|The 5 Moons of Tiiana.|
Paul, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's discuss your book first, and then dive into the interview.
Book: The 5 Moons of Tiiana
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Sphere Publishing, LLC
Cover artist: R. Bale
Heat rating: PG13
The 5 Moons of Tiiana is a science fiction narration on a soldier caught in the middle of an interstellar war, faced with rescuing the princess he loves, and solving a 2000 year-old mystery that just might yield the secret to bringing peace to both sides of the galaxy.
What are your main characters' names? Occupations? Ages?
Rez Cantor / Captain of the Shadow Guard / 36 yrs
Leanna / Princess of Melela / 16 yrs
Philip Golan / scientist / 38 yrs
Oolat / Solula / age unknown
Ahska / Motula / age unknown
Unexpectedly there was a noise behind me; a muffled voice.
“Lock the door and draw the curtains,” it whispered. I whirled around, looking to see who had spoken. “And dim the lights …”
The voice was feminine–and familiar.
Without further thought, I moved to the office door, locking it. I pulled the drapes covering the large crystalline windows that faced the hallway and turned down the lights. It was then that I caught sight of movement from behind the curtains. A woman appeared, simply dressed in a night robe; her dark, yet graying hair pulled back. I recognized her instantly. It was Lady Tasha, the Empress of Melela; I immediately started to kneel. She waved at me emphatically.
“We have no time for that nonsense,” she snapped in a hoarse whisper. “Come to my side–now!” I obeyed instantly, moving forward to face her.
“My Queen, what is it?”
I lowered my eyes in respect; her sudden appearance had me at a loss. To say the least, I had never seen her dressed so informally, with her face unpainted. She looked older this way, and though the light in the room was dim, I could tell she’d been crying. Her face was fraught with fear, and her eyes filled with emotion. I listened as she spoke in quick, hushed tones.
“The peace signing tomorrow is a ruse,” she breathed, heavily. “The Relcor have no desire to leave any part of our monarchy alive. We are under a death sentence.”
“You must flee then,” I responded.
“No, we are trapped. There are spies everywhere, including the palace. They hold us prisoner, and the Emperor—he’s been drugged.”
“My lady, what can I do?”
She grabbed my arm with a firm, hard grip. “I need you to get Leanna out of there.”
Stunned by her request, I sputtered weakly. “B-b-but how? I’m Shadow Guard—I.M. would never allow me in—I don’t have the clearance.”
“That’s precisely why I’m coming to you, Captain. I.M.’s been compromised, and I’ve nowhere else to turn. I need you—you’re the adjunct officer in charge of her care. She knows you, and I need you to get her out of the palace and off Melela. You must—I want her to live! General Spires says if anyone can do it, it’s you.”
I was speechless. My Queen was speaking to me as a mother begging for her child’s life, and I had no idea what was transpiring. I needed more information. I started to ask, but there was a rustling out in the hallway. One of the sentinels was at the door; he spoke through it.
“Brother, why have you locked the door and drawn the curtains?”
I felt the Empress’ hand press against my chest–she pushed on me hard–near the place where Spires had struck me. It was then that I felt the micro pin stuck to my jacket, its point pricking my skin. The Empress moved back and away.
“I must go before they find me gone.” She headed toward the curtains, but not without one final plea. “Save my daughter, Rez. Please!”
I watched her disappear, slipping into a hidden alcove behind the draperies. I was alone again, bewildered, and off-guard. The Relcor were rattling the door knob; I sprang into action.
“What!” I yelled angrily, rushing the door. I jerked it open and glared at the two sentinels. “Can’t a man get a lick of sleep? Fucking pricworms!”
The two aliens looked at me blankly; I knew their human side understood my meaning, but the alien infecting them was confused. This was my opportunity. I brushed past the two, pushing them aside.
“I gotta get some sleep,” I snapped. “Tell the General I couldn’t wait.”
I didn’t look back. I didn’t dare—not if my gamble was to succeed. I moved to the lift and hit the access button. By the hand of fate it was there, waiting. The doors opened and I entered.
Outside in the rain, on the safety of the streets, I mulled over what had just transpired. The Empress’ words rang in my ear, spies everywhere, watching—waiting. The news of this was inconceivable—the Interior Ministry had been compromised—but how? Security for the palace was layered precisely for this reason, to prevent outside forces from penetrating the inner circle. And yet, if the Relcor were in control of I.M., then there was no one I could trust. What was I going to do?
