Monday, 9 April 2012

Author Interview - Curtis Hox

Simone Wellborn is a Transhuman with an attitude. She’s been genetically engineered from birth to be super smart. The problem? All that tinkering her parents paid top dollar for provided a few unexpected results, like an annoying ability to blast telekinetic energy at the worst possible times. She also has another tricky issue: strange entities possess her and, worse, transform her into something dangerous.

Simone's mother sends her to the Sterling School for reject Transhumans. While there, she meets a few other students with similar problems. They’re all Transhumans with dirty secrets. Heartthrob Hutto Toth is a charming gladiator. He annoys Simone from day one, but he’s also a Werebear who accidentally killed a boy in a glad match, and Simone can’t stand how much she likes him. There’s two-foot tall Wally Dorsey, who’s determined to pilot a personalized mech. His best friend, Beasley Gardner, is a mountain of a young girl with enough muscle to beat up any boy at school, but she’s suffers from a rage disorder. Finally, Simone meets Kimberlee Newkirk, an unassuming Succubus who fears she’ll kill the next boy she kisses.

These defective students find themselves at the center of a deadly conflict when another student, Joss Beckwith, attracts a Rogue Artificial Intelligence, the new power brokers in a society radically changed by science and technology.

The Transhuman Warrior Series tells the story of Simone and her friends as they’re transformed into highly specialized human weapons. They must challenge the increasing power of the Rogues as these enemies push into Realspace with one goal in mind: total domination. 

Watch for
Rupture today in Read It & Reap!

About the author:
Curtis Hox is an English professor by day and a science fiction writer by night. He launched his debut novel, Bleedover, in Nov. 2011 and is editing his YA Transhuman Warrior Series, which is scheduled to launch on Jun 1st, 2012. He's also blogging his journey as a self-published author. He lives with his wife and two year old son, who often pretends to type on his keyboard and, at times, somehow inserts erroneous characters into his manuscripts.

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Interview with Curtis Hox!

When did you first consider yourself an author?
I've never considered myself an "author." Authors are people like Hemingway and Faulkner or, in today's world, people like Pynchon or DeLillo. They wear tweed jackets and have literary agents. Author is such a strict term of identity. And I've always tried to avoid them. I don't even like calling myself a professor. Writer feels like an apposite term because it's much more flexible. I think other people are supposed to call you an author. Calling yourself an author is like calling yourself an artist. There's something pretentious in it.

How do you come up with the titles for your books?

I wait until one resonates. When I can hear it and it feels right, then I stop thinking about it.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Other books. And some form of writing substrate: pen and paper, computer, etc. Trusted readers who will give good advice. That's about it. Oh, and an imagination.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
They tend to trickle up out of all the different types of books I read. I usually work my narratives out around a central idea, populating them with interesting characters until a story emerges. Rupture happened after a solid year of me studying Transhumanism and Posthumanism. Those actual discourses feature very little in the novel. But the idea of how important the body is to the self is a critical notion in the philosophy of technology and its offshoot discourses.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
About the writing? Not much. It was fast and fun. Keeping it light was the challenge.

What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?
Oh, come on. That's too difficult.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Whatever my wife tells me. And playing with my two year old son.

Who is your favorite author and why?
Right now my favorite author is Charles Frazier because he wrote Cold Mountain, and I'm jealous of almost every sentence in that book.

What book are you reading now?
Several: Cold Mountain (third time); Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; The Haunting of Hill House; God Emperor of Dune; Wool2 (yeah, go Hugh Howey!).

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I just finished a straight-up action, techno-thriller called Versim that imagines a world in which human minds are used to render environments that high paying customers can enter for all sorts of purposes.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I believe that's for a reader to decide. But I worked from the idea that Cartesian dualism, while most likely an illusion, is critical to a human being's understanding of himself or herself. And since we experience ourselves as selves with a mind, as well as a body, I extrapolated that out into the metaphor of a digital ghost to explore the differences between embodiment and disembodiment. This gets highlighted in the following two books, Glitch and Dominion, which are done.

Do you have any advice for budding writers?
Write and let other people read your material. When people start getting excited about it, you know you're doing well.

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