21 Sep 2014

Sci-Fi at its best


Sitting in the Pub

Hello my little chickadees

I was sitting in my local pub waiting for a friend to arrive. Free drinks had been promised in return for an interview about himself and the book he was currently writing. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy task because I know him so well. Quite often it's easier to interview an author unknown to ones self.

The bar was virtually empty and I had a table to myself. I stretched my legs out in front of the inglenook fire and imagined it piled with logs and coal sending out heat on a cold winter evening. A glass of mead and roasted chestnuts came to mind.

As I sat there with my glass of wine, a man approached the table and asked if I minded if he joined me by my imaginary fire. He commented on the fact that the bar was absolutely heaving with people and mine was the only table left. I laughed to myself at the chat up line as the bar was virtually empty. As I glanced past him, I realised that he was right. Every table was occupied and it was almost a standing room only. When had that happened? Seconds ago it was nearly empty and why had no one besides him asked to share. There were women in groups standing around. Maybe I gave off an aura of steer clear. I hope not as I'm a friendly person.

So getting back to this guy who was still awaiting my approval. I agreed that he could sit down but explained that I was waiting for a friend to join me for an interview. He just grinned and turning the chair around, he sat astride it cowboy style and rested his arms on the top of the seat.

He introduced himself and enquired what the interview was about and why was I doing the interviewing. I explained that I was an author and in between writing my books I did interviews of other authors. Just for a second he looked at me quizzically, then clicking his fingers he said. 

“I know where I’ve seen you before; you’re T.K.Geering author of Soulfate.”

Blimey I didn’t realise I was that recognisable.

“I’ve read your books!” he said grinning wildly. “Actually I’m writing a book at the moment. Perhaps you could interview me instead as your friend doesn’t seem to be turning up.”

Actually he was right. It was well past the time we’d agreed upon and this guy seemed quite friendly. The thing that bothered me though was I felt I knew him from somewhere but I just couldn’t place him. He certainly had a very infectious personality.

So out came my trusty tape recorder in anticipation of bearing witness to more writers’ gossip. I switched it on and pressed record – Nothing! Zilch! Nada! I had replaced the batteries, so I knew that wasn’t the problem. I tried again but still nothing. The last time that had happened to me was when I stepped on to the rock at Alcatraz in San Francisco. It just refused to work. Frustrated I just looked at him.

“That seems to happen a lot around me. Personally I’ve always preferred the old fashioned method. A notepad and pen has always worked for me. Let me get you another drink while you sort it out. A Merlot isn’t it?”

How the hell did he know that and how come his glass was still almost full and yet he had been drinking from it constantly?

I offered to contribute but he said, 

“No it’s my treat”

Hm! This must be my night for treats then. As he walked off to the bar I retried the tape recorder. Yes! It was working again. The light was on and I did a test run. Yep it was all working efficiently. He returned to the table with a very full glass of Merlot. Noticing my look he remarked. 

“I’m guessing we may be here a while and it will save us time later.” Adding as an after thought “the drinks are on me tonight.”

Why couldn’t I place him? I definitely knew him from somewhere and the damn recorder light had gone out again! It was working fine when he moved away from the table. Rather a coincidence. Maybe he was one of those people that had an effect on mechanical products.

“I see the tape recorder has stopped again. I guess it’s going to be a notepad and pen after all.”

“So it seems” I agreed and fished around in my Mary Poppins bag in search of a notepad and biro.

He watched me with amusement because the biro had been sitting in the bottom of the bag refusing to be found. Finally the notepad and biro sat in front of me. I took a large gulp of wine and with biro poised got down to the business end of me.

“So then remind me again of your name and background.” 

I looked him straight in the eyes challenging, waiting. He returned my stare and after a moment or so he started speaking, quietly and with eloquence.

“My name is James, James Empett. I’m married with three children and I live on the South Coast of England. I work in the public sector full time and manage approximately seventy people at the moment but it can vary from time to time.”

“You told me earlier that you’re a new kid in the writing arena. What encouraged you to start writing?”

He took a long pull on his beer before he answered.

Why wasn’t that glass emptying? Somehow it didn’t seem important though. I was intrigued yes, but was also eagerly awaiting his answers.It was the nosy writer in me. I spend a lot of time studying people.

He began again, 

“I think for me I had a story within that had been itching to be written. I haven’t had to think too much about it as it’s flowed very easily from its inception. I’ve always been an avid reader and have a friend who is a published author. However I decided to look into the world of self-publishing, which appeals to me. So far my writing has been an enjoyable experience but then I haven’t started editing yet. Maybe that’s something you could help me with sometime?”

He gave me a little boy lost, in a whole new world look.
I could feel myself giving in before his words were out but I held my tongue and raced on to the next question.

"Have you ever written poetry or any short stories?"

I took another gulp from my glass, was it half full still or half empty I idly wondered? The eternal optimist in me agreed it was still half full. His was definitely still half full and yet he’d matched me drink for drink.

“Nope! I’ve never written anything before so it’s all completely new to me. I do spend time looking at writing forums and social networks. I’ve met some really helpful people along the way."

