We have the pleasure of meeting Snarth, a character from Alien Manifesto, a book that will be releasing soon. We'll get a chance to talk to the author, T.W. Embry, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Snarth!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Snarth. Please have a seat.
Character Snarth: Thank you.
Marie: We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay?
Marie: So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Snarth: Before we get to that do mind if I sssmoke? Your planet hasss the mossst relaxing native herb I have come across in my travels. I have it grown in my essstatesss garden. Would you care for sssome, my dear? I am told it is of the finest kind. (pause while Snarth produces a pack of hand rolled “smokers”.) No? It isss not for everyone (another pause as Snarth takes a deep drag on his smoker exhaling a perfect smoke ring). Now you want to know what I do. I have done many thingsss in my 2,400 cycles. I was once an agent for the Galactic Secret Service, then for a hundred yearsss or ssso I wasss a sssmuggler of exotic and hard to obtain items, some of which are ssslightly illegal. Currently, I am a collector of pleasssuresss and unique thingsss. I am alssso a treasssure hunter. And ye,s of all the thingsss I have been I enjoy this lifestyle the most ssso far. Of courssse, for one never knowsss what the future holdsss and apparently I am very good at being a treasure hunter. One of my collectionsss isss a team of the finessst warriors in the galaxy. (Pauses for another drag on his smoker and exhales another perfect smoke ring,) My team and I recently dissscovered a treasure map to the home world of the Ones. I believe it holdsss an immense treasure of banking crystals. The problem isss that it is the map leads to the forbidden planet, off-limits by a formal decree of the Galactic Senate under the penalty of death, enforced by the Galactic Security mechs. We intend to go anyway. (Snarth hisses with a huge grin showing his huge mouth full of needle sharp teeth.)
Marie: I see. What is your family like?
Snarth: My team is comprised of orphans, I am their family and they are mine. My home planet was destroyed in the One’s war of galactic conquest long ago. Azsss a result of the One’s attack very few of my people sssurvived. Now we are ssscattered acrosss the galaxy. I have only one brother who sssurvived. He worked for the Galactic senate and we rarely sssaw each other. Now he belongsss to the Cult of Eli and I have not ssseen him since he joined the cult. Thisss isss a good thing, becaussse the Cult of Eli put what you would call a bounty on me, wanted dead or alive.
Marie: What did your childhood home look like?
Snarth: Now my planet looksss like a ball of radioactive fallout. Before the attack when I wasss young, my family lived in a cave, azsss did mossst of my people. It wasss considered a modessst cave with room for my 123 brothers and 67 sisters. Our planet wasss a world of junglesss and ssswampsss mostly, warm and humid, raining mossst of the time.
Marie: Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?
Snarth: I collect thingsss from all over the galaxy. I have ssseveral of the largest collectionsss in existence, weapons, jewelsss, liquorsss, thingsss of that nature. I also collect physical pleasuresss of all kindsss. (Pauses to take the final drag from his smoker, blowing yet another perfect smoke ring.) In fact I am renowned throughout the galaxy azsss a connoissseur of the finest pleasssuresss. (Snarth hisses with another huge grin.)
Marie: What is your greatest dream?
Snarth: My greatessst dream isss to rebuild my home planet ssso my race may once again live. I know thisss will never happen, there are too few of usss left and no fertile femaless exist. They were all killed in the attack. (Hisses bitterly.)
Marie: What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Snarth: I wish I could be what you would call a grandparent. I cannot be for obvious reasonsss. Ssso I gathered a team of the finessst warriorsss the galaxy has ever seen. I have arranged for mates for all of them and now I am starting my own family. I have been alone for 2,400 cycles and I do not wish to be alone anymore.
Marie: Wow! Who was your first love?
Snarth: My firssst love, it has been quite some time sssince I have thought about her. Her name is not pronouncable in human speech. ssShe wasss my first cousssin on my mothersss ssside. We were both only 100 cyclesss old and madly in love. We were going to elope, againssst the whissshess of our parentsss. I was off planet trying to earn enough credits for our own cave. We wanted to start our own family right away. She was killed in the One’s attack; we never joined. (He hisses bitterly.)
Marie: What's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Snarth: (Pauses to light another smoker.) The dessstruction of my home planet and the death of my one true love. (He hisses simply and obviously full of pain.)
Marie: I'm so sorry to hear that, Snarth. Let's move on to another question.
