Blog Tour: Tattoos by Stacy Overby

Standard

Tattoos by Stacy OverbyOne hushed cry in the middle of the night, and Eli Thorson’s life unravels. A highly trained Black Ops specialist, he is used to danger, but Eli’s path forces him to confront the illusions he’s been taught his whole life — ones that make him question all the good he thought he was doing.

Unable to work for a command that defiles the oaths he swore, he works to untangle the web of lies and deceit he finds woven throughout his worlds. The tattooed marks of his profession run more than skin deep. As a Specialist it is his duty to protect the people, the laws, and all the United Earth Government stands for, even if it means taking down the entire Black Ops division to do it.


Happy Hump Day!

I’ve got a special treat for you guys today. I’m participating in the blog tour for Stacy Overby’s new release, Tattoos! Stacy’s a great writer and I’m super excited to help promote her work and share this interview.

Without further ado, here’s Stacy Overby!

Tell me a bit about the book you’re promoting. What inspired it?

Tattoos came from a love of science fiction. However, I tend to shy away from a lot of hard sci-fi because I lose focus and can’t engage well with the story for all the science being added to the stories. Maybe it’s just because I didn’t find good hard sci-fi, not sure. But I wanted sci-fi more reminiscent of Star Wars, where the characters and the story were the bigger players. The space and science type stuff were there, but played more of a supporting role. Combine that with a healthy dose of “Oh crap, NaNoWriMo starts in two days. What am I writing about?”, and Tattoos was born back in 2011.

Favorite author(s)?

This question keeps coming up and I struggle every time to answer it. There are so many good authors out there I have a hard time picking just one. For big name authors, I tend to go with Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Anne Bishop, and Anne McCaffery. They have such a knack for great story-telling with characters who feel real. Indie authors are just as tough because I have the privilege of knowing so many who are wonderful. I’d have to put JK Allen, Rebekah Jonsey, Rebecca Pierce, Robert Cano, Eric Keizer, and Sam DeLoach on my list. They all have a gift for bringing the reader into their words, be it in poetry or in verse, and creating something bigger as a result.

Favorite underrated read?

I would have to go with the Major Ariane Kedros series by Laura E. Reeve. It’s a military sci-fi series that I stumbled across, but rarely hear much about. I think Reeve did a nice job of balancing the science part of the science fiction with the story and character elements.

Who/What influences your work?

Obviously, Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had an influence. I can’t pull off the truly absurd the way Adams did, but I love the “anything goes” way he wrote and it all worked in the end. It’s that daring that I aspire to. Honestly, though, some of the themes and a lot of the emotion stems from my day job. I’m the program director for an adolescent substance abuse/mental health treatment program. I used to be a case manager for them for 4 years prior to taking the director position. In that time I’ve heard so many dark, scary, heart-breaking, angering, frustrating, hurtful, etc. stories from kids it’s almost unbelievable. Part of my own self care with all of that has become my writing. I channel all of that into my fictional/poetical worlds. That’s why they so often take a darker bent. Not always, though. There are some lighter spots.

What’s your ideal writing space? What’s your actual writing space?

Let me start with my actual writing space. It’s pretty much anywhere I am in that five minutes. Between my job, my other hobbies, and my family’s stuff, I’m so all over the place, I’ve had to learn to write on the fly. The backs of receipts dug out of my purse while putting gas in have been fair game in the past, as has the margins of flyers sitting poolside at my son’s swimming lessons.

Ideally, I’d have a nice office type spot with a couch and that is totally off limits to anyone else in my house. It’s also not allowed to collect all the clutter and junk because that’s the convenient place to throw it. Lots of windows and light as well. Plus good speakers for music and room for yoga. I’d also have family pictures along with my various fandom stuff up everywhere.

How do you get in “the zone” before sitting down to write? Do you have any rituals?

Again, I tend to forego most rituals for time’s sake. However, one thing that does help me stay in “the zone” is that I build playlists for my major projects. That way, I can listen to them while I’m driving or doing things where I can’t write. They keep me in the right frame of mind for the characters and events in the book. Here’s the post I did sharing some of my playlist for Tattoos – thisisnothitchhikersguide.com/2018/12/15/my-soundtrack-for-tattoos/

What’s the first thing you ever wrote?

Ever, ever? That was a really bad piece back in about third grade with a wizard and an elf and I don’t remember what else. I even got another kid in my class to draw some pictures to go with it. Man, I thought I was cool with that story. I wonder if I still have that somewhere…

What piece of advice would you give a young writer just starting out?