I decided to find out more about the book but this writing free hand lark was taking its toll. I missed my trusty tape recorder, damnation…

“Can you give me a bit of an outline of the book James? Characters etc.”

“As you wish Tee but it’s all on my blog http://www.jempett.blogspot.co.uk  I’m just kidding you there but you’ve got to advertise in this world where you can!! I’m really excited by it as the story changes slightly every time I start tapping away. What I can tell you though, David the main character is a lovely guy that gets on with everyone. A bit like me really.” 

He finished with a cheeky grin and I found myself agreeing with him. He was certainly an infectious character. But how the hell did he know to call me Tee! Only my friends and acquaintances know that! Maybe it was just a lucky guess, wasn’t it?

He went on,

“David is a kind, genuine man that just wants the best for him and his family. That idealistic life is taken away from him, as he is faced with a change in reality. He has to try and adapt to a new life chosen for him that is dictated by other beings elsewhere.”

For a minute, James seemed lost in his thoughts. In fact he was miles away with a sad expression on his face. The writer in me did wonder if he was talking about his own life but that was probably a bit fanciful… then there was that beer glass… I took a very large drink from mine and realised that it was almost finished. I had no problem emptying glasses.

James was suddenly back again and focused. The smile was also back again.

“Will it all work out for David? Well you’ll have to read the book and I should add that I’m already thinking about a sequel.”

“How do you fit in writing around your day job James?”

“Let me get you another glass of Merlot first and then we’ll continue.”

Before I had a chance to argue he was gone and back again with another full glass. Yikes! Easy Tee pace yourself, but I was really involved in his story now and the Merlot was going down smoothly.

“In answer to your question I don’t like to plan my writing I just write when the inkling is there. I have my notepad at work beside me. If an idea or plot line hits me I can jot it down ready for inclusion. I try not to get into a rigorous regime as I want it to be fun and not a chore.”

I could empathise with that as my publisher in the past has wanted me to work to a time table and we nearly always have to have a book written and waiting in the wings. I decided to come away from the book and get to know him a bit better.

“So then David, … err sorry James (Opps) Have you got a favourite food?”

“Usually it’s quite cold where I come from,  so I do love extra hot food. My favourite is Indian cuisine. I’m a vindaloo lover. The hotter the curry is the better.”

“How about films? Do you get much time to watch?”

“Oh that’s easy to answer. I would say ‘The Social Network’ I love entrepreneurialism. It’s a film that I have watched many times.”

I admitted that I hadn’t seen it and I wasn’t really a film buff.

“How do you feel if you’re writing James and you get constantly interrupted?”

“Well as I’ve said; I write when I can, so the interruptions are often welcomed. It means I can go back and refocus which stops me getting in a rut."

“What happens when the muse takes over though?"

 I wanted to get inside this man’s head. He’s still on his first pint but … Well mine’s half way drunk as I will be if I keep going, but this man’s story is fascinating and there’s still a no show of my friend I should have been interviewing. I’m secretly glad and I smile to myself. He notices but makes no comment.

“Well I don’t want to be beholden to it but that said the characters feel as though they are constantly dancing to their own tune in my head. They have so much to say and do which pushes me on.”

Ok it was getting to me now and I had to ask…

“I’ve nearly finished two large glasses of wine and I thought you were matching me drink for drink, and yet your glass is still half full and it’s still your first one!!”

He started laughing and shifted his legs against the chair accidently brushing my foot. A hint of an electric shock went through my leg making me gasp.

Still laughing he said.

“I’m a very slow drinker Tee.”

“Fair enough.” 

(I lied. I was still confused and he wasn’t going to help me out.)

“Talking of drink, have you a favourite?” 

He’ll slip up sooner or later.

He crooked his head to one side and looked me straight in the eye. If I didn’t know better, I would have said he was trying to read my thoughts.

“Oh anything with a percentage” he finally offered. 

“If I had to choose though, Cobra Indian beer gets my vote.”

That was a new one on me and I said so.

“Ok then how about your favourite beverage?”

“I love a latte!!”

Finally something we had in common. I love latte coffee.

“Have you any Jobbies hames?”

Ok so the wine was taking effect now and he laughed out loud.

“Hobbies James, hobbies!!” 

embarrassed now…

“ I’m an avid gardener. I have a large vegetable patch and various greenhouses so I spend a lot of time outside.”

My hand was now aching from all the writing. As fascinating as he was it was time to wrap this interview up.

“So what genre does this book fit into James and do you blog and social network?”

“Oh it’s definitely science fiction with a touch of romance here and there. Every science fiction book has a hint of romance somewhere.”

Well I had to agree there.

“My blog and other pages can be found here.


“Can I take a picture of you on my phone for the interview page James?”


“Yes of course Tee.”

There was no smile this time though just a thoughtful look.





















The interview at an end he picked up his glass and finished it completely. He replaced the empty glass on the table, winked at me, shook my hand and walked towards the door gradually fading into thin air as he did so. 

I suddenly realised the bar was as empty as when I had first entered and I had a full glass of wine sat in front of me. Ironically I felt completely sober. At that moment my friend turned up for the interview and apologised for being five minutes late.

