Once again I've let a long time pass in between blog posts. Since I'm pretty confident no one reads my blog at this point I figured "If ever there was a time to slack off..."
I'm just kidding (well, sort of). The truth is, I've been very busy the last few weeks. I took a week off from writing in late November to travel to Barcelona with Ioana for our ten year anniversary as a couple. Let me tell you, if you're a science fiction writer looking for inspiration modernista architecture is pure gold. Visiting the Gaudi homes is probably as close as I will ever come to being in a spaceship or on another planet. Also, Estrella is my new favorite beer!
Since returning, I've really been struggling to get accustomed to the new world I was creating in Skyborn. Alas, I failed! For the first time in my life I was writing something with which i wasn't entirely comfortable. It's been awkward and frustrating. I think one of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer (though I've always found it the hardest) is take a step back. Consequently, I've walked away from Skyborn for now, planning to return to it when it feels right.
Fortunately, I've had other projects to keep me occupied. The world of Mindguard - which I affectionately call the Weixman Universe - has pulled me back in. It seems I wasn't ready to take a break from it yet.
I've started working on a prequel, which takes place about seven months before the events of Mindguard. The story will be approximately 20.000 words long and will focus on Alex Lea's first mission at Ayers-Ross, and his determination to follow into the footsteps of his idol, Sheldon Ayers.
I didn't realize how much I missed the Weixman Universe. Returning to it was the greatest feeling, like coming home after a long journey. In the meantime, the sequel is shaping up and work on it should commence in February of next year.
Another project I was anxious to return to was The Music and Myth. Since my focus has been entirely on Mindguard lately, I've unfortunately had to neglect my jazz blog. However, I've returned to it with full force in the last few weeks with some new articles about Carlton Holmes, The Song Project and The Mraz Trio.
Give them a read to discover some truly exceptional music and maybe take a break from those downright tiring Christmas carols.
Speaking of the Mraz Trio, I was very honored to once again be invited by Camilla Mraz to write the playbill text for their most recent New York concert. I'm looking forward to hearing this great project materialize into a physical recording. You can read the full text at the link above.
In some other Mindguard-related news, the book has recently been featured on Readingscifi.com
There's also a short interview. You can check it out at the following link
"That’s one really important thing I wanted to do: create a narrative where you have no clear hero and villain, just two characters with different motivations. This way, when they do eventually come into conflict you have reason enough to root for both of them, though you know they can’t possibly both succeed. I think this creates a certain type of suspense that you don’t find in regular hero-villain confrontation where there’s almost always a foregone conclusion who will come out on top."
I've submitted an interview to Book Reader Magazine, which you can read at the following link:
"Mindguard is the literary manifestation of my mind in all its raw, tortured, passionate, curious, bipolar clusterf**kedness (hey, if bootylicious is a word, then this one is too!) Really, it’s the novel I wanted to write all of my life. I wrote it with the pressing obsession that I might never get a crack at another one, so it contains parts of everything I care about and everything I ever wanted to say to the world hidden within an intricate maze of fiction."
I've also done a more extensive interview for Interviewswithwriters.com. It's my favorite so far because I got to talk about some of the stuff that's been weighing on my mind, especially the situation of indie art of all kinds.
"I don’t understand the people who are devotedly opposed to self-publishing. You get a greater diversity of stories and styles and narrative identities at a lower price. The public gets to decide what they want to read, and they have a greater selection of literature than ever to choose from. Some say that self-publishing has lead to an increase of “bad books”. I disagree. I think it’s very hard to say what constitutes a “good book”, since tastes can vary so wildly. Some will accept the occasional typo if it means getting to read a truly original story that differs from the “market-approved” books we seem to read over and over again. It’s not like self-published books are taking “space” from traditionally published books or each other. I don’t know, I’m just not a big fan of a small group of people getting to decide what everyone else is allowed to read."
I hope you will take the time to read them and let me know what you think :)
Anyway, now for the big news:
I'm running a Christmas Countdown Deal.
Starting today (December 21st at 8:00 AM GMT) until December 28th Mindguard will be available for 0.99$ on Amazon.com
"Careful, intricate plot lines reminiscent of Greg Bear combine with characters whose fates you will care about - no matter their motivation. This is the type of novel that you might find in an independent bookstore with 'Staff Recommendation' and a hand-written review. One for all Science Fiction fans."
Here is some more praise from Mindguard, taken from reader reviews:
"The characters are complex and beautifully developed; the level of detail with which multiple worlds are created is really convincing; and the structure knows how to tease the reader forward with subtle hints of twists and dangers to come."
"I felt Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, George RR Martin and some others as well. [...] Andrei somehow gets just what i love from these authors and makes it his own."
"Unparalleled! Cherascu has created a futuristic world that struggles with issues we experience today (privacy and the control and dissemination of data)."
"This fast-paced cinematic story goes beyond mere entertainment and poses interesting and important questions about humanity's future."
"It's a highly quotable and endlessly entertaining read."
To those who have already read the book, I sincerely hope you enjoyed it and that I've managed to entertain you.
I'm signing off for now and will return on Christmas Eve to spread some cheer. Peace and love to you all!