Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be participating in my first ever blog tour! I hope you all enjoy this 🙂
By: Justin Chandler
Summary from Amazon:
“Know yourself.” Nicholas Forsythe never knew how important those words were at his first year at Glenoak High School until he met Garron. After he is given a mentor by his parents to help guide him through his rebellious phase, Nicholas is initially skeptical of Garron’s methods. Who is he? How does he know so much about Nicholas without meeting him? As Nicholas works to find the answers to these and other questions about the guiding process, he soon uncovers a deep secret about Garron and the guides: they are from the future, working for the mysterious Determinant Industries in an attempt to fix the perils of the past. All is well with the program, but when a brooding figure from Garron’s time threatens to unravel the very events of history, it’s up to Nick and Garron to not only save their lives, but also the entire fate of the future. Through strained friendships, inner battles with identity and free will, and watching the entire world around him morph and change to the whims of an evil dictator, Nick discovers the true meaning of choice and the sacrifice involved in order to truly “know yourself.”
Sunset. The bridging between the follies of day and the unexpected ventures of night.
A man, tall and lean in stature, stepped through the thresholds of a plate glass door, shutting down the ominous purple light peeking behind him. He looked at his suit. Finely crafted, tailored to his unique size and stature. Black shoes, shined for the occasion, leading to pressed navy pants and a black belt. Covering his torso was a light blue shirt, casual blue tie, all held together with a snug coat. He continued walking forward through the white room. A young woman, holding a clipboard, met him immediately.
“Welcome! I see that you arrived here safely.”
“Indeed, and my belongings?”
“As request, the car you decided on is parked right outside of the building. Lincoln Continental, right?”
The man smirked, “You know me too well.”
The woman smiled, “Simply the instructions you provided us, sir.”
The man looked through the adjacent window towards the sunset. “Today is the 22nd, correct?”
“Yes, they should be expecting you soon. You contacted them, right?”
“Both of them, haven’t talked to the young one yet, but I figured it would be best to do so in person.”
“And the school?”
“Already taken care of. Did they leave what I requested?”
The woman pulled out a small black box and handed it to the man. “And you also requested this.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a leather-bound notebook. “Still relying on this old trick?”
He smiled. “The more some things change, the more others stay the same.” He looked at his watch. “A little behind schedule, but if I know them as well as I do, they won’t mind.”
The man took his belongings and walked towards the exit. As he reached for the handle, the woman began saying, “Now, you remember the protocol, right? You’re not allowed to-“
“I know, I know,” he cut her off.”Trust me, I wouldn’t dream of it. No use in adding any unnecessary ‘additions’.”
“In that case, good luck then. With this one, you’re gonna need it.”
The man walked out of the building and entered his loaned car. He looked into the rear-view mirror, adjusted his tie, and pulled out of the driveway.
Sunset. The bridge between what can and what will happen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Justin Chandler is an aspiring educator, currently finishing his last year at Appalachian State University as a Middle Grades Education major. Residing in Connelly Springs, NC, Justin has written short stories for years and has recently contributed articles for websites such as TheOdyssey. His twin brother, Dustin, is attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a Screenwriting major. In his free time, Justin enjoys hiking, reading, and practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Writing on the Clock – The Inspirations and Methods for The Guide
Let’s set the scene: it’s late at night, the sun has long since retired for another day, but fingers still rattle across a keyboard. One, two, four coffee cups are scattered around a small desk overlooking the night sky while a jazz compilation courtesy of YouTube plays in the background. Oh, and one more thing…
You have class the next morning.
Readers, bloggers, and fiction enthusiasts have asked me over the past few months about how The Guide went from becoming the seeds of a routine short story into a fleshed out novel created during NaNoWriMo. Usual questions ranged from:
- Where do I usually write?
- What apps do I use?
- How do I write?
- What’s my inspiration?
- How do I get over writer’s block?
Each time I would just say, “Coffee and YouTube.” Not the most riveting answers, but writing has always been something that was a natural process, like breathing. As a result, my responses were quite subdued simply from not being metacognitive about what I do. But, in the interest of giving more insight into my tendencies, I have started keeping track of the nuances surrounding my short stories, assignments for college, and what worked the best for the novel. With that said…*breathe in*
Where do I usually write?
What better way to think about writing than to be surrounded by a sea of writing? My best days coming up with content came at bookstores (here’s to ya, Barnes and Nobles), coffee shops, and the library at Appalachian State University. They had the most soothing atmospheres when penning fleshing out a torture scene, who knew?
What apps do I use?
Writing-wise? None. At most, I use Google Docs to keep going without having to stop the flow by saving, but otherwise it’s simply Word. As far as music? iHeartRadio, Pandora, and YouTube music videos and compilations, specifically alternative rock channels and saxophone music. Though I may need to look into some procrastination apps…
How do I write?
With my hands.
Now that the obvious is out of the way, it depends on what I’m writing specifically. School assignments are usually done freeform as one draft, with revisions here and there if necessary. My short stories are a little more pre-planned, with a leather-bound book holding scratchy timelines and character traits. The Guide was more tricky, as I had the restrictions of NaNoWriMo set up to limit any carryover lines or phrases from being used in the spirit of the competition. It was a mixture of both: there was pre-planning as far as characterization, the main beats, and the ending, but the moments in between were created as I went along. Which leads me to…
What’s my inspiration?
Movies, TV, books, lather, rinse, repeat. Obviously more realistic aspects of the short stories, such as Davey’s Day, and the novel like friendship, the human condition, maturation, and so on are derived from real-life occurrences. I let those memories and observations marinate in my head for a while before I use them in order to think logically about how it would fit into the plot. As far as the more fictionalized elements, most notably in The Guide, the Metal Gear Solid video game series had a huge impact on the novel’s theme of free will (Sons of Liberty in the series has a deep, albeit complicated plot related to determinism vs. free will). The time travel concept was inspired by Futurama, but instead of it being “Nibbler going back to set up what’s supposed to happen in 3000,” it’s more so “What if Fry wanted to improve his past life without the whole Back to the Future Part II dilemma?”
How do I get over writer’s block?
Close the laptop, walk outside, and go for a run. Staring at a screen for hours on end can be detrimental to your creativity (much less your health). Running keeps me from remaining stagnant or glued to a chair rummaging through reddit in boredom (King of the Hill subreddit is extremely addictive) and allows me to redirect my thinking while in motion. In fact, the beginning stages of I’m Speechless were conceived during a midday jog through downtown Valdese, and my various papers for class were written immediately following two hours of jiu-jitsu. This may not work for everybody, but it’s been the most successful for me.
As you can see, I’ve gone a little more thorough than “Coffee and YouTube,” but I think the entire writing process is simply something that can’t be described, defined, or detailed. It’s a living entity in my life that’s self-sufficient, but needs the nurture of DeathWish coffee and Baker Street. As the clock winds down on my more recent deadlines, all I can really say is
Write to love. Write to live.
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