Guest Authors

Twists in Time Book Tour & Interview with Jon Messenger

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Title:  Twists in Time
Authors:  Various
Published:  June 16th, 2015
Publisher:  Clean Teen & Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre:  Science Fiction, Time Travel
Content Warning:  Some stories may include mild violence and language.
Synopsis:  What would happen if time, the fragile thread that both leads and binds us, could be unwound as simply as untying a knot? Would we go back, charging through our own history, changing and tweaking, plucking at that fragile thread until time itself unraveled all around us? Would we create countless universes through which we could live our fantasies—or would we become our own nightmares? Would we blaze ahead, reckless and wild, into our own futures? Would we become our own heroes, or would we become villains?
Join us for a series of stories that explore time, through the eyes of those bold enough to conquer it, and foolish enough to try to control it. From the award-winning team of authors at Clean Teen Publishing, Twists in Time will both entertain and challenge the way you see the world around you. Because when one finds a way to break the barrier of time, endless worlds of possibilities emerge.
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Featured Authors and Stories:
“After Time” by Sandy Goldsworthy
“The Fall” by Holly Kelly
“The Kiss of Time” by Amanda Strong
“With a Grain of Sand” by Kathy-Lynn Cross
“The Before Sky” by Sherry D. Ficklin
“What You Wish For” by Kelly Risser
“Tides of Time” by Julie Wetzel
“It’s The Little Things” by Jon Messenger
“Romeo and Juliet Times Infinity” by Kasi Blake
Interview with Jon Messenger 

