Alone In The Crowd ~ Patrick Stutzman

My apologies to Patrick Stutzman. I was supposed to post this a few days ago.

ALONE IN THE CROWD by PATRICK STUTZMAN

Available on 15 June 2013 on Amazon

Cover Art by Tomomi Ink

Alone No More?

Earth has finally sent a colony to the moon where Anna has been stranded, bringing with it hope of rescue. Although some are not quick to trust her, others welcome her with open arms, and she finds an unlikely friendship in a young colonist named Jason.

As Anna teaches the settlers to survive, the looming threat of the aliens’ return casts a dark, foreboding shadow over the colony. Can she earn the colonists’ trust and prepare them in time for first contact?

LINKS
Visit the author’s website at The Worlds of Patrick Stutzman

See what other works are available from the author at Amazon’s Patrick Stutzman page

Visit the cover artist’s website at Tomomi Ink

Patrick Stutzman: Do You Have To Be Female To Write Female Characters?

There was so much positive response to a recent post on women and science fiction that when I had the chance to invite a male author who writes strong female leads beautifully, I jumped at it. Here is Patrick Stutzman, author of ALONE ON THE EDGE and his new release ALONE IN PARADISE.

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Writing can be a lot of fun, but it can also come with its challenges. Among those challenges can be making your story and/or characters believable, getting the story to flow smoothly and logically, and avoiding the pitfalls into which many authors inadvertently fall. My primary problem involves being a man and writing about a woman.

My series of novels revolves around a woman who finds herself left alone, away from civilization, and must cope with her situation to the best of her abilities. I have received compliments from a number of women that I have somehow managed to pull off the ardent task of hitting the nail on the head as far as accurately portraying female characters. Those that don’t know me figure it is because I am secretly a woman or that I am gay. The last time I checked, I am a male; I have guy parts. And, my wife can assure you that I am not gay.
How do I do it? No, I don’t follow Jack Nicholson’s formula in As Good As It Gets where he says, “I take a man and take away reason and accountability.” It all falls down to observation and error-checking.

As a gamer, I liked to play female characters in my games. I create women player characters in my Dungeons & Dragons and Star Wars roleplaying games, and I have a female character in World of Warcraft and Skyrim. Why? Most of the other players played males. I wanted to have women come along on the adventures, too. With characters like Red Sonja, Wonder Woman, Jean Grey, and Sheena as inspiration, women have just as much capability to kick some major butt as the men.

I live in a house with three other women: my wife and my two daughters. Learning what women are like and how they think, though it is still an exercise, comes a bit easier for me because of that. When I create the women in my books, I take what I know from the three ladies in my life and apply parts of them to the characters.

I cannot honestly say that it’s that easy. After I complete the story, my editor steps in and checks my portrayals for accuracy. It really helps that my editor is a woman, too. If something seems askew, we discuss it and make any necessary changes to finalize the character’s depiction.

I am not the only man that creates female characters, but I am willing to bet that I am one of the few that does not make my women damsels-in-distress or really butch. I have always strived to be as realistic as possible in my stories, and having women properly represented is something I am proud to do.

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Please feel free to visit each blog on the appropriate day and comment about the blog post, the book, me, or whatever you choose. One lucky person that comments on the blog stop that day will win a free e-copy of the book. Spread the word to your friends and come read about the continuing adventures of Anna Foster in the exciting sequel, Alone in Paradise.

What a Gorgeous Cover! The Art of Tomomi Ink.

What a Gorgeous Cover! The Art of Tomomi Ink.

I’ve gotten so many compliments on my cover art, that sometimes I wonder if the cover is better than the book! It is a gorgeous cover and the artist who designed it is a true genius. The artist is Tomomi Ink out of Barbados. She has just reworked her site to include the many amazing book covers that she’s created. Her work is simply stunning. I invite you to take a look at her work and make note of the titles. They include some of my favorite new authors. You may see one or two that look familiar to you if you spend much time here.

Book Review: ALONE ON THE EDGE by Patrick Stutzman

Once I started reading ALONE ON THE EDGE I couldn’t stop. I had to know what happened to Anna and the computer.

The author spun a fascinating tale of a young woman as the sole crew member of a deep space mining outpost for six long years, with only the central computer for company. Unlike some depictions of young women written from a male perspective, I found Mr. Stutzman’s presentation of Anna to be spot on in most respects.

The author deftly delivered a compelling story, rounding out the character of Anna with only the computer and drones for interaction. Parts of the story reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey and I frankly admit to hearing HAL’s dulcet tones while reading the computer’s dialog. I kept waiting for him to say “What are you doing, Dave?”

With elements of psychological thriller, romance, and rollicking good adventure, ALONE ON THE EDGE was a riveting read. I look forward to the sequel ALONE IN PARADISE and you can bet I’ll lose a night’s sleep reading that one, too!

Alone on the Edge with Patrick Stutzman

Every now and then, I get to meet some fascinating people.  Someone who has been a good friend to me over the past six months is a fellow Jed-head and SF writer Patrick Stutzman. Not only have we played the Geek version of “What are you wearing?” over the Twitter feed, which is far less provocative than it sounds because the clothing involved happened to be a Phantom Menace T-shirt (which we both own identical copies of,) but we’ve also matched wits playing Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. (It was a draw.) I invited him to share some of his wit and wisdom on the old blog today.

