"Happiness is not perfected until it is shared."
- BLOG TOUR -
Loved your interview way back on 15th September. Great to be part of your blog tour and thanks for asking me. Now, we know you are very talented as a writer and illustrator, so tell us about your ‘Prossia’ science fiction book.
"Prossia" is a coming-of-age adventure that follows a seventeen-year-old alien girl named Aly whose first encounter to the world beyond her home comes in the form of her draft into a galactic war.
TELL US WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE ‘PROSSIA’.
Well, I just got plain sick and tired of being looked down on because of my youth. LOL! The funniest thing happened around the time I started writing "Prossia." Throughout all my life, grownups kept hammering into my head that I could do this and that and be anything I wanted to be. All of a sudden, when I was on the verge of hitting my twenties, I apparently was too young to do what I wanted to do or understand what it meant to struggle.
I also thought that seeing a young man rise to the occasion was getting a little redundant too, which is why "Prossia's" protagonist is a female teenage who can handle her own. Fortunately, I think society is on the same page in regards to having a need for some strong female characters, which is why I think the book-turned-movie, "the Hunger Games," did so well.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR HEROINE AND HER STRUGGLE?
Aly comes from a background where the world was seen in a black and white perspective. Meaning, there was just right, wrong, and no need for explanations or critical thinking in between. However, because of the encounters she has in the war, Aly realizes that the world has hues of gray as well, and her inner foundation and beliefs are severely challenged because of it. These challenges come at full force when she discovers some very troubling conspiracies involving the war and the entire galaxy, and she might have to second guess loyalties she never imagined compromising with.
YOU HAVE A THEME SONG FOR THIS BOOK. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
Oh, that! LOL! The theme song, called "the Moment," came from April Reaux, who did some editing for "Prossia." However, it turned out that Reaux's main passion is music. So, after hearing some samples of what she could do, I just had to have her compose a song for "Prossia." I knew since she had read the entire book in finer detail than most, she could provide something original and well defining to the feel of the story.
I told her what I thought the most powerful scene was in the book, and how it would be the defining moment that would carry the story throughout its entirety. She used that scene as inspiration, and I guess you could say "the rest is history." You can hear the song on youtube or at my site.
WHERE DID THE WORD ‘PROSSIA’ COME FROM?
Oi, now that wasn't easy. I needed something that sounded foreign but logical all at once. In the story, I explained "Prossia" means "for peace" of "unity within diversity" in one of the numerous alien languages in the story's galaxy. So I took "pro," which is the prefix that means "in favor of" or "for." Then I needed something simple and pleasant to the ear, so I finished it with "sia." So, I had the word, "Prosia."
However, when I wanted to make sure that this wasn't a real word, I quickly found out that there is actually a Prosia in Romania. Yikes! By that point, however, I was really attached to the sound of the word, so I added an extra "s" so I could keep it.
HAVE YOUR FACEBOOK FANS BEEN IMPRESSED SO FAR?
The general reception has been VERY positive, to my relief! People are very fond of the universe I made, and all the back-story I've developed behind it.-- Inserting my devious strategy and statement about my website here so people will know what I'm talking about. :P -- On top of that, I'm always getting told how surprisingly relatable Aly is, even though she's an alien. That tends to be the most rewarding compliment I get.
Still, not everyone is a fan of Aly's lack of confidence in regards to some issues because of her age. Then again, most people who tell me that aren't teenagers anymore and have already gone through that identity and confidence crisis in their lives. And the thing is, I didn't necessarily write "Prossia" for those type of individuals. I wrote it for young people who are in the heat of this identity conflict RIGHT NOW. "Prossia" is for the person who is about to take part in that first grownup life-defining moment, and understands their going "left or right" is going to shape the rest of their lives. There's a lot of pressure on us at this time in our lives. It's like the entire world is watching us, and as much as we hope to God we're doing the right thing, we honestly won't know how the outcome will turn out for a torturous length of time. However, it's comforting knowing that there was someone else before us that had the same struggles, thought the same thoughts, suffered the same worries. I want readers to know that it's okay to be scared, but like Aly, they can't hide from the hardships of self accountability.
ARE THEIR HIDDEN MESSAGES IN THIS BOOK?
LOL! Well I guess I just mentioned it, didn't I? There are numerous hidden messages in "Prossia" actually. Still, if I needed to sum it up, I would say it's not to let anyone choose your life for you. If there is a conflict in your heart that's telling you that the path you are currently on is wrong, then it is your obligation to get on the other path, even when everyone else around you is giving you odd looks for your decision.
WILL THERE BE A SEQUEL? ANY HINTS?
The million dollar question. LOL! I did leave the ending of "Prossia" open for a possible sequel, but I really haven't done too much thought into it since I'm currently working on the book's prequel and another sci-fi story I've been doing a lot of work on. Both stories are in their development stages, so I still have them in their "Operation" status names. "Prossia's" prequel is currently under the identity of "Operation: Sand Gnat" while my other story is called "Operation: Pirate Bee."
WHAT’S THE PROSSIA SCI-FI FAN CLUB? HOW CAN WE JOIN?
Ah, good ole PSFC. Anyone that knows me is very aware of the fact that I'm a complete dork. :P Remember that video game talk we had last time? LOL! On top of that, I like comics, a solid "frakin'" sci-fi series, and I'll go crazy over a good anime. :) I designed PSFC to be a place for people who are fans of my book to not only talk about "Prossia," but all things sci-fi related.
We cover the latest sci-fi movies, books, comics, TV shows, and video games. It's easy to join. Just go onto Facebook, type in Prossia sci-fi fan club, and ask for an invite. ^_^
DO YOU HAVE A WEEKLY NEWSLETTER?
You betcha! See, I didn't want to spam people's email inbox's with too much stuff every day, so my assistant and I made it a rule to only have 3-4 posts a day on the club's wall. However, the end of the week always has an arsenal of news from all the big sci-fi sites we follow. So, at the end of the week, we provide a newsletter on what we think are the biggest sci-fi announcements of that week. If I'm doing anything Prossia-related, like-oh I dunno- a blog tour or something like that :P, you'll be sure to get some info on that as well. We post our weekly newsletters every Friday.
ANY OTHER MORSELS OF INTEREST THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
. . . >_>. Uhhhh, well. . . My favourite color is green. I'm an Aquarius. My favourite radio station is NPR, which I get a lot of beef about since I'm still in my 20s, and . . .
. . .
Ohhhhhh, you meant things pertaining to the book! Doh! >_<
Besides PSFC, I also have two other Facebook pages. One is exclusively Prossia-related while the other one is pretty much anything and everything I do on a professional level. That includes writing, graphic design, and illustrations.
Ah, and if there are any art lovers out there, I got a profile on Deviant Art. If you want a little bit of everything, you can just follow my blog and website.
Clancy's comment: Go, Raphyel!