9:22 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

T. M. HUNTER

CONTEST: T. M. Hunter would like to do a free book giveaway. Three winners of a signed copy of his short story collection Dead or Alive chosen at random from those who leave comments. He will also give a free book code for everyone who stops by, allowing them a free download of his novella Seeker. T. M. will announce the winners at the end of the week. Good luck!

AL: Hi Todd! Welcome back! Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

TMH: Great to be here! Thanks for having me back!

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

TMH: Plenty of stuff going on in life and in writing, both. Later this year, I’ll be heading off for a short overseas assignment at work. It’s going to be an interesting time, since I’ve never technically been out of the country (other than Canada, which doesn’t really count). With the day job, sleep, and my writing, there’s not a lot of extra time to do much else. Now, if we can just keep my wife out of the hospital (even if I tend to get a lot of writing done while she’s there)…

AL: Please share with us about a current or upcoming release.

TMH: I just had a pair of recent releases. My first being Seeker, which I mentioned above. The other is my new 11-story Aston West collection Dead or Alive. This feature from ResAliens Press presents new and classic short stories from the Aston West universe. Aston treks across the galaxy and shows off to everyone why he’s so often wanted dead or alive.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

TMH: Deep doesn’t begin to cover it. I have my third Aston “in the series” novel (tentatively entitled Death Brings the Victory) out with my beta readers for their feedback, as well as conceptualizing the fourth, Resurrection. Another of my novels (this one being non-Aston), The Cure, is making the rounds with agents. And between all of those, I keep working up new short stories for magazines. And if all that wasn’t torture enough, I started putting together some screenplays and comic book scripts. The fun never ends…

AL: What is the most difficult part of being a writer and do you write whenever the mood strikes, or do you have a specific routine?

TMH: The most difficult part is convincing yourself that no matter how much rejection you go through, continuing to punish yourself is actually worth it to reach the goal line. As for my routine, I tend to write whenever I have a free moment. I purchased a netbook about a year ago, and it’s been the best investment I’ve ever made. It’s portable enough that I can take it with me and keep my writing moving, whereas the pen-and-paper method I used to employ just ended up with me wasting time in transcribing my work.

AL: Who is the author(s) that inspired you to write?

TMH: If I had to pick, I imagine it was the collective known as Franklin W Dixon (the ghost authors who penned the Hardy Boys tales). Those were some of my favorite stories growing up. But, being the son of an English teacher, it was probably inevitable that I’d end up getting into writing. With my first attempt (loose as it was) being in the third grade, it didn’t take long for the bug to bite. The rest, as they say, is history.

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'?

TMH: Depends on what I’m writing. With my short stories, I generally do a rough plot sketch, with the idea I want to work in and the characters, but calling it an outline would be overkill. With my novels, I tend to go more with an outline, but I only put in as much detail as I need. And of course, sometimes it completely diverges from the “details” I put in the outline.

AL: It’s time to get personal! What's your favorite music?

TMH: I’m a big fan of 80s hair bands and 80s heavy metal (which I’m pretty sure is considered pop-rock now…go figure). There are a few songs and artists that I’ll break that bond for, but they’re few and far between.

AL: If you could have any car in the world; would it be a slow rider, or one that the wind has to hurry just to keep up with you?

TMH: As long as I didn’t have to pay for the gas or the insurance (or the tickets), I’d be up for a Boss 302 Mustang. It’s probably the same mental affliction that drives my musical taste, but I’m a sucker for muscle cars. Aside from this general aversion to spending money…

AL: What’s your favorite comfort food?

TMH: A perfectly baked homemade lasagna…too bad it’s so hard to find. You either get lasagna that’s overcooked/burned, or you end up with lasagna from a box. Ugh…

AL: If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?

TMH: All the juicy ones…but really, she’d probably complain about the fact that with all these other story ideas being fed to me over the years, I still stick with all the Aston tales. I swear, she’ll leave me one of these days over all this disrespect.

AL: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?

TMH: I’m hoping that in the next few years, my tales and characters will become more well-known in the general public, and even more, I’d like to start selling some subsidiary rights in the entertainment area. Most of my goals I set are ones I have complete control over, so I generally get them done (not always on schedule, but…). The things I’d like to obtain (an agent, major publishing contract, etc.) are all dependent on other people, unfortunately, so I don’t generally set those up as “goals” as much as I set goals that will lead to those happening.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

TMH: As much bad press as the Bible gets in modern society, it’s full of some really great quotes. My ultimate favorite (that I’ve found to be true each and every time), James 3:16, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Aston.

