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Sneak Peak! First Chapter of Genius de Milo — FREE!

Hey Gang!

Thanks so much for all of the enthusiastic support for my latest novel, the sci-fi comedy Genius de Milo!

If you like what I’m putting down — and by your responses, you are! — then here’s a chance to check out the first chapter — for free!

How can you beat a deal like that?!

So as the old vaudeville showmen used to say … “And away we go!”

Chapter 1

Fill My Snifter

It began with a flicker.

Eternity, yes, of course, because that’s where all of Creation originates, where even just a single idea, a notion—a tickle in the back of the brain—alerts you to the possibility that something is brewing. Something delicious. Strange. Alluring.

Genius de Milo Front CoverYou’re not quite sure what that glimmer might be—that flicker, that tickle—but whatever shape and form it takes, whatever it eventually becomes, well, you know you’re onto something.

But this was a different kind of flicker.

As the Minder of the Universe—the presence overseeing the Cosmos—it was Brigsby’s job to notice these kinds of things.

Yet as the host of Breakfast with Brigsby, the top-rated talk show in Eternity, Brigsby was an entertainer to the masses, hidden in plain sight. He needed to interact with Eternitarians at least enough so that he could gauge their response to his grander endeavors, but even the good folks of Eternity weren’t ready to know just who and what he really was.

So talking to them through their TV sets about food, fashion, and relationships made it a heckuva lot easier to conceal the fact that he was also responsible for the creation of the Universe and everything in it.

“Larry! The TV’s fritzing again. I thought you took care of it.”

“Yes, yes, keep your shirt on. And it’s not fritzing. It’s just a flicker.” Larry swiveled the massive flat screen and looked in back. “Here. See. The plug is loose. Here we go …”

“Oh, my dear, Lawrence. You always have the lugubrious tonic that soothes my achy temperament. You’d think I would’ve had my fill of LOST by now, but I just love that Sawyer. A bit of a temper on that one. But he’s feisty. I like that.”

LOST made me crazy. Too many dead ends. And don’t get me started on that ending …”

When entertaining guests, Brigsby drank blue martinis, always a blue martini. But when he needed to unwind, nothing did the trick like sitting on his couch, in a silk bathrobe, with a snifter of chocolate milk. His slippered feet rested on the coffee table.

“Now-now, Lawrence. Don’t be such a Whiny McWhinerson. It was twisty and fun and set on a crazy tropical island with beautiful people in compromising positions. Sometimes that’s enough. And how could you not love Hurley? He’s the best. So funny!”

“My apologies, sir.”

“And don’t call me, sir! You know I hate that!”

When entertaining guests, Brigsby drank blue martinis, always a blue martini. But when he needed to unwind, nothing did the trick like sitting on his couch, in a silk bathrobe, with a snifter of chocolate milk. His slippered feet rested on the coffee table.

“Now-now, Lawrence. Don’t be such a Whiny McWhinerson. It was twisty and fun and set on a crazy tropical island with beautiful people in compromising positions. Sometimes that’s enough. And how could you not love Hurley? He’s the best. So funny!”

“My apologies, sir.”

“And don’t call me, sir! You know I hate that!”

Brigsby may have had power and influence beyond the scope of comprehension, but his appearance was that of a frail, wrinkled, middle-aged man who could be easily floored by the flap of a butterfly’s fart. He shuffled in his seat so that his chocolate milk sloshed within the snifter, peaking over the lip, spilling into his lap.

“Oh, will you look at that …”

Lawrence let out a wry smile. Not only did he serve as Executive Manager of the CBM Warehouse—the storage facility securing Cosmic Building Material, the Universe’s liquid DNA, the building blocks of all Creation—he was also Brigsby’s personal attaché.

As such, he gave Brigsby the business now and then just to keep him honest, Minder of the Universe or not.

Brigsby wiped his robe clean. “Ha … ha. You are quite the jokester tonight, aren’t you? I think you’ve done enough. Now let me get back to my show. It’s the one where Desmond keeps flashing back and forth through time to find Penny. So romantic. Tell me you didn’t just love that one!”

“Yes, of course. That was pretty good. But before I go …”

Brigsby offered a exasperated sigh. “What now?”

“Have you seen the flicker?”