It’s a tough business to be in. I know it’s easy to think that all you’ve got to do is put words on a page and how hard can that be? But there’s so much more. Getting that story down is only the first step of a long journey. Persevere, though, and that journey is so worth it. All the work that comes after getting those first words down is about making sure every possible bit of that story looks its best and shines as beautiful as possible. It’s also about getting that story in front of readers to enjoy. Remember that when the road gets tough and you want to quit. I don’t know that anyone loves your story as much as you do. It deserves all of that work to be the best it can so that readers can see it for the amazing story it is.

When you’re not writing, what are you up to?

Sleeping? Wait, I already gave most of that up. Kidding, mostly. I love spending time outside. Hiking, camping, photography. It’s all great. I also love spending time with my family. My son’s six now and he’s getting into Cub Scouts, swimming, and such. So we spend quite a bit of time at the pool or Cub Scout events. I also quilt and crochet. Oh, and I love to cook. At least when I have time.

You can purchase Tattoos at the following links:


As always, think happy thoughts!

Advertisements

Side-Effects

Standard

As much as I don’t want to put another story on my plate, today’s #ThursThreads prompt inspired another piece in Selah and Nate’s story.

Prompt: “Glad you think so.”

Enjoy!


Nate’s nap did little to improve our moods. Not that I expected it to help me at all, but still. He said little, and I knew better at this point than to try to stir conversation –  especially while I stuck him with needles and hooked him up to all manner of machines. On the bright side, almost everything was normal.

Almost.

Everything seemed fine until I withdrew the needle that had been taking blood samples. I prepared a cotton swab and bandage to cover the wound while it bled, but I didn’t need them.

“You’re not bleeding.”

“What? You got your samples, didn’t you?” He pointed at the vials on the nearby table.

“Yeah, but look,” The spot on his arm where I stuck the needle showed no sign of even a prick, “You should be bleeding now, but there’s nothing.” I wiped at the spot, even applied a bit of pressure to see if it would bleed. Nothing. “Give me your hand.”

Though reluctant, he did as I said. I reached for a clean needle and pricked his finger. No blood. “So what does that mean?”

“Your cells are repairing themselves fast enough to stop any bleeding.” I turned to my notebook and wrote that down. “That’s incredible.”

Caught up in the discovery, I didn’t stop myself before muttering it aloud.

“Glad you think so.”

“Sorry.” Mentally kicking myself, I went back to being quiet before turning my attention to the vials, focusing on searching for more serum-induced abnormalities.


What other side effects will Selah find?

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads – Hiding

Standard

Another peek into Selah and Nate’s ongoing struggles.

Prompt: “This isn’t the first time.”


“Sorry about the dust. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to hide here, but I try not to come back often. Safer that way.”

Nate’s eyes widened. At least he was emoting again. “You took enough money to fund this place, and they didn’t notice?”

The bunker was just a few rooms, aside from the lift. For obvious reasons, I dedicated the most square footage to my lab. I had everything I needed to figure out how the serum changed him. Across the large room, one door led to the sleeping space/kitchenette, and the other to the bathroom. The room’s lights flickered to life as we walked across.

I shrugged. “I was in charge of company finances and embezzlement is surprisingly easy to get away with when no one is looking. Plus, I’d been planning on leaving for years before I actually did.”

“You were in charge of finances?”

“Keeping me out of R&D was supposed to keep me in line.” I led him across the room. “Bed’s through here.” Opening the door, I showed him the cot and where I kept my vacuum sealed sheets and blankets. “Get some sleep while I wipe the place down.”

I turned to leave, but he reached out, stopping me with an icy-cold grip. “Selah, about before-”

“Don’t.” This close, his lack of body heat was a stark reminder of what I did to him. “You have every right to be upset. Just sleep. I’ll get you when the lab is ready.”


As always, think happy thoughts!

Four Letter F Word

Standard

I keep meaning to contribute to this story more regularly, but the drive just isn’t there. Anyway, excuses excuses. Here’s a bit inspired by #ThursThreads.

Prompt: It’s going to be fine.

Enjoy!


He didn’t speak again, and I couldn’t tell if he didn’t want to, or he was holding back. Whatever it was, I embraced silence for the remainder of the ride. When I stopped the car, I could hardly see past its headlights, but I couldn’t help my relief.

“Where are we?”

In the middle of the woods, the bunker was two hours from the nearest town and underground.

“Stay in the car.” I hurried out without checking if he did, and moved toward a specific tree. Feeling for the knot near the bottom, I found it and pushed. A mechanical whir called me back to the car, to a slot that opened in the ground, revealing a touch screen. Pressing my palm to the screen, I waited a moment before the ground shook and I retreated back into the car.

