Monday, April 15, 2013

Meet Author Tony Breeden

Hello fans of JLB Creatives Blog. We certainly hope you're sharing all the goodness this blog has to offer when it comes to finding some of its best hidden treasures in the world of writers. This week I'm excited to introduce you to author Tony Breeden. I think you'll find his books very intriguing!

But I have to keep my promise from last week - letting you in on where JLBC will be exhibiting next. Did you guess it by the hint I left you? If you guessed Silver Springs you're right! JLB Creatives received a formal invitation to exhibit at the Green Day Festival for Earth Day at Silver Springs Nature Park in Silver Springs, Florida on April 18-19. The JLBC Executive Team will be discussing how ebooks help make the planet a better place, offering up Authors in the Park Event Series information, offering Lit Wits insider notes, and meeting kids from all over central Florida to talk with them regarding the literary world. Are we excited? Absolutely!

OK - down to business, of fun as we like to call it around here. I had the opportunity to interview author Tony Breeden. I'm certain you will enjoy this interview, and hope you will share it with your online friends.

Meet Author Tony Breeden

I'd like to start out with what book or books are you currently working on? Can we expect a new release soon?

I’m currently working on a few different projects. Johnny Came Home was a prequel of sorts for the trilogy to follow. I’m about halfway done writing John Lazarus: Mann from Midwich, which takes place about a year after the events in Johnny Came Home. Johnny will find himself both a hero and a villain in a world that suddenly finds itself coping with the presence of super powered humans. Readers can expect more of the comic book-inspired action and plot elements that made the first book such a fun read.

I’m also contributing to the Worlds of Faith anthology, edited by Paul Taylor. All of the short stories featured will be examples of Apologetics Fiction – defending the Christian faith, by means of well told and interesting stories. Worlds of Faith is slated for a May 1st publication date.

I just finished Luckbane, a science fiction/steampunk/adventure fantasy crossover novel that features everything from dragons and cyborgs, to robots and minotaurs, aliens to wizards. Luckbane is the first novel in a new series called Øtherworld. The basic premise is someone has terraformed a world for the express purpose of allowing gamers to play the universe’s favorite game live and in person. Unfortunately, this world has abundant food and living space, something we no longer enjoy back on a dystopian Earth, so the gamers eventually end up squaring off against more than they bargained for. We’re in the process of editing Luckbane, but it should be available by late spring 2013.

I’ve also started work on An Instrument of Wrath, which pits a vampire who’s been around long enough to see AD turn to BC against angels, both fallen and faithful, scientists, hunters and other vampires, in a quest to save his own soul and maybe most of the world. It should be finished in early 2014.

Lastly, I’ve promised my children that I will complete an illustrated children’s book for them called The T-Rex and the Fuzzy Bunnies: A Bedtime Story for Boys.

Yeah. I keep busy.

It sure sounds like it! As you know, we all love stories – especially yours! Would you be willing to give the readers a synopsis of your current book?

Johnny Came Home is an action-packed novel full of mad scientists, zombies, flying saucers, future technology, conspiracy theories, epic battles and Biblical truth. Three years after the fire that took his home and his family, John Lazarus returns to the town of Midwich searching for answers to why he can do extraordinary things no one's ever seen outside of a comic book. Is he human? Alien? Something more? The answers lie within the Titan complex that overshadows Midwich. But someone else wants Titan's secrets too and will stop at nothing to make sure that she alone possesses them. To find his answers, Johnny is forced to fight a cadre of super villains led by mass hypnotist Pandora, who intends on destroying Titan and Midwich as her first step toward war with Homo sapiens.

Outstanding!  How about a little more detail? Love and romance, paranormal, epic fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, drama, and the list goes on. Where do your books fall as far as genre and reading audience?

The John Lazarus Adventures fall solidly in the sci-fi genre, as do all tales with mad scientists and super-powered humans. I love sci-fi. I call it the thinking man’s genre. It’s a great way to explore the human condition.

Øtherworld: Luckbane is a strange mix of sci-fi, fantasy adventure and steampunk. It takes place in a hi-tech dystopian future, where people play a real-life fantasy/steampunk role-playing game on an alien planet.

An Instrument of Wrath is primarily a paranormal vampire tale, but it’s also part of the Christian spiritual warfare genre [made popular by Frank Peretti]. 

