Thursday, November 29, 2018

Tar by Taylor Hohulin - Book Tour and Giveaway

Brendan Cobb calls it tar, but there might be as many names for it as cities left standing.

To some, it’s known as filth, or blight. Others call it the Black God in reverential whispers. Whatever name it takes, the effects are the same. Cities left in ruins. People turned into monsters. Living infections with no known cure. The best anyone can do is avoid it, but even that gets harder the more it spreads.

Brendan survives this waking nightmare by trading salvage for shelter and for repairs to his cybernetic arm, until a newcomer arrives, convinced Brendan is the key to ridding the world of tar once and for all. Reluctantly, Brendan and his mechanic join the newcomer on a journey across the desolate highways of a ruined world, where he learns the true history of the tar…and of the dark power inside him, which grows stronger every day.


Tiger Stripe barked something harsh and insistent, but Brendan barely heard it. He’d descended into a place ruled by impulse and instinct. Coldness enveloped him as his legs pumped, pulling the tunnel in the debris ever closer.

Tile exploded a few inches from Brendan’s feet, an errant shot from Tiger Stripe’s blaster. He did not fire again—a wise decision, considering Brendan was running toward the only way out. The last thing anyone needed was a collapsed tunnel.

Just as Brendan wondered if he would escape, a sound roared behind him, speeding closer at an alarming rate. Metal joints pistoned over and over, faster than any human could move on his own.

Brendan glanced back. The kid with two mods in place of his legs was sprinting after Brendan. The slender prosthetics looked more like they belonged on an insect than a human. As the thought crossed his mind, a single word cut through the coldness that surrounded him. The salvagers were chanting.

“Grasshopper! GRASS! HA! PER! Grasshopper! GRASS! HA! PER!”

Grasshopper leaned forward as he ran, with an expression equal parts grin and grimace. Brendan didn’t want to fight him here, not with four other salvagers waiting to join. It would be cleaner if he could separate them and take them one by one.

None of these things occurred to Brendan as thoughts. They were instincts, like don’t touch a fire, or don’t breathe underwater. They passed through his mind in an instant, registering deep within his very core.

Guest Post

What is your writing process?

My writing process could best be described as “one step at a time.” There’s a lot of problems you need to solve when writing a book, and trying to knock them all out in one go is just overwhelming to me. The good news is books aren’t written as live performances—you have the luxury of working on them for a long time and tweaking things here and there until you have something beautiful that you love.
So I start by hammering out the basic framework of my plot. Who wants what, and what’s in their way? From there, I start building in my story beats and fleshing things out bit by bit until I have a full scene-by-scene outline of the book. That doesn’t mean scenes won’t get added or deleted along the way, but at least I have a roadmap of where I’m going and what I need to foreshadow, as well as a bird’s eye view of things so I know each act is paced properly.
From there, I start writing the story. This is where I start playing with things like voice and tone, and where I start to get a feel for each of the characters. Anymore, I’ve kind of accepted that I’ll need to edit the first 15,000 or so words more heavily, because those are the ones where I’m trying different things and seeing what feels right. It’s usually somewhere in the second half of this rough draft that I get an idea of what themes the book might explore. I usually make a mental note of it and look for opportunities to sprinkle it in with word choices, lines of dialog, or even extra scenes when it comes time to edit. 
Once I’ve finished my rough draft, I like to take a break to start outlining the next book. The big thing this does for me is to allow me to create some emotional distance between myself and the book I just finished. Once I finish a draft, I’m usually completely in love with it, so it’s hard to edit with any objectivity. But when I’m outlining something new, it gives me some time to let the draft cool down, while also allowing me to get excited about something else. Plus, when I finish the main project, I have a full outline to work with so I’m ready to start the next project immediately.
When I do come back to edit, I focus each pass of edits on something different: Story continuity for one, clean prose for another, typos on another still. Rather than sitting down at an especially rough draft and saying “Okay, what are all the bad things in this book and how can I fix them?” I say, “Okay, let’s make sure all the characters are tonally consistent throughout the book.”
Then comes the tricky part: Deciding when I’m done. As an indie author, I don’t have an editor or publisher giving me a hard release date or telling me, “Yes, this book is ready,” or, “No, let’s tweak this.” Those decisions are all up to me. The best standard I heard is actually from an indie musician. He said he could keep tweaking every song he’s ever recorded forever, but he knows he’s done when he reaches a point that he can’t think of anything he could do that would make him love the song any more. There are always things I can think of to tweak in my books, but if those tweaks don’t lead me to loving what I’ve done any more, it’s probably time to get the publishing wheels turning.
And then I start the whole process over again.

About the Author

Taylor Hohulin is a radio personality by morning, a science fiction author by afternoon, and asleep by 9:30. He is the author of The Marian Trilogy, Tar, and other genre-blending works. He lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife, where they are owned by a dog and a cat.

The book will be on sale for $0.99.

Taylor Hohulin will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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