Author Interview: Keshawn Dodds, Author of Menzuo: The Calling of the Sun Prince

Today, for Writer Wednesday, I am hosting one of my clients from Cosby Media Productions. I had the privilege of editing for Keshawn Dodds last year, and he was amazing to work with. He has been one of the easiest and most receptive writers I have worked with—EVER. And, because of that willingness to learn and take my suggestions, there’s no doubt in my mind that this talented author is going places.

Cosby Media is gearing up to release Keshawn’s middle grade fantasy/sci-fi novel, Menzuo: The Calling of the Sun Prince. Of course, all of us at CMP are very excited. The book will be out on Tuesday, March 24th, so make sure you mark your calendar and pick up a copy of the eBook when it’s available.

Now, let’s get on to the interview and learn more about Keshawn and his writing process. Please give a warm welcome to author Keshawn Dodds!

Keshawn DoddsTell us a bit about yourself—what’s your background and how did you become a writer?

Well, I am from Springfield, Massachusetts, the Home of Basketball (born and raised). I still live here with my wife, Tamara Dodds, and my amazing daughter who just turned ten, Sydney Dodds. Also, we have the best guard dog, our Shi Tzu, Barkley. I grew up in the center of the city with my mother, who raised me by herself after my father passed away when I was seven. I have three older brothers, Kevin Edward, Keith Edward and Kraig Edward Dodds. YES, we all have the same middle name. My three brothers have helped guide me through live and have helped me with finding my place in life as an advocate for education, sports and my passion for writing. I am also very thankful for the neighborhood that I grew up in. The people on Dunmoreland Street really helped my mother raise me, and I could not be more thankful for growing up in such a great environment.

Now, how I became a writer is a little bit of a sad story but very uplifting. When I was seventeen, my best friend, Marcus McDowell, was diagnosed with Cancer. While he was in the hospital, he wanted to do something to take his mind off of the pain and the chemo treatments that he was going through. So, we decided to create a comic book. He loved to draw, and I always had a passion for writing, so the process began. We both created this one character, Menzuo (Men-Zoo-O) and gave him the best super powers that any superhero could have. From there, we developed other characters and were well on our way to put things together.

Unfortunately, eleven months later, Marcus passed away. At that point, I fell into a very deep depression and really wanted to give up on everything that I wanted to be. Losing my friend in the world was heartbreaking. I was lost and didn’t know how to make my way back to being me.

A few months later, I sat down with Marcus’ father, Douglas Skinner, and we talked about life and Marcus. After that discussion, he gave me the artwork that Marcus created, and I took it home. I constantly looked at it, and then one day, I started to put pencil to paper and just wrote. I continued to write and write and write until I had a three hundred page manuscript. I really had no clue how it happened, but I looked at it as a blessing.

When I realized it, what I wrote was a tribute to Marcus and also a way of me dealing with the loss of my best friend.

What is the genre in which you write?

I write in several different genres: Juvenile Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, and Adult Romance. I have a very wide range in the art of writing with so many stories to tell. My favorite genre of them all is the Juvenile Science Fiction/Fantasy because it keeps my mind young.

What is the book you recently published? What is it all about?

The book that I have recently published is actually a republished book called Menzuo: The Calling of the Sun Prince. The book has been republished through Cosby Media Productions, and I am glad to announce that they have picked up the entire series. Menzuo has also been considered for film and television. My dreams are really coming to fruition.

Have you published or written any other works?

Yes, I have. I have published a book in the Young Adult Fiction genre called: Who’s On My Side? The Story of Kalen Brown. I debuted the book as a stage play back in 2012, and for all three shows, we got standing ovations. I am actually in the process of putting the play on again this summer at American International College.

Name your favorite characters you’ve made up and explain why they’re your favorites.

