Today, my guest is CB Williams, whose books I’ve featured a couple of times in my newsletter. Feedback from those of you who tried Cynthia out is that you like her stories.
So now, here’s an opportunity to meet Cynthia herself. Please make her feel welcome. Oh yes, and there’s a giveaway. Details below:
Patrick Rothfuss, Charles deLint, Linnea Sinclair, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, the writing duo Lee and Miller, Joan Vinge, Andre Norton, Ursula K. LeGuin, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Robert Silverberg, Tolstoy, Ayn Rand, Tolkien, Guy Gavriel Kay, Joseph Campbell, Edgar Rice Bouroughs, Patricia Briggs, Kate Daniels, and the list goes on.
What is your favourite novel cover?
There is a famous illustrator named N.C. Wyeth. The images he painted for book covers in the 1920s and 1930s were extraordinary. Take a look at this one.
What’s the best Hero Moment you’ve ever seen in film?
In Last of the Mohicans when Hawkeye says “No matter how long it takes, I will find you!” and he does. I guess that’s the romantic bit. When he actually rescues Cora, I suppose is the Hero Moment.
What reading device do you use for reading ebooks on?
Kindle. Love the lighting technology. I can read longer with it.
What is your take on the indie author phenomenon?
I think it’s great. I love it because I’ve more control. And it’s started whole new online industries from author assistants to editors to formatters. What do you think the book industry will look like in five years’ time? I think there will be more hybrid authors. Indie authors are becoming competition to the New York publishers. The big publishers will need to start courting them more and more.
Do you ever skip the “I love you!” scene in your novels? Do you feel you’ve been cheated if they’re missing in other authors’ books?
I usually stick in a declaration of love in my books, although I may not say those three words. Gotta love the warm fuzzy feeling.
What’s your take on eBook piracy?
All piracy is wrong, don’t you think? People work hard for their art and should be paid for it. Okay, I’d be lying if I say I’ve never borrowed a CD from a friend and made a copy or watched a DVD someone copied. But I am more sensitive about it and, going forward, I do my best to go the non-pirated route. eBook piracy is just plain stealing. If you want a free book, you can go to the library.
What would you do about it?
If I were given carte blanche to do anything to stop it? I don’t know. Keep building a better mousetrap. I really don’t know how the eBooks get stolen. I am only aware of it when someone from one of the on-line author groups I belong to sends out a warning.
If someone offered you immortality, but you could never write again…would you take the offer?
If I didn’t have another creative outlet, I would respectfully decline. However, if I can still paint or sculpt, I may say ‘yes.’ It’s funny, though. I just was told I could never eat anything containing gluten ever again and now all I want is pasta and pot stickers!
What do you want your epitaph to read, at the end of your life?
She knew how to have fun.
(I like this one! – t.)
What are you currently reading? How’s that going for you?
Two books: Flicker by Kaye Thornbrugh, an urban fantasy. And as I drive a great deal, I’m listening to Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie, science fiction. Loving them both.
What will you be reading next?
I’ll probably reach for Thornbrugh’s next book, Brightly. I’m really enjoying her “take” on the fae. Most are not particularly nice, very amoral creatures. She’s a good writer. Great character development.
Soon, I’ll be writing so I’ll read Nora Roberts to avoid what I call “author bleed-through.” Nora is such a great storyteller. Reading her reminds me how I want to write.
The Desiree Staccato
In honour of Desiree Holt who started this Saturday Night Live style tradition:
- Favourite colour? Blue, no…green…no..turquoise. That’ll work.
- Favourite drink? Champagne
- Favourite writing outfit? Tunic and leggings
- Favourite food(s)? chocolate and bacon (meat candy)
- Favourite music? New World, especially afro-celt. Alternative is a close second.
- Favourite sport? Martial arts
- Favourite body part? Hands
- Favourite spot in the world? Lots on the bucket list to sample, but I keep returning to the British Isles
- Favourite movie? A tie: Sex and the City and Fifth Element. Go figure.
