26 September 2015

Proust Your Protagonist with author Chris von Halle

Meet Stausha, one of the lead characters in
Chris von Halle's YA dystopian novel. Available now
from Clean Reads Publishing!

Introducing

Stausha

of Faction 304


My name is Stausha. I am sixteen years old and I dwell in the large town of Middleton in the Old World state of Pennsylvania. As with everybody in my society, I am part of a faction. The chief function of each faction is to hunt for relics left over from the Old World in the middle of town. It has been one hundred years since the advent of the plague, a birth-transmitted disease that kills everyone around the time they turn seventeen years old. As for me, I speak with elevated diction because I love words and the English language, and at one point in my life was fortunate enough to be taught by a privileged member of society how to speak eloquently.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
That is a tough one, as there is so much misery in Middleton. I would have to say, however, that having one’s children cruelly ripped away from you—as has been done to me—and not subsequently be permitted to raise or be with them is the largest hardship I’ve had to—and still have to—endure.

Where would you like to live?
Quite realistically any place other than Middleton. However, one of the empty, abandoned farms that litter the outskirts of the town would provide a wonderful place for me to live, as it would be far enough away from the rulers and their unjust clutch on Middleton.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
A life in which you are allowed to raise your own children, live in your own house or home, and perform the job you wish to perform—rather than one designated for you—on a regular basis.

The quality you most admire in a man?
I have never actually met a member of the opposite sex, as it is illegal in my town for the sexes to intermix. Therefore, I’m afraid I cannot give you an accurate answer for this one.

The quality you most admire in a woman?
Kindness, sensitivity toward others.

Your favorite virtue?
Again, kindness. I believe that one of the main reasons my society has degraded to such an abysmal state is because the rulers have lost touch with the general concept and importance of kindness.

Your favorite occupation?
I positively adore the artifacts left over from the Old World, and therefore study them on occasion—illegally, mind you—merely for fun.

Your most marked characteristic?
Most likely my curiosity.

What do you most value in your friends?
I would say honesty and kindness.

What is your principle defect?
I am likely to refuse to connect with or to attempt to make friends with somebody because I have had things I hold dearly ripped away from me far too many times. Therefore, I don’t want to risk such a tragic thing occurring again.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
To live the rest of my short, pitiful life without being able to lay my eyes on or raise my beloved children.

What would you like to be?
First and foremost a great mother. Regarding one’s career, I’m not entirely certain, since my society does not allow its citizens to choose a profession. If I were permitted to choose, I imagine I would pick something that deals with language in some capacity.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I don’t believe I have ever met anybody who has been truly heroic, so I couldn’t tell you.

Who are your favorite heroines?
Again, I have never known anybody in my life who I would consider a true role model.

What is it you most dislike?
The rulers. They’re constantly inhibiting the freedoms of Middleton’s citizens, including mine.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I wish I could be less selfish.

How would you like to die?
When I’m old and gray—much older than seventeen, mind you, although that would require an antidote to the plague having been created—on a deathbed in a house that I could at the very least call my own. Oh—and with my children—also all grown up—at the bedside, each holding one of my hands.

What is your present state of mind?
A tad cross and dejected, yet hopeful that someday things may yet change in my town and, subsequently, my life.

What is your motto?
Never be afraid to strive to attain what you desire, despite how intense the opposition may be.

~*~

(c) Chris Von Halle
Chris von Halle has had many different lives in many different worlds—the near and distant future Earth, other planets, and even other dimensions—and his books recreate his childhood memories of such outlandish locations. In this world and life, he lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and enjoys such extraordinary activities as playing video games, tennis, and basketball, and writing the occasional comic strip.

For more of Chris, check out his social media (Facebook and Twitter) and stay up to date on his writing through his author website and blog.

21 September 2015

Proust Your Protagonist with Chris von Halle

Meet Gorin, one of the leads in Chris Von Halle's  YA
sci-fi dystopian novel, The Fourth Generation.
Available now from Clean Reads Publishing
(formerly Astrea Press).

Presenting

Gorin 
of 
Faction 235


My name’s Gorin. I’m sixteen years old and I live in the large town Middleton in the Old World state of Pennsylvania. As with everybody in town, I’m part of a faction. My job in particular is to hunt for items left over from the Old World in the middle of town, though you could argue that that’s the point of factions in general. It’s been a hundred years since the plague, a birth-transmitted disease that kills everyone around the time they turn seventeen, broke out.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
For me personally, I would have to say being in jail. Mostly because then I wouldn’t be able to do the thing I love the most in life—illegally study artifacts left over from the Old World. For the record, my job is to hunt for said artifacts, but I’m required by law to immediately hand them over to the rulers without analyzing them myself.

