March 23, 2020

IndieView with B.T. Keaton, author of Transference

By admin

Was it a particular event or a gradual process? The epic story of a grim personal mission, Transference takes the reader on a heart-racing journey through rebellion, revenge, self-sacrifice, and the soul’s search for identity. Publisher rejection and the fear of failure were probably the two biggest reasons I shelved the book for so long. A technological advancement in the future allows for the ability to transfer a human soul from one body to another. I’d be embarrassed to send a manuscript to an editor which contained even simple typos or grammatical errors in it, even though I know it’s their job to correct them. If so can you please describe it? Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?   I think that was about 6 to 8 weeks. Also, a sequel to Transference is percolating in my heart and mind as well. I have been winging it! You know, something kind of akin to The Muppets that can be enjoyed by all ages? How long did it take you to write it? Absolutely. He was great. I knew her when we were kids. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Writing several chapters from the POV of female characters was kinda hard. Only when Barrabas faces execution does he claim that another man committed his infamous crimes decades earlier. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? (laughs) You take a character like Terra, for example… she is based on an actual person that I grew up with. Soundtracks help because I tend to think of my writing visually and emotionally. When everything you believe about civilization is a lie, the ultimate power is truth. About the book
What is the book about? She’s right, of course… I’m just a big kid in a lot of ways. Wellington, New Zealand has been my home for well over 10 years now. I think that process took another couple of months, and the book was finally done in 2013. That might be an impairment to plot and prose, but it’s just the way my brain works. The authorities are suspicious. I don’t like outlines because it feels… I don’t know… formulaic, maybe? But I loved the challenge of that. But yeah… marketing is probably where a real publishing house would’ve been the most helpful. Damonza did everything for me. Some are entirely fictitious, but generally I’ve borrowed from everyone I’ve ever known. So, I wanted to take things that I had seen work in other movies and novels, and make something in a similar vein, but include things that I hadn’t quite seen. God willing, I can get all these things off the ground in the coming years. But for the story I had to imagine what she’d be like as an adult since we probably hadn’t connected for twenty years or more, at least, not until Facebook came along. I had a wonderful childhood, I got to have loving parents, and the best friends. That’s more or less what I was going for. I still love toys, and comic books. I wanted this book to appeal to them, not just a niche audience. I mean, I’m not a woman, so I’ll never be able to totally think as a woman would, right? Secondly, wow, that’s such a loaded question! That’s the perfectionist in me. (laughs)
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? But mostly the standard polite “thanks but no thanks” rejections were filling up my inbox. So, at some point, I had to accept the feedback I was getting—from editors and fellow authors—that the book was just too good to let it lie dormant. If we’ve interacted for any length of time, there’s probably some part of you in the book! In a way, I suppose it’s a classic, albeit grim, good versus evil tale. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? Just recently my good friend Duster said to me, “Nothing of value happens without struggle.”   How true is that! Banished to a mining colony on a distant planet for lawlessness is Barrabas Madzimure, the king of thieves. The beginning and the end. I mentioned Pat before. I know that sounds weird, right? What are you working on now? Do you outline? (laughs) The whole process has proven to be frustrating, expensive, and at times pretty deflating. The quality of your work is not determined by a book deal alone. I don’t take things too seriously, either… and I think that’s hurt me over the years, especially in the workplace. Also, there were a lot of things in my personal life that spurred me on… a divorce… the death of my mother… and just, realizing that life is so short, you know? My family moved around a lot… but the place we stayed the longest –and most felt like home—was in East Tennessee. So yeah… cross your fingers for me. I mean, I’m not a woman, so I’ll never be able to totally think as a woman would, right? But it’s okay. Writing several chapters from the POV of female characters was kinda hard. I’ve always had a knack for writing, but it is my first book so there was a lot to learn. They’re incredible… very professional. Keaton – 23 March 2020
The Back Flap