“What was that?”

“We take a lift down.” We started our descent, engulfed in darkness as the ground closed above. “I spent years building this place. We’ll be safe here.”

“Where did you get the resources? I thought you were cut off?”

We reached the bottom, and the lights flickered on. His eyes were trained on mine.

“I left with more than just the clothes on my back. They never noticed the missing money.” I shrugged. “I have a lab, we can…we can figure out what the serum did to you.”

“Okay.” He looked away, a struggle on his face.

“It’s going to be fine.” It had to be.


As always, think happy thoughts!

Consequences

Standard

I’ll keep this short and sweet.

It’s a miracle I’ve actually typed something up today! Didn’t think I’d participate two weeks in a row, but here we are!

Prompt: “I think we pushed too far.”

It’s also a continuation of last week’s piece! I think I’ll be making a new category for it so I’ll group the posts together and treat it as another serial. Not yet, though. Need to settle into this story a bit more before I make that commitment. Enjoy!


I still can’t believe I managed to get him back to my bunker. Watching Nate lie on the couch, his body numb while the serum works, I can’t help but offer up a silent prayer of gratitude. Still, we aren’t out of the fire yet and it’s only a matter of time before our location is compromised.

“I think we pushed too far.” Though his body has all but shut down to recover, he can still speak, and follows my pacing with his eyes.

“You don’t say.”

“I mean, we shouldn’t have risked you being in the lab, Selah.” When I look at him again, his eyes aren’t on me anymore, but on the ceiling. “Maybe given it a few more days.”

“While you might be right, what would have happened tonight if you’d been alone? Or if no one had been there to grab a sample?” The vial, half empty after using some on Nate, is heavy in my hand, its contents looking innocent enough. Does the company know someone would try to steal it? Well, someone other than me.

Does my father know?

“For all we know, that was a reaction to you being there.” At his words and the sight of him, immobile after only an hour ago being at death’s door, guilt settles in my chest.

“Maybe.”

“I didn’t mean-”

“No. But it’s my fault you were shot. My fault you took the serum.” And whatever happens to him as a result is on me, too.


Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Update:

Earned an honorable mention for this one!

thursthreadshm_51_orig

A new serial? Maybe

Standard

Hello!

It’s been more than a while since I’ve poked around in here. In the time I’ve been MIA, things at work have gotten a bit crazy, my extracurriculars have gotten away from me, and I’ve taken up yoga! I’ve also been working on editing Secondhand Soul and continuing my rewrite of A Vampire’s Bride (still trying to come up with a new title for that one, too).

I keep meaning to at least do a prompt a week, but it just isn’t happening. So I’ll do them when I can. Thus, here I am!

A few of the recent prompt responses I’ve done have revolved around Selah and Nate, and a thing tentatively titled The Flamel Project. This is something that I’ve had on the back burner for a very long time – we’re talking years. It’s more sci-fi than fantasy, so definitely not my strong suit, hence why I haven’t worked on it. But it’s an idea that’s starting to take more and more of my attention, so I think I’ll work on it like I did on my other serials. Update when I can, and eventually I’ll have something akin to a draft.

And so here’s a snippet from that, courtesy of this week’s #ThursThreads prompt.

Prompt: “It can’t be too late.”

Continue reading

Hop on #TuesFlashFicTrain – Week 1.5

Standard

It’s that time of the week again!

I don’t know how many of you guys out there are into science and NASA, but even if you’re not, I’m sure you heard about yesterday’s announcement. The possibility of liquid water on Mars! How exciting is that? I, for one, thought it was pretty cool. Space in general has always fascinated me and it was one of two topics (dinosaurs being other other one) that kept me interested in science class as a kid. Couple that discovery with the super blood moon eclipse and it was a good few days to be an astronomy lover. Those two things got me thinking about what kind of prompt I wanted to present for this week’s attempt to get things going.

So, for this week, I want you to write about celestial bodies (planets, moons, asteroids, basically anything you can find in space!). Your characters could be traveling to a celestial body, or discovering/observing a new one, whatever you want! Get as creative as possible – sci-fi is a wonderful genre full of endless possibility. You can write something outrageous, or keep it simple – it’s up to you!

Remember, keep it under 400 words & submit your response in the comment section below. Don’t forget to include your twitter handles and/or other social media links for promotion! Submissions close Wednesday at 8PM – tell your friends!

Questions, suggestions? Check out the rules in more detail and/or drop me a line!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Image Credit: Image found via Google Image Search on pics-about.space.