“But your three hours late and I was just going home!”

“Tee are you ok? It’s only just after seven. I know we agreed on seven o’clock but…”

I looked at the pub clock. He was right it was just after seven. So what had happened during the last few hours and why was he wearing an identical top to James? In fact apart from the hair they could almost have been twins parted at birth. Maybe that’s why James had looked familiar to me. Why on earth hadn't I made the connection? Maybe I just wasn't meant to. It was that sort of an evening.

I looked at my friend who was eying me with a look of concern.

“I think I’m in need of a treble!!” 

Then I sat down again, ready to do another interview. I took out my tape recorder, switched it on and yes of course it was working now. My notebook was now in my bag burning a hole, demanding to be read.. I resisted the urge to see if there were any notes there on James. That would keep for tomorrow.

**************


Find my books here:

Buy The Russian Gift of Love on Amazon:


Buy Soulfate on Amazon:


My Amazon Author page:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00J7HGF4W


My Twitter: https://twitter.com


My Publisher (my personal page) http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Geering_TK/index.htm

Soulfate Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM0yzIf6Jn0




Laters Potaters





10 Sep 2014

Billie No Mates

Hello my little chickadees

Recently on the Thorstruck FB page I came across a lovely fella called Jeff Blackmer. Like me he was a sort of Billie no mates. It came about due to all the Thorstruck authors 'buddying up' to assist each other in the editing process. i.e. "You edit my book and I'll reciprocate by editing yours."


Jeff and I both realised that we had nothing sitting waiting for editing so we decide to blog each other instead and hold up on the buddying system until later. It's my turn to blog him first and then he's going to turn the tables on me. So then first of all a little bit of info on the man himself. Take it away Jeff...





Nice relaxed picture by the way....


Having lived there almost all his life, where he and his wife raised their four children, Jeff is pleased to call Portland, Oregon, his home. In retrospect it was almost perfect synchronicity; a very early passion for reading and writing, growing up just a few blocks from the library, in a city well known for its many bookstores; what other vocational choice made sense but writer? 
Early indications predicted Jeff would focus on science fiction since he devoured all the local library had to offer. After begging his mother to use her typewriter at age eight he even began to write his first story, but the stories of Ray Bradbury threw an element of fantasy into the mix, and a sudden and unexpected fascination with ancient history added yet another dimension to his ideas. 
After receiving his BA in English with a minor in writing he worked for several years as a technical writer, but the novels would wait no longer. He published Draegnstoen, a historical fantasy, in early 2011, followed by the sequel Highland King before the end of that same year. Gears of Uriel goes into far greater depth with spiritual ideas first hinted at in Highland King. The first of a trilogy, the next one being Tyrian. Jeff hopes to someday get back around to Science Fiction, this time without the typewriter.


So tell us about your books then Jeff? 



Product DetailsProduct Details

I’m an author of Historical Fiction/Fantasy with two novels published on Amazon; Draegnstoen andHighland King. Both of these novels are set in 5th century Britain. I enjoy looking for times and places in history where there are ‘gaps’, niches were there may be untold stories, where, if told well, seem as if they could have actually happened.

I’m also doing final edits on my latest novel, Gears of Uriel, another historical fiction/fantasy with a spiritual/metaphysical flavour to it. It’s somewhat different, but I've already begun the sequel to it – Tyrian.

Preface to Gears of Uriel
I was supposed to be a Science Fiction writer. This genre consumed my childhood and teenage years. I read every single science fiction novel at my local library and my great desire was to add more to the canon of Asimov, Clarke, and Bradbury.
But a few unexpected things happened. Ray Bradbury flavored my science fiction with fantasy; and the fantasy found other paths to explore.
I developed an intense interest in history; not all history, but certain times and peoples called out to me and I desired to tell their stories. I wrote Draegnstoen, a Historical Fiction/Fantasy, and Highland King, the sequel.
Then I had an unexpected spiritual awakening which took me away from organized religion and brought me to my own individual spiritual journey. This story, The Gears of Uriel, is the first of three books to metaphorically discuss that journey.
There is a device, which I learned about a few years ago, constructed of brass gears, called the Antikythera Mechanism. It was discovered in the midst of a shipwreck, in 1901, off the coast of Antikythera, Greece. For many years no one had any idea of what it was or did. However, not too many years ago, scientists determined this apparatus was constructed around 150 BC and when functional, accurately predicted the motions of Earth, the Moon and known planets as they orbited the sun. After carefully studying it, scientists built an exact replica and found it is accurate even now, able to predict the location of planets and future eclipses. The original is on display in the Archeological Museum in Athens, Greece.
The Antikythera Mechanism is an anachronism, as unusual as finding a laptop computer among the ruins of an early American ghost town. No one knows its story, but to me it was an ideal metaphor for telling this tale of inspiration; of truth in an age of ever increasing ignorance. It was the perfect vehicle for telling my story. 

So there you have it folks and if you're into fantasy as I am you will love this series of books I'm sure.

Here are the links to Jeff's books for you.

Link to Jeffs books on Amazon


Laters potaters