Posted by authorcamilson
Yours Truly, 2095
by Brian Paone
Jeff Blue-the victim of a time-travel conspiracy-wakes up trapped in the year 2095. The only familiar face is J0; a robotic copy of the wife he left behind in 1981. But can she be trusted?
J0 could be the only key to unlock Jeff’s journey home, but it will require her to do something against her programming-something human.
During Jeff’s perilous journey through the future, he will have to discover the truth about J0’s origins, and solve the mystery behind how he wound up in 2095, in order to uncover the reality of his own destiny.
Armed with a one-way ticket to the moon, Jeff must race against the clock to seize what might be his last chance to return home to his time. A time without hover cars, Justice Computers, or TeleSkins-a time over one hundred years ago.
The Xanadu moonliner taxied to the launch pad. I didn’t realize how terrified I was until that moment. This was really happening. I was gripping the arm-rests so tightly that my knuckles had gone ghost-white. I tried to loosen my grip, but my palms would not let go.
“How long is takeoff?” I asked in a whisper.
“About eight minutes.”
“All right. I think I can handle eight minutes.”
The Xanadu moonliner propelled us heavenward toward a frontier I could have never, in my wildest dreams, imagined I would be visiting. Takeoff was smooth and effortless. I had experienced worse turbulence when I would let Julie drive the Thunderbird back in 1981 than I did from blasting through the Earth’s atmosphere in the moonliner. During the time it took for us to get from the ground to outer space, passengers were going about their normal business just like any other commute. I slowly allowed my knuckles to regain some of their natural color.
As smooth as liftoff was, I could still tell when we broke through the exosphere. Outer space! Even though I was strapped in by my five-point harness, I immediately felt the weightlessness of my body hover slightly in my seat. Bruce made eye contact with me just long enough for him to smile. This was it. We were really going to the moon.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Brian Paone was born and raised in the Salem, Massachusetts area. An award winning author, his love of writing began through the medium of short stories at the young age of twelve. After almost 20 years of consistently writing short stories for only his friends and family to read, Brian’s first full-length novel, a personal memoir about his friendship with a rock-star drug addict entitled, “Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts,” was published in 2007. Brian’s second novel, “Welcome to Parkview,” was published in 2010 and is a macabre journey through a cerebral-horror landscape. Brian’s latest novel, “Yours Truly, 2095,” was published in 2015 and follows a man who wakes up one morning, trapped in the future, to discover he’s been the victim of a time-travel conspiracy. Brian is married and has 3 children. Brian’s wife is an Officer in the US Navy. He is also a self-proclaimed roller coaster junkie, and his favorite color is burnt-orange.
Brian Paone will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Brian, What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock, or the sound of my dog having to go pee. After that, it’s usually just trying to get the kids to the school bus stop on time. If I can do that, the day is already a “win.”
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Kermit the Frog. C’mon, who wouldn’t want to have a day where we go to IHOP for breakfast, then go play in Central Park for a few hours, and then maybe a light lunch at a wrap shop, and then some shopping in the afternoon, and then do a pub crawl for the next 6 hours and not stop until we are stumbling and throwing up all over the sidewalk. I think he would be soooooo funny once he got drunk. The stories…. Oh man, the stories he would start to tell. Priceless.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
One of my favorite albums of all time, is Electric Light Orchestra’s 1981 concept album, Time. Somewhere in my late teens / early twenties, I thought that the storyline of the Time album should be flushed out either as a novel or a movie. I knew, at the time, that I was nowhere NEAR talented enough yet to take on such a task as writing the adaptation of the album. After publishing two novels, one in 2007 and the other in 2010, I believed that I was ready to tackle turning the plotline and story-arc of ELO’s Time album into a full length novel. I began working on the outline in February 2012, and the first step was to take the lyrics of all 16 songs, and dissect their meaning (both literally and figuratively) and put together a cohesive linear storyline. I wanted to do what The Who’s Tommy, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall movies did for those albums… but just in novel format. The Time album has a very concrete characters and storyline (as does The Wall and Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway) but there is enough unsung moments in the progression of the story, that I knew I had to fill in the gaps of the lyrics with my own literary license. In the lyrics we are told, flat-out, that the main character (Jeff) is from the 1980’s and wakes up in 2095, with no idea or explanation how he got there, that there is a woman who is a perfect robotic replica of his wife (Julie) from the 80’s, he wants nothing more to return to his wife but there is some issued that need to be resolved in their marriage, that he takes a one way trip to the Moon to find his way back, and there are multiple new organizations controlling the world’s power. These are very specific lyrics that move the album forward. After pulling out the lyrics that could not be disputed, I then went through line by line and interpreted the lyrics that could be left up to the imagination of the listener of what the lyrics meant, and how I was going to make it a concrete part of my book. For instance, there is a lyric in the album that says: “Someone has broken out of Satellite Two, look very carefully it might be you!” That was pretty ambiguous inside the song, so I had to make a decision to what exactly Satellite Two even WAS, who the “someone” was, why it might be a clone of someone else… and then I had to try to make it work inside the storyline around it. The album is 16 tracks, and just shy of 50 minutes in length. The book took me almost 40 months to write because I wanted to stay as true to every single word on the album that I could.
Tell us your writing process
I’ve published 3 novels, and my typical day during the writing of each book was totally different from each other. When I was writing my first book, Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts, I was in the middle of moving from MA to GA, changing police departments, and recording an album with my band, Transpose. So a typical day would be: get everything done first for the move, switching jobs, the recording studio, and whatever time was left at night: work on the book. We also didn’t have any kids yet.