I really love all of the characters that I have created because I consider myself a method writer. I become each one of the characters that I create. I believe that’s why people really enjoy my writing style. If I had to choose a couple characters, it would have to be Menzuo and Solar from my Menzuo—Solar Warrior’s series. The reason these two characters are my favorite is because when you read the story, you will see that Menzuo is actually me and Solar, Menzuo’s protector—the one who gives Menzuo his superpowers is my best friend, Marcus. The connection with these two characters is real and makes my story complete.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

I feel that I am seriously very lucky. I don’t ever get writer’s block. I believe that’s because everything that I write plays like a movie in my head, so I can see everything that is happening and where the stories are going. The best thing that I can do is paint the pictures that I see with words on a page.

How long did it take to finish your first novel?

My first novel took me six months to write out the first time. Writing the first Menzuo novel was my escape from pain, and I dug deep and got lost in the story. For those six months, I kept writing, and from there, I fell in love with creating stories.

What were the challenges you faced when getting your first book published?

There were so many challenges because I was an unknown author. It seemed like I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Back in 2002-2003, every company that I contacted or submitted my manuscript to rejected it. Then, there were the companies that said that I needed an agent to represent my work. Then, there were the agents who said that I needed to have a published book to be represented. REALLY? So, how is a writer supposed to break into the market?

After seventeen rejection letters, I stumbled upon a company that was willing to publish my work. PublishAmerica opened its doors to me. I am forever grateful for the start because it has gotten me to where I am today.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found that work best for your genre?

I market my work in many different ways, from using social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, to my own website: www.keshawndodds.com. I also go into schools, community centers, boys and girls clubs, and hold reading and writing events. Being face-to-face with your target group really gets people interested in your work and grows your following.

What I am doing now to market my book is creating a documentary with the help of American International College students called, “The Creation of a New Superhero,” which we will put out on YouTube, leading up to the East Coast Black Age of Comic Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 15th – 16th. This is where I will reveal the Menzuo costume that is being created by the Theater Department at AIC.

What does your writing process “look” like?

My writing process is really free flowing. I first think about the story that I want to create, what message I want my story to tell, and how many characters I want to start with. I think about the background of my main character, what the obstacles are that he or she will be facing and how will they be solved.

I rarely have an outline for my stories. I try my best to write out the first draft straight through. The one thing that I do is take notes, so when I go back, I can add, take out, or change things to make the story flow better. I usually write my story over at least three times before I give it to my editor. I really try to do my best to make sure that my reader is inside of the story and understands my characters and where the story is going.

When I’m ready to write, I put on some music to get me in the mood—more than likely, I play Busta Rhymes for my fight scenes, and Metallica when I’m putting together some intense scenes. Music is my lifeline to my writing and it keeps me focused.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the second book in the Menzuo ~ Solar Warrior’s series: “Menzuo S.W. Legend of the Blue Diamond.” I am looking to release the book by the end of this year. To see where the series is going is amazing, and I am loving this journey.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism has actually been my best motivation. I have had someone tell me that my books are not good and no one will enjoy my work. The fear for every author is that people will hate their work. I have come to see that you cannot please everyone, but as an artist, you have to do what you love, and the people that truly enjoy what you do will continue to support you.

The best compliment that I have received is that my work has inspired them to write their own stories. That is the best compliment that I can receive. If I can motivate others to build upon their dreams, that’s what makes my work matter.

What advice can you give to aspiring authors?

The best advice that I can give to aspiring authors is: “Just Write!” That is the hardest part. Getting your story out of your head and onto paper or onto a computer is the first step to becoming an author. Many people think that this is easy to do, but it’s just like working out; not everyone is in shape because it’s hard to stay focused on your goals. The same goes for writing. It’s hard to keep going back to finish a story.

When can we expect to see another publication of your work?

The eBook for Menzuo: The Calling of the Sun Prince will be released on March 24th, and the physical copy will be out shortly after. From there, you can get updates on my next projects on my website: www.keshawndodds.com. I plan to publish many books over the years, so be on the lookout.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans and readers?

I want to say thank you for believing in me and helping to make my dreams a reality. I consider all of the fans of my work as friends. I’m just a regular guy trying to build an empire that will inspire others to be great and also live their dreams. I am truly blessed to do what I do, and I thank you all for taking the time to be on this journey with me.

