Author Interview

Interview with the author of Deuces Are Wild, O.E. Tearmann!

Base 1407 returns to help win back America’s freedom in uplifting continuation of the Aces HIgh, Jokers Wild series

Colorado – The stakes are higher than before as America starts to see the evils of the seven Corporations in O.E. Tearmann’s energetic sixth Aces High, Jokers Wild book, Deuces Are Wild (Amphibian Press, Jul 16, 2022). Will the crew of Base 1407 be able to help America win back its freedom?

They say to really free your body, you’ve gotta free your mind…

America is waking up. People are standing up for each other and a future worth living in. But they can’t do it alone.

Now, they don’t have to. The Democratic State Force is calling in all its friends and favors across the nation. Members of Base 1407 and hundreds of other teams across the country are teaching the citizens how to fight back on their terms, with tactics that hit the Corporations right where it hurts; in the wallet and the pride.

The seven Corporations who think they own the country are scrambling to keep control over the citizens’ communications, their decisions, and their lives. Every dirty trick is coming out of their bags as they lose their grip. It’s going to take a lot to beat them at this game for the country’s soul.

Life’s a bitch. She doesn’t play fair. Out-think her with every hand, and you might just win.

“Deuces Are Wild: An Aces High, Jokers Wild”
O.E. Tearmann | July 16, 2022
Amphibian Press | Science Fiction
Paperback | 978-1-949693-52-2 | $16.00
Ebook | 978-1-949693-53-9 | $4.99


O.E. Tearmann (they/them) is the author of the Aces High, Jokers Wild series. Their books include strong themes of diversity and found family, providing a surprisingly hopeful take on a dystopian future. Bringing their own experiences as a marginalized author together with flawed but genuine characters, Tearmann’s work has been described as “Firefly for the dystopian genre.” Publisher’s Weekly called The Hands We’re Given “a lovely paean to the healing power of respectful personal connections among comrades, friends, and lovers.”

Tearmann lives in Colorado with two cats, their partner, and the belief that individuals can make humanity better through small actions. They are a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, the Colorado Resistance Writers and the Queer Scifi group. In their spare time, they teach workshops about writing GLTBQ characters, speak and plant gardens to encourage sustainable agricultural practices, and play too many video games. Find out more about them at https://oetearmann.com

Follow O.E. Tearmann on social media:
Facebook: @WildCards | Twitter: @ETearmann | Instagram: @O.E.Tearmann

Interview:

Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!

A writing duo using the name O.E. Tearmann, we come from two different backgrounds. O.E. Tearmann is a pen name for a writing duo: Olivia Wylie and E.S. Argentum.

The O. in O.E. Tearmann, Olivia Wylie (she/her), is a professional horticulturist and business owner who specializes in the restoration of neglected gardens. When the weather keeps her indoors, she enjoys researching and writing about the plant world, the future, and the complexities of being human. Born in the deep woods of upper Wisconsin, she was raised among storytellers and sees writing as a continuation of a bone-deep tradition.

As the “E” in the O.E. Tearmann writing duo, E.S. Argentum (they/them) brings the same passion for diverse, character-driven stories seen in Aces High, Jokers Wild to their solo work. They have always loved writing, a love that started as a form of escape from boring classes in school and continued into a lifelong passion. When they’re not writing, they’re generally found playing video games, having existential crises, or napping with their cat.

So, whyTearmann?

Both Olivia and E.S. study the Irish language. In Irish, ‘tearmann’ is defined as: noun. A refuge, place of asylum, home or sanctuary. When these two authors decided to write a series centering healthy social bonds as the best way to deal with traumatic events, and giving agency to marginalized characters, it seemed only fitting to use a name that means ‘a sanctuary’.

 

Tell us about your book? How did it get started?

Deuces Are Wild is the most recent installment in the Aces High Jokers Wild series.

About The Series: It’s 2155, and seven corporations call the shots on the land that was the United States of America. Democracy is dead. The Corporations run the City Grids for a profit and own their workers body and soul. And freedom? That’s just a word in the news vids.

But there are people fighting for a change.

There’s a unit in the resistance, nicknamed the Wildcards. Officially Democratic State Force Base 1407, the Wildcards are fighters in the war to bring democracy back. They’re everything the Corporations discard and despise: dreamers and fighters, punks and freaks and geeks who won’t be told what to be or who to love. They’ve come up every walk of life to become the best unit the Democratic State Force has, and the family every one of them needs. And they are taking the Corps down, one day at a time.