With my second novel, Welcome to Parkview, my wife had been deployed to Djibouti and I was working full time at the police department in GA, and we had 2 kids now. So I was alone without my wife, with 2 toddlers, and working full time. The My day would be: get the kids to day-care, go work fighting crime for 8 hours, pick the kids up and do whatever household chores I had to do (laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping etc.), feed the kids dinner and put them to bed around 6:30, then I would work out for an hour, and then I would work on Welcome to Parkview after I showered until whenever I passed out at my laptop.
With Yours Truly. 2095, the Navy had sent us to Japan for the next 4 years. I had to take a leave of absence at the police department, and we moved the family there. I did not get a job right away, as my wife wanted me to be the stay at home parent during our time in Japan (I did eventually become a Criminal Justice professor for the college on base, but that’s irrelevant to the book.) We moved in November, 2011 and by January, 2012 I was itching to write. For the first time, I had the TIME to write, and not having to worry about a new job, moving, or wiping poopy diapers. So, in February, 2012, I started my outline, and writing the book was my full-time job for a while. We sent out 2 kids to Japanese Kindergarten (called a Yochien in Japan) and they were gone Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:00. I would bring them to the bus stop, wave goodbye, go back up into our apartment, and write until the bus brought them back. It was the first time I could write without distractions, and the first time I was writing not being dead-tired at night after putting in a full day.
Do you have any tips you can share with other authors on how to get the word out about their work?
I feel that promoting is 50% of writing a book. I constantly preach about always having a business card on you, and I suggest making bookmarks of your books to hand out to people/strangers you see reading a book in public. Have the cover art with the book synopsis on the front and places where they can get a cop on the back. Use the bookmark like a business card for that specific book… a business card the person won’t likely throw out when they get home because it’s actually something useful. And every time they open the book they are reading, YOUR book will be looking at them. Its continuous advertising.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
In the 7th I wrote my first fictional short story called, “The Night is Long.” It wasn’t part of some homework assignment, or in-class exercise. I wrote the story over the weekend, purely because I loved to read and wanted to write something that was my own. After that, I never stopped writing. However I only wrote short stories from 1988 to 2005. It was then that I began work on my first novel. My career as a novelist would never have happened, or at least to the success that I have had, if one of my best friends hadn’t died in 2005. My friend David, who was the lead singer of the industrial-rock band God Lives Underwater who enjoyed some commercial success in the 90s, had been struggling with drug addiction, depression, and the throes of the music business since I met him in 1995. We became fast friends, and I was one of the few people who stuck with him through all his highs and lows. When he passed away in 2005, I didn’t know where the put my grief. I just couldn’t find a healthy outlet for how I was feeling about losing him. It was suggested to me to write a memoir about our friendship, but in novel format so it read more like a story than a journal. My wife was the biggest advocate of me using my grief to write my first novel, and recant all the good and bad times that come with being close to someone who struggles with addiction, and someone who was on major tours, on MTV, and all over the radio. He was a multi-dimensional person, and our friendship was trying and rewarding all at the same time. I started writing what would eventually become my first novel, Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts, in January 2006 and it was published in October, 2007—on the second anniversary of his death. The book sold above and beyond anyone’s expectations, and that’s how I stopped writing short stories and focused on writing novels.
Tell us about your main character:
Jeff Blue. His marriage is failing, his daughter was killed in a wreck, he’s an alcoholic, and pretty much just clinging on to life. Until he wakes up 114 years in the future to find out he’s married to a robot, and that he’s part of a huge time travel conspiracy. He’s kind of a jerk, and very self-centered. But when the façade starts to fall, he has a huge heart and its hard not to start to cheer for him by the end.
What are you working on next?
I will begin outlining my 4th book in a few months. Tentatively untitled, it’s going to be a comedic-military novel, almost in the style of the film Mom with Michael Keaton. This will be about the true adventures I had when my wife, who is an Officer in the Navy, left me alone with our two toddlers when she got deployed for 8 months, and the learning curve and craziness that ensued during those months. I’m hoping to have a 2017 release schedule for that.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I feel that nothing comes naturally or easy for me. Everything I know, or all the talents I have, I had to struggle to learn… where so many people, things just come to them.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Jean Auel
What do you like to do with your free time?
I’m a rabid football fan (go Patriots!), I’m a self-proclaimed roller coaster junkie, I love music (I’ve been in bands myself for 20 years), watch movies, and spend time with my wife and 3 kids.
Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Well after the Military Deployment Book I’m working on next, I have another idea for a novel about a female singer/songwriter that travels across the country looking for the ultimate open mic night gig, and all the stuff that happens along the way. Oh, and she may or may not fall in love with a man who has a boyfriend. And then after that, I think I’m going to take all of my uncollected short stories I’ve written over the past few years, and publish my first short story collection.
Where can people find you on the web?
Any final thoughts?
Yours Truly, 2095 might be inspired and based on a concept album from the 80s, but it is every bit my own creation as it is developed from those lyrics. Even though it is a time-travel story on the surface, I believe that it is a romance novel about a couple’s redemption at its core. The book may take place in the distance future, but all the conflicts are struggles that we deal with in our relationships in our everyday lives in the here and now. I believe that this book can be enjoyed just as equally by fans of straight up science-fiction time-travel stories, as well as fans of romance mysteries. The science-fiction jargon is not crammed in your face, nor is the romance angle shoved down your throat either. It’s a nice blend of both, allowing the story to ebb and flow on its own, as Jeff slowly figures out what is truth and what is a lie.
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