Monday, January 27, 2014

Books: Interview with Author Luke Green

We had a nice conversation with sci-fi and fantasy writer Luke Green about his work. Luke is a fan of fantasy, science-fiction, world mythologies, superheroes, role-playing, anime and numerous other such things. He has been writing or storytelling most of his life, and writing original novels since 2002. He currently has four world settings of varying degrees of activity and is currently living in Japan. Welcome Luke Green!

Luke, when did you decide to become a writer and why?

Well, quite frankly, the only time I have a total feeling of comfort and awareness of my place is when I am at a computer typing up a story.  Or scribbling in a notebook about ideas for a story.  Or thinking about ways I want to take stories.  Or thinking of ways other people can take my stories.  Really, it's something I do regardless of whether or not I get money at it and has been since I was a kid.

Seems like you were born to write! So what is your greatest source of inspiration?

My stories come out of a mix of ancient myths and legends, pop culture references (themselves often based off of ancient myths) and everyday experiences.  I range from trying to catch the feeling of Heracles taking on the Hydra or GI Joe storming a Cobra base all the way to a character going to an impromptu convention that erupts around the release of a new toy in a popular line from their world.  I aim to have fun, so I tell the stories that I think will be fun and I create worlds that I hope will be fun for other people the way he books I grew up with were fun for me.  I hope that my worlds present enough room for people to tell their own stories alongside those of my characters.

That sounds fascinating, and brings us to the next question: What genre or genres do you write?

I write sci-fi and fantasy.  Of the settings that have quite a bit of material to them, I have a traditional high fantasy setting, a low fantasy style setting, a super-heroish setting and a very active urban sci-fantasy.  "Sci-Fantasy" is becoming my preferred genre.  I like writing in a modern world type setting where the superhuman facets of the world are at least partially explainable by science, at least the science within the world setting.  I enjoy reading about science myself, but I tend not to restrict myself to hard science.  I like the freedom presented by the fantasy elements, and it also lets me delve more into my love of such ancient stories as Yuki-Onna, King Arthur and so on.

How many books do you have published and which is your favorite?

The Greenwater serial novel has 3 parts published.  Divine Blood has 1 novel and 9 short stories published.  Zodiacs has 1 short story anthology and 1 campaign setting published.  Bystander has 1 novel punished.  These are all self-published.  As to a favorite, it is hard to say but it is likely Bystander.  Lucretia's is an epic I really hope to see through to completion.

Bystander Cover Page by Thrythlind
 Bystander's art cover was commissioned from the incomparable GENZOMAN
You're keeping yourself pretty busy! And who are your target readers?

Gamers, fan-fiction authors, anime otaku, geeks of all stripes and just anybody who is interested in a good story.  I want to attract people that enjoy putting themselves into the worlds that they love.  I want some day to be able to see a particularly awesome piece of fan-fiction and say "this is now canon".   I want people to have fun with my stories first and foremost, but if the stories make them think about their own lives just a little more, that's awesome. 

Who is your favorite author?

Hard to say.  Jim Butcher's Dresden Files stuff is way up there, but Tolkien's stuff is still  very much a love of mine.  Then of course there's Fred Perry and the humorous way he has combined so many of the things I grew up with into one setting with his Gold Digger comic. 

Now tell us a quality you really like about yourself.

This is somewhat a difficult question.  I generally don't feel I have the best perspective of myself.  Once upon a time I took pride in how much I could get written in any particular space of time, but at the moment, it doesn't seem like I can ever get enough written to satisfy myself.  There is always more story to tell and more stories to begin to tell.  Anything I can point to about myself as a good point or a bad point is of inherently questionable validity since I have an inherently biased view point.  This sounds like I'm trying to avoid the question and that's sort of the case because I'm really not sure how to answer.  I like my stories.  I like my job.  I like my friends and family.  These things are all sort of outside of myself though.  

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? Were you able to overcome it? How?

Being unknown, and well, I actually haven't overcome it yet.  I am in the process by doing these interviews and trying to advertise my books, but it is a rather large hurdle to overcome.

Cover Art by ArcosArt

Your stories sound very exciting. Why should we buy your work?

I put a lot of love and effort into my books and characters.  I've been told I sometimes take my readers on a bit of an emotional roller coaster.  I like marrying ideals to practicality and twisting stereotypes on their head in amusing ways.  I make an effort to edit and proofread my stories and make sure they have a fair amount of internal consistency that fiction occasionally lacks.  And, I invite you to write your own stories of my settings if you desire.  Picking up my books will give you points of laughter and tears, triumph and despair.  At least, so I am told.  I try to keep my settings fairly hopeful, but there is always quite a bit of darkness between the beginning and the light at the end of the tunnel.
Let us know where can we find your books/articles/writing!
Nest Serpent and Mal Viper by Thrythlind
Art by Kade Green
Luke Green's pages and info:

Runya Sulemar by Kallen by Thrythlind

Drawn by Kallen of

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Location: London in less than 24 hours

What can you do in London if you have just about 24 hours? Actually, there's plenty of time for a good sightseeing experience on a budget.

Human statue posing at Covent Garden

Pick a hotel close to everywhere and with easy access the tube (UK's subway). Covent Garden is a location of choice, because there's everything around it, from boutique shopping to restaurants to free street entertainment and it is super easy access to the tube! After you check in, take a quick shower to refresh after a long transatlantic flight and go out to explore, starting, of course, with the grounds of Covent Garden. Take a few moments to browse the shops and even buy some souvenirs, especially tea and the famous Thornton's toffee. You can't miss this delicious English toffee. Then, take the tube  to the Eye of London, the giant Ferris wheel. For a nice round about of London, you take a look at the city from the top. It's not very expensive, and the lines go by fast because several people fit in the non stopping wheel. There's time to take lots of pictures from the top, after all, you can see the Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben and the Parliament. It's somewhat better than a city tour, and the only attraction you need to pay to go if you only have less than 24 hours in London.

Take a walk from the Eye to the banks of the Thames, where you can stroll past the Parliament and  Big Ben. Take the tube to Buckingham Palace, where you may be able to see some excitement going around the grounds of the palace if royalty is in town! Stroll by the gardens nearby and walk to the first ever Hard Rock Cafe, the original London one; don't forget to buy your souvenir there. Their food is the same in all the cafes around the world, so skip the line and go for a more typical tea time in a local coffee shop, or if you prefer a pint, go to a pub on Piccadilly. Using the tube to move around saves you money and you can still see most of the sites!

Now you've seen London! Cheers!