Eighty years from now mankind has discovered the secret of eternal life. Spend your money on a really good editor, and a great cover designer. (laughs) Well, ultimately, I think it’s about family and self-sacrifice… but those things are buried under the science fiction surface. I think all of that contributed to me saying, the hell with it, I’m gonna do this right now. I know that a lot of authors aren’t made of money—and neither am I—but you’ve got to invest in what you’re doing, and then see it through. But the tech has fallen under the control of Jovian—a sort-of mad prophet—who then twists it for his own purposes. Do you have a target reader? It was definitely gradual. It’s funny because now people are telling me that the chapters written with the female voices are some of the best in the book! My life has never revolved around a job. Life is good. And your toes. That helps me create backstories for them in my head. Get your copy of   Transference from Amazon US or Amazon UK. What came easily? The first draft flowed really quickly. My editor Pat really was an invaluable guide in that regard. About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? But I loved the challenge of that. Where do you live now? It’s just getting from point A to B that ends up being the hard part. A bit of both. I grew up watching the original Star Wars trilogy several times a year at least, and Dad had a massive library of everything from Asimov to Sagan. I wrote three children’s stories, all intended to be picture books. I was fearful the book would be panned, hated, rejected… so I shelved the project and almost forgot about it until last year when I dusted it off again. I did at the time, and got a few nibbles. Don’t let fear keep you from doing what you’re capable of. In the years since I’ve come to understand that getting a proper publishing deal is like landing a movie deal… it’s just not common. Do you listen to music while you write? Where did you get the idea from? When did you start writing the book? There are others who know the truths behind all these matters, and they set about on a mission to expose Jovian’s machinations. I’m pretty disorganized in my real life, so I probably should take some pointers from the question itself! I don’t have kids of my own, but I have a fondness for that time in my life… so I really wanted to appeal to both parents and their little ones. Control of this new technology has fallen under the dominion of Jovian, a powerful prophet and head of the Church which governs every aspect of existence. I don’t want to exclude anybody. Before I write anything, I come up with character names. Music can be inspiring but also distracting depending on your mood. About You
Where did you grow up? Then my editor Pat LoBrutto and I worked, and re-worked it into a 2nd and then a 3rd draft. And on a deeper level I would say this… do not be afraid. I was also getting comments like “sci-fi isn’t selling.”   And a fairly well-known publisher actually said the book was “publishable” but “not marketable” because fantasy was dominating at the time. Did you hire a professional editor? I recently saw Transference on a Goodreads list titled “Sci-fi for people who think they hate sci-fi.”   I love that! I always seem to write in the same way… I know how the story starts, and I can always “see” the ending. Originally it stemmed from my late father’s love of science fiction. I was listening to M83 a lot for Transference. Bodie Dykstra was my “final sweep” editor and he was a joy to work with, too. If I see something that’s sticking out like a sore thumb, I’ll fix it. None of that. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? One is about a village of snails, the other a clown, and the last one about an alien named Galumph. But, you know, I have a sister, a niece, and I had a mother… aunts and cousins… and other women in my life whom I love and have loved. ​I love to laugh and to make people laugh. What would you like readers to know about you? B.T. The idea for the book probably morphed from that combined with quasi-sci-fi movies like Ghostbusters. Human souls can be moved from one body to another through the process known as transference. Is he the Madzimure of legend and a potential threat to Jovian’s new world order, or just another victim of transference? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? Life’s just been so good. So, for me the love of the genre was just always there. In essence, humanity could theoretically live forever. I even have doodles of the “movie poster” in one of my journals. I just loved the idea that you could capture an ethereal being with man-made tech. I am also about halfway through another sci-fi novel about time travel… it’s just taking a lot of research for me to get it right. I think you have to know who these people are, what happened to them, and what makes them tick before you even start the first chapter. Character creation and dialogue are probably the most fun parts for me. Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? Hopefully the title gives it away. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? (laughs)
About Writing
Do you have a writing process? That said, the book’s laced with profanity, so I probably didn’t do a very good job there! That’s not a dig at anyone, I’m probably just not as well-read as I ought to be. I thought having the gravitas of a publisher behind me would validate the work. I’m sure that’s something I can improve on. (laughs)
End of Interview:
For more from Mr Keaton, visit his website and follow him on Instagram. The two-page synopsis of the story, which is how it began, dates back to 2010. I also wanted to appeal to women because I haven’t seen strong women in sci-fi for a while. Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? First off, thank you for having me, this is so wonderful. But I didn’t start writing the manuscript until 2012. I sought him out specifically because I knew many of the books he’d edited, and so he agreed to become developmental editor for the story. But they work well for a lot of writers. My sister calls me Peter (Pan).