“Lawrence. Really. I just want to watch my show. Yes. You fixed it. You’re a peach. What would I ever do without your keen ability to jiggle the wire in—”

“No. Not the TV. Out there. Earth. It’s …” Lawrence stepped up to the window so that his reflection mirrored back at him. The distant sky was black, peppered with stars too numerous to count. The magenta pinwheel of the Andromeda galaxy swirled in the distance. Nearby was the permanent nothing of Milo’s Smear. “… Flickering, B. It’s twitching, it’s …”

“Fluxing?”

“Yes. Fluxing. Exactly. It’s fluxing.”

Brigsby sighed again. “I know, Lawrence. I know.”

“Oh. Well … should we look into it?”

Brigsby lifted the remote, paused the episode. He swirled his snifter and took a healthy swig. “First thing tomorrow. I just don’t have the strength right now. I decommissioned thirty-four star systems today. Breaks my heart sometimes …”

There was a look on Brigsby’s face—it wasn’t the good look. Lawrence turned to the fluxing Earth, and then back at Brigsby. “Might I ask …? How bad?”

“It’s that fakakta jar again.”

“What … you mean … the Jason Medley jar? The Theo Barnes jar?”

“That’s the one.”

“I thought the boys took care of that. Ira. Howard. They said not to worry. That we were all set.”

Brigsby sipped his chocolate milk. “Yes,” he said. “They did. They used to be a lot more reliable …”

Lawrence stared into the great expanse. Of the countless celestial bodies in the Universe, Brigsby had taken a special liking to Earth. When he commissioned the planet’s creation, he had it written into the design blueprints that the inhabitants be fashioned with the innate ability to evolve into beings far greater than their consciousness would allow them to initially perceive. If they were to ever reach their true potential, Earthlings would need to survive their own self-destructive impulses long enough to strip away their ego and realize that their very existence was only the first step toward a much grander design.

“The flicker,” Lawrence said. “The flux. I admit, I hadn’t noticed. How long has it been like that?”

“A while now. It hasn’t resolved. So like this damned TV, it’s going to need a manual adjustment. A loose wire, I suppose.”

“How much time do they have?”

On the surface Lawrence had asked a seemingly straightforward question. But as applied to the standards of Eternity, time was not a simple conceit. The passage of time could speed up or slow down. It could leap ahead or jump back. It could travel in loops. It could bend (but not break). It could twist, flatten, knot and gyrate, as well as oscillate, pendulate, undulate and rotate. It could also whirl, purl, revolve, slant, spin, expand and retract, and—when it really got going—whiz, shimmy, shake, buckle, tangle, tremble, tread, roll, flip (although not flop) and even completely reconfigure. And it could all happen simultaneously or in any combination.

Brigsby clarified to the degree that was possible. “The flux is … sporadic, but the pace is picking up. If they don’t get to it soon …”—rare for Brigsby, he looked genuinely sad—“… Earth will flux right out of existence.”

“I’m sorry, B. I know how much you like that little planet.”

“Yes, well … I am rather fond of it. But that’s not my biggest problem.”

When Brigsby said he had a problem, Lawrence never knew quite what that meant, given the countless cosmic issues that arose on a rolling basis. But in this case, he understood this to be aProblem, with a capital P. “B? What is it? What’s out there? What else?”

Brigsby finally got up, and in his pink bunny slippers, shuffled to the window. “Milo,” he said. “He’s back.”

“Oh, not that miscreant. I thought we had more time. How did he reconstitute so quickly? That’s way too fast.”

Though the fate of Existence was summarily at his whim, Milo was one irritant Brigsby could, at best, contain, and then only for short durations. Even Brigsby didn’t know how or why he himself was the Minder of the Universe, where that power ultimately came from, or what fibrous tissue ran through the grand Consciousness. He had always been and, as far as he knew, would always be. Until his time was up. And until that occasion presented itself, Milo would remain his eternal foil. The Jester to his ultimate court.

“No idea. But he’s out there mucking up my Universe. And I’m not having it.” Brigsby slurped down the remainder of his chocolate milk. “If Milo’s back this soon it means he’s up to something. And I’ve spent way too much time and gone to way too much trouble to let him ruin Earth for me now. There’s no telling how much damage he’ll cause or what else he has in mind.”

Brigsby refastened his robe tie and stared out into the Universe. He motioned with his snifter. “Hit me again, Larry. It’s going to be a long night.”

