Monday, November 17, 2014

Love on the Run Blog Tour! (+$20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Love on the Run Blog Tour! (+$20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Love on the Run
Author: Dean Moore
Series: N/A
Pages: 304
Date Published: March 29th, 2014
Publisher: Dean Moore
Format: eBook
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

What if the one way to pay for your ongoing cancer therapy was to rob banks? And you discovered that not only were you good at playing a thief but you could use the money to right a few other social injustices along the way?

The thing is, the FBI profiler hounding you is the best in the country, and she doesn’t much care if you have a penchant for rescuing society’s castaways.

“Any big ideas, bright guy?” Delaney said, holding the broken rearview mirror in her hand to check out what was going on overhead, to avoid giving those inside the chase helicopter the satisfaction of her looking up.
“Just drive straight into the ocean.”
“Please tell me you’re joking.”
“Why would I be joking at a time like this?”
“Okay, fine, I’m sorry for picking on you so much.  I know you’re doing the best you know how.  There, I said it.  You happy?”
“I’m not depressed, Delaney.  I just need you to drive into the ocean.”
“A psychotic break?  Is that it?  You picked now for a psychotic break?  Why not all those times I chewed off your male appendage, metaphorically speaking—not to make myself out as a man-eating black widow?”
“You dragged along the equipment I asked you to, right?”
“So, you get it now?”
“Yeah, duh.  God, that just makes so much more sense in context.”
Kerry looked up from the photos of the couple to the big screen again.  Her jaw dropped as she watched Delaney drive the convertible Thunderbird straight into the ocean.  They made no attempt to get out of the vehicle; they let the sea swallow them up along with the car.
“Are we finally rid of them?” Carter said.

Kerry started chuckling slowly.  The guffawing grew into a geyser of loud laughter, which finally subsided.   “No, Carter, not yet.”  She glanced back up at the screen.  “God, that’s clever.”
~About Dean!~ 
I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor.  Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises.
I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining.  After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope.  I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock.  I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area.  But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice.  For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination.  I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels.  Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments.  But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point.  That too may change over time; we’ll see.  Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.
My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years' worth of work.  I'm currently averaging a couple books annually.  Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.)

I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature's balance.  When I'm not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.
Dean will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

~Author Interview~ 

What were you like at school?

I remember from the ages of five to nine I was always rescuing animals and bringing them home.  The sad ones, the abused ones.  The ones chained and forgotten or beaten to within an inch of death.  I’d grow up to become both a human and an animal rights advocate.  But I consider it strange that these tendencies would surface at such an early age.  Especially when what else I remember from that period boils down to being obsessed with winning at marbles, and scoring the big giant ones out of the circle or the fancy swirly ones.  I had good penmanship drilled into me from this early age, and I recall taking it quite seriously.  I didn’t grow up to be a gambler, but I can’t say the marbles thing was merely a phase, either.  As I’m as obsessive as ever, only nowadays it’s with my writing.  As to the fancy penmanship, while I recall being quite a master of the game back then, today it’s complete chicken scratch.  Anyone that sees it says, “Oh, you’re a doctor.”  “Why, yes, I am.” 

Were you good at English?

I had more than one English professor tell me, “As the English goes, this is a B-grade paper.  However the critique is so brilliant, I split the difference with the A-grade analysis and gave you a B+.”  It was pretty much that way if I was writing for a sociology professor, taking a class on futurism and trend tracking analysis, a philosophy or psychology class.  Apparently I had a lot to say and was just a bit clumsy at saying it.  Of course, I was fresh out of high school, entering Cal Berkeley, so I guess the Freshman English classes being a challenge to take my game to the next level could also be looked at as a good wake up call.  It was.  But it would be many years after before I hit my stride as a writer.  Part of the problem is I would over-think things, and in the world of philosophy, everything really does connect to everything else.  So if you’re going to anticipate every argument in advance, you’re going to end up with some very long-winded diatribes that people are going to lose patience with.  Or you’re going to end up with these grandiose intellectual designs that only other philosophers can follow, which is another form of inarticulateness, plain and simple.  Einstein was right, if you can’t make it so anyone can understand, then you really don’t understand it yourself, either.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I would like to be able to live off of my writing, because that would mean living a life doing what I love.  If you’re looking for some valid social causes of your own, please add this one to the list.  From there I think I would have an added degree of freedom if I could continue to follow my imagination wherever it led me, and not be pigeon holed to one particular genre forever, or one style of writing.  I think that’s the price of being overly successful for many; they end up writing essentially the same book over and over again forever for fear of alienating their fan base and falling off the precipice of the best-seller list into God knows what Dantean hell of ever-more obscure realms of literature, with ever diminishing reader bases.  I’d like my author’s voice to be compelling enough that my readers follow me gladly into whatever book I write, regardless of the genre or subject matter.  I’ve been lucky enough to score a few of those fans so far.  Hopefully as more and more people stumble upon me, that readership will grow until I can say I’ve achieved the Holy Grail for writers. 
Which writers inspire you?

