Monday, July 17, 2017

Author Interview and Books by Russ Colchamiro

For fans of Douglas Adams, Christopher Moore, Tom Robins, Third Rock from the Sun, Groundhog Day, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Harold & Kumar go to White Castle.
Finders Keepers (Finders Keepers #1)
by Russ Colchamiro

  

Traversing Europe, New Zealand, and the backbone of Eternity, Finders Keepers is a raunchy, sci-fi backpacking comedy that not only tackles friendship, sex, commitment, and desire, but also God, reincarnation--and what really happened to the dinosaurs!
On a backpacking trip through Europe, Jason Medley and Theo Barnes stumble through hash bars and hangovers; religious zealots and stalkers; food poisoning and thunderstorms; cute girls; overnight trains; fever-pitch hallucinations--and the spectre of adult responsibility!
But when a jar containing the Universe's DNA falls from Eternity, these new friends find their loyalties put to the test . . . unaware that a motley crew from another realm is chasing them across the globe, with the fate of the Milky Way hanging in the balance.
For fans of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Christopher Moore, Tom Robins, Third Rock from the Sun, Groundhog Day, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
Finders Keepers is the first book in author Russ Cochamiro's scifi comedy trilogy.



Genius de Milo (Finders Keepers #2) 

by Russ Colchamiro
Milo -- the Universe's Great Disruptor and ultimate gremlin -- is creating havoc in the galaxy, with the Earth fluxing in and out of Existence. Which, of course, means no rest for best pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes!
After a backpacking trip through Europe and New Zealand that -- thanks to a jar of Cosmic Building Material they found -- almost wiped out the galaxy once before, Theo now finds that his twin girls are teleporting, and Jason can't tell which version of his life is real.
Joined by the mysterious Jamie -- a down-and-out hotel clerk from Eternity -- Jason and Theo reunite on a frantic, cross-country chase across America, praying they can retrieve that radioactive jar, circumvent Milo, and save the Earth from irrevocable disaster.
In author Russ Colchamiro's uproarious sequel to Finders Keepers, he finally confirms what we've long suspected ... that there's just no de Milo quite like a Genius de Milo.




Astropalooza (Finders Keepers 3) 

by Russ Colchamiro

Astropalooza, the greatest celebration in the Universe, is just days away. And it'll be a party like no other -- namely, the last one ever!
Backpacking pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes have already saved the Earth -- twice! -- nearly obliterating themselves in the process, thanks to a missing jar of the Universe's DNA. But things are about to get a whole lot ... worse.
Because thanks to our bumbling heroes, the next Big Bang is imminent, with two massive energy waves barreling through space towards one another. When they collide, it'll be the end of Existence as we know it.
Can Jason and Theo finally return their radioactive jar before those waves crash, wiping away the Cosmos? Can they save the Universe ... again?
With Astropalooza, author Russ Colchamiro brings you the epic conclusion of his hilarious Finders Keepers trilogy. So join the party. You'll never have so much fun going out with a Bang!



Author Interview
Author bio:
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the hilarious sci-fi backpacking comedy series, Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the new anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, and Altered States of the Union. He is now at work on a top-secret project, and a Finders Keepers spin-off.
For more on Astropalooza and Russ’ other tales, you can visit www.russcolchamiro.com, follow him on Twitter @AuthorDudeRuss, and ‘like’ his Facebook author page www.facebook.com/RussColchamiroAuthor. Russ encourages you to email him at authorduderuss@gmail.com

Book title: Astropalooza

Brief synopsis of your book:
Here’s the back cover text - In the spirit of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ...Astropalooza, the greatest celebration in the Universe, is just days away. And it'll be a party like no other -- namely, the last one ever! Backpacking pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes have already saved the Earth -- twice! -- nearly obliterating themselves in the process, thanks to a missing jar of the Universe's DNA. But things are about to get a whole lot ... worse. Because thanks to our bumbling heroes, the next Big Bang is imminent, with two massive energy waves barreling through space towards one another. When they collide, it'll be the end of Existence as we know it. Can Jason and Theo finally return their radioactive jar before those waves crash, wiping away the Cosmos? Can they save the Universe ... again?

What genre and age group does your book fall into?
Science Fiction comedy

What moment or event sparked the inspiration for this story?
Astropalooza is the third and final book in my Finders Keepers scifi backpacking comedy series. When I was writing the second book—Genius de Milo—I had that aha moment where I saw how the entire series ended, including all of the various characters and their arcs. That allowed me to write books 2 and 3 with more confidence and assertiveness, knowing that what I was writing in book 2 would ultimately play out in book 3. Yet each book in the series can stand on its own.

What would you say are the three most difficult things you encountered when writing a sci-fi or futuristic book?
1) Creating a scifi or futuristic world where the setting feels real but doesn’t overwhelm the plot or the characters.
2) Giving each character in the series their own personal story arc yet balancing those characters within the overall narrative so that you get an intimate experience for each character within a fairly epic adventure.
3) Finding the right balance between a fun, thrilling adventure and also having something deeper or meaningful to say.

