On a change of pace, I'm welcoming author Dennis Larsen today to talk about his thriller, The Living Hunger, and to tell authors about a wonderful site for free promo.
How do you take your coffee, Dennis?
DENNIS: I’m not one for hot drinks but on a cold Canadian afternoon hot chocolate with mini marshmallows is wonderful.
Ally: It's afternoon somewhere, and it's certainly cold enough! Hot chocolate coming right up. Why don't you show readers your bio?
Dennis F. Larsen grew up in Brigham City, Utah, a small town set into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. He attended Utah State University before graduating from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon with a Doctorate of Optometry degree in May of 1987. He has worked as an Optometrist in an Edmonton, Alberta group practice since that time.
Dennis was married to his hometown sweetheart, Holly, in 1981 and they have four children, as well as a golden retriever, Hannah. In recent years their lives have been blessed with the addition of five grandchildren, and one on the way.
The author lives for time with his family but is enjoying the exploration of his new found love, writing. Hours that were previously devoted to work, community responsibilities and rearing children, are now spent honing his creative edge.
Ally: Can you add something unique or personal that you wouldn't ordinarily include in a bio?
DENNIS: I dreamed of being a major league baseball player and lived for the sport, until I got married and started university.
Ally: It's interesting how our lives suddenly change directions. And now, you've taken another career turn into writing.Which leads to an obvious question. What genre or genres do you write? I've heard you have Zombies. Are there any in the book you brought today?
DENNIS: I enjoy writing thriller and suspense styled novels with an end of the world theme. The Living Hunger is a post-apocalypitic story that avoids zombies but puts survivors into life and death scenarios that are very real.With my medical background, I’ve tried to write plots which are entirely plausible and force the characters to struggle with moral decisions, thus coming to terms with their own mortality while trying to overcome hardships and trials.
Ally: Since some of your work is defined as dystopian, would you explain the term to readers who might not have tried that genre?
DENNIS: Dystopian refers to a society that in some way is less than desirable, generally brought about by some upheaval in the community: war, disease, oppression etc. In my depiction there is a return to basic survival needs and reliance upon friends, family and others with similar values and goals. Loss of life’s luxuries and the need to create some sense of order from the devastation of dramatic change are a central core to my idea of dystopian.
Ally: So, talk about the zombie-like books. What makes them stand out from others?
DENNIS: I am currently working on a serial entitled The Raven Falconer Chronicles. Episodes 1&2 are available (Operation Z-Day and Rise of the Huskers). They are unique in that they are very plausible. There’s no reanimation of dead tissue, no stumbling dead, but very real human beings altered by environmental factors that turn them animalistic. A common thread in all reviews point to this fact - the story is perhaps the most realistic look at zombie-like humans currently available. I also write the story, not only from the survivors point of view, but also from those who are infected — the Huskers.
Ally: I find readers and other writers are always interested in an author's writing routine. Do you have a particular place and time?
DENNIS: I prefer to write late at night when it’s quiet and there are no distractions. Once I get started I have a difficult time going to bed until I’ve finished a particular thought or chapter. Occasionally, I will write at work, either between patients or at lunch depending upon how obsessed I am with completing a work. Once I’ve finished a manuscript, I travel to Southern Utah for a week to have my wife (chief editor) read the manuscript out loud to me so I can make adjustments to the flow and content. Thus begins the editing process on the way to the final product.
Ally: One of the great things about you is you're not only an author but you promote other authors. Can you tell us about eReader Recon, and how you got started.
DENNIS: After I published my first novel, a crime thriller (With Cruel Intent), I was surprised at the lack of support for new authors, without someone looking to make a buck, so I created www.eReaderRecon.com. It is a website devoted to promoting new authors and new release novels. The service is free and has grown rapidly since its inception. Well over a hundred authors have taken advantage of the service, and I’ve made some remarkable new friends and read some incredible novels. There is a sister Facebook page and I also use my personal blog and twitter to assist in promoting Indie Authors. I have to say thank you to the many authors who have returned the favour and assisted in the expansion of my readership, as well.
Ally: It's a terrific service, Dennis. Thank you for doing it. I hope all our readers and authors will take a look at your site. Now, I'd like to finish off our chat with a few quick answer questions.
- (1) favorite TV show(s): Murdoch Mysteries (Canadian) / Sherlock (British) / Justified (American)
- (2) cool trucks or cool cars? As a teenager, my first car was a 1971 Camaro, which I later sold for a 1970 Chevelle Malibu. I dream of having one of those again.
- (3) When will you know it's spring? When the snow melts from my deck, and I can get to the BBQ.
- (4) favorite dessert: Chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.
- (5) last movie you saw in a theatre: The Book Thief - Incredibly moving story!
Ally: Thank you so much for being on the Coffee Chat! I hope you'll come back again, but before you go, I'd love to see the book you brought...
A hardened war veteran collides with a venomous leader and rogue assassin, turning the Western United States into the next great battleground.
Sergeant Farrell Jenson survives a world lost to nuclear and biological warfare only to find his home destroyed and family missing. He joins forces with Gary Merrill, a local business leader, and Major Melanie Ghostkeeper, a Marine Medic, to begin the process of rebuilding. A small group of survivors unite under a banner of freedom and hunker down in Bear River High School. Friendships and love are forged in the hot fires of adversity as they fight for their very lives, amidst a world turned upside down, where death is the new way of life.
A festering evil is combing the land, led by one man, Don Bullock. The rotund, venomous leader spearheads a community with a taboo, underlying secret that will pit good against evil in a dramatic show of force and violence between the two groups. Solomon, a rogue African assassin, launches a one-man assault on the Bear Riverites, seeking blood and retribution to satiate his bloodlust and quench his need for flesh.
Each side gambles all to control a new found drug with the potential to save mankind. This new 'currency' trumps all, where money is worthless and food and women are king. As the struggle escalates and new battle-lines are drawn a host of unwitting participants are pulled into the fray, fighting for all they hold dear.
Book One of The Living Hunger Series begs the question: 'Which side will render your support and where will your allegiances lie?'
Banres and Noble: http://bit.ly/1oETXgt