Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Author Spotlight: Jonah Bergan #Interview #Giveaway #Excerpt

My author Saturday Spotlight might be very new to you. He's written an amazing M/M Sci-fi novel called Off-World. I've been lucky enough to read it and in this post you will have a chance to read my review. It's a treat to have Jonah here because many books from now it'll be fun to come back to this post and say, "This is how it all started." I'm going to show you the cover, blurb, you'll get an excerpt and link to the first full chapter of this book, also we have an interview, and giveaway. So, it's quite a treat. Let's begin.

Author: Jonah Bergan
Publisher: Edge
Published: August 17, 2015
Length:243 pages

Buy Links:
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iTunes


BLURB

What really brought Taine to that backwater little world? Taine’s a hunter. He’s a red-skinned and black-eyed Lowman by nature, and a hunter by trade. Some hunters work in flesh, others in 

secrets, and some few work to set right what’s been set wrong. It’s a big galaxy and there’s always plenty of work for a hunter like Taine, so you got to wonder, what with all that at his feet, 

what really brought Taine to that backwater little world?

Off-World is a M/m science fiction action/adventure set in F/m dominated space. The story takes place in an arm of the galaxy where slavery (sexual and otherwise) is legal and commonplace. 

Strictly speaking, it is not a BDSM novel in that consent is not a matter of concern for the characters, but those with an interest in BDSM should enjoy the story. Due to explicit content, Off-

World is not recommended to readers under eighteen years of age.
EXCERPT
“You his father?” Taine asked.

“Uncle,” the man said, glancing toward his wife. She looked away, a terse expression on her face. He looked back at Taine, bringing his chin up defiantly. “By marriage,” he said. “I did right by the boy.”
Taine shrugged. It made no difference—these backwater worlds, with their backwater cultures, none of that mattered to him. It was bad enough he had to ride in from the starport on horseback. Bad enough he had to dress the humble part just to avoid offending these rubes. Still, if he’d come blasting into town in his Hover, he’d have found half the doors shut to him, and the other half damned slow to open. Taine was a hunter, a Lowman—a red-skinned and black-eyed alien, and his kind wasn’t welcome everywhere, no matter how much they paid for what they bought. No point in making things worse by flaunting wealth in a place of such poverty.

Taine turned his attention back to the human he was here to inspect. He took a quick inventory of the boy. Pretty face, decent frame, all good starts, but the boy was un-groomed, pale and too lean for his age. Malnourished, Taine thought. Most likely in body and mind both. That might be correctable, might not. Sometimes that kind of damage can’t be undone no matter how much you pay to fix it. Still, the boy looked appealing enough despite the slight frame—long legs, long arms and a pretty face with a halo of wild blond hair like the rays of some golden sun. He’s young, but not under, Taine thought.  Taine checked the boy’s teeth, running his finger under the boy’s lips and along the gums. He tugged a tooth or two—still solid.

To read the entire chapter go to Jonah's website: Chapter 1: Taine Buys A Boy

REVIEW

I’m going to start out by saying, had I not talked with Jonah or been asked to read this for a review I might have overlooked this book in my coming and goings. It’s not typical of what I read. I am not a HUGE sci-fi fan. Minus my love of Star Wars and Star Trek. But usually I bypass reading sci-fi books. So, that said… I’m glad Jonah messaged me that day and that I gave this book a go. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone.
Now, this book. I’ll say this, it’s not for the prim and proper. It’s not for those who long for fluff, rainbows, glitter and unicorns. This book is grungy, rough, gritty, and bold. Taine, the red skinned alien who is also a slaver, is the MC in this. Along with Sunshine, his newly acquired slave, and Tanner, his apprentice. But I really felt like Taine owned this book.
Taine represents a lot of what society (In our world and time) is. He’s “different” And yeah you kinda should fear him, I felt he was absolutely misunderstood by so many. In actuality he’s not very different at all. When he interacts with Sunshine and Tanner you see the layers to him and it’s quite fascinating.
There are a lot of pov head hopping moments I wasn’t too fond of. I usually don’t favor anything with more than 2 povs. I did have to figure out from time to time whose head we were in. But it did come together and all was right with the world.
From a technical standpoint, it’s a very well written, suspenseful, thrilling book. It’s a rough read in a lot of parts (Sunshine’s backstory etc…) The BDSM elements were portrayed well and with s certain amount of respect. It’s NOT of this world. I feel that needs to be said because I can see how people could get offended by a book of this nature. Be open-minded.
There are a lot of emotions to this book as well. You will laugh and cry and be quite mad and frustrated. But that’s okay, you’re supposed to be lol.
Jonah Bergan has a serious creative streak and I very much look forward to exploring more of his work.
 



