Monday, November 05, 2012

Was Once A Hero by Edward McKeown Blog Tour Interview

Reluctant privateer Robert Fenaday searches the stars for his lost love, Lisa, a naval intelligence officer whose ship disappeared near the end of the Conchirri War . He’s joined by the genetically engineered assassin, Shasti Rainhell, whose cold perfection masks her dark past. Both are blackmailed by government spymaster, Mandela, into a suicidal mission to the doomed planet Enshar. Leading a team of scientists and soldiers, they must unravel the mystery of that planet’s death before an ancient force reaches out to claim their lives.

About the Book:
Give me the blurb for the book in 140 characters or less: 

Reluctant privateer Robert Fenaday searches the stars for his lost love, Lisa. He’s joined by the genetically engineered assassin, Shasti Rainhell. Both are blackmailed into a suicidal mission to the doomed planet Enshar.
Do you have a favorite character? Why is she your favorite? 

While I identify more with my everyman character Robert Fenaday and his struggles it is Shasti Rainhell, the genetically engineered woman who I found most compelling with her dark past, great power and ability and her struggle to define herself as something other than the weapon she was meant to be.

What do you hope readers will get from your book?
I want to provide the sort of gripping adventure that I experienced when I read Andre Norton’s work and later C J Cherryh’s. I seek to combine Norton’s sense of wonder with her accessible and enjoyable characters and add the realistic complexity of person and situation that CJ manages. I want to take you to deep space, to meet and deal with aliens and to face wonders and terrors you never dreamt of in the company of people you are glad to know. 

About the Author:
What/Who inspires you?

I mentioned some of my favorite authors above. I would add Larry Niven, James Schmidt, Jack Sutton and a few others. Outside of the writing world I find great satisfaction in teaching martial arts, particularly to beginners and in ballroom dancing. I have always found the martial arts relatively easy and dancing rather difficult. But my motto is anything worth doing is worth doing badly.

Hardest aspect of writing?

The hardest is plot, finding a story that is compelling to tell and yet is sufeciently fresh and excititng to yield something new in the telling of it. Hard in that there is nothing new under the sun, but there may be a new way of saying something worth hearing.


I find dialougue easy, I can fill pages of “Nick and Nora” dialogue without even having a story in mind, sometimes these passages can grow to where they become the foundations of stories.
Who is your writing hero? 
In a sense my high school friend Tim McLoughlin, who wrote Heart of the Old Country (made as the movie The Narrows) and the editor of Brooklyn Noir. Tim showed me it could be done. It’s like following another climber to the top of a mountain. When you see him do it, you gain confidence that it can be done, and it gives you the courage to attempt it yourself. 

About the Future:
What’s next for you?

With Hellfire Publications backing, I will be issuing the rest of the Robert Fenaday/ Shasti Rainhell Chronicles: Fearful Symmetry and Points of Departure. Dawn and I also plan to bring out the rest of my Lair of the Lesbian Love Goddess Stories in Kindle mini-collection and eventually a print book with new material as well.

I am also the editor of the Sha’daa Anthologies, the third of which Sha’daa III Pawns will be coming out Halloween 2013. The first two Sha’daas are being reissued by Janet Morris’ Perseid Publishing with which I have enjoyed an association from Lawyers in Hell and Rogues in Hell. Beyond that I am going to try my first solo effort a collection of my Jeremy Leclerc Knight Templar urban fantasy stories in Knight in Charlotte. I am looking for a professional agent as well.

One outrageous goal for the future?
Dance in a showcase with my wife Schelly Keefer artist and an excellent competitive dancer 

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring writers?

DO NOT GIVE UP. Also do not be in love with the identity of a writer, you must actually sit down and write. To many people love to talk about it without actually generating work. Don’t settle for wannabe status

Sweet or salty? 

Salty Pretzel are a vice. 

Beach, plains or mountains? 

Beach, though I am half Italian and Scots Irish, and my version of a tan would be a bright pink. I love the sea, the sight of ships coming and going. I enjoy the sea-breeze which I feel blows troubles out of my soul.

Online, letters or in person?
With my friends in person. I love nothing more than spending time with people I love or care about. I really don’t care what we are doing so long as we do it together. 

Yet there are exceptions. I have worked with Mike Hanson, Janet Morris and now Dawn Binkley for years, yet they have never laid eyes on me or spoken directly save for rare occasions. So our relationship has been epistolarly. Weird but I cannot deny that it works.

Ebook or print?

My heart is made of paper though a number of women have suggested flintier substances


While I understand and accept that we are riding a digital wave into the future and where my own sales are primarily digital, there is something about a book, the pages, the cover art, a signature or dedication….

I’ve enjoyed a life-long love affair with science fiction. I write believable people in extraordinary situations, balancing romance, humor, adventure and reasonable extrapolations of science in stories that I believe people will want to return to. Whether it’s in the short stories of my “Lair of the Lesbian Love Goddess series” or in the Fenaday and Rainhell novels, classic “Planet” tales of a crews of unlikely companions facing unknown dangers, my intent is to give the reader the sort of page turning, involving adventure that Andre Norton wrote and leaven it with the emotional complexity and ambiguity that CJ Cherryh brings to the field.

While the experiences of the SF Universe are out of reach of those unable to pay for a rocket ride, I use my own background to try for an underlying verity in my characters. I’ve parachuted, flown in gliders, hang gliders and strapped to the floor of military helicopters. I’ve been rated as an expert shot and carry a black belt in the martial arts. I’ve been paralyzed by fear, exhilarated by love and walked into fights, both literal and metaphorical, that I knew I could not win. I have the good fortune to be married to the talented artist Schelly Keefer.

Tour Schedule:
November 5th – Brittany @ The Cover by Brittany
November 6th – Delphina @ Delphina Reads Too Much
November 7th – Flora @ From the Bootheel Cotton Patch
November 7th – Dawn @ The Hellfire Herald
November 8th – Kristy @ Kristy Centeno
November 9th – Laurie @ Laurie’s Non-Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
November 12th – Catriona @ Catriona Cullum
November 13th – Stephen @ Stephen C. Ormsby
November 13th – Mason C. @ Thoughts in Progress
November 14th – Ladies @ My Home Away From Home
November 15th – Daniel @ Parenting from a Child’s Point of View
November 15th – Savannah @ Hugs & Nightmares
November 16th – Keira @ Keira’s Corner
November 16th – Jaidis @ Juniper Grove

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for featuring Edward and Was Once A Hero. I adore the name of your blog :) and I enjoyed your personal question section.

    Have an awesome day!
    Dawn Binkley
    Hellfire Publishing