Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Leviathan Chronicles by James Mascia Virtual Tour and Giveaway



James Mascia is awarding 5 copies of the ebook in either mobi or epub formats to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Visit all the participating blogs for additional chances to win.

The Leviathan Chronicles: The Last Stand at Aeprion
by James Mascia


Welcome to the Virtual Tour for The Leviathan Chronicles by James Mascia.  I asked James to comment on how he does his world building.  I hope you will enjoy his post as much a I have.  Now here is James.

How I Did My World Building

The Leviathan Chronicles is like a classic pulp science fiction story. So, in order to build the world for it, I essentially started from the bottom floor and build level after level on top of it. Through the fifteen years since I started the project and finally published one of the stories, it has actually had a number of versions.

When I started on The Leviathan Chronicles, it was originally intended as a Star Wars fan fiction. It was set in the Star Wars universe, yet included none of the traditional characters from the movies or books. This idea quickly fell away, to be replaced with a story, set in our galaxy, but in which Earth is a distant memory and humans are a minority. Then, it changed yet again, to include Earth, but an Earth unlike the one we know today, where thousands of years ago colony ships were sent out thousands of years ago in the hopes of averting the extinction of the human race, and then forgotten and humanity miraculously survived back on Earth. It is in this last version of my world that the current stories are set.
So, the question remains, how did I build my world? The answer to that is easy. I didn’t.

I know it sounds strange, but hear me out. I start with several ideas. 

In The Last Stand at Aeprion, I started with the idea of a man searching for a fabled living planet. Even when I wrote this story fifteen years ago, that was all I started with, this simple idea. I thought it would be fun to have a character that was like Indiana Jones in space. So, I started the story (even as I rewrote it recently for publishing) with essentially a blank canvas. That canvas quickly got filled in. My character, Joel, was from Earth, which is still thriving, but overcrowded, so he wanted to leave. He travels with his wife, who convinces him to search for this godlike living planet, and in the process they come across an alien hunter, who then becomes obsessed with having them as trophies on his wall.
So, yes, I suppose I did build my world, but I did so as I was writing the story, filling it in with the essentials as I went. This is definitely not the traditional way of doing things (or so I’m told), especially for science fiction. Many authors have things plotted out piece by piece. Some authors have whole maps with details of planets and peoples on different worlds before they even put pen to paper. Now, I do have things like that, however, I add them to my journal as I come up with them.

I do it this way because I want things to be spontaneous. I can change the direction of my story in any way I want (and I usually do). So for me, having my world fixed until it is written on the paper doesn’t work with me. But once it’s written, it’s set in stone. For instance, when I revisit Aeprion in future stories (which I will), I will be using what I wrote for this story to build that world further.

Where will it take me, I don’t even know yet. But for me, that’s part of the fun of writing the story.  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Still reeling from his wife's murder, Joel tries to escape the alien hunter and fulfill a promise he made to her. Years of searching for the fabled planet, Aeprion, has left the space freighter captain torn between giving up the search or giving himself up to Kraxem, an alien hunter.

When Kraxem and his minions attack Joel's ship again, he is forced into the nebula, where he'll have to do repairs. Once there, his thoughts revert back to the final day of Kate's life and the promises that were made. Learning to come to terms with her loss and release the guilt that he feels will be a hard battle to fight, but giving up will prove to be even more difficult and, perhaps, deadly.

Steeling his resolve to forge on, Joel vows to find the fabled living planet before guilt devours his soul and all is lost.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Thoughts On Leviathan Chronicles

I enjoyed the Leviathan Chronicles.  Often I do not like books with multiple flash backs but in Leviathan Chronicles it works really well.  This is action, adventure and loss than many of us can identify with.  It is not a long book.  The plot is real Space Opera with a touch of more. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

Joel ran from the cargo bay to make a beeline for the cockpit. “We’ll talk about this later.” Then he addressed the computer. “Wanderer, raise shields and start the engines.”

“Yes, Captain.”

Kate was two steps behind him. “What are you going to do?”

“Clean up your mess, as usual.” He jumped into the pilot’s seat and grabbed the controls. “Hold on!”

Through the viewport, Joel found himself staring down the barrel of a particularly nasty-looking plasma cannon. Behind that cannon stood a group of aliens with yellow, wrinkled skin over a wide-stretched head and bulbous eyes sticking out at each side.

One of these aliens, who appeared to be in command by the way he was barking orders at the others, wore a cape that flapped in the gusts being created by the revving engines. This particular alien glared at him with a piercing stare that seemed to bore into his skull.

“Would that be the other interested party?” He toggled some switches, helping the engines cycle up faster.

“Yeah, that’s him.”

“I think he really wants that rock.”

The ship shuddered again and the viewport filled with a blinding light as the cannon fire struck the shields. Alarms beeped rapidly on the console until Joel slammed his fist down on it.

“I take it back. He wants to kill us, and then he wants the rock.”

“Shields down to 60 percent,” Kate warned.

Another shot hit the shields, setting off another round of blaring alarms.

“35 percent.”

Joel stared at the alien. Having never encountered this particular species before, he wasn’t an expert at reading their facial expressions. But if he had to describe what he was looking at, he would have said it was unchained rage.

“Open the loading ramp and drop that stupid rock out.”

Kate glared at him in disbelief. “What? No!”

Joel spun in his chair to face her. “I’m assuming you’ve already scanned the hieroglyphs on it, right?”

Kate nodded, her bottom lip quivering, knowing what he was about to tell her.

“Then we don’t need it anymore. This guy obviously wants it, and is willing to do anything to get it. And since I don’t want to die today, let’s let him have it.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

He fights evil across the known universe and crushes them between his fingers (at least, he does this with his words). 

James Mascia is an accomplished writer with a bestselling series, High School Heroes, as well as a bestselling graphic novel, The Poe Murders. He has always been a fan of sci-fi, and is glad to be delving back into the galaxy once again.

James teaches in Maryland, where he also writes. He has a lovely wife and a tiny terror (a two-year-old) driving him mad, but making him laugh.

Check out some of his other work below:


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April 14: Lilac Reviews - review
April 15: Independent Authors
April 16: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
April 17: Archaeolibrarian - I dig good books! - review
April 20: Straight from the Library
April 21: Unabridged Andra's
April 22: Mixed Book Bag - review
April 23: CBY Book Club
April 24: Kit 'N Kabookle
 

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