The Writer’s Life eMagazine – Publishing Tips from Russ Colchamiro, Author of Genius de Milo

Howdy gang!

The fine folks at The Writer’s Life eMagazine did a Q&A with  yours truly about my new book Genius de Milo, and my thoughts on the life of a writer.

If you want to take a peak at what’s squirreling around inside my brain … here goes!

writers life emag

 

 

 

Q: Welcome to The Writer’s Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Russ: My debut novel Finders Keepers is a scifi backpacking comedy … think American Pie meetsHitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s loosely based on a series of backpacking trips I took through Europe and New Zealand, set against a quest for a jar that contains the Universe’s DNA.

RussFunShot01-PPGenius de Milo is the second book in the trilogy, where our bumbling backpacking heroes Jason Medley and Theo Barnes are once again tasked with retrieving a radioactive jar filled with the Universe’s DNA … before it wipes out the galaxy.

For the complete interview, click here

New Book Launch! Genius de Milo — Sequel to Finders Keepers

Crazy 8 Press Author Russ Colchamiro
Instigates More Cosmic Lunacy with ‘Genius de Milo’

–Second novel in ‘Finders Keepers’ comedic sci-fi trilogy pits
bumbling backpacking heroes against Milo, the Universe’s ultimate gremlin–

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 6, 2015 — Crazy 8 Press has once again set author Russ Colchamiro loose upon the Universe with his latest novel, Genius de Milo, the long-anticipated sequel to his sci-fi backpacking comedy Finders Keepers.

In the spirit of Midnight Run meets The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Colchamiro’s bumbling backpackers Jason Medley and Theo Barnes are back again in Genius de Milo, the second book in the trilogy.

Genius de Milo Front Cover for WebAfter barely surviving a tale of cosmic lunacy across Europe, New Zealand, and the backbone of Eternity, they now find that the Earth is fluxing in and out of existence, Theo’s twin girls are teleporting, and Jason can’t tell which version of his life is real. And all because of Milo, the Universe’s ultimate gremlin.

Joined by the mysterious Jamie — a down-and-out hotel clerk from Eternity — Jason and Theo reunite on a frantic, cross-country chase across America, praying they can retrieve a radioactive jar that contains the Universe’s DNA, circumvent Milo, and save the Earth from irrevocable disaster.

Genius de Milo has shifted mostly to the U.S., and because it comes from Russ, there’s also a lot going on in Eternity, the cosmic realm where the Universe is created,” explains Crazy 8 Press co-founder Robert Greenberger. “The Finders Keepers sci-fi backpacking series gives readers another thrilling world and cast of characters to visit from the minds at Crazy 8 Press.”

New and returning readers to the Finders Keepers series can jump right in, as Colchamiro wrote Genius de Milo so that it works on three levels: as a satisfying, self-contained novel; as the second novel in the Finders Keepers trilogy that both continues and enhances the overall narrative and individual story arcs; and as a launch pad for the final, forthcoming novel that will conclude the trilogy.

RussFunShot01-PPGenius de Milo is for fans of authors such as Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Christopher Moore, and movies and TV shows such as Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Hot Tub Time Machine, Time Bandits, Quantum Leap, Northern Exposure, and Third Rock from the Sun.

Genius de Milo is available for purchase in e-book and paperback formats:

ISBN: 978-0692395738

To arrange a book signing or interview, contact Russ Colchamiro at authorduderuss@gmail.com.

View the Finders Keepers animated book trailer here.

About Crazy 8 Press
Crazy 8 Press is a team of best-selling, award-winning sci-fi & fantasy authors creating new fiction. A mix of SF/F action, adventure, comedy, mystery, and mythology from Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg, Russ Colchamiro, and Paul Kupperberg. For more information visit www.crazy8press.com, and follow them on Twitter @crazy8press.

About Russ Colchamiro
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure Crossline, the hilarious science fiction backpacking comedy Finders Keepers, and the outrageous sequel Genius de Milo, all with Crazy 8 Press. Russ lives in West Orange, NJ, with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself.

Russ is now at work on the final book in the Finders Keepers trilogy. As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being swallowed by a tornado. It’s just how he gets around.

For more on Genius de Milo, Finders Keepers, and Russ’ other books, you can visit www.russcolchamiro.com, follow him on Twitter @AuthorDudeRuss, and ‘like’ his Facebook author page at www.facebook.com/RussColchamiroAuthor.

