Lokians: Book 1 Beyond the End of the World
Genre: Science Fiction
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m from Brescia, Italy but currently reside in Florida. Writing wasn’t always my passion. I hadn’t ever considered writing as a career path until the beginning of 2011. I had some weird dream where in I was lucid enough to view it from two perspectives, myself and a character. The dream was disturbing enough to compel me to attempt jotting it down. So I did.
The completion of one piece, even though very short, jumpstarted something within. Since then I’ve plugged away practically everyday. During my writing escapades Science fiction became a passion but any story I can generate is fun to write.
Currently I have Lokians: Book1 Beyond the End of the World at www.eternalpress.biz as well as Shadowman at www.damnationbooks.com, releasing September 1st. Then there are a couple of shorts up on www.smashwords.com. I’m trying to start a new sci-fi movement with my Lokians series so I also threw up a wikia page, www.sciencefictionwriters.wikia.com where anyone interested in sci-fi can check me, and others, out or contribute their own stuff.
Currently I’m refining An Enchanting Tale, a fantasy story going up piece by piece at www.fanfiction.net based on The Elderscrolls game series. Lastly I’m typing away at Lokians: Book 3 For War and Glory as Book 2 They Lurk Among Us, has been accepted by Eternal Press.
I can be found on twitter @authaarondennis and have a FB author page at https://www.facebook.com/Lokians.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Lokians: Book 1 Beyond the End of the World is the first installment of my sci-fi series. It started simply enough as a short story, back when I thought that was the ticket to fame, but writing it as a short didn’t seem feasible.
It needed a background, a way to familiarize or instill the underlying world on the audience. From a short, it developed into a novella. When it was originally completed I didn’t like the ending so I worked around with different ideas until I found the right one, an open ending leading into a sequel. I then re-tweaked it into what it is now, the first in a series.
In short, Beyond the End of the World is an action/thriller. I poured hours of research making certain that my science fiction was backed by reasonable science fact, rocket engine designs, wormholes, string theory. Once the underlying universe was well defined I set to work on the characters, mostly a special operations team working for Earth Navy.
While the technology is interesting, and the characters are all uniquely designed, I feel the aliens might just be the coolest aspect. It’s called Lokians because they are prevalent throughout the series, Lokians being an insect-like race of aliens that travel the galaxy in search of advanced civilizations. The Thewls, a benevolent race of jellyfish skinned humanoids, ask the Humans for help in locating a third race of aliens believed to have had a hand in Human origins.
How do you create your characters?
Well I’m glad you asked. Honestly I just throw a name together, a loose description, and few unique mannerisms or idioms. An instant favorite was Ensign Martinez in Beyond the End of the World. He’s essentially a “go get ‘em” type of hero. While he isn’t the protagonist, everyone seems to like him. I chose the name first, Octavio Martinez, Marty for short. He’s a short, powerfully built, Puerto Rican who constantly says “Ya heard?” at the ends of his sentences.
By the time he was defined he won the hearts of many. The other characters develop the same way. Naturally the more integral a character is the more he/she is defined. I do my best to make sure everyone has a different voice. For instance, the Captain, and main character, is named O’Hara. He’s a logical man and a natural leader so I made his speech blunt but commanding. As a slight comical twist I gave him some slight issues when using the bathroom.
For the most part, I don’t try to confine my characters, but simultaneously, I don’t homogenize them either. It isn’t a difficult process, though when I create an original character I like to have a scrap sheet of paper handy with the basic description and mannerisms. Then I just let them go. Eventually they make their own decisions, which either help or hinder the story, always for the better.
What inspires and what got your started in writing?
Nothing inspires me, blunt I know but it’s the truth. I got started with the strange dream I had. My original goal was to write a series of horror shorts and go from there. Fate had something else in store. After I officially completed Lokians: Book 1 Beyond the End of the World, writing the second one was rather easy.
To date, Book: 2 They Lurk Among Us has been accepted by Eternal Press and I’m working on Book: 3 For War and Glory. I don’t see an end in sight for the Lokians series. So much has happened, and has to happen, and still more continues to happen as each one is written.
In the long run I’m hoping to retire Starwars. It’s a classic, it’s great, but it’s from the 70’s. It’s time for something new, something I call a Sci fi invasion and only the Lokians can bring it about.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
Oh that’s god stuff. I don’t mind throwing back a few Rob Roy McDennises, those would be Rob Roys made with Sweet Vermouth instead of Dry. I don’t need the drink but I do enjoy it. Truthfully all I need is my computer.
Music helps with the imagery. I think in the future, maybe with Lokians: Book 4, I’m going to write every word with Fusion Jazz playing behind me. For the action scenes I like to listen some gritty stuff, maybe a little Chevelle or Tool. I like to imagine my action scenes in slow-mo like the movie 300.
In truth I like being home fiddling around with my ideas. Friends and family can be a distraction and I don’t like the underlying feeling I get while I’m distracted. My drive constantly keeps me going and I’m much happier plugging away at home then spending time with others. I am not by any means an introvert. I simply don’t like passing time, which is what I would be doing if I were hanging out.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
They’re in my head already. I’m a pretty wacky guy, always thinking about aliens, space travel, fantasy in general. I also like to study science. Recently I bought an astrophysics textbook just to read. Mentally fooling around with the ideas creates a story. Then it’s just a matter of adding characters.
My dreams have always been vivid too and they mostly revolve around aliens, robots, unbelievable worlds. I wouldn’t think I could come up with that stuff on my own but evidently I do. It’s an easy transference to paper. My command over the English language helps to provide the audience my own mental concatenations.