What’s a cool (or nerdy) fact about you that you’ll share with us?

I am truly a comic book buff. I fell in love with comics when I was a kid. I always wanted to be Flash! He was my favorite because he was so fast. I am also a huge fan of science fiction/fantasy movies that people really have never heard of. I stay on Netflix and on the Internet, looking for new stories.

Finally, how can we find you? What are your social media sites and where can we purchase your book(s)?

You can find me on these sites:

www.facebook.com/keshawndodds

www.twitter.com/iamkeshawndodds

www.instagram.com/k.e.dodds

www.keshawndodds.com

My books can be purchased on my website and various other online sites like www.amazon.com & www.tatepublishing.com.

Menzuo Book Cover - FrontMenzuo synopsis:

Jammal Hall is just eleven years old when he finds out his life on Earth is more important than he could ever imagine. A week before his twelfth birthday, which happens to be his age of destiny, many secrets are revealed to him—including the news that he’s from another planet and his earthly parents are not his birth parents. Jammal, who is actually Prince Menzuo: Universal Protector, must rely on his guardian, Solar, if he is to survive combat training in order to prepare to face his arch nemesis: the deadly Pirate Warrior, Morbid. As Prince Menzuo begins to understand just how important he is in protecting the planet and the power of All Good and Evil, he must also face the challenge of trying to live a normal life while participating in a virtual reality tournament with his best friends. Will Menzuo be able to fulfill his destiny as protector, or will he give in to his fears and let the fate of the universe fall into the hands of the evil Morbid?

Don’t forget to grab your copy of Menzuo: The Calling of the Sun Prince on March 24th! Book available at most major online retail sites.

Special Guest: Braxton A. Cosby Shares His Writing Endeavors

I am so honored and thrilled to play host today to Dr. Braxton A. Cosby. You’ve heard of his uncle–the beloved Bill Cosby–and Dr. Cosby, like his uncle, seeks to make the world a better place through his experience and influence. His latest adventures include writing Young Adult fiction. ProtoStar, book #1 of his Star-Crossed Saga is due out next year. Check it out on Goodreads by clicking HERE. And coming soon–VERY soon–is his novel The School of Ministry: The Windgate. Below, Cosby explains just what this book is about, and gives us some insights into his writing process and goals as an author.

Dr. Cosby and I connected on Twitter–isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing? Therefore, through some messaging, I have the awesome privilege of reading and reviewing an ARC of The Windgate, and will post as soon as I’m finished with it. But now, without further ado, I’ll hand you all over to Dr. Cosby so you can find out more about him through an interview we conducted via e-mail:

BraxtonBIO: Dr. Braxton A. Cosby received his doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami and has been an experienced clinician for over 12 years. He is also a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist. He currently co-hosts a weekly radio show with Jamie Dukes on Atlanta’s own 1380 WAOK called “Ask The Fat Doctors” where they discuss current events and matters of health and wellness. Braxton (A.K.A. the FatDoc) runs his own blog called “Cosby’s Corner”, where he dishes on almost everything from books and movies, to fitness and sports. He also models, acts, and is an award-winning Young Adult author.

Interview

TH: Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

BC: Well, admittedly, my knack for storytelling is definitely in the genes. My Uncle has been doing stand-up for years where he shares his tales of fatherhood and family. My stories probably parallel his in some aspects because the focus is on values of accountability and the importance of making the right choices and accepting the consequences.

TH: What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

BC: I think it is so important for people to share their culture with everyone. There is such a big world out there, with communities of people that can be appreciated from various aspects. Storytelling is a great way to share that with others. I try to write stories that have people everyone can relate to in some way beyond color and ethnicity. The focuses of my books are to pull people in to the personalities of the characters and the hope is that people will identify with them in some way or another.

TH: What does your writing process “look” like? How do you get your ideas and inspiration? 