Cover Reveal!! Genius de Milo!

Howdy folks!

At long last, here is the absolutely awesome new cover for GENIUS DE MILO, the sequel to my scifi backpacking comedy FINDERS KEEPERS.

Huge thanks to my pal Roy Mauritsen who brought it to life!

Look for updates soon about the official book launch!!

Genius De Milo

In the Writer’s Chair – Taking a Novel from ‘Almost’ Done to ‘Actually’ Done

There’s a strange feeling that comes with almost being done with a novel.

Almost.

I’m having that sensation now.

The sequel to Finders KeepersGenius de Milo — is just about done.

The manuscript is written. I printed it out, doubled spaced, and have been reading the pages for the last few weeks.

I’ve read every word on every page, twice, and I’m down to the last 20 pages on the third and final read-through. Some pages are perfectly clean, others have lots of hand-written notes, and the rest are somewhere in between.

In addition, the Genius de Milo manuscript is in the hands of three trusted friends who I’ve worked with before, who will be sending back their notes within the next month.

There’s an excitement to being almost finished. A flutter of anticipation.

There’s also a sense of … ooooh, this book is going to be great, but I’m basically done, so … let’s ease up.

And there’s even a middling sense of … I want to be done already. I’ve been at this a long time. I’m ready to move on.

But mostly … I’m feeling good.

Yes, the fatigue can set in, but this time around I’m coming to the finish line with energy, focus, and enthusiasm.

I’ll be done reading pages within a day or so.

Then I need to get back to the computer, and start transferring all of my hand-written notes to the electronic file. In most cases we’re talking minor technical edits — a spelling mistake, a misplaced comma, the wrong character name!

But there are cases where a sentence or paragraphs needs to be re-written, and one section I’m going to cut entirely because it doesn’t serve the story. There’s some character development that I liked, but not enough to warrant slowing down the plot. So that’s gone.

I’ll have to fill in some details through Web searches, and fact check a few items.

I figure it’ll take me 2-3 weeks to input all of my changes, by which time I should be getting notes from my reader crew. What comes next will depend on their notes. They might have minor notes, or perhaps they’ll be more extensive. And then I’ll have to think on them, and decide which ones to incorporate into what by then should be a ‘clean’ manuscript.

But getting back to being almost done …

This is the time to really focus. To appreciate that being almost done isn’t the same as being actually done. It’s those final edits, those little tweaks that can clean up a mistake, take a passage from good to great, and even elevate the tenor of the entire novel.

The finishing touches are vital. At least that’s been the case for me.

Yet getting those final touches across with nuance and sophistication, while fighting off the fatigue of just wanting to be done, is critical. It’s where the mental discipline comes in. The focus.

So here I go, ready to finish another novel, one that I’m awfully excited about.

Genius de Milo has been a lot of fun to write. I’m curious as to what you all will think. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

Now it’s a matter from getting this book from almost done to actually done.

Wish me luck.

 

Note: this blog originally appeared on the Crazy 8 Press Web site: http://www.crazy8press.com/2014/10/20/in-the-writers-chair-taking-a-novel-from-almost-done-to-actually-done/

Meet the Author – Russ Colchamiro at Shore Leave

Howdy folks!

This weekend — Friday, August 1 – 3 — I’ll be down in Hunt Valley, MD for Shore Leave, a fan-run science fiction that is loads of fun — with Spock himself Leonard Nimoy as one of the big name guests.

I’ll also be there with my  Crazy 8 Press partners in crime, and where we’re debuting our new fantasy anthology, Tales of the Crimson Keep.

CrimsonKeep

I’ll be there meeting fans, signing books, and turns out I’ll be talking on a LOT of panels.