Plagued with a myriad of questions, I looked down at the micro pin sticking though the fabric of my jacket. It was more like a small nail about three quarters of an inch in length with a barbed tip on one end and a small green data crystal on the other. I left it in place. Undoubtedly it held answers, but I needed to find a place where I could decode it–someplace out of the exchange loop. If there was information on how to save the Princess, I needed to keep it private. Unfortunately, I was ill prepared. I had no weapons or the means to stage a rescue and I lacked discretionary funds. I carried few mercs and little coin on me. Like most soldiers I used the Imperial credit system to pay for everything, but using that system now would be a mistake. If there were spies watching the Imperial elite, a credit track would follow my every footstep–and returning to my flat was out of the question. Still, I needed money. Rescuing the Princess wasn’t going to be easy or cheap. There were bound to be bribes; just how much was the question. With few options available I made my way to a CTM where I withdrew an advance–enough to get me by for a few days. I left my card in the machine hoping someone would find it and use it. It wouldn’t hurt to have a vag create a false trail, giving me time to disappear off the radar.
|Paul Harry - The 5 Moons of Tiiana Tour|
Credits in hand, I walked the dark streets of Corin looking for a place where I could ensconce myself away from prying eyes. I wasn’t having much luck. Everything was closed; the shops, the taverns, even the street vendors were gone. Everyone was scared pithless—and who could blame them. No one knew exactly what to expect tomorrow. The stories regarding the Relcor were chilling at best. Some considered them alien zealots whose mere touch could usurp a man’s soul. And then there were the accounts of brutal sex rites, torture, and pagan sacrifices. Dark rumors flew about thousands being slaughtered for the pure pleasure of uc T’Krola, the heathen ruler of Relcor Prime. These black horrors included stories of those who had vanished forever, including my father.
Long before the war started he had been sent to negotiate with uc T’Krola, but he was never heard from again. His disappearance had plagued my youth, and I often wondered if he had been killed or consumed by them. Was he now a Relcor hybrid—a concoction of human and alien genetics—a pagan religious cleric who lived and breathed the debauched, sadistic teachings of Rodan? I would probably never know, but I secretly questioned if he would be at the signing tomorrow. I also wondered how much of his knowledge had aided the downfall of the Empire; he had been privy to much. Perhaps he had been tortured or coerced, for it took only twelve short years for the Relcor to conquer everything–all thirty-three planets. To this day it was a mystery that yielded no answer. For me, it was simply a thorn in my heart, giving rise to the whispers behind my back. I kept walking—everyone had skeletons.
My journey soon took me toward the darker corners of Corin, where the seeds of corruption grew without help from the Relcor. It was the only place where the city still breathed, where the poor and the criminal merged, their faces lurking in the shadows, for they had nowhere to run. I looked up the street. I was in the brothel district. Things were slow, but the lights were still on. I moved along searching for a hostel with a measure of cleanliness. Finding one, I ducked in.
The lobby was small and dark, befitting a place where no one wanted to be seen. There was a Lacta sitting behind the front desk. He glanced up at me with disinterest, and then returned to his business. I approached him.
“Yesss,” he said, not looking up from his work.
I looked at his bald, crusty head. He was an old snik, molting, his scales falling off.
“I need a room.”
Yesss, twenty credits. You want someone, yesss?” His black tongue flickered through thin lips. “We still have a good ssselection–businessss is ssslow.”
He waved a bony finger toward the wall behind him. On it were pictures of men and women of varying ages.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I first got into writing about forty years ago. I had read a story in the historical book that so intrigued me I felt the story need to be fictionalized and expounded upon. That was my first foray into writing a novel. Needless to say, that was way before the web and way before self-publishing and when I finished the book I couldn't get anybody to read it. That was extremely disheartening and did little to soothe my ego.
Sometime later I was reading the Sunday paper and the little news blurbs they use for filler. One of the blurbs was a short article on the EPA investigating something or other and shortly below that was an article about Arnold Schwarzenegger starting to film Terminator two. It was then that an idea struck, and I began to wonder what would happen if the world's ecological systems collapsed and someone, say from the future had to return to the past to save the world. I was really taken by that concept but I knew a story wouldn't do it justice.
Now my background in high school and college was theater. In fact, I had written a rock opera in college with two other friends, and we obtained some moderate success with it, but I had never written a screenplay before. So I got a book by an author by the name of Sid Fields on screenwriting, and I went to the University library, and I began looking at screenplays and how they were formatted. Taking that knowledge I wrote my first screenplay and I entered it into the Nevada screenwriting competition. To my surprise I took third place and suddenly doors began open. It was so much easier to have Hollywood open to looking at my material than a book publisher. So for the next 30 years I spend most my time writing screenplays.
