Mirror Matter Press, the sister press of Sinister Grin Press, is excited to release the beautiful and engaging cover for Summons of the Majestic, the first book in a fantasy series called The Eight Islands
by UK author Tim Reed. We are thrilled to offer this series to readers
and the book will release Dec. 1, 2016.
We asked author Tim Reed his thoughts on his cover,
Summons of the Majestic!
How do you feel about the cover design and how does it
connect with your book?
A: The vision I had for the Summons of the Majestic cover is
pretty much realised! The layout is spot on, with a stark, abstract
feel to the imagery which I hope creates a sense of dream-like
fantasy; this permeates through the narrative, with the protagonist
Teepo venturing into other dimensional worlds and struggling with
his own dreams, all in an effort to combat a growing darkness that
threatens to finish off the remnants of the world. I also wanted to get
simple depictions of the Eight Islands (series name and central to
the book) on the cover, along with the dominant figure of the Crygale
at the top. The latter is a symbol of the pitiless, alien domains that
Teepo has to overcome and conquer in a forced quest to capture 'Summons'. The contrast of huge monster and tiny human outline is something I am ecstatic with. It shows the monumental task that our hero has taken on. He is not much more than a boy...and yet has to somehow subdue and control many strong spirits.
What can readers look forward to with this series?
A: I hope there is plenty, but first and foremost it is a journey with a vulnerable young man who is being corralled into an almost hopeless task - to find a way to combat an ancient power because no-one else can. His mentor is not some Gandalf-esque wise man but a man driven by a selfish endgame. And our hero, Teepo, has to learn swiftly or die. He has led a life filled with self-doubt, so it will be interesting to see how he grows (or struggles) with the burden of responsibility (oh...and he has, let's just say, an 'interesting' shadow that has a growing influence on his thoughts as he journeys). Lastly, each Summon he finds presents its own problems, along with a singular history, a unique set of skills and danger level. So, for those with a love of Hearthstone, Pokemon, and all things collectible monsters, there should be plenty to enjoy.
Summons of the Majestic, Synopsis
Teepo is an orphan and a boy who can Summon - a Gromancer. The problem is that his master, Dragma, is also a Gromancer. To have two in the same generation is a curse. And when a sacred tree sheds its leaves in their village, the curse deepens and doom is foretold. Teepo has but one option. Exile.
Together with his master, Teepo must venture out into the Eight Islands and follow the ancient Gromancer way. He must search for fifty spirits of elemental, physical and mental mind, in the fool's hope of gaining a reprieve back to Paradise. But the way is near impossible. Darkness gallops on their heels; forgotten realms unzip themselves into reality; and the Darknova moves across the moon, heralding the return of an ancient evil.
Only with their shared bond can Teepo and Dragma hope to survive the gathering maelstrom. But after a while, as they gather forces around them, Teepo starts to suspect his master has an ulterior - more selfish - motive for collecting the Summons. If true, it could potentially leave Teepo alone as the last Gromancer alive...in a world stricken by chaos.
This is the first book in The Eight Islands series.
Tim Reed, Biography
Tim Reed whittles the week away by frowning over reports as a technical editor, but once the moon rises, he transforms into a werebeast of writer proportions. He has gobbled classic and contemporary novels for many years and uses them as inspiration for his own writing, mainly in the horror, fantasy and sci-fi realms. He has been published several times in the short story and novella field, in the USA and UK, with works such as Spider From the Well and Running Free available as e-books on Amazon. One day, he dreams of forming his own Inklings club, creating his own Mythos or generally accepting $1 for film rights to any of his books. So no pressure.
In the meantime, he lives in relative tranquility with his wife in sunny London, musing on how to write messed-up weird fiction without having to resort to opium. He cites Tolkien, Blackwood, Herbert, Lovecraft and King as influences.
Outside of writing, Tim enjoys many hobbies - too many, for the writer within; these include most sports, being a snooty film buff, being an equally snooty theatre/museum goer, and building shrines to Bruce Campbell (one of these is untrue). He enjoys great food, good family and loves the little, peaceful things in life.
About Mirror Matter Press
Mirror Matter Press is the sister press of Sinister Grin Press. With common ownership, Mirror Matter Press focuses on Science Fiction, Fantasy, Pulp and other fictions not horror-related. Mirror Matter Press brings the best fiction to market from new and established writers and strives to immerse readers in new worlds.
Tell us your latest news?
I recently bought a house. The long journey to being a grown-up is almost over! Writing wise: I’ve outlined four novels
that are all currently in draft form and I’m in edits for a fifth. Idle hands and all that, I guess. I’ve also got a novella
coming out in second-to-third quarter 2017 and a few short stories on the horizon. Things are cooking.
I also got back from Iceland not too long ago. I recommend that anyone reading this go. If you are reading this IN
Iceland, then you should leave and then come back. It’s an amazing island with amazing people. I didn’t do my due
diligence before I left and, as such, failed to realize that the sun doesn’t really set in June. That was an experience.