TMH: Thanks again for having me! It’s been a blast! And I can’t wait to give away some copies of my books to some lucky commenters!

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Aston please visit:

http://astonwest.com
http://twitter.com/astonwest
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Aston-West-Universe/172990236079324

FEATURED TITLE: SEEKER

Blurb:

Space pirate Aston West has been in trouble with the law before, so thinks nothing of a random cargo check. That is, until the authorities reveal their ace-in-the-hole, a woman they call the Seeker. She could unravel every illegal deed he's ever committed, putting him in risk of losing his freedom or even his life.

Excerpt:

Passing through the doorway into my living quarters, I tossed the empty bottle into a clothes pile, crinkling my nose at the stench. The entry hatch popped open as the pressures between the two ships equalized. Six automatic blast rifles were pointed directly at my chest, giving me the usual welcome I received in these circumstances.

Knowing the drill by heart, I clasped my fingers atop my head. Troops piled in, yelling jumbles of words at each other and at me. Someone kicked the back of my legs and a rifle barrel was shoved in my face as my kneecaps struck the metal floorboard.

“Don’t move, scum.”

In my youth, I would have taken exception to such treatment. Age and more than my fair share of holding cells had made me wiser. I bided my time quietly, since I had nothing to hide. A pair of troops tore apart my quarters while others ducked off into my aft cargo hold.

Testosterone flooded the compartment, and all of it was wasted. They were going through this exercise and would end up with nothing to show for it. I smiled, knowing I’d have the last laugh.

“Wipe that look off your face, dirtbag.”

I looked up into the fiery green eyes of my captor. His helmet matched the metallic gray body armor he wore. His nose and mouth were covered in black fabric, but nothing muffled him from running his mouth, unfortunately. “Answer me when I speak!”

I frowned at his abusive attitude, just in time for him to club my head with his rifle butt. He jerked the barrel back at my chest, while my skull throbbed.

The only thing preventing me from jumping up and pummeling him was the fact this would be over soon. I forced words through clenched teeth. “Yes, sir.”

It was good my Mark II blaster was hidden in a secret crevice next to the airlock. Had it been holstered under my jacket, I might have been shot dead like a wild animal, instead of just beaten down like a domesticated one.

Those inside my living quarters finally gave up the search just before the other troops came back from my cargo hold. Their dejected facial expressions told me everything I’d already known; there hadn’t been anything they could find to implicate me. A smile almost crept back onto my face, but I refrained. I really wasn’t in the mood to end up with a concussion.

Another man entered through the hatch, absent any sort of body armor. His dark gray shirt bore a pair of silver ornamental bars on each shoulder. He looked down upon me with all the contempt I’d expect out of a ship’s officer. “Take him to the interrogation chamber.”

My heart sank. It wasn’t supposed to go down like this. “Why?” I protested, before my captor’s blast rifle tagged me again.

I brought my eyes back into focus while another man’s voice carried through the room. “Lieutenant, this ship’s completely empty. There’s no contraband on-board.”

“We’ll see what else he has to hide. The seeker should get some useful information out of him.”

My two-time attacker yanked me to my feet. “Up, scum!”

Already in a poor mood for this unsubstantiated detainment, I pulled away. “Get your paws off me.”

His eyes went wide. He shoved the barrel against my chest. “Give me an excuse to drop you, punk.”

“Enough!” We both faced the officer, whose stare burned into the armored guard. “You have your orders.”

His eyes narrowed, nostrils flaring as he shoved me. “Move.”

The officer led the way. We ducked into the telescoping airlock tunnel, where I worried the spongy floor might bust through with each step. There weren’t enough words to express how thankful I was when my feet stepped inside the craft’s entry corridor. The rubberized floor panels and metallic hull were definitely welcome.

My senses were assaulted with an overwhelming aroma of honey. The mixture was a rare delicacy out here in the depths of space, something I’d only had a few times in life. I looked off to my left as the lieutenant started off in the opposite direction. A woman faced me, shimmering black dress brushing along the floor, her breasts jutting out against the fabric. A hand-crafted shawl was draped across her shoulders, the same color as her fire-like tresses, making it hard to tell where the garment ended and her hair began. Her eyes were two milky white globes against a face of smooth, pale skin. Her petite frame seemed as though it would break just by looking at her.