Keep Calm and Answer These Twenty-Four Questions

  1. Do you consider yourself a logophile? If so, have you always been? I have, though it was always the spoken word when I was younger.  My parents always told me that once I learned to speak, I never stopped.  I loved being a storyteller and writing became a natural progression.
  2. What is your favorite color? Grey.  It sounds drab, but there are (and I’m SO loathed to say this) many different shades of grey.
  3. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? My father worked for the American Embassy system.  I was born in London, England and grew up in Thailand and Japan before eventually moving to the US.
  4. What is your favorite football team? ManU.  Okay, so that’s my obligatory “I grew up overseas and football is really soccer.”  I’m not much of an NFL fan, though I live near Seattle, WA, so the Seahawks are mine by default.  I’m a bigger college football fan and I have to support my alma mater, the University of Southern California.
  5. Who is your favorite author? Is this a question that can actually be answered?  Does anyone really have just ONE favorite author?  I’m a huge scifi geek and most of my favorite authors write in that category.  Aldus Huxley, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Orson Scott Card, just to name a few.
  6. What is your favorite book? See above.  I will say that the first book I truly fell in love with was Brave New World by Aldus Huxley.  I was the only kid in high school that read the mandatory book and actually enjoyed it.
  7. What do you do when you are not writing? I love adventure races.  Ragnar Relays and Tough Mudders, especially.  I’ve never been super competitive against other people, but am very competitive against myself, always pushing the limits of what I’m capable of.
  8. Do you have a day job as well? My day job is being a US Army medical officer.  I’ve been active duty for the past 13 years and will retire from it some day.  I still say writing is a hobby, even though I’ve written 11 novels now.
  9. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Write short stories for anthologies.  Even if you prefer the full-length novel format, forcing yourself to write short stories, especially those outside your preferred genre, makes you distill the heart of a story into a dozen pages or less.  You eliminate the fluff and focus on the true plot or scene.  It’s like physical conditioning for your mental faculties.
  10. Is being a writer a curse or a gift? Both.  It’s a gift because I love telling stories and I’ve reached a much broader audience than ever before as a result of my work.  However, I’m a terrible daydreamer.  I spend far too much time in my mind, thinking of new plots or stories or working through difficult plot points.
  11. Where do you write? I have a writing cave in my house.
  12. Do you prefer silence or some noise while you write? I used to have a playlist but lately I’ve preferred silence… or the theme to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, since that’s what my 4-year-old listens to most days in the living room.
  13. What do you typically drink while writing? I do on occasion.  I’m not quite at Hemingway level yet, but I enjoy a glass of wine or beer while I’m writing.  I will say that for my novel Wolves of the Northern Rift, I had my appendix taken out halfway through and was given Percocet for the pain.  There are a couple chapters that I don’t fully remember writing, but they are fantastic!
  14. When did you first start and when did you finish your book? I actually have a funny story about It’s the Little Things, my short story in Twists in Time.  I originally wrote the short story for myself and figured I’d later find a home for it in an anthology.  In 2014, I found an anthology, one that was very excited about my story.  The formatting and cover art began on the anthology and then, unexpectedly, the company hosting the anthology went bankrupt and cancelled the project.  All of this sudden, I had what I considered to be a great short story, still without a home.  When I found out theme for UtopYA 2015, which was time travel, I knew I had another opportunity.  I convinced my publisher to create a special anthology featuring time travel, solely so I could get my story published.  100% self-serving, though the anthology turned out amazing… which I had no doubt it would.  CTP has some fantastic authors.
  15. If your book is made into a movie, which actors/actresses do you envision playing the parts? I hadn’t even considered it for It’s the Little Things, especially since there are only two characters in the book.  I’d say Joseph Gordon-Levitt would play Brad and John Goodman would play his father.
  16. What does your protagonist think of you? Would he/she want to hang out with you? Brad is far too married to his work to have many friends.  I think that changes for him as he gets older, so by the time he’s in his mid-thirties like me, I’m sure he’d be willing to hang out with me.
  17. How do you market your book? What avenues work best? This story is different, since I’m marketing the anthology and not just my small portion of it.  However, the authors included in this anthology are bestselling and award-winning authors.  Many of their names are becoming pretty recognizable within the indie community.  Growing interest hasn’t been hard through my social media platforms.
  18. What has been the toughest criticism so far? Not for this book, but the first book I ever wrote received its first 1-star review back in 2011, shortly after it was published.  I was told that my writing was juvenile and the story line was terrible.  It didn’t matter that I had a number of 5- and 4-star reviews already, that 1-star pained me.  As writers, we’re always told to have thick skin, but the simple fact is that we all have fragile egos.  It took a while to get myself back on track after that negative review.
  19. What has been the best compliment? My niece read my novel Wind Warrior and loved it.  When I was visiting family, she invited me to speak to her elementary school class about my writing.  Not only did she get to introduce me to her classmates, she also clung to her signed copy of Wind Warrior throughout my talk.
  20. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? This short story demanded to be written because Brad is, more or less, an aspect of myself.  In It’s the Little Things, Brad moves away from home for work and when his dad comes to visit, he realizes that his father isn’t doing well.  Being in the military, my family has moved a half-dozen times, all over the world.  Recently, my father started suffering from health problems.  There’s a very real fear that he may pass away some day while I’m gone, either on assignment or deployment, and I won’t be there to say goodbye or that I love him, one last time.  That’s why I wrote this story and I think why it’s connected so well with the readers.
  21. How did you come up with the title? It’s a spin off of an old Blink 182 song “All the Small Things”
  22. Will there be a sequel? Not to the short story, no.  Though it’s short, the story tells everything I wanted to say.
  23. What project are you working on now? I’ve been writing a steampunk/murder mystery series called Magic & Machinery.  I’ve written the first 3 books in the series, but am taking a break to try something different.  I’ve had a superhero story in my mind for a while and wanted to try my hand at it.  In case you weren’t aware, my genre writing is VERY eclectic.
  24. What question did I leave out that you’d like to answer? You can connect with me further either on my author page at www.facebook.com/jonmessengerauthor or follow me on twitter @jonmessenger.

Thanks for the chance to be interviewed!

Please fill in the blank: Keep Calm and Be Confident.  You’re the best you you can be.

 

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
Giveaway is International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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