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New Release: Gyre by Jessica Gunn + Interview

Hey everyone,

Long time, no see. I know, I know. It’s been a while since I’ve been around these parts. It’s been quite a crazy past few months, you see. Between secret projects and new manuscripts and a new business I launched in October, I’ve been a little out of sorts and definitely slacking on blog posts.

So, I’m back! And to kick off my return, I have an interview with an amazing New Adult Speculative Fiction author (and good friend of mine) named Jessica Gunn whose first novel Gyre has been published TODAY (AHHH!!!). Check it out:

  1. Hey Jessica! Congrats on your first novel being published! Having had my first one published last year, I know it is an awesome yet terrifying experience. How are you holding up? Any plans for release day?

Hah! I was doing okay until the book went up on Netgalley. But really, I’m excited. This is my dream! Regardless of what happens next—though I do hope readers enjoy the book—there’s self-satisfaction in this and I’m going to enjoy every bit of it. Especially because this is Gyre that’s being released into the world. Gyre and I have been through a lot!

  1. What was your journey to publication like?

Long and filled with many revisions! I started Gyre in November 2012 for NaNoWriMo, then spent many, many months revising the bookGyre Cover_2000.jpg. It was the first novel I really took seriously as far as publication went, so it was also the first manuscript that’s had critique partners look at it. Since 2012, I think Gyre went through 4 major overhauls and 2 querying rounds, including a Pitch Wars run, before it finally found a home at Curiosity Quills who, actually, was the first press I looked at in 2013 that I wanted to send it to if I went the small-press route.

  1. So, let’s be clear, Gyre is awesome (check out my review)! Where did you get the idea? What are the major inspirations for this novel?

I’ve always been in love with the idea of Atlantis and other ancient mysteries. I find the idea of Atlantis almost romantic and I really just wanted to explore it in a new way and without the various sea creatures usually attributed to it. The rest of it sort of just fit together.

  1. Without giving too much, Gyre focuses on the lost world of Atlantis. Have you always been interested in lost worlds? Why did you choose to write about Atlantis?

Yeah, pretty much. I’m not sure exactly when or how the fascination with lost worlds started but I’ve always been into ancient history and dinosaurs and fantasy, especially Atlantis. I’ve always wanted to use Atlantis in a story, so for Gyre it was an instant choice, but it also worked because I wanted to use a more atypical setting for new adult fantasy/sci-fi, and “underwater” fit. Besides, the story of Atlantis is so timeless! I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of Atlantis stories 🙂

  1. On your website, I saw that you have a degree in Anthropology. That’s so cool! How do you think that influences your writing and Gyre?

I think I approached the mythology and historical aspects a bit differently, in that my characters tend to try debunking things instead of just going with it. For instance, Chelsea doesn’t want to believe they’ve found evidence of Atlantis. In fact, she might be the last person on the whole station that accepted what they found. I’ve found anthropology, specifically the archaeology field, is as much about studying humans as it is debunking crazy claims until there’s nothing left but the truth.

  1. I was excited to find out the Gyre is the first book of a larger series called The Atlas Link Series. How many books will there be? What can readers expect from the rest of the series? Can you give us any tidbits to tide us over until book two?

Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed Gyre enough to want to read more 😉 There are five planned books! I so really shouldn’t give tidbits for risk of spoiling Gyre but I can say that as far as the time traveling and ancient history aspects go, what the characters discover in Gyre barely scratches the surface.

  1. Now that your first novel has been unleashed on the world, what advice do you have for prospective published authors? Is there anything you would have done differently?

There’s a fine line between writing for yourself and writing what the market wants. Sometimes it’s good to steer way away from that line and do what you love, and sometimes there’s a good reason to tread carefully. I wish I’d have known that, as well as knowing that everyone’s on this journey at a different pace. Your publication journey will never be identical to someone else’s, so there’s absolutely no use in comparing. Easier said than done, I know.

