sCrypt Publishing and readers have asked a few questions about my new short story THE LOST HOUR. Here’s a compilation of those questions in an interview like form. Enjoy and feel free to ask your own in the comments section. I’ll answer as quickly as possible.
Q: This is your first short story that doesn’t involve multiple different plots. What made you take this approach?
Rick: I’ve done nine shorts before this. They all had multiple stories because they were intended (and some were) for graphic novel form. The novel that this was based on, A COURSE FOR HUMANITY, was less about separate stories intertwining, and more about one narrative. I figured I could focus on one plot and make it more powerful by doing the same to the short.
Q: You mention the novel from which this was set. Where exactly does THE LOST HOUR take place in the series?
Rick: Chronologically it exists between DEVOURED UNIVERSE and A COURSE FOR HUMANITY. It fills in something referenced in the latter novel. It is meant to be read alone though, so it works if you are completely unfamiliar with the series.
Q: Why continue to do short story spinoffs between novel releases? Are there plans to bring back more graphic novel forms?
Rick: I never say never, but right now there are no plans for more comics. The reason I continue with the short stories is because they are cheaper for readers. It seems to be that once a newcomer reads the short story, they are usually interested in the novel it’s associated with. I’ve gained quite a few readers that way.
Q: Samantha Clayton is your main character in THE LOST HOUR. What made you choose her?
Rick: We’ve sort of seen her grow throughout the novels. She was a young girl, then an adult, and then an old woman. We know there’s a lot of secrecy to her that remains to be uncovered. There is only reference to her in the novel and how she laid the ground work for the Continuum organization. She made rules for them to follow with time travel, so I wanted to get into why she made those rules. Something had to have gone wrong for her to do so.
Q: What is it like writing about time travel?
Rick: It’s different than all my other books. I love and hate it. This trilogy gives me a headache, even though that’s not the focus. I have to make it believable and understandable to the reader at the same time. Sometimes I’ll write a scene and then have to edit the hell out of it because it gets so wordy that it bores me. After numerous edits it comes out being an easy and comprehendible read, but getting to that point is the challenge.
Q: What is your next release and when?
Rick: THE THIRST OF CAIN will be my next novel in early 2018. It’s not only a direct follow up to A COURSE FOR HUMANITY, but will serve as the same to BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING.
Q: So vampires and time travel then?
Rick: Yes. I had such good feedback on BLOOD, that I felt like revisiting some of that. Plus I had this thing going on with the character of Francis Murphy in COURSE that the plot sort of set itself.
Q: Are you saying Francis will meet Cain?
Rick: Cain is such a loved character by fans. He’s the penultimate villain. He’s wicked, but also has a reason for the path he’s chosen. Time travel enables me to really go back to his early years and have Francis confront him then. He wants to be cured of his own curse, so finding Cain is his main priority.
Q: I’m confused. Won’t that technically interfere with the plots of the remaining books because time travel is involved?
Rick: Oh yes. I can’t say much, but THE THIRST OF CAIN will alter everything. We will sort of see a different history as an outcome. It’s something touched upon in THE LOST HOUR about how time travel can create alternate worlds.
Q: Where can one purchase a copy of THE LOST HOUR?
Rick: It is available on www.lulu.com in print. It will be available as part of the next trilogy release for Amazon and Barnes and Noble when that is completed. And if you buy the print from lulu you also get a digital copy to download.
My novel A COURSE FOR HUMANITY, now has the trailer treatment. Check it out and grab a copy at lulu.com or Amazon.com. Available in print and digital now.
My new novel, A COURSE FOR HUMANITY, is available now in print and digital formats.
The future has been set in stone… or has it? When a group of military scientists discover a ripple in reality, they must face their ultimate challenge. Someone has travelled into the past and altered history, causing the timeline to shift. The result? Human extinction. Now humanity’s only hope lies with the Continuum group. They must break their own law against time travel, and prevent the temporal ripple from ever occurring. They will need a secret weapon to do so, but that weapon is a threat to them all… Meet Francis Murphy. He’s the last living vampire, and he’s out for revenge against those who’ve experimented on him. Will he help the Continuum group set humanity on the right course, or will he side with a traitor in their midst? Only time will tell.
A COURSE FOR HUMANITY is available at lulu.com in print and on Amazon.com for the Kindle.
The possibility of time travel has always fascinated me. In college I took a class called “Paradox”, and mid semester I came up with an idea for a book on it. That was about sixteen years ago, and the book is finally in the works (well three books to be specific). Can I go back and retract that typo? Sure, that’s what the backspace key is for, but what if we could go back and change something in our past?
When I was ten years old I read H.G. Wells’ THE TIME MACHINE. It was the first book that really had me thinking about the subject. The classic movie from the 60s wasn’t as good as the book, but it’s still one of my favorites to this day. Even the remake done in the 2000s holds a special place in my heart. Am I bold enough to say it is one of the best science fiction novels ever written? Yes, and I’ll stand by that statement. Wells came up with an idea to quell his own curiosity about what the future held. While the book doesn’t go into alternate realities or changing the past (it is hinted at, but not a major component), it instead looks forward. In certain aspects it shows a bleak future (far ahead of our own time), but there is something to be taken away from it all. I feel the lesson written here is that we should appreciate what we have now. No matter how bad things can get, it can always be worse.