Imagine that you’re tripping balls and didn’t even realize you took anything. Add in some awesome Icelandic beer
and food and you’ve got it!
What book are you reading now?
Confession? I can’t read or write. Four Bullets was dictated, not read.
In all seriousness, I have just begun “The Boys from Brazil” by Ira Levin. I’m planning on making a lateral career-move, giving up the glamorous life of a project manager and becoming a professional Nazi hunter and, I figured this book would be a great instructional manual on how to get that done.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
New authors? If you mean, brand-new, out of the gate, taking the publishing world by storm kind of authors, then there’s Patrick Lacey, who’s got some interesting horror stuff out there, if that’s your thing. He goes into the body horror arena a bit, which I like, as it is really underrepresented in the genre. There’s also Tony Tremblay, or T.T. Zuma, who consistently knocks it out of the park, be it by his penname or real.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Man, do I have an answer for this! The book is called “Then Again, Maybe I Won’t” by Judy Blume. Yeah. THAT Judy Blume.
I wrote a post on my website SHAMELESS PLUG!!!! (Kylerader.net) about how this book has, in no slight exaggeration,
completely RUINED my life. Why? The protagonist is the most un-decisive little turd you’ll ever meet and, when I got to this
book as a kid, it warped my decision-making skills to the point that, when confronted with even the benign of decisions,
I CAN’T MAKE ONE! All I can think of is this goddamned book and that goddamned phrase and the torture renews itself
like a phoenix!
I only read the stupid book because this girl in my third grade class bought it for me with her own money. I was too stupid to
realize that meant that she liked me, of course.
I had the joy of starting to read much earlier than most children, and the luck/gift of being able to comprehend books at a much higher level as well. As a result, I was introduced to a variety of books intended for an older audience at a much younger age. Some of these included Jurassic Park (an all-time favorite), Tom Sawyer and the works of Jules Verne. I especially loved Jules Verne, and still do to this day. I was given some of his stuff when I was still playing with He-Mans and G.I. Joes, and it just sung to me. The adventures, the mysterious locations and characters, and the intelligence of Verne really kicked the door to my imagination down, so hard, that the frame cracked and I’ve never bothered to repair it so it doesn’t really close properly anymore. Jules Verne stories are fun, but they also are smart, some would say years ahead of their time. Reading them now, I don’t feel they lose any of their impact, or the sense of wonder. I will always be grateful to Jules Verne for breaking and entering into my imagination in that regard.
Or, then again, maybe I won’t……….wait…..GODDAMNIT!!!
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’ve yet to make my debut in the conventions. I’ve attended plenty in the past, usually as a supporter of my friends who are there and selling their stuff. I’ve had stories in collections that have been on sale at some events, but I’ve never been in official attendance. I tend to write across genres, so it’s difficult to justify attending as a vendor at some of the conventions, like say a “Rock and Shock”, as my stuff isn’t really horror. That being said, I’d love to get out there in the near future and meet some people, talk about writing and life and move some product!
Kind of sounded like a drug dealer just then. I’m going with it.
One adage about writing that you always hear is: write what you know. In many aspects, this is true, just as in many other aspects it is not. Say you want to write a story about a spaceship. Do you need to be a rocket scientist or an astronaut to do it? Not at all, but it kind of depends on what kind of story you want to write. Science fiction does have “science” in it, so, you best do your research and, at the least, have a basic idea of what you’re going to be writing about. Audiences aren’t stupid, and they will call you out on these kinds of things.
I do research, but, for the most part, I’m not going into it as if I am writing a thesis on a given subject. I want to know as much as I can, or as much I deem necessary, to tell the story. I’m not talking about Wikipedia versions, either. If you rely solely on Wiki for information, then I feel you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice and your work will suffer for it. Another GREAT resource is actually TALKING to people! Can you imagine it? You want to know something that someone else knows and all you need to do is ask? Amazing! I do this all the time. It not only will give you what you need, or at least, set you on the proper path, but you will get to have human interaction, something that can be lacking in a profession such as ours.
Life experience beats even that. We learn by doing, so go out there and do. I wanted to know what it’d feel like after running a marathon for one of my characters, so I set a goal to do one, trained and trained and went out and did it. So, I gained that knowledge and am able to convey it through my character in the story AND ran a damn marathon and got in even better shape at the same time!
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
I tend to hate everything I write to an extent, especially the stuff that I’ve had picked up for publication. But, yes, there have been some stories that I’ve written that will never see the light of day outside of my writers group and close friends because, quite frankly, the quality isn’t up to snuff. They all can’t be hits, though. I mean, who am I, Taylor Swift?
When I go through my slush pile, an exercise that I do from time to time, I come across pieces that I either started and abandoned because I was just hating them to the point of homicide, or pieces that I started, finished, and planned to come back to at a later date. I always hope that the pieces that I hate will have somehow gotten better in my absence, and yet, my opinion of them doesn’t really change that much.
If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaptation of one of your books, who would play the character? Why?