Were there any issues you dealt with in real life that inspired any
part of the storyline used in your book?
Jason Medley is my fictional alter ego. A lot of the backpacking adventures were based on trips I actually took. And Theo Barnes is the alter ego of my pal Karl. Their interplay is very much how Karl and I interact.

What if any lessons did you learn while writing this story?
That perspective is a great equalizer. Some of the most difficult times I had while backpacking are some of my favorite stories now that have me laughing out loud.

Since your story takes place in more than one county did
anything in your story require research?
I kept a journal for many of my own backpacking trips—so I had a lot of real life descriptions to pull from—plus I often referred to photos, maps, ticket stubs, and other notes and receipts from my trips. They made a huge difference in helping me recreate an authentic experience.

If you were to recommend anything to someone planning on
writing a book, what would it be?
Understand that it’s a process. It won’t just ‘come out right.’ Be patient, be persistent, and forgive yourself for your various imperfections. And plan to hand off your manuscript to readers who can give you the feedback you actually need to improve your story, not those who will tell you what you want to hear.

Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
Ha! Characters are like children. Never pick favorites! But Angela Hardwicke—my private eye character who has appeared in smaller sections in three of my books so far—is getting her own series, so I’ll be spending a lot of time with her going forward.

What is your favorite part of writing an anthology?
As the editor, you identify the concept, recruit the authors, approve the story ideas, and edit each story, there’s a lot of control but also the fun of working with your friends on a collection that you hope everyone can be proud of.

Can you give us a brief description of your anthology called,
Love, Murder & Mayhem?
Love, Murder & Mayhem is a new anthology from Crazy 8 Press, with 15 stories from 15 authors. While I’m typically a novelist, I served as editor for this one, and contributed one of the stories. Each tale contains at least one act of love or romance, at least one murder, with lots of mayhem, all in various science fiction settings. We have superhero and supervillain stories. Off-world and space cruiser stories. We’ve also got A.I., private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travel, an aliens/monsters mash-up and … one DuckBob!

Do you have any ideas for your Finders Keepers series if Hollywood came calling?e.g., actors, directors, and or music?
Do I? Of course! I actually spoke to my agent not so long ago about trying to get the three books turned into a Netflix series. So who knows!

Which book to movie conversion is your favorite?
Fight Club

The three books in your Finders Keepers series address loyalty between friends. How do you feel this part of the story will resonate with readers?
Even with all of the cosmic lunacy and backpacking shenanigans, the friendship between Jason and Theo is the spine of the novel, and the entire series. I hope that it’s relatable on multiple levels, especially as we see them grow and mature—sometimes in extraordinary ways—throughout the series. They’re still clowns to some degree! But they’re individual and collective arcs—IMHO—are substantial, meaningful, and, in ways, fairly epic.

Are there any life lessons to be learned in your story?
The entire series for me was always really about enjoying life as much as you can, often as you can, as thoroughly as you can, while you can, while finding your way as a person and navigating your place in the world.

What would you say is the most important thing to remember
when writing a series?
Stay true to the characters. Don’t force an outcome. Let them tell you where the story needs to go, even if it isn’t what you originally planned.

Do you have any suggestions for an author who is trying to
inject comedy into their story?
Don’t force the humor. Let it come out naturally. You may need to spend some time crafting the turn of phrase, or the scenario, but try to avoid a ‘comedy’ moment just for the sake of it.

How many books have you written?
Four novels, one anthology I edited—Love, Murder & Mayhem— and I’ve contributed short stories to at least another half dozen anthologies. I was also a journalist in my former life—and I do media consulting now—so I’ve been writing professionally for more than 20 years.

Current book or project you’re working on?
In addition to the Hardwicke book I mentioned earlier, I’m also writing a top secret project I can’t talk about yet. Soon!

What do you hope readers will come away with, after reading Astropalooza?
I hope readers have a fun, wild time with the entire series, walking away with a smile on their face, but also long after they’re done reading hopefully the characters and scenarios will stay with them. I was just at a scifi book convention where one of my fans—a fellow writer—told me again how much she loved Finders Keepers and that it’s one of her favorite books in recent memory. Have to admit, that wasn’t a bad moment!

If you had one do over in life, what would it be?
Stick with guitar! It annoys me to no end that I quit lessons. No desire to play professionally, but I love music—I’m a drummer, like I said—but guitar travels. Drums? Not so much.

Favorites:
Drink – Banana milk shake
Food – Pizza
Vacation – Cape May, New Jersey
TV show – Breaking Bad
Movie – Raiders of the Lost Arc
Animal – Cats
Sport – Baseball
Song – Under Pressure
Comedy – The Big Bang Theory
How can people connect with you?
Twitter: @AuthorDudeRuss
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4450877.Russ_Colchamiro
Where can readers find your book for sale?