Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Q&A with J.O. Quantaman

I live in Vancouver at the mouth of the Fraser River on Canada’s westcoast. The city has been carved out of a temperate rainforest and is sandwiched between scenic mountains and the Pacific Ocean. I’ve worked as a photographer, sports-fishing guide, cab driver and software developer. At present I’m semiretired and an avid reader of history, scientific literature, historical fiction and science.

Imagine a vibrant community that rejects 5,000 years of human traditions. Imagine a society that affirms equal rights for both men and women. Imagine a society without politicians, without corporate secrets, without adverts, without disparity in the spendable wealth of its citizens. Such a community has defied the status quo. It has aroused fear and envy among the powerful elite. It needs extraordinary protection from those who would bring it down.

Narrative is fully indexed, color pictures, circa 2070s <> Blending of antipodes between utopia and dystopia <> Nyssa has spent years in virtual bondage to a Japanese pimp before she landed at Dog Breakfast, a co-op dedicated to urban security and espionage. She is welcomed despite her woeful past. She begins training as an operative and soon finds the physical hurdles almost beyond reach. But she can't turn back because the co-op has become "home" and if she fails she'd mess up her chances with Cook <> Kazuo has lost touch with the stone fox he met at the ski resort. He will meet her again, but in a way he doesn't expect.

What inspired you to write Loose Threads: Cool Assassins 1?

I would get pictures of scenes in my mind for a number of years.  One day I decided to write one of them down.

What genre would you place this book in?

Alternate History.  Within that context, readers will find elements of romance, espionage and social customs that are alien to those we cherish today.

Who are the characters in the story and what are their goals?

Jenna is a world-class aerial acrobat and mountain climber who suffers bouts of vertigo.

Nyssa Persson, former Tokyo call girl, comes to Dog Breakfast co-op, a security outfit.  Nyssa is determined to make a fresh start in her life.  She buries her libido and undergoes training in martial arts.  She never stops looking for a soul mate.

Kazuo is a former champion kickboxer.  Nowadays he's the security chief at Mishima dockside foundry.  As he prepares his team to capture an intruder, his mind reverts to memories of Miyuki, a young woman who has stolen his heart.

Meg and Subie are two gabby bisexuals who help Nyssa find a home at Dog Breakfast co-op.

Cook is the head honcho at DB co-op.  He leads from the front by example.

Shepp is Nyssa's somewhat reluctant partner and mentor.  A former Kenyan smuggler, he is DB's weapons instructor and resident hunk.

Maybe the most important character is the city of Tsawwassen.  Not just an architectural wonder, the city fosters social lifeways unlike any in existence today.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?

I've devoted 15 years to editing and learning the craft from scratch.  Yet the toughest part is cracking the eBook market.  "Loose Threads" is but one title among 4-million others.  Authors must be prepared to jump through dozens of hoops before anyone will notice.

What do you hope readers will gain from your book?

I hope readers will sense there is more to life than meets the eye.  In this age of cell phones and ear plugs, we've lost a much faster means of communication.  Superluminal messages can only happen among folks who know and trusts each other.  It seems to be a dying art.

What do you like best and what do you like least about being a writer?

I dislike the advertising.  Indie authors must shout twice as loud to get their two cents on the board.  The trouble and effort I've put into "Loose Threads" won't come back for decades.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favorite Indie author is Carmen Amato.  She has created a Mexican detective, Emilia Cruz who is tougher and more courageous than your usual crime fighter.  Among established sci-fi authors, I like anything written by Greg Bear and Connie Willis.  As a history buff, I'm a fan of Colleen McCullough, especially her award-winning series that features the Roman republic.

If your book would be turned into a movie, who would you imagine playing the part of the main character? (Actor can be ANYONE, living or dead.)

I haven't a clue.  I don't have a TV and haven't gone to the cinema for 20 years.  None of the vintage movies features strong female leads with oriental features.

Are you working on anything right now?

I'm working on the sequel "Hot Wheels" which has a 2nd-gen Mexican immigrant to SoCal, Tomas Redfoot who delivers gourmet foods to enclaves east of San Bernardino.

And, finally, what do you think is in store for the future of Latino literature?

English has gotten a huge head start as the digital language of choice.  I doubt it will be dislodged.  But I see more and more Latino words becoming naturalized in English.  In the future there will be as many Latino additions as there are French.

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