🙂

Here’ my schedule, if want to say howdy:

FRIDAY

8 pm — Hunt
Science Fiction Comedy
Moderator: Aaron Rosenberg
Panelists: Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Lorraine Anderson

 

9 pm — Hunt
Why We Love SF
Moderator: Russ Colchamiro
Panelists: Susanna Reilly, Phil Giunta, Daniel Patrick Corcoran,
Stuart Roth

10 pm Hunt/Valley
Meet the Pros

SATURDAY

1 pm
The Writing Process — Derby
Moderator: Russ Colchamiro
Panelists: Phil Giunta, Melissa Scott, Amanda Headlee, Lorraine
Anderson, Danielle Ackley-McPhail

2 pm
Crazy 8 Press — Salon F
Moderator: Bob Greenberger
Panelists: Aaron Rosenberg, Glenn Hauman, Russ Colchamiro, Mike
Friedman, Peter David

3 pm
Using Social Media — Belmont
Moderator: Russ Colchamiro
Panelists: Jenifer Rosenberg, Keith DeCandido, Dayton Ward, Danielle Ackley-McPhail

4 pm
Game of Thrones — Salon E
Moderator: Kathleen David
Panelists: Jen Rosenberg, Russ Colchamiro, Glenn Hauman

SUNDAY

11 am
Orphan Black — Salon E
Moderator: Russ Colchamiro
Panelists: Jen Rosenberg, Marco Palmieri, Susanna Reilly

Noon
Tracking All the Moving Parts — Derby
Moderator: Eric Bakutis
Panelists: Kirsten Beyer, Russ Colchamiro, Jeff Lang, David
Mack, Jim Johnson

2 pm
Giving and Getting Good Critiques — Derby
Moderator: Aaron Rosenberg
Panelists: Susanna Reilly, Russ Colchamiro, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Steve Wilson, Eric Bakutis

In the Writer’s Chair: The One That Got Away

My latest novel, Crossline, is a scifi adventure about two men — a civilian space pilot forced through a wormhole and into a war-torn parallel Earth, and the CEO of the corporation who launched the pilot to begin with — and how their journeys intersect.

But underneath the scifi elements lies a more personal story– a trilogy, in fact — that I wrote in high school. It was my first real attempt at fiction, and, all things considered, it wasn’t half bad.

It was based on the ‘troubles’ in Ireland, which, of course, I knew absolutely nothing about, but when you’re trying to impress a girl, well … you make stuff up and hope for the best. The girl, in question, did like the stories, and she was impressed. But not so much that things went the way I wanted.

And in terms of the written material itself, here’s the real problem:

I lost them.

Or, I should say, I lost parts two and three. I wrote those stories by hand, and then typed them up, because this was back in the mid 1980s, before everything we did was on computers and saved on a hard drive. And, because, I was a putz.

I don’t remember if passed the printed pages onto to someone or I simply left them lying around somewhere, but I didn’t have the mental wattage to make copies or keep track of them. I still have the original — with the truly awful title Skies of Green — but the others are long gone.

For several years after that I tried to recreate them, to expand on that trilogy, but that original magic, even back then, was lost to me.

The core story stuck with me — I always felt I had something there — but I was never able to recapture the nuance, and improve upon it. To write a new version.

So they drifted into the ether for the better part of 20 years.

And then … I had the inspiration for Crossline — the scifi part of it anyway — and suddenly my original story had a new life.

Bringing that story full circle gave me real satisfaction, and a sense of closure.

Yet as pleased as I am with how Crossline turned out, and the excellent response I’ve been getting to it … those original missing pages are still out there somewhere.

And like the girl I was trying to impress, in some ways, those pages – and the words they contained — are the ones that got away.

 

This blog was originally posted on the Crazy 8 Press Web site: http://www.crazy8press.com/2014/05/12/the-one-that-got-away/

 

8 Things You Need to Know About Author Russ Colchamiro

Here’s a new series we’re running at Crazy 8 Press …

You wanted to know more about us, but you know what they say … be careful for what you wish for. You might surely get it! What that warning in mind, here are 8 Things you Need to Know About Crazy 8 Press Author Russ Colchamiro (but might have been afraid to ask, or might be traumatized by, now that you know them).

1- Russ’ first work of fiction came in the 3rd grade. It was a King Arthur-esque action/mystery tale, with the evil King Quenpor. Wow. Was it bad.

2- During his student teaching tenure in Buffalo, NY, Russ taught five classes a day, all 11th grade English. He didn’t meet two of his students because they were out — on maternity leave — each for their second child.

3- A one-time Wiffle ball aficionado, one summer afternoon, in front of his house in Merrick, NY, on Long Island, Russ was on the mound. Pitching, he chucked a pretty good slider, which his buddy smacked over his head. Russ dashed after the batted ball, across the street, head craned in the air. He leapt, to make an incredible basket catch, Willie Mays-style, but his foot hit the curb, hard. When he came down, Russ landed on his wrist, to brace himself. He wound up badly spraining his left wrist, which required a splint, and broke the big toe on his right foot, putting him on the DL for 6 weeks. The first recorded injury in Wiffle Ball history.

