The author will be awarding a $40 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
A few questions for Dr. Alastair Stone, professor of Occult Studies and practitioner of the magical arts.
So, what made you decide to teach college in addition to doing magic? That’s the thing about magic: it can easily take up as much time as you’re willing to let it. But the problem is, not many people know it exists, and things would get inconvenient for me if anyone found out I could do it. While I don’t technically have to work, I love teaching and I’m good at it, so this is a good way to keep me grounded in the so-called “real world” while I spend most of my spare time doing magical research.
What do you like doing when you’re not teaching or working on magic stuff?I like to go to clubs—not those big impersonal ones where everyone’s trying to get into everyone else’s pants, but the small, intimate ones where you can actually sit and have a drink and listen to the band. I’ve got a small group of fellow professors I go pub-hopping with periodically. And I like to run, usually late at night.
Are you seeing anyone? If so, who, and if not, what’s your ideal partner like?I’m…between relationships at the moment. It’s amusing, really—I don’t seem to have trouble meeting women. I suppose I’m not bad looking, I clean up fairly well, and American women seem to love my accent. But once we’ve been together for a while—I think my record is six months—something always happens where they start getting suspicious about the odd things that occur around me, and they find excuses to seek other opportunities. I’ve remained friends with every one of my ex-girlfriends, which I suppose is something. Ideal partner? I don’t know, really—I suppose she needs to be intelligent, able to keep up with my sarcasm, and relatively independent. Aside from that, I’m not picky.
Let’s go a little deeper: I’m sure you deal with a lot of scary things in your magical career. What’s your biggest fear? Oh, that’s easy, and I doubt it will be what you expect. Sure, I’ve dealt with all sorts of nasty magical beasties over the years, and some of them have been fairly horrific. But the thing that frightens me most is losing control of my mental faculties—going insane or developing some disease that robs me of my intellect. Given that losing one’s mind occurs more often than you might think with mages eventually, it’s a real issue and one I try not to think too hard about at present.
What do you like best about yourself? Least? Hmm. Probably what I like best is my magical abilities. Magic is so versatile—the possibilities are nearly limitless, if you’re willing to take the risks required to push the boundaries. Magic is one thing I’m not humble about: I’m damned good at it. But even so, I still consider that I’m barely scratching the surface of where I could go. What I like least—probably the fact that I have a hard time letting anyone see the real me. If I wanted to be honest, I’d say that’s probably as much a part of why my relationships don’t go anywhere as the whole oddness thing. I get to a certain level of closeness with someone, and then I back off. I’d like to fix that, but I have no idea how to go about it.
Finally: where do you see yourself in, say, five years? Well, I’ve got a new apprentice, and I certainly hope that works out better than my last one. If things go as planned, her studies should be wrapping up right about then. I imagine I’ll still be teaching at Stanford—the powers that be seem to like what I’m doing, and the students keep giving me good ratings. I also expect that, given my association with Jason and Verity, my life is likely to get a lot stranger—and potentially a lot more interesting—than it has been. Between the three of us, we seem to have a knack for stumbling into bizarre situations.
The Alastair Stone Chronicles series
by R. L. King
Dr. Alastair Stone, Occult Studies professor, powerful mage, and snarky British expat now based in Palo Alto, California, does his best to keep his academic and social lives separate from his increasingly frequent brushes with various malevolent forces from the supernatural side of the street. A little horror, a little humor, but mostly straight-up urban fantasy.
Stone and a Hard Place
Dr. Alastair Stone, Occult Studies professor and powerful mage, has his hands full trying to keep the two sides of his life separate as he trains a new apprentice, deals with a malevolent entity trapped in the basement of a wealthy old woman’s massive home, and battles dark mages intent on enslaving it for their own ends.
Debut novel of the Alastair Stone Chronicles.
Dr. Alastair Stone is back, this time teaming up with Jason Thayer, a young man hunting for his missing sister. Embroiled in a web of odd homeless people, a growing conspiracy, and deadly danger, they soon realize that even if they find Jason’s sister, they might not be able to help her.
What do you do when you discover an extradimensional plot that threatens the safety of the entire world, but you can’t tell anyone about it because literally anyone on Earth could be part of it?
Book Two of the Alastair Stone Chronicles.
STONE AND A HARD PLACE
The voice was trembling, female, and sounded terrified. It took him a moment to identify it. He stared as Megan stirred again, draping her arm back over him. “Mrs.—Bonham?”
Whoever was on the other end sounded like they were on the verge of hysteria. “Dr. Stone, is that you?”
“It’s me, Mrs. Bonham. What’s wrong? Is something wrong?” He sat up a little, propping himself up on his pillows. Megan’s arm slid down over his stomach, but he didn’t even notice that she was there.
“Something’s here,” she quavered. “Something’s…happening.”
He was fully awake now. Carefully, he moved Megan’s arm and sat on the edge of the bed. “Calm down, Mrs. Bonham, please. I’ll help you if I can, but you have to tell me what’s happening.”
“I don’t know,” she sobbed. “It’s like the whole house hates me. Noises—cold winds—things slamming—”
“Is Iona there? Can you put her on for a moment?”
There was a shuffling sound and then a different voice spoke, sounding almost as frightened as Adelaide Bonham had. “Dr. Stone? This is Iona.”
He took a deep breath. “Iona. What’s going on? Is Mrs. Bonham—”
“She’s not imagining things, Dr. Stone,” the woman said. In addition to sounding frightened, she sounded like she couldn’t believe what was going on. “I can hear them too. The noises. The feelings. It’s horrible, Dr. Stone. Something’s going on.”
Author Bio and Links:
L. King is an award-winning author and game freelancer for Catalyst Game Labs, publisher of the popular roleplaying game Shadowrun. She has contributed fiction and game material to numerous sourcebooks, as well as one full-length adventure, “On the Run,” included as part of the 2012 Origins-Award-winning “Runners’ Toolkit.”
Her first novel in the Shadowrun universe, Borrowed Time, was published in May 2015.
When not doing her best to make life difficult for her characters, King is a software technical writer for a large Silicon Valley database company. In her spare time (hah!) she enjoys hanging out with her very understanding spouse and her small herd of cats, watching way too much Doctor Who, and attending conventions when she can. She is an Active member of the Horror Writers’ Association and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.
Writer Website: http://www.rlkingwriting.com
Publisher Website: http://www.magespacepress.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/R.-L.-King/e/B0084QBKYC/
Buy link for Stone and a Hard Place (Book 1): amzn.to/1CFdTDi
Buy link for The Forgotten (Book 2): http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Alastair-Stone-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B0084O96RW/