BC: I start with an outline and I brainstorm ideas that I think would be interesting to the story and see if they fit. The characters have to fit, the setting has to make sense, and the ending has to be engaging. If it all works, then I start to piece it together and make it flow from beginning to end. Moving things around as I write has become a practice that although slightly painful at first, is much appreciated once it is executed and smoothed out.

TH: What is the genre in which you write and why did you choose it?

BC: I love Young Adult. I have to admit that I still envy young folks. The more that I am around them I appreciate the essence of being young. The responsibilities are less, the feeling of invincibility is there and the lack of cynicism is daunting. I love the way our young people today are so accepting of each other’s differences. It’s not perfect, but overall, they are so much less serious as generations past. I think that’s why they can lose themselves in books so easily. The pitch to them is ridiculously less nerve-racking as speaking to adults.

SOM Book cover 720 x 480 Centered grey JPEGcompressedTH: You live a busy life. How long did it take to finish The School of Ministry: The Windgate and did you ever strike a balance between writing and all your other commitments? 

BC: Wow. It is kind of crazy. I do have the gift of “Stick-to-it-ness” and that’s what helps me stay focused. SOM probably took 3 months to complete the first rough draft (one that I thought was the final draft). Then, the much needed editing process: probably another 2 months.

Navigating the schedule is something that has become an artwork. I have so many plates spinning at once that I wonder how I get through it all. But I just add things as necessary and let God sort out what needs to go. Who knows what task or project is going to be the next big thing.

TH: Can you briefly tell us what the book and the series are about?

BC: It’s the spiritual successor of The Harry Potter Series, in a nutshell. Orphan Ziv, trying to find the meaning of life, is recruited by a secret society when his lifelong friend and crush goes missing. They ask him to join them in their quest to hunt down evil and protect the weak, promising to help him find his friend.

Along the way, he learns that he has gifts and talents of his own that must be perfected if he is to both survive and find the things he is looking for: love and the truth. There’s a wonderful triple love triangle that evolves, awesome action scenes, and comical dialogue throughout the book. Even though the story is told through Ziv’s perspective, the development of the other characters in the story is what I’m the most proud of.

TH: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?  

BC: Tell a fresh, new story, that hadn’t been told before. Also, give young people something that was sleek and unique, that incorporates spirituality as being both real and cool. I think I came close.

TH: How does your book relate to your spiritual practice?

BC: Believing as much as possible; without always having the visual proof that there is a plan in place that is directing your life. Sometimes road maps are best left at home and that voice that speaks to you at the times when you most feel discouraged could ultimately be the only directive you’ll ever receive. Life is tough, but the decision to Choose is the most essential component of our fate.

TH: What are your thoughts on writing a book series and what will we see from you in your literary future?

BC: Love it or leave it. It is a huge endeavor because you are always thinking ahead as you write. Do I save this for part three, or put it in part two? How do I introduce this character, and can I kill off this one here? Wait a minute, that’s one of the main focuses of part five! It can be kind of crazy. But once you structure the thing, there is nothing that has been more rewarding in my professional career.

SOM has five planned books, while The Star-Crossed Saga (coming in early 2014) is a trilogy. I will be adding short books in between to give more background on characters and settings to keep readers interested. I have a lot of plans for each series. 

TH: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

BC: Some of the toughest criticism is when people make statements about your work without offering objective examples. I don’t mind the comments, but show me in the work where it is so that I can possibly make it better. Nobody’s perfect and I’d like to make something that is my best effort. In the midst of the criticism, hopefully I can find some positive takeaways that can make the stories better and me a better writer. 

Best compliment: A recent reviewer said that SOM was fresh and new; they hope they can have the opportunity to review the next installment. That’s exactly what I want people to get from it. 

TH: What is your favorite book and why?

BC: The Hunger Games. I’ve only read the first two because I am trying to follow as close to the movies as I can. Suzanne Collins is a literary “beast”. Her writing is magnificent!

TH: How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

BC: Prayer from my grandmother, love from my mother, support from my wife, and a whole heck of a lot of perseverance. Life is not easy by any haul and I know that I’ve earned my way to the point I am today. I love what I do.

