Monday, September 21, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Husky Harlequin


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Husky.  Welcome to The Gal.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Husky Harlequin:
I am a lawyer and a chemist, but writing and music are my passions.  I had to stumble through life a bit to discover this about myself.  What can I say?  I'm stubborn and a slow learner.  I'm a little older and a little wiser now, so hopefully I can put all of my experience to good use!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Husky Harlequin:
a) I come from a diverse family.  I am White, Black, Caribbean Islander, and Native American.  There are probably other ethnicities that I don't know about yet.

b) I love playing guitar and took my first lesson in college.

c) I grew up in the United States, spent a semester studying in England, and lived in American Samoa, in the South Pacific, for three years.

d) My biggest fear is not living up to my abilities and letting my family down in the process.

e) I'm a terrible swimmer even though I've taken lessons multiple times in my life.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Husky Harlequin:
The Bible.  I grew up in a very religious household and my father used to read us Bible stories after supper.  The first novel I can remember loving was Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary.  Ramona is full of heart and good intentions, but always seemed to get into trouble anyway, just like me.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Husky Harlequin:
I'm reading The Breach by Patrick Lee.  My dad recommended it to me.  It is part Sci-Fi and part fast paced Thriller.  It is light on dialogue, and I find myself laughing quite a bit, although it is probably because I have a dark sense of humor.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Husky Harlequin:
I've always relished oral storytelling.  I get a natural high entertaining people in this manner.  A few years ago, I was at a low point in my life and I had an epiphany: "I should try and write my way out of this mess."  There was an immediate cathartic effect when I started putting stories together because life hasn't always turned out the way I've planned it, but my stories can.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Husky Harlequin:
Most of the work gets done at the small desk in my room.  My nine-month-old son requires a lot of my attention, so it is a juggling act right now.  I write ideas and scenes, though, whenever I get inspired.  Sometimes that means in my Moleskin notebook.  Other times, I have to put my iPhone to use and tap frantically before the moment evaporates.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Husky Harlequin:
Outlining.  I can't start writing until I have an end in mind.  That doesn't mean it won't change once I get down to cranking it out, but I need a clear line of sight before I get moving; I'm too scared to take a step otherwise! 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?

Husky Harlequin:
I love Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.  It is deadly serious, yet hilarious at the same time!  I can't tell you how many times my stomach cramped up while reading that one.  It is hard to pull that off, even more so in Sci-Fi, I think.
            Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers will always be a part of me.  My dad made me read it as a teenage when I was considering a career in the military.  While it's required reading at the US military academies (so I'm told), it has the feel of an antiwar masterpiece.  It really made me think about the glorification of violence in our society.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Husky Harlequin:
Finding the time.  Life is full of distractions and opportunities.  Writing takes commitment and sacrifice in order to produce something worth reading.  I've pretty much given up on TV, except the occasional binge, and sports, except reading baseball box scores.  Giving up these things has been small compared to following my dream.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Husky Harlequin:
Conflict is at the heart of every story.  Whether the guy desires the girl in a love story or the villain in an epic tale threatens the hero, the characters need something worth fighting for.  The battle must be risky and the pursuit must be costly.  The characters need to have learned something through the process of conflict resolution.  The protagonist cannot be the same guy he was at the beginning of the story.
            I tease my dad that, as a child, I must have understood this concept because whenever I pushed his buttons on purpose, seeing him get angry was entertaining to me!  He was always conflicted on how best to punish me so I'd finally learn my lesson.  Does that make me a villain?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Husky Harlequin:
Andrea, the main character in Time's Alibi, is probably the most like me.  While he is strong and athletic and I'm not, we both have spent our whole lives trying to figure out who we are supposed to be.  Andrew is deeply flawed, often getting in his own way, but he is willing to keep trying to find the right path, just like me.  I wish I was more like Vikki because she is self confident and unwavering in her beliefs.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why did you pick your particular genre?

Husky Harlequin:
I'm a Sci-Fi nerd raised on a steady diet of Star Trek and Star Wars.  My parents used to take me to Star Trek conventions when I was a kid.  I was delighted to find a room filled with masses of people as weird as I am!  It's strange, but the genre has been imprinted on my DNA.  Story telling in this field offers versatility.  Sci-Fi can be the story itself or merely the framework for something larger.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Husky Harlequin:
Time's Alibi is a time travel story, but it is more than that alone.  It is also a mystery that has a strong political theme.  So, in a sense, it is a genre mash-up.  As a nerd, I hate it when there isn't a technical explanation given for the time travel phenomenon in this type of story, so I've been careful to explain it in Time's Alibi, while hopefully not getting too bogged down in the technical descriptions.  Character development is very important to me, so there is a very literary feel to Andrew's journey in Time's Alibi, something that is often missing from Sci-Fi Thrillers.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your "trunk"?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?

Husky Harlequin:
I would love to do an album of music.  I have a slew of riffs and nearly completed guitar tracks sitting on my Mac in GarageBand ready to be completed.  I just need to find the courage to sing, or perhaps find someone who is willing to collaborate with me.  I'm told I'm not easy to work with.  My style tends to be more rock and roll than pop, but my finger picking skills are slowly coming around.  Any takers?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Husky Harlequin:
Time's Alibi is the first book in a planned trilogy.  I'm hard at work on the follow up!  Despite loving Sci-Fi, I have a passion for poetry.  I want to do a series of children's books one day in anapestic tetrameter, just like Dr. Seuss.  But I imagine my stories will have a darker tone while still embracing the silliness he is famous for developing.  Now, if I could only draw.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks for stopping by, Husky.  It was great having you.  Good luck on those future books - they sound like fun!!


About the author:
Husky is a lawyer, poet, musician, chemist, and writer from the Philadelphia area.  His high school literature class blew up  his brain, exposing a love for story telling.  He's circling back now.  He can't argue in court like Mitch McDeer, drop rhymes like Mother Goose, rock like Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, or leverage his skills in the lab like Walter White, but he can write better than Kilgore Trout.  Husky if a lover of ideas, progressive thoughts, and mankind.

Website ** Blog ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter

About the book:
Cancer.  Undetected, it relentlessly devours its host until there is nothing left.  Andrew Acheson's grandfather has been searching for a cure since a rare blood born pathogen claimed the life of his beloved wife.
            Family.  If damaged, it can be the breeding ground for social disease.  Greed infected the Acheson clan long ago.  David Acheson, the patriarch, has been missing for over a year and is presumed to be dead.  Murdered?  Kidnapped?  The FBI has no lo leads.  David's heirs can't wait to get their filthy fingers on his pharmaceutical empire.
            Discovery.  If misunderstood, it has the power to destroy.  Andrew desires the success and love that have painfully eluded him.  Without his grandfather's guidance, he may never find it.  Suddenly thrust into the center of a conflict with historic consequences, Andrew might be able to survive if he can overcome his flaws, both inherited and self-inflicted.  But first, he must find his grandfather and deal with David's most dangerous invention yet: time travel.

2 comments:

Husky Harlequin said...

Thanks for hosting me, Meghan! Great interview questions!

-Husky

Meghan H said...

You're very welcome. And thank you - I worked hard to come up with these questions :)