A Character Interview with Maliche from RECUSANT plus a conversation with author Jim Cronin!

Today we're bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview.  These character interviews, now and in the future, should prove to be very enlightening for all of us. 
We have the pleasure of meeting Maliche Rocker, a character from Recusant. 

We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Jim Cronin, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Maliche!  

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Maliche.  Please have a seat.

Character Maliche Rocker:  Hello, Marie.

Marie:  We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay? 

Maliche:  All right.

Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

I’m an archaeologist. Yes, I believe I am pretty good at digging up rare and unusual artifacts, but, Most Brin will never forgive me for not following in my ancestor’s profession.

Marie:  Okay. Sounds like there's definitely a story there!

So, tell us...what is your family like?

Well, you know the Rockers. Those of us not setting new standards as geneticists are leading figures in the government. Our fame as descendants of Karm, Jontar and Maripa Rocker provides us with unparalleled fame everywhere we go. We have to wear our public face almost all the time. My father and younger brother, Selan are much better at playing the part than I am.
Marie:  All right.
Let's try something else.

What did your childhood home look like?

We have several, as befitting our station. Most of our time is spent in First Town. 

I believe it could almost be called a castle. Not much to my taste, but it is what everyone expects of us. I prefer the mountain cabin. It’s still pretty big and sits in the middle of two hundred acres of forest, but at least it’s out of the city… and Selan and father almost never go there, so I can be myself and have some peace.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?

I love researching my family history. I’ve always wondered who the original Rockers really were. I mean, what sort of Brin could do the things in the histories. Rescuing all of us from that other planet and all. The stories seemed almost mythical. And to tell the truth, some of my recent discoveries are indicating many of them may not be true at all.

Marie: I see.


So, what is your greatest dream, Maliche?


You’re probably going to laugh at me. It’s okay, everyone does. But I would love to find a lost tribe of the Kolandi. I’ve found some artifacts which seem to indicate they may not have gone extinct at all, despite what everyone has believed for over two hundred years. If I could find a remnant of those people still alive, maybe archaeology, and I, could gain some respect.

Marie:  Sounds fascinating!


Let's try a different question.  


What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?





Sometimes, in my dreams, I am often a great leader, like my ancestors. But those are just dreams, right? I don’t think I could ever be strong enough to be in charge. I like being alone out in the field doing research. But… who knows.


Marie:  That's right. It's never too late. ;) 


So...if it's not too painful or personal, can you tell us one thing? Who was your first love? 


I sort of like one of my grad students, Aras. She’s only about four years younger than I am, but I’m not sure if a relationship like that would be right. I do catch her watching me a lot when we are on a dig together, so maybe someday.


Marie: And what's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Maliche?



I think when I first told my father and Selan about some of my dreams, and the artifacts I had found regarding the Kolandi. Wow, did they ever get furious at me. I mean, they already considered me an embarrassment, but they actually threatened me to keep quiet about anything to do with what they called “foolish Kolandi nonsense.”



Marie:  So sorry...:(




Let's try another question, shall we?




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 that dream, why not?


As a child, my future was never in doubt. How could they be? My genetic markers were the strongest in recorded history, so I was being groomed to replace my father as the head of The Assembly almost from birth. Thank goodness Selan was born. With his markers being slightly greater than mine, leadership became his destiny.

Marie: Wow! 


So, who is your role model, Maliche?



My role models have always been Jontar and Maripa Rocker. My ultimate ancestors saved the Brin species, fought overwhelming odds, and brought us across space to this new world. They carved a new civilization out of nothing. Who wouldn’t want to emulate them?


Marie: Very true.


Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?


The luxury of being a Rocker, especially an out-of-favor Rocker, is that I don’t need to hide my distaste for anyone. One of my greatest joys is to pull the crest feathers of Raencert, head of the mining guild. Now he is one arrogant quetzal.

Marie:  All right.


What is your greatest fear?



That everyone is right about me. Maybe I am just too afraid to be who everyone hoped I would be. I feel there is greatness in me, like a force pulling me somewhere I can’t see. I just know I can’t be the sort of leader they all want me to be.


Marie:  That's quite a burden on your shoulders. But there is never courage without fear. :)


Well, it looks like we're running out of time, Maliche. Thank you for visiting us today.


It was so interesting getting to know you.  (Waves at her guest as he heads off the stage.) Now, let's shift over and get the author's perspective.  We have Jim Cronin on the stage today! 
Hi, Jim!
Author Jim Cronin:  Hi! Glad to be here!   
Marie:  (Smiles.) Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!