 INTERVIEW

Thank you Jonah for being here today. To many you are a new to them author. Until I read Off World you were new to me as well. Having read this amazing paranormal book I have a few questions about it, no spoilers I promise… and a few questions about you as a writer. So, let’s get to it shall we?

Sure, thanks for having me.

    Off World has several POV’s. You even delve into the female POV. What made you choose to tackle this? It’s not an easy feat to do yet you have indeed done so, and well.

Thank you. I owe a good deal of that to my editor, Maggie Wright. She made me dig deeper and try harder. I know that might sound trite or as if I’m speaking by rote, but Off-World is a better story because of Maggie. I’ll tell you a little secret. In the original draft, Billie Harris was a male character—Bill Harris. Maggie proposed I make him a female character. We tried it and the character came alive on the page.  Billie gives a depth of dimension to the story that Bill simply wasn’t able to provide. That’s what a good editor can do for an author, and a great editor like Maggie can do that and so much more.

      Names… always a favorite part of reading. How do you come up with your character names?

Usually the characters tell me their name when I am writing. Take, for example, Sunshine, Taine’s slaveboy. His name arose from his inner essence—his role in the story. I didn’t name him, Taine did—that’s the way it happened. I know a lot of people think about Showtime’s Queer As Folk when they encounter Sunshine for the first time, and while I greatly respect Russell Davies as a writer, (QAF and indeed the return of Dr. Who—a favorite of mine) still, the two characters are very different. Sunshine in QAF connoted innocence; Sunshine in Off-World has an entirely different connotation and the character has a very different role in the story.

   Are paranormal books your favorite types to write?  Why?

Much of my writing is psychological in nature. I write speculative fiction of all kinds, Science fiction, Horror and Fantasy because it allows me to walk that thin line between what is real to our conscious mind and what is real to our unconscious mind. That’s really important, for example, in my short story, “A Heroic Mind,” where the Men in Black are both one thing and another. In Off-World there are “omens” that serve the same purpose, and how they are interpreted changes as the story progresses. That evolution of meaning arises from the communion between the conscious and unconscious—or at least, that’s what I strive for.

      Do you identify with any of your characters in Off-World? Who and why?

To a certain degree I identify with all of them—even the villains. I suspect there may be more of me in Sunshine than in the rest, but then again, Taine is my protagonist and you cannot write a protagonist without identifying with him or her in some profound manner. So I guess I’d have to say that I identify with Sunshine as a representation of myself as a much younger person, Tanner in a different stage of life, and then, finally, as an adult, Taine. He’s not me, but I get him, you know?

     Taine… Oh he’s so so intriguing. He had me sitting up straighter when I first saw him in chapter one. Tell all these amazing people a little something about him… Something that will want them to know him better?

Hmmm… I think that we, as a culture, tend to elevate and esteem youth and the mystery of the potential to be found in youth, but in doing so, sometimes we lose or forget that there is mystery and depth and a world of potential to be found in ourselves as adults too. Our power grows as we mature, and as we experience life. We retain potential—what we might become, until the moment of our last breath.



Like most of us Taine is conflicted, but sometimes I imagine what we humans might become if we rose up and overcame our conflicted nature in favor of our true potential. Taine’s the vehicle for that story. He is the conflicted adult, with all the power and potential that adulthood brings. After experiencing so much of life, he has everything he needs to succeed.

     Is this going to be a series, or no? And if it’s a series are they all stand alones or must be read together, in order?

Off-World can be read as a standalone. It has a beginning, middle and an ending—it’s a complete story in and of itself. There will be a sequel, the publisher has already requested one, and I’ve started work on it. Beyond that, we’ll see. If it does indeed become a series, like any, I suspect the reader will get more out of each book by reading all of them in sequence.

     Not going to lie, some parts of Off World are hard to read (That also made it all the better by the way) You’re a boundry pusher, so I ask you… is there anything, topic or otherwise you wouldn’t write about?