I love it! Let's keep going. . .we're on a roll. Let's say for the first time in your writing career someone recognizes you as their favorite author, in public. Would you panic? Smile and bask in the moment? Blush and walk away? Invite them for coffee and cupcakes? Scream? Run? Faint?

I’m pretty approachable. I do a fair bit of public speaking and singing, so that sort of thing doesn’t bother me. I’m always too happy to chat it up a bit. And I’m always up for coffee.

Well, then - a coffee break it is (we'll be back in a minute folks. . .) Ahhh - that was a great suggestion Tony. OK, back to the interview.  How much time do you devote to writing? Daily – weekly – monthly – whenever the urge strikes?

I write at least five minutes each day. I take my laptop with me everywhere, just in case. Sometimes I write for several hours (though I try to keep it to an hour for my family’s sake), but as long as I write for at least five minutes, I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. I try to stick with one specific project (currently Øtherworld: Luckbane), but if I get writer’s block, I just switch projects for that day and come back to the main project the next day.

That's a great goal - I think I might try that. I normally find more than five minutes in a day, but what a wonderful way to look at it on those busy days - certainly we can all find 5 minutes somewhere to squeeze out some creativity. Thanks for the tip!  Who is your favorite character that you have created? Tell us about him or her and why you are so fond of them.

Weasel Hopkins is, thus far, my favorite character. Weasel is John Lazarus’ best friend, ever since they met on a job a few years before the events of Johnny Came Home. He’s irreverent, mouthy and a magnet for trouble. He’s never at a loss for something to say (he usually talks too much) and tends to say what we all wish we could’ve said. Throughout the book, I basically abuse poor Weasel at every hand. He’s a lot of fun to write, as the following dialogue shows:

“Sorry? You're sorry? Oh, I think we're well beyond sorry here. Sorry is I accidentally stepped on your foot. Sorry is I was late picking you up from school but I'll make it up to you.” His expression turned dark. “You let your redneck daddy duct tape me to a chair!” He roared, struggling against his bonds.

You're cracking me up! I'm already in love with Weasel myself. . .thanks to you. Let me ask you this, of all the professions in this world you opted to be a writer. What brought you to it?

I credit my late aunt Sharon with giving me the writing bug. I’ve always loved to draw; it’s my first love. She saw me drawing dinosaurs one day and after quizzing me about them, she brought me some brads and cardstock. A few hours later, I had put together my very first book with dinosaurs lovingly illustrated in crayon.

I wrote too many stories and novels to count over the years, but they were purely for my own amusement.  Then one day, I was browsing local Christian bookstores, just bored out of my mind. With few exceptions, I was looking an endless sea of romance novels, marketed at women. I'm a guy, so I'm into science fiction, fantasy and action thrillers. I remember thinking, "Why should I be forced to get the stuff I actually enjoy reading from secular bookstores in novels written from a non- or even anti-Christian worldview?"
The success of the Left Behind series demonstrated how influential exploratory fiction can be in shaping and reinforcing beliefs concerning eschatology. I realized that apologetics fiction could do the same for evangelical convictions concerning our origins. With that in mind, I set out to tell a great sci-fi story that gives a plausible young earth creationist explanation of comic book super powers rather than the prevalent evolutionary assumption of beneficial mutations, popularized in the X-Men movies and on TV shows like Heroes. The result was Johnny Came Home. 

How cool is that? The world is blessed to have you as an author for certain.  I love your book covers. Do you create and design your own book covers?

So far. I like to draw and design as much as I like to write. The cover for Johnny Came Home features a church based largely on All Soul’s Church from the Andy Griffith Show. Ironically, when I named the church Soul’s Harbor, I had no idea what the church from Mayberry was called. It was just the church I pictured in my head. I added the crashed saucer and a starry night sky (even though that scene takes place in the morning in the book) to complete the picture.

I re-used the church for the Mann from Midwich cover, adding a large full moon against which a flying John Lazarus is silhouetted. Johnny’s action pose was suggested by a parkour photo.

I’m still designing the super top secret cover for Øtherworld: Luckbane. ;]

Cool! One last question then I will let you go. . .Where can we find your book(s) and you around the web?
You can find Johnny Came Home in hardcover at Ebook formats are available at Barnesand, and

TWITTER HANDLE: @creationletter

There you have it - the amazing author Tony Breeden. I'm inspired, are you?
Please share this post with your reader friends, and maybe even pick up a copy or two of Tony's books to read yourself or give as gifts. 

Until next week - stay casual, live life to the fullest, and have a piece of chocolate for me.
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