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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway - Series: The Alastair Stone Chronicles by R.L.King

Dr. Alastair Stone, Occult Studies professor, powerful mage, and snarky British expat now based in Palo Alto, California, does his best to keep his academic and social lives separate from his increasingly frequent brushes with various malevolent forces from the supernatural side of the street. A little horror, a little humor, but mostly straight-up urban fantasy.

Stone and a Hard Place
The Alastair Stone Chronicles
Author: R.L.King

Book Description:
Dr. Alastair Stone, Occult Studies professor and powerful mage, has his hands full trying to keep the two sides of his life separate as he trains a new apprentice, deals with a malevolent entity trapped in the basement of a wealthy old woman's massive home, and battles dark mages intent on enslaving it for their own ends.

Debut novel of the Alastair Stone Chronicles.

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The Forgotten
The Alastair Stone Chronicles
Author: R.L.King

Book Description:
Dr. Alastair Stone is back, this time teaming up with Jason Thayer, a young man hunting for his missing sister. Embroiled in a web of odd homeless people, a growing conspiracy, and deadly danger, they soon realize that even if they find Jason's sister, they might not be able to help her.

What do you do when you discover an extradimensional plot that threatens the safety of the entire world, but you can't tell anyone about it because literally anyone on Earth could be part of it?

Book Two of the Alastair Stone Chronicles.

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Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote my first full-length novel years ago (it’s not something that will ever see the light of day!) but my inspiration was simply that I had these characters in my head clamoring to have their stories told, and I wanted to read them. Since nobody else was going to do it, I had to. The first book I wrote for public consumption was a fan fiction novel in the universe of the Shadowrun roleplaying game. It expanded the stories of my game character and his team. I wrote five of those before branching out into an original world with the Stone Chronicles series.

2. Do you have a specific writing style?
Well, I’ve been told I’m overly fond of the em-dash, so there’s that. My stuff tends to be full of equal parts horror and snarky humor—even at its most serious there’s always at least a little bit of humor to lighten things up. I love British authors like Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman (Good Omens is one of my favorite books) so I sometimes catch myself lapsing a bit into that style.

3. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The first book, Stone and a Hard Place, was hard for me. All through its writing, its title was House of Stone, which I still quite like. However, people I trust (including my editor) told me it could be better, so I cast around until I came up with SHP. I still like HoS a little better, but SHP does definitely fit the book’s plot. The second book, The Forgotten, was named after a group of people who are an important part of the story.

4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m not sure I’d say there’s a message, really. Maybe a little bit that few things are fully good or fully evil—there are almost always nuances, and sometimes things aren’t what they seem. But mostly I just hope I’m telling a good story that people enjoy reading.

5. How much of the book is realistic?
Not sure what you mean by “realistic.” I mean, there’s magic in it, so that part’s not realistic, but it’s set in the San Francisco Bay Area, in and around Stanford University, so that part is mostly real (though I reserve the right to repurpose buildings and areas as I see fit—all names and places are used fictionally and any resemblance to real people and places is coincidental, and all that.)

6. What book are you reading now?
I’m dipping in and out of several, including the new biography of Steve Jobs, Chuck Palahniuk’s new short story collection, and a book about the magic of tidying up.

7. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I tend to read the same authors over and over (like Stephen King and Jim Butcher, for example) so I don’t often try out new ones lately. That said, though, I’m making a point of reading more work by fellow indie authors. The latest indie books I’ve read, all of which I’ve enjoyed, have been by Shawna Reppert, Chess Desalls, and Lincoln Farish. 

8. What are your current projects?
I’m working on another Stone Chronicles book, the seventh (I just started it recently, and it only has a couple thousand words done so far) and I’m hoping to get the go-ahead to write another Shadowrun novel (my first one was published by Catalyst Game Labs earlier this year).

9. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn new things every time I write a book, which can be frustrating sometimes because when I look at previous books, I always see things I could fix based on my new knowledge. My editor, John Helfers, has really helped me find the bugaboos in my writing (for example, I tend to be overly wordy, and he’s great at slashing the fat). As far as publishing goes, I’ve learned so much about self publishing over the last year that it’s amazing. Everything from cover design to promotion to the proper way to format a paperback. It’s been quite an education, and I’m loving every minute of it.

10. What were the challenges (research, psychological etc) in bringing your story to life?
Research is hard for me—I want the book to be as believable as possible, so I need to get the details right, but I can sometimes deep-end on research to the point where I don’t get back to actually writing the book, or else if it’s an area that doesn’t interest me as much, I get bored and put the project aside. The other challenge, initially, was to be brave enough to toss my baby out to be savaged by the reading public, but that’s faded somewhat as it seems that there are people out there who enjoy my stuff. That encouragement is fantastic, and I hope it continues!

Thank you very much for having me as a guest on your blog! I had a great time.

About the Author
R. L. King is an award-winning author and game freelancer for Catalyst Game Labs, publisher of the popular roleplaying game Shadowrun. She has contributed fiction and game material to numerous sourcebooks, as well as one full-length adventure, "On the Run," included as part of the 2012 Origins-Award-winning "Runners' Toolkit."

Her first novel in the Shadowrun universe, Borrowed Time, was published in May 2015.

When not doing her best to make life difficult for her characters, King is a software technical writer for a large Silicon Valley database company. In her spare time (hah!) she enjoys hanging out with her very understanding spouse and her small herd of cats, watching way too much Doctor Who, and attending conventions when she can. She is an Active member of the Horror Writers' Association and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.

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$40 Amazon / B&N Gift Card.

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  1. Fun interview!


  2. I really enjoyed the interview-I use dashes a lot, too! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

  4. Great interview! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

  7. Great post! I really enjoyed reading the interview! Looking forward to reading this book!

  8. Loved the interview! Thank you for the post and the giveaway!

  9. can the winner choose for the gift card the one for please ,the shipping is cheaper for site if live in canada.

  10. Looks like a good read