Just knowing author Gloria Weber has brought an added dose of whimsy to THIS writer’s life. Not only does she write spec fiction, but she’s also an out there advocate of all things SUPERHERO. She makes loving comics and reading manga COOL! Thank you for that, darlin’!
Gloria joins the blog today to unveil her latest UNMASKING LEMON’S THESIS. Read on and enjoy!
Welcome to Trowbridge City. It’s home to superheroes, maniacal villains, and everyday citizens. The stories here aren’t about good versus evil, but about hard choices, prejudices, and experiences complicated by superpowers.
Lemon “Em” Law is a super genius and she’s also the daughter of Trowbridge’s most infamous super villain, Yellow Fellow. After being fired, bullied by her professor, and dumped all in the same day there’s only one thing she can do! And that’s work on her thesis. Truth is, the last thing Em wants to be is evil. Unfortunately that thesis of hers is so revolutionary it could be dangerous. Is she ready to learn the secrets behind the masks?
“Now, take a guess. What has a national average of 52 percent, but in Trowbridge is an extremely high rate of 98 percent?” He asked while looking at Em.
He was baiting her. Still, she raised her hand.
“Yes, Miss Law,” he said her last name with as much sarcasm as he could muster. He always did.
Em was so over him and his childish antics that she didn’t bother rolling her eyes; she just answered. “That refers to the amount of children of super villains that turn to crime themselves.”
“Correct, as always.” He took a moment to sneer and give her a look of displeasure before continuing. “There are studies going on at the moment and the most promising of those attributes the cause to high concentration of villain groupies in Trowbridge. Of course, everyone here knows of Miss Nelly Law, right?”
The low blow made Em shut her eyes and take a deep breath in. Yeah, everyone knew about her mom. Her mom had earned her fame for two reasons. Number one was surviving being pushed off a roof by Yellow Fellow, Trowbridge’s most infamous super villain, and, number two, giving birth to Lemon, Yellow Fellow’s daughter.
Em opened her eyes in time to see Professor King point at someone behind her.
“Isn’t she in a wheelchair now? Wasn’t it a murder attempt?” The female student’s voice seemed uncomfortable and a little sympathetic.
“Correct your classmate, Miss Law.” He smiled now with joy and malice as he came to a stop before Lemon.
“My mother is indeed in a wheelchair,” Em said as her fingers curled around her pen, knuckles turning just as white as her ex-boss’s had been earlier today.
“Not that part,” he goaded.
Em took another deep breath while closing her eyes. She knew he would make her say the answer so it was better to get it over with.
“It wasn’t attempted murder. It was attempted abortion of me,” she said as loud as she could muster.
Gloria Weber lives in Ohio with her husband, son, daughter, and many pets. She has been writing for publication since March 2006. Over a dozen of her short stories have been published in ‘zines and anthologies. During the not-writing-times, she can be found doing not-fun-at-all-adult/mom/wife stuff, yoga, running very slowly (because that’s as fast as she can go), or cooking/baking. No matter what she is doing, she is a geek. There’s no turning that off.
Science fiction writer Jim Cronin takes up the the reins as we enter week two of the blogothon. Citing a preference for 50’s and 60’s era Sci Fi movies, classical music and my favorite martian as creative influences, I can’t help but applaud this wildly inventive author. Word to the wise, though: keep an eye on your DNA! Hi, Jim!
His home world is dead; the victim of a supernova, but this does not stop Karm from attempting to save the Brin, his extinct species. Rescued by an alien race from a derelict spacecraft as a vial of DNA, then cloned, Karm must travel back in time, convince a small team of co-conspirators to join him in his quest, and outmaneuver a power hungry monarch and his fanatic brother, leader of The Faith, both absolutely committed to opposing him.
All of Karm’s plans rest on the untested and controversial cloning theories of the young geneticist Dr. Jontar Rocker, and the abilities of his bodyguard, personal assistant, and surrogate niece, Maripa. Will their combined efforts be enough to overcome the power of the monarchy and the planet’s most influential religion? Will Karm’s secrets destroy the trust of his companions and ruin his campaign to save the Brin?