  1. Last question: in a sense, Gyre focuses on travel and uncovering the unknown. I myself am a huge travel nut. If you could travel anywhere, whether the place is in the real world or completely fantastical, where would you go? What would you bring with you?

I’m not sure if this is cheating, but I would 100% go to the Tardis and I would bring the Doctor. Then I could go anywhere, in any time. Even if the Tardis decided to be snarky like she sometimes is and drop us off wherever she wanted, at least I’d have gotten to the Tardis!

Not cheating answer: Stonehenge, right after it was built. That’s one mystery I want to see absolutely solved!

And Now… More About Gyre:

Chelsea didn’t try to teleport. All she wanted was to play the Battle of the Bands show. But after accidentally teleporting onto classified Navy vessel SeaSatellite5, all she’s rocking is the boat. Once it’s sorted out that Chelsea’s not a threat, SeaSat5’s top scientist offers Chelsea a position on the crew as an archaeology intern. Dr. Saint studies people with powers, believing them to be descendants of Atlantean refugees, except Chelsea’s powers are beyond anything on previous record.

While great for everyone else onboard, the miracle of Chelsea is Trevor’s worst nightmare. The same girl who’d given him a brief lifeline to sanity three months ago literally fell from the sky, under a mile of ocean, and onto the very station where he’s employed. Making matters worse, Trevor’s family are Lemurians, Atlantis’s enemy, and Chelsea’s presence is unpredicted—a wrench in an already unstable situation. But Trevor wants no part of his family’s war. The only thing he wants is Chelsea, Atlantean or not.

Days into Chelsea’s sudden appearance, SeaSatellite5 uncovers Atlantean ruins and a massive artifact cache, placing its entire, hundred-man crew in the crosshairs of an ancient war. There are those who want the Atlantean relics inside the ruins destroyed, and only Trevor knows the treasures for what they really are: Link Pieces, tools used by the ancient civilizations for their time-travel war.

With lies and shifting alliances abound, Chelsea and Trevor will have to think fast in order to save the station. If they don’t, the Lemurians will seize the artifacts and Atlantis will be destroyed forever.

Buy GYRE on Amazo

More About Jessica Gunn:

Jessica GunnJessica Gunn is a New Adult author and avid science fiction and fantasy fan. Her favorite stories are those that transport the reader to other, more exciting worlds. When not working or writing, she can be found binge-watching Firefly and Stargate, or feeding her fascination of the ancient world’s many mysteries. Jessica also holds a degree in Anthropology.

To catch up with Jessica, follow her on Twitter (@JessGunnAuthor) or on her website, www.jessicagunn.com.

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Gun Range Defends A 9-Year Old Who Shot Instructor to Death: I Don’t Understand.

We’ve all heard the news and it almost seems pointless to recap, but here’s the run down:

In Las Vegas, a 9-year-old girl (unidentified) was attending something along the lines of gun lessons. While being instructed on how to use a Uzi (which I had to Google an image of in order to understand… #Canadianproblems), the gun got out of control in the recoil and she accidently shot the instructor in the head. The full story with video can be read here. I recommend not watching the video…

Tragic, right? Freak accident, right? I feel bad for the instructor. I feel bad for the instructor’s family. I even feel bad for that little girl. Can you imagine what that must feel like knowing you’ve shot and killed someone in a freak accident? She’ll have to live with that for the rest of her life.

But I must admit, my sentiments echo those of most critics:

WHAT THE HELL WAS A NINE YEAR OLD DOING AT GUN LESSONS?

Screw ballet or swimming lessons, let's teach our daughter how to use an Uzi!

Screw ballet or swimming lessons, let’s teach our daughter how to use an Uzi!

Now, I wasn’t going to write about this. The whole gun vs. no gun thing is an interesting topic, but definitely not something I comment on outside of discussions with friends. And hell, I live in Canada. We’re relatively gun-free in terms of legality, and I like it that way.