And look I did.

It wasn’t often I stood this close to such beauty, let alone caught a woman’s stare. At least I assumed she was looking at me. Those milky globes haunted me, somehow conveying warmth despite their cold, empty appearance. It was a shame she was so out of place standing between her escorts, a pair of tall, armor-clad monsters.

A bright flash blinded me. Quick glimpses, images, random visual fragments bombarded my vision. Two bodies, intertwined, slowly came into focus.

REMEMBER: T. M. Hunter would like to do a free book giveaway. Three winners of a signed copy of his short story collection Dead or Alive chosen at random from those who leave comments. He will also give a free book code for everyone who stops by, allowing them a free download of his novella Seeker. T. M. will announce the winners at the end of the week. Good luck!

20 comments:

keatonkat said...

Hi T.M.,

After reading that excerpt I'm really intrigued - sounds like a great read!! Good luck with it and your other books. Also thanks for the interview on the blog - it's always interesting to hear what goes on "behind the scenes" in an author's life.

keatonkat

Anonymous said...

Sounds really good, never read any of your books...yet. Thanks for the giveaway. ruthing73@hotmail.com

JackieW said...

I used to read The Hardy Boys along with Nancy Drew and The Bobbsey Twins books when I was young. Guess that's why I like to read so much these days.Thanks for the info on Seekers...sounds like a good story.
JFWisherd@aol.com

Jean P said...

Enjoyed reading the blurb for the Seeker, sounds like an interesting read. Enjoyed reading your interview.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

LuAnn said...

I also read some Hardy Boys, along with Nancy Drew, when I was a child.

reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

Sharon said...

This sounds good!
shshear

chey said...

Hi!
You are a new to me author. I like what I read int the blurb and excerpt!
chey127 at hotmail dot com

cherio1 said...

Seekers sounds like an excellent read! Can't wait to get it.

AstonWest said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Just got home from a little mini-vacation, where I sat out in the sun a wee bit too long. Burned arms make for some fun writing time...

Be sure to stop by at the end of the week for the free code for Seeker, and I'll announce the three winners of Dead or Alive at that same time.

joder said...

I love the sci-fi genre and love the sound of your novella! Thanks for joining us here and pointing me towards a new book.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

annalisa said...

Really enjoyed reading the blurb for your novella, Seeker. It sounds like an interesting book. I also enjoyed your interview. :)

Topsail246(at)aol(dot)com

AstonWest said...

Thanks, folks! Can't wait to give away some books at the end of the week. Seeker, along with all of my books and short stories, are definitely great reads.

Judy said...

Your books really sound very good. I enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the giveaway!

Judy
magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

Mousey said...

Seeker is a great read for anyone who is a fan of Aston West and great for readers who are thinking about starting. I've read all of them and always recommended T.M's books to my friends.
Great to see you're still doing smashingly T.M. ( I'm trying to use this word at least once a day, makes me feel... smashing! xD )
You're already up there with my favorite authors T.M. No pressure but keep up the good work. I'll be reading no matter what! :D

Ann Lory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Lory said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by to check out T.M.'s work.

And thank you, T.M. for spotlighting, again! :-D

Ann

AstonWest said...

Thanks, Mousey! I can't wait to spring my latest Aston West novel on the public at large. It will definitely be a smashingly great hit, just like Seeker will be. ;-)

Glad to be here, Ann! Only a few more days left before the code is revealed and the three signed print copies of DOA are sent out...

AstonWest said...

To give everyone a jump on getting theirs, head over to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/34637 and enter the following coupon code to get your copy of SEEKER for free.

ZL73M
(this code is only good until Friday, April 15, so be sure to click over there soon)

While you're there, check out the sample story "Entrapment" for free as well, which is one of the eleven stories in my short story collection DEAD OR ALIVE.

I'll be stopping by tomorrow evening with the three winners of the print copies of DEAD OR ALIVE, so if you haven't already entered, what are you waiting for? :-)

AstonWest said...

Be sure to get in your comments/entries before 6PM (Central), when I'll be picking our three winners!

AstonWest said...

Congratulations to keatonkat, JackieW and annalisa, who are our winners of the print copies...info should be on its way shortly.

Everyone else, be sure to stop on by Smashwords and pick up your copy of SEEKER while you can.

Thanks again to Ann for having me on the blog!