Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Promo & Tour: The Crying of Ross 128 by David Allan Hamilton

Title: The Crying of Ross 128
Author: David Allan Hamilton
Genre/Age: Science Fiction/Adult
Series: Unknown
Publisher: Tellwell
SynopsisAmerica has splintered into various independent republics after a brutal civil war. Against this backdrop, space exploration is on the cusp of new technological breakthroughs.

Jim Atteberry, a mid-30s English professor at City College in San Francisco, spends his free time listening for alien signals on the amateur radio astronomy bands. His life as a single parent to his precocious daughter is turned upside-down when he hears an intelligent cry for help from the Ross 128 system and realizes we are not alone.

This signal unleashes a chain of events pitting Jim and his brilliant, mysterious colleague Kate against a power-hungry scientist with his own secret agenda. Jim must learn the truth about the signal, the strange disappearance of his wife Janet, and the meaning of true love before it’s too late in this first contact thriller.

Whitt continued talking while he worked. “So, there are the two Americas, our own government of course, the Russians, Indians, Chinese... not to mention those terrorist groups out there who would love to exploit our human fears about hostile aliens and such.”

“I hadn’t thought about all that.”

“I’m sure if you spend any time at all on this question, you’d come up with a list of 50 organizations all wanting to know how you discovered the signal, and how to use that for their own goals.”

Whitt replaced the cover on the computer and wiped his hands on his coat. “There’s someone else you may want to consider, too. Someone closer to home as it were.”

“Who’s that?”

“I hesitate to say because I recognize how close you are.” He put his tools back in a small pouch.

“Who is it, Dr. Whitt?”

“How well do you know Kate Braddock? I mean, how well do you really know her?”

Atteberry threw his head back and laughed. “That’s insane! I trust her more than anyone in the world.”

“Oh, I understand, truly, I do. But the work she did in the past was highly specialized and top secret. Where does she come from? What kind of dubious alliances has she forged over the years? In short, she may have been playing you all along.”

“No, no, I don’t believe that for a second.”

“Fair enough, Mr. Atteberry, but if you’re considering who could be behind this mysterious tracer, I think you have to consider all possibilities. Even the ones that appear impossible.”

Author Interview
with David Allan Hamilton

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

Clairvoyance or prophecy. I think the ability to read the energy fields, make sense of events, would be a powerful ability. Now I’m not saying I’d want as much as Gary Mitchell did in the old Star Trek Original Series where Mitchell goes berserk with his ESP powers. But a little bit would be cool.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Most likely, that I am a knitter. I enjoy making my own sweaters, especially the old vintage Mary Maxims, you know the ones with the crazy kitschy patterns like fish and moose and such. But since knitting, I’ve learned that survivors of near death events often take to repetitive activities, like knitting, to quiet parts of their brain. I wonder if that’s what I’m doing in some odd way.

When writing descriptions of your hero, what feature do you start with?

I usually have a pretty good idea of what my hero looks like before I write up a character profile, so I probably begin with very basic information: gender, height, hair and eye colour, and so on. I often search the internet for pictures of people who come close to what I have in my mind for a character. The next thing I often focus on is my hero’s traits: the good ones are fairly simple… things like loyalty or resourcefulness. But it’s the flaws that I really enjoy writing in to my hero, and seeing the contrast of strength and weakness together.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am 100% a plotter, but with a caveat. First, I love planning things out, whether that’s a story plot or a camping trip or business activities. I like to have structure, a road map. But here’s the caveat: I also give myself the flexibility and the permission to make adjustments along the way. So when it comes to plotting a novel, I spend a fair bit of time working out each section, each character’s movements and motivations. But when it comes to actually writing my sections, I allow my characters to influence the direction it takes. So I guess you could say I plot my stories out fully, but then I expect some the story to morph once the writing gets going.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?

Yes! First, I learned that the process I used to plot and write the novel actually worked. I used a combination of plotting, a group of like-minded writers for feedback along the way, and I set aside specific times during the week that I devoted to writing. A good editor is a must as well.

But the thing I learned the most from writing The Crying of Ross 128 was about the relationship with my own father. My hero, Jim Atteberry, is a single parent raising a 10 year old daughter. My own dad was never part of my life in any significant way. But I learned from writing this story is that the relationship Jim had with Mary was, in fact, the kind of relationship I longed to have with own dad. I’m 55 now, and I’m still coming to terms with my father. Writing this novel had an unexpected healing effect on me.

David Allan Hamilton is a teacher, writer, and multipotentialite. He is a graduate of Laurentian University (BSc. Applied Physics) and The University of Western Ontario (MSc. Geophysics). He lives in Ottawa where he facilitates writing workshops and teaches. When not writing, David enjoys riding his bike long distances, painting, and knitting.

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