Today leonardo joins me on my blog. He will answer a few questions to reveal some things about himself and he will talk about his book. I for one am curious both to the man and the book. So I won’t waste any more time. Let me start by telling you what I know about the man. (No, people it didn’t come to me in a dream, nor did I stalk him to dig up these tid bits. He voluntered and gave up the goods without a fight.) 🙂
So, what do I ‘know’ about Leonardo?
Science Fiction, Steampunk and Fantasy Author Leonardo Ramirez is a writer whose joy comes from spending time with his family and blogs to tell about it. Lenny’s (how his friends call him) work includes a graphic novel titled, Haven as well as the Steampunk Children’s series, The Jupiter Chronicles and the upcoming prose novel, Haven of Dante published through his newly created self-publishing entity, Leonardoverse.
His heart and motive have always been for people who are hurting. These can be kids who have had to suffer through child abuse or neglect or an absent parent which can be equally torturous as was the case in The Jupiter Chronicles. It can also be young girls who have suffered an assault like Haven did in Haven of Dante. It’s not just Science Fiction.
It’s Science Fiction for the Human Condition.
And that is maybe just what makes this guys special, he cares. Now, where can we find Lenny online?
He has a Website: Leonardoverse
Then there are the several Facebook pages:
And of course he is on Twitter
Now that we have the regular personal stuff out of the way, let’s get real up-close and personal, Leo, Lenny, or is it Leonardo? Lenny? Okay Lenny it is. It’s too hot for coffee, so I hope you like lemonade. Here have some and make yourself comfortable because there’s more questions to be answered.
Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?
As boring as this may sound, I celebrate by continuing on to the next chapter. For me, writing tends to turn into a runaway train that I can’t stop unless I get pulled off the tracks by either a family emergency or a bathroom break. And even then, I’ve been known to develop a kidney stone or two as a result of needing to get that “just right” sentence in. Now if I start to get that sinking feeling like I’m starting to neglect my family, then I quickly write in some notes that will help me to get back into the groove when I come back to the keyboard.
But how do you work around those moments when the muse has gone and done a runner on you?
I hate not being productive. It drives me absolutely nuts! If my muse has gone AWOL then I work on something other than writing such as marketing and/or searching for new ways to market my work. I have to be working on something all of the time!
Right, you might just have a winning formula there. Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.
First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?
Right now I’m focused on marketing the first in a Children’s Steampunk series called, The Jupiter Chronicles. If you’ve not heard of Steampunk it’s OK. Although it’s been around for a while there are still some who haven’t heard of it. Steampunk is a sub-genre of Science Fiction that is set around the turn of the century in an alternate history where electricity was never invented and everything is run by steam. There is also a mash-up of old and new whereas future technologies are merged into this timeline and you have flying machines, robots and weapons that are all powered by steam.
It is the year 1892 and Ian and Callie Castillo have had to suffer the hardships of a single parent family since their father went missing five years ago. Since then Ian has refused to use the last gift that his father left the wounded boy; a telescope that sits collecting dust in the attic.
When Callie decides to peer through its murky lens it activates the device and sends the Castillos to the steam-powered floating cities of Jupiter to rescue their father and save the Jovians before the Martians launch their attack. What follows is the beginning of an era that will forever be known by its strange name…Steampunk.
I hope that parents can see that there is healing and a hope at the end of adversity which can take the shape of living in a single-parent family or an oppressive living situation. My hope is that parents will feel assured that while my books are filled with Doomslayers, steam-powered sky rockets and coil eruptors (and a farting robot named Stinky Frank) their kids are being engaged by an author who cares. I grew up in a single-parent family myself so I get it. In a fun and engaging way, The Jupiter Chronicles takes Ian and Callie start on an unsuspecting journey to find their father who has been missing for five years and end up freeing a world while giving them a hope for the future.
Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?
Not at all. Unlike other Steampunk books I wanted this one to be set in space and explaining our alternate timeline as one that originated from the Steam-powered planet of Jupiter. Because of this, we needed to have the planet’s name in the title. I love to run titles by my wife and daughter to see which one they like the best. My daughter loved Jupiter Chronicles so that’s what we used.
If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?
That’s a tough one because it takes place on another planet but I suppose if I had to I’d change it to straight Science Fiction. I’d try to keep the Steam aspect of it in there.
Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.
Sounds good to me!
