Thursday 29 January 2015

Q & A with Author E.G. Manetti

The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1
The Twelve Systems Chronicles #1
by E.G. Manetti

Welcome to the Twelve Systems, a technologically advanced society ruled by a small number of elite, the warriors. The first book in the Twelve Systems Chronicles, The Cartel, begins the tale of one of the most compelling couples to enter fiction in some time.

Lilian is twenty-four, well-educated, disgraced, destitute and desperate. Raised to wealth and power, her expectations of a bright future were destroyed when her father was executed for foul crimes. Her family name is erased, their cartouche melted, their property forfeit. Determined to survive and protect what remains of her family, Lilian becomes the apprentice of a powerful warrior. For three years, he will train her for a position in the Cartels. In return, Lilian will yield him absolute control of her mind and body.

Lucius Mercio is the preeminent warrior of his Cartouche, and the Cartel it dominates; the Serengeti Group. Ruthless, clever and ambitious, Lucius' wealth, influence, and power are exceeded by few within the Twelve Systems. It is not sufficient. Lucius intends to take his Cartel to unimaginable heights with the aid of Lilian's brilliance. He faces only one obstacle. Lucius must keep Lilian alive.
ebook, 250 pages
Published November 29th 2012 by Buniac Entertainment, LLC

Find The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1 on Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon B&N

Read It & Reap Date: March 26, 2015

The Twelve Systems Chronicles are science fiction/fantasy with romance and suspense. The first two volumes, The Cartel and Bright Star are E.G's first published works. She works in IT and writes as often as possible. When neither goes well, she cooks exceptionally and gardens adequately. E.G. resides on the East Coast of the USA with her beloved (and often confounded) husband and their severely OCD Jack Russell Terrier.



Q & A with Author E.G. Manetti

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Lilian is fierce and passionate r with a remarkable amount of self-control and determination. At the beginning of The Cartel, Lilian is in dire straits through no fault of her own. Courageously, she refuses to dwell on what she has lost and stoically faces a dangerous and uncertain future. Although Lucius is often harsh and confusing, she finds him compelling and often far more lenient than she has any reason to expect.

Lucius is truly a master of the universe, or at least his corner of the galaxy. He is the one percent of the one percent. He has it all and keeps it through ruthlessness and deviousness. After decades in the leadership of Serengeti and the Twelve Systems, Lucius is rarely surprised. His intelligence network and his brilliance keep him several moves ahead of his rivals. He thinks he’s in control of the situation with Lilian and is both stunned and intrigued by her pragmatic acceptance of her misfortune and trial.

There’s a lot of tension between Lucius and Lilian due to their respective positions in the hierarchy of the Twelve Systems. In a rigid society, neither of them is particularly conventional, so they are constantly confounding each other. Fortunately, Lilian is a fast learner and Lucius has a sense of humor.

Q:  What do you see as influences on your writing style?
The short answer is every author I’ve ever read. Although I think movies and television are also huge in terms of story structure and timing. For source material I pulled on history, science, and my experience in large corporations - many of which are every bit as byzantine as the Serengeti Group and the Twelve Systems.

In terms of my romantic sci-fi subgenre, romance writers I really enjoy include Roberta Gellis, Julia Harwood, Catherine Coulter, Katleen Woodwiss and Amanda Quick. For science-fiction - Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, and Roger Zelazny are at the top of the list. Additionally, I think fantasy writers have had a big impact on my ideals around world building with Carol Berg, Mercedes Lackey, and Jacqueline Carey leaping to mind.

Q:  Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
Jim O’Connor ( creates my book covers based on concepts developed in discussions with my creative editor, Carolyn Manetti ( For The Cartel I wanted to invoke intrigue, adventure, and romance. I also wanted a format where I could use elements in subsequent covers to tie the series together. Carolyn convinced me to work with simple powerful images and stay away from both the conventional compositions of embracing couples and fantasy solar systems. We settled on the idea of using important objects from the story. From there it was up to Jim and his genius eye for shadow and composition. His photograph perfectly conveys the stark and dark reality of Lilian’s life, brightened by the hope of Lucius’ patronage as symbolized by the ruby studs.

Q:  Describe your ideal writing spot.
A room with a view.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
Best writing advice or best overall advice?

The best overall advice was from a supervisor when I first started in my career in IT – Make your mistakes quickly. Get it over with. Learn from it and move on. It also works for writing and promoting my writing.

The best writing advice was from my creative editor – Character! Character! Character! A good story is about the characters. As a corollary – Show don’t tell. Use the drama and interactions among the characters to tell the story, not straight narrative.

Q:  Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I like all three. Lately, I’ve gravitated to e-books for the portability, the environmental benefits and the access to indie authors. The big downside is that they are very difficult to lend and don’t have that nice ‘feel’ of physical books.

Q:  If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you choose and why?
Something with wings, but not an angel because they don’t get free will.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
I’ve recently finished Kim Harrison’s final installment in the Hallows series, Witch with No Name. Now I’m starting a collection of steampunk novellas recommended by one of my Goodreads groups: Lady Jessica Monster Hunter (Episodes 1-6) by Keith Dumble.

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