Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blood Brothers by Dean C. Moore - Q&A and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One random winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card via Rafflecopter drawing. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to It's Raining Books and thank you for agreeing to answer our questions. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I guess I’m still a kid at heart who’s determined to fly, teleport, move objects at a distance, read minds, shape shift, be in several places at once… and I’ll be damned if anyone tells me I can’t. I’ve always believed reality is just someone else’s fantasy that has been unjustly imposed on me, rather effectively so, thanks to defective parenting, and people in authority insisting they know things that are facts when really they are just superstitions and particularly infectious memes. But, of course, shedding all that early life programming to open my mind to my actual potential takes work. Hence why I write in the genres I do, not just to transform the reader, but to transform myself as well. I don’t want to be Moses pointing the way to the Promised Land; I want to step onto it with you.

What research or world building is required?

It really depends on how you approach the genres. For sci-fi, if you expect your near future and far future stories to be at all prescient, there is quite a lot of reading. It’s rather endless, actually. You have to be a voracious consumer of hi-tech news, because the pace of change is accelerating all the time. And you have to read across the board, from professional journals and online sources, to novels, and stuff that isn’t ready for publication yet because the research is so cutting edge. The trick is to allow this bottomless well of knowledge to enrich and enliven the story as opposed to bog it down.

With fantasy, the potential stumbling blocks to be avoided are a bit different. There, it’s not the need for greater scientific accuracy that will trip you up, but the inordinate amount of world building that’s required for the genre. Too often writers fail to dole this out in bite size chunks, and instead they do data dumps. So the pace of the story is slowed, even stopped entirely, while the writer paints us a never-to-be-forgotten slice-of-life image from whatever alternate dimension their story is taking place in. Curiously, many fantasy readers seem to be more patient with this than you might expect, as I can think of any number of best-selling fantasy writers who are entirely guilty as charged. But as for myself, with the background I have in screenwriting, where—above all else—you must keep the story moving, I could never do that to my readers.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Blood Brothers essentially has four protagonists, two heroes, after whom the book is named, and two heroines (their wives.) Each taught me quite a bit about how different people come at life and how those contrasting views and values can enhance relationships.

From Jared I learned that no matter how much seemingly omnipotent outside forces try to manipulate us and keep us down, using technology and twenty-four hour spycams and supervision, people will always find the one loophole in the system and use it as a way out from under the oppressor’s thumb. Every time. And I’m not just talking about the exceptional among us; I’m talking about the least among us.

From Clay I learned that people can have extraordinary, even paranormal abilities, and still have no idea what to do with them, or any inclination to use those abilities. It’s not until life puts them in a situation where they have to that they will realize their full potential; until then, they may not recognize they even have wherewithal.

From Ellen I learned that the ugly things in our lives don’t have to scar us. Even when we are caught up in alien and hostile situations beyond our control, for which we are clearly not to blame, if we make the most of those circumstances, they can be the springboard to enlightenment instead of to greater suffering.

From Myrna I learned that motherhood too can be an unexpected jumping off point to higher awareness and short of that, some very surprising paranormal abilities that otherwise lie dormant in us. Her willingness to make her kids the chief focus of her life, to do everything possible to foster their imaginations, is what ultimately gets her to own the magic in herself.

And when the couples were together, fighting, clawing their way back to closeness past all the factors in their lives which instead bred alienation, they taught me something special. There is a magnetism in the dance between soul mates that can cut through all of the superficial stuff that gets in the way if only we can own what’s deep inside us. I learned, moreover, that couples who live together a long time, even if they don’t start out as soul mates, do just that, clear a path to what’s essential, in each and everything they do, even if it’s transpiring on an entirely unconscious level. In fact it’s what makes marriage sacred and miraculous.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I have these busts and full-figure wood carvings I’ve collected over the years. They’re positioned around my room like guardian angels. Perhaps they function also like steersmen helping to guide me from this realm of consciousness and this reality into so many others. They keep an eye on me from every corner, nook, and cranny in the room. Some would find this a bit spooky. Sort of like inviting ghosts to hang around and be your friends. But to date, looking back on my prolific output over the years, I’d say they’re worth their weight in gold. Superstition? Or Super-reality?

Plotter or pantser?