Great book! Twists in plot were well thought out & timed perfectly – just when you thought you knew where you were going, a twist comes into play…
by Clare Bruno
Mr. Cronin writes on several levels successfully: from the detailed lives of a myriad of characters to the larger economic & political powers at play in a full world, complex and dangerous. And that’s not even counting the star that’s about to go supernova!…
by Debauched Sloth
The author’s characters are varied, both in personality and trait, which makes them all interesting…. Hegira augurs well for Jim Cronin’s future books. I look forward to reading more from him…
by Tracy Black
“Come in, Latonia Base…come in Latonia Base. This is Starship Hegira, repeat, this is Hegira. Come in, Latonia.”
Static crackled from the speaker. The lieutenant, bleeding and dying from the injuries he received during the mutiny trembled feebly as he gripped the microphone. Blood soaked his crest feathers; his talons broken and jagged from the hand-to-hand combat in the spaceship’s passageways. He knew his wounds were fatal, but his duty was clear: to report back to base about the failure of the mission. His body tensed as the next wave of pain shot through him.
“Latonia Base, this is Hegira. Come in. Priority clearance Falcon, Delta. Come in Base. Damn you to hell!” the soldier shouted in desperation. “Somebody answer! Come in, Latonia!” The microphone dropped from his talons, clattering on the control panel before falling to the metal plated floor. The lieutenant slumped back into the chair, pressing a blood soaked rag to his shoulder. Staring out the view port he watched the star-filled blackness and wondered at the cruel turn fate had taken over the past few days.
HEGIRA features a character cloned from a vial of DNA. To what degree did your knowledge of Zoology play a part in the science behind the story?
While I do have some familiarity with cloning, my main goal was to pick some aspect of science which has the potential to be controversial. I wanted to deal with the schism between science and religion and bringing cloning to its full potential struck me as an interesting subject. Evolution is too familiar, but I wanted something with a similar potential.
Your self-confessed struggle with the English language (tongue in cheek) is refreshing and all too familiar. Tell us about the writing courses you took and which ones helped you most on your quest to write The Novel.
To be honest, I only had one writing course in college. That one consisted almost entirely of us writing each night whatever struck our fancy. The topic did not matter. We could write nothing but “I have nothing to say tonight” if we wanted, so long as we wrote something. The professor then would respond. His response may or may not have been anything related to what we wrote. I guess it was sort of a late ’60’s or early ’70’s sort of thing. What I have learned about writing came more from working as a teacher and paying attention to what my Language Arts partners taught and my trying to copy them whenever I required my students to write something.
Your worst rejection letter ever: what did it say?
These actually were pretty much the standard “Sorry, but this is just not the sort of story we are looking for right now.” Rejections. None of then were rude or anything, but always disappointing.
The day you got your contract: anecdote, please!
Please don’t tell my wife this, but I actually did a bit of a victory dance in the living room. I NEVER dance. It is absolutely not something I do. But for some reason I did then. If she ever hears I did a dance she may force me to take her out dancing. That would be bad. 🙂
Ed. Don’t worry friend. Your secret is safe with me!
There are a lot of science fiction films out there that have suffered darts. DUNE comes to mind (and I liked it for all its campy 80’s fashion). What’s your favorite and how did it inform your work as a science fiction writer?
I much prefer the books to their films, but Ender’s Game was pretty good. I also am a compulsive viewer of almost any 1950’s or 1960’s era sci fi movies. Of course I also thought Guardians of the Galaxy was a hoot. Ex Machina made me think and was very interesting. The new Star Trek movies are very good as well.
Currently I am almost finished with the sequel to Hegira. This will be a trilogy, I hope. The third book is only in rough outline form so far though. I also have an idea for a YA science fiction story floating around.
What’s your second favorite genre and why?
This is kind of a toss up between fantasy and historical fiction. I love Tolkein, Eddings, and Martin, but Jeff Shaara and David McCoullough are also incredible. Of course books on Physics, Evolution, and science in general are always good too.
Who and what do you read when you aren’t writing, editing and publishing?
Science Fiction, History, Historical Fiction, Science, and the occasional Stephen King or James Patterson, among others. I almost always have two or three novels going on at the same time. Does that qualify as an addiction?
Do you have a muse?
Not really. Guess I am too grounded in science for that. Unless you count all of my Marvin the Martian characters I have hanging around. But I do listen to classical music when I write.