Where would you like to live?
I would love to live at the rulers’ mansion—rumored to be utterly magnificent—for the rest of my life.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Being free to study all the intriguing pieces left over from the Old World to my heart’s content, instead of having to study in secret the few I’ve kept for myself.

The quality you most admire in a man?
Loyalty—the reason my roommate Marf is such a good friend and has never ratted me out about my secret pastime.

The quality you most admire in a woman?
I have never actually met a girl, since it’s illegal for the sexes to intermix, though I would guess probably loyalty also.

Your favorite virtue?
Curiosity.

Your favorite occupation?
I would love to have the job of examining all the Old World relics, but the kids who have that duty live at the rulers’ mansion and nobody else is even allowed near the place. So unfair!

Your most marked characteristic?
Probably my curiosity, though only my best friend Marf knows about that.

What do you most value in your friends?
Again, loyalty. Marf could’ve turned me in to the patrol ages ago because of my forbidden hobby, but he’d never do that—even though he disapproves of it—because he’s loyal to the core.

What is your principle defect?
Ironically, probably my curiosity. Sometimes I wonder if it’s really worth being curious, because all it would take is one slip-up—the wrong eyes seeing my work—for me to be hanged to death, the punishment for doing such a thing when you’re sixteen (the last year of your life in my town—and probably the whole world).

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
That one’s easy—dying at the age of seventeen without laying my eyes on the rulers’ mansion at least once. Rumor has it it’s absolutely brilliant and it has all kinds of incredible treasures on its property that have been collected over the course of generations. Of course, it’s illegal to even take a peek at that extraordinary place…

What would you like to be?
No question, I would love to study the artifacts at the mansion.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My old buddy Chud. He was the housekeeper of the faction I grew up in, so he was much older than me. Aside from having an awesome sense of humor, he and I always had the same major characteristic: curiosity. In fact, as I learned later on (though how I did brings back horrible memories), he used to secretly study all the objects in the nurture faction, even drawing them on paper and measuring certain parts of them. He was one unique and cool guy!

Who are your favorite heroines?
I’ve never known any girls, so I couldn’t tell you.

What is it you most dislike?
I’d have to say the rulers. Not letting me even have a chance to have my favorite job is the most unfair thing ever!

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I wish I could be more optimistic.

How would you like to die?
As long as I get to catch a glimpse of the mansion before I die, it doesn’t matter to me. You can hang me or burn me to death—I  really don’t care! Okay, I guess I’d rather not have a slow death (haha).

What is your present state of mind?
Pretty motivated. If I wind up collecting enough of the objects that the rulers are currently looking for, there’s a chance I’ll get a tour of their mansion. Every year the factions compete in The Tournament of Prestige, in which they hunt for the artifacts worth the most prestige points. The faction that collects the most points at the end of the year gets a tour of the mansion, among a couple other pretty awesome prizes. (Siiiigh) What I wouldn’t give for my faction to win this year…

What is your motto?
Always make time in the day to do something you love, no matter what it is.

~*~

(c) Chris Von Halle
Chris von Halle has had many different lives in many different worlds—the near and distant future Earth, other planets, and even other dimensions—and his books recreate his childhood memories of such outlandish locations. In this world and life, he lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and enjoys such extraordinary activities as playing video games, tennis, and basketball, and writing the occasional comic strip.

For more of Chris, check out his social media (Facebook and Twitter) and stay up to date on his writing through his author website and blog.

11 September 2015

College is Back in Session...

Vector cc-licensed  by Vectorilla.com. Source
...and I've fallen behind on a lot of things--posting on my websites and social media; writing my Matsuricon review; and working on all of my writing projects (including a book I hoped to release on September 30th...not sure if that will work out now...).

I'm teaching 3 lectures and 2 labs for this semester at North Central State College. I've been an adjunct with the English department since January 2014. While I'm not quite the innocent babe I was in 2014, I'm still pretty new to teaching overall, and one of the issues I always have is with time management.

Every time the term begins I have to re-assess how I attempt to balance teaching, writing, and my personal life. Well, personal life has been a bit nonexistent for a while, so it's mostly me trying to figure out how to keep on with the writing lifestyle while I'm grading the work of over 50 students this term. It's been a while since I had that many and I've already discovered I have to adjust my grading methods yet again (if I keep grading how I've done it in the past, students will never see their papers!). But it's better I realize this three weeks into it before things get really stressful and assignments get much more complicated.

I have a couple things on my mind project-wise that I may have to reconsider...in the meantime, I hope to get my Matsuricon review up soon (I had a BLAST). You can also expect more Elite Book promos forthcoming as well.

Thank you all for your patience with me!