 

Strap in for a series that’s been called ‘Firefly for the cyberpunk genre’.

Hang on tight.

 

About The Book:

They say to really free your body, you gotta free your mind…

 

America is waking up. People are standing up for each other and a future worth living in. But they can’t do it alone.

 

Now, they don’t have to. The Democratic State Force is calling in favors across the nation. Members of Base 1407 and hundreds of other teams across the country are teaching the citizens how to fight back on their terms, with tactics that hit the Corporations right where it hurts–in the wallet and the pride.

 

The seven Corporations that think they own the country are scrambling to keep control over the citizens’ communications, their decisions, and their lives. Every dirty trick is coming out of their bags as they lose their grip. It’s going to take a lot to beat them at this game for the country’s soul.

 

Life’s a bitch. She doesn’t play fair. Out-think her with every hand, and you might just win.

 

 

How do you create your characters?

How It All Got Started:

For Olivia and E.S., 2016 hit like a hammer. As cracks showed up in America’s democracy and our community seethed with strong emotions, we were both frantic with the need to do something useful. We’re not built to be out in the streets protesting, but we were sure that there had to be something for quiet activists like us.  During this time, we saw a lot of hopeful people end up in despair and, in some cases, turn cynical. We’d been hearing an awful lot of defeated ‘we’re screwed’ talk, and Olivia has a streak of scrappy resilience in her that sneers at defeatism. So she turned to her friend and said ‘fine, let’s start from ‘we’re screwed’. Let’s write something that starts at the nadir of what our society could become. And then let’s write our way out of the dark, to show people how it’s done.”

 

We decided to do this: we’d write our deepest fears for our culture out, and turn that writing into a story that would keep the hopes of people like us alive. We would set our characters down in the world we feared: a world of corporate control, paternalistic social structures, and permissive economic structures that allowed companies to own their workers from the cradle to the grave. And then we’d showcase how to hold your head high in even this dark world. We’d fill these stories with wit, and irreverence, punk rock and pranks. We’d write a found family showcasing the resolve to light a candle in the dark and fight for a world worth living in. We would write in coping strategies for anxiety and depression, both good and bad, and show them working or failing. In the backs of the books, we’d include a bunch of resources for LGBT and neurodiverse folks; when one of our readers turned to the last page of a book telling them that they had the right to ask for help and the ability to make change, we wanted there to be ways to get it right there, in front of them. If you want to take a look at those resources, they’re available at https://www.oetearmann.com/resources

So, we did the work. We did the research. We vetted the resources. And as we’re finishing up Book 6, we’re still doing it.  It’s gotten more complex as we’ve shifted the series’ focus to Tweak, a neurodivergent woman of color with C-PTSD. We’ve had to get a lot more accurate in our research. She’s dealing with a lot of touchy subjects, and it’s essential to get things right.

Has it been worth it?

Short answer: yes.

It helped us, writing these stories. Writing these stories helped us. It helped us to say to ourselves ‘hey, even if the absolute worst happens in America? Some day, in some way, it will get better.’

It helped readers to read these books. We’ve gotten emails and had conversations with readers about how grateful they are to see characters like themselves be heroes on the page. And it helped, just a little, change the conversations around us.

Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)

Olivia creates a playlist for each of our books, because it helps her focus. Since she put fractures in both wrists a few years back, she is very careful to sit with good posture at a proper desk to do her writing. But it is a very cozy desk, with a spot for a pot of tea and snacks.

E.S. loves a good coffee shop to write in, with the comforting buzz of people and coffee makers helping to ground them and keep them from drifting off into their own mental clouds.

How do you get your ideas for writing?

From a lot of places. Olivia has a grounding in the sciences and history, and she reaches into those areas to say ‘what could happen if…’

E.S. is more of the interpersonal type, and draws a lot of ideas and plots from personal situations, especially the ways we screw each other up and help each other out.

 

What do you like to read?

Olivia reads a lot (A Lot) of history, ecology, comparative economics, and general science books. She leavens this diet with a lot of Terry Pratchett, Becky Chambers, Catherynne Valente, Charles De Lint and Ray Bradbury. She listens to the works of Gail Carriger and Kim Stanley Robinson, a lot of podcasts and audiobooks of old cozy mysteries and fantasy.

E.S. doesn’t read as much as they’d like to, but they will always love Tamora Pierce, Neil Gamian,  and anything cozy and kind.

 

What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?

Be brave, my friend. Hold your head high. And do not stop.

 

 

Denise Alicea
the authorDenise Alicea
This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc

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