Titanborn by Rhett Bruno

May 18, 2018: Update on this post!!!

Rhett Bruno has recently published his first fantasy novel with a co-author! I’m really excited about it – Web of Eyesthe first book in The Buried Goddess Saga


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Titanborn

by Rhett Bruno

This fun new space drama/thriller, Titanborn by writer, Rhett Bruno, was published this year by Hydra (an imprint of Random House – not the evil organization trying to take over the world and destroy S.H.I.E.L.D….you’re safe folks). Mr. Bruno kindly gifted me a copy in return for an honest review. And I am so honored that he did!

Malcolm Graves is a bounty hunter employed by one of the ruling corporations in the known galaxy. Earth has been crippled by a meteorite and colonies of humans have taken to the stars. Now – 300 years later – two major corporations vie for the top of the hierarchy while people born on and off Earth are mere pawns in their games. Malcolm lives in a world of his own. Hopping from planet to planet and looking for the next assignment that will get him paid.

Unfortunately for Graves, the powers that be see fit to pair the veteran with a new partner, a Cogent. Graves, who has worked mostly on his own his entire career, is extremely unhappy about the new arrangement and more than a little curious about the corporations newest recruits. With the new partner, Zhaff, comes the frustrations Graves expected, some perks he didn’t, but also more questions than he could have anticipated and more answers than he wants.

Graves is mostly reliable, if not a bit on the grumpy side. Flawed and, for the most part, honest about it.  Zhaff is an interesting character to read. He is a rigid rule-follower where Malcolm is a loose, moved-by-his-gut loner. A by-the-book rookie who is young, strong and extremely intelligent, Zhaff is a thorn in Grave’s side.

I thought this was a really fun read. I was surprised in all the right places. When I finished the novel, I was so stunned that I immediately emailed Mr. Bruno and tried to express my immediate “feels” – so many!!!! But I don’t do spoilers!

What I do like to do —-interview the author! Here are a few questions for Rhett:

SR: When did you start your first novel? 4115521
RB: My first novel was actually a fantasy epic called ISINDA that I started writing at 15 or 16. It’s hard to remember which, but that was the first time I decided to try putting together an actual story,
SR: Is your favorite genre to read sci-fi? What do you like about writing science fiction? 
RB: It is. I actually didn’t really discover sci-fi until college, and I think that’s what turned me into the writer I am today. High school never really pushes you to read what you’re interested in, so I lost faith in reading for a long time. I love the imagination involved. I can never get into contemporary fiction because I live in that world, but scifi takes familiar things and pushes them to extraordinary limits. I suppose that’s what I love most about it. As far in the future as it takes us, good, relevant scifi draws from current events in a way that makes you think.
SR: What was your favorite book as a kid – say around 10 or 11? 
RB: At that age, I have to say it was some Merlin book series about a wizard. I honestly can’t even remember what it’s called, maybe simply MERLIN, but I do remember absolutely loving the books.
SR: What is your favorite part about the writing process? Least favorite? 
RB: Finishing it. There’s nothing better than typing END at the bottom of a manuscript. Of course there’s still a ton of editing and work to do, but the satisfaction is real. Least favorite has to be getting stuck. I’m a perfectionist, so I can’t keep writing and save a part I couldn’t figure out for later, so I obsess over it until I can make it work. Being a better outliner might help…
SR: If you could choose any fantasy/sci-fi world to live in, which one would it be? 
RB: That’s tough because so many are pretty deadly ha. I’d have to say Star Wars. No world has ever captured my imagination like it, and the chance at having the force + the ability to travel between planets seamlessly is tough to deny.
SR: Do you have any words of advice to offer beginning writers? 
RB: Yes. Don’t make the same mistake I did early on. Keep reading! Try to focus on the genre you want to write in and you’ll learn a ton. Another bit of advice, don’t forget about editing. To me, it’s the largest determining factor in wanting to be traditional published vs. self published. Good editing is expensive, and not every publisher has good ones on staff. Publishing a book in the best possible condition is a team effort. Send your MS out to betas and friends, get feedback. One set of eyes is never enough to determine if a story works.
SR: Can you give us a little blurb about your Circuit series? 
RB: Sure. On the outside this is an epic space opera rife with space-battles, but the heart of The Circuit Series is it’s flawed characters. This is a story about how their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, taking each of the four POV characters to places they never thought they’d go. These are broken people who have lost someone or something, and long for it back. In the end, The Circuit is about them coming to grips with their fates within the backdrop of a terrible war caused by one man’s blind lust for vengeance.
SR: What is your current favorite book? 