TH: What advice can you offer to aspiring and/or struggling writers?

BC: Find a story, don’t re-write one. Believe in what you have come up with and choose a path to publication. Don’t let it choose you. You have to decide why you are writing in the first place. Beyond the money and fame lies the true essence of a story that will move minds and hearts.

TH: Anything else you would like to share?

BC: Thank you for the interview Tamar, and for those who have connected with me: I hope you enjoy everything I’m giving to the world today.

 

Find Dr. Braxton A. Cosby at these sites:

Series website: www.theschoolofministry.com

Twitter: @Cosbykid_Fatdoc

Website: www.braxtoncosby.com

Blog: www.cosbyscorner.com

Prossia Blog Tour

Hello, readers!

Welcome to another day and another blog 🙂 Today, I have the pleasure of being the first to host Raphyel M. Jordan, author of Prossia. This novel has just begun a blog tour, and I am so thrilled to be part of the tour. There is lots of interesting information and some goodies–like a GIVEAWAY!!!–as you read through. Hope you enjoy and will be apt to check out Prossia after reading.

prossia

Interview with Raphyel

1. Tell us a bit about yourself—what’s your background and how did you become a writer?
I used to write little graphic novels when I was a kid. Drawing’s always been my true love, but I wanted to give the characters I drew a story. So, I’ve been drawing ever since could pick up a crayon, and I’ve been writing stories ever since I knew how to make complete sentences.

2. What is the genre in which you write?
I mainly focus on YA science fiction.

3. What is the book you recently published?
Prossia is a sci-fi coming of age series that shows the potential and responsibility that youth have due to their strengths while learning to overcome their weaknesses. That lesson is learned as we follow a teenage Goolian who unravels secrets about her galaxy while defending it against a renegade alien race.

4. Have you published or written any other works?
Prossia is currently the only title I have out so far, but that will change by the end of the year.

5. Name your top three favorite characters you’ve made up and explain why they’re your favorites.
“I love all of my characters.” LOL. Nah, I won’t give the generic answer.
1. Aly- She’s such a complex individual, like all human beings. Other people can only see the basics of a person, that being what they do and what they say. Still, we can never truly understand all the information and thoughts running all over the place in a person’s head. Like many people, Aly has a personal set of morals that sound good and logical, but she finds it hard to practice them when they’re challenged because she’s facing a personal struggle of the mind.
2. Cy- His mystery alone makes him so interesting. People just don’t know if they’re supposed to root for him or yell at him. At one moment, you’ll sympathize with Cy, and then he does something so unexpectedly horrible, you might wonder why you were ever thinking that people should just leave him alone.
3. Catty- She’s just too fun for me to dislike. Many people think they know just what type of girl she is; the spoiled stuck up kid that always got her way and all the attention. Then it turns out Catty is actually a caring person who will insist to pull her weight along with the person beside her. She’s a tough little cookie with spitfire.

6. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Meh. If I get “writer’s block,” I just write it out of my system, much the same way if I get “artist’s block.”

7. How long did it take to finish your first novel?  
LOL! Tough question, actually. The first draft took about a year and a half. (I took a lonnnng break in not working on it.) Then I started implementing items I was learning from college to strengthen the story. Also, I didn’t want to publish Prossia while I was in school, since graduating was my top priority. So, the book had actually been done for a couple of years in spite of the 2010 release.

8. What were the challenges you faced when getting your first book published?
Challenges brought by my own ignorance of the writing business. Even though the book’s been published for two years, last year felt like the first year Prossia started showing its true potential since I went about marketing it horribly initially.

9. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found that work best for your genre?
I used to just use Facebook and Deviantart. I just knew my illustrations would intrigue enough people. Guh, what an idiot. Now I’m trying to use the tools of the web as much as possible. Twitter, Facebook, blogging. I even make web ads since I’m a graphic designer and illustrator. From what it seems, finding bloggers that have a sci-fi niche seems to be showing the best direction to building interest for the book.

