Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a sci-fi author named Stephen Budrawich from the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network.
Stephen had his first novel published in 2013 through Tate Publishing. I'm so pleased to have this fun chat with Stephen and to learn all about his exciting sci-fi suspense novel.
I was born in Greenfield MA. At the age of 18 I was married and six months later I entered the US Air Force as a jet engine mechanic. Five years later I got out of the military and worked in a paper mill where I was injured in an industrial accident. I was out of work for two years because of the surgeries and physical therapy. After that I worked various jobs for laundry facilities to nursing homes and a lumber yard before entering a seminary for one semester. While I was working a summer job to save the money to go back to school I was hired and sent to North Carolina and worked there till I was laid off and then I acquired a job at Alcoa Aluminium company where I worked for 18 months before I was laid off because of the plant closure. They paid for me to go to college where I went for two semesters when the Tennessee plant called me to work there. I left North Carolina and moved to Tennessee and am presently working at Alcoa aluminium plant.
Novel: Rays of Deception
Genre: Science fiction suspense
Commander Maverick Jones has just been informed that one of his top operatives has not only stolen the NAPAC (Nuclear Absorption Personal Attack Carrier) Prototype, but also has just defected into the DriCor Territory, which has been accused of stealing technology for decades. With Agent John Sagebrush safely hidden within the borders of DriCor, and with an erroneous charge of murder against him, he is now untouchable.
The UFC must wait and gather proof of Sagebrush’s innocence before they will be allowed to enter the DriCor nation and take him and their NAPAC back into custody.
Maverick knows that Sagebrush had to have help from somewhere within the UFC, now it is Mavericks turn to find out who. Sagebrush is dangerous to the UFC, for he has many secrets that could hurt the United Freedom Council. How many of these secrets will he reveal before Maverick can stop him.
Follow Commander Jones through this moment in time as his once stable life is turned upside down and things are not what they seem. In his journey for the truth, his discoveries will shock him and make him realize that some people are not what they appear to be and betrayal is hidden around every corner.
- Publish date: September 10th 2013
- Publisher: Tate publishing company
John Sagebrush finds himself in a DriCor holding cell, well below Colony 16. He knows that the holding cells are approximately two stories below the surface of the DriCor compound. The cell itself has little for comfort. He is sitting on a somewhat-moldy cot. There is nothing else in the room. The cell is around one hundred square feet of space. On one side are bars with a door, locked of course. The walls are damp and cold, and even though there is an overhead light, it still seems rather dark in the room. He can hear two DriCor guards talking in the hallway. But without his intergalactic translator, he has no idea what the conversation is about, though it is probably concerning him.
John knows that there is no turning back now. He has made his bed, now he has to lie in it, so to speak. What other choice did he have? The individuals that he was sworn to protect betrayed him. He had a gut feeling that something was wrong before he went on his assignment to the listening posts. He told his wife about it, but she reassured him that it was probably just stress. He hadn’t had any R&R for six months. Against his better judgment, he agreed with her. Because of that decision, his wife and child were dead.
Why did they kill his wife and child? What were they trying to prove? It does not matter now. The only thing that matters is to avenge his family with the downfall of the treacherous and evil UFC. Those that are responsible will pay for this, even if he has to give up his own life to do it. They will regret ever messing with him and his family. Now he must convince the DriCor that he is on their side so that he can have his revenge.
Several hours passed before John hears a stern voice that commands authority in the distance and then hears the two guards address the individual with the utmost respect. John takes a wild guess that the chancellor has arrived. He waits nervously as time seems to stand still. Finally an individual walks over to the cell door. He is dressed in what John would consider royal attire, with a deep-red flowing robe that has slits in the front to allow his four arms to be used comfortably. The color of the robe highlights his reddish-green scales and his pharaoh-like jawline as he looks down on John from his enormous height of seven or so feet.
As the guards open the cell door, Chancellor DaHa enters the room with another individual that appears to be his aide, who is also dressed in similar attire. The chancellor’s aide hands John an intergalactic translator and motions him to put it on. As he does, the chancellor and his aide also put one on. Once this formality is complete, DaHa begins to speak.
“Listen, John Sagebrush. I have stuck my neck out in this present situation to assure your limited freedom. You must give us some kind of token so that we will know that you are serious about your freedom,” says Chancellor DaHa.
“We would like some information that would help us to defend ourselves from your UFC. Because we have gone to great lengths to protect you, we have placed ourselves into an awkward position. If we do not have something to fight them with, they could easily use the Intergalactic Treaty against us for keeping you and their technology. But if we had some dirt on them, then we could be justified in what we are presently doing. This would also show that you are willing to be a true citizen of DriCor.”
John thinks momentarily trying to figure out what would be the best thing to confide to them.
“May I have some time to think about it?”
“Of course, John. We are all civilized around here. I’ll give you forty-five minutes to think about it, and then I’ll be back for your decision.”
Chancellor DaHa leaves the cell as the door is locked behind him.
