The mysterious yet wonderful John B. Rosenman joins us and we are delighted! I call him ‘mysterious’ because he says there is a deep and abiding mystery in his newest novel, Kingdom of the Jax. I have no doubt he speaks the truth. Neither will you when you read the blurb of his book and the short excerpt below. But first, let’s get to know this great guy a bit better with a little Q&A:
HH – What is your favorite book?
There are so many. I will say the first three books of the Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) series by George R. R. Martin are equal to the best I’ve ever read. Utterly engrossing and challenging. Multiple characters, realms, and storylines. After the first three books, the luster dims somewhat.
HH – When and how do you write? (typewriter? Mac, in a café, for four hours each morning, etc.)
There was a time long ago when I wrote in pen or pencil on long yellow legal pads. Now I just sit before my desktop PC and let fly. I’m a pantzer, make it up as I go. Run after the characters and type down what they say and do. Or sometimes they say and do nothing, and I have to make up their lives for them. If we both hit a snag, well, we’ve got trouble. On one novel which I published, I did write an outline. The outline helped, but I changed the novel so much from it, that I reverted to my old habits.
I do need to write more hours a day. However, so many things get in the way these days. Promotion is one thing, a really big time eater. I’m also revising a novel I wrote over thirty years ago for publication, which is scheduled for later this year.
HH – Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Excellent question, Heather. I’ll be writing a blog on this for Audrey Shaffer’s The Writer’s Chatroom site. A wicked but excellent MuseItUp Editor has a habit of highlighting in different colors the words I overuse. Some of them are THAT, BUT, THEN, AND THEN, SUDDENLY, JUST, ABOUT, LIKE, HAD. I don’t think phrases plague me too much, though I’m not free from their corruption, but I know I do tend to overuse the ellipsis (. . .).
Here’s one stat: in examining the novel I wrote over thirty years ago, I found I used the word “that” (perhaps my most overused word) 855 times in 82,000+ words. I believe “that that” use of “that” is too much.
HH – Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to see weaknesses in my writing better.
Give me a second choice? I’d like to be able to read faster.
HH – Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Gosh, I have tons. The Game of Thrones
series is filled with great and admirable female heroines. Arya. Daenerys. Catelyn. For my money, though, I’ll take Brienne of Tarth to the ball. She is a muscular female knight well over six feet tall and a champion in battle who can defeat almost all men. Considered ugly and unladylike by both men and women, she has an uncompromising code of honor and service that resonated at once with me. Readers may find her to be a simply drawn character, but her gallantry and heroism are a much needed contrast to the deceit and dishonesty of others. Unlike so many, Brienne is actually what she seems, and when she swears an oath of fealty to Catelyn, she is pledging her life to uphold it. Though the world finds her to be physically repulsive, I think i
t’s a nice touch on the author’s part that she has beautiful eyes.
HH. What a guy! Only John would see the beauty in someone the world finds repulsive!
Read on for a little bit about John’s love of mystery:
Hey, I’m a Mystery Writer Too!
John B. Rosenman
After noticing that Heather and others on this site are mystery writers, I have a confession to make: I am a mystery writer, too!
Some folks might be surprised to hear this because I write SF action-adventure about a hero streaking across the universe to fight aliens and make love to various women (not necessarily in that order). But as the excerpt you’ll find here shows, sometimes his adventures require him to be a darn good detective if he expects to save his own life, let alone the lives of others. This scene is from Kingdom of the Jax, the recently released sequel to Inspector of the Cross, and Inspector Turtan is trying to capture a mass killer aboard the Emperor’s vast space station before he or she or they kill again. It is not only a whodunit but a whydunit, and it was just released by MuseItUp Publishing.
You know, one of the great things about science fiction or science fantasy is that it opens up so many new possibilities for mysteries. To take another example, are the submicroscopic sea creatures Turtan later encounters desperately needed allies against the alien enemy or deadly parasites who will destroy him and endanger humanity? Should he embrace them or run like hell the other way.
If you were Turtan, what would you do?
In the first novel of the series, Inspector of the Cross, I start right away with an immense mystery, one that requires a supreme detective to solve. Turtan has travelled fifty years across space in suspended animation to investigate the Godstone on Sircon IV because the monolith might possess some power that can help humanity defeat their alien enemy, the Cen. The trouble is, when Turtan reaches this distant planet, he discovers the artifact possesses a dangerous godlike unpredictability. What is its secret, and can he outthink or outwit it? The stakes could be as great as the galaxy. Folks, this puzzle is not at all elementary. What would Sherlock Holmes do?