10. What does your writing process “look” like?
It’s a lot different from what it used to “look” like, thank God. When I first wrote Prossia, I just wrote away, knowing I needed a means to transition from the intro, the climax, and the ending. I actually know a couple of authors that can do that method, but they’re, well, more established.
My writing process is now very complex, and much more organized, now that I’ve written more stories (I think I have three solid ones that are just waiting for their time to shine, and numerous others that I’ve messed around with just for the heck of it). Now, I prep the story up with a single sentence that summarizes the story. I find that useful since a lot of agencies ask for a sentence about your story. Then I point out the objective of the story since I tend to have some underlying motif.

After that, I write a paragraph for each the intro, climax, and ending. Then I write out summaries of key characters. What they like, what they don’t like, what their relationships are with other characters, and how their persona will progress from the start of the story to the ending. Then we can finally get to the outline, where I summarize every single scene. After the outline is done, I’ll write the actual story, split-screened with the outline so I don’t go off track.

11. What projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on two projects, Operation: Sand Gnat, and Operation: Pirate Bee. These are simply code names for the actual books until I get comfortable with revealing an actual title. Since Pirate Bee is still a ways away, I don’t talk about it that much, but I do already have monthly ads going on around the web for it.

Sand Gnat is what I’m really focusing on right now since it’ll be out this year. It’s the prequel to “Prossia,” showing Aly and Catty growing up on Planet Gooliun, and how their upbringing led them to the events that take place in “Prossia.” I’m shooting for a November release, so Sand Gnat can coincide with Anti-bullying month, since that will be the social motif for it.

12.  What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Someone felt Aly had too much teenage melodrama since she had instances of insecurity. I found that a little hard because I felt a seventeen-year old who was trying to finish homework one evening, and suddenly gets drafted into a galactic war where she has to kill or be killed, has earned every right to be a little ticked at how her life is as long as she’s willing to fight it out.

On the other hand, my best compliment came from someone who said Aly was very relatable, noting that even though she’s not sure of how to confront some situations, she won’t back down. On top of that, the person was surprised that they could relate to this character that isn’t even a human being! Like most authors, I spent a lot of effort, even putting a bit of myself into my protagonist, to make my characters empathetic. And maybe that was why I took a person’s dislike of Aly a bit hard, because when I look at Aly’s thought transition, I see the mirror of me, the 19-year-old kid who was trying to figure out this whole growing up thing by writing some crazy sci-fi adventure.

Still, that was my first bad review, and I think that first bad one is always going to “hurt an author’s feelings.” Nowadays, I realize my goal isn’t for everyone to like my characters. That’s impossible. However, I do feel that there might be a small window in which everyone can, at the very least, understand a part of them. It’s my responsibility to make sure the characters are understandable. So, when I hear that someone doesn’t “get” the point I’m making with an individual, I feel I didn’t drive the character’s motivation out enough. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m about character-driven stories.

13. What advice can you give to aspiring authors?
Easy. Stop being an aspiring author, and be an author. Write write write write write, and get that book published! I know the latter part is the more dreadful process, but it’s possible. And if you think age is an issue, it isn’t. People don’t care how old you are. They just want to read a good book.

14. Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans and readers?
Sorry for the delay. 2012 was a wake up call, so I’ll make sure you won’t have to wait as long from now on. That’s a promise, and I’m a man of my word. Come November, you’ll have a free book, on me.

15. What’s a cool (or nerdy) fact about you that you’ll share with us?
Are you insane?! I could write an essay on my dorkism! Okay, uhhhh. . . summing it up in words, now! Battlestar Galactica, Dr. Who, Mass Effect, anime, Sonic the Hedgehog, Lord of the Rings, Ender’s Game, Marvel, Astronomy, Star Wars. Need I say more?! Oh! How about a bizarre fun fact. My childhood dream was to become an animator.