A bit of both. I need to have enough of a sense of the story structure in my head before I begin to know I’m not writing aimlessly and that I’m not going to run out of steam half way through. It’s sort of like a painter laying down the charcoal drawing. But come time to color things in, the characters do that, and in so doing bring the narrative to life. If I didn’t let them take over, my life would be so much shallower and less interesting! And not just my virtual life, because the things they teach me enrich my real world relationships as well.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A book by Caleb Carr, called The Alienist. Perhaps my favorite novel of all time. It’s out of place, of course, like so much else in the room. It sits before a tower of audiophile electronics that opens a passageway to endless sensorial realms I couldn’t get to without. And stacked above that is my wide-screen TV. And right next to that is a window into an enchanted forest in the backyard. Clearly I’m all about portals into other worlds.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Nano Man is the tale of the first human to be infected with Nano, thus opening a gateway to any number of paranormal abilities and superpowers. But if you look beyond that, you’ll see that what this story is really about is: what does it mean to be human amidst all this technological largess? Is it harder, easier? Is there something better to look forward to that we’re evolving into? And in the end is it really the technology which will shape us more than anything else, or the old standbys of love, family, and friends? And maybe the ability to get a little distance on ourselves? Or will it be some confluence of factors? Will the two forces of emerging technologies and the emerging consciousness which arises with them forever co-create and reshape one another? My books tend to be thematically rich, so I’m certainly not saying that the reader couldn’t miss these thrusts altogether in favor of another focus that grabs their eye. After all, all great stories boil down to great characters and the conflicts between them. And it is the reader who must decide what the story ultimately means to them.

Do you have a question for our readers?

I find that as we head into the future, the sci-fi and paranormal fantasy genres are merging more and more, as with the example of my novel, Nano Man, mentioned above (debuting in early 2015 incidentally, if not sooner). There are certainly plenty of other offerings I could cite: The Fantastic Four movie franchise for one; the recent Forever and Extant TV series; and things like X-Men, Wolverine, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Is this your feeling too? If so, I and my books may well be ahead of the learning curve. If not, I may be going down a road less traveled.

Fraternal twins are separated from birth, and raised to be assassins. They were never meant to meet. But even when kept apart, they’re just too powerful. Their paranormal abilities cease to be an advantage when they can no longer be controlled. So they are scheduled for cancellation.

Their paths cross before they can be taken out. It is only then that they discover the true depths of their betrayal. Not only are they stronger when they’re together, they’re half-breeds, sired by an all-powerful warlock.

The question is, are they strong enough even together to take him on now that he’s coming for them?

They have an ace up their sleeves they are not aware of. Drawn to the same kind of women, they find themselves married to a pair of sorceresses whose magical abilities are only now surfacing.

But one encounter with dear old dad is all it takes for them to realize, they’re still the underdogs.

From the back of the book: “The series is called Blood Brothers, but this adventure is really a family affair: the brothers, their partners, children and even their old man in a starring role as the villain. Think Disney's Incredibles, but in a violent and bizarre fantasy world.” Rob May, Dragon Killer

“With incredibly detailed world building and action scenes, this story seems like it would make a phenomenal film or TV series. Moore pulls out all the stops with dragons, telekinesis, shapeshifters and insurmountable odds in this battle of good versus evil - and a villain who just won't lay down and die.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift

“When you read a Dean C. Moore novel, you can expect rich, original characters, witty dialogue and unexpected plot turns. Blood Brothers doesn't disappoint.” JC Gatlin, Designated Survivor
Enjoy an excerpt:

Just beyond the perimeter of the military encampment, Clay and Jared soared in with the F-14, still moving relatively slowly under the influence of Clay's telekinesis, the jet’s fuel long spent.

They observed the drama with the dragons breathing fire on the soldiers and having it deflected by the force field.

And then they watched as Rydell took out the two-headed dragons one after the other with blasts from his eyes, boring basketball-size holes through each of their hearts.

The beasts emitted agonizing cries as they fell. The first to land, the one with the more pointy snouts, managed to penetrate the shield with her heads as she landed on top of it. With her dying breaths, the fiery boluses she emitted took out a healthy allotment of soldiers already panicked and fleeing beneath the energy dome. Then, with her body limp and arched to accommodate the shield, she slid off.

As the second dragon crashed, it flicked its tail, penetrating the shield, and slicing any number of running soldiers in two, before the shield pushed it back out, resuming its perfect spherical shape.

The last of the second dragon’s heads hammered the ground moments after.

Jared took over the F-14, firing up the afterburners. “We're outta here.”

“And the defenseless women we're arriving like knights in shining armor to save?”

“We'll say a prayer.”

About the Author:
I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor. Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises.

I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining. After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope. I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area. But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice. For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination. I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels. Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments. But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point. That too may change over time; we’ll see. Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.

My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years' worth of work. I'm currently averaging a couple books annually. Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.)

I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature's balance. When I'm not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. To answer your question, now that I think about it you're right that it does seem that way. Interesting as I've always been hard core sci-fi so I'm interested to see how this works out.

    Great interview here. I really enjoyed getting more of a feel for your characters. I like that everyone has such different situations. It's certainly made me think a some about womens' roles in these situations. As for the pantser/plotter question I'm still trying to figure that out. I plot but then manage to see something and change it up so it feels like time being wasted...

