Featured Guest: Author Greg Turnquist

by | Jan 27, 2017 | spotlight

For this very special edition of my blog, I have a rather interesting guest. This is an author who has published several technical (computer) books that, quite frankly, I have no interest in. (Sorry, Greg.) But a couple of things have brought him on the blog today: first, he is trying his hand at fiction (sci-fi dystopian fiction, to be exact) and, secondly, he is my husband and I have been so very eager to give my readers a peek into his work. So without further ado, let’s jump right in 🙂

Welcome to my blog, Greg. Glad you could finally come on and tell us about your fiction work. Let’s get started. Tell us a little about this novel of yours.

Snitch, a young woman who grew up on the streets of Kelmar as a thief, has learned something terrible. The regime’s evil military ruler has learned the hideout location of the resistance she joined and ordered an all out assault. Combined with the captain of the disbanded royal guard, a political prisoner, a duke’s daughter, and an old advisor, can her team survive and free Kelmar?

Interesting. Everybody loves an underdog. What was the inspiration for Darklight?

When I was a kid, I had this idea about an entire world below ground, underneath the manhole covers of the sewer system. Having read exciting books like Dune and Doctor Strange comic books, my mind started weaving tales of people overcoming a hostile environment while facing extinction.

So did you always want to be a writer? Or what did you think you would be?

Not really. I’d always been into computers, even at a very young age, which is why I became a software developer.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When a friend introduced me to Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, I became an instant sci-fi fan. I read everything I could find. And then one day, this idea of a world hidden below ground kind of popped into my head.

I’m sure that even as a technical writer and novice fiction writer, you already know that it’s not all puppies and sunshine, this writing thing. There are parts to the process that are not fun. What part of the writing process do you dread?

Editing. Going back for the nth time and making another sweep is tiresome, and I hate STILL spotting mistakes.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

Get out and do it. Make time to sit down and write, or it’ll never happen. There are no excuses. You either write or you don’t.

Good point. I think it’s important to make time for reading others’ works too. So, what are you currently reading?

Attack Planet by Mars Dorian and Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child

I always listen to music to get into my writing groove. What about you? What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

Anything by Rush as well as the soundtrack from Tron: Legacy

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

Either when I’m on a writing date with my wife, or at night, when everyone else is asleep.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It usually takes me about 4-5 months to write a tech book, but I’ve been writing Darklight going on seven years now. I’m hoping to find the right publisher.

Do you have any current projects your working on? Care to share?

When I finished Darklight, I had all kinds of ideas for a sequel. I wanted the main character thrown into new challenges, so I started drafting Neophyte. What would you do if you had to defend the Earth but had no training?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Snitch moved as fast as she could in the dark toward the southern edge of the city-state of Kelmar, desperate to not draw attention to herself. Fortunately, rain had caused a haze to fall.

He was coming. Snitch couldn’t believe it. Could they make it?

Snitch knew this part of the city, but she had to steer clear of rival gangs. As she exited an alley a gust of wind made her clutch the edge of her coat and pull it tight. She steeled herself and pressed on.

He was coming, she’d heard from one of her contacts. What were they going to do?

She approached a familiar corner and slowed when she recognized members of the Raiders. She looked back and knew it was too late to find another route.

“Snitch,” Marlon boomed. “What are you doing here?”

He was the Raiders’ second lieutenant or something. She couldn’t keep track of the ever changing titles.

“I didn’t know you guys had moved into this block,” she said. “I was trying to stay off your turf.”

Tall and dark, he crept closer, eyeing her, the others drifting in behind him. “You haven’t answered my question.”

Snitch knew Marlon wouldn’t take kindly to any sort of brush off. She’d heard enough stories, and the last thing she wanted was to become another story.

“I was hooking up with one of my associates to hit a shop. No moonlight, hazy night, perfect opportunity, right?” Snitch had an offer to work such a job. Two weeks ago.

“You know, I believe you. You do shoot for easy hits like that. But you still crossed onto our turf.”

She knew where this was headed. Gang respect was so juvenile…and expensive.

“I have to maintain control or Boss won’t trust me. What kind of job are you doing?”

“A pawn shop. Cheap stuff, but easy to fence. Maybe worth a couple thousand credits,” Snitch said.

“The going rate when you cross turf is 10%,” Marlon said.

“I don’t have that much on me. And the last time it was 5%.”

“You trade sharp. I tell you what, Snitch. you haven’t crossed us and your jobs have fed us in the past. Give me a hundred credits, and we can ignore this.”

Snitch fumbled in her pockets, when Marlon stepped up next to her with a short blade. Sweat beaded up on her forehead.

“Watch it there. You’ve been good to us, but there is still a proper way.” He snapped his fingers and shouted, “Green, get over here. Check her pockets.”

Snitch pulled out her hands and held them up. Green rifled through her pockets and found bits of junk along with a hundred and twenty-five credits. He handed them over to Marlon.

“I remember you coming up short last time. This should cover it. Now get out of here.”

Green pushed her to the side, and Snitch huffed, having been licked.

The Raiders laughed and talked to each other as she stumbled away. After getting around the corner, she picked up her pace. At first, her mind repeated “you came up short.” She added up how many jobs she needed to make up for this.

Snitch stopped. It wasn’t important. Not like it used to be be. Snitch had always been good at what she did, but now she was part of something bigger, the Undergrounder’s resistance movement. There were more critical things than the next job.

More About Greg

Greg has read sci-fi since he was a kid including Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Bret Saberhagen, and Lester del Rey. Years ago, the idea of a futuristic world reduced to a medieval existence began to bounce around in his head. He also loves slinging code as a software geek, and has written several non-fiction books. He lives in Middle Tennessee with his wife and family.

Connect with Greg and his books

Website: http://greglturnquist.com

Book: http://greglturnquist.com/darklight

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gregturn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gregswritingcorner/

Email list: http://greglturnquist.com/list

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Sara R. Turnquist