Your free book should be on its way...
AstonWest said…
Thanks again to Dawn for having me here today. Always enjoy it!

And now, without further delay, the winners of signed print copies of HEROES DIE YOUNG are Sharon Durmaskin and rhythempoets. I'll be getting in contact with you shortly to get your books to you.
Allison Knight said…
It's always so much fun learning about another author. Thanks Dawn for having Aston and Aston, thanks for the info. Except for the tea! I like my coffee - hot, strong, and black. And lots of it.
It's the best caffeine fix I can find.
Sharon, I've been telling him to let the poor boy get some since he wrote his first book! I even offered to help him write the scene! ;-)
AstonWest said…
Thanks for stopping by, you two.

Allison, I love tea from 52teas, but my true caffeine fix is ice-cold Pepsi. :-)

Belle, I have more people wanting to help me write these "get some" scenes...you'd think that I'd see a lot more Aston West fan-fiction out there. :-P

But you are correct: You were the original "petition-holder" for Aston to get some.