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23 April 2012

Back Cover Summary author Ryan Grabow

Your hostess for this clash is Lisa Lickel
The Spotlight this week is on Delia Latham
Read the original back cover summaries here.
The polls are now closed, but you may still enter the book drawing by commenting here or, on Facebook, with the answer to the authors' questions and your e-mail.

Meet Ryan Grabow

Ryan graduated from Long Island University in 2004, with a bachelors degree in Electronic Media, and currently directs for television newscasts in Fort Myers, Florida.

Both of the excerpts chosen for this Clash come from other realities. Can you share with the readers a little about how you “saw” your worlds? How you worked out the details, if you ran into any obstacles (such as gravity, atmosphere, time, geography, outside influences) and how you overcame them? If you didn’t run into obstacles, what could take your world apart if the natural laws are broken?
Dynamic Reality is my vision of a distant-future internet, bounded only by human imagination. Brandon's experiences run the gamut from the mundane to the fantastic: from him thinking he's offline to him fighting dragons as an elf and trying not to get killed (for real) in F-86 combat. Aether, the computer virus, is pulling the strings and weighing his reactions. In the end, we find the best experiences come from unexpected places.

The main obstacle with any trapped-in-virtual-reality story is what to do with one's real body. Thirty-six hours is a long time to be asleep, and that length is common among Brandon's peers. My answer to this is a chemical stabilzer the user drinks before "ascending." It can slow down bodily functions for up to a week, depending on the dosage.
As for taking the world apart, we find that Aether gives that topic a lot of thought. It's what a computer virus is supposed to do, but she is fighting against her instinct.

When you’re looking for a new read, either in a bricks and mortar store, a library, or virtually, what’s the first thing to catch your eye? Title, cover design, sub title? What do you look at first? Back/flap material or first few pages? What makes you decide to read the book?
The back cover blurb, and it really upsets me when there isn't one (inside flap only gets half credit). The rest of the package isn't trivial, of course: one should think out the title and cover and overall presentation. But it's the plot that carries the most weight with me, especially an original one. If the story idea grabs my attention, and the first pages give me the impression that it'll really be fleshed-out, then it's a sale.

How did you go about choosing your back cover material? Did you have help, and if so, from who and how many drafts did it take?
I came across a fiction directory called "What Do I Read Next?" in the library a few years ago. It had one-paragraph summaries and I tried to imagine what Caffeine's might say. The Aether quote above it was suggested by the publisher.

What promises do you offer readers who look at the back cover copy of your book first?
I tried to convey depth, Brandon's being lost as the starting point of the story. Intersecting with this is the energy of "the virus," who will take him out of that state by whatever means. The title "Caffeine" helps paint an "overstimulated" society as the backdrop. It's the plot front-and-center.

What books or other media influences you and your work the most?
I wasn't much of a reader before I was a writer. Most of the influence came from TV series like Stargate and films like The Matrix. I regret to say that there isn't much Christian work that holds my interest, but this only adds motivation for my own work. I want to fill in that market gap that exists for 18-34 male readers.

Ryan's Question for the readers: Do you enjoy stand-alone novels more, or those that lead to sequels and trilogies, etc.?

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Item Reviewed: Back Cover Summary author Ryan Grabow Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Lisa Lickel