ENTER RAPHYEL’S PROSSIA GIVEAWAY BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Epic-Prossial-Poster1-for-web-Excerpt from Prossia

A sound to Aly’s right made her ear twitch and she had her rifle in her hand before her mind even knew she had grabbed it. She saw some grass rustling in an opening where the sunlight was able to beam down through the trees. There were intense red flowers growing right in the sun’s rays, and a tiny reptile scattered away when it noticed someone was looking at it. Aly sighed and laughed at herself before she headed over to the opening so she could get a closer look at the flowers. She took one step out into the opening, and another creature did the same from the other side.

Aly gasped, the Cyogen that was drawn by the music and flowers gasped, and neither budged a muscle. Aly still had her weapon in hand, and the Cyogen only had to raise his gauntlet and fire. The Goolian tried to hide her fear, but to her surprise, the Cyogen looked even more terrified.

Waiting, waiting. What were they supposed to do? Aly felt a stream of sweat run down the side of her head. The Cyogen felt his hands shaking. Waiting, still waiting. Both were trapped and looking at death.

A flock of birds broke the silence, and Aly’s instincts took over.

“Wait!” she heard the Cyogen yelp.

Too late. One single shot in the nose, and the Cyogen’s face pulled away into molten flesh before he dropped to the ground. Aly staggered back into a tree and covered her mouth. She wiped the sweat from her head and switched the blaster into pistol mode and waited. She eventually heard rustling coming from behind and took cover. She counted four footsteps, all too light to be hostiles.

“Secured,” Aly said, still crouched down behind the tree.

A set of red eyes shot its head around the corner, and Aly couldn’t help but yelp as she stumbled back.

“It’s okay, Al,” Cy insisted as he gently pushed Aly’s pistol away from his chest. “Didn’t mean to scare ya.”

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” she kept saying between her pants. Cy rubbed the mastra’s shoulders, and she took deep breaths so she could calm down.

Gruago, Catty, and Juazi came into the clearing seconds later. Catty posted the left, Gruago, took the right, and Juazi checked the Cyogen body.

“Neutralized,” the Argutain confirmed. “You alright back there, Aly?”

“…I’m okay.”

“Is that the only one?” Cy asked Juazi from behind.

“Must be a scout,” the lead answered as she nodded.

Cy swore and molded on his face plate.

“We better take cover then, eh?” he said.

“Why’s that?” Gruago asked.

Aly and Catty both gasped as their spines sent alarms to their brains. Juazi caught the look in the two’s eyes and dove.

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Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Prossia-ebook/dp/B00403N7B2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1359412773&sr=8-2&keywords=prossia

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/prossia-raphyel-m-jordan/1100385862?ean=9781453508688

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8925131-prossia

Author website: http://www.raphyelmjordan.com/

Novel Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prossial-Novel-Page/130106780371024?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaphyelMJordan

RMJordan Photo

BIOGRAPHY
Raphyel Montez Jordan grew up in a household sensitive to the creative arts. As a child, his hobbies were drawing favorite cartoon and video game characters while making illustrated stories. This passion for art never left and followed him all the way up to his high school and college years.

It wasn’t until college when he underwent a personal “renaissance” of sorts that Jordan took his interest in writing to another level. When he was 19, he started writing a novel for fun, taking inspiration from the constant exposure of different ideas and cultures that college showed him while staying true to the values he grew up to embrace. However, when the “signs of the times” influenced the story and the characters to spawn into universes of their own, he figured he might possibly be on to something.

As he studied graphic design at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, Jordan also used his  electives to study sciences like Astronomy, Psychology, and Biology in order enhance the reading experience in his story. He eventually made it a goal to have the story published after he graduated, and dubbed the goal “Operation Prosia,” the very same project that would develop into his first published book, Prossia.

Even though his novel is not necessarily a religious book, Jordan utilizes his Christian faith by urging people to encourage, not condemn, in his story. Best known for ending his PSFC newsletters with “Unity Within Diversity,” he hopes Prossia’s success will inspire people to consider and support the positive outlook in the difference human kind can share, whether it be race, religion, or any other cultural difference.