Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Adrian Randall for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Author: Adrian Randall
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genre: Apocalyptic/dystopian, Cyberpunk, Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal
Release Date: 02/28/2017
In a postprivacy future, secrets are illegal and all communication is supervised. Telepaths are registered and recruited by a government with no qualms about invading the minds of its citizens. Fugitive psychics are hunted by the Bureau of Counterpsychic Affairs, or Countermind.
Alan Izaki is one such fugitive, as well as a hacker, grifter, and thief.
Countermind agent Jack Smith is hunting him through the twisted underbelly of Hong Kong.
But Alan possesses a secret so dangerous and profound it will not only shake Smith’s loyalties, but the foundations of their society.
And Alan isn’t the only one on the run. Rogue psychic Arissa binti Noor escapes Countermind, in search of brilliant game designer Feng Huang. She hopes that together, they can destroy the government’s intrusive Senex monitoring system.
Their goals seem at odds, and their lives are destined to collide. When they do, three very different people must question their alliances and their future, because everything is about to change.
Recent Release Spotlight with Adrian Randall
We are here today to talk about Countermind. What can you tell us about it?
It’s your standard frighteningly plausible post-privacy dystopian future, with the added twist that telepaths exist. Of course the government wants to regulate these telepaths, and it has a specialized bureau of non-psychic agents whose job is to keep them under control.
Please tell us more about our main characters.
Alan Izaki is a fugitive telepath, hacker, and thief on the run in Hong Kong. Jack Smith is the Countermind agent, trained in classified counter-psychic techniques, trying to catch him. They don’t get along at first. Or at second, third, or fourth. But then things get complicated.
What about Countermind makes you the proudest?
Well, it’s my first published novel, so that alone makes it a big deal for me.
That aside, the first thing I wrote was the scene in Chapter One where Smith attempts to arrest Alan. I had nothing plotted after that, and the story just exploded in ways I didn’t anticipate. The fact that the book went in so many unexpected directions while still being character-driven, and the way everything still seemed to fall into place at the end, was pretty satisfying.
I also want to praise the gorgeous cover by L.C. Chase. The cool tones give the whole thing a very noir feel. Alan’s fixing the viewer with a guarded, wary look that really captures the character’s personality. And the arrangement of the cover’s elements, with Alan’s face, the Hong Kong skyline, and the text all at right angles to each other, puts the reader off-balance before they even open the book. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.
What is next for these characters? Is there more to this series? If so who will we hear from next?
Maybe. The book as written stands on its own, though I do know what’s next for the characters. But I have other stories competing for my attention as well. It depends on who wins.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Keeping in mind that I’m still an aspiring writer myself, my advice is to get good at something else, first. Not just to make sure your bills are paid (though that’s important). It will take you longer to get that first book finished and published (this one took me five years) but you’ll be able to bring knowledge and skills and experiences to it that will make your book stand out as something unique. “Write what you know” doesn’t mean play it safe. It means you should go out and learn.
What one story made you lose sleep as a kid?
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Those vermicious Knids scared me out of my little mind. I’m not joking. They terrified me. They still do.
What was your inspiration for this story?
I’ve played a lot of RPGs, both of the tabletop and online variety. I was an English major in a past life, so of course I’m the kind of player who writes out elaborate backstories for my characters. RPGs have a reputation for being silly, but approached the right way these backstories can take on lives of their own. Alan Izaki and Jack Smith are rooted in characters I created for superhero MMOs (though you’ll see they’re nothing like superheroes).
How important are secondary characters to your story telling? Do you actively try to have women characters in your M/M to balance the male focus of the MCs?
I tried to make Countermind more of an ensemble book. It’s not enough for a story to have women playing second fiddle to male leads. They need to have ambitions and talents and regrets and arcs of their own.
What book do you keep by your bed?
Right now I’m reading this gorgeous, ridiculous tome called Hyrule Historia. Did you know all the Legend of Zelda games are supposedly part of some interconnected, branching timeline? It’s completely bonkers, but it’s got lots of pretty art and it helps me relax. You should never read anything serious when you’re trying to nod off.
Do you remember a character talking about a particular food and it made you want to eat it RIGHT NOW? And if yes, what was it?
Like lots of people, I wanted to try Turkish delight after reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, just so I could understand why Edmund was so mad for it. Turns out the real thing is pretty disappointing. Must be my unrefined American palate.
Rapid Fire Time
Batman or Superman?
False choice. They’re superfriends.
Hawaii or Colorado?
Colorado for living, Hawaii for vacation.
Ice Skating or Ice Hockey?
My fiancé loves Check, Please!, but I convinced him to try Yuri!!! On Ice and he enjoyed it more than he expected.
Tropical island or snow covered mountain cabin?
See again “Hawaii or Colorado?”
When I visit the family I like some cheesy scrambled eggs for breakfast, with lots of cheese, and some buttered Cuban toast to dip in my café con leche. It’s the bomb.
Alone or At a Party?
Another false choice. I’m an introvert. I’m my own party.
First pet and name?
Nice try. I know when I’m being socially engineered.
Shifters or Vampires?
Cook or eat out?
World of Warcraft or Everquest?
City of Heroes and Champions Online
What are you working on? What is next?
Like I said, I’ve got a few ideas screaming for my attention and it all depends on who shouts loudest. Stay tuned!
About the Author
Adrian Randall is a PhD and a dual-class bureaucrat/scientist. A native Floridian, he lives in Alexandria with the love of his life and their many beautiful board games. He has a tenuous grasp on reality, owing to a steady diet of novels, comics, and other distractions. All his ideas start as character backstory for MMOs and RPGs, and he does all his writing while listening to video game soundtracks. So if he’s gaming instead of working on a book, it’s not procrastination, it’s workshopping. He usually spends his free time geeking out about some damn thing or another. You can geek out with him through any of his social media channels. If he doesn’t respond, it means he broke his phone again.
February 21 – MM Good Book Reviews – https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/
February 21 – DSP Publications – https://www.dsppublications.com/
February 24 – Prism Book Alliance – http://www.prismbookalliance.com/
February 27 – My Fiction Nook – http://www.myfictionnook.com/
February 28 – Sinfully Gay – http://sinfullymmbookreviews.blogspot.com/
March 1 – Love Bytes – http://lovebytesreviews.com/
March 2 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words – https://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.com/
March 3 – On Top Down Under – http://ontopdownunderbookreviews.com/
March 6 – Boy Meets Boy – https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com/
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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