Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What Casts The Shadows? by Seth Mullins Interview & Giveaway #vbtcafetours

Title: What Casts the Shadow (The Edge of the Known, Volume I)
Author Name: Seth Mullins

Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today at The Virtual Cafe.

BK: Looking out the nearest window, describe the scene you see.

A mess! We had a snow storm last night – seriously the biggest flakes I’d ever seen, like the size of figs – which then turned to rain in the night; and of course, in true Vermont fashion, the temperature will now drop and turn it all into a skate rink.

BK: Tell us about your office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?

I write in motion – that’s the way ideas percolate best for me – so my ‘office’ is the kitchen table one moment, then my bed, then a picnic table outside, etc. But I am fairly organized and clean. My mind swirling within an ordered environment: that’s my preferred way to work.

BK: What is a must-have, such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?

Well, I must have coffee in my day, but not necessarily to write. ;) I used to be more superstitious about the creative process and would have lucky pens, notebooks, writing spots, etc. But now I seem able to do it under virtually any sort of condition so long as I don’t sit still for too long. I might write for four hours in a day, but it’ll be broken up by dishes, hikes, music, errands, stepping out for lunch…

BK: Do you like to write in silence, or do you need music or background noise?

I almost always write to music. I’ll anticipate a certain scene sometimes and then compile a playlist that fits its distinctive mood so that I can just roll along in that emotional space until I’m through. And of course I’ve been writing about the adventures and misadventures of a struggling band anyway, so this approach is fitting.

BK: Tell us a bit about your hero/heroine, and their development.

Brandon Chane begins his quest as a young musician both brilliant and self-destructive. He belongs to that pantheon of artists who live deeply but also feel life more intensely than they know how to deal with. I wanted to explore the question of whether or not he could ‘make peace’ in such a way that he could achieve a balanced and happy life and yet still retain his vision. ‘Live fast, die young’ has been a credo and cliché of rock'n'roll since the ‘60s.

Luckily, Brandon finds possible salvation in the form of Saul Mason, a middle-aged man who works as a counselor to people in crisis. Saul is a mystic thinker, an intuitive healer, an ancient medicine man in therapist guise. And he tries to demonstrate to Brandon how his life is his own creation. He has the power to choose a new path.

BK: As a writer myself, I'm always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how do you correct it?

It usually resolves itself if I’m able to recognize, in the moment, that things are in a stuck place and then just let it go and do something else. Any time I sweat my way through a scene it ends up reading like that in the end: It sounds forced. I’ve learned to trust that my stories have their own inner logic and emotional force, and so it then becomes more a matter of letting things unfold, of stepping out of the way, rather than wrestling with the prose.

BK: Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book...

Shamanic Energies To Heal

BK: How did your writing journey begin?

The earliest catalyst that I can remember was my discovery of epic fantasies like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant when I was in grade school. These worlds felt ‘real’ to me, and I wanted to explore what that meant. Later on, the Beat writers convinced me that one could use metaphor just as effectively in what most people would consider more ‘real life’ scenarios. And Surrealism was a bridge between those two worlds. Basically, I just got really excited about the idea of evoking inner realities through story, of crafting something that could have a healing effect upon readers.

BK: Using the letters from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?

Somewhere under moonlight, musing everything relentlessly.

BK: What is the craziest thing you've ever written about, whether it got published or not?

This series, actually. It contains a lot of subject matter that I’d been afraid to approach before now. I worried that I might go so far in evoking Brandon’s self-destructive tendencies that people just wouldn’t care about him. I also worried that readers might assume he was me.

BK: Tell us one thing you've done in life, that readers would be most surprised to know.

The whole Edge of the Known trilogy was written over a period of fourteen months. I don’t often advertise this fact because I tend to worry that people might think, “Oh, it must not be very good if it came through that fast.” But it was just a feverishly inspired time, such as I’d never experienced before – and for reasons which I don’t fully understand.

BK: What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m actually not sure at the moment. I’m in the midst of a sort of ‘grieving process’ (dramatic description, I know) over these characters who I’ve been writing about and living with so intensely, now that the trilogy is completed. It’s almost like having to decide whether to remain alone or get back on the horse in the wake of a romantic breakup. I need to take time. 

This or That...

Coke or Pepsi? You mean to clean floors with?

Night Owl or Early Bird? Both, actually. I stay up late, rise fairly early and then nap in the afternoon, typically.

Fantasy or Mystery? Fantasy.

Pen/Paper or Computer? I usually begin with a handwritten draft, “Humanity’s Way Forward” being an exception.