Last words? Tell us something you want us to know.
Whether it’s writing, or some other passion you may have, never give up until you have exhausted every ounce of effort and drive you can muster to achieve it. And then go out and give it some more before you move on and try to find another dream. If you give up before you have given it your everything, you’ll always have regrets. That, and just a simple, Be Nice To Others.
Ed. I can live with that!
I worked for thirty five years as a middle school science teacher, but am now semi-retired, working part-time as an educator/performer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I have been married for thirty seven years to the love of my life, Diane. Together, we raised two incredible sons, and now have a beautiful granddaughter to spoil rotten.
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in Arlington, Virginia before moving to Denver where I attended High School and eventually college at Colorado State University, graduating with a degree in Zoology and a teacher certification. I currently live near Denver in the small town of Parker.
My friend the scientist could talk for hours with future guy Frederick Crook. Dark themes, distant places, bad guys and star ships, he goes places we dare to follow, if only for the measure of hope he offers: ‘when there’s nothing to lose, there’s everything to give.’ I like that and so might you. Hello, Frederick Crook.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick was born in Chicago in 1970 and now lives in Villa Park with his wife, Rae and their three miniature dachshunds. He began by writing fictional works all through high school, earned an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Electronics in 1994 and the Bachelor of Science in Technical Management from DeVry University in 2005.
In 2009, Frederick began writing his first novel, The Dregs of Exodus, which was self-published in late 2010. This was followed up with another novel, The Pirates of Exodus in 2012.
Throughout that year and early 2013, he continued writing and published four short stories in eBook form for Kindle and Nook. All of these stories share the same premise, but all are independent from one another, though the short eBook, Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair and his third novel, published by Solstice Publishing, Campanelli: Sentinel, share the same main characters.
Minuteman Merlin was released for the Kindle by Solstice Publishing, March 1st of 2015.
He loves writing and enjoys meeting and talking to readers at book signing events.
It is 2110 and migration to the colony planet, Alethea, has depleted Earth of billions of people. As a result, migration has been declared illegal by all world governments. Human trafficking becomes highly profitable for organized crime and their influence reaches beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Many starships returning from Alethea are diverted from the scrapping process and secretly refurbished, allowing the population to shrink further.
Frank Campanelli is a blind Chicago Police detective who depends on his fully functional bio-electronic implants to see and do his job. After assisting on a botched infiltration of a top human trafficking network, he and his partner, Marcus Williams, are transferred into the CPD’s Organized Crime Division to head the newly formed Sentinel group and bring down the Ignatola family business.
Cover art by Arvin Candelaria & Velvet Lyght of “Stories by CL”.
Nebraska, 2121. A widower by the name of Merlin lives in his converted Minuteman-3 missile silo with his Black Lab, Chief. Suffering from stomach cancer, Minuteman Merlin is under the care of Doctor Larry Hammonds. On this post-Great Exodus Earth, the cure has left for the stars along with the vast majority of Mankind, so the doctor must treat him with the long-outdated methods of chemotherapy and radiation.
In the small town where he receives this medical treatment and trades goods, Merlin confronts a child abuser. The situation goes horribly wrong, resulting in the death of the victim’s father and the destruction of Doctor Hammond’s office. To make amends, he opens his home, giving the physician a place to practice medicine and the boy a place to live.
A man with nothing left to lose has everything left to give.
What are your thoughts on muses and do you have one?
I’ve never had one specific muse. I am inspired mostly by the old men of science fiction. Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke. I’ve also been influenced by Stephen King and Dean Koontz. The ideas that came to me after I wrote my first novel, The Dregs of Exodus seem to just occur to me. “Dregs” was an interesting scenario about a dystopian future given the right circumstances. I’ve been working backwards for the most part, writing about the experiences of other characters in other times and locations. Characters have a great capacity to love, yet they’re starved. Why do you think this happens in fiction and in real life?
Well, that depends on the characters, of course and the nature of the story. Starved enough, I suppose, you have a villain on your hands. Without giving spoilers, would you say you’re a “happy ending” writer?
Not with everything, that’s for sure. There are stories that I’ve written with indisputably positive endings. The rest tend to end on a mixture that I feel makes for a realistic outcome. What would you like to be remembered for?
