Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, BA Brock – I am absolutely thrilled to be hosting BA Brock. I met BA shortly after starting up Queer Sci Fi and we hit it off instantly. When we met, he was Beth, but I have been privileged to be a part of his transition. He was working on this story back then – something called King of the Storm, and I got to read parts of it in early drafts. The book is coming out in a week and a half from DSP Publications, and I’ll be reviewing it shortly. Suffice it to say it’s epic. 🙂 So enjoy the interview before he becomes famous – you’ll be hearing a lot more about this one soon.
Thanks so much, BA, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
BA Brock: I use casual syntax and diction, and currently prefer to write in first person. I love gritty details, dark themes, and humor. Whether I’m writing non-fiction or speculative fiction, it’s all about relationships and power struggles.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
BA: I wrote a piece for an online dating site in 2009. I was paid ten dollars to tell the story of how my husband and I met playing World of Warcraft.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
BA: Listen to my muse, take notes, plan, write, and finally edit/despair.
JSC: Tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you.
BA: I’m short? No, like, really short. 5 feet (1.5 meters). Wait—people probably know that already. Uh… I’ve been gluten free for over five years?
JSC: What was the first speculative fiction book (sci fi, paranormal, fantasy, horror) that you ever read? How did it influence you?
BA: Do talking trains count as fantasy? The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Inspiring. I may be little, but I can climb hills all by myself! I think I can, I think I can!
JSC: If you were stuck on a desert island all alone with only three things, what would they be?
BA: A tank car of clean water, antibiotics, and a few years of Zing Bars (http://zingbars.com). So… uh… is this a test? Did I answer correctly? You aren’t going to banish me to an island, right? I’m a goner (not a survivalist).
JSC: Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
BA: I’d fuck Perseus in King of the Storm. It wouldn’t be weird or anything….
I’d kill Alexia in Girls and Fences. She rides away, defeated and in agony, and this would be the only way to spare her that suffering.
I’d marry my husband in A World of Warcraft Dating Story—of course!
JSC: Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
AUTHORNAME: I play out scenes of my stories in my head, as if I’m watching a movie. Sometimes I go running while I work through these scenes, sometimes I end up talking to myself, and sometimes I get strange looks. While running the other day, I had a vision I was literally eating my protagonist from head to toe: hair and clothes and all. Before you give me that look—you asked!
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
BA: Plotter. I write every day in my journal, use notecards, and outline. I recently finished a plotting class, where we studied different plotting devices, and analyzed various works for their plot structures.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
BA: I may be working on the next book to The Godhead Epoch. May be…
And now for BA’s new book: King of the Storm:
No one can outrun destiny or the gods.
In Epiro, a kingdom in Greece, Perseus is prophesied to be a great demigod hero and king, with a legacy that will shape the world of Gaia. When he was born, his grandfather exiled him, and his mother brought them to Seriphos, where she created an academy for demigod youth. Perseus trains there and waits for the day when he will be able to take the throne of Argos.
Despite potential future glory, Perseus’s fellow students think he is weak. By the time he reaches manhood, he has given up the hope of having any real friends, until Antolios, a son of Apollo, takes an unexpected interest in him. Perseus and Antolios fall in love, but Antolios knows it cannot last and leaves Seriphos.
Perseus, grief-stricken and lonely, rebels against the Fates, thinking he can avoid the prophecy and live his own life. But when the gods find him, he is thrust into an epic adventure. With his divine powers, he fights gorgons and sea serpents, and battles against his darker nature. Perseus strives to be his own man… but the gods have other plans.
I sent my consciousness into the sky, and the air pulsed and churned around me. Zeus’s voice was the thunder, and his presence saturated the clouds. With each boom my insides trembled with the fear of being among the gods ingrained in all mortals, but I also felt a pleasant sense of nostalgia, memories of playing with my father in the storms as a boy. We hadn’t played together for a long time. I ground my teeth and grinned.
The teams collided at inhuman speeds. With little thought, I created a gradient in the air currents and used the resulting tunnel of wind to sweep away all those with red tabards in my path, plus one unfortunate teammate in blue. They tumbled from me, pinwheeling wildly from my course, and I laughed.
As I opened myself to the air, my ears popped and the hair on my arms tingled and stood up. Bortos, a boy in red, charged toward me and then disappeared into a cloud of darkness. Quickly, I drew a line from the sky to where I guessed he would be and split a path for the energy to follow.
Lightning seared into the inky cloud.
The air crashed back to equilibrium, and I felt rather than heard the concussive force of thunder that resulted. The black cloud dissipated, and Bortos slumped to the earth, smoking, and was still. As I stepped past him, the smell of burned flesh tinged the air.
My father would make sure none of us died from our injuries.
Tremors in the ground were my only warning before a towering figure, who could only be half giant, stomped into view, and I barely leaped to the side before I was almost kicked like a ball. I rolled to my feet and readied my sword and shield.
Wearing blue, Zoticus, the dark and gargantuan son of Ares, stalked up and took on the challenge instead. With a manic gleam in his black eyes, he charged, slamming into the giant. I raised a brow and turned to find another fight. Those two could handle it without me.
A shift in the air sent me into a reflexive crouch, and I flung my shield up. Metal clanked against metal—a blur flew past overhead. Seizing the storm, I anchored lightning through my flying opponent.
With a flash and a crack, the flyer plummeted out of sight. The air bloomed with the sharp smell of heaven’s smoke.
I had only a moment to recover when Selene, a daughter of Poseidon, marched in my direction, her pale blonde hair tied up in a Thessalian knot and her silvery arms covered in rust-colored smudges. Moving as quicksilver, she pulled back her arm, shaped it into a sword, and thrust it toward my head.
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Nook: Click Here
B. A. Brock has lived most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in 2007 at Portland State University—which he mostly uses to contemplate how we can achieve a civilization more closely aligned with Star Trek.
When not writing, Brock spends his time reading/reviewing novels, training for marathons, and bemoaning the fact that the world has yet to make a decent gluten free doughnut.