Alexander Charalambides will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
- Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. I wouldn’t say it was any specific trait, more like a lack of any other marketable skills.
- Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? Genre as a concept comes after the story is finished. Please don’t limit yourself!
- The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? Anything a pantser writes could be improved with forethought and planning. The only thing a pantser really gains by being spontaneous is a frustrating drafting process as they try to keep their story internally consistent and maybe a faster writing speed.
- Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? K.I.A. is a story about alienation and isolation, but that’s very general, so I wouldn’t call that one of my fears, everyone deals with that some point, but Black Blade (my previous book) deals with evil actions taken from a lost or skewed perspective, which I worry about a lot when writing.
- Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? I missed a deadline once when I was very ill. Most people are understanding, and I never miss without a good reason. Maybe that’s the key to not being scared of them?
- Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? Good? Bad? Boring, probably. I like to write manic or otherwise obsessive characters, but I like to think I’m pretty diplomatic. It’d certainly lead things in a different direction!
- Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. One of Stephen King’s best pieces of advice in his On Writing is to have a dedicated space for writing, mine is a wooden desk, I’m sitting there right now. As for comfort food? I can’t eat while I write, all my fingers are busy punching letters!
- Writing inspirations? The things that push me to write are other stories that are mostly terrible, but with tiny motes of good ideas still floating around inside them. Maybe this is why some people work endlessly over old cars?
- You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? I think if I were to meet George Grosz (questions about time travel/necromancy not withstanding) I’d probably ask him if he needed a hug or not.
- I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. I’m not sure how quirky this is, but I have a tendency to go on a bit when someone asks me what I’m working on. It’s mostly just to find out if anyone thinks it’s a good idea or not.
by Alexander Charalambides
Hildegard lives in a real-life dollhouse, surrounded by prop houses and actors who play friends, teachers and foster parents. Only one man ever seemed real, and after his disappearance, she’s had enough playing along. As Hildegard makes her final preparations to run away from home, a swarm of black clad soldiers appear, controlling the police and swarming across her home town. She can evade them for now, but after learning their mission, she decides to play along one last time, following them to Truman Academy, a lonely building on a freezing aleutian island. Hildegard knows it for what it is: just another prop, but not everyone feels the same way. Through the hell of endless drills and marching, Hildegard befriends the stealthy Grace and bloodthirsty David, and enlists them in an effort to unravel the plan of the man called G and his monstrous menagerie of inhuman soldiers.
“Bacteria again,” David says. “A biological weapon?”
“I don’t know.” Islet slurps the last of his soup. “I only sequenced part of it, and they keep the different teams apart.”
“Is that what they’re going to launch from the Silo?” Grace asks.
“You knew?” Islet asks.
“We found out about the Mobile Silo a while ago,” I say. “We saw blueprints for it, orders for parts, too.”
“Well, that’s what they’ve been doing for days now,” Dr. Islet says. “Hauling down the tanks of bacteria, assembling missiles.”
“They’re going to launch.” Grace stands up as she says it.
“Right,” I say. “There’s not going to be any placement in special forces. Or graduation.”
A few students stand up, like Grace. A few gasp. Most don’t seem surprised. “If I had to guess, I’d say that once they launch, they won’t need us. It’ll be a massacre.”
“You think so?” Islet pushes his glasses back up his nose. “It could be, we’ve been getting weapon shipments with the missile parts and replacement components for the Mobile Silo.”
“Stop saying we,” David grunts. “Unless you’re with them.”
“No, no, I’m not.” Islet waves his hands back and forth. “You’re right.”
“We have to stop them,” Grace says. I can’t help but tally up the numbers. At the very least the baggers outnumber the students two to one. Almost certainly more, not counting KU Giant. Then there’s the equipment discrepancy, and the differences in energy from eating and sleeping. I know there are vehicles, too, I’ve seen plenty of personnel carriers and jeeps with mounted guns, as well as the helicopters that are always coming and going.
“Uh, Hildegard,” Grace says. “We were sort of hoping you’d come up with something.”
I only wanted to find out what happened to Cooper. To be honest, I think I might already have lost my chance. It can’t be my priority anymore. By the sound of it, it’s not just the students that are in danger.
“There’s only one way we can get enough supplies, weapons, and bodies to stop the launch.”
“Okay,” Grace says. “What’s that?”
“This should be good.” David leans back on the walls of the cabin. All the students stare at me.
“We have to take over the school.”
Alexander Charalambides was born in London and grew up in Berkshire in the UK
.He studied Creative Writing, and graduated from the Open University.
As a freelance writer Alexander enjoys storytelling just as much as editing and analysis, but often takes time off to enjoy wind surfing, do the sickest of motorcycle flips, wrestle with deadly animals and lie about his hobbies.
In 2008 he moved to the USA and now lives in New Hampshire’s beautiful White Mountains with his family and two dogs, Gwynne and Gimli.