Brain to Books Blog Tour
Author: Chris Kennedy
Genre: Science Fiction/Space Opera
Books: The Search for Gram (Book #1 from the Codex Regius series)
81% of Americans have a story they want to write. Chris Kennedy wasn’t one of these. He never wanted to be an author; in fact, none of the people that knew him would ever have thought that he could be an author. He had no training…no hi-powered English degree…no friends in the business; he had nothing that would have indicated he could be a successful writer.
It all started one day while he was driving home from work. Several news articles he had seen gelled into the beginnings of a story. When he got home, he decided to write his idea down. Using the knowledge of warfare gained in twenty years of service as a Naval Aviator, he crafted his ideas into a compelling story of a Chinese attack on the United States’ mainland. The more he wrote, the faster the story came, and he hasn’t been able to stop writing ever since. Unintentionally, the Accidental Author was born.
After writing the first draft of his novel, “Red Tide: The Chinese Invasion of Seattle,” he looked for representation, but was unable to convince an agent that his story and plan would be successful. After being turned down by over 80 agents, Chris decided to do it himself. He researched the self-publishing industry and everything required to be successful as an independent author.
On his daughters’ birthday, he launched his first novel, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Chris Kennedy has released seven full length novels, including the “Occupied Seattle” military fiction duology, “The Theogony” and “Codex Regius” science fiction trilogies and the “War for Dominance” fantasy trilogy. He is also the author of the self-help book, “Self-Publishing for Profit” and the leadership book “Leadership from the Darkside.” Called “fantastic” and “a great speaker,” he has coached hundreds of beginning authors and budding novelists on how to self-publish their stories at a variety of conferences, conventions and writing guild presentations.
See what’s up with Chris and join his mailing list at http://chriskennedypublishing.com. You can also find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chriskennedypublishing.biz and on Twitter at @ChrisKennedy110.
Working with schools to help increase writing literacy!
Lieutenant Commander Shawn “Calvin” Hobbs has saved Seattle, traveled to the stars and forged new alliances with alien races. With the latest war concluded, he turned his attention to deciphering the strange rod an ancient alien civilization gave him as a test. Was a little “down time” to work on the project too much to hope for?
Something or someone is destroying the starships of the alien Aesir race. The elven Aesir are in need of help, and all of the signs point to Calvin as the hero they need. He has already defeated the merciless Drakuls and saved Earth from alien invasion, but is he prepared to face this unknown challenge?
As the Theogony trilogy comes to a close, a new chapter for Calvin is set to begin. “The Search for Gram” initiates the “Codex Regius,” a trilogy that will once again take Lieutenant Commander Hobbs and his Special Forces platoon to the stars. Not even the universe can hold him this time!
“AWESOME! Great read! Couldn’t put it down once I started reading!” — Dirk Flint
Bridge, Aesir Ship Blue Forest, Unknown System, March 15, 2021
“Continue firing all weapons,” said the Blue Forest’s commanding officer, Captain Elorhim Silvermoon.
“Lasers firing,” replied the laser officer.
“Missiles launching,” replied the missile officer. “For all the good it’s doing,” he added under his breath.
“Engineering, Captain,” Silvermoon transmitted over his implant. “We need more power. How’s it coming back there?”
“I’m sorry Captain, but this is the best you’re going to get,” said the assistant engineer. “Engine Room One is open to space. Everyone who was in it, including the chief engineer, is gone. We’re already 10 percent over redline, and I don’t know how much longer the Number Two engine can take it! With the loss of the Number One engine, it’s already pushing a bigger load than it was built for.”
“Do what you can,” replied Silvermoon. “They’re gaining on us, and we’re not going to make the stargate without more power.”
“I’ll do what I can sir, but it won’t be much. Maybe a percent or two. We’re going to blow the motor if I try to do much beyond that.”