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Snarth: My dream azsss a young one, much like yourself, wasss to be a famousss space trader and explorer, raissse a large family and retire to tend to my grandchildren. I have become a famous and very wealthy trader. Unfortunately, I will have to sssubstitute my team and their mates and offspring azsss my adopted family. Yesss my life now isss what I expected it would be after the war that isss. It isss tragic that I am one of the lastss of my kind.
Marie: Who is your role model?
Snarth: My grandfather isss my role model. He wasss what you would call the black sssheep of the family and alwaysss just one-ssstep ahead of the law. I hope to make him proud.
Marie: Is there someone you pretend to like but really hate?
Snarth: No, there is not. Everyone I hate isss dead or will be very soon. I have not lived thisss long by letting my enemies live. I live by the honest deal, another thing I am renowned for. No one crosssesss me and livesss.
Marie: Oh. (Clears throats.) What is your deepest desire?
Snarth: To find true love again of courssse, my dearest Marie.
Marie: What is your greatest fear?
Snarth: To die alone and unloved isss my greatessst fear.
Well, we're out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Snarth. It's been a pleasure to have you here. I enjoy meeting new people...um, aliens.
Snarth: It was my pleasure indeed, Marie, Are you sure you will not join me at my estate? No? If you change your mind, you only have to push this button here on this locket and I will come running. Until we meet again, my dear, for goodbye is forever. (Walks off the stage.)
Now, let's shift over and get the author's perspective. We have T.W. Embry on the stage today! Hi, T.W.!
Author T.W. Embry: Hello.
Marie: We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Snarth. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?
T.W.: His is certainly a rascal of the first order that’s for sure. Snarth is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma. After his planet was destroyed, he inherited his share of the surviving assets of his home planet. He is wealthy beyond belief. He has his own estate planet. It is a small planet about the size of Earth’s moon. He has recruited a team of the finest warriors in the galaxy they include a feline stealth master and two canine fight masters and two humans, Thomas Scott and the Irishman. That is all anybody really knows about him outside of his team and they are very careful about what they tell about Snarth's past.
Marie: What are your character's greatest strengths?
T.W.: I would have to say his sense of honor. Snarth would rather lose his entire fortune rather than go back on his word.
Marie: Well, that is commendable. What are his greatest weaknesses?
T.W.: If Snarth has any weaknesses, it would have to be his fondness for pleasures of any sort. He will go to great lengths to add to his collection.
Marie: What are some of his favorite foods?
T.W.: Any kind of raw meat; the more exotic the better he likes it. Snarth is strictly a carnivore.
Marie: What's a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
T.W.: His love for his team; he cares far more than he will admit especially to himself.
Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
T.W.: I hope they do. If you like an honest scoundrel and a rogue who does things because he wants to regardless of the consequences, then you will like Snarth.
Marie: Well, now that we have a real taste of Snarth, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for Alien Manifesto?
T.W.: I started with the villain. I got the original idea from The Empire Strikes Back in particular the scene where Luke Skywalker crash lands his x-wing into the swamps of Degoba. I wondered what how such a thing would change an established society, the One’s in this case, or our world for that matter.
Marie: What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
T.W.: I am actually a bit of both. I plot the main story line and then let the characters take over how to get there.
Marie: So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Alien Manifesto or getting it published? What would you do differently the next time?
T.W.: I would say that finding time to write was the biggest difficulty in writing Alien Manifesto. My characters wrote most of the hard stuff I just put it in writing. I already have an agent and a publisher so getting it published was mostly a formality, contracts and such. If I were to give any advice to aspiring writers I would say, write what you love. You may never sell a single book but at least you will be happy doing it. If you start out writing for the money, you are dooming yourself to failure. There are millions upon millions of books out there. It is easy to tell the ones that combine the love of writing and in my case a small amount of talent to create a masterpiece that many will enjoy. That and don’t give up just because someone doesn’t like your work. Not everybody will, that is a cold and unpleasant but accurate fact. So chin up and write on!
Good advice. Thank you! Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on Writing in the Modern Age. Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book when it comes out!
Here is the blurb for Alien Manifesto.
Thomas Scott, former Navy S.E.A.L. is on his first job after being separated from the S.E.A.L.S. Combat is the only skill the young orphan has and he has fallen in with a group of former Special Forces who like Tom have no other skills and choose a life of crime to support themselves. As Tom stands watch over the escape route, he is approached by Snarth, a mysterious alien, who tells him that the raid he is on is a set up and offers him a chance to escape the FBI, Homeland Security and Metro Dade Police. Tom finds himself on Snarth’s spaceship and in the company of the sensuous redhead Tasha. Snarth, a collector of only the finest pleasures, offers Tom a job. A business rival has swindled Snarth out of a great deal of profit and he is recruiting a select team to steal an artifact of great value to recoup his losses. Tom accepts Snarth’s offer and begins a life unlike any he ever imagined. Tom must earn acceptance to the team from the other members. The team members are the Irishman, the only other human, who is best friends with Rowl, a huge canine fight master. All are under the tutelage of a feline stealth master.