Once I reached my teenage years there was a show on called QUANTUM LEAP. It involved a character who was from the future and stepped into a time chamber. He woke up in the past in someone else’s body. The fun thing about this show was that each episode had him trying to figure out what he needed to make sure happened in order for him to leap to the next random time period. The show was limited only to years in which the actual character had been alive on earth. If he were to leap to another time he’d cease to exist, so it kept it very grounded in modern times (or at least the last 35 years prior to the show). This series had me tuning in every week, but sadly it fell victim to what I call the “final episode”. At the end of the series we are left with a cliffhanger of not knowing if he ever made it home or not. Was Sam stuck in time? Where did he go? I still hold out hope for a reboot/sequel that will explain it all and maybe re-launch the series.
Lastly is the TIME PATROL series by Bob Mayer. Mayer’s series takes a similar concept to leaping into a historical person’s body, but goes beyond that to actual events. He isn’t limited to one time period, but instead has a selection of multiple in each individual novel. One date throughout history is being affected by the mostly unseen antagonist in different ways. It’s difficult to go into detail about it without being spoilery, but the Time Patrol is a fun and interesting ride. It may even have you wanting to do some research on certain days or events in history. I haven’t just been entertained by the highly anticipated novels, but have learned from them. Where else can you have one story with multiple subplots going on in a book?
With the holidays fast approaching I’m frantically working on A COURSE FOR HUMANITY. It won’t be out until early 2017, but in the meantime if you are looking for a great time travel story, I highly recommend all three of the above; especially Time Patrol, since it’s a current series.
So what are some of your favorite time travel stories? Use the hashtag #scrypthalloween and you may be one of the lucky winners chosen to receive a free copy of one of my novels.
Okay, so I got away easily with this post in doing something similar to yesterday’s. Since time travel is the topic for today I decided to do a little of it myself. Just a year ago I released my first children’s book, A LITTLE GIRL IN THE LAND OF THE HICCUPS.
While the sequel has hit some road bumps, it will be here sooner than we know it. When my daughter was in the womb, I read to her mother’s belly every night. I knew somehow that she’d be a girl, even before we found out by the doctors. As a fan of Baum’s Oz books, and Alice’s adventures in wonderland, I read those to her first. I remember her moving to the sounds of my voice as I told her all about Dorothy’s journey to see a wizard, and her adventures afterwards. By the time she was born she’d already heard four and a half full length novels!
As a writer I came up with an idea for her own children’s book. One of the things she used to do, other than twirl around in circles in the belly, was to send jolts of excitement. These came in the form of hiccups. It dawned on me then. A story about a girl who is lost in a land with some strange creatures by the same name. There would be a certain degree of education in the book, while keeping it fun for kids and have an underlying moral to the story.
While we wait for its sequel A LITTLE BOY IN THE LAND OF SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS, we can always go back and share a fun reading with our little ladies. Here’s the description of A LITTLE GIRL IN THE LAND OF THE SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS: When a little girl finds herself a long way from home, she must help her new Eskimo friends to rid their land of the Hiccups, miniscule little creatures that are more of an annoyance than anything. From award winning author, Rick Pipito, the story is aimed for a young female audience, but can be enjoyed by all. With art by Dan Pipito, this heart warming tale will inspire young readers to never give up hope and put their best thoughts forward.
What are some of your favorite memories of the past? Do you have a favorite children’s book? Make sure to use the hashtag #scrypthalloween when commenting, and you may win a copy of one of my novels. You can find this book and more of mine in print at Lulu.com, and on Amazon in digital.
The Flash has always been one of my absolute favorite DC comics characters (especially Barry Allen as the Flash). This filled that inner need to see his version of the speedster on screen again. We start off with Barry as a child, before he had the lab accident that created his abilities. This whole childhood flashback was a perfect prologue to our story.
Following this scene, we get a battle with Flash’s rogues. The highlight isn’t Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang, or Captain Cold however. It is when Professor Zoom (The Reverse Flash) shows up. I had a bit of chills watching Flash stand his own ground, and then finally lose the battle. When the Justice League arrives to help, it got even better.
This was not the highlight though. In the next part, Barry wakes up in an alternate reality where his mother never died, he never became the Flash, Bruce Wayne was shot instead of his parents (leaving his mother an insane version of the Joker, and his Father, an alcoholic Batman. and Chaos all around. Here are my problems with this reality…
Aquaman and Wonder Woman are the villains in this story. This normally wouldn’t be an issue for me, as I can see why it would work, but the lack of explanation as to why they are willing to wage war on everyone else seems to be an annoyance. There is also a secret weapon that Aquaman has (Captain Atom is chained up). It is never explained as to why, and how he will just go nuclear when the time comes.
All that aside, this was a very brutal reality. Barry convinces Batman to help him recreate the lab experiment that created the Flash. After suffering third degree burns and a failed attempt, Barry goes for it again, only to have it work. This was disturbing on many levels, but really nice to see him as the unselfish hero he is. I loved it for both these aspects.
So the battle continues as Wonder Woman and Aquaman go all out war on each other. Hell breaks loose, and we get a cool little cameo by an alternate Justice league and other heroes including Etrigan and The Shazam kids. Oh wait I almost forgot… Superman is in this reality, but I don’t want to spoil his presence in this world. You have to see it to believe it. Really cool.
My favorite parts are at the end though. When Zoom arrives and he and Flash have their one on one battle, where the “True cause” of this reality is revealed. Seeing The Flash tap into the speed force, as well as Batman (the real Batman once everything is set right) actually shed a tear and cry, was breathtaking.
So the ratings? Well, stay through the credits because we kind of get a glimpse of what might be coming next in a short clip. I’d give Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox an 8 out of 10. Not the best DC animated movie to date, but among the contenders, and definitely one of my favorites.