About My Book

Learn more about my first book, Six Pack: Emergence.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Get To Know The Six Pack Series: Brad Lawson

Moving on with my series about the Six Pack characters, let me introduce you to Brad Lawson.

Brad is 18 years old (you've probably noticed a pattern... the Six Pack members are the same age). He has a lean build, short, blonde hair parted to the side and ice-blue eyes. He is classified a "low achiever" in secondary school. Students are grouped into "achievement levels" based on their test scores. However, Brad has always shown an interest in science and nature. I think of him as somebody who is smarter than people think, but he doesn't test well.

Brad's father served in the military and was killed while overseas. Between the loss of his father when Brad was young and what Brad believes are the schools predetermining what his role in society will be, he has a skeptical, sometimes pessimistic, view of life. He finds it hard to trust other adults, thinking they have their own agendas in mind rather than what's important to him. But even though he is a "low achiever," he became friends with Tyler Ward even after Tyler was designated a "high achiever" after the two bumped into each other when they first enrolled in secondary school.

Where I relate to Brad is that I tend to be a skeptic when approaching something, though with Brad, it's more pronounced because of his life growing up and his perception that he's not allowed to explore his interests because other people have their own ideas. But what I like about Brad is that he learns to overcome his doubts and figure a way to trust people, even if he doesn't always agree with them.

Brad not only formed a friendship with Tyler, but with Jessica Harrison, who saw him on enrollment day and thought he was cute. I explored his friendships with both of them and liked how he not only learns from them and how he can grow as a person, but the way he observes how the other two act and helps them to grow as people, too.

He gains enhanced vision, which comes from his marksmanship skills. This was probably the most difficult of the special abilities to write about, because it's tough to illustrate how he's able to focus on objects from a great distance, or how he can precisely hit targets. I tried to make up for that by focusing more on who he is as a person and how good he is at observing how other people interact.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Get To Know The Six Pack Series: Stacy Sanders

I continue discussion of my characters in the Six Pack series with Stacy Sanders.

Stacy is 18 years old, has blonde hair that she always pulls back in a ponytail, blue eyes, and she is Tyler Ward's longtime best friend. The two grew up next door to each other and think of themselves as siblings. She enjoyed climbing trees when she was young and, when she went to secondary school, took up gymnastics. Those activities helped her improve her agility and balance. Consequently, she gains the power of enhanced agility.

As for her personality, she's calm, optimistic, level-headed and friendly. She tries to find the best qualities in everyone -- the trait she shares with me. She's the type of person who wants to get along with everybody and does her best to show patience. It's rare that she will get upset or angry. Most of all, she values the importance of family and bonding with other people.

I wanted a character who kept a positive outlook despite the dystopian world in which the book is set. Stacy may struggle once in a while with her optimism and wonder if things will progress the way she hopes they will, but most of the time, she finds her optimism justified.

I think her relationship with Tyler is important because I think everyone who has natural leadership qualities needs somebody to fall back upon and be reassured that he or she made the best possible decision. That's what I found Stacy provided for Tyler, even if she might not agree with his decisions. I also touched upon her relationships with the other Six Pack members because I liked how she interacted with each of them. I think she's the type of person that few would say they dislike. She has a way of connecting with anybody.

The enhanced agility was a power that allowed her to be more physical than some of the other characters. I don't picture as being a tall girl, but she is athletic, so I believe she could handle herself well in such situations. Her power did present a challenge as to the situations in which she could be useful, but I think I pulled it off well and, hopefully, readers will agree.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Get To Know The Six Pack Series: Jessica Harrison

Continuing with my series of posts about the characters in my forthcoming novel Six Pack: Emergence, I want to talk about one of the main supporting characters, Jessica Harrison.

Jessica is 18 years old and has long, wavy brown hair and brown eyes. Her mother died when she was 10 years old and she became somewhat distant from her father. She is intelligent but has a stubborn streak -- a trait that runs in my family. But she has a big heart and tries to empathize with the plight of others. She has leadership skills but finds herself ranked behind Tyler in school. She tells herself that it could have been her at the top of the class, but struggles with the idea that she could be jealous of him.

Jessica's stubbornness is the trait I most identify with in her. I often think that the way I would like to do things is the way things should go and I'm sometimes resistant to changes in my life. That describes Jessica pretty well -- she's been used to living life one way and finds herself adjusting to a new life. I can imagine a lot of people would have difficulty adjusting to changes in their life, though. I think we all get into a comfort zone with the way things are when we grow up, but when we enter a new environment, it can take us by surprise.

Jessica has a deep interest in the fine arts. She likes to sketch, paint and create works of art and her career interest leans toward architecture. Her ability to create things with her hands and mind, along with her intelligence, leads to her gaining the power of telekinesis. It was something I didn't want to overdo, though. I limited her usage of it to situations in which I believed it was warranted and didn't want to use it for jokes. I believe Jessica is the type of person who will try not to use her power unless it's necessary, though there are moments in which may use it out of frustration.

When I wrote the book, I found myself empathizing with Jessica more than my other characters, because she wants so much more for herself than what she thinks she's received. But as she learns the truth about society and herself, she starts to realize she's been in a good position and she doesn't need to worry about what could have been. She probably showed the most growth among my characters and I hope readers see it the same way.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Get To Know The Six Pack Series: Tyler Ward

Now that my upcoming novel Six Pack: Emergence is heading toward publication, I thought a good way to promote the book would be to talk about some of the characters.

These will be short posts in which I talk about characters and what inspired them. Regarding the main character and the five primary supporting characters, they each have a little bit of me in them. That's typical for a lot of book characters, though -- at least one of their traits will be shared with the author.

So let me talk to you about the main character, Tyler Ward.

Tyler is 18 years old and has dark brown hair and gray eyes. Those physical traits are one I share (well, I used to share with the hair before I started shaving my head). He is intelligent and inquisitive -- not only is he good at absorbing information, he wants to learn more and doesn't stop asking questions. But while he learns information well, he doesn't always put what he learns into practice well. He's the type of person that could memorize the instructions for putting together a complex piece of machinery, but when he tries to put it together, he can't get it to work.

He has natural leadership skills but is sometimes reluctant to use them. Most of all, he questions himself a lot and sometimes wonders if he made the right choice.

Along with the physical traits, Tyler shares the intelligence and inquisitiveness I have. As far as his role as a leader goes, I like to think of him as most of the best leaders throughout history -- those who struggled with issues and what was the best way to go, even as they did well in getting people through tough times. I know a lot of people look for leaders who represent the things those people would like to be, but while those people get the perception the leaders are those things, you often find out those leaders weren't always like that. That didn't make them bad leaders; that made them human.

Tyler gains the power of mental telepathy. It was something I had fun with when I was writing the book and I hope people enjoy what he does with it. It was one part of the book where I took a chance with some things, so I'll be interested to see what people think when the book comes out.