Tag Archives: dancing lemur press

Author Interview: Scott Coon

Today I am interviewing Scott Coon, an accomplished short story writer and author of the new science-fiction novel, Lost Helix. 

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DJ: Hi Scott! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Scott Coon: Hello, DJ. Thank you for having me. Though Lost Helix is my first published novel, I have had several short stories published. Bewildering Stories recently featured “The Loneliest Advertisement Bot” and have published a few other stories over the years. My work is often influenced by my career as a computer programmer and also by my six years as intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army. Both played a role in Lost Helix.

DJ: What is Lost Helix about?

Scott: Growing up in a space station, DJ dreams of writing music but he can’t make a living on it, not in the Stone River Asteroid Belt. Thanks to company’s never-ending contracts and impossible to afford transit, leaving isn’t an option. DJ expects to end up working for Black Mountain, just like his dad and everyone else. When his father goes missing, DJ finds an encrypted file and other evidence that his dad was a hacker in the company’s secret war of industrial sabotage, sometimes claiming lives to knock competitors off the most valuable asteroids. To recover the evidence, the company sends a lifelong family friend, Agent Coreman. DJ is forced to make a run for it, hoping to find justice and maybe his dad.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Lost Helix

Scott: My ideas often come from asking the question, “Yeah, but what next?”  Terraforming is a recurring concept in science fiction, like in James S. A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes, but what happens when the planet is done? How does humanity go about populating it? The world of Lost Helix is my answer to that question. Another source of inspiration was the video game Sid Meier’s Civilization. Every time I built the domed spaceship bound for Alpha Centauri, I wondered what would become of it after the colonists stripped it for parts and left its remains in orbit. In Lost Helix, I give my science victory colony ships a second life as a farm, feeding the miners of Stone River. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jay Chalk

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Today I am interviewing Jay Chalk, author of the new science-fiction novel, Revolution 2050.

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DJ: Hi Jay! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Jay Chalk: Hi DJ! And thanks for your interest! A little about myself…I was a long-haul trucker back in the 1980s and part of the ‘90s. I received a Bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in English from UT@Tyler in 1993 and never looked back. It was in the 1990s, during a tumultuous time in my life, that I began writing. I’m now in my 20th year of teaching high school social studies–and also with four and half novels under my belt.

DJ: What is Revolution 2050 about?

Jay: After another American civil war, a totalitarian regime called the Directorate controls the region east of the Mississippi River. The protagonist, Sam Moore, is a young school teacher and member of the Directorate Party. The story is how he transforms from a subdued school teacher to a revolutionary/guerilla fighter against the very regime he once loved.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Revolution 2050?

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Jay: I’ve always been a student of history. I’m fascinated how a whole population can be mesmerized to the point of blindness and follow a self-proclaimed “leader” off the deep end. The memoirs of Russian author and Cold War dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn heavily influenced the themes of my novels. Playwright, dissident and former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel also impacted the thought behind my stories. Havel was a thorn in the side of the Soviet Union. His non-fiction book, Open Letters, gave me a ton of behind-the-scenes ammo when it comes to how an authoritarian regime really works behind closed doors. Add in a smidgen of Bradbury, Huxley and a touch of Orwell and there you have it.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers would sympathize with them? 

Jay: I think the most interesting thing about my characters, and several reviewers have agreed, is that my characters are common, everyday people that you can identify with. No super-hero/magical stuff here. Sam, fellow revolutionary and love interest, Katie Spencer, and her grandparents, Leo and Michelle, are the kind of people who might live next door, down the street, or perhaps co-workers you know and hangout with after work. What makes them compelling is how they interact with their surroundings–and within themselves–when faced with life-altering decisions. Those decisions not only could cost them their lives, but also could affect future generations of Americans. Continue reading

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Author Interview: L.X. Cain

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Today I am interviewing L.X. Cain, author of the new mystery/horror novel, Bloodwalker.

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DJ: Hey L.X.! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

L.X. Cain: I write thrillers and horror stories with elements of mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, and action in them. I never really planned to write mash-ups, they just seem to come out that way. When I was writing Bloodwalker, I thought it was a horror novel, but beta readers commented that they spent the whole book scouring the chapters for clues as to who the killer was. So I guess it’s a bit more mystery than I thought!

DJ: What is Bloodwalker about?

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L.X.: Bloodwalker is about a killer stalking children in the Eastern European towns a circus passes through. Head of circus security, Rurik finds clues that point to someone in the circus. Before he can catch the culprit, a group of Skomori descends on the circus to hold a wedding, and Sylvie, one of the brides, discovers a body. She moves to another city with her new husband unaware that she’s attracted the attention of the killer. Rurik tries to track him while Sylvie’s marriage and long sought after freedom from the Skomori proves to be a disaster. When another child is kidnapped, both Rurik and Sylvie are caught in the killer’s web of lies, deceit, and death.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Bloodwalker?

L.X.: Two things influenced me the most: my admiration for the authors Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, who write the FBI Agent Pendergast series. They blur the lines between science and the supernatural, and their thrillers have an unsettling darkness running through them. I love those books! I’m also inspired by “outsider” characters—people who don’t fit in along with societies that are very unusual and insulated from normal life (like the Amish or the Roma gypsies). Continue reading

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