Friday, October 07, 2011

Welcome Starfox Howl

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.

Starfox Howl
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:
ISBN: 978-1-55487-904-5
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, GLBT, Futuristic
 
Blurb:

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?

Excerpt:

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.com


12 comments:

Sheri Fredricks said...

Wow! What a great interview. Hard not to read every line (and we all skim, don't we?) From the teaser posted here, Jason to Jessica sounds fantasically fresh, something I've never heard of before. Congratulations on your writing break-through. I know you'll be a success!

Janice said...

Great interview. I didn't know you were an army brat. :)

Congrats on your book, it sounds real intriguing.

Janice~

Christine Warner said...

Excellent Interview. Glad to learn more about you and what you do outside of writing.

As for your book...love the premise...sounds like an intriguing read.

Congrats on your success!

Jude Mason said...

Welcome Starfox! I've really looked forward to having you here, and it seems you have a few lady friends who have been eagerly awaiting this 'getting to meet the man'!

Hugs
Jude

Charlie Richards said...

Great interview, Starfox! And interesting excerpt - very original. I wish you many sales for this one and all your future books! (And I'm sure there will be plenty!) ;)

Starfox Howl said...

Hi all... Thank you all for stopping by. The premise on the story was very interesting to me. Reading I WILL FEAR NO EVIL many years ago struck a cord with me, especially later on with the MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS-type movements.

As all stories start off with a "What IF..." that might be a good "What If" to use.

Oh, and Janice... I'm a Marine Corps brat, not army. Not a big difference to some, but just pride of service, I'm sure you understand. :-)

Tabitha Blake said...

What a great interview! Your story sounds really good. Wishing you luck on your sales. Love the fact you help the military out. My son is out in Afghanistan right now. Its also nice to know I'm not the only not so glamurous writer. LOL! Most of the time I am at my computer in my pajamas. HeeHee! Loved your interview!

Brenda said...

Very nice interview, my friend. It was nice getting to know you and what you write better.
LOL, love your comfort food.

Christine Ashworth said...

Hon, you so had me at Tuna Noodle Casserole! I applaud you - for being in Afghanistan, for being married to the same woman forever (I'm going on 34 years myself), and for writing in amazing circumstances.

Hugs dear!

Zee Monodee said...

Awesome interview, Starfox! Was lovely to get to know more about you, and see a pic!

Here's rooting for many sales of your book, and more acceptance letters in your future. :) xoxo

Starfox Howl said...

Thanks to you all.

@Christine -- 34 years? Congratulations! It's wonderful, isn't it, sticking with each other through thick and thin, supporting each other and learning to accept each others faults.

@Zee -- I'm looking for a lot more sales as I get better known. Word of mouth advertising is a great thing. And as for more acceptance letters, I have a new book in the editing stage right now, called ANGEL'S WINGS. It's a young adult story set in the MORFS story-verse. There's no release date set yet. I'll pass word along when I get it.

Angela Drake said...

Great blurb and excerpt! Really drew me in. Loved the interview. Hurry home safely, my friend.

Many Blessings
Angela
aka Rain