Friday, May 2, 2014

Please welcome Chris M.Arnone to Fang-tastic Books today.

Chris, let's get started-tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to write in this particular genre?

Chris Arnone, married, dad to four cats, and uber-nerd. Genre is a funny thing. I read all sorts of things and I’m really picky. As for The Lost and Broken Realm, I wrote the story the way it needed to be told, which fell into contemporary or cross-world fantasy.

What inspired you to write this book?

I used to have a job that involved travel all around the US. Sometimes, on long drives, I would see these abandoned silos, farmhouses, or factories on the side of the road. I realized that at one time, those places had been the center of someone’s universe. Someone built them. Someone lived there, built a business there, or at least put in their eight hours a day. Now they sit empty and forgotten. I think there’s a magic in that.

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?

Zhiyan. He’s a giant, literally, but he’s also this Victorian-style lord. So he’s a massive, imposing figure, but he’s well-educated and well-connected. The difficulty in writing him, however, is that the Victorians were waspish. They never said exactly what they mean. Their insults are veiled and their compliments are backhanded. It was a fun challenge.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

Darkness, as in the physical embodiment of Darkness. That character is eternal, which lends a sense of immense patience and the character is whimsical. It also knows more than anyone else and knows it.

Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?
I believe characters are all aspects of the writer’s soul. For me, they often spring forth fully formed, but they also grow and take shape more as I write them, as I get into their skin a bit. That often leads to going back and rewriting their earlier scenes, but it works for me.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?

The Lost and Broken Realm is mostly set in this parallel universe. It’s where all of the lost and forgotten people, creatures, objects, and places come to rest. The world is full of mismatched objects and mythical creatures that don’t quite match the mythologies. Doors are also quite important, as they link locations that actually exist in our world, but have been lost to time.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

I’ve never had writer’s block, my mind never seems to stop generating ideas for whatever I’m working on or other projects. My issue is more with time. I have a full-time job, two houses to keep up, and adult responsibilities. Finding the time to put words to paper every day is a challenge.

Do you write in different genres?

Well, The Lost and Broken Realm is my first and I’m currently writing its sequel. However, while the first book is cross-world fantasy, the second is definitely urban fantasy. I have stories ideas jotted down that span cyberpunk, dystopic, space opera, and superhero fiction.

When did you consider yourself a writer?

I was actually a freelance writer for the now-defunct Wizard Magazine years back. The first time I saw my name in that magazine, that was it.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

There are no guilty pleasures. If it brings you pleasure and it’s not at anyone else’s expense, then guilt has no place in it. I suppose some may consider my unabashed love of Gilmore Girls as a strange pleasure for a well-bearded, heterosexual man.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

Art, theater, music, comic books, video games. I’m pretty outspoken about LGBTQ equality as well.

What was the last amazing book you read?

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

We have a reading nook off our master bedroom at home. A couch, chair, and ottoman all packed into this little space. It’s super comfy and all our cats tend to join us when we’re up there reading.

What can readers expect next from you?

The sequel, baby! Seriously, though. I had actually started writing a superhero fiction book for NaNoWriMo, but once The Lost and Broken Realm actually came out, I felt a tug to finish the story for my readers, so I’m writing the sequel.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, WattPad, and my website.

Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?

