Thursday, February 15, 2018

Blog Tour: Supremacy's Shadow by T. Eric Bakutis #interview from @TEricBakutis

Science Fiction / Thriller
Date Published: February 9, 2018
Publisher: SF Productions

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For Hayden Cross, a military investigator in the far future, whether his wife faked her death is the question that is probably going to get him killed. Having lost the only job that kept him sane, he has few resources and fewer leads. Oh, and a sadistic crime lord really wants to kill him.

As he fights through an underworld of fanatical rebels, callous bounty hunters, and corrupt cops, each step takes him closer to the truth about his wife’s fate and the oppressive government he once loyally served. On the way he may even liberate a planet and stop a war ... but only if he betrays everyone he loves.


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
While I didn’t have a specific message in mind when writing Supremacy’s Shadow, I did want to make sure my characters never felt like caricatures. I wanted readers to feel as if they had dimensions, and to see them making choices they believe are right even if we, the reader, see them as wrong. I always want my books to be fun (we do read them to be entertained, after all) but I also wanted to make it clear that there are never any choices in conflict which don’t come without costs for those on both sides, winner and loser.

So if there’s one message I’d like people to take away from my book, it’s that old chestnut “Everyone is the hero in their own story”. That’s how I try to write my characters, even the most despicable ones, and I find stories with gray characters more compelling that stories with clearly drawn lines of good and evil.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Descriptions! Oh boy, do I gloss over descriptions. When I’m cruising along on a chapter I can write dialogue and action like nobody’s business, but slow me down to describe a building or a city and I’ll lose all momentum and stall out. I actually write first drafts with things like [Insert City Description Here] just so I can keep rolling and writing.

After I’ve got a solid first draft of a chapter, I can then go back and, at my leisure, fill in the cool details that make the world feel real. But it’s always more of an effort than drafting the action and dialogue, and I often take inspiration from real world references (like scifi artwork or photographs) when writing my world descriptions.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
As of now, I have completed three books in a complete fantasy trilogy (Tales of the Five Provinces), a free online cyberpunk police procedural (Loose Circuit), an anthology of my published short stories (Simulation Disorder), and Supremacy’s Shadow, my “grimsnark” sci-fi thriller. It’s tough to pick a favorite book among them (I love them all!) but I think Supremacy’s Shadow is my current favorite, if only because it’s the book I’ve completed most recently and I feel it’s some of my best work yet as a writer.

Of course, I’m sure this will change when I finish my next book! J

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
I’ve actually thought about that way more than seems healthy, and while he isn’t physically similar to Hayden, Justin Theroux (from The Leftovers) is the actor I’d love to see cast as Hayden Cross. Justin has just the right mix of charisma, force of personality, vulnerability, and genuine snark delivery to nail the exact type of person I think Hayden Cross would be on the big screen. So if my book got optioned as a movie and they decided to cast Justin, I’d be absolutely thrilled. I think he’d nail the character.

When did you begin writing?
When I was little, maybe four or more. We wrote stories in school and I just loved it. I kept writing for thirty-five more years after that, and well, now I’ve got some books out. I’ve always had stories in my head and an impossible to quench desire to share them, and now the world faces the consequences. Heh.

How long did it take to complete your first book?
My first book will never be published (it was portal fantasy) and took me about six months to write ... in all caps ... in middle school. I wrote the whole trilogy, actually. It was a great experience and I still have a soft spot for it, but it’ll never be published because it’s not up to the quality of a publishable novel. Still, I learned a lot from writing that first trilogy, and I will always have a soft spot for my first book.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
So many! C. J. Cherryh (loved The Morgaine Cycle), Anne McCaffrey (huge fan of Dragonriders of Pern), Terry Brooks (Shannara, the Word and Void), Mike Stackpole (basically everything), and Piers Anthony (Apprentice Adept, Incarnations of Immortality) to name just a few. All of these writers and many more got me addicted to SFF when I was younger, and certainly still influence my writing to this day.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Making myself laugh. Every so often I’ll go back to edit a scene I’ve written and laugh out loud at something a character says or does. When that happens – when I amuse myself, despite writing what I’m reading – I know I’ve got a good book in the worlds. Because if I can’t entertain myself, how can I entertain anyone else?

Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Deadpool in Space.

(I did it in 3!)

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

Supremacy’s Shadow is a standalone book that tells a complete story, and my next book, Supremacy’s Bounty, will be set in the same universe (shared) but with different characters, Freyja and Jinx, a pair of badass bounty hunters who are namechecked in the first book. Bounty is about 30% done and I hope to have a completed first draft my midyear, at which point it’s off to my writer’s groups and, eventually my editor.

I don’t have