I’m very pleased to welcome Robert Roman to my blog today. Bob and I have been writing buddies for a while now, and there’s a reason: I enjoy his stories! I’m reading both of his online Juke Pop Serials, and I want to find out how they end, so please…go out and give them votes!
And now, without further ado, here’s Bob:
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m writing two simultaneous serials at the moment, as well as holding down a full time (645a-445p) teaching job, so the idea of “when I’m not writing” sounds a little silly, but lately my free time has been spent playing Mass Effect 3 with my wife and Pokemon with my son.
What would you do with a time machine?
I’m a big Doctor Who fan; what wouldn’t I do with a time machine?
What do you enjoy reading? What’s in your TBR pile?
Of course! I’ve just finished rereading the Wheel of Time series, and I’m waiting to get my hands on the last book. I’ve also just caught up with the Dresden Files, read Redshirts, and started reading the Old Man’s War series. That’s about all that’s in my TBR pile for certain right now.
What authors have influenced your writing?
Tolkien. Moorcock. Cooper. Weber. Lackey. Ringo. Jordan. Butcher. Westerfeld. Sanderson. Briggs.
Also, and he gets his own paragraph because I am a huge fanboy, Pratchett.
What genre(s) do you write in? What attracts you to it/them?
Ah, the Genre question! I write in Steam Punk, Fantasy (both Urban and Contemporary), Science Fiction and, occasionally, Romance. Much to the dismay of everyone who tries to sell my work, I often do so all at the same time.
I’ve been told by my friend Maureen (and others) that I actually write Horror, but that’s not true. I…just frequently find myself using the elements of Horror when writing my fiction. I think the reason I do that is because Horror, like Romance, evokes such visceral reactions, whereas the stereotypical Science Fiction or Fantasy story evokes very ephemeral, intellectual reactions, and sometimes those just aren’t what I’m going for. Fantasy and Science fiction both have the potential to show very vivid, moving things, and I try to do that. Sometimes I even succeed.
I’ve also been told I write humor, only not really. Some said I take all of the elements of a completely over the top, campy humor story and then write them completely seriously. Which, if you think about it, may be another place the Horror comes from.
What’s your day job? Does it affect your writing?
I’m a teacher, and it does. First and foremost, it takes up an enormous amount of raw time. I mentioned the 645 to 445 schedule before, and that’s before any time spent grading papers, preparing lessons, or anything like that. The extra time mostly goes to working with my students in a mentor capacity. I work at an Urban school, and a lot of the kids don’t have any adults they trust. I figure for every non-school question I answer, that’s another few minutes (hours? days?) they have to spend thinking about school stuff.
On the other hand, my students inspire me. I see kids walking to school every single day with no coat, and I’ve found out later they’re doing it because there’s no one at home to buy them a coat, because “home” is an abandoned building. When a kid like that is making it to school every day, I have no excuse why I can’t spend an hour writing every day.
Also, some of my students are just such… characters. For example, if ever one of my characters says “made me feel some kinda way,” one of my students (she knows who she is, and she’s a “Genius!”) is directly responsible.
Note…Bob didn’t mention it here, but if you go out to his website, you’ll see that he plans to split half the money he earns from writing between his school science lab and his student Anime, SF, Game & Writing Club. You can help just by reading and voting for his online Juke Pop serials (fun, easy & free!) Check out http://www.robertcroman.com/ to learn more.
Tell us about your new release.
One of my two current serials is Blank, a Young Adult Space Opera. It’s an ongoing YA serial, so a hard wordcount isn’t available, but I expect it to wind up around 70,000 words. It’s the first in a three book planned series.
Describe the hero &/or heroine in three words each. What two words best sum up their relationship?
– Dustie (the Heroine) – Focused, Haunted, Conflicted
– Tomas (Hero #1 (there’s always a love triangle)) – Solid, Prepared, Considerate
– Guy (Hero #2) – Dashing, Snarky, Secretive
– Dustie & Tomas – Cyrano, Roxanne
– Dustie & Guy – Primal, Misunderstood
Who is your favorite character from this book? (Can you include an excerpt involving this character?)
(See below for excerpt.)
What other titles do you have published? (Please include a brief sentence or two about each.)
– Blue Bloods Everyday heroes gifted with superpowers in the wake of global catastrophe!
– The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones – A mother is betrayed at 30,000 feet, a motherless daughter finds peril in the middle of a war. Steam (Diesel Steam) Punk!.
– A Christmas Evening Vigil – Sequel to Cap Jones. Leigh Abrams comes into her own. Steam Punk Christmas Sweet Military Romance with Heroic Cyborg Zombies and Skateboarding Diesel Powered Giant Mecha.
– Road Mage – A handicapped mage with a checkered past must fight against an evil sorcerer everyone else thinks is a hero (strong language)
– Fae Eye for the Golem Guy – Micah Slate has fallen for Ophilia Morgan, but she doesn’t know he exists. Leave it to his Pixie Godfather to make things right! (Adults Only, some explicit scenes.)
– What Not to Fear – Sequel to Fae Eye. Michaela Miles is a fallen angel trying to make her way as a police officer. Her new partner, George Matthew Franklin, (Micah and Ophilia’s godson) isn’t making that any easier, and the demon stalking the town is just the icing on the cake. Pixie Godfathers to the rescue again! (Adults Only, some explicit scenes.)
