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Author Showcase / Interview – Rexx Deane (Synthesis:Weave)

Welcome, Rexx!

 

  1.  For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(Rexx) Nobody is ‘born to write’. I am no exception. I’d never been particularly good with grammar, and had no idea about the more complex rules (I probably still don’t, truth be told). How to write dialogue was beyond me, and I had no idea where to start with plot.

The closest I’d ever come to ‘proper’ writing was when I entered an Interactive Fiction competition in 2004 (IFComp) and wrote a text adventure based on the legend of the origin of Tai Chi. I really enjoyed describing locations and creating puzzles, and I was happy with that, so it never occurred to me to write a novel.

In 2011, I met my partner, Kris. He wasn’t a particular fan of many of the TV programs I enjoyed, but I convinced him to watch a boxset of that 90’s classic, Babylon 5, and he fell in love with it. Around this time, I convinced him to start using a wheelchair because of his disability and, after some strong initial resistance, he took it up and found the wheelchair liberating. In 2012, I started a new job at a software development company that focused on behaviourism, and while working there I realised that I could *learn* to write. It was just a skill other people learn, after all.

By 2013, Prompted by my love of Babylon 5 and games like Mass Effect, I had started making notes. Kris provided the inspiration for several character notes and plot points; I was desperate to write something scifi that involved a wheelchair, but didn’t ‘fix’ disability. Once I’d convinced myself I’d got enough notes to start forming a plot of sorts, I started reading books about the various components of writing and finally put pen to paper / fingers to keyboard. At this point, Kris started training to be a fitness instructor, so I used the time while he did his courses to begin writing.

Come the end of 2013, I’d completed the first draft of Synthesis:Weave. It was another year of editing (and seven more drafts) before I handed it over to my editor and subsequently rushed to publish it. Now, years later, and after having written the sequel, I regretted that decision and went back to tear it down in a rewrite, which has now been published as a second edition in August 2018.

 

 

(Kam) I’ve read many backstories and I find yours to be one of the most intriguing ones I’ve read. As for Babylon 5: I’m more of a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” kind of gal. I love Picard! BTW: Kris, in the photo above, is an inspiration to all who think that something is impossible. There’s no shame in trying. If you fail, that’s ok, at least you tried. 

 

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

(Rexx) For me, writer’s block seems to come about because of two things that actually have the same cause: lack of information.

I’ll get stuck because I’ve not thought of some way for characters to get out of/into a situation, or not enough backstory. I’ll also find myself paralysed when I don’t know where the plot should go next – usually because it could go in far too many directions. Both of these are down to not having a vital piece of information – be that something I need to think of in backstory, or some way of limiting what can happen next.

I’m a plotter, although I don’t go to such depth as planning chapters and scenes. Instead, I plan ‘waypoints’ – information I want to relay to the reader, significant events I want to happen, problems that can occur, and occasionally fully-written scenes I want to insert. I don’t necessarily know the order of these when I write them, so once I’ve got enough I’ll go through and group them into themes which often end up representing the start, early middle, late middle and ending of the book’s plot.

I start writing and then see where each of these points leads, so getting stuck is a consequence of not having the right piece of the puzzle to put in next to continue the flow. It can sometimes be remedied by writing on paper instead of using a keyboard; the medium forces me to go forwards without being able to stop and edit what I’ve put down. Other times, prompting myself about the problem before driving to work or doing some other menial task will mean I suddenly have an idea when I’m not expecting it.

 

  1. Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(Rexx) I currently write science fiction, although I like to veer slightly off-genre to mix things up a little. Only recently, I discovered that my work falls into ‘solarpunk’. While I will read dystopian, I wouldn’t want to write it and prefer upbeat/optimistic scifi.

When I’m not writing or doing my day job (as a systems developer), I like to play computer games. I don’t spend as much time reading as I probably should, but I do read to my partner before bed, so I guess that counts.

I’ve been in a group of RPG players for just over 10 years now, and we play 3rd edition D&D – although it took them nine years to convince me to have a go at running the game myself. They enjoyed it, and I recently convinced them to give Traveller (scifi rpg) a go. I think playing D&D has fed back into my writing and given me a way to understand the characters I write and get into their heads. Similarly, writing has furnished me with the tools to make up my own adventures and encounters with greater ease.