Ah, the fantasy question that every writer has daydreamed of. If you meet a writer who says they haven’t done this, they are either being humble or telling you a bald-faced lie. We all do it and why shouldn’t we? It’s fun.
Four Bullets has a lot of characters that could be fun for actors to get a hold of, I think, and I know that I’m sounding like
one of those insufferable “artist-types” of writers at the moment, but stick with me. I write characters that are different in
some way, meaning, they’re quirky, they’re weird. I mean, you can write a character and have them be the biggest badass
in the world, quickest gun, best assassin, etc. But, honestly? All that’s been done before. You want to do something
different? Make your assassin look like, act like something one wouldn’t expect. Then, you’ll find you capture people’s
attention a bit easier.
Rant over. So, who should play Drake Travis, our “hero” of Four Bullets? I think Ben Foster would be a good choice. He
doesn’t get a lot of attention, but he’s very watchable in the movies he’s in, even if the movie itself sucks. Check him out
in ’30 Days of Night’. He’s one of the highlights.
For Captain John Marsden? Gary Oldman. He’s got the range to go from complete monster to the kind of quiet menace
that the Captain has.
What is the biggest lie you've ever told?
I am a terrible liar. I really am not capable of telling lies, so I generally avoid doing so. This is not to say that I haven’t lied before. One of the bigger lies I’ve told—and have subsequently been telling for the past twenty years now—is about a car crash I got into.
I was sixteen years old and was a week removed from getting my license. One day, I think it was in the Summer, just before school started up again, I was driving around in my Mom’s car before I had to go to work. I grew up in a pretty rural area, so there wasn’t a whole lot to do, so we rode around, listening to the radio and, in my case, smoking cigarettes.
I was on my way home and decided that I wanted to have one last smoke before I got close to the house. In case you didn’t know, sixteen-year-olds are NOT supposed to be in possession of cigarettes, let alone smoke them. So, I had to sneak them when my folks weren’t around; pretty sure they knew what I was up to the whole time, though. I had crested a hill when the cigarette lighter popped out, ready for use; don’t even think they make cars with cigarette lighters anymore. I had my smoke in my mouth and looked down to light it, not realizing, until it was far too late, that my inexperienced driver’s hand was pulling the steering wheel over to the right as I moved the lighter to the cigarette.
The next thing I knew, the car was off the road and driving down a hill. I froze. I can’t remember if I ever tried to hit the brakes or not. In the end, that didn’t matter, because a giant fucking tree stopped me. If I hadn’t had been wearing my seatbelt, I would’ve been killed. The air bag did deploy, yes, but I truly know that would not have been enough.
The lie I told, and have been telling all this time, was: I was leaning over to change the radio station---this particular car still had the dials—and my hand pulled the wheel over and, bam. Crashed car.
This is actually the first time I’ve told the truth about this in any way, shape or form. Sorry Mom and Dad, but I’ve the suspicion that you knew I was lying the whole time.
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Writing Synopsis for novels. WHO F#@!ING THOUGHT OF THIS??? You mean to tell me, you want to read the novel I just wrote, but first, you want me to write it again, but shorter???
Having to write a synopsis feels like my bones are trying to punch through my skin and run away into the night so they don’t have to participate in such a meaningless act.
What secret talents do you have?
I can catch a guitar pick at every metal/rock concert I go to. Clockwork. If only I could play as well as the musicians I go to see…
Not a real big secret talent, but I’m a pretty decent cook, especially when it comes to manning a grill. I’m no slouch in making hot wing sauce, either, though I don’t get the chance to make it very much these days.
I’m also funny and, for reasons that escape me, have been told that I’m a joy and effortless to be around. I guess the ‘Free Hugs’ tattoo on my scalp is paying for itself.
If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?
I’d be Harambe. An armed to the teeth, back-from-the-dead, pissed-off Harambe.
Pretty much like ‘The Crow’, but with Harambe.
Dr. Victor Acquista has become a successful international author and speaker following careers as a primary-care physician and medical executive. He previously helped to co-found The Collaborative for Community Health, a non-profit, is a founding member of Rivervalley Market, a food co-op, and authored a syndicated Health and Wellness column.
His non-fiction and his workshops focus on personal growth and transformation, especially as pertains to health and wellness. His fiction includes social messaging intended to get the reader engaged in thought provoking themes.
Dr. Acquista has a longstanding interest in consciousness studies, is a student of Integral Theory, and strives to do his part to make our planet a wee bit better. He lives with his wife in New Mexico. More info at www.victoracquista.com.
Science fiction author and international speaker Dr. Victor Acquista gave a presentation on December 4th at the Anasazi Fields Winery in New Mexico. His talk on "Socially Conscious Science Fiction" was followed by a book signing of his new epic sci-fi novel, Sentient, a story of humanity's defeat and resurgence after 168,000 years of struggle following the near genocide of our species by a telepathic warrior race. Book-themed drinks featuring scoob highlighted an afternoon of fun.