That the spirit! Now, what don’t you like about writing.
I’d have to say the marketing aspect of it.
How come none of the authors I’ve spoken to ever seem to like that?
I’m sure that’s how a lot of writers feel but my reason may be a little bit different. Marketing is all I’ve ever done professionally so you’d think that I’d be more than happy to do it but that’s not always the case. I used to have a job where I was on the phone all day long and now I absolutely abhor talking on the phone. Even my wife falls victim to that because I’d either rather talk to her face-to-face or text. Don’t get me wrong, I know that writing without marketing go hand-in-hand but I wish I could just create all day long and leave that to someone else. Unfortunately, I can’t.
What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?
I’ve got a Facebook page for each book where I interact with fans. One can be found at http://www.facebook.com/jupiterchronicles and the other is http://www.facebook.com/armyofhaven. But while I find that the numbers of each are steadily climbing, I find that the books garner the most attention when I do author interviews and I think that there are a number of reasons for this. One is that I’m at my best one-on-one. I can open up and chat about anything with one person and that’s when I seem the most real. People respond to that a lot more than, “please buy my book” or “look at what happened today with my book”. I also blog quite a bit and it’s all personal stuff. I lost my dad a year ago to Alzheimer’s and laid out my soul to bare on my blog. My friends were there for me. Normally, I develop a friendship with the interviewer. Not because I want something in return but because I’ve shared some personal things during the interview. I like to keep it real.
It sounds to me that you might have something there, because it different and readers love to interact with the author they’ve just read, or are thinking of reading.
Tell me, when you’re on a roll, the muse is in the house and happily guiding your pen, what would seriously drive her/him away?
Well, I hate to look at it as a negative thing because stuff happens and life sometimes takes you away. I love it when my daughter walks in and has something on her mind that she wants to share with me.
Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?
I have a set of questions that I ask my characters that can be found on my website. They are very intensive questions and what I find is that while we do get along most of the time there is one character (Haven’s dad) that really hacked me off because of the neglect he imposed on his family. I paid him back in the book but you’ll have to read it to find out how.
Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?
Coffee! Black with no cream or sugar. And I like my coffee strong!
Great! Then you will love this espresso. 🙂
Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!
Ok well, I have a full time job, I’m a husband and a dad. I teach/study karate 3x a week and perform most of their administrative duties.
So the answer to your question is no. ;o)
But those are all perfectly credible excuses! 🙂 Now, tell me why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
It’s funny that you ask this because this is something that comes up periodically when I’m in a sales slump. As I mentioned, I work full time so my hope is to be able to focus on writing full time but until then I’ve found myself asking if this is what I’m supposed to do. I ask God why he didn’t make me a plumber or an electrician. Why this? Then I’ll decide that for the sake of my sanity I should leave this behind because for now it’s not paying the bills. Problem is that it always pulls me back. I do love writing. It’s where I feel home and safe. It’s where I can make observations about the human condition and provide commentary so that hopefully when someone reads my work they think to themselves, “Hmm, I didn’t know that about myself.” That’s why I do it. So that folks who are kind enough to pick up a copy will be prompted to make themselves better than they were the day before. Once we stop growing, we die.
Okay, now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
A while back I wrote a graphic novel called Haven which picks up where Dante’s Inferno left off and details the Dante family line from then to present day. I also have a prose version of the book which goes into much greater detail. The book will either be called Haven of Dante of Dante’s Legacy. In the story, there’s a violation. It’s not graphic but it is implied. The reason I did this is because my wife was assaulted at gun point many years ago so I also want to speak to the women that have gone through a similar horror and empower them to make good choices for themselves that will make life better. Too many times folks go through horrific things in life and slowly degrade for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t have to be that way. Even though there are a lot of explosions in my books I have absolutely zero interest in portraying women as sex objects but instead as strong, thinking, and real women. In Haven, the main character’s powers are manifested when she experiences emotions she does not want to face.
Hahaha, very much so! I love the idea and you my dear Lenny, must throw me a link to that story. 🙂
Thank you very much for being so open and telling us all sorts about you and your writing. I do hope you enjoyed yourself enough to want to come back when you have a new release.
Leaves me with nothing more than one of the things which are important no matter too. Where can we find your book, because we do want people to be able to buy it if they like what they’ve read about it so far.
Get yours for $5.99 from Amazon by clicking here!