I’m happy to have Herbert Grosshans on deck today to talk about Codename Salamander, Book One in the Science Fiction series, Operation Stargate. I had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions. His answers were enlightening, and he was kind enough to share an excerpt with us. If you like stories of space adventure with exciting characters, be sure to grab your copy today!
How long have you been writing professionally:
Even though I have published over 30 books, I’ve never written professionally, but I’ve been writing stories since I could read. Short stories, obviously. Some really short. I loved books from an early age and writing my own stories was a natural progression. I read my first Science Fiction novel at age 14 and I was hooked. And that’s what I wrote from then on: Stories about distant planets and aliens. Writing them still excites me.
What about Science Fiction captivates your imagination the most?
I’ve always loved stories about people lost at sea or stranded on an island. I found them fascinating. They got my imagination working. Robinson Crusoe was one of my favorite stories. I don’t know how many times I read that book. Stories about the early settlers in the New World enthralled me.
Within the realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy, I can have people crash-land on an alien planet or lost in Space. I can create worlds, exotic animals, intelligent spiders, alien societies and empires. There are no limits to what I can create. The genre is so versatile. I can write a story about exploration, adventure, war between planets, or I can write a mystery, a horror story, or even a love story.
My societies can be technologically far advanced or as primitive as the Neanderthals. The possibilities are endless. The only limit is my imagination. So far, it hasn’t abandoned me. The ideas still keep on coming. Getting old hasn’t stopped me from dreaming.
For some reason, a lot of my inspiration seems to hit me while I’m in the shower. Are there any special places or activities that help you push through when you’re stuck on a scene?
When I’m alone in the car or my truck I can let my imagination roam. Sometimes I get an idea when I watch TV. Usually, when I’m stuck on a scene I just start writing whatever pops into my head, just to get the creative juices flowing.
I can honestly say I’ve never suffered from Writer’s Block. Writing a story for me is an adventure. Most of the time, I have only a vague idea what will happen next. I go wherever the characters take me. However, by the time I’m halfway through the story, I pretty much have an idea how it will end.
For the story I’m writing right now, I created a bunch of characters first, with a short history for each one. Their history becomes detailed as the story develops. Then I made a map of the location. More detailed information is added throughout the journey of the characters and the map. I’m always amazed how everything connects and falls into place at the end.
What are you working on right now?
The book I’m writing right now is called ‘The Aregon Files’. It is Book Three in my series ‘Operation Stargate’. In reality, it is the seventh book in a series I started a few years ago with ‘Outpost Epsilon’. The first four books are part of the sub-series ‘The Stonewall Chronicles’. Aregon is a planet in a universe I created with Outpost Epsilon.
There is a plus side to writing a series, because every book has already a ready-made background with star systems, planets, alien races, and so forth. Even some characters can make appearances in every book. One of those characters is Derek Stonewall, who was just a rooky Scout in Epsilon, but as the series grew, has become Colonel Stonewall. He was one of the major characters in the first four books, also in Codename Salamander (the book I will be featuring here) and in Savanna, my last published book in this series. Stonewall will not be one of the characters in The Aregon Files, but his name will be mentioned.
Have you written books in other genres besides Science Fiction?
I’ve written a few detective stories, one not so serious, and a contemporary trilogy. Also, a Sword and Sorcery story featuring a barbarian by the name of Rhodar. If you go to my publisher Melange Books, you can see all the books I’ve published. I tried my hand on a love story, but it was rejected by my publisher. The first book ever rejected. Love stories are not my genre.
I self-published one How-To book with Amazon: The Published Writer.
I wouldn’t mind writing a Western, but I don’t know if that will ever happen. When I spent most of my time reading instead of writing, I enjoyed reading Western.
Anything else you’d like readers to know?
My earlier books contained a lot of explicit Erotica, but I don’t write like that anymore. There will always be some erotic scenes in my books, but not as explicit and lengthy as in those earlier books.
I‘m sure my readers would be excited to take a look at those earlier books! I’ll leave the link below:
Xenologist Bret Grayson was hired to make contact with one of the indigenous tribes roaming the savannahs on the planet Salamander. He soon finds out the real purpose he is on Salamander. His uncle, the legendary Master Scout Terrex Stonewall, also has a hidden agenda, but even he doesn’t know about the secret that lies beneath the original military outpost. It seems every species living in this part of the Galaxy has a sudden interest in Salamander and they are willing to risk a war to keep the secret from falling into human hands. Grayson and Stonewall have no choice but to form an alliance with representatives from the Spiders, the Anorians, and the Accilla. The motley group embarks on a journey that takes them to regions unknown. They face dangers they can only overcome if they set aside their prejudices and work together as one unit.
(Warning: PG is recommended.) – LOL, CLEARLY THIS IS HERBERT’S FIRST TIME GUESTING ON OR VISITING MY BLOG!!
