Friday, February 8, 2013

No Greater Illusion by K. Baskett : Interview, Excerpt: Black Lion Tour Stop


 








A number of unacquainted adults, from various walks of life, routinely enjoy the benefits of residing in a nation where liberty and justice are among its chief luxuries. Having different statuses of education, income, and ethnicity, all are suddenly forced to cope firsthand with the "domino effect" of America's vitriolic reaction to the assassination of an auspicious female presidential nominee, Gov. Ceinwen Jarvis. In a day and time where the advancement of technology allows one's voting status, banking information, and even medical history to be accessed by microchip scan, they quickly realize that America - as well as their own lives - will never be the same.




Quick Facts
Release Date: November 30, 2012.
Genre: Dystopian Fiction (Science Fiction / Techno-Thriller / Suspense / African-American Fiction)
Formats: Paperback, Kindle.




Thanks so much for stopping in today and agreeing to answer a few of my questions.  I am excited for this chance to find out a little about you. You chose a specific genre, a place and time to write about, what made you choose it?
Honestly, I did not choose to write a Dystopian novel. I just had a story that I wanted to tell. As part of the publishing process, I had to select a genre, and I mulled over that for more time than you would believe, vacillating back and forth between Thriller and Science Fiction. Yet, neither one seemed quite right. When I came across the Dystopian categorization, I knew right away that it was the best choice for No Greater Illusion. So I guess you could say that I didn’t choose the genre: it chose me! As for the place, I deliberately kept it vague because I wanted the reader to feel like the events in the story could be happening in their own town. And finally, it had to be set in the near future in order to incorporate some of the technological elements that were critical to the story.
 
In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?
A good book has amazing prose coupled with a compelling story, characters who feel so real they are jumping off the page, and a satisfying ending. A good book becomes great when it has all of those things plus a strong, important message that is clearly revealed through the plot and stays with you even after the final page is read.
 
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want readers to examine the things they take for granted in this life, and ask themselves if anything is guaranteed.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
Character names are extremely important in my novel. They are significant because I make sure to align the meaning of the name with the personality traits of its owner. For example, Viera is a “lively woman”; Dyer means “a creative man”; Quinn - “a woman who is queenly”; Circe, of Greek mythology, was a nymph and enchantress who, literally, changed men into pigs! ;-) And those are just a few examples. I feel strongly that the character’s name should be a perfect fit; therefore, I consider meanings and lineage when choosing them.
 
Which of your characters is most like you?
I can’t say that any one character is a lot like me. I break myself into pieces and infuse one small part of me into each and every character that I write about. Take the “right” trait from each character, and you could combine them to come very close to knowing exactly what sort of person I am. However, I am not going to tell you which of the traits in each character came from me. Where is the mystery in that?!
 
How much research did you do before and during writing?
Although I really do not research before I start writing, I research constantly during the process. Google makes it easy to look up places or things that are unfamiliar to me, so that I am able to include them in my novel appropriately.
 
Do you ever write naked?
Um.... no.
 
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Just one: Writing simply because you love it, and for no other reason. When you start to tell a story that you have no interest in, or change things around to be a crowd-pleaser, or follow an unattractive literary trend just to gain fame or riches, then you have lost your own voice (and yourself). And if the book doesn’t do well, you will always wonder if it is because you sold out. Stay true to yourself and give it your all - so that no matter what happens in the end you know that people are seeing your best contribution. It will stop you from going insane with regret and hopeless consideration of other possibilities. Asking yourself “What if....?” is the quickest way to spiral into doubt and despair.
 
Do you enjoy giving interviews?
Honestly, no. I like to be the magician behind the curtain, waving my wand and delivering a story for your entertainment but staying very much out of the limelight in the process. Interviews feel like that curtain is parting, and the spotlight hurts my eyes. ;-)
 
What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen?
A perfect sunset in Aruba - blazing pink, orange and red behind a turquoise ocean. It is a sight that I will never forget because it stopped me dead in my tracks and made me forget about everything else in the world at that moment except for the awe inspiring sight before me.
 
How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
I appreciate every single review that people take the time out of their schedules to write. I understand that not everyone is going to like No Greater Illusion, especially since the subject matter is considered controversial and the storyline is dark. Still, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I want to hear them all - good or bad. There is also something to be learned from criticism, if you open your mind to it. I am just starting on this journey as an author and I know there are ways I can improve. The bad reviews are the ones that have no problem telling me what those ways are.
 
If you were to stop writing today, would it drastically change your life? What would you do?
It would change my life completely because writing is a pure love for me, and the greatest joy outside of my family. I am not sure what I would do with myself if I couldn’t write. I might wither away into nothingness...
 
What is the one question you hate being asked in an interview? Is it this one?
“If you could go back in time and have lunch with one person, who would it be and why?” Can we just leave it at that? :)


 

 
Jack of all trades, master of none - save for the art of procrastination - K. Baskett lives by the motto, "Never do today what can be put off until tomorrow." K. firmly believes that you aren't really interested in the author's hometown, spouse, children or pets, and has therefore decided to spare you the details. No Greater Illusion is the author's debut novel.