(Kam) I’ve played D&D once in my life.  My husband introduced me to it because he spent so much time playing it in his youth. He hoped I would love it too but I didn’t. Guess I’ll stick with Yahtzee, Uno, and Scrabble. 

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(Rexx) If I think people might be interested in scifi, I’ll mention my novel(s). I’m actually more proud of the fact that I write than of the work I do every day, simply because it’s easier to talk to people about writing than it is to explain the technicalities of my day job.

My relatives and friends are proud of my writing (or so they say), but at times it’s a delicate balance to keep from getting obsessed with writing and have it getting in the way of my relationship with my partner.

 

  1. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(Rexx) I’ve read mostly ‘classic’ scifi and fantasy authors, and very few contemporaries, hence my skewed favourites.

Ursula Le Guin

Isaac Asimov

Arthur C Clarke

Carl Sagan

Gregory Benford

Julian May

Anne McCaffrey

Andre Norton

Michael Cobley

Alan Dean Foster

(Kam) Some of these names are not familiar to me. For that, I say thank you. I love being introduced to new authors/reading material. 

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(Rexx) I’m going to be self-indulgent. I want to see Synthesis:Weave on screen. I wrote it to feel like a movie.

Bill Nighy (the British actor, not the science guy) as a particular enigmatic figure.

Rachel Weisz as Monica Stephens

Tom Hiddleston or James McAvoy as Sebastian

Bryce Dallas Howard as Sebastian’s sister, Janyce.

Emily Blunt as Karan

Ben Cross as Agent Gladrin (I had him in mind when writing the character)

A genuine amputee (double or otherwise) to play Aryx. Favouring Kurt Yaeger, although there are several paralympians who would suit, if they could act!

 

The laws of physics are about to change …

A tsunami on a space station.
An explosion with no trace of the bomber.

Cyber-security expert Sebastian knows evidence doesn’t magically disappear, yet when he and his colleague Aryx, a disabled ex-marine, travel the galaxy to find the cause, there seems to be no other explanation.

Can they unravel the mystery before his family, home, and an entire race succumbs to an ancient foe?

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  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(Rexx) I’ve finished the sequel to Synthesis:Weave, and at this time I’m working on the cover for that, along with plotting the final book in the trilogy. I’ve also got ideas for an unrelated mild scifi set on present-day Earth, which I want to centre on a female character – it’s going to have a completely different feel to anything I’ve written so far.

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(Rexx) Ebooks are available on Kindle, Kobo, Google play and Nook (all DRM free, so you can read it on any of the devices you own, regardless of which platform you purchase it from). Paperback and hardback formats are also available.

The preferred reading order is the order in which they were written. Synthesis:Weave was written first, followed by the short story prequel, Synthesis:Pioneer, which, when read after S:W, gives the ‘oh, so that’s what they meant!’ factor.

Synthesis:Weave 2, Afterglow is due out in March 2019, and follows immediately on from Synthesis:Weave.

 

When Calendula accepted the post of linguist aboard the Fluorescent Lightingale, she felt as though she’d been accepted as a token crew member. Little did she know what pivotal role she would play in Earth’s future.

Please note, Synthesis:Pioneer is a prequel short story to the Synthesis novel series only, and not a full-length novel.

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  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(Rexx) By contact form on rexxdeane.com, or on Twitter @RexxDeane – I don’t tend to use Facebook much now and have been distancing myself from that platform, although I do have a page there.

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(Rexx) I would like readers (and perhaps writers) to remember that just because a book has a character with a disability, it’s important not to make the disability the focus of the book. Disabled people just want to get on with their lives, and quite often get sick of being lectured or constantly presented with books that say they should behave a certain way. To be presented realistically, disabled characters should be the same. Just have them “get on with it,” and readers will love your book for it.

 

 

Your final comments (Q10) are absolutely true. People don’t want to be seen for what they can’t do but praised for the things they’ve accomplished. Disabled or not, we are all capable of truly amazing feats.  

