Posted by authorcamilson
Escape from the Past: The Kid
by Annette Oppenlander
GENRE: YA historical/sci-fi
Time-traveling gamer, Max, embarks on a harrowing journey through the Wild West of 1881! After a huge fight with his parents, Max tries to return to his love and his best friend, Bero, in medieval Germany. Instead he lands in 1881 New Mexico. Struggling to get his bearings and coming to terms with Dr. Stuler’s evil computer game misleading him, he runs into Billy the Kid. To his amazement Billy isn’t at all the ruthless killer history made him out to be. Trouble brews when a dying Warm Springs Apache gives Max a huge gold nugget to help his sister, Ela, escape from Fort Sumner. Shopping for supplies Max attracts the attention of ruthless bandits. Before Max can ask the Kid’s help, he and Ela are forced to embark on a journey to find his imaginary goldmine. This is book 2 in the Escape from the Past trilogy.
My chest began to throb without warning, then tighten. Had it been this painful last time? Ten months had passed since I’d last played. I smiled despite the pain. I couldn’t wait to sneak up on Bero. Hug Juliana. The pressure on my body increased. She’d be mad, of course, but then she’d kiss me. Maybe we could sneak into the barn tonight.
The weight on my lungs grew. Breathing stopped. My vision filled with the red haze of oxygen deprivation. I tried to gulp, but my ribs were glued to my sides. I was stuck…and terrified. The fog turned gray…then black. Like last time, I managed to stand, but my legs and feet stood rooted like the giant oaks in Hanstein’s forest.
My heart pounded in my neck, the only sign I was still alive. The fog deepened. Why was this taking so long? Still the pressure held as if I’d been thrown under a boulder. I was dying.
I’d made a huge mistake.
It’s easy to forget fear. Stuff happens and you get distracted. After a while all you remember are the good things. Now that I was unable to move, unable to do anything, I remembered the way I’d felt the first time I landed in the game. I’d felt terror.
And terror was back now in full force, squeezing my middle and poking at my heart. As the pressure lifted and the fog cleared, the sense of impending doom gripped me with such force that I fell forward. I’d made a horrible mistake.
Stumbling, I stubbed my toes and suppressing a shout. In the near darkness, a rock or cliff rose wide as a house and three stories high. I only saw its outline, a black edge against the starry sky above.
The whistling I’d heard earlier definitely came from between the giant rocks. The air was filled with the scent of grasses, grit and something like sage. Had I returned in the summer?
Behind me the area appeared more open. Maybe I was down near the river and Luanda’s house. Should I move in the dark or wait? I’d get lost, wandering off in the wrong direction. A cold wind dug under my shirt and nipped at my skin. I tugged my sweater closer around me when I saw something glowing on the ground like a huge red eye.
“Not a move, Boy,” the voice hissed. “Or I’ll blow a hole through your gut.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links
Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.
“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”
Social Media Links
Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
Annette, thank for being here today. Tell us about you.
I’m pretty introverted so while I love meeting new people I tend to be most comfortable at home. I’m also fully bilingual because I grew up and studied business in Germany. Because I spoke German with my kids when they were little, I can still switch languages on a dime. Another thing most people don’t know is that I love fly-fishing and am a decent fisher woman. At times I even out-fish the men around me which makes them rather mad.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d chose to hang out with President Obama. He’s one of the most powerful people in the country and world and I’d love to see how a typical day running the U.S. goes down.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
Growing up in Germany, I’ve always been fascinated with the Wild West. I remember watching westerns with my father and reading books about pioneers, American Indians and the gold rush. After I moved to the U.S. I continued reading historical fiction set in the eighteen and nineteen hundreds.
I chose Billy the Kid because I see him as a tragic character who encountered a string of bad luck and was basically set up to fail. He isn’t much older than Max and it’s easy to see how any young man could’ve had Billy’s fate. The second important character is Chief Nana, A Warm Springs Apache warrior, who in the summer of 1881 rode a 3,000 mile vengeance war against the U.S. Army. He was never caught nor were his fifteen or so warriors. The amazing thing about him was his age. He was around eighty years old then and had a bad leg.
What is your writing process?
I typically write in my office, an ex-bedroom with lots of bookshelves and a desk. I have a really great chair that allows me to sit for many hours. Some people love to write in a coffee shop, but I find that too distracting. I use paper/journals for notes and spontaneous thoughts, but I always write on a laptop. You’re talking to a chocoholic, so anything with chocolate works for me and I eat way too much of it on a daily basis. I write drafts in the morning because that’s my most creative time. Editing, research and reading are typically done in the afternoons. I try to write most days though I don’t write much when we’re traveling.
Tell us about your main character
Fifteen-year old Max ‘Nerds’ Anderson recently moved from the U.S. to a German village. His parents are divorced and he lives with his German mother. Max is your typical teen, nerdy and great with computers, smart yet insecure with girls. He’s a gamer so he spends many hours playing video games. The time-travel experience forces Max to go way out of his comfort zone. He has to overcome many obstacles, physical and emotional, while helping other people.
If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I’d like somebody like a young Michael J. Fox who’s quirky and silly and smart. It has to be somebody who’d ‘age’ well on screen because I’d hope, all three books would be made into film. In book one, “The Duke’s Wrath” Max is 15, in book three he’s 17.
What are you working on next?
I just finished the third book in the trilogy, “Escape from the Past: At Witches’ End” which takes Max back to the Middle Ages. The manuscript is currently in editing at the publisher. My current writing project is a story about two teens growing up during WW2 in Germany. It’s a love story based on my family, but it is ultimately a story of forgiveness.
What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
In today’s publishing environment, marketing is a tough proposition. No matter whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, the competition for a reader’s time is fierce. I wish I had a magic bullet for the things that work. I don’t. Here is what I do believe. While you market, keep writing your next book. And your next. Determine who your audience is and where you can find them. Be active on your blog/website. Build an e-mail list. And please…don’t give away your books for free. It defeats the purpose of being an author who spends many thousands of hours creating art.
What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
I’m reading “The Night Watch” by Sarah Waters. I love her style and the eras she sets her stories in.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m truly bilingual, speaking/writing English and German and having lived in both countries for twenty plus years. I’m a decent fly-fisher woman and on occasion out-fish men. I’m a chocoholic and can sniff out chocolate wherever I go. Just kidding on the last part.
You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
I’d love to be able to fly. Push off the ground and spread my arms. How glorious it must be to see the world from above, soar through valleys and across mountains like an eagle. Aside from the thrill of it, I’d also solve transportation and traffic problems.
List 5 things on your bucket list:
- Trip around the world
- Bicycling the Euro trail from France to Russia
- Growing a vegetable garden – was never able to
- Building a home
Where can readers find you on the web?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Oppenlander/e/B00W8QRTJ4/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Any final thoughts?
I always love hearing from readers and invite you to leave a comment or note here on the blog or on my website, Goodreads or Facebook author page.
Thank you very much for having me!
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