4- The characters of Jason Medley and Theo Barnes, from Russ’ hilarious Finders Keepers trilogy, are indeed based upon Russ and his friend, a native New Zealander. Russ does warn readers, however, that all of the European and New Zealand backpacking scenes, are, in fact, fictional, no matter how authentic they might appear. But all of the scifi, galactic, time-bending elements are totally real, based on true events.

5- During one crazy night in Brooklyn he will never forget, Russ did place his lips on those of a dead girl. A very. Dead. Girl. But that’s a story for another day, which he promises he will tell … once the therapy sessions enable him to recall the event without sending him back to the loony bin.

6- In his rousing scifi adventure novel, Crossline, Russ penned a truly hilarious scene involving Gefilte Fish. But he had to cut the scene to keep the action moving along. He’s trying to find a way to bring the scene back in follow-up Crossline adventures, but can’t promise because he can’t stand the smell or taste of Gefilte Fish, no matter how many Seders he attends.

7- During Russ’ trip overseas, many moons ago, that inspired his debut novel Finders Keepers, his cat, Alex, was hit by a car. Alex was terribly injured, but ultimately made a full recovery. About 15 years later, while Russ was at the NY Comic Con debuting Finders Keepers, his dog, Simon, was hit by a car, terribly injured. He, too, made a full recovery. We don’t know what’s up with that book, it’s got some crazy mojo attached to it. Which is particularly odd, considering that, fundamentally, Finders Keepers is about enjoying life to its fullest, as often as you can, as thoroughly as you can, for as long as you can.

8- In both Finders Keepers and Crossline, some of Russ’ characters profess their love and loyalty for one another, themes that are particularly important to him, even within the context of his wild, scifi adventures. In all cases, Russ says those scenes are really love letters to his wife, Liz. Even after 14 years together, Liz is more than Russ’ wife; she’s his girl.

 

This blog was originally posted on the Crazy 8 Press web site: http://www.crazy8press.com/2014/05/02/8-things-you-need-to-know-about-russ-colchamiro/

Crazy 8 Press Author Spotlight: Russ Colchamiro

Here’s a fun Q&A from my pals at Crazy 8 Press, about what I’m up to …

Hi folks. As part of our Author Spotlight, we’ll be spending some time this month with Russ Colchamiro. So far he’s been spending his Crazy 8 Press time squarely in the scifi world, and what a time it’s been. We have a new Q& A with Russ, where he unveils all sorts of goodies. Take a look …

Crazy 8: Let’s jump right in. Your new book is Crossline. Give us the quick rundown. What’s it about?

RussCrossline is a fun scifi adventure — think Firefly meets Back to the Future.

But to flesh out it a bit, Marcus Powell is a modern day space pilot, who through mysterious circumstances is forced through a wormhole and into a parallel Earth, where he ends up in the middle of a war he may have been destined for all along.

Meanwhile, back on our Earth, we learn the history of Buddy Rheams Jr, the poor, uneducated gas attendant from nowhere Texas, who stumbled into owning oil wells, became a tycoon, and used his wealth and influence to create the space program and develop the technology that ultimately displaced Marcus Powell in time and space.

Throughout the novel we learn how and why the lives of these two very different men intersect, and what that will mean for both of them.

Crazy 8: Thematically Crossline is about discovering just how far you would go to return to your family, when separated through incredible circumstances. How has that theme affected you personally? Why is that theme important to you?

Russ: As a father of two young children, my worldview has obviously changed. Each day I’m more embedded with my own family, and the notion of being ripped away from them is sobering. WritingCrossline actually helped me gain clarity. It’s one thing to say, “I’d do anything for my family.” But what does that really mean? It sounds big and important and noble to say the words out loud, but if put to the test, ‘anything’ becomes something specific, and that’s when we strip away the clutter. As a husband and father, I’ve come to realize just how unimportant most other endeavors can be. That’s not to say I think other people or activities don’t matter. They do! It’s just that there’s lots of noise out there, and when I’m calm, and let the distractions pass me by, it’s easier to understand and embrace what matters most.