So, we just got to talk to a male character from your story...Maliche. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?
Yes, Maliche is a wonderful character. He is the sort of individual who wants to do the right thing, even if everyone else says he is a fool doing it. He may start out as a lowly nobody, but he is in for a ride which will rival the adventures of his ancestors.
Marie:  Great!
Let's try a different question. 
What are your character's greatest strengths?

Maliche is a dreamer, and a believer in his dreams. He searches for truth and justice, even against great odds. He will not back down once he is convinced he is right.

Marie:  Wow! He sounds awesome!

So, what are his greatest weaknesses?

He is still young and insecure in himself. He has it in him to be an incredible leader, but won’t allow himself to believe. Not until destiny steps in and forces his hand.
Marie:  That is often the way of things, right? ;)

So, what are some of his favorite foods?

I could mention a few, but since he lives on an alien world, most of the foods would probably be meaningless to most earthlings.

Marie:  Okay!

What's a positive quality that your character is unaware he or she has?


Maliche is a true leader. People naturally tend to follow him, and trust him.

Marie:  Nice!


So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?


I think readers will like Maliche. He is the sort that most of us, I think, would love to be.

Marie:  Great!
Well, now that we have a real taste of Maliche Rocker, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Recusant?


Recusant is the second book in the Brin Archives trilogy I am writing. I wrote book one, Hegira, as a stand-alone novel, but with the definite possibility of leading off an epic story of grand scale. The third book, with the working title of Empyrean, will place the characters of Recusant, and several new characters with some unusual abilities, in the middle of an intergalactic war. Things are not what they seemed all along.

Marie:  Interesting!

What is your writing style like, Jim? Are you a pantster or a plotter

Jim: I’m somewhere in the middle. I plan out a rough outline of where I think the story should go, and then begin to write. I find, though, that my characters often have a different idea of how their story should unfold. I am often surprised at what shows up on the screen as I am typing.

Marie:  I know what you mean! :) Mine are always surprising me.
So...I'm throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. 
Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Recusant, or getting it published? What would you do differently next time?


I began writing in response to a challenge from my brother. He was writing a book at the time and thought I should try writing one as well. The story came together pretty well, and I really enjoyed writing, but I was not a writer. I’m a retired science teacher. When I finished Hegira, I had a friend do some editing and I discovered I had no concept of correct punctuation and no clue about point-of-view, or almost anything a good writer should know. In retrospect, it’s not surprising that I received over a hundred rejections to my queries. The idea was sound, but I needed a ton of help. Well, it took three years, and several editors, to help get the story in good shape. Three years after I first started writing, I was accepted by one publisher, but just before the release, the company went under. Fortunately, Solstice picked me up and the rest is history. Next time, I would probably spend a lot more time learning about how to write and working closely with a good editor.

Marie: Thanks for the tips!

It was such a pleasure having you on Writing in the Modern Age, Jim. We hope you can come back sometime soon!
Jim:  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  Of course! :)

Readers, here is the blurb for Recusant, book two in the Brin Archives Series.

In this sequel to Hegira, the Brin are thriving on their new world, but will greed, prejudices, and old rivalries tear apart their grand civilization? Maliche Rocker, descendant of The Saviors, uncovers a terrible secret and must fight those in power, including members of his own family, to save thousands of innocents from the cruelty of his own people.

Here is an excerpt from the book.


“Skae High Command, this is Kolandi Raj Ansus, please respond, Skae High Command.”
Static echoed in the Raj’s ears as she gripped the com link in a white-knuckled desperation. Her royal robes and long brown hair showed the neglect of long hours in the war room. Ansus rose only recently to the position of High Raj. She fervently hoped it was not her destiny to be the last Raj.
Her nose became insensitive to the stench of bodies during her confinement in the dim bunker long ago. The deep space images on the screen before her revealed the devastation of their fleet in their encounter with the Gorvin. Two hundred top-of-the-line war cruisers had been completely destroyed, another three hundred fighters were out of commission. She watched as the overwhelming forces of the Gorvin plowed through their defenses like an energy blade through a cloud, and were now aimed straight at Kodut, their home world.
On the displays, a second line of vessels, the laser launch ships, took up their attack formation. A cloud began to grow ahead of the ships as they deployed their weapons.

