Eustice P. Jennings awakens alone and confused on an ugly piece of office furniture in Purgatory. Being dead is the least of her problems as she is quickly drafted into the dangerous Reaper Corps and plunged headfirst into the endless conflict between Heaven and Hell. Friends and allies are few and far as Eustice struggles to find her place in a surreal world she never imagined could exist.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I train giant racing squirrels and gold plate lamp shades in my spare time. Other than that I am content to while away the hours plotting my eventual conquest of the online book market.
2. What made you want to become a writer?
Every other job I’ve had drove me nuts in some way. Don’t get me wrong writing also drives me nuts, but at least I like where it takes me while driving. I also cannot do it. In the shower, in traffic, trying to ignore my wife, stories and ideas just come to me whether I want them to or not. It’s just the matter of dedicating time and effort to them that makes writing feel like work.
3. Who or what gives you inspiration?
Inspiration is a hard thing to bottle or dole out and to be honest I’m not sure what gives me inspiration. I can tell you what motivates me, though. Certainly finishing a good book or movie or TV show motivates me to make something just as good or better. Watching my son play with my wife motivates me to try harder and succeed for them. Inspiration is more fickle. Like the previous question it comes when I least expect it to.
4. Tell us about Eustice.
Eustice is an exciting and engaging tale of a young woman struggling to find herself in the afterlife. She gets caught up in a plot between Angels and Demons eons in the making and finds herself a key figure in their war. She also has to come to grips with her own morality and stumbles into love in the process. It is perhaps the best book ever written…by me that is.
5. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
For me it is the initial push. Forcing yourself to actually sit down and write. Once I get the ball rolling I can usually hammer out a decent amount of text, but sometimes that ball is a boulder heavy and difficult to get rolling.
6. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
I don’t need much externally, just a computer or pad and pen. For me it’s more the internal I have to get in order. I need to shift myself into writing mode. But while this internal struggle is happening some tea and a quiet area don’t hurt.
7. What are some of your favorite books?
On a Pale Horse and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are two books that had a large effect on me. I read them in my teen years and they opened me up to irreverent but witty and deep writing. Before reading those I always thought books had to be serious or only comedy or only drama, never mixing the two. I also read The Hobbit as a young kid and really enjoyed it (as a lot of people do) not just for the adventure but for the writing style too. That Tolkien wrote to the reader and broke the fourth a bit in that book opened up new styles and writing techniques to me. I realized you could play around with writing. Despite what some teachers told me, you could break the rules and still have a good end result.
8. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Oh yeah. Whether I wanted to or not some of family and friends crept in there. Eustice has elements of my wife and sister. Thayer is a tad myself and my brother. Schrandle is what my Dad was to my younger self when he was angry. I’m sure there are more too, I just can’t think of them. I think all authors throw in people from their lives into their characters. Some just know they are doing it.
9. What, if anything, are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up the next part of The Reaper Corps series right now. The draft is nearly done and then I just have to edit and get it ready for publishing. It should be out in a month or so. The response from those that have read it are positive, which is encouraging.
10. Why do you love writing?
Partly because I have to. I build up worlds and characters in my head whether I want to or not. Getting them in solid form on paper is laborious, trying, and daunting at times but is a great release. Finishing a story in physical form is perhaps one of the most satisfying things I can do.
About the Author
Eustice is Alex Gulczynski’s debut novel. He is currently living in Seattle and teaching science to elementary students. He and his wife had their first child in December. He is using these sleepless nights to work on the next book to further the story of Eustice and Thayer. He hopes to have it out by March 2013.
The author is offering one print copy (for US only) or one ebook copy (international) to one commenter! Giveaway ends March 21.