Pizza or Burger? Love both, can’t choose.

Rock or Country? Rock.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Love both. Would depend on my mood of the moment.

Beach or Mountains? I’ve had the privilege of living close to both in my life. There’s no way I could choose. Too long around one and I’d miss the other. I realize I’m doing a lot of cheating here ;)

Thank you so much for having us as one of your stops today. It has been great getting to know more about you and your book, and wish you the best of success!

BK Walker

Author Bio: Seth Mullins writes visionary fiction, stories that seek for a marriage between the invisible inner landscape from whence our dreams and deepest inspirations come and the waking world, the world that we call ‘the real’, which sorely needs those life-giving forces. The result is fiction that seethes with surface drama and conflict while at the same time revealing aspects of the deeper mysteries of reality and of our own souls. The Edge of the Known series, his most recent project, is also inspired by years spent as a songwriter and performing musician. Seth has spent part of his life in Connecticut, New Mexico and Oregon, and currently lives in Vermont.

Author Links - 

Website (Humanity’s Way Forward)

| Blog (The Edge of the Known)

| Twitter @SethMullins1


Book Genre: Visionary Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: January 4, 2014

Buy Link(s): What Casts the Shadow? (The Edge of the Known, Volume I)

Trust in the Unseen (The Edge of the Known, Volume II)

Book Description: When an altercation outside of a performance venue nearly proves fatal, Brandon Chane begins to realize how far his life is spinning out of control. His efforts to channel his pain, frustration and thwarted loves into his music may not suffice to save him. Then he meets Saul, a crisis counselor with the soul of an ancient medicine-man, and a far-reaching journey of healing - one that may teach him how to steer away from the very edge of the Abyss - begins.


1. The Edge of the Precipice

I suppose you could compare it to driving on a high mountain road. You don’t realize how close you are to free-fall, or how sheer and far is the plunge, until you go around a bend where one side is exposed to open air and then there it is: The Abyss.
There’s this edge that you can come to – I imagine it’s a different place for each of us – and you just know that once you get swept over it you won’t be coming back. By the time you’re close enough to see it it may already be too late. You could find yourself teetering, suddenly hearing the warnings that life had been giving you all along, knowing that it’s become impossible to step back; because by that time, those other forces – the ones pounding like the rapids at your back, always trying to push you towards that edge and then over it – have grown too strong.
Tommy and I first talked about forming a band together before either of us had learned to play an instrument. We both perceived music – particularly, its heavy, extreme underside - as the ideal vehicle for our personal salvation. The first guitar that I purchased, a Fender Telecaster that I immediately spray painted black to my father’s horror, became my refuge. It was my best friend and confidante. It gave me a convenient excuse to avoid social situations that, more often than not, would only remind me of how far off the beaten path I really was – and, oftentimes, land me in one merciless scrap or another. Instead, I could just sit in my basement room for hours, listening to my various hardcore underground cassettes while trying to trace the riffs I was hearing along the frets of my charcoal-colored axe.
That’s how I learned to play so well within just a handful of years. I gave up on the romanticized notion of a normal social life and focused on practicing and creating. Tommy, meanwhile, had picked up the bass. Somewhere along the line we discovered that we each had halfway-decent singing voices as well, at least for the kind of abrasive music we were writing.

December 7 - Introduction at VBT Café Blog
December 8 - Guest Blogging at Mythical Books
December 10 - Spotlight at BK Walker Books
December 10 - Spotlight at Indy Book Fairy
December 12 - Spotlight at IndieWriterReviews
December 15 - Author 2 Author Marketing at BookIt BK Walker
December 17 - Interviewed at Bikers With Books
December 19 - Spotlight at Black Lilac Kitty
December 22 - Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions
December 24 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.
December  26 - 5 Things I Know For Sure at CAT Magazine
December 29 - Spotlight at My Life, Loves and Passions
December 31 - Guest Blog at Lori's Reading Corner
January 1 - Reviewed at Tea and Book
January 1 - Spotlight at My Tangled Skeins Reviews
January 5 -Guest Blogging at Debbie Jean Blog
January 7 - Review & Guest Blogging at Platypire Reviews
January 9 -Spotlight at Black Lilac Kitty
January 13 - Reviewed at Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
January 13 - Spotlight at 4 Covert 2 Overt A Place In The Spotlight
January 13 - Spotlight at Books & Tales
January 19 - Reviewed at BK Walker Books


Seth Mullins said...

Thank you for hosting me!