Several months pass and Tom not only gains acceptance to the team but also excels in stealth. Unknown to Tom, he is being groomed by the stealth master as his first and only student, a huge honor for Tom. During the raid to steal the artifact, the stealth master is killed, dying in Tom's arms. Snarth realizes that a group of religious fanatics known as the Cult of Eli covets the artifact, so he must sell it quickly for the Cult is merciless in their pursuit of the artifact. Snarth recruits a feline stealth master to complete both the team and Tom’s training. The Cult of Eli is tipped off that Snarth has the artifact and in a preemptive strike Snarth and the team infiltrate the Cult. The team’s true intentions are found out and the feline is captured and tortured by the Cult leader. Tom rescues the feline who kills the leader in an act of vengeance. This brings Snarth’s activities to the attention of the head of the galactic intelligence, AArat, and old enemy of Snarth’s. AArat is a believer in the Cult of Eli. Snarth finds out that AArat, and his fellow believers are planning a coup of the galactic government drawing Snarth and his team into the resulting melee. Realizing that he needs more expertise in order to survive, Snarth recruits an old friend SSlice, a huge spider from the race called the Spinners, the galaxy foremost computer expert.
After AArat’s death at the hands of Tom in an act of vengeance, Snarth sets his sights on the rival who tipped off the location of the artifact to the Cult, SSniggle. SSlice has discovered that SSniggle has a map leading to the treasure vaults of the Ones, the most powerful empire to ever conquer the known galaxy. It has been 500 years since the defeat and destruction of the Ones home world. Snarth and the team steal the map from SSniggle as punishment for his betrayal, beginning the greatest treasure hunt in the history of the galaxy. After arriving on the presumably uninhabited One home world, Snarth and team awaken the Queen of the Ones. Who has been hibernation, waiting for her chance to begin her war of conquest again. Before her defeat the Queen laid millions of eggs and that is what the map shows. Unknown to any in the galaxy the banking jewels they have been using for hundreds of years are actually the Queen's eggs and they are on every civilized planet waiting for the newly awakened queen to bring them to life and begin the second One war.
This book will be available soon.
About T.W. Embry:
I am a navy brat thanks to my Dad's attachment to the US Pacific Fleet. My family is from Kentucky and both sides have lived there since just after the revolutionary war. I am a long time resident of St. Lucie county, Florida. My wife of 19 years is a Florida native, born in Stuart, FL, a cracker and proud of it. We have one daughter Corri who is currently a full time college student. Then there is the family dog Hobo and his two feline friends Oscar the grouch and Biggin kitty. All of who have inspired characters to write about.
How I got into writing is an unusual chain of events culminating in my first book, Revenge from Mars. I was working for BellSouth as an information operator and had been for 15 years when the office I was in was closed due to downsizing. As I had just enough seniority to receive severance pay equal to one years’ salary, I decided to go back to school.
I chose culinary school as I thought I could cook and I thought I liked it. While I did graduate from Le Cordon Bleu with honors, I quickly came to realize that I was not cut out to work in a fast paced kitchen. You see I have two speeds, slow and slower. And when I get stressed, I downshift rather than speeding up.
I was working in the kitchen of a breakfast and lunch country store in downtown Fort Pierce. This is where I grew up when I met an author who was giving a presentation at the library just down the street. That seemed like a cool thing to do.
Later that evening, I remembered some advice given to me by the language professor at Le Cordon Blue. I had finished an in-class essay much faster than anyone else in the class. The professor looked at my work and asked how many books I had written. I didn’t think anything of it at the time after all I was training to be a Chef not an author. It was what he said next that I remember the most, ”Maybe you should”. I did not know it at the time, but Professor Wolfish was a former big college professor who taught professional writing classes for many years before.
So, that night I sat down at my computer and sketched out what was to be the opening scene in my first novel. That was easy, I remember thinking. Little did I realize I had embarked on a new career. One that gives me much more satisfaction than any job I have ever had and there has been many. I have just finished my second novel and I have been picked up by Solstice Publishing. All of this, and hopefully more, because of a comment made by a well-meaning professor to whom I shall be forever grateful.