- Favourite TV show? Just discovered SENSE8. Never seen anything like it. So glad there’s a second season coming down the pipeline.
- Favourite flower? Columbine
- Favourite thing to do at knock-off time? Out in Nature, hanging with my friends, family, pets or all the above.
Tell us about your book.
My series, The Entean Saga, began with a face, a bottle of wine, and a late night conversation with a good friend. The face was a photo of an intense and beautiful man someone sent me. They thought it would inspire me. It did. The wine was no doubt a chardonnay, and probably we were just cracking open number two when I showed the picture of the face to my friend and asked “Who do you think this is?”
“A shaman,” came the reply. No surprise there as she was initiated into the shamanic traditions in Nepal many years ago and teaches shamanism. “What do you think he’s thinking?” my friend asked in return.
And thus Champion of Entean, Episode One of the Entean Saga was born.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Champion! Something comes!
It is not mine.?
And so begins the Entean Saga.
Eloch, the Champion of Entean, is asked by the planet who loves him to travel light-years from his home to Spur, a technologically advanced planet whose citizens are determined to colonize Entean.
And because Eloch loves his planet Entean, he goes…only to discover that the vast power flowing through him, power only a Champion can wield, vanishes the moment the spacecraft bound for Spur enters its first wormhole.
Now powerless and alone, how can Eloch stop the colonization, as he has sworn to do?
Meanwhile, on Spur, SubCity Kinlord Wren has her own problems. Sensing the imminent threat of a Culling, in which the strongest of her Folk are taken to serve the UpperUppers who live Above while the weak and old are killed, she must find a way to protect those under her care. How can she give the Martials what they want while keeping those they don’t alive?
Eloch and Wren—strangers from different corners of the universe brought together by happenstance. When their paths cross, it will change each’s mission to serve and protect, as well as the course of their very lives.
Here’s our first glimpse of Eloch, the Champion of Entean:
There were only three in the landing party. They fanned out, keeping their backs to their shuttle so they could escape quickly if necessary. But Aiko, the leader, didn’t think it would be necessary. From what she had observed while she circled to land, this was a very pleasant little planet with few inhabitants.
She pushed back her helmet, shook out her straight black hair, and filled her lungs with the moist, sweet air. It had been a long flight to get to this small, watery planet the Ring had targeted for colonization. It was the farthest planet on their itinerary, some twenty light years away from Spur. It had taken them just over a year to travel this far. Aiko had volunteered so she’d have the time to think through her domestic problems. If the rest of planet A349 was as serene and peaceful as the landscape before them, she may not ever want to return to the conflict and turmoil of her home life. The meadow was quiet and serene, with wisps of morning fog. And the air! Aiko sucked in another deep breath, savoring the sensation of such beautiful air filling her lungs.
“This is a lovely place,” she heard herself say. It surprised her. She had been trained to keep her personal thoughts to herself.
Etsuo grinned in agreement. “The Ring will want to colonize ASAP.”
Aiko studied the lush green foliage and the blue of the river rippling past. “Pity,” she said. “I wish they could keep it as it is.” As soon as she thought of how crowded and dirty Spur was, with its masses of people, she shuddered, remembering the stink.
Not the Above, the City, where the elite lived. But SubCity, where she’d grown up. She didn’t think she’d ever get the SubCity stink out of her nose. She swore she would have seduced the fat, greasy recruiter during her last Cull just so she could join the Service and get out of Sub.
She was glad she hadn’t needed to resort to that, though. Glad she was smart and things came easy. Glad she had the knack and could fly ships. Lots of Subs became pilots. Lots of Subs who were born with the knack, combined with the will they had to develop to survive in that cesspool. Without the will, there was no managing the knack.
Was that why the government kept SubCity around? No, Aiko decided, the UpperUppers who lived in the highest echelon of the City wanted the Subs to stay where they were—out of sight.
Aiko sucked in some more air. “What’s the readout, Genji?” she asked the third in the landing party.