I think it might be surprising to those people who are only familiar with my work through my short humor and anecdotes that I do tend to write darkly—sometimes too darkly. Maggie helped draw me back up out of much of that darkness in Off-World, and I have a friend who beta reads for me and he influences that too. When someone out in the world does something horrific or terrible, I think to myself, what led them to do that? What happened in their life that led them to do what they did? I wonder, “If I experienced this in my life instead of that, who would I be?” The answer to that is often something dark, and I write about it.

      BDSM is a rough topic to touch. So many have written it wrong. Can I ask how you were able to touch on it so well?

Off-World is as far from BDSM, as an interpersonal BDSM relationship is from actual torture and true historic slavery. That is not a subtle distinction. I say so because it concerns me when people mistake fiction and fantasy for reality—When people read BDSM fiction (particularly non-con) and somehow translate the fiction and fantasy into an endorsement for action—well, that just leaves me gaping.



The characters in Off-World live in a non-consensual world. We used the #BDSM tag simply because there is no other tag that we can use to alert those who love BDSM (and BDSM oriented fiction) that there are story elements to the novel that they will appreciate, but under no circumstances should Off-World be taken as a representation of the BDSM community or its ideals. Off-World is a fiction that tries to speak to truth—that truth goes beyond the BDSM community alone and I think (and hope) that Off-World will speak to everyone whether they like BDSM or not.

      Can you tell us about your future work?

Sure. Right now of course I’m working on “Planetside,” the sequel to Off-World. I’ve set aside most of my other projects so I can submit a draft in a timely fashion. After that, I have a novel called “The Real Thing,” that I’m anxious to work on, and there are a few other projects I have in mind. I’ve been invited to write as an irregular columnist at Queerscifi.com, so I’ll submit short stories and the occasional opinion piece to them.

   How can readers follow you career? Website, Facebook, Twitter?

My website is JonahBergan.com and that’s probably the best place to start. I’m on Facebook and Twitter and so forth, but the blog is my home on the web.
 
Thank you so much, Jonah. It’s been such a privilege to pick your brain!
               Thanks for having me.
 About the Author


Jonah Bergan is a freelance writer living in New England. His publishing credits include a ten part serial, multiple short stories, and a collection of anecdotal humor. He has also published MMORPG game reviews and content, hypnosis scripts, online user manuals, and advertising texts.
Please visit jonahbergan.com to learn more about him.

Social Media and Contact Information
Email Jonah directly at jonahbergan@gmail.com
Amazon Author Central: http://amazon.com/author/jonahbergan
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/BerganJonah 







Giveaway

Jonah will be gifting one person an ebook of Off-World. Simply enter the rafflecopter below. Contest will run until August 28th. Winner will be notified via email so check your spam!
Good luck to you all and a huge thank you to Jonah for being here today!
ON AUGUST 22nd 4PM EST JONAH WILL BE DOING A Q&A ON FACEBOOK SO PLEASE CHECK IT OUT!!!
Q&A FACEBOOK EVENT 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 comments:

  1. havent read much sci fi but willing to give a try

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    1. same here! I don't gravitate toward it. I was glad I gave this one a go though

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  2. I've read some sci-fi but not a lot. I did see most if not all Star Trek episodes on TV and adored those. I love a good story, whatever form it comes in, provided the fiction doesn't get too technical as far as the science is concerned :) This sounds rather fascinating I have to say. My curiosity as been awoken.

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    1. Oh, I almost forgot. Happy Birthday, Jonah....again :)

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    2. Yes, I was nervous at first because I usually lose interest in sci-fi books. So when I realized I was at 70% without wanting to stop I was happy

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  3. Sci Fi is my favourite genre to read but there aren't many M/M books about and if I see one I'd probably buy it. Even though I love the genre I haven't read many Sci Fi books lately my favourite to read over and over is the "Hellgate" series by Mel Keegan they are fantastic and I'd love it if it could be made into a TV show or film.

    My favourite TV shows are of course all the Star Trek franchise and Stargate etc. Can anyone remember "Above and Beyond" it had just started getting good when it was pulled like so many Sci fi Tv shows. I've just started watching "Dark Matter" and I hope each year there will be a Star Trek return. I'm not a fan of Movies I did watch all the Starwars and Star Trek early films.

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    1. Oh, Shirley!!! I think you'll love this then

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  4. Generally don't read Sci Fi, that being said I have found some books from the MM book rec group on Fb to be very enjoyable. I'm always willing to give new authors and books a try.
    I do love to watch Star Wars and Star Trek. And one of my favorite movies is The Fifth Element. Adding this to the wish list.

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