Commander Jones looks out the window of his office. In the distance, he can see the lush greenery of the land, which at one time was a barren desert. He remembers back when the frontier was new and that there were many challenges to deal with. As his mind drifts into the past, he wonders what the future will bring. The red-alert signal goes off, snapping him back to the present. Jones keys his intercom. “What is it Lieutenant Strickland?”
“Sir, the chancellor’s carrier and his escorts are leaving Colony 16 with Sagebrush in tow and are heading westward.”
“Do you have any idea where they are heading?”
“Notify the directors and inform them to meet back at conference room Alpha.”
Commander Jones switches off the intercom and leaves his office heading right for the conference room.
Hi Stephen and welcome to the FSFN interrogation... I mean interview chair ;-) You are so mean to leave us hanging in the lurch there with your teaser from Rays of Deception. It sounds interesting and leaves me wondering what science fiction tricks you are hiding up your sleeve. Now let's start at the beginning:
When did you start writing and why?
I grew up in any area where there were no children my age so I had plenty of time on my hands, which allowed me a lot of time to explore my imagination creating worlds and scenarios. I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember. Every time I came up with an idea or remember a dream I may have had, I would jot it down. I now have numerous avenues of storylines to choose from.
What made you choose the science fiction genre?
Science fiction allows you the ability to create things that haven’t been invented yet, but also allows you the freedom of free thinking with the day to day constraints.
What’s the story behind your book title?
Everyone has preconceived notions of their friends, family, and situations whether its true or false. This book shows that people are not always what they appear to be to others around them. Every situation in their lives affects them at a subconscious level and can direct their future in both positive and negative ways.
Which scene from your book do you like best and why?
The scene where Director Garcia is being interrogated by Maverick about McArthur’s secret base and Garcia’s delivery route. Maverick threatens him that if he does not cooperate he will make sure that McArthur will be informed that Garcia has turned on him and Maverick will turn the other way and help McArthur eliminate him if he so choses. Garcia basically says that is not in Maverick’s nature. But Maverick has millions of people’s lives to protect, which calls for extreme measures. This scene shows that a Christian has responsibilities to the job they have been assigned that can sometimes conflict with their beliefs, but their responsibilities to their office present decisions that must be followed regardless. Case in point, if you’re a soldier in a hostile situation its kill or be killed whether you’re a Christian or not.
When I start with a character I write down basic characters and as I develop a scene I work with each character to develop their strengths and weaknesses and start to form their personalities to flesh them out so to speak.
Have you used any real people in your characters?
I don’t use real people per say, but I tend to watch people and see how they react to certain situations which allows me to develop my own characters.
What are you working on now?
I have finished my second book in this series, which I will be sending in for a copyright. I’m also working on my third and fourth book in this series.
Wow! That is so exciting for you.
What do you do when you have writers’ block?
When I get writers block I do several things. The first is to work on several books at once, so when I get a block in one I can move to the next one. It helps to keep freshness in my thinking. The other way is by exercising my brain by forcing myself to write first thing in the morning by writing for five minutes nonstop which unlocks your creativeness.
Working on several books at once sounds challenging. You must have a good memory for details.
Describe your road to publishing your book?
I finished this book about fifteen years ago and searched for a publisher. The one I got in touch with said that they would review it for $20,000. Being a blue collar worker, my manuscript went back on the shelf.
When self-publishing came on the scene I went at it again. The cheapest place was going to cost upfront $7,500. Again my manuscript went back on the shelf.
Several years ago a friend of my wife’s told my wife that her son had just published his book. I got in touch with him to find out how he did it. He told me that Amazon had come out with a site where you could self-publish on your own and it was called createspace. Though I had to do everything myself the total cost was $40.
Six months after I self-published my wife was searching online and came across Tate publishing company and said that since I was already self-published why not send my manuscript into them and see what happens. I did and less than a week later got a call from them saying they wanted it. For a small fee I got published. They designed the artwork for the cover, gave me a website for my book made a commercial for my book and made a Facebook page for me.
Your persistence definitely paid off, congratulations.
What type of books do you like to read?
I like sci-fi, paranormal romance, time travel and action.
Who are your favourite authors?
Lee Child, Kevin Anderson and Anne Mccaffrey
What’s your dream job and do you think you’ll do it one day?
My dream job is to be a fulltime author and yes I believe I will someday.
Do you prefer ebook or hardcopy?
I prefer hardcopy.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, Stephen, and telling us your story. You certainly prove that an overnight success takes years of planning and dedication. Best wishes for the future.
Please check out Stephen's links:
- Fantasy Sci-Fi Network:
The Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network is a collection of authors, bloggers, and reviewers who are passionate about finding and creating quality fantasy/sci-fi books which are also teen safe (G, PG, or PG-13 rated). The FSF Network believes it is possible to create fantastic works of fantasy and science fiction without resorting to graphic violence, explicitly harsh language, or sex.
- FSFN website: http://fsfnet.com/
- Twitter hashtag: #FSFNAuthor