I want to thank Rexx for sitting down with me today. I also want to thank everyone who’s reading this and decides to share, comment, or purchase Synthesis: Weave and/or Synthesis: Pioneer. Remember, reviews are helpful to authors. They love them. I’m sure Rexx especially loved the ones posted to Goodreads. (See below)

 

Chris B. (Synthesis:Weave), 5⭐: A Scifi story that keeps you gripped from beginning to end, with many twists & turns, a must read for all Scifi fans, it’s an excellent read, looking forward to a second book in the future 🙂

 

Alastair (Synthesis: Weave), 5⭐: I read this, and I liked it. Full of inventive ideas, spaceships, aliens and mystery. What’s not to like?

 

Rose E. (Synthesis: Pioneer), 5⭐: This is a very short SciFi story about 30 minutes of reading in which we get an introduction to ‘The Synthesis Series’, and a brief insight into the very varied crew on board the ‘Fluorescent Lightingale’. 

This tale centres around the linguist aboard who goes by the name ofCalendula a talented young woman who uses all her senses. I particularly like how the author describes what she smells and hears upon boarding the ship. 

I really do not wish to say more otherwise the story may be spoiled, but I do know that I will be moving the main story up my reading list.

 

(Kam) Yes, I know the last review had a typing error but I didn’t think it was appropriate to change it. It’s their review, not mine. Plus, I don’t think the error undermines the love Rose had for the story.  😛 

 

 

 

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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (The Tiger’s Rage)

A magical night of sexual abandon turns into a nightmare for Marni. She passes out in the hotel room of a man she has just met while in the grip of a drug induced fog of sexual bliss. She wakes days later to learn the man has abducted her and taken her to another world. Marni soon discovers she has been changed dramatically in outward appearance, as well as internally. Her new life is filled with people who care deeply for her and those who would use her ruthlessly. **The Tiger’s Rage is filled with action, adventure, humor, and descriptive sexual encounters.** 

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Excerpt: for the 18+ reader: strong language, descriptive sex scenes and graphic violence.

 

He was just finishing breakfast in the cafeteria three weeks later when the watch on his arm vibrated its attention signal. He pressed one of the buttons on the side of it. The watch hands vanished to be replaced with a blank screen then a message began to scroll across it.

Come to the operating room, the words read. She is ready to be moved. Kara.

Komel took a final sip of his drink, dumped his tray and cup in the slot for soiled utensils located in the wall, then headed down the hall toward the operation room. Kara admitted him when he knocked on the door and after greeting her, Komel gazed down at Marni. The woman he viewed appeared a lot different than the one he had carried in this room. The IVs in her arms were gone and the straps on her limbs had been removed. Komel swallowed his anger. This wasn’t the first time he had witness the results of Kara’s surgical alterations to the women he brought here from Earth. Even so, each time left him with a feeling of disgust at seeing what had been done to them just to please the sick and twisted ideals of the emperor.

Kara had elongated the corners of Marni’s eyes and surgically applied permanent makeup to highlight them. The tip of her nose was black, and her lips were black traced with white. Colored sequins of red, orange and white were embedded between her elongated eye sockets and her temples in a spreading spray pattern. Three long black whiskers were attached above her upper lip on each side.

“Her whiskers look so real,” he said.

“They are real,” Kara said. “They’re even attached to her central nervous system and will provide sensory signals just like a real feline.” Proudly Kara pried one of Marni’s eyes open to reveal that they were still green, but the pupils were elongated into points at the top and bottom.

“Contacts?” he asked although he knew better.

“No, they’ve been surgically altered. When she is finished, she will resemble an Earth tiger as much as possible and still remain human. I realize tigers don’t have pointed pupils, hers are more like a domestic cat, but it goes with her enhanced nocturnal vision.”

Komel winced.

Kara brushed Marni’s hair back to show that the woman’s ears were long and pointed now. Komel’s gaze drifted downward and saw that Kara’s alterations hadn’t been restricted to Marni’s face. Her pubic patch was gone. A plastic ornament resembling two tiny plastic hands encircled her enlarged clitoris holding the covering hood back and making it always available for stimulation. Komel couldn’t resist grazing his hand over the smooth skin of her arm. Not a hint of the fine hair remained on them.

“The visible changes I’ve made to her appearance are small in comparison to what my medications have done inside her. These changes are still taking place. Her bone structure is being altered, lightened and yet strengthened, her lung capacity is increased, her heart is larger and more efficient. She has greater flexibility and strength than she ever had. She will never grow body hair again not even the follicles remain. The one exception is the hair on her head. Her night vision has been vastly improved to go with her feline shaped eyes.”