I promise, no Star Wars trivia questions.

So… (breaking out zee little notebook) Make yourself comfortable on zee couch and tell me about yourself.

(You had to post the hard question first, didn’t you?)

Well, I could throw you a softball Star Wars trivia question right off, but I already promised no Star Wars trivia questions, so… yeah.

My name is Patrick Stutzman, and I am a writer. (Hi, Patrick!) My secret identity is that of a mild-mannered online support agent for a regional bank’s website. But by night, beware! I become a writing- and gaming-nightmare! Bwahahahaha! … (Oh, sorry). Seriously, I write science fiction, but I started as a freelance game designer. Some of you may recognize my name in association with the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Saga Edition that was produced by Wizards of the Coast a few years ago. I have done some other assignments on the side as well, but most of my design work was for Star Wars.

Beyond that, I live in the greater Kansas City area with my wife, two kids, and a veritable menagerie of pets. I work with games, technology (computers in particular), and other minor things that may appear from time to time that are shiny and quickly catch my attention. I like long walks on the beach, relaxing by the fire at night, and … (Dang it! This isn’t that online dating survey! Stop that!)

To learn more about me, check out my websites (Is that a typo? No, I meant to make that a single word.) listed below:

The Worlds of Patrick Stutzman (writer site) – http://patrickstutzman.swtft.com

Star Wars: The Forgotten Tales (Star Wars RPG site) – http://www.swtft.com

The Sims Realty Co. (Sims 2 site) – http://thesimsrealty.swtft.com

Why Science Fiction? What is it about the genre that attracts you?

I have always looked to the future and speculate what lies ahead for me and the rest of humanity/civilization. I guess that’s why I’ve always had an interest in studying prophecies like in Revelation, the quatrains of Nostrodamus, etc. Science fiction, for the large part, allows us to delve into the minds of others’ ideas of what the future may hold, whether it involves space travel, crossing dimensional barriers, encountering strange, new lifeforms, or what have you.

You know, that explains so much to me.
Where did the idea for ALONE ON THE EDGE come from?

From the dark recesses of my mind! Most people emerge as a different person after they go in! Seriously, I finished work on my last book for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game and wanted to keep my writing skills sharp. So, I pulled out my handy-dandy … (Notebook? WRONG! It was my laptop! Ha, ha! 10 points for me!) laptop and started planning on a story to keep me busy. I was originally not planning on publishing it, but I looked up and found that I was already 40,000 words into it without being close to finishing the story. So, I figured I’d see where it took me.

Did you ever feel that you’d painted yourself into corner with your premise for ALONE ON THE EDGE?

No.

No? That’s it? Just no? 

Oh, you want a longer answer! My bad!

Not really. I have been writing my books organically. I put down the premise and the setting, and let the characters drive themselves. I know of several other authors that write that way. Honestly, I love it! I find it as entertaining as reading a book for the first time, because I don’t know what’s going to happen next until it happens. I feel like I am a reporter giving a play-by-play record of what is taking place inside my head. As a result, the characters are always looking for ways to resolve their situations. Sometimes, it works for them; sometimes, it doesn’t. You’ll find that to be the case with Anna throughout the book. Some of her ideas and plans go off without a hitch, while others will fall flat or just have a few unexpected complications arise in the process. She just has to deal with it and move on as best she can.

I find it interesting that you chose to have a character like Anna as your protagonist in this series. I’m also fascinated when male writers choose a female protagonist for a story like this. Why Anna? Why not Bob? What was it about Anna’s character that made her the only character to put into this situation?

I suppose the choice of writing about a female protagonist for ALONE ON THE EDGE originally came from my fascination and love for strong, independent women. You might say it’s a fantasy of mine. (It came true! I married one!) Throughout my life, I have had a STRONG attraction to the type of woman that you really don’t want to make angry but at the same time want to take home to satisfy your manly urges. I wrote stories involving women like that even back in junior high and high school. Thinking back, the seed for this came from George Lucas. Thanks for introducing Princess Leia Organa to the world!

It always comes back to Star Wars, doesn’t it?
What comes next for Patrick and Anna?

Anna’s adventures are far from over! Book 2 in the series, titled ALONE IN PARADISE, is currently being edited and should be released soon. In fact, Book 3, titled ALONE IN THE CROWD, is currently being written, so we’re looking at a full-blown trilogy. In addition to the other two books, I also have a short story already available called ALONE WITH HER THOUGHTS, which is best described as a missing chapter from ALONE ON THE EDGE. I have made the short available for free wherever I could.

Thanks for stopping by today, Patrick, and best of luck with Anna’s adventures. I look forward to ALONE IN PARADISE. 

Writers are very needy types and like to know that someone, ANYONE is out there. Please don’t leave Patrick ALONE ON THE EDGE. He would love it (you have no idea how much he would love it) if you would take a minute to leave a little encouragement for him in the comment section of the page. Just click on the quote balloon up at the top or on the comment link below.