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).


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?

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!