Let me mention two other SF Mystery novels which I’ve published with MuseItUp.
Dax Rigby, War Correspondent – Dax Rigby travels 90,000 light-years to the planet Arcadia to discover two alien races and three major mysteries. (1) Why are the aliens and the people in Base Camp getting sick and dying? (2) Who is the person or persons killing important individuals in Base Camp, and what is their motive? Could Dax himself be on the hit list? (3) Can anything be done to stop WWIII back on Earth and save billions of lives?
Dark Wizard –This paranormal romance has more mysteries than I can shake a bloody dagger at, and Delilah K. Stephens’ stunning cover hints at one: the sinister killer who stalks San Luis Obispo, CA. As for the hero, Kan: why can’t he remember his past, who is he really, and how can he bring people back from the dead?
That’s enough for now. Heather, thanks so much for inviting me to be your, uh, mystery
Kingdom of the Jax, blurb:
Accompanied by Yaneta, his beautiful alien bride, Turtan travels across the stars to Cross Imperial Station. The Jax, Overseers of the universe, have given him an amazing navigational device which can enable the Cross to quickly defeat their seemingly invincible enemy, the Cen, and end their five-thousand-year-old war.
But will the Emperor welcome him to the station or order the execution of both him and his wife? Turtan is, after all, endlessly resourceful and may learn the emperors’ terrible secret and act of betrayal concealed these past five hundred years. Even if spared, Yaneta is still a member of the enemy and may be killed instantly.
To succeed in his mission, Turtan faces an almost impossible task, one requiring not only luck but the full range of all the skills he has acquired in four thousand years as an elite agent.
It is his greatest challenge ever.
Kingdom of the Jax, excerpt:
A laser singed his shoulder, and he smelled his own scorched flesh. Thank God, it was a superficial wound. He angled left then right, grateful he encountered no obstructions.
Finally he reached the entrance.
Guests swarmed around it, a blind mob mindless with fear. He shoved through them, using his elbows, and at last gained his freedom.
No, not free! He didn’t know how many killers there were. A lone gunman or several. For all he knew, he could be running into a damned regiment ready to end his escape.
No point in worrying, so he ran on. During his brief stay on the station, Turtan had developed only a sketchy impression of its vast layout. All he knew was he ran in darkness, possibly toward sharpshooters with cortical implants. The blackout might affect the entire station, and he was a sitting duck.
He ran on, surrounded by the screams of those who’d escaped like him. Touching his shoulder holster, he wished he could see well enough to use his laser to defend himself.
At last the lights went on, and he blinked, seeing the Victory Garden ahead. He entered it; bending forward, he wove through exotic plants and flower bushes. One flower snipped at him, and he swatted it aside. Before him arched the bridge where he’d fished with the Emperor. He wondered how they were biting.
Turtan pulled out his laser, resisting the urge to fire. Stupid to announce his location, but the garden was lit so brightly, how could he possibly hide?
He squatted behind a large flower bush with brilliantly colored trumpets and a sweet, indefinable smell. Was it wise or stupid to hide here? This must be one of the most flamboyant and obvious attractions in the garden. He remembered a short story he’d read long before in which a man hid a stolen letter almost in plain sight. Perhaps this gaudy refuge was just the thing.
Or perhaps he should hide elsewhere in this beautiful hell. Better yet, leave it altogether.
He knelt, vigilantly scanning the area. Something moved on his chest, and he looked down.
The red cross.
Like his uniform, it was coated with Nomon’s blood. What a Redcross Knight he was. Unable to save a fellow Inspector, he now found himself helpless on a deadly plain.
No, not helpless. He hadn’t stayed alive for four millennia, far more than any other Inspector by being helpless. He’d kill the bastard who wanted to kill him.
A nice sentiment and a worthy goal. He twisted and turned, probing his surroundings from his low vantage point. Everywhere he looked, luxurious vegetation and plants met his eye. Some rose over three meters high.
The killer—or killers—could be hiding anywhere.
Kingdom of the Jax Buy Link: