Hello everyone – I have a nice treat this week, Michael Offutt, author of A Crisis of Two Worlds Series, and particularly the second book, Oculus, a sci-fi GLBT with a paranormal twist. Doesn’t this sound like a fun genre mix;) Before we get started with our interview, here’s a bit about Michael:
Michael Offutt writes speculative fiction books that have science fiction, GLBT, and paranormal elements. His first book, "Slipstream" has received some critical acclaim and was published by Double Dragon in the spring. The sequel, "Oculus" came out in November 2012. He has one brother, no pets, and a few roots that keep his tree of life sufficiently watered. By day, he works for the State of Utah as a Technical Specialist. By night, he watches lots of t.v., writes, draws, and sometimes dreams of chocolate.
Michael Offutt graduated from the University of Idaho in 1994 with a Bachelor's degree in English.
He keeps a blog and would appreciate a visit or two even if all you want to do is say hi.
Okay, Michael…and everyone, settle in while Michael gives us the dish on Oculus and its story-stars…
Tell us about the story-star hero, Jordan…what’s his job? What does he do for a living?
Jordan is a hockey player for Cornell University’s men’s hockey team. He’s in the college physics program (the only one on his team that majors in something so difficult).
See more of Michael's artwork here: http://slckismet.blogspot.com/p/my-artwork.html
Can you tell us about the abilities of Jordan? How do they help OR hinder?
Jordan is an archangel (the big reveal at the end of book one). He can create a field of invisible energy around him that allows him to match the velocity of one particle of matter to one that’s already moving. He calls this effect “the slipstream” and in Oculus it gets quite powerful because he realizes that light is a form of matter. So he can throw beings he encounters out of our universe by making their particles accelerate to the speed of light. Since physics doesn’t permit this, they vanish from the universe to go to a place where physics does allow this, hurtling presumably, at the speed of light until the end of time. It’s kind of a horrible fate.
Dang…I’ll say it’s a horrible fate, but I’m sure worthy of a bad-guy’s fate from an archangel;)
Why this location? Anything in particular in real-life that made you select it?
The setting of the book is Cornell University. I’ve always had a crush on Ivy League schools and Cornell has everything that I needed to make the book work.
Is Oculus included in a series? If so, what series and can you give us titles and a tagline for other books in this series?
Oculus is book two in A Crisis of Two Worlds Series. The first book is Slipstream. My tagline for it is “A teenage boy from Earth must battle for survival in a world filled with glass spiders, hockey sticks, and monsters from the id.”
Can you share anything about the evil / magic / mystery / paranormal or fantasy beings in the story? What’s unique about them?
The creatures that I use in Oculus consist of a demon prince called Belial (who is one of the four-crowned princes of Hell), Charon (a demi-god), a “ghost” named Miranda, azghuls, and a creature called “the dustman.”
Belial basically serves a greater evil created in the first book and is following his instructions to find a way for her master to survive on Earth. To do so, he must possess a body, but not just any body. It needs to be one that can successfully host the spirit and power of the Horcus (her master).
Miranda is not a ghost in the traditional sense. She’s called this because her brain is kept alive in a fluid suspension in a jar somewhere (normally, she would inhabit a machine.)
But in this story, Charon (an entity with god-like powers) actually transplants Miranda’s mind into the body of a young woman in exchange for her service. Miranda is overseeing the construction of a vast army of automatons called “Dustmen.”
These things are literally filled with dust and are almost unkillable. The Horcus plans to destroy the Earth, and he’ll need the use of an unkillable army.
The azghuls are humans who have been impregnated by a worm that wraps itself around the brain stem and turns them into mental slaves of Charon, willing to do his bidding, and serving the needs of his secret cult.
The story-stars in Oculus sound rich in flavor with sci-fi and paranormal…yum;)
Which scene was your favorite to write? Can you share a little of it?
My favorite scene was actually the climax. It’s extremely exciting, but I don’t want to share it because it’s the climax of the book. I think I really nailed the ending and endings are so hard to write.
Oh, man, I completely get the hard to write endings – just went through that myself…for months.
Where can we find you? List all of your links.
I just have one link: http://slckismet.blogspot.com/p/books.html
Anyone that goes there will find all the links they could possibly want and information about all of my stories.
Getting to know Michael Offutt…
2 Things you do to relax: I watch television and illustrate.
Favorite sport to watch: Hockey.
Cat or Dog: Nope
Favorite places to write: My computer in my office.
Place you’ve always wanted to go, but haven’t: San Francisco
Breakfast drink: Coffee with biscotti
Favorite season ~ why: Summer because it’s warm.
What are your hobbies /past times (besides writing): I love to draw, play games, and watch movies/television.
Michael offers an exclusive GIVEAWAY for this post – Drawing on Friday (1/4/13). Leave a question or comment along with your e-mail address to be entered – he’s offering a custom made bookmark that he’ll mail to any commenter (international is fine), and his book, Oculus, in pdf, mobi, or epub to a commenter as a prize. Additionally, if you need the first book, Slipstream, he would be happy to e-mail this instead.
TOUR-WIDE: 6 signed copies being given away tour-wide, open to international shipping – enter Rafflecopter below…
Click Cover for Amazon Buy Link
Oculus by Michael Offutt
Genre: Sci-fi, GLBT, touch of paranormal
Autumn has arrived in New York, and Jordan Pendragon attends his first classes as a freshman at Cornell. Born with a brilliant mathematical mind, he balances life as a research assistant with that of a student athlete.
But Jordan also has a quest. He must find the Black Tower, a monolithic edifice housing a thing that defines the very structure of the universe. Jordan believes it is buried somewhere in Antarctica under miles of prehistoric ice.
October finds Jordan earning a starting position with the Cornell hockey team. But a dark cloud gathers over his rookie season. Unexplained deaths, whispers of a cannibal cult, a prophecy, and a stone known only as the Oculus, cast a shadow over his athletic ambitions. It is the start of a terrifying journey down a path of mystery, murder, and to a confrontation with an Evil more ancient than the stars.
Free short story that's a lead-in to this book series: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/236636
Click Button for Michael's Tour Schedule
Michael – thanks so much for hanging out at my place for the whole week;) I’ll be asking more questions in the comments and please feel free to share more about yourself, your work, and your story-stars…we always love to hear moreJ
Congratulations on the release of Oculus and your upcoming release Caledfwlch, which is Book 3 of A Crisis of Two Worlds series.
Thanks everyone! Glad you stopped by to visit with Michael – please show him some love and stop by his blogsite…follow him on twitter and FBJ AND, don’t forget to leave a comment with your e-mail address to be entered in his giveaway. Fun Times when reading sci-fi, GLBT, and paranormal;)
Until Next Time…warm hearts and hugs,
Kay Deea Rafflecopter giveaway