Today I have the pleasure of welcoming debut author Brian Basham to my blog for his blog tour. His novel Virtual Wars: Initialization is due for release on Tuesday 22/11/16
Brian Basham is an American author, blogger, and social media shenanigangster. He enjoys playing Texas Hold ’Em poker tournaments, putting together complex Lego sets, making small plastic items with his 3D printer, playing softball, and watching his beloved football team in Washington. He lives in Virginia Beach.
- Your debut novel is called, Virtual Wars: Initialization, what can you tell us about it?
The Virtual Wars series follows the adventures of Miri, Kitsie, and Hannah who are all trying to find their way in New Pangea. A devastating war has caused the continents to drift together again. To prevent such destruction again the Virtual Wars were created. They are a virtual reality video game where army teams for districts can fight out their differences without killing anyone. It has grown to be the top spectator sport like American Football in America, European Football in Europe, or running from Godzilla in Japan… wait my publicist says that people generally don’t get paid to run from Godzilla, so maybe not that one. The first novel follows Miri as he deals with bullies, trying out for the Virtual Wars team, and trying to figure out how to talk to cute girls.
- What inspired you to write this book?
Many of my story ideas originate as dreams. This is one of them. The actual dream sequence won’t appear until the second novel which I am starting to work on now. At first I thought about how the dream would make a good story and began to plot things out, but I realized that was the middle of a much longer story. There was a beginning that needed to be told. How did these characters come together? How did they get into this situation? Where did they get that cotton candy from? Are unicorns real? That is when I came up with the concept for this first novel.
- Were there any parts of this story that were particularly difficult to write?
Almost the entire novel was difficult to write. The first draft was a disaster that I almost peed on then set fire to. Since it was written on a computer, I decided not to take that route. Taking on this massive beast of a project was vastly different from the shorter stories I had written before. It took me a long time to figure out a process that worked for me. Then it came down to butt in seat, fingers on the keyboard. So of course I put a spiral barricade of razor-wire around my work area to make it more difficult to leave for the day job.
- Do you have a favourite character? Tell us about them.
Hannah! I always tend to write one character that is like a ninja. Which is funny because I hate playing games where you have to sneak and hide. I would much rather run and gun, but it is more fun to write the sneaky sneaky stab you in the pinkie. For a ninja she is pretty outgoing and sarcastic with her friends. She is big personality that is a lot of fun to write.
- When did you realise you wanted to be a writer? Have you always written?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but never took it seriously until about 4 years ago. A man burst into my apartment screaming about the future saying things that no one could make any sense of. When we calmed him, he explained that if I didn’t write then his entire reality will collapse. He made me promise then and there to write. When my friends could finally pry his hands off, we tied him up and locked him in the laundry room. When the police arrived he was gone. Vanished out of thin air.
- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book? Anything weird you needed to research?
Most of the things I researched for this novel had to do with technology. One of the challenges I wanted to take on was to build a world that felt like it was in the near future. Most of the technology within the book are things we have today, but taken to the next step. Like we have virtual reality headsets now that are beginning to become mainstream, but I wanted to create something that could duplicate the experience for more than just your senses of vision and hearing. Sad to say that in the near future there are still no massive mechanized space suits like in the anime shows.
- What would the main character in your book have to say about you?
He would probably tell me to stop beating him up. He gets a concussion, dislocated shoulder, torn ACL, gunshot wound, and various other scrapes and bruises along the way. Like Stephen King said, kill your darlings. I wish he gave advice on how to hide the body.
- What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?
This would probably be my favorite character Hannah. I could see us fighting over who got to push the big red button. You know, the one that no one knows what it does. I might have to throw her into a pocket dimension where cute stuffed animals are the only sentient beings, but they are all in the “why” phase of mental development where they ask questions over and over.
- What do you love most about the writing process?
Plotting is probably my favorite part. Thinking of all the twists and turns that are going to happen. Those are my favorite parts of the story. It’s like the dagger that is slipped in between the ribs and twisted just when you thought the heroes were going to win. Then you find out it was the old man in the amusement park pretending to be a ghost the whole time.
- Million dollar question, are you working on another book?
Of course I am! The current plan is to work on editing and expanding a story I wrote called The Ghost while I write the second book of this series titled Virtual Wars: Running. Weeeeeee
Excerpt: Virtual Wars:Initialization
The sun shining on William’s face feels warm, or maybe that’s the blood. He hopes they don’t find his hiding place. He ran for seventeen hours straight to get here. Moving is not an option as his body doesn’t want to respond. His wounds are patched and sleep is calling. Staying alert is priority, but his adrenal shots are long gone. The high they gave him earlier is now crashing down. Help is waiting for him if William can make it across the border.
The cellphone chimes. The signal is back! It was lost shortly after touching ground. William shoots up into a sitting position, and immediately regrets it. His body reminds him that he was shot at some point. He sends the files recovered to Katsumi. No clue what might be in the files, but they have to be important for the Trackers to be involved. If he can get these files out then his comrades wouldn’t have died in vain. They all knew going in that this could be a suicide mission, but they weren’t counting on it being a trap. Half of his team died within the first twenty minutes. It would have been the whole team if the Trackers had been there from the start. They don’t miss.
William was air dropped with 9 other volunteers into an unpopulated area of District 13. The United Districts representatives all meet up to decide issues of importance here. It’s also where all of the World Police Force Enforcers and the Trackers are trained. They were sent to infiltrate a warehouse at the edge of the main Enforcer training facility. It was supposed to be a storage facility for secure servers holding confidential government documents, but no one knew for sure what they would find inside. Government transparency is guaranteed in the constitution which means the keeping of these confidential documents is illegal. William wants to expose the truth.
Everything was going smoothly until they hooked up a tether to one of the servers. Walls fell down in succession cutting them off from sections of servers. Three files were recovered from a folder titled “Operation Sigma” before the final wall came down, cutting off the last group of servers. Johnson almost lost his foot. Everyone got copies of the files by tapping cellphones. Landon peeked outside, and his head exploded.
The building was surrounded. They should have known something was wrong, it was too quiet up to that point. Easy to think that now in hindsight. The sound of gunfire made William jump. Bullets tapped the walls through the open door as Landon’s body fell in slow motion. There was only one exit with open ground for a mile around the building. Fighting is the only way to escape.
Virtual Wars: Booting Up: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M6V05AT