On occasion I’m not certain how I want to get from one scene to another so I just skip over the transition. I find that arriving at the conclusion of the plot often allows for good transitions to occur pots-facto. At that point it’s a simple matter to make it appear as though it was something pre-planned.
What do you like to read?
Nothing, well, until recently that is. Some of the other Eternal Press authors are pretty great. I read Dina Rae’s Halo of the Damned and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then in a sort of review exchange, I read Hunting the Five by Maria Violante, not an EP author but great none the less. Both are paranormal fantasy dealing with angels and demons.
I consider the genre to be outside my realm, not because I write sci-fi but because I like to watch paranormal fantasy; Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, and thought reading it would be boring, but I was mistaken. These gals are talented authors.
Other than that I generally read Non-Fiction. I enjoy education. The entirety of Carlos Castaneda’s work are probably my favorite books. I consider them Non-Fiction though others might argue.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Just get the story down. Revisions will come later. Once the story is down you can fix whatever you like. It’s better to do so than to try to fix each paragraph or even each chapter. You can tackle each chapter as a short story too if it helps.
Whatever you do, don’t judge yourself until after you’ve revised and read and re-revised and re-read your own work. No one is ever completely satisfied and all stories can constantly be made better but that’s the curse of being an author, we create entire universes, sets of rules for reality, etc.
I’ve already given a subtle suggestion on transitions so instead I’ll suggest that if anyone has difficulty in creation then listen to music, look at pictures related to the genre, or read another book. Of course I don’t suggest plagiarism but pretty much any topic has been discussed at this stage of the game so don’t worry if your friend says I just read something like that, it’s all in the delivery. Insect-like aliens have existed since Alien and again in Starship Troopers but I use them differently.
Spend some time alone. Really take some time to ponder over what you have in your head. Get together with some people and talk about the topic. Listen to their input, often times they come up with their own cockamamey ideas, don’t feel bad about discarding those because it’s your book, but sometimes their questions can force you to generate an answer you had not previously considered.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Do we have time for a blurb and excerpt?
(Feel free to use whatever you like I understand space and time are limited)
A menacing threat appears from the far reaches of space. Humans, only recently able to colonize outside the Sol system, discover ancient alien beacons on planet Eon. Earth Navy and her special operations team led by Captain Riley O’Hara form an alliance with the Thewls, a benevolent people from the Spider nebula. Together they go in search for the elusive travelers.
As the impending threat approaches, two strange Humans join the Thewls and Captain O’Hara’s team. Agent Adams and Agent Franklin claim they are from The Bureau, a privatized organization that deals with any subject extraterrestrial. Together they heed the words of the Thewlian Ambassador, Weh. He tells them of Lokians, a radical race of insects hybridized with the technologies of the peoples they previously eradicated.
Many centuries ago the Lokians came and attacked the benevolent Thewls. After one defeat by Thewlian hands, they came again. They were stronger, faster, deadlier. Thewls and Lokians fought for weeks. Suddenly dancing lights appeared in the sky. The travelers had come to turn the tides. Seeking help once more and convinced the Lokian threat will target Humans, Ambassador Weh advises Captain O’Hara to help find the travelers.
After a harsh battle in space and the frozen outskirts of planet Sahagun, Captain O’Hara and crew find only one traveler. He helps the allied forces secure an ancient traveler vessel. With the new ship the Human crew can travel into subspace and battle the evil Lokian queen. Will weapons be enough? Can the Captain, his men, and the two Agents defeat a force as powerful as the Lokians? Find out in Lokians: Book One Beyond the End of the World, the first installment of the new science fiction series.
“Break away!” The Admiral’s voice came in the pilots’ earpieces again.
“What now?!” Sara yelled.
“Stay calm and listen to him.” The younger voice said.
“O.K.” Sara said quietly as she and the Thewl fighters scrambled to brake off.
The enemy fighters followed the transporters. They massed about the Thewl Carrier creating a full dome around the massive ship. In response the Admiral gave orders to fire the arc laser. The Thewl fighters eased away to avoid friendly fire. The white beam spiraled cutting through the Lokians like a hot laser knife through bug butter. Determined and single minded, the Lokians held firm. They kept firing at the Carrier. The field generators started overloading under the pressure of attack. While the field itself did not take damage the generating components were frying from angry red beams. A few patches were shutting off and the vessel started taking surface damage.
The bridge was alive with buzzing sounds and flashing lights.
“Admiral! We’re taking damage.” A Thewl screamed.
Admiral Yew took the broad speaker, “All hands ordered to the center-most decks aboard the ship. We’re taking some fire but we’re giving back double!”
The external decks were designed to operate with lockouts. This not only conserved power but saved lives. Outside those lockout systems the arc laser continued to shred through the enemy as the friendly fighters kept their distance.
“Absolutely brilliant” Sara said amazed.
After a moment the arc laser powered down.
“Engage men!” The coordinator ordered.
Sara nodded to herself. She moved in as she fired. Below her, on the cannon deck, a Thewl let loose his own blasts when he found the opportunity to hit an enemy transporter. Still the battle raged on as the Thewl fighters concentrated their fire on the small Lokians killing three, four, and sometimes five at a time. Rapidly the enemy dwindled in numbers and power. Suddenly they disbanded. They were hurling themselves towards the planet.
“They’re fleeing? No. They’re engaging the ground crew!” Sara yelled.
“Stay calm, Human.” The coordinator replied.
Thanks so much for having me. It was a blast. I’ve been great.