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Archive for September 18th, 2014

H. Peter AlessoAs a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.

His latest book is the science fiction space opera, Lieutenant Henry Gallant.

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Would you call yourself a born writer?

Not really.

Lieutenant Henry Gallant 2I love words, but that wasn’t always the case. My first infatuation was with numbers which explains my career as a research scientist. However, with maturity came insight into the elegance and efficacy of words. I learned to express myself in narratives rather than in algorithms.

I discovered that basic human behavior—emotional and physiological reactions to specific internal and external stresses—could be well-expressed though stories. What makes a science fiction story special is the tension originates at unexpected locations with unusual characters and strange circumstance, all of which combine to produce surprisingly ordinary human responses.

I’ve enjoyed this wonderful form of entertainment

What was your inspiration for Lieutenant Henry Gallant?

Science fiction novels provided wonderful adventures in unexpected places with unusual characters and strange circumstance. I’ve enjoyed them all my life, so when I first began to develop science fiction stories, I wanted to write adventures that I could vicariously enjoy.

Henry Gallant is handsome, brave, and daring—just what you want in a hero who sets out on a great adventure. A rival challenges him for the love of a young, beautiful, and bold woman—just what you’d expect in a warrior princess. Together they face an alien invasion, a jungle full of dangers predators, and a malevolent artificial intelligence bent on exterminating humanity.

Can you guess who wins in the end? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the corrupt politicians who maneuver to upset all Gallant’s efforts to protect the people and stop the malicious AI.

How much fun do you think I had writing this tale?

Actually, I had more.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

In the past, the scientific speculation of science fiction has helped spark the curiosity of researchers in many fields.

As a result, I believe science fiction should start on hard scientific principles. I researched the technologies included in the story and tried to predict their development path into the next centuries. For example, genetic engineering is current an important social topic and humanity faces difficult choices ahead. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against a competing innovation—Artificial Intelligence.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It takes me about a year to write, edit, and prepare to publish a book—though the time flies by once the basic story arc is firm. I enjoy most aspects of the project including the second and third draft stage when I have a good idea of the chapter content and I am ready to embellish the descriptions and bring personality to the dialog.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

My work habits are ‘slow-and-steady,’ but not a rigid regimen. I let the day unfold and find a quiet time to do some writing when I feel I have worked out some ideas in my mind.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

I believe science fiction should be based on hard scientific principles. I researched the technology included in the story and tried to project their development path into the next centuries. For example, genetic engineering is current an important topic in our society and humanity faced difficult choices as it develops over the course of the next century. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against another important innovation that also may prove a future concern—Artificial Intelligence.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

In the past, I have published several books through large traditional publishers, but for Lieutenant Henry Gallant I chose self-publication in order to get the book to market more quickly.

Where can we find you on the web?

My Web Site is: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx

My books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel as well as most web outlets.

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Lawrence St. JohnLaurence A. St. John was born on January 11, 1965 in Toledo Ohio. Laurence has one older brother and two younger sisters. Laurence along with his parents, brother and sisters moved once while growing up to Genoa Ohio, just south of Toledo. While attending Genoa Area schools, he was active in track, football and baseball. Later, after he graduated from Genoa High School (Comets) in 1983, he worked for a few manufacturing companies.

At the age of 23 and after three years of dedication, hard work and sweat, in 1988, Laurence received his first-degree black belt (Shodan) in Tae Kwon Do. This gave him the self-confidence and perseverance needed to surmount anything that came his way.

When Laurence was 25 years old he fell in love then married the love of his life, Julie in 1990. He then adopted her two young wonderful children Joe and Jan shortly after.

Out of high school for nearly fifteen years and after persuaded by his former manager, Laurence attended Owens State Community College where he obtained an Associates Degree in Microcomputer Business Systems while working full-time. In addition to computer classes, he enjoyed composition classes where he could free his mind and write what he wanted.

While working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, Laurence’s place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for his job, again. In the same year his first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. He described this as one of the most uplifting moments of his life. In addition, it was during this time when his emotions were running wild; he became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper.

Nearly four years later, he had completed his first middle grade fantasy novel, Metatron: The Angel Has Risen. His latest book is Metatron: The Mystical Blade.

Laurence currently lives in Northwood Ohio with his wife of 24 years, Julie. His son Joe is married to Cari and they have three daughters, Kendall, Sadie and Harper. His daughter Jan is married to Andrew and they have a son Eli and a daughter Evelyn. Laurence currently holds the position of Administrations Manager at Precision Strip, Inc. in Perrysburg Ohio, where he works full time. He continually writes in his spare time; weekends and after work, and is endlessly inspired by his five grandkids Kendall, Elijah, Sadie, Evelyn and Harper.

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Would you call yourself a born writer?

I think so. My writing started in my head when I was probably around ten years old. I had these cool characters and story lines in Metatron 2my head but I never acted on them. I was too busy playing sports and being a kid.

What was your inspiration for (METATRON: THE MYSTICAL BLADE)?

One day while working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, my place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for my job, again. In the same year my first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. This as one of the most uplifting moments of my life – one of the few times I remember crying with happiness. In addition, it was during this time when my emotions were running wild; I became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper. My first novel was published in 2012. The second novel in the series, Metatron: The Mystical Blade was published August 2014.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

To believe in yourself; Whatever you want to do, you can rise above your doubts and attain anything you set your mind on doing.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

This novel took me nearly six months to write then another three months for editing. Unfortunately, since I have a full time job that pays the bills it takes longer to write my books. Hopefully one day writing will be my full time job.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I am very much disciplined. I wish I had a typical day of writing. But when I do write which is usually at night and/or weekends I input all my recent thoughts then begin on the paragraph where I left off. I try to get at least 1000 words typed at one sitting. In the back of my head I’m constantly thinking of the first and last sentences of the book. They have to be the most awesome sentences – in my opinion.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The most challenging aspect was trying to get the book written and edited in time to make the cut-off date of my publisher along with to make the story better than the first book. I think it came out pretty good.

What do you love most about being an author?

When my readers such as Jarod, a ten year old boy walked up to me after a church Christmas play a year ago and asked me, “Are you Mr. St. John who wrote Metatron The Angel Has Risen book?” “I replied, yes I am, did you read it?” “He replied, yes I did and I loved the book and the story – thank you for writing it!” That is what I love most.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

This is actually my second book published by the same traditional publisher, Imajin Books. After my first book was completely drafted, I had no idea what to do next. Ironically, the next day in the mail was a quarterly letter from the college I graduated from – Owen State Community College. In it was an article about an alumnus who was also an author. And behold, his email address was also included in the article. I sent him an email introducing myself then asked some questions. Within a few days he actually called me and provided me with valuable advice and contact information of an author/editor. After my manuscript was edited by the author/editor along with another editor and query letters sent out to over 100 agents and publishers, I didn’t receive a contract. Contemplating the idea of self-publishing I sent out a help memo to my networking contacts from Facebook and Twitter. I received some great advice from many of them but most importantly a reply to have my manuscript reviewed. Finally, after a couple of months I was offered a contract with Imajin Books. I smiled so much my cheek muscles began to hurt. With my current novel, Metatron: The Mystical Blade, the process was so much easier. I’m happy with my current publisher however maybe someday I’ll acquire a much larger publisher; one that would stock books in bookstores and other retailers.

Where can we find you on the web?

My website has all my social networking sites along with where to purchase my novels.

www.laurencestjohn.com

Thank you for having me, I greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Laurence

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