Learn more about the author at:



 
 



THAT NIGHT, I BECAME an eye witness to murder. The cop who pulled the trigger might have claimed it was “self-defense” or “protection from an imminent threat,” but all I saw was a 90-pound woman brandishing a lug wrench that was almost too heavy for her to lift.
“Conspiracy!” she yelled at the top of her lungs and used all of her might to swing the weapon at a nearby car, shattering the driver’s side window.
“Stand down,” ordered the nearest police officer in a booming voice, as he and countless others surveyed the entire riot scene unfolding before us.
“Never. We want justice,” the lady screamed, successfully breaking out the rear passenger’s side window this time. The officer made a move toward the woman and she turned to him, struggling for purchase as she raised the lug wrench over her head. A crazed expression morphed her face into a vacant wasteland, so that she appeared to be gazing at and through the officer at the same time, eyes and mouth sloping downward, gaping. She looked to be coming straight from the office, dressed conservatively in a pencil skirt and high heels, which I noticed because they were so inappropriate. Skinny as the tool in her hands, she posed little to no physical threat and could have easily been subdued by some other method, so I was surprised when the police officer drew his gun.
“I’m warning you. Stand down,” the officer growled, his eyes two hard pebbles of flint, sparking as he aimed the gun squarely at the woman’s heart.
She moved with no forewarning and surprising quickness. Like a lioness, she pounced, and got close enough to the officer to be able to see the color of his eyes before he fired his weapon. It was nothing like in the movies. His gun made more of a popping sound rather than a loud bang. In all the noise it could have been mistaken for something else, like a car backfiring or a tire exploding. She collapsed instantly, freefalling, slamming to the pavement with so much force her body seemed to bounce once before landing in a final thud, facedown, her fist still clutching a tool used for changing flat tires. Her entire back was a mass of gore from the exit wound, blood so dark it looked black in the low light, soaking her smart silk blouse and pooling around her body in an ever expanding puddle.
Even in the midst of the mayhem, there seemed to be an almost pure silence that descended over the immediate circle of people surrounding the woman’s corpse. Their stillness attracted even more attention than the gunshot and the crowd around the fallen woman grew. The officer began to slowly back up, a look of dread on his face. He spoke into his shoulder radio, “Two-forty-eight requesting backup at Sixth and Watson. Code thirty. I repeat: I need units at Sixth and Watson, immediately.”
The officer’s call for backup shifted the crowd’s focus from the dead woman to him.
“He did it,” someone spoke clearly from the group. “The cop.”
The officer continued to step backward, gingerly almost.
Another yell came from my right. “Ol’ racist ass cop!”
The crowd closed in and began to slowly advance toward the officer. I stood on the perimeter, not sure if I wanted to get involved.
“Fall back,” the officer ordered, pointing his gun into the crowd now, aiming in the general direction from where the slur came.
Various shouts rang out in response, more people getting agitated now and too many of them yelling at once to clearly decipher any one phrase.
“I will not hesitate to discharge my weapon,” he warned.
We see that, I thought. Obviously he was ready to pull the trigger yet again.
The closer the crowd got, the more the officer seemed to be losing his aura of authority, his confidence getting smothered by fear, his eyes now showing uncertainty where before there was boldness. Not a soul had responded to his call for backup. The city’s police force was sorely understaffed and everyone knew that in this chaos there weren’t nearly enough officers to go around. The gun trembled slightly in his hand as he pointed it at the closest target, a young black man in his early twenties advancing to the front of the crowd. He was shirtless, wearing nothing above the waist but several large black tattoos, his athletic body coiled with intent.
“Crooked cops,” the young man stated passionately, as a matter of fact. “I fucking hate the police.” He glanced back at the others and raised his voice with that last statement.
They thundered their hearty agreement.
“So what we gonna do about this racist motha fucka?” the young man snarled, having assumed leadership of the crowd by their earlier assent.
“Don’t try me,” the officer shrieked. He made another useless call for backup, panicked and on edge. The crowd had backed him into a wall and like any cornered animal he was ready to attack.
“Grab him!” The suggestion came in the form of a growl.
The young man sprang forward, all that tension uncoiling from his chiseled muscles in a single smooth leap. With a wild look in his eye, the officer pulled the trigger. In his agitation, he actually missed the young leader and instead his bullet found someone else who screamed out in agony as their flesh was torn. This indiscriminate shooting incited the crowd even more, and in the time it took the cop to fire another shot into the group, he was completely buried under a pile of angry bodies, swarming around him like bees to the hive.





Feb 1st: Black Lion Tour Blog: Introduction.
Feb 2nd: 
Oh Chrys!: Guest Post
Feb 3rd: Coffe Bean Bookshelf: Review.
Feb 4th: Books, Books the Magical Fruit: Interview and Guest Post.
Feb 5th: 
Bookshelves of Dreams: Review and Guest Post.
Feb 6th: Love in a Book: Top Ten List.
Feb 7th: BK Walker Books: Interview.
Feb 8th: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews: Interview.
Feb 10th: 
My Devotional Thoughts: Review and Guest Post.
              
A Novel Idea Live: Interview.
Feb 11th: A Book Lover's Library: Guest Post.

                 A Novel Idea Live Blog: Guest Post.
Feb 12th: 
2nd Book to the Right: Review.
Feb 13thBookworm Lisa: Guest Post
Feb 14th: Black Lion Tour Blog: Wrap- up.
 







TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY


Win a Paperback or e-copy of "No Greater lllusion".





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