“And yet you say she is still human?”

“In many ways yes, but in others she is more than human. Pick her up we need to take her to another room to continue her transformation.”

Komel lifted her in his arms and a long tail brushed against his knees. He glanced at the naked woman he held and saw the tail originated where her human tailbone had been. He raised an eyebrow.

“The tail is real, just like her whiskers,” Kara said to answer his unspoken question.

Kara strode to the door and he followed carrying Marni. They paced down the hall and descended a flight of steps to another room. This room he was familiar with and disliked. It was a prisoner torture chamber.

“I hate this place,” he said.

“She will not be tortured. Attach her to that H railing so we can further prepare her.”

While seething inside, Komel attached restraints to Marni’s wrists and ankles so that she was suspended in a spread-eagle manor. A man, pushing a cart, joined them. He examined Marni top to bottom and front and rear, while touching her several times, but not in a sexual manor.

“This is a magnificent canvas to work with,” he said. “She will not come to?” he asked.

“She will not regain conscious until I administer medication to end her comatose state.”

“Then I’ll call you when she is done,” he said.

Komel climbed the steps with Kara.

“When the artist calls me, I’ll call you. When he is finished, her transformation will be almost complete.”

They separated and Komel went to perform his other duties. Late in the afternoon Kara sent him a text and he joined her in front of the door leading into the torture chamber. When they entered the room, he saw that a woman had joined the artist. Next, he looked at Marni and sucked in his breath. Her throat, most of her breasts, stomach, core and inner thighs were white. The rest of her, including most of her face and tail was orange with black strips. Her hair was snow-white and with her head tilted back the way it was, reached to her waist.

The artist was spraying a clear substance on her which he explained, “When this spray dries in a few minutes it will make the paint I have applied permanent. I think she looks beautiful, if I do say so myself. The hair extension my assistant has applied is also permanent without the application of the proper chemical.”

Kara walked around Marni inspecting her for any spots the artist had missed painting. “I feel certain his majesty will be pleased with her,” she told the man. “Dismissed.”

The artist and his assistant left the room. Kara shifted her attention to him while they waited for the glistening spray to dry. “She is a beautiful specimen. I hope you agree. Carry her to her room.”

Komel released Marni’s restraints and lifted her into his arms tenderly. He followed Kara to Marni’s room and after fitting his eye to the scanner to activate the locking mechanism, waited for Kara to open the door. She held it open then strode past him to turn down the bedding. He laid Marni on the bed and pulled up the sheet to cover her.

Kara took a large syringe from her pocket and plunged the needle in Marni’s arm. “In forty-eight hours she will wake and be ravenously hungry.”

“And madder than hell,” Komel added. “Look what has been done to her. I think I know her well enough to say she’ll tear things apart in rage.”

“I’ve thought of that. Give me your watch.”

He unstrapped it and handed it to Kara. She pressed buttons on the small keyboard entering a code. “The software I just uploaded allows you to control the implant I’ve installed in her. It does two things. If she displays any aggressive action, you can trigger it with the touch of this button.” She pointed it out on the keyboard. “It will suspend all of her motor functions except her heart and breathing for fifteen minutes. She will be incapable of moving. Her implant will also cause her body to release calming endorphins that will overcome aggressive thoughts. His majesty also has the ability to control her implant.”

“Lucky for his majesty. During the short time I’ve known her, I get the impression Marni is stubborn and has a fiery temper.”

 

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Normally zany and often naughty talking, G. E. has a serious and compassionate side if you can find it. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He is terrified of heights so hasn’t braved the tramway ride in his home town. He lives in the southwest while longing to live by the sea. He often says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”

He heeds the call of the many characters that pop into his mind and demand to have their stories put in print. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author his stories cover many genres including contemporary romance, paranormal romance and science fiction. His stories are both erotic and non-erotic in nature. G.E. is the leader of a local writers group and in addition hosts a meeting of his own locally on fiction writing bi-monthly.

G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.

Website / Blog
Personal Facebook Page / Facebook Author Page
Twitter / Amazon Author Page  

Goodreads / Google+

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