A distant, alien world. In several of my novels, I have been drawn to such a place, and so I was in Dax Rigby, War Correspondent. Why? Basically because anything can happen there. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. I’ve never been able to resist the opportunity to let my imagination stretch its wings and soar as high as it can, even to take reckless chances if necessary.
So, in the novel Dax is not only a handsome action hero but a likeable idealist with a painful, mean streets childhood who embodies a cosmic secret he has yet to learn. Who and what is he really? Can he cope with the truth of his real identity, or will he crumble?
This SF action-adventure also gave me the opportunity to create and explore a complex alien world with two intelligent extraterrestrial species and an improbable romance between an older, sexually aggressive copter pilot and young Dax. Poor guy, he tries to be faithful to his girlfriend Lexis, even though she lives back on Earth, nine hundred light-years away.
I also love mystery, and as in other novels I’ve written, the hero is confronted with several. What is killing and making humans and aliens so sick on the planet Arcadia, and what is the conspiracy he struggles to uncover? Above all, who is the deadly leader of the conspiracy, the evil mastermind who tries to kill him, and why does he or she do it?
Ultimately, it is how Dax Rigby copes with the numerous, life-threatening challenges on Arcadia that inspired me more than anything else to tell his story. Most of us would have caved in quickly if we were in Dax’s place, but his predicament offered me the chance to explore and develop his character based on the seemingly overwhelming obstacles he faced. Can he solve not only the manifold mysteries of Arcadia and save the human outpost and two dying alien species there, but also help stop World War III back on Earth and save six billion lives?
After shopping Dax Rigby around with major publishers and agents, I did more market research and placed it with Lyrical Press. The publisher did the cover, presenting young Dax as a hunk whose shirt is open, exposing his muscular, chiseled chest. I liked the cover, but perhaps it’s too romance-y. Dax is sexy, but he ain’t Fabio.
When the novel didn’t reach as wide an audience as I had hoped, the publisher and I amicably parted ways, and I submitted it to MuseItUp Publishing. As with Lyrical Press, I followed their submission and formatting guidelines carefully, something that’s important. After all, if you don’t follow a publisher’s guidelines to the letter, you run the risk of being rejected without even being read.
As with Lyrical Press, I had editors. At MuseItUp, the editing process is the best and most rigorous I’ve ever seen. My editors, Chris Spellman (Content Editor) and Penny Ehrenkranz (Line Editor) took me through multiple drafts. Plus, Tiger Matthews did a great cover for the book. Altogether, it was a collaborative effort, and the novel is better for their input.
And that’s why and how I did it. Now comes the really hard part: promoting my book and getting Dax’s word out.
John recently retired as an English professor at Norfolk State University where he designed and taught a course in how to write Science fiction and Fantasy. He is a former Chairman of the Board of the Horror Writers Association and has published approximately 350 stories in places such as Weird Tales, Whitley Strieber’s Aliens, Fangoria, Galaxy, The Age of Wonders, and the Hot Blood anthology series. John has published twenty books, including SF action/romantic adventure novels such as Beyond Those Distant Stars and Speaker of the Shakk (Mundania Press), A Senseless Act of Beauty (Crossroad Press), and Alien Dreams (Drollerie Press and Crossroad Press). Shorter books include A Mingling of Souls and Music Man (XoXo Publishing), Here Be Dragons (Eternal Press), The Voice of Many Waters (Blue Leaf Publications), Green in Our Souls (Damnation Books), and Bagonoun’s Wonderful Songbird and Childhood’s Day (Gypsy Shadow Publishing). Recent developments: MuseItUp Publishing published two novels, Dark Wizard and Dax Rigby, War Correspondent. Another SF novel, Inspector of the Cross, will appear in February. MuseItUp Publishing also published More Stately Mansions and The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes, and it will release Steam Heat, a tale of erotic horror in December.
Readers can visit John at his website, www.johnrosenman.com, and other sites:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1164323809 and . . .