Tuesday, October 21, 2014

INTERVIEW with The Sity series Author Curran Geist, + REVIEW of "Only the Cold Remains"!!!

Please welcome Curran Geist, author of "The Sity" series! Curran, thank you so much for taking a time out to answer some questions!!

Q. "Only the Cold Remains" is the second book in your "The Sity" series. Is it also your second published book?
A. Before I answer, I just want to thank you for taking the time to interview me. I'm delighted to share a little bit about myself and my work with your readership. As to your first question, I've actually published a children's picture book called Fluffy Friends Forever. Yes, it's probably at the complete opposite spectrum from my novels. It's about two sister Chihuahuas who learn about sharing, apologizing, and what friendship really means. If you're a dog lover, I promise that book will make you smile.

Q. Can you tell readers who have not yet enjoyed this Dystopian Thriller series yet, a little about what's happening in the Sity? What exactly is the Sity?
A. The Sity is an underwater metropolis run by an alien race called the Kuljiks. Yes, I know that city is spelled with a "C". I actually had a reader tell me I need to learn how to spell. LOL. The Sity is a play on words -- an extraterrestrial city of sin. Right now, the crap has literally hit the fan. Humans - who've been enslaved and forced to serve at the demented whims of the aliens - are finally starting to fight back against their oppressors. The aliens, who have created this secretive world to fulfill their darkest fantasies, begin to realize their dreams have turned into a nightmare.   

Q. Your 3-armed, 3-eyed alien race is called the Kuljik. Can you describe them a bit more in detail for us?
A. Sure thing. The Kuljiks have leathery skin with multiple layers of coloration, kind of like a salamander does. Their eyes are piercing like a cat. In lieu of hair, each Kuljik has different types of ridges around their heads and necks. Their limbs should be imagined like those of gazelle, but with raptor fingers instead of hooves. Their most human physical traits would be the nose, lips, and chest. These "human" aspects are played up (through makeup, clothing) within The Sity, due to the human influence on this metropolis and its sordid origins. 

Q. There is a lot of social injustice and politicking going on in your series. Important subjects to you as well. Can you tell us more about that?
A. Great question. When I first began writing The Sity about ten years ago, it was one way to channel my frustrations about some of the horrible things going on in the world. I don't want to sound like a violent person, but people who abuse others (whether it be women, children, animals, etc.) really piss me off. I used to be crippled by depression just thinking about the suffering going on and feeling helpless to help. As mentioned at the front of my novel, over one million women and children are still enslaved. The fact that these sex rings still exist is a terrible blight on humanity. One of the key subject matters in Book 2, is child soldiers. Several years ago, I met a survivor named Ishmael Beah. His personal horror story of being a child soldier really affected me. I wondered how can someone made to be a killer recover from that and re-discover their humanity? I hope that my work will help people think about the world today. However, I don't want to shove this down people's throats per se.

Q. How do you feel about the current state of self-publishing?
A. I think it's both exciting and intimidating. Self publishing has been great, because it's allowed me to get my work out to the public. However, I personally would have loved to have gone in a more traditional route. However, the publishing world has changed so much that a "traditional" route has become even more difficult to break into. Agents only really want established authors with multiple books. Publishing houses require you to have an agent. So a lot of talented writers are trapped in limbo. I hate wearing both the hats of an author and also publisher. I don't like to self-promote myself, since that just feels egotistical. I hope that my writing will speak for itself and my followers will grow organically. I think there is real potential for self-publishing to flourish if the self-publishing world works together and supports each other (through beta-readers, editing services, feedback, etc.) I don't see other writers as competitors, but rather colleagues. My only hope is to tell the best story I can and that it hits home with some of the readers in meaningful ways. 

Q. I see that you are a new father! Congratulations!!!!!! Do you think this will have any effect on your writing in the future?
A. Thanks! Being a father has been awesome. My little girl has completely monopolized my time -- in a good way. Yes, having a baby will definitely influence my writing. I try to channel bits of myself into my work. Without spoiling anything, certain characters in book 2 of The Sity series begin wrestling with the responsibilities of parenthood. I also plan to write another children's book dedicated to my daughter.

Q. What projects are you working on these days? Anything you can share with us?
A. I have a couple projects going. I am working on a zombie novel -- with my own unique twist. I also have a memoir of sorts started about a family dealing with mental health issues.

Q. I suppose I shouldn't hold you up much longer, but... As a fellow animal lover, I have to ask. What would you say your favorite animal is?
A. Yes, I'm definitely an animal lover. As a kid, I once had eight turtles, two iguanas, 2 hamsters, and 1 parakeet -- all at the same time. I currently have a cat named Keiko. I feel bad saying this - sorry cat -- but my favorite animals are birds.

Thank you so much, Curran, for sharing with us today, and for your candidness. You are truly inspiring. And by joe, please tell me how to get my hands on your children's books. I quite happen to be obsessed with our own Chi. *grins*

Readers, for more information, get connected with Curran Geist at the following sites:

Twitter: CGeist_thesity
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Only the Cold Remains
The Sity Book #2
by Curran Geist

Genre: Post Apocalyptic - Dystopian Sci-fi/Horror

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I was so pleased to get a copy of this book to review from the author and I loved this book even more than the first! The oppressed humans are starting to rally and collect in pockets of survivors and we get to follow many of them as they struggle to feed themselves and stay alive. With the alien Kuljik hunting them down and enslaving them, it is hard for the remaining free people to trust the very few Kuljik who sympathize with them. (My favorite characters to read about were Alexa and Joseph as they navigate their way through tunnels and sewers in a bid for freedom, with the kuljik Rajek. I won't tell you more, but Rajek is remarkable to me!)

There is a lot going on in this book; action, intrigue, sparks of romance, secrets and politics, guilt and shame, love and loss, horror and doubt. The complexities of human nature will draw you in.

"ONLY the COLD REMAINS" at GOODREADS | AMAZON | My Review of Book #1