    What a great fact to know about the wooden busts. They probably are guardians. Great insightful interview and good luck with the rest of this, Dean!

  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Roshelle. As for your plotting then changing things up midstream, I think that's a natural, organic process, true to some degree or another for all of us. As we venture further into the story, our characters can only come alive if we let them, and that means responding to what they have to say and what they have to teach us.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! I enjoyed answering MJ's great questions.

  3. The posts for Blood Brothers look great, MJ. Thanks so much for doing this! I’d also like to thank anyone who might be stopping by and leaving comments or questions for me (perhaps based on the answers to some of my interview questions). I’ll be in and out throughout the day to interact with readers.

  4. "Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

    A book by Caleb Carr, called The Alienist. Perhaps my favorite novel of all time. It’s out of place, of course, like so much else in the room. It sits before a tower of audiophile electronics that opens a passageway to endless sensorial realms I couldn’t get to without. And stacked above that is my wide-screen TV. And right next to that is a window into an enchanted forest in the backyard. Clearly I’m all about portals into other worlds."

    Words a writer should live by!

  5. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Sue. I see we share a love for portals to other worlds!

  6. I agree, there seems to be a lot more nowadays.

  7. I think you're right about the increasing overlap of SciFi and Paranormal. Superhero movies tend to be good examples of this, where in a typical multi-character cast, some characters have paranormal powers while other characters in the same film derive their powers from technology.

    Which raises the question -- is this trend largely driven by the increasing popularity of super hero movies? If we ignored superhero content and looked at other forms of SciFi and Paranormal would there be as much of an overlap? I'm not sure.

    Good excerpt by the way!

  8. You raise some good points, Alex. I'm inclined to believe the superhero movies are a big part of it. But I believe it was Arthur C. Clarke who said that the science of any sufficiently advanced civilization is indistinguishable from magic. So how far out in time the story is set may have to do with it. Also, I think if you throw genetic manipulation into the mix, and you have genetically derived shapeshifters, well, it's a small step to genetic mutations spawning supernatural powers. This was a big thrust behind the TV series, Heroes, which had one of the most successful first seasons of any TV series ever.

    Even when you think of the context of your own work, the heroes and antagonists both spend a lot of time in virtual reality, which is but fantasy by another name. For those of you who haven't caught Alex's False Idols, by the way, you owe it to yourself to take a peek. It's currently only available in rough draft form on wattpad. But keep an eye out for when it goes live on Amazon and Goodreads, or jump in early and become part of the editing process. I'm a fan of crowd-sourced editing myself. It's not enough by itself to help put the final polishes on a book, but more and more writers are benefiting from the increasingly social aspects of writing and editing a book, myself included.

  9. Good point about the merging genres. It makes it harder to find what you really want to read, particularly when Amazon seems to keep making up new genres and nothing really fits into just one (or two!) anymore. I mean, I like "cross-genre" writing, for sure, but with so many books and so many new genres (New Adult, anyone?), who can keep track?

  10. I enjoyed reading about the author's writing process

  11. Hi, Laura. Thanks for weighing in. I think with time we’re seeing genres split into sub-genres and even sub-sub-genres. It actually brings greater clarity and specificity rather than more confusion (to my thinking). But it comes at the steep price of segmenting the market even further. So the audience for the work shrinks. On the other hand, indie authors are well poised to go after smaller audiences that the mainstream marketplace may not be willing to chase after. With lower overhead, an indie author doesn’t have to reach as many people to make a modest living. Moreover, with the internet reaching more and more people each day, you could argue that even the sub-sub-genre readership will expand enough over time to garner the same size followings that formerly only genre purists could access.

    I suspect what you’re complaining about, on the other hand, is writers going the other direction and attempting to expand audience share by combining one or more genres. It’s been my experience that they instead end up with hybrid readers who are comfortable in two or more genres more so than a wider audience per se. If a wider audience is desired, you kind of have to do what I do and walk a fine line in order to keep everyone happy and not alienate one kind of reader in favor of another. For instance, sci-fi readers will tolerate more hi-tech jargon than fantasy readers may feel comfortable with. So the trick is to tone it down enough to keep the fantasy reader engaged without losing the sci-fi reader’s enthusiasm for the material. It can be done, though it’s probably a harder road to travel in some respects.

    As to Amazon’s market segmenting into sub-genres and sub-sub-genres, I’m going to come down on their side on this one and say that it is likely to be a boon for writers who might not otherwise be able to get their work to stand out or get recognized. Technically “sword and sorcery” could be labeled as “fantasy,” but why not be more specific to attract the kind of reader who is happiest with this material, thus eliminating a lot of unnecessary competition?

    Thanks again for spurring some great banter here, and hopefully some insights that can be helpful to readers.

  12. bn100, winemama -- thanks for the feedback! I appreciate it.


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?