Now fast-forward to the present. Everybody and their brother wants to write the next hit movie; the field is cramped with screenwriters and the competition is stiff. And, to make matters worse, Hollywood now is less willing to take a chance on an unknown—so what’s a writer to do? Well for me, the answer was simple. Get back what you do best—write a killer story and use today's technology to put it out to the public. So that's what I did.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
As I stated earlier, when I started writing, computers were comprised of a small six-inch screens with green lettering. There was no Word or WordPerfect, and the Internet was a fledgling baby. Now today, we have a world filled with Internet connections, social media, and the means to advertise to millions. So for me, it's learning how to master all these new social happenings like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
What websites do you visit daily?
Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, KDP, CNN are just a few.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
The opening. I was never satisfied with the way my first book opened. But ironically, thirty years later I ran across something that gave me a technological inspiration, and I'm thinking of revisiting that story and making a few changes. We’ll see if it works.
What do you enjoy most about life?
Figuring out why we do it. Why do we come here? And what are we supposed to learn? I believe that there's a reason for everything. For me, just getting up each morning and counting my blessings is enough. I have a terrific family and a decent life. Sometimes that's all you need.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Don't smoke the pot, stupid. It's a waste of time.
Do you have a muse? Describe this person, please.
I can't say that I have a muse per se, but I did have a very good friend who passed away from cancer several years past. He was my sounding board. I could runs ideas passed him, get his feedback, and he wasn't afraid to give me the truth whether I liked it or not. I miss him.
What does "balance" mean to you as a writer?
|The 5 Moons of Tiiana - back|
When I find it I'll let you know.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I grew up in Las Vegas. I spent many years there as a craps and blackjack dealer in a number of major casinos. The stories I could tell would probably curl your hair, but that's another tale.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I would recommend this one: The 5 moons of Tiiana.
For this story, I did something that I've never done before. I wrote it in first person. I did this for several reasons. First, I wanted to emulate one of my favorite authors, Edgar Rice Burroughs. He was the author of Tarzan, and more importantly, John Carter of Mars. His John Carter series was written in first person, and surprisingly, I found it easier to voice my main character in the same way.
I think writing in first person allows the story to flow. It enables the reader to have a personal attachment to the main character as he forgoes the trials and tribulations of his journey. It also allows the reader to learn or discover the story at the time as the main character. I just find it more personal, and I've already had a number of readers who normally don't read science fiction take a chance—to their surprise they've enjoyed the story.
Additionally, I'm not an overly abstruse writer. I like to follow everything I learned as a screenwriter. Grab your audience as quickly as possible and hold on to them. I believe this book is a good example of that. I think it grabs you in the first few pages and doesn't let go—at least I hope so.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
The books I read are little out there—not exactly your standard fare. I am intensely curious about what our fate is, where we go after here, and the expansion of our lives within the universe. One of my most recent reads was: journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life between Lives by Dr. Michael Newton. You know the old adage, “truth is stranger than fiction.” Read this and you will know why.
What do you think is the future of e-publishing?
I think e-publishing is awesome. I think it opens up a world of incredible possibilities for many many people. Never before have we been given the opportunity to put our thoughts, dreams, and desires out to the general public with such ease. I would equate it with the advent of the printing press, and a revolution in the making.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
I could say it was the birth of my children or getting married, (they were great), but honestly, it was the standing ovations I got for the rock opera I co-wrote and produced while in college.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
I would take my wife and daughter to Hawaii with only the clothes on our backs. Anything you need to be bought there and it's only the memories that mean anything anyway.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas, seeing my daughter go nuts says it all.
What good book have you read recently?
Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life between Lives by Dr. Michael Newton.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
I quit my job at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and went to the Eagles concert at the Mandalay Bay.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I'm not sure with the PG rating is on the site, so let's just say I sleep.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Red, maybe blue.
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with spicy stuff.
I'm always ready for (see the bored question).
When I'm alone, I try to get things done.
You'd never be able to tell, but I goof off a lot.
If I had a halo it would be tarnished.
If I could sell a million books I'd quit my stupid job.
I can never stop because it feels too good.
Books Coming Soon
The Garden: The Unauthorized Biography of Adam and Eve
Prequel / Sequel to The 5 Moons of Tiiana
Find Me Here