About Me

My photo

Author, Avid Tweeter & Blogger, Lover of books, Teacher of Maths & Swimming, Mother, Speaks Spanish, Friend to many...

Monday, 11 April 2016

ASTARTE RISING by Greg Thomas @InfrasonicGreg

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming Greg to my blog, after reading his novel, Astarte Rising. 

I have not read a SciFi book of this nature in a long time and have to admit that I loved it. 

This was my 5 star review...

"An action & adventure read based on the premise of the discovery of a time travel source, or Time Faeder. Having not read a book of this kind in ages, I thought it was great. 

I always rate a book highly that I could see as a film and this would be brilliant.

A lot of characters in this, but the main ones I liked were Harry and Rosa. Add some zombies brought to life by an evil demon and the rise of Astarte and you have a cracking read. Highly recommend."

So, Greg, how did you come to write this novel?

I’ve always had a love of books and admiration for the writers who create them, and Astarte Rising is my attempt to contribute to the multitude of fictional worlds and dreams that are available for readers to enjoy.

What inspired you? A book, film, or both?

It would be difficult to single out one book or film, but rather the works of authors such as Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials Trilogy), Ursula K Le Guin, together with humour inspired by Terry Pratchett.

Tell us more about your characters. Which one was your favourite and least favourite to write and why?

It’s hard to pick favourites, but I do like the main character Harry Bonneville, as he’s a good guy trying to do the right thing in extraordinary circumstances.

I’d like to mention Professor Rowan Forrest too. He’s partly based on a very kind, intelligent and incredibly curious old family friend. He wasn’t a professor, but he was an engineer, and that’s pretty good in itself.

My least favourite character would be the cruel Captain McVelley. But we’ve not seen the last of him yet…

Do you think time travel will ever be plausible?

Professor Stephen Hawking has just materialised from the future and told me to keep quiet, so as not to alter the timelines. OK, seriously, I’m no scientist but Professor Hawking maintains it’s theoretically possible, and who am I to argue?

For a writer, it’s a very useful device to move your characters to unusual places, and I needed a mechanism to do just that. I tried to dream up an original, hopefully believable, way this could be done and decided on the part-organic Time Faeder. However, as will be explored in future books, time travel by this method comes at a great cost.

Why did you choose the destination and how did you research the past? A few times, I wondered if Rosa would have been so easily accepted, as a woman in that time?

The destination of ancient Israel (or Palestine) was chosen for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I wanted the team to carry out “the strangest rescue mission of all time” where it was especially important to never alter the timelines. This area has seen incredible cultural and spiritual change and has witnessed the passing of the old gods, for example Baal and Astarte who later became demonised as part of that process. The “divine feminine” seemed to become suppressed as monotheism became accepted and so I developed a story whereby our heroes not only struggle to complete their rescue mission, but there’s another rescue that involves Astarte, once known as “the queen of heaven” being seen in a more positive light.

To answer your question with regards to Rosa: you’re absolutely right to doubt that Rosa would not have been so well received, but it was important for the character to be strong even in a very male-dominated world, and so I guess historical accuracy lost out to story and character. Rosa has her faults, but she’s incredibly intelligent and more than a match for anyone. She just wouldn’t have accepted anything less than equality with men.

Some of the names are familiar, e.g. Herod. Did you do this on purpose?

By choosing ancient Israel at around 7 B.C. as the destination of the rescuers, old Herod invited himself into the story as he was responsible for creating a magnificent city, the ruins of which can still be seen today. He did many, many bad things, but if it’s any consolation to anyone, he seemed to die from a variety of nasty and embarrassing illnesses.

One of the helpful characters is named Joseph, and there is absolutely no connection with any other Joseph who may have been around at this time.

The strange female character, Frau Schalke, was interesting. Tell us how she came about. I want to know more about her... Will you use her again?

I absolutely love Frau Schalke, and yes, she is strange isn’t she? Firstly, I wanted strong female characters, and there are no stronger characters than our beloved Western Valkyrie who brings solace to the living and the dead. She is a guardian-type figure who derives from Norse mythology, but instead of the traditional Valkyrie who would choose the souls of fallen warriors to be escorted to Valhalla, I’ve adapted her so that she helps all people – the living as she offers physical protection - and the dead as they need to find their way home. I’ve mostly kept Harry’s adventures distinct from those of Frau Schalke and her friends, but they can and do intertwine. She’ll be back…

I am not sure your cover is as striking as it could be for an action & adventure book of this kind. Would you change it? I have changed my covers loads of times!

I’ve seen your new book covers and they’re stunning. As for my relatively stark cover, I’m hoping that it doesn’t put readers off, and I guess it doesn’t communicate all that the book is about, but it represents Astarte Rising out of the darkness, which is a vital part of the story.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us to make other readers take this book up?

I’d like to think that Astarte Rising is, first and foremost, a good adventure story, but it also has humour, and re-visits an old goddess.

How have you gone about marketing your book?

So far, I’ve set up a website, joined Goodreads and set up a Twitter account. I realise there are other social media tools such as Instagram and Pinterest, but I don’t quite feel ready to join those yet. I was delighted to accept your offer of an interview on your blog.

Would you ever write in another genre?

Possibly yes, because I think it shouldn’t really matter what the genre is, provided you write stories that your reader will enjoy, however we all have our favourites and mine would be SciFi & fantasy.

Where can my readers buy your book and find out more about you?

Astarte Rising is available for Kindle via Amazon and it won’t be long before the paperback is out. In a month or so I’m looking forward to releasing it into the wild on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, anywhere I can.

Should readers want to get in touch, I’d be delighted to answer any questions on Goodreads or twitter @InfrasonicGreg.

Thank you for answering my questions and I wish you all the best with sales and the rest of the series…

My pleasure, thank you so much for inviting me.

No comments:

Post a Comment