“Not much activity,” he replied. “There are sentients to the north and the south, but there’s no movement.”
“It’s early still,” Aiko said, curious to find out what the inhabitants were like. If they were peaceful, the Service would capture them, train them, and send them back to Spur, where they’d eventually find their way into SubCity, no doubt. But it was better than the alternative. If they were warlike, they would be destroyed. The Ring did not take kindly to hostiles. It was better to find an uninhabited planet. Less costly. Less trouble. But Aiko knew once the Ring got her report they’d colonize this beauty, inhabitants and all.
Fortunately, Aiko’s mission was to gather facts and report back to the Ring’s Board of Colonizers on Spur. She didn’t like having to make the life-and-death decisions.
“Movement, ma’am,” Genji said, just as the scanner in his hand chirped.
“On guard, you two,” Aiko said, checking behind to confirm the way back to the shuttle was clear. She unhooked the safety on her holster, just in case.
A being, male humanoid in appearance, stepped out from dense foliage, the branches parting to make way for him, barely brushing his leather garments as he strode past.
Aiko heard Etsuo’s gasp mirror her own gulp at the man’s size. Etsuo was one of the Service’s biggest warriors, yet this man in front of them had nearly six inches on Etsuo, which meant, Aiko guessed, he was at least six foot four. And broad! Such strength in those shoulders. If the other inhabitants were like this one and not hostile, Aiko mused, Spur was on its way to mustering quite an impressive new military. She could practically hear the Service drooling now. No SubCity destination for a man like this.
His face, when he threw back his hood, captivated her with its intensity, the intelligence she saw in the eyes, and its perfect features. His hair was dark, already damp and clinging around his face from the morning mist. Tendrils of it hung over his eyes, which were deep and green like the forest behind him. They glared at her from under slanting, dark brows. His full mouth was set in a hard line. His jaw tensed, emphasizing high cheekbones and a pointed chin. Power emanated from him. If he didn’t have a whole load of knack, she thought, she was a blind-bitched whelp.
The man continued to move purposefully toward them, carrying his heavy staff as if it was a twig.
He spoke in a deep, rich voice, the words rumbling from his chest.
Aiko switched on her translator, noting that Etsuo and Genji did the same. She decided to approach him as one in authority, since it was quite apparent it was what he believed.
“I am Aiko,” she said with a quick nod, “pilot and leader of this mission. With me are Etsuo and Genji. I did not have the translator turned on when you spoke. Will you please repeat what you said?”
The man frowned, studying her and her two companions. “Your words are strange, yet I can understand you. How can it be?” he asked in that rich baritone of his. It glided over Aiko like smoke.
She held up her device. “This is a translator. It allows us to speak with one another.”
He was quick when he moved, somehow covering the distance between them in a soundless instant. When he stepped back, the translator was in his hand.
Aiko closed her mouth and swallowed. “It isn’t a weapon,” she said, nodding at the translator in his hand. “It merely helps us understand each other.”
He nodded, studying the device. Then he smiled slightly and stepped closer to hand it back to her.
“Easy,” she whispered to Etsuo when she saw him move. “I don’t think he means to harm us.” She nodded her thanks when the translator was placed gently into her outstretched hand.
Their fingers brushed.
Oh yeah, he’s got the knack in spades. Her hand felt like she’d been burned, his power was so intense, and from the merest of touches! This man was not one to be trifled with. This man was extremely dangerous. Aiko swallowed again, suddenly longing for the safety of the shuttle.
She stole a glance behind her and started. The shuttle was covered with vines, which were now sinuously curling into all its openings.
“Captain—” Genji blurted. She heard real fear in his voice. “What’s happening?”
Giveaway details: Cynthia has very kindly offered a $20 Amazon Gift Card to one reader, drawn at random from comments. Start commenting! Giveaway closes Thursday, October 1 at midnight, MST.
Just a note—Episode 2: Brightness Calling, will be available on Amazon.com (both US and UK) September 30th!