But then I read another article. This one includes comments from Bullets and Burgers, the establishment where the incident happened. Surprise, surprise: they evaded responsibility and pulled the “sorry, not sorry” card. How sensitive.

My issue isn’t with the fact that it’s a shooting range and they won’t take liability and yadda yadda yadda. My issue is with the comments they made about the young people (aka CHILDREN) who handle the guns. Here’s an excerpt from the article from the CBC:

“Sam Scarmardo, who operates the Bullets and Burgers shooting range, where the incident happened, defends the practice of allowing children to fire machine guns on his range.

“There’s people younger than 9-year-olds handling AK-47s in the Middle East right now,” he tells As it Happens guest host Peter Armstrong.”

Let’s take a moment and think about this logically. 9 year olds using AK-47s in the Middle East face *perhaps* a different living situation than 9 year olds in Las Vegas. I don’t think it’s unfair for me to say that. 9 year olds with AK-47s in the Middle East probably have other things they’d like to be doing. 9 year olds in the Middle East probably don’t want to be fighting wars where they have to use weapons and they are probably compelled to use them for a variety of reasons which may include, but are not limited to: coercion, a need to protect themselves and others, forced enlistment into a terrorist cell.

I bet a 9 year old from the Middle East would admire a nice, relatively stress-free day enjoying warm weather at Bullets and Burgers. 9 year olds from the Middle East are not afforded the luxury of shooting ranges. THEY LIVE IN A SHOOTING RANGE! And then to defend shooting ranges using 9-year-old CHILD SOLDIERS in the Middle East as a crutch? Disgusting.

A 9 year old should not have a gun. A 9 year old should not be allowed to use a gun in a shooting range, and if we’re going to let her, maybe we should consider letting her drive and gamble and buy alcohol too. Also, I find it ironic that a 9 year old in the US can practice her Uzi shooting skills, yet God forbid she want to enjoy the milk chocolate-y goodness of a Kinder Surprise. Cuz, you know, THAT’S dangerous.

Watch out for the toy in the kinder surprise... It's more dangerous than a gun, you know?

Since when did yummy become illegal..?

I can’t even.

/end rant.

Confessions of a 20-Something Millennial

Real talks, everyone. For real.

1. Sometimes, I’ll go for a walk just so I can stop crop-dusting the same unlucky people.

Onto new victims.

On to new victims.

2. “I’ll see what I can do” is my way of saying I don’t want to do what you want me to do.

3. I haven’t bought new razorblades for quite some time. It’s not cuz I’m poor. I’m just lazy.

4. I don’t care if I’m too old for Disney Channel. I just wanna watch That’s So Raven.

5. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like working out. For 8 months at a time.

6. I’ve never seen Pulp Fiction. Or Fight Club. And I’m not sure I want to.

7. Your baby photos on Facebook? A few are nice. Even twenty is fine. A photo every damn day? I get it.

So, maybe your baby is cute and I mean, it did come from your body and all. But seriously, stop.

So, maybe your baby is cute and I mean, it did come from your body and all. But seriously, stop.

8. I don’t want to work a 9-to-5 my whole life. Some call this entitlement. I call it just knowing what I want.

9. My ten minute bathroom break? Yeah, I was playing Candy Crush in the stall.

10. If it weren’t for my Facebook News Feed, I would not be half as caught up on current happenings as I am.

11. I watched Games of Thrones and didn’t like it. The books are better.

12. Money isn’t everything. Seriously, I’ll be happy with just enough to get by. But the lottery? Yeah, okay. I’ll play.

13. Sometimes, I eat fast food more than once a day. And I don’t even feel bad about it.

14. I’ll buy two bottles of wine if they’re on sale. It’s a recession.

15. Sometimes, I pretend to be busy when in reality, I just want to go to bed at 10 o’clock.

Bedtime at 9:30? Count me in!

Bedtime at 9:30? Count me in!