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01KTVTMNK
Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/recusant-jim-cronin/1124451142 Books-A-Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Recusant/Jim-Cronin/9781625264251?id=6720891044711
CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6517641
Publisher:   http://solsticepublishing.com/solstice-universe/

Awards:  Readers' Favorite 5 Star Badge for both Hegira and Recusant, NABE Pinnacle Award for Hegira, Hegira earned the Amazon's Best Seller list twice, ranked #2


What People Are Saying About Recusant



5 Star Review KJ Simmill, Reader's Favorite:

Recusant (The Brin Archives Book 2) is an entertaining and gripping read. The story itself takes place a long time after Karm, Jontar, and Maripa guided their people from the brink of extinction. Whilst no knowledge is needed of the previous book, Hegira, I thoroughly enjoyed learning of the events which shaped the Brin's future on this planet. The manner in which the past was relayed was a stroke of genius; believable, interesting, and fitting in with the characters and plot development. Once again, Jim Cronin creates a cast of diverse and vivid characters, equipped with engaging dialogue and fully developed personalities. There are so many threads to this one tale, with hidden connections, plots and schemes, that it is impossible not to get ensnared.

5 Star Review Ray Simmons, Reader's Favorite:

I knew I would love Recusant, book two of the Brin Archives series by Jim Cronin, as soon as I had finished the prologue. I had read a similar end of technological advancement scenario in a David Weber series and the aliens and themes are different in Recusant. In my very personal opinion, Jim Cronin writes as well as David Weber, which is just about the greatest compliment I can give Jim Cronin because David Weber is great! The set-up and execution of what is obviously going to be a satisfying long and well written series is perfect. This is the second book and I'm dying to read the first one and can't wait for the next one.

Recusant is very well-written and very well thought out. The Brin are evolved from birds and I can't help but wonder if the name Brin is a tribute to David Brin who happens to have written the best description of an intelligent avian culture I have ever read...up until now. If you love good science-fiction, Jim Cronin is a name you want to remember.

On Amazon.com:


"Brilliant. Last year, surprisingly as it's not my favourite genre, this author's debut novel Hegira was one of my most enjoyed reads and if anything he has upped the game in this, his second book. It can be read as a stand-alone but it is part of a planned series.
I like his books because I find them so easy to read. The world created is fantastic yet very grounded and believable. Intelligent commentary is made about the strengths and weaknesses of humanity in a totally natural way. And finally I find the author makes the genre easily accessible and I don't feel like I need a degree in applied science to understand the story.
Whether you enjoy sci-fi/fantasy or not this is a great read about prejudice, fear of the unknown and greed versus compassion and respect for different races wrapped up in an intriguing and exciting story. Can't wait for the next one." - Maria
"A must for lovers of fantasy with strong sci-fi. An engrossing story set in a well-developed world. The Brin and the Kolandi both felt very real for me. Both species' complex struggles for survival and power - separately and intertwined - were thoughtfully crafted and deftly written. I am a true fantasy/sci-fi lover and I have a deep soft spot for richly imagined fantastic stories with a generous undercurrent of science. I enjoyed the story immensely and recommend to all other fantasy/sci-fi fans." - Christine

"Great Sci-fi Adventure. I was looking forward to Cronin's 2nd book, having enjoyed Hegira. Book 2 has more action and excitement as the story of the Brin continues. They struggle to survive on a new planet where they are surprised to encounter an indigenous race. Great sci-fi adventure." - Hugh



This series sounds great! Readers, don't forget to pick up a copy of Jim Cronin's awesome book, Recusant! :)
About Jim Cronin:
I worked for thirty-five years as a middle school science teacher, but am now semi-retired, working part-time as an educator/performer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I have been married for thirty-eight years to the love of my life, Diane. Together, we raised two incredible sons, and now have a beautiful granddaughter to spoil rotten.

I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in Arlington, Virginia before moving to Denver where I attended High School and eventually college at Colorado State University, graduating with a degree in Zoology and a teacher certification. I currently live near Denver in the small town of Parker.

My first novel, Hegira, a science fiction tale of time travel, political and religious intrigue, cloning, and imminent planetary destruction, proved to be only the start of a new adventure. I have completed Hegira’s sequel, Recusant, and am working on the third and final book of The Brin Archives, Empyrean. Retirement has proved to be an exciting journey into new realms of discovery.

Author Links:

Website/Blog:  http://jimcroninscienceedutainer.weebly.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Jim-Cronin-Science-Edutainer-Author-704524026327838/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/authorjimcronin

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Jim-Cronin/e/B01C1V5OF6/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14203201.Jim_Cronin

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/jim-cronin/



Jim's Books: 






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