Excerpt from Chapter 16:
The expansive cave was filled with statues. Gabriel was immediately reminded of the terracotta army in China, row after row of warriors guarding the tombs of ancient Chinese emperors, but these weren’t warriors. They weren’t distinctly Chinese, either. They were cyclopean; that was the first thing Gabriel noticed. Rather than two equally distanced eyes, each statue had one large eye right above the nose.
Unlike those Chinese statues, these weren’t uniform, either. Different bodies, faces, attire, genders, and ages of Cyclops made up the horde of stone figures. Dread began to creep back up Gabriel’s spine as he saw something they all had in common other than their lack of depth perception: every carved face was locked eternally in an expression of fear. Stout warriors crouched, hiding their faces. Women with horrified looks stood guarding their children. Gabriel wondered what foul mind could have sculpted such horrors over and over again.
“What is this?” Gabriel asked in a hush, frightened voice.
“I don’t know. I’ve never even heard of this place,” Anansi responded. For the first time since Gabriel had met the manticore, he heard and felt doubt and fear coming from the creature. Zhiyan kept staring at the ground, impassive, as Finkle Prime led him along.
“Who is here?” said a voice from the darkness. It sounded like a young woman, with a bright, luscious voice. Something was amiss with it, though Gabriel couldn’t figure out exactly what.
“Who is that?” Gabriel asked Anansi.
“I asked you first, mortal,” The voice said playfully. Gabriel realized what was wrong. The ‘s’ sounds were extended, like Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe, or like a snake using a human voice. Gabriel couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. It wasn’t in his head. He’d heard enough telepathy to know the difference, but this woman’s voice seemed to bounce and echo around the cave and off the statues that filled it.
“Gabriel. My name is Gabriel. Who are you?” He asked, trying to keep his voice steady.
“Gabriel. So kind of you to visit. No one comes to visit anymore. Zhiyan, he keeps them from me. Now here he is, marching to his death, how fitting,” She said happily.
“Prime, halt,” Gabriel said. The big clockwork man stopped and Gabriel saw Zhiyan with his head still bowed, but his eyes were closed tightly and a small smile crept over his face.
“Oh, shit,” Anansi said, suddenly angry. “Zhiyan, if we live through this, I hope the council draws and quarters your giant ass.”
“What is it?” Gabriel asked nervously.
“Ptolema. Eldest and most vicious of the Gorgon sisters,” Zhiyan finally said, still holding his eyes closed tightly and smiling wryly.
“Gorgons? Monsters like Medusa?” Gabriel asked, half in disbelief, half in growing panic. His mind raced. He tried to think of Medusa’s sisters, but the monster didn’t give him time to remember them.
“What do you know of my sister? She was no monster. She was a sweet, innocent girl. Raped and then villainized. No, she was no monster,” Ptolema said, her voice smooth as silk.
“Don’t look her in the eyes!” Anansi suddenly screamed telepathically. He almost didn’t say it in time.
“I am the monster,” She said, her voice dripping with venom. Out of the corner of his eye, Gabriel saw a woman come out of the shadows and into view. One moment later, and he would have looked at her squarely. Instead, he looked several feet to the side of her, taking in her form using his peripheral vision. She was tall as a man, a bit taller than Gabriel from what he could tell, and she wore a ragged red dress that came almost to the ground. Rather than legs, Gabriel saw a mass of writhing snakes skimming along the ground. She tried to dart directly into Gabriel’s view, faster than he expected, but he dropped his eyes fully to the ground. Her arms gleamed a brilliant, shining gold color, and reflected light from Prime’s shoulder lamps all around the cave. Gabriel wondered if her hair was made of venomous snakes like the stories told, but he didn’t chance looking up near her face.
“Why do you look away, Gabriel? Why do you not meet my gaze? Am I not beautiful?” Ptolema asked, almost pouting.
“No thanks. I’d rather not turn to stone today,” Gabriel said, his voice shaking. He remembered the stories of Medusa, how she turned men to stone with her gaze, and how Perseus destroyed her with a mirrored shield.
“There are worse ways to die,” Ptolema said, all the playfulness, seduction, and beauty suddenly gone from her voice. She was deadly serious. And then she was moving. She was fast, so much faster than Gabriel could have imagined. He leapt out of her way, but only just in time. He felt the wind move past him and smelled her, a waft of rotting flesh and dry snakeskin.
Gabriel scrabbled along the cave floor to get away from the horrifying woman. Tiny snake heads snapped at the air behind his heels. He looked all around for something, anything to fight with, to hide behind, anything.
“Oh, get up, little man. Die on your feet,” Ptolema balked, and then laughed at him, but only briefly. A massive shadow suddenly came over Gabriel, blocking out the light from Prime’s lamps. Fearful of looking up, he looked around and saw a massive paw, like one belonging to a lion that was three times larger than it should have been. A deafening roar filled his ears and Gabriel crawled out from under the creature, seemingly unnoticed. It was almost a giant lion, except it had two equally huge red feathered wings and the tail of a scorpion, its stinger poised to strike some thirty feet up in the air.

The Lost and Broken Realm
Things Forgotten
Book 1
Chris M. Arnone

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

ISBN: 9780991397907
ISBN: 9781311266194


Number of pages: 325 print
approx 299 ebook
Word Count: 103,000

Cover Artist: Cassandra Whitney

Book Description:

Gabriel Drake had royally fouled up his life. Before his wife died, he was wealthy, respected, and loved. He pissed away the small fortune he and his wife built, drove away his friends, alienated his family, and even took a few precarious steps on the wrong side of the law. He lost his way. The world had forgotten the man he was, and then a head-on collision between his Jeep and a tree changed everything.

Death would have been easier. Instead, he’s woken up in a strange place where all the lost and forgotten things and people of our world go to rest. The laws of physics seem to be driven more by magic than logic. Cats fly and talk into his mind. He’s in a place where real power has been trampled under the foot of a maniacal emperor, and Gabriel alone has the power to free these forgotten people from the emperor’s iron grip. Which will Gabriel save: these lost and broken people, or his own shattered life?

About the Author:

Chris grew up in Independence, MO. He attended college at Truman State University where he pursued his loves of theater, music, and the written word. Now, he makes his home in Kansas City, MO with his wife Christy and their four cats.

Aside from writing feverishly, he is an avid supporter of the Kansas City burlesque, performance, and arts communities. He is an occasional emcee, outspoken supporter of LGBTQ equality, and King of the Nerds. No, you didn't vote for him; that's why he's king, not president.

Website/blog      Twitter       Facebook

Goodreads        Wattpad      Tumblr

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