Crazy 8: Did you base any of your characters on real people? If so, how much of the ‘real’ person made it onto the page? Do you have any guilt pangs about revealing their personality for others to read?

Russ: Chill, who is sort of the Obi Wan Kenobi-type character in Crossline, is based on a real person, someone who has had an incredible influence on me. I can say without exaggeration that without this person, my life would have taken a very different turn, and my guess is that I would have struggled for a much longer time to find my way.

In terms of how I wrote the character, Chill is obviously not the same as the real person; I made very distinct changes. But Chill was my way of honoring this man, who I respect immensely, and whose guidance and wisdom has helped shaped my views, both philosophically and how I approach my day to day. He’s a great man. My intention was to have those qualities influence the other characters in Crossline, predominantly Powell.

Crazy 8: What did you edit OUT of this book? Are you saving that material for sequels or another project? Or did the scene/character just not work in the context of this book, or perhaps just not work at all?

Russ: There were a handful of additional scenes with Chandra Powell, the wife of Marcus Powell. I liked the scenes — they built up the character and added more humor — but ultimately they slowed the pace of the novel. Chandra’s a great character. She’s strong and feisty and in a very real way is one of the novel’s true heroes. But I needed to keep the plot moving along. Besides, she gets plenty of ‘screen time’ when it counts most.

Crazy 8: Switching gears a bit … your first book was Finders Keepers Now that you’ve had time to reflect on it, and knowing what you know now about your craft and the audience’s reactions, what would you do differently if you had the chance to start over and write it again fresh?

Russ: Even though Finders Keepers is a flat-out comedy, as with Crossline, there are multiple characters, and we see the story from their distinct points of view. As such, we jump from character to character. I really like this style of storytelling, but if I had to do again, I would have spent longer stretches with each character in Finders Keepers as we’re first introduced to them, so that the reader can really sink in and ‘get’ where they’re coming from. Looking back I can see that maybe I was zipping along a little faster than I intended. The readers can ultimately catch up, but I would have taken a deeper breath to start the novel. It’s still super fun, tho!

Crazy 8: Authors are often also rabid readers. What do you read? Which books/authors best inform your writing style?

Russ: The Stand, by Stephen King, is my fiction bible. Great storytelling, great characters. Vivid imagery. I refer to it often. Also, any number of novels by Christopher Moore, who for my money is the funniest author out there. Lamb, You Suck, and Fool are favorites. I also love the biographies of David McCullough, including Truman, the Great Bridge, and the Jamestown Flood. Though fact-based, they read like mysterious, and have helped me see how to structure my own stories.

Crazy 8: What book — which is relatively unknown to others — do you strongly recommend that others read? Why?

Russ: Body of a Girl, by Leah Stewart. It’s about a young, female crime reporter who gets too close to a story she’s investigating about the murder of another young woman, who she feels was a kindred spirit of sorts. The reporter loses herself in the investigation, and finds herself delving into some murky waters. It’s taught and compelling. One of my favorite books of the last ten years or so.

Crazy 8: Last question. Shameless plug time. Where can we find your new book, and how can we, as readers, most easily interact with you?

Russ: Finders Keepers and Crossline are both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, as well as through Crazy 8 Press and my Web site.

I’m out there on social media, so for those who want to connect, here’s the best places to find me:

@authorduderuss (Twitter)

www.facebook.com/RussColchamiroAuthor (Facebook)

www.russcolchamiro.com

www.crazy8press.com

@crazy8press (Twitter)

And for extra fun:

Check out the Crossline book trailer.

Enjoy the Finders Keepers book trailer.

 

This blog was originally posted on the Crazy 8 Press web site: http://www.crazy8press.com/2014/04/21/author-spotlight-russ-colchamiro/

Meet the Author: Russ Colchamiro at Twisted World Villains and Vixens Con

Hey folks … I’ll be attending the Twisted World Villains and Vixens con Friday – Sunday in Philly. In addition to sharing a table with Sawney Hatton, selling books, and doing signings, I’ll be doing a reading and speaking on panels. Here’s my schedule:

http://thetwistedworld.com/

Friday, March 28
7:45 pm – 845 pm
Summit 6
How to write good villains & Killing your characters

Saturday, March 29
3 pm – 4 pm
Summit 1
Mythological Villains

Saturday, March 29
5 pm – 530 pm
Summit 11
Reading from Finders Keepers, Crossline

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