Recently staff from TheBookWormReview.com caught up with Ken Newman to have a chat about his latest book Dead Ends (and some other stuff too!).
Keep reading to find out more including how to score yourself a free copy!
Can you tell me a little about your latest book?
Dead Ends is a science fiction adventure. Think Battlestar Galactica meets Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Commander Jabal Shann of the Azurean Sky Navy, sets out alone on a year-long voyage aboard a vast, decommissioned warship, The Blossoming Flower. Although no one on his world thinks it is possible, Jabal is building a revolutionary device that would allow a spacecraft to travel light-years instantaneously. The Blossoming Flower was built to be the deadliest battleship in space, however the official proclamation is that the five-mile-long vessel was a failed experiment and a disgrace. Rumors, spread by Sky Sailors who sailed her, said she was cursed and called her The Devil’s Barge. Nonetheless Jabal discovers the Flower was far from the failure the military said she was, a fact his government would kill to keep quiet.
Unbeknownst to Jabal, a pair of immensely powerful beings, called Deverow, have saved Jabal from terminal cancer and declares Jabal a “Dead End,” or a being without a future—the perfect pawn for their plan to stop an alien incursion into our universe. The Deverow use Jabal, along with a handful of other Dead Ends—an alien police officer, a vengeful spirit, a homeless man from Tennessee and a Hollywood ‘scream queen,’ who must somehow stop an alien civilization before they blaze a path of destruction across the galaxy.
What is your favorite part of the book?
The interaction between Jabal and Cerin Boss. Jabal is a noble man, but is blinded by his own iron clad personal code of honor and a black and white sense of right and wrong. Cerin, on the other hand has a warped sense of ethics, but a clearer view of the people they serve as well as a more pragmatic opinion of life in general. I think they play off each other very well.
What inspired this story?
I had a germ of an idea about a man trapped aboard a haunted spacecraft. That night I had a vivid dream that I was aboard a gigantic, thoroughly haunted starship. I was running through a vast maze of corridors trying to elude an invisible terror. I woke up, wrote forty pages and Dead Ends was born.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
All my novels have some tenuous link and some characters crossover from book to book. In Dead Ends Will Carlson is presumed dead, yet in reality is off on the other side of the galaxy fighting evil. In my first book the Paladin, it is the hometown memorial service for Will that is central to the story plot.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
To date I have eleven books in various stages of development. They range from fantasy and science fiction to horror.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
I am always plotting the story I am working on at the time. Honestly, I am a menace in traffic!
What has your experience been like as an Indie Author? Bruises, Highlights, and lessons?
Writing is subjective and not everyone is going to appreciate what you write. One will love it while another gleefully rips it to shreds. It has taught me that a thick skin along with being a professional is essential. In my ignorance, I made sloppy mistakes in my first book, but I learned my lesson and that is behind me. I strive to put out the very best polished work I can. Knowing that, I can take brutal criticism with a smile.
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
I get bashed for the occasional ‘colorful’ word or phrase used. A writer once said that an author cannot be responsible for the things his characters say. I know it sounds silly, but it is true. You have to let your characters speak their minds. It isn’t a reflection on my personal views or ideas, but it is true to the character. Many times their views are not politically correct or language Sunday School approved, but I cannot let someone else’s morals or politics dictate what I write. I have to be true to the integrity of my characters.
Do you write every single day?
Yes. I absolutely love it and if I never publish another book I would write for the sheer joy it brings. Years ago time was a premium, I would, without hesitation, get up at 4 AM to write. For three years it was the best time of the day!
What’s more important: characters or plot?
As much as I love a strong plot, I have to say characters. Real, flesh and blood characters that the readers feel strongly about is the key. Many times I have read books with paper thin plots, but I was captivated by the richness of their characters.
Finally, You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
Buy a large shovel and learn to love it.
To learn more about Ken Newman, have a look at his website newkman.net.
Dead Ends is available on Amazon, and other major retailers!
Ken is giving away a free digital copy of his new book to the first 3 readers who get in touch.
Simply email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to get your copy, and remember first in best dressed!