RB: It’s a tough call, but out of anything I’ve read in recent years I think it still has to be THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss. He’s just such an incredible writer, and a lot of reading for me is research.

Thank you, Mr. Bruno for sharing your book with me.

You can follow Rhett C. Bruno on goodreads and on insta @rcbruno44!

** Check out a new addition to the Titan universe!

An Artist’s Story: Part 1

Today is the first in a series of posts about artists and how they tell story through their work. This is a great project because it has given me a little window into their souls. Over the next few weeks I will post a different artist’s interview so that we can see how people who use different mediums celebrate story.

Come with me and let’s take a peek together!

 

SR: I’m so excited that you have taken the time to share! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are? Screenshot_2016-02-12-10-55-13

Artist: My name is Anna Napier-Hood and I am an Art Teacher and practicing artist in Charlotte, North Carolina. I also do quite a bit of hand carved block printing.

SR: Why is art important to you?

Artist: Art is important to me because it allows me to get in touch with a very primal place in the brain that helps me understand and sort the world around me.  It helps me form opinions and express emotions that need to be expressed.

SR: What is the medium you work with the most and how did it become “your” medium?

Artist: My degree is in printmaking and most of my work is either graphite drawings or block printing; although I sometimes paint or use water-soluble graphite.  Simple drawing became my media in my first years in school when I realized my weakest area was rendering images accurately (basically—I couldn’t draw).  So, I made it my major (drawing and printmaking go hand in hand and are combined into one major at most schools) at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and really found that I excelled within it. It became how I was able to best express myself.

SR: How do you express story through your medium?

Artist: Story in art is very different than story in film or literature.  While some forms of art, like illustration, can give the viewer a broader spectrum of information, most pieces of art are snap shots of single events or parts of stories.  For me, most of my art is a non-fiction story that expresses little moments in my life that have had an impact on me. For example: I had a very unique up bringing that included lots of different countries and cultures. In my adult life, I am drawn to these bits of my “story” and I like to make them real again through drawings.

Specifically, I have worked on a series of drawings of only African animals.  As a little kid living in different countries the things I remember the most are the crazy little moments like a baboon chillin’ on our back fence eating orange slices. daddy's rhino This animal imagery is still vivid in my mind 30 years later.  I can recount that old story simply through a drawing.  The action of making the drawing transports me back to the original event, and I can visit with the people who were a part of it.  I can relive the story just like it was a movie or book over the period of creating that piece.  The end product is an amazing flash of “story” every time I see it.

 

Beyond those cultural events, most of my art are mementos or souvenirs of little events that have stuck in my mind.  These events are either about my own life, or others lives I am watching around the world. They are markers of a giant connected plot line in our collective “story” as an entire population.  They may not be chronological or seem to have relevance to each other, but as a whole they will tell a biography of the time I have been on the earth, good or bad, interesting or dull, happy or sad.

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SR: Just for fun, and because this is what we talk about in The Story Realm:

Currently: What is your favorite:
a. book: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry .  I read this book frequently as an art teacher because I feel like it keeps my mind close to the little guys that I try to teach every day.

b. movie: The Place Beyond the Pines by Derek Cianfrance.

c. TV show: Transgender. Though this show is full of controversial issues and very adult subject matter, at its core it is a story of adult children struggling with their own lives while taking care of aging parents.  It’s about multi-generational family problems that date back to before the 1st world war.  It’s about how your faith fits in with life choices others are making around you.  It’s about the different stages of life we will all go through.  It’s beautiful.  And the music in it tells its own story. (Rating: R for language, sexuality and adult situations)

 

Hoodlum

HoodlumPrints -block printing stationary

 

 

(Please take the time to visit the link to Anna’s Etsy shop: HoodlumPrints and see her block print stationary. Those same salish orcaprints are available on different types of merchandise at RedBubble under the same shop name.)

 

 

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I am so thankful to Anna for taking the time to share with us a glimpse of her artistic view and journey. What amazing things are the mind and creativity! How sadly grey our lives would be without the ability to engender story in so many ways. And how gloriously and miraculously unique each of us were created to be and that we are given the ability to reflect that in our own artistic creations. I hope you will check in next week to read about our next artist’s story.