Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Guest Author Featuring CLEAN by Alex Hughes

Congratulations to author Alex Hughes for the release of CLEAN, a Mindspace Investigations novel! Alex is here today to share more about CLEAN and introduce us to the main protagonist. There's been a lot of good reviews come in early for this book and I think they are definitely worth a share. You'll find those and much more just below.

Welcome, Alex!

Protagonist Puzzle
 A blog post by Alex Hughes

I’ve often been asked how I came up with the protagonist of Clean. He’s evolved over time, but the core of the concept came from a few simple things coming together at just the right time.

One of my close friends at the time was a recovering anorexic/bulimic and going through that journey with her was deeply impactful to me. She wanted to get better, but struggled deeply over behaviors that you and I would take for granted – going to the restroom after dinner, for example, was something she couldn’t do. It was a trigger for her.

I had just re-read Joan D. Vinge’s Catspaw, a book about a tortured telepath in a dark cyberpunk world. And, like I always had, I was watching several hours of police procedural television per week. I loved Catspaw so much I wanted to write a story with a similar first-person narrator, somebody really tortured. The best tortured story I could tell was my friend’s, but I knew that her addiction was just too difficult and multi-layered not to take over the whole story, so I picked one that people would more easily understand… a drug. And so I sat down to write this tortured telepath in a dark future world, a world that ended up noir.

My protagonist had to be a guy, because addiction is a little more socially acceptable from a guy. And he had to be a detective, because detectives are cool, and because he needed to be trying to redeem himself by doing good.

The last piece of the puzzle came from watching Brenda on The Closer interrogate suspects, and get confessions by being clever. My guy had to be clever. Plus, how useful would a telepathic interrogator be? Very useful indeed.

So I had all the pieces and sat down to write. Over time, though, my guy’s grown to have a life of his own. Recently, he picked up origami, for example, completely without consulting me. It gives him something to do with his hands, he says.

He’ll tell me the rest when he’s ready.

Alex Hughes
Book Release: Sept. 4th, 2012

Back of the Book:

I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.

My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary.

Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.

Update: Since the below links do not want to work at the moment here are the links :
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository


Upstairs I found Cherabino hunched over her desk, the overhead light off, sunglasses on. I set the danish and coffee down next to her. Some of the tension went out of me. She wasn't mad, probably couldn't even start to be mad with a migraine. "Did you take your meds?" I asked, voice pitched quiet and low.

            Her shoulders were hunched in, almost collapsed, and she was leaning over the keyboard. In Mindspace, I could see the slow, inexorable pound of pain.

            She shifted her head slightly: a no. I sighed and fished out the bottle of pills from her second drawer. Handed them to her. Repressed a lecture. They didn't do her any good if she wouldn't take them, but she knew that.

            "You been to the doctor?"

            She forced down two of the horsepills, swallowing them with a face, then gulped the fancy coffee.  "No," she said, in that telling, raspy whisper. "Nothing they can do if I don't want the surgery."

            Obviously she didn't.

            I knelt down by the side of the chair, close enough to feel the pounding pain, which suited my mood about now. I met her eyes. "About Friday--"

            "I'm sorry I hit you," she said, reaching a hand out towards my still-tender jaw, pulling her hand back before she touched me. She looked away. "Just don't go over my head again, okay?"

            "I won't," I said. I hoped it was true.

What Other Are Saying...
"Alex Hughes spins stories like wizards spin spells." - James R. Tuck, author of the Deacon Chalk series
“A fun blend of Chinatown and Blade Runner.”—James Knapp, author of State of Decay

"An unnamed telepathic hero battles bad guys and his addiction to super-drug Satin in this tightly written futuristic detective story set in an alternate Atlanta…. This crisp debut marks Hughes as a writer to watch." - Publisher's Weekly

"Well-paced and tightly written with plenty of suspense, this should appeal to fantasy and mystery fans alike." - RT Book Review.

Biography of the Author
Alex has written since early childhood, and loves great stories in any form including scifi, fantasy, and mystery. Over the years, Alex has lived in many neighborhoods of the sprawling metro Atlanta area. Decatur, the neighborhood on which Clean is centered, was Alex’s college home.

On any given week you can find Alex in the kitchen cooking gourmet Italian food, watching hours of police procedural dramas, and typing madly.

(Please note my Publisher is asking me to try for a gender-neutral web presence where I can. Thus, no picture, and the bio here, though I couldn’t figure out how to do it on my website. We can figure it out.)

Email | Website| Facebook | Twitter

Thank you for stopping in everyone and joining us in celebrating the release of Alex's book, Clean! Follow along on the book blog tour by clicking HERE.

1 comment:

Sorry I've had to turn on word verification! I hate those darn things as much as you probably do but the bot spammers are eating me alive! We still want to hear from you IF you are a valued reader of BIR. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and enjoy my post!