A special guest on a day I don't normally have guests on my blog. This man has a byline that caught my attention months ago and I'm sure it will you.
The Middle of Nowhere – Afghanistan
Now that does make you want to know more, doesn't it? Read on, and please let this guy know what you think.
1. How long have you been writing? What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create characters that capture the imagination?
I’ve always liked to read. The books I read took me out of the mundane world and off into fantasy worlds of the far future and into the land of dragons and magic. My father was in the Marine Corps so we lived on military bases around the United States. On most bases, science fiction and fantasy books were not plentiful. So, when I ran through the available books at the library, I started writing my own stories. I wrote for myself, I was too shy about them to share with family or friends. I used up a lot of paper and dried up a lot of ball point pens writing about places and people no one else ever saw.
2. What influenced you to get published? How long did it take? Can you tell us the name of your first published work?
While Jason to Jessica was my first royalty paying published work, it was not the first thing that I’ve written that’s been published. While I was in high school, I was a member of the local Civil Air Patrol squadron, the Cadet Public Information Officer, to be exact. I wrote articles about cadet activities in the squadron, our training days, advancements and other things. These were published in the Marine Air Station’s base newspaper.
The biggest influence on my getting published wasn’t a WHAT, but a WHO. I think like most new authors I was worried about what I had written being “good enough” to get published. I asked someone I had met online in a writer’s loop to take a look at a different story, and she thought it was good enough to be published. Jason to Jessica was written after this first story and it took about a year for me to complete it. I had asked other writers about a publisher that was friendly to new authors and eXtasy Books was suggested more than once.
I submitted to them and was totally floored when I got back an acceptance.
3. Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s your take on this? Can you tell us something unglamorous you did within the last week or so?
Well, writing is not my day job. I’m one of the IT guys that support the users at the International Security Assistance Forces Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. As far as unglamorous, that would sitting out in the hot sun, wearing a helmet, ballistic vest and carrying a CLS (combat life saver) bag during a suspicious package alarm on the base. We were all glad that the package was found to not be dangerous.
4. Plotter or pantzer?
Pantzer. There are times when I find myself in a corner, but I just backtrack and start off in a new direction.
5. What do you do when you’re suffering writers block?
I either read, or go back and edit an earlier story.
6. What would you like to share with new writers? Any suggestions or advice?
Read all you can about story engineering, plot, character building, world building, all the elements that make up a good story. While “writing is re-writing” it’s also learning.
7. Looking over the past year, what has been the best moment for you in your writing career?
When I received the acceptance message from eXtasy Books. For a long time I was caught up in the OH WOW!
8. What do you enjoy doing with your spare time, your non-writing time?
Reading or watching movies. I’d rather be spending time with family, but I’m out here in Afghanistan and family is way far away.
9. When you wake up in the morning, what celebrity do you most resemble?
I’m not sure that he’s a celebrity, but the “old man of the mountain”.
10. What are you working on now? Can you tell us a little about it?
I have two major stories that are in the works right now. One is a follow-on to an unpublished novel, the second is a science fiction story that I hope I can spin into a three book epic.
11. Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I’ve been in love with the same woman for almost thirty years. I’m surprised she’s put with me this long.
12. What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Those that aren’t good for me. Ice Cream, tuna noodle casserole and occasional potent potable.
13. What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I hope to achieve a measure of comfort in this life for my wife and myself. I don’t know that there’s a line any of us can cross and say “we have made it”.
Want a bit more about Starfox? Here's his bio, which in my opinion is much too short. I want more:
Starfox Howl is the pen name of a former U.S. Navy Submariner who is currently working in Afghanistan supporting United States, NATO and Coalition Forces for Operation Enduring Freedom. When not playing in the sand, he is at home, near Atlanta, Georgia husband to a loving wife, and slave to five cats and two dogs.
And now for a look at Starfox's book Jason to Jessica, which I found incredibly intriguing:
Jason to Jessica
by Starfox Howl
Buy link at Extasy:
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, GLBT, Futuristic
Jason Ryerson wakes from sleep in a different room and a different body. In the hour after waking up, he learns that he has been a victim twice over, first of a car accident that cause massive injuries to his old body. Secondly, and more devastatingly a victim of the MORFS plague.
Jason, now Jessica, learns what it means to be on the other side of the bed. Outwardly a beautiful woman, she is forced to come to terms with how the world views women. As ties to her past are confronted, dissolved or strengthened, Jessica turns her attention to her future. A man who knew her as both Jason and now Jessica becomes more than just a friend. With no secrets between them, will he help her find her way into the world of being a woman?
Whose music is playing? That was the first conscious thought I had as I woke up. It was my sister's style of quick instrumental. Crystal must be doing her exercises, or just got back from practice. My hands slid across slick sheets as I stretched. Satin? My sister was the only one in the house that used satin sheets.
Wiping the gunk out of my eyes, I blinked a couple times to let things focus. Once my vision cleared, I could see the light pink walls and the one opposite from me was covered in boy band and movie posters, including this year’s teen hit, Twilight 2020.
What was I doing in Crystal’s room? My fuzz-ball brain barely cranked out that second thought before the body told me I needed to get to the bathroom, quickly.
I made a half-awake dash to the bathroom and sat down on the commode. Rubbing my face, I didn’t find my normal morning stubble. As my hand fell to my lap, it bounced against something warm, firm and sensitive before landing.
Huh? I brought my hands back up and they ran into my chest again. Fingers curled against warm flesh and nipples stiffened. The higher functions of the brain finally engaged, processed the data, and outputted an exclamation.
“What the hell?”
Apparently, my yell carried downstairs. I heard shoes on the stairs and then on the hardwood floor outside the bathroom.
“Jason?” Mom’s voice came through the mostly closed door. Her shadow flickered through the gap between the door and the wall.
“Mom?” My higher pitched voice sounded very strange. “What happened to me?”
“I’ll tell you all about it, hon when you get out of there,” her strong, confident voice the only thing nearly normal about the strange situation at the moment.
“When you’re ready, come into the studio and we’ll talk.”
I finished, flushed, washed my hands, then caught my reflection in the mirror over the sink. The mass of dark violet hair on my head held my attention. It cascaded down my back and brushed against my still bare bottom. I ran my fingers through the heavy silk-like strands wondering what it would look like after taming the morning bedhead.
Next to draw my attention was my eyes. Green. Not a dark, emerald green, but an intense crystalline green.
Leaning close to the mirror I peered into the reflection of my eyes. Everyone my age knew this could happen. There was no way you could prepare for the day that it did happen.
Buy link at Extasy:
You can find Starfox here:
Blog and WIP’s at: http://starfoxhowl.Blogspot.