“Do what you can,” the commanding officer repeated. “Silvermoon out.” He looked around the bridge. His crew was maintaining its composure, but he could tell the stress was getting to them. “How long until we reach the stargate?” he asked.
The navigator’s pointed ears twitched. “It’s going to be a little more than an hour at this speed,” he replied. “Engineering just gave us another 10 Gs of acceleration, but it won’t be enough to leave our pursuers behind.”
Captain Silvermoon sighed internally, not letting his frustration show. He wished he had another courier drone, but they had launched both their drones earlier. Launched them and then watched as a second enemy ship destroyed them. They had no idea the second ship existed before then; it had just appeared between his ship and the stargate after the drones were launched. Unarmed and unarmored, the drones were easy prey for the enemy frigate. Whatever cloaking technology the enemy used was outstanding. All of a sudden, it was just there.
“The enemy’s shields are down,” said the laser officer. He didn’t have to say he meant the smaller vessel’s shields; none of the Aesir weapons had made a dent in the shields of the larger vessel that was slowly catching up with them.
“Destroy it,” ordered Captain Silvermoon. Another volley of laser fire lashed the enemy frigate. The alien ship flashed on the screens as the missiles arrived, and something vital was hit.
“Target destroyed,” the missile officer reported.
“One hour to the stargate,” the navigator noted as the Aesir ship hurtled past the expanding ball of plasma.
The missile officer shook his head as he looked at his display. “I don’t get it sir,” he said finally. “The smaller vessel didn’t defend itself after it destroyed the courier drones. It just sat there and let us destroy it. It’s almost as if that’s what the enemy wanted us to do.”
“Yes,” agreed Captain Silvermoon, already thinking along the same lines. “They were probably gathering information on our weapons systems…information we let them have. Too late to worry about it now; there’s nothing we can do.” He paused and then asked the question he’d been dreading, “Range to the other vessel?”
“One million miles,” replied the laser officer. Last time, it had fired at 800,000 miles. They were getting too close, but there was nothing he could do.
“I’ve got the damage report from Engine Room One,” said the damage control officer (DCO), “but I don’t know if you’re going to believe it. I don’t.”
“Go ahead,” said Captain Silvermoon.
“The repair crew says the engine room is gone,” said the DCO, “and they mean gone as in vanished. There is nothing left. No pieces, no bodies, and no equipment. Everything is just…gone. Where the structure of the ship ends, it ends with a clean cut. The repair crew says what’s left is like nothing they have ever seen. They have no idea what could have caused it.”
“Well, I don’t know where it all went,” said the sensor operator. “They asked me to mark the debris field so we could look for survivors later, but the missile didn’t leave a debris field when it hit us. Everything just disappeared.” In their three previous deployments, Silvermoon had never seen the sensor operator look shaken. He was an extremely competent naval officer, and he always had an answer in the past. The captain found he didn’t like the new expression.
“Where did everything go then?” asked Captain Silvermoon. “Anyone have any guesses?”
The bridge was silent.
“Range to enemy vessel 800,000 miles,” announced the laser officer. “Enemy vessel is firing. Six torpedoes inbound.”
Damn it, thought the captain. The enemy ship had only shot one torpedo last time, and they hadn’t been able to stop it. “Activate all defenses,” ordered the captain. “Retarget main batteries on the torpedoes as well.”
The Aesir ship’s lasers and counter-missile lasers began firing at the incoming torpedoes, while missiles and counter-missile missiles leapt from their ports to join the energy weapons. Just like before, the torpedoes disappeared when the Aesir missiles would have hit them, only to reappear once the missiles were past. The lasers seemed to hit the torpedoes, but had no effect on them.
“No effect,” said the ship’s defensive officer. “Shields are as high as they can be with only one engine.” He didn’t say the shields hadn’t stopped the earlier weapon, even with both motors running at 100 percent. He didn’t have to.
“Any idea where the torpedoes are going?” asked Captain Silvermoon.
