#GuestDayTuesday – Subject A36 by Teri Polen

Today, please help me welcome our special guest, author Teri Polen, featuring her latest book, Subject A36. I’ve read this one, Folks, I can tell you it is terrific. It’s Young Adult written so that we “OLD” adults can enjoy it, too, and I did, every minute of it! In fact, I’m eagerly awaiting the next in the series. So, without further ado, let’s let Teri share some fun information about herself and her work. Teri, the floor is yours!


Thanks, Marcia!

If you’re a regular visitor at my blog, you know that every October for the past several years I’ve hosted Bad Moon Rising, which features thirty-one indie authors of horror, paranormal, and supernatural (or really any genre that falls under that umbrella).  Other than the book info, there’s also a short interview with both fun and writing-related questions.  While brainstorming ideas for this guest post, it occurred to me that I’ve never answered any of my own writing-related questions from October 2020, so I decided this was my chance.  I guess it’s me interviewing me.

If you had to give up snacks or drinks during writing sessions, which would be more difficult?

Definitely drinks.  I don’t snack while writing, but I’ll always have either a Diet Coke or water beside me.  If I’m writing at night, you’ll find a glass of red wine.  Sometimes I sneak in a hit of chocolate before I start—dark chocolate Hershey Kisses or Reese’s Thins.

Do you write to music?

Yes!  I usually have a playlist for each book.  Music inspires me and helps me visualize the scene as it plays out.  Sometimes lyrics give me ideas.  When I wrote The Gemini Connection, the twin brother main characters had different musical preferences.  Evan wanted my favorite genres—hard/alternate rock, but Simon demanded classical, a type I don’t mind, but it’s not something you’ll find in my music library.  Those boys were polar opposites, but I sure miss them. 

What was the hardest scene to write in your featured book?

It’s hard to describe without giving away spoilers, but I’ll try.  My MC, Asher, lost his family at a young age, but is now part of a found family.  There’s a scene where he experiences devastating pain that just ripped me apart.  It took me several days to write it, and I still wonder if I got it right.  The intensity was hard to convey.

I’m thrilled to say that Subject A36 was voted one of the 50 Best Indie Books of 2020 on Readfree.ly.com!  With the quarantine and silent characters plus recovering from COVID, the sequel has been a long time coming, but I promise I’m working on it.  Hope you enjoy the A36 excerpt below.  It’s from Asher’s point of view when he was eight years old. 

EXCERPT:

“Asher!”  Mom gripped the porch railing and called for me.  Her voice cracked and was laced with tears.  Dad vaulted over the porch railing, landed solidly on the grass, and frantically scanned our expansive yard. 

My stomach clenched.  Something was very wrong.  “Over here!”

Dad’s gaze locked on mine.  “Code Exodus!  Now, Asher.  Run!”

Was this another drill?  We’d practiced twice a week, the times always unexpected, without fail for as long as I could remember.  Drills were a regular part of our life, like eating, sleeping, and homework.  Protocol was pounded into our brains.  There could be no hesitation. 

But this felt different.  Dad’s expression was tight and urgent.  Tears streamed down Mom’s face, and I knew.  This was no drill.  It was real this time.  We’d been found.  Code Tribe—we leave together.  Code Exodus—we leave without our parents. 

Code Exodus rules.    

Grab the backpack.

Leave immediately. 

Don’t stop for anything or anyone.

Run to the Wallaces.

When my sisters could no longer keep up, hide them and keep running.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him. 

Buy Subject A36 HERE


Teri Polen, Author

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  Her first novel, Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, was a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.  Visit her online HERE

Contact Links:

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#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – Callum McLaughlin

Welcome to The Write Stuff Callum. Take it away!
~~~

Callum - cover art

“Where did you get the idea for your book?” – It’s a question any writer will be asked countless times throughout their life. In some cases, we can pinpoint the exact moment when inspiration struck, while often it’s something as whimsical as an elusive dream or a brief conversation that triggers the construction of an entire imaginary world.

With my first book for example, I was simply watching a news report about a country in absolute turmoil. I remember thinking that it seemed like something from a story; far removed from most people’s lives and yet shocking in its reality. Thus, the plot of The Vessel began to form: A dystopian world, a depleted population, a corrupt government, and one woman at the heart of it all, determined to expose the truth. It’s not to say that what happens in The Vessel was happening in that news report, but it’s interesting nonetheless to remember the exact circumstances in which the idea first formed.

With my second book, False Awakening, it was much more random. There was no specific instigator this time around; the plot surfaced simply as a result of my imagination running wild one day. The image of a girl waking in hospital with no memory of what happened to put her there came to me and it soon blossomed into a story that is equal parts a psychological mystery thriller as it is a girl’s struggle to find her voice and place within the dynamic of her family.

With my poetry, it’s even more far-reaching; from the most intimate of thoughts to the most striking of views (I’m lucky to live in the gorgeous Scottish countryside). Really, with a poem, anything is fair game.

I’d love to know what inspired any of your own plot ideas. Did they hit you one day as a result of a specific incident or were they the amalgamation of several smaller threads of thought?

Callum McLaughlin

Callum McLaughlin is an eternal insomniac and crazy cat person in training.

Born and raised in the Scottish countryside, he works as a freelance writer, author and poet, taking his biggest inspiration from the world around us.

Though passionate about music and nature, his first love is literature and when he isn’t writing his own books he will most likely be found reading someone else’s.

You can connect with him on Twitter or his blog, and can find his published works on Amazon UK, Amazon US and Goodreads.