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Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017 and nominated for the RONE Award 2017

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A Beginners Guide to invading Earth - Spotlight and #Giveaway


I'm so happy to welcome Science Fiction author Gerhard Gehrke
 to the Flight Deck today. Let's find out about his debut novel and his writing -


HL: When did you start writing?

 GG: I have a binder with partial stories from grade school. During math class two friends and I produced a regular series of Pac-Man comic books with dozens of reoccurring characters, convoluted plot lines, and questionable artwork. As my collaborators had input, I was forced to allow vampires and Shogun Warriors into the mix. My notebook stories ranged from a boy and his horse story reminiscent of Lassie to a dreary horror novel with a crowbar-wielding maniac with a breathing problem.


HL: If someone were to play one of your characters in a movie, which character and what actor would it be and why?
 

GG: I'd love to have a slightly younger Clancy Brown (The Kurgan in the original Highlander, etc.) play as my main character Jeff Abel. Such a great voice and the right build, as Jeff is also a big guy with a mop of hair and a slight case of exotropia. Clancy Brown brings a touch of class to some cheesy roles; thus he'd be a great fit.


HL: What have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised you the most?


GG: No matter how hard you try, your novel may never feel finished, as there's always a nip/tuck/edit you wish you had done before releasing your project to the world. I find myself critical of my approach of perspective in A Beginner's Guide to Invading Earth which I've tightened up on now that I have the sequel going through the editing process. The balance comes from knowing you've listened to your editor and you've given it your all. This allows you to tame your anxieties with the knowledge that you will improve as you progress as an author.

HL: What’s you’re writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?


GG: I have a connect-the-dots strategy that is essentially a loose outline. I know where I want to land and have several plot points to hit along the way. This all proves malleable as I go. I have several notebooks where I will lay out bullet points of what happens next and what needs to happen after, but these notes are rarely more than a few key words and phrases. I don't use any software for this even though I've tried, and I'm intrigued by ones who manage to lay everything out via spreadsheets like Excel. When I write, the story rarely cooperates with tight scripting. My approach seems locked in for now, but I'm willing to change if I find another way to write that looks like it will fit my style.


HL: Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it distracts you?

 GG: How anyone can write while listening to music baffles me. I need silence and I'm easily distracted. Alt-tab is the enemy! But to be fair, I need to sit still when chewing gun, so there's that. Sometimes on a third+ read-through where I'm hunting for extraneous commas I'll put on some classical (Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin) or some Tool or Iron Maiden. I've got a selection of covers of Maiden's song “Fear of the Dark” if anyone's interested.

HL: What is your personal definition of success?


GG: Not to get too sappy, but when something I wrote made someone happy, that's a win. This is an inversion from the service business, where a quiet customer is a happy one. Happy readers will say something and sometimes leave a good review. Then again, angry readers leave feedback too. But at least I made them feel something. Nothing's worse than an audience that shrugs you off with a “meh.”

HL: Is there any advice, as a new writer, that you were either given, or wish you had been given?
 
GG: “Don't write if you don't have to.” A published author told me this once, and this is both good and bad advice. Writing can become an obsession, but it's also a rewarding pursuit. It reminds me of what the lawyer who taught my State Contractor's License class said concerning running your own business: “The highs are higher, the lows are lower.” This is true of writing as well, as there's nothing quite like having someone enjoy something you wrote, but rejection is part of the process too.

HL: Who is your most favorite character of all time from any book?

 
GG: Anyone who's read Allan Cole and Chris Bunch's Sten series knows Alex Kilgour. He's the heavy world sidekick who steals the show and has some of the series' best lines. One ongoing gag is his awful jokes which often take the entire novel to tell as he is continually interrupted or threatened to stop telling it. Of course, reading his parts were sometimes a challenge as the writers chose to render his Scottish brogue phonetically. In hindsight he's like The Simpsons' Groundskeeper Willie on steroids and with more firepower.

HL: Where can readers connect with you?

GG: I'm in the usual spots like Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/gerhardgehrkeauthor/) and Twitter (@gerhardgehrke). My blog is Capriciousnarrator.com where I talk about the world of science fiction and writing. My personal site ( http://www.gerhardgehrke.com ) has links to where you can find a copy of A Beginner's Guide to Invading Earth.

HL: Is there a question you really, really wish someone would ask, but they never do? If so what would be your reply?

GG: With writing and blogging I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop where someone asks me “Who do you think you are in talking so much about yourself?” I guess dreading is the word I'm thinking of here, not wishing. But this question is so sweet! I just appreciate Hywela Lyn for having me today.

Thank you so much for visiting with us today - it's been a real pleasure to have you on the Flight Deck! Wishing you much success with your debut  novel!


A Beginner's Guide to Invading Earth





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GENRE: Science Fiction

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BLURB:



What would you do if you found a dead alien on a lonely highway?

Was it an accident, sabotage, or murder? And why is everyone blaming Jeff?

The extraterrestrials aren’t waiting for answers. They want revenge. And Jeff isn’t ready for company.

His only hope is an outcast mechanic from another world and a woman who might do anything to get off planet, including selling out her own kind. Jeff has to get to the bottom of why there are so many alien bodies piling up and who is really responsible.

A science fiction adventure novel, A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth tells the story of a reclusive ex-computer programmer who is the unwitting central figure of a plot to keep humanity from ever making first contact.



Excerpt

“Do you believe in aliens? Jordan asked.

Outside of town and with no moon, Jeff drove with care. The road ahead curved into black beyond the pickup truck’s headlights. Some of the turns had helpful signs with black arrows on reflective yellow, but most did not.

“Like little green men with designs on our world?” Jeff said.

“More like what’s been going on in the news,” she said. “The actual sightings of extraterrestrials. That alien body in Nevada.”

“I don’t watch T.V. Heard some crazy stuff on the radio. But I don’t listen to it much, either.”

“You really are cut off, you know. Like a hermit.”

Jeff smiled. Only a couple of cars passed them, both heading the opposite way. He thought of the gangly, hairy creature he had seen, working to fix his broken spaceship, panicking at the sight of a human, and somehow knowing Jeff’s name without so much as an introduction. Had that actually happened?

“It seems like pretty big news,” Jordan said. “If it’s real, that is. So do you like keeping yourself so isolated?”

“I like to think of myself as unplugged,” Jeff said. “Maybe more people should try it. As for the aliens, there’s this old theory about hysteria. It’s happened before. A commie in every closet. Fluoride in the drinking water lets the government control the population.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Gerhard Gehrke studied film at San Francisco State University. He wrote and produced
several shows for community television. His Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror short stories have appeared in several publications, including an Editor’s Choice-winning short story at AnotheRealm.com. A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth is his first novel.

You can connect with him at Gerhardgehrke.com.










Also available on iBooks



GIVEAWAY INFORMATION
Gerhard Gehrke will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway





16 comments:

  1. Thank you for the chance to win :)

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  2. What's the tallest building you've been to the top in?

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  3. Thank you so much for having me today!

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  4. Hi Gerhard, it's a real pleasure to be able to host you. and I wish you much success with your book.

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  5. Hi Mary, Lisa and Mai, thanks so much for your comments.

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  6. Hi Rita
    Thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed it!

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  7. I enjoyed the interview, thank you for sharing!

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  8. Thank you Betty. And thanks to Hywela for having me today.

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  9. Hi Beth and Betty, thanks so much for visiting, and thanks to Gerhard too, it was a real pleasure to have you on my blog!

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