From his window, Lacrosse watched the alien vessel settle on the landing pad outside the walls. He didn’t need binoculars to know who would emerge from the black shuttle. Counting six slim figures jumping to the ground, he watched them walking toward the gate in the wall. Even at this distance, it was obvious all of them were females. No surprise. Among the Anorian race the females ruled. They were the ones operating the spaceships and running the government. The males stayed home to do domestic chores, like cleaning the home, cooking, and raising the children. They were the weaker sex.
Before the group reached the gate, he called the watcher by the tower. “Let them in.”
Then he called his secretary. “We have visitors. Go outside and meet them, but don’t bring them to me until you’ve relieved them of any weapons they may have.”
Five minutes later Annabelle came into his office with the six newcomers in tow. Lacrosse waited until they were all standing in his office before he spoke.
“I hope you had a pleasant flight.”
The lead Anorian female smiled, displaying small, pointy teeth. “Thank you for asking. Our flights are always pleasant in our shuttles.” She walked over to one of the chairs and pulled it in front of his desk. “Getting older has sapped me of my strength to stand for long,” she explained, her long tongue darting between her full lips. She spoke with a slight lisp, like all of her kind.
His gaze moved to the other five Anorians. They stood silent and rigid, watching him with veiled eyes. This was not the first time he ran into this particular Dragon species, but he could never get used to their habit of wearing no clothing. Their scaly skin shimmered silvery when they moved and he had to admit, their bodies were well-formed, slim, and attractive enough to make them desirable even to a human. A younger man, though. He was getting beyond that youthful time in a man’s life to be enticed and distracted by a woman’s nude body.
“What business brings you here?”
“We are disturbed by some news,” the Anorian said. Her golden reptilian eyes glittered as she perused his office. “I am Gorana. May I ask your designation?”
“My name is Phillip Lacrosse. I’m the supervisor of this settlement. What news has disturbed and caused you to come all the way from the other side of this planet just to drop in for a visit?”
“We’ve detected the arrival of a large military vessel in your area and we want to know why.”
“Are you spying on us?”
Gorana’s smile was tight but not unfriendly. “As often as you are on us.”
“We don’t have anyone keeping tabs on you,” he protested.
“Maybe not you, but your military is.” Her split tongue did its dance across her sharp teeth again. “I didn’t come here to inquire about the obvious. What concerns us is the sudden large number of Troopers at the other outpost. Are you planning to set up some kind of garrison here on this planet?”
“I’m not a military man,” he said. “I don’t know what our military is planning.”
“You said you were the supervisor of this settlement, which means you are informed about anything happening on this planet.”
“This is not a military outpost. It is a town and it belongs to a private company. All we do here is mining and exploring.” He tried not to think about the star portals and the dinosaurs, even though the thought scramblers in his office were always on. The Anorians were not telepaths but empaths, which meant they were experts in reading emotions, and they picked up on people’s moods. Electronic scramblers were useless in preventing them from reading a person’s thought processes.
“You have military personnel present, don’t you? Even a few Scouts.”
Lacrosse bent forward and gave her a penetrating stare. “How do you know all of this?”
She crossed her long legs and leaned back into her chair, thrusting out her small breasts. Had he been a younger man, her display might have distracted him, but now he was only mildly amused.
Revealing her sharp pointy teeth, she continued. “We’ve been watching you for a long time, Supervisor Lacrosse. It is not difficult to discover these things.”
“I’m pleased to find you so forthcoming with me,” he said, wondering if she detected his intended sarcasms.
Laughing pleasantly, she waggled a finger. “Now you are trying to pretend I came here for a friendly chat, but you know better than that.” Her smile vanished. “If you are planning to colonize this planet, I want you to know we will be forced to prevent that. Please, forward our protest to your government. I don’t believe I have to remind you that the indigenous population of this planet has reached a level where interference is forbidden according to the agreement all races in this part of the galaxy have signed. None of us can claim this planet.”
“I’m fully aware of that,” he said. “Let me assure you, we are not planning to colonize.”
“Then why the flurry of activity on the other outpost?”
“Just military maneuvers, I assume. Like I said, I have nothing to do with our military forces. I’m not even interested in politics. All I do is run a company.”
She smiled again. “Then why is the Scout troubleshooter Master Scout Stonewall here?” Her question seemed innocent judging by the casual way she said it and it took him by complete surprise.
“I don’t know how you came by your information, but I believe you are entering dangerous territory here. You seem to have spies where they should not be,” he said sharply. “Telling me this is almost like some kind of provocation, a break of a peace treaty. I could detain you for questioning.”
“Not advisable, Supervisor. My people know we are here and they expect communication from us and our return—unharmed. Should we be harmed in any way, there will be dire consequences.” Her long lashes hid her slit pupils and her voice was even, but he knew she was not bluffing.
WHO LIKES FREEBIES?
As a thank you, Mr. Grosshans is offering free electronic copies on his blog. How awesome is that? Click to visit his blog to find out how.
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