I want readers to remember me as an author of dystopian sci-fi stories that did not rely on a disaster to create them. I think many people are turned off by dystopian adventures because of the massive deaths that go along with a 2012 or a Deep Impact scenario. I wanted my work to have a positive back story: The vast majority of Mankind is making a new home on the colony planet, Alethea. If you could dine with any historical figure living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d have to say Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I’d like to know what it was like to be pulling the strings behind
the scenes of the world’s biggest conflict. Past, present or future? Where does your mind dwell?
I’m in the past for the most part. I really enjoyed the music of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, and I really enjoyed the way of life back then quite a bit more than these days. All the gadgets that we live with on a daily basis are intrusive in many ways and not necessarily helpful. The reliability of something like the provider of our internet, TV and phone is often subpar because they try to stuff too much capability into it. In the ‘80’s, I had my music on LP’s and cassettes, 40-ish channels on the cable television, and we had a landline phone. It was so quiet and pleasant back then. What informs your writing most?
I have to have music running, especially lately. My mind is like an old tube-amplified AM radio. It drifts without any outside influences. I can’t even begin to list what I listen to, but you can bet it’s from the ‘70’s or ‘80’s. I like some new stuff, don’t get me wrong, but in a world where a Tom Petty rip-off wins a Grammy for the best song of the year it’s hard to find stuff that I like. Growing up in the Seventies, school kids were encouraged to think globally and act locally. Have you ever flirted with this philosophy?
In the ‘70’s, I was attending a Catholic school in Cicero that, fortunately, no longer exists. Thought was not encouraged in any form, let alone actions derived from such behavior. While I tend to mind my own business when it comes to most things, I do recycle and think I do a lot to minimalize my negative impact on the Earth, though I think she’s a lot tougher than us and will be glad when we’re off her back. Guilty pleasures: we all have them. What is yours?
Pretzels in white chocolate are awesome. A Maker’s Mark cigar with its tip soaked in its namesake is bliss. Sneaking a beer before noon is as cool as it sounds. Your greatest victory?
I hope I haven’t experienced it yet, though the day I left a mind-numbing office job a few years ago without being jailed for assault has to be it. I lost the job but I regained my true self and no one had to get hurt. Setting myself free that day felt better than achieving my degrees. Tell us about the one that got away. Person, place or thing.
Actually, anything that I’ve gone for and failed at has turned out for the better. I’ve tried for that automobile that I knew I couldn’t afford and was pissed off when the financing companies denied me, but looking back at it, I know it would have ruined me. I’ve tried for that house that I knew I couldn’t swing and was shot down by the mortgage companies. I’m happy about that, too. I’ve pursued some women in my time and I can’t say that there are any that I regret not catching. There’s a saying that I like to keep in mind about such things in life. I don’t know who said it and I can’t even remember when I heard it, but it’s this: “Never pursue a woman or money. Both will leave you in the dust.”
What are some of the overriding themes in your work? Do you have a favorite?
I think that readers should understand that things that change our world are not always for the better. There is a negative aspect to everything we achieve, no matter how small. For instance, the “Great Exodus” that I feature in all of my works is a beneficial event for most of Mankind, except for the people that remain on Earth. Things will happen in our reality that may seem all good for us, but the experience will always produce some sort of negative cost. Most of the time, the bad side of something is a trade that we can live with, but sometimes it’s not. It’s as important to not be naïve as it is to not be jaded. Who do you admire and why?
I admire men and women of the arts that have become internationally recognized and are genuinely happy. I think Stephen King, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are prime examples of that. There are musicians that put that feeing across as well. Now, perhaps these are merely facades of contentment, but who is to say other than they? Are writers fully formed works of art or works in progress?
I don’t think anyone is a fully formed work. We’re all works in progress because we as people are always changing as we get older and experience the world. It’s important to keep evolving and working toward our goals, changing things when we find the need. If we don’t keep changing, then our art will be stagnate and forgettable.
Thank you Frederick Crook for you insights. Be sure and check out F.C.’s YouTube channel. He has a je ne sais quoi for book trailers!
TOMORROW: Baseball aficionade. writer and all round New Yorker Ralph Peluso
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