Where can my readers find you?
Where can my readers find your books?
– Blank (free, but please vote!) – https://www.jukepopserials.com/home/read/73/
– Blue Bloods (free, but please vote!) – https://www.jukepopserials.com/home/read/74/
– The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones – http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Capricious-Jones-Angel-ebook/dp/B0043EVBJI/
– A Christmas Evening Vigil – http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Evening-Vigil-Angel-ebook/dp/B004EEPNQE/
– Road Mage – http://www.amazon.com/Road-Mage-ebook/dp/B00408A6RU/
– Fae Eye for the Golem Guy – http://www.amazon.com/Fae-Eye-Golem-Artifice-ebook/dp/B003ZDO3NY/
– What Not to Fear – http://www.amazon.com/What-Not-Fear-Artifice-ebook/dp/B0058V1QLI/
I stood transfixed, staring at the beautiful, deadly armor at the far end of the bay, until the sound of a throat clearing startled me out of my reverie. I turned to face the young man I assumed was the Middie First, a little surprised that my clone father’s memories hadn’t sparked at the sight of the Dragon armor. I opened my mouth to report, and a thousand images washed over me. Grace, her hair a living beacon of red and gold. Her augments, green fire crackling across her skin, frying ‘Sect and ‘Mech and Vulg’ alike, no matter which dared touch her. Her armor, viper fast, incalculably strong, and powered by the captured heart of a collapsed star, flashing scarlet and gold in the light of a dying ‘Sect dreadnaught.
I came back to myself at the Middie First’s deep bass bark. I gripped his left hand in my right, squeezing across the palm in a crusher grip, holding it centimeters from my shoulder. By the look of him, he could have broken the hold without trying, but for some reason he was just staring at me. With arms that thick and a chest that broad, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he could break me in half at the waist. A quick glance at his armor, gaping open like a steamed clam, corrected my earlier mistake. He wasn’t piloting training armor, he was piloting a suit of heavily reinforced combat armor with absolutely no decoration, just the gray on white of a unit assigned to a school ship. I looked back at him, only to find him staring pointedly at my fingers gripping his hand.
“Sorry.” I let go of him, pulling my hand behind my back. Trying to make amends, I nodded toward his armor. “That looks really durable.”
He grinned, shaking his hand as he did so. I knew I hadn’t really hurt him, but it was nice of him to act like it. “Thanks. I’m gonna major in Armoring when I make Senior.” Despite his grin, he didn’t meet my eye. Instead he gestured to the EVA suit. “Commandant DeLann is waiting.”
I took First Officer Quick’s hint and got myself into the suit. When my sopping wet dress uniform stuck in one of the sleeves, the First grabbed it and pulled it up over my arm. One limb at a time, he helped me force the EVA suit on over my recalcitrant uniform. Finally he pulled the seal shut on the front. He tried to anyway. He stopped with one hand on each lapel, looking anywhere but my breasts. I sighed, grabbed the lapels away from him, and forced the seals shut. He moved to pull the helmet over my head, but I brushed him away and seated it myself.
The moment the helmet sealed, the world went silent save for my own breath and the quiet squish of sodden fabric. The First blushed and stepped away. He backed into his armor, slamming his arms into the forearm grips as he did. It closed over him, the armored plates, long curved claw-arms and short, powerful legs giving it almost crab-like appearance.
I hadn’t done much EVA work in the Rim Fleet. Out on the edge, we practiced for powered armor combat, but we mostly thought anyone who came all the way from another galaxy with a fight in mind would be riding in something that would take serious ship-based weapons to deal with. I’d have to get used to the way the rest of the Imperial Fleets relied on their Armor for just about everything. Without a set of armor of my own, I was stuck in an EVA suit like a little kid or a Civ.
The First finished his preflight and reached out with one big, claw-like hand to pick me up. I stiffened at being treated like a child, but the bay was already venting to vacuum. With no air in the room his externals wouldn’t pick it up if I shouted at him, and he hadn’t opened a com line. All I could do was fume quietly while he carried me to the bay door.
Once we left the bay, the view washed my anger clean away. Stars like a solid, glowing belt arced across the endless black of space. Beauty warred with claustrophobia somewhere in my gut, and despite all I’d been through today, beauty was winning. Before I could soak it all in, the First engaged his armor’s drives, turning us about and pushing us away from the bay. After a minute or so, we spun about and there, like a huge buckle on the broad belt of the Milky Way, my new home glowed brilliant red and gold.
“Gorgeous, isn’t it?”
I hadn’t heard the click of the com line opening, and for a moment I was too overwhelmed by the stars and ship to reply. My claustrophobia was fighting a heroic delaying action in the pit of my stomach, but my heart was racing and my eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head. I wanted nothing more than to stay right here ogling the splendor of the stars and my new home among them.
Yeah, EVA is like that.
Thanks, Bob, for visiting today. I’m looking forward to the next installments of Blank and Blue Bloods on Juke Pop Serials…so keep writing those chapters! Meanwhile, I’m gonna go hide the keys to the TARDIS.