“I don’t know,” replied the sensor operator, the shaken look now a permanent part of his countenance. “They just vanish. It’s not a shield because our missiles go through the space where the torpedoes were. It’s like they’re not there anymore. I don’t know where they’re going. It doesn’t make any sense.” The sensor operator shook his head, barely able to contain the tears of frustration that Captain Silvermoon could see were perilously close to brimming over.
“That’s okay,” Captain Silvermoon replied. “Keep working; you’ll figure it out.”
“Five seconds to impact,” said the laser officer a few seconds later. “Four… three… two… one…” Six torpedoes impacted along the length of the Blue Forest.
Angela B. Chrysler: I want to take a moment to welcome bestselling science fiction and fantasy author Chris Kennedy. Chris is the author of “The Search for Gram,” which is the first book in his new “Codex Regius” trilogy, which is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
ABC: Thank you so much for speaking with me, Chris. Please take a moment to tell us about your book.
CK: Hi, Angela. Thanks for having me; it’s good to be here. I’m really excited about “The Search for Gram,” as it is without a doubt my best book to date. The new series follows the bestselling “Theogony” trilogy of “Janissaries,” “When the Gods Aren’t Gods” and “Terra Stands Alone.” I had originally intended to just write those three books, but when I finished “Terra Stands Alone,” the readers said they wanted more and that the series should be a trilogy of trilogies. I’m working on it!
ABC: How did you come up with the idea for your book?
CK: It seemed to me that there are a lot of unexplained events in our past, and I got to wondering one day, what if everything we thought we knew about history was a lie? What if all of the “major” events in our history were due to alien interventions? What if they were here right now, watching us…and what if they needed our help? The first trilogy explored where Greek mythology came from; the new “Codex Regius” series looks at Norse mythology.
ABC: Stories always require some form of research. What kind of research did you do for your book?
CK: Some of the physics was beyond me, but I wanted it to be right for the book, so I enlisted the help of a nuclear physicist and a member of the physics department at Duke University. Some of it was pretty challenging, but we made it work.
ABC: Which scene or chapter was the hardest for you to write?
CK: In the book there is a scene with an orbital bombardment. I really wanted the reader to experience the terror and majesty of a bombardment coming in from space, but it is hard to describe as it’s almost bigger than words. The fact that there has never actually been an orbital bombardment, so what it looks like is all a matter of guesswork, doesn’t make it any easier. It was hard…but an awful lot of fun, too.
ABC: Please describe your favorite scene or chapter in your book and tell us why it’s your favorite?
CK: My favorite scene is the Battle on the Dendaran Plain. Ever since “The Last Starfighter,” I’ve always wanted to fight a desperate battle against incredible odds…this is it. Not only is this the desperate battle, there are special forces and tactics…I’d love to see this made into a movie, just for the special effects. It would be awesome!
ABC: Which of your characters do you relate to the most (or) who is your favorite character and why?
CK: My favorite character is Calvin, the main character. When I first started writing him, I knew him best as I had a lot in common with him. He has since grown way beyond anything I am ever likely to do…but he’s still my favorite.
ABC: I once read that every author is simply a compilation of his/her favorite authors. Which authors have done the most to influence your writing and why?
CK: My favorite author is John Ringo, and I hear sometimes that I write like him (which I take as a huge compliment). He understands military and always nails that part. If you’re writing military fiction or military scifi, I think that is extremely important.
ABC: “Story” has always been the center of all human cultures. We need it. We seek it out. We invent it. What does “story” mean to you?
CK: The story is the most important thing, and the sole reason for the book. It is an escape from reality and a chance to experience a different reality…to forget the cares of the day and lose yourself in a book.
ABC: Tells us about your next project.
CK: My next project is “Beyond the Shroud of the Universe,” which is the second book in the “Codex Regius” trilogy. After that, I will write “Chasing the Past,” the second book in my fantasy series.
ABC: Where can we find you and your book?
CK: Thanks for having me!