I think it depends a lot on what project I’m working on.  As I’m constantly challenging myself to do something I haven’t done before, the writers I have to study who excel in that particular area change accordingly.  When I wanted to write a very big book (as I did with Renaissance 2.0), I studied people who wrote these colossal, epic novels of 1,500 plus pages.  It was great homework and a new love affair was born between myself and people like Peter F. Hamilton (who also write a lot of sci-fi), and Terry Goodkind (who also pens a lot of paranormal fantasy).  In the case of the latter, his Wizard’s First Rule isn’t quite so big as say, Hamilton’s, The Naked God, but is no slouch of a book either.
Now that I’ve been writing largely sci-fi and paranormal fantasy for a while, I’m looking to break into other genres, if only to come up for air once in a while.  Love on the Run definitely fits that bill as it’s a romantic comedy and action adventure and heist story.  Strays, coming out in 2015, fits this mold as well.  I love a good heist story, so venturing into crime fiction with a comedy-drama tone seems a good fit for me.  Next up, I think, will be period-based fiction.  I’d like to take my paranormal fantasy, sci-fi, and crime story writing into periods like Victorian England.  So I’m revisiting Caleb Carr now, one of my all-time favorite authors, and his book, The Alienist, as nobody does period anything better than this guy.  The Alienist, moreover, has a deliciously paranormal feel for much of it.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Love on the Run has three main characters, the two unlikely co-protagonists, namely the husband and wife team of bank robbers, and the antagonist, the lady detective on their trail.  As to what makes them special… that might deserve a book in itself, as I wanted to write them with that degree of realness and depth.  But I’ll pick one or two stand out qualities of each in the interest of brevity. 

Zinio is an out-of-work risk assessment manager, and a rather brilliant one at that.  So when he turns his mind to robbing banks, as it turns out, he can see more steps ahead than a supercomputer. 

But, as they say, like attracts like.  So, Kerry Pierce, the hotshot female FBI profiler hounding him, becomes obsessed with him precisely because he’s the most satisfying prey she’s ever hunted, and perhaps the first person who can play the game at her level.  What’s most remarkable about Kerry (to me) is that even as Zinio is forcing her to face her own inner demons and get to know herself on a level she didn’t think possible, she presses on.  She has the courage and self-deprecating sense of humor necessary to face any challenge; the fact that she doesn’t shrink away from anything bodes badly for our heroes. 

As to Delaney, she’s the heart and soul of the story in many ways.  She’s perhaps me, in female drag.  She’s the human rights advocate and the bleeding heart chasing after more save-the-world causes than she can track.  And she’s not beyond using the spoils from the bank robberies to make the world right.  But her real gift might be working with these superstar mental athletes like Zinio and Kerry and keeping them from wasting their lives not knowing how to purposely direct that much mental energy.  

But those are my impressions of the leads; because these are multifaceted characters, the readers’ takeaways might be something else entirely.   

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m usually working on several things at once.  It’s just how I roll.  That way as soon as I finish a draft of one book, I can move on to editing another, minimizing, if not entirely eliminating any downtime.  You can see the slate for 2015 on my website by checking out my books under the various genres.  It’s a fairly ambitious schedule; I can’t say that I’ll meet the deadlines on all of them.  What you won’t see on there though is the latest pet project to get under my skin.  It’s a paranormal ditty that involves a psychic hero.  Think the TV series, The Listener meets The Dead Zone and you’ll be able to taste the flavor of this franchise.  If it keeps getting under my skin as it’s been doing it will be out in 2016, assuming it doesn’t bump something else off the roster, in which case it will be out sooner.

  Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I write every day, but I think that’s more out of obsession than necessity.  In fact I’m trying to cut back a bit to something more sustainable to ensure I don’t burn myself out.  But setting the pen down has got to be the hardest thing for me to do.  I think it’s that way for many reasons.  For one, it’s a natural high like none other for me.  So when I leave my happy place, no substitute quite equals what I can get while inside the twilight zone of my own mind.  I think that’s the curse and blessing of being a writer in one.  You’ll never be bored, but you have to work that much harder to engage with life.  Because life isn’t fantasy, it isn’t filtered, it can’t live up, as the songwriter Paul Simon would remind us, to the Kodachrome pictures we take of it.  So you have to grit through that pain to connect with people, places, and things. 

But I think it’s hard for me to walk away from the computer also because I got off to a late start in life, and feel like I have a lot of ground to make up.  If there is anything to reincarnation, I definitely want to be reborn as a child prodigy so I can just hit the ground running and start cranking out books from the age of five, say.  The cool thing about the younger generations coming up now is they have precisely this opportunity to do that with the renaissance era tools and processes that are empowering and enlivening the arts and making it more of a participatory sport for everyone. 

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write at a laptop exclusively for right now, but I’m trying to break myself of the habit.  As it translates into permanent neck and shoulder strain.  The screen needs to be higher up (and separated from the keyboard) to allow for any kind of healthy posture.  And as artists go, I’m very visual, so why not treat myself to a bigger HD screen?  Of course, that might lead to distractions from the writing.  But hopefully just enough to counteract the obsession with cranking out new titles in order to restore a more natural balance to my life.  I make the most of the current situation by setting my laptop before a window overlooking an enchanted forest in the backyard.  And as I stand before the computer I practice my dancer’s pliĆ©s and turnouts—a carryover from my college days when I was training in modern dance every day. 

Where do your ideas come from?

They well up from the depths of my unconscious.  But not the superficial layers Freud talks about.  These are more like communiques from the Jungian archetypical unconscious shared by all.  Of the many layers of my consciousness, I suspect it is most in touch with my higher-self or higher power.  In these deepest layers of myself is forged those projects perfectly suited to liberate me and the world at the same time.  Because if you’re going to make the world a better place, you first have to make yourself a better person.  Finding the story that’s just the right catalyst to transform both is a job that’s too big for my humble conscious mind.  For this reason, I’m subject to these upwellings and feel myself moved by these very unseen forces.  It will be much later into the journey of writing the actual novel before I begin to decode the nature of the magic that will help to transform both of us. 

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I started out in a very Woody Allen-esque world where my stories involved these high-functioning characters who were hyper-verbal, whip-crackingly funny, and deeply neurotic.  Okay, maybe my leads were not quite as neurotic as Woody’s characters, whose could be?  Over time, I learned to balance the comedy drama better so that not all my characters had to be quite so high functioning or quite so witty or quite so off-kilter, and yet could remain every bit as personable. 

Because my background is in screenwriting I continue to see the movies playing out in my head and to employ dialogue driven stories.  So the challenge for me in later drafts is to edit up, including more scene painting and world-building that for a screenwriter would be left to the director and the set designer and cinematographer and so on.  Over time I’m learning to do more and more of this up-editing in the early drafts so I have less filling in to do in the later drafts.

I think all of us as writers have our strengths and weaknesses and, if we’re not careful, habits that we slip into.  So we have to keep challenging ourselves to take our game up a level with each novel in one way or another.  We have to be able to continually step back enough to say, okay, this is what I do well, let’s keep getting better there, but this is what I don’t do so well, so let’s give this even more attention next time out.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Zinio is very good with gadgets and the hi-tech stuff.  And so is the kid he and Delaney adopt into their ad hoc family of suburbanite friends.  And I knew if I didn’t keep a lid on things, the tech would quickly dominate and this would become a hi-tech crime story, and very possibly a near-future sci-fi story, because of how much I love to extrapolate with current technology and breakthroughs I anticipate coming down the road.  It’s “boys with toys” syndrome I suffer from, I suppose.  And I thought, Dean, you have plenty of that stuff going on in your near future sci-fi thrillers as it is.  This is a different kind of story.  So let’s let different elements of the story steal center stage for a change.  So while the hi-tech stuff remains a fun component of the story, it remains in the background.  It’s really the characters and the humor and the human drama that steals the show with the Love on the Run franchise.

What is your favourite motivational phrase.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas A. Edison

When you’re an indie author, it takes that much longer for people to discover you, and to trust you, because it means taking a risk on a new writer when they may have a full stable of writers they’re already following.  So I think tenacity, and determination factor in, and patience, and realizing that failure to be discovered and appreciated may have to do more with the tough, hyper-saturated media marketplace than with shortage of talent, per se.  That’s where confidence comes in; you have to continue to believe in yourself even when your books aren’t selling because your audience has yet to discover you.  If you read the signals wrong, you may think it’s you as a writer that’s not doing your job.  It could be.  You have to do those soul-searching self-assessments constantly.  But you have to be realistic too.  Even with folks who have the biggest advertising budgets in the world, it can take years for people to stumble onto your project.  So many of my favorite TV shows, as just one example, were on TV for many seasons before I stumbled onto them and got hooked.  Prior to that, I had no idea the series even existed.  So imagine how much more difficult it is to get the word out on a shoestring budget.  With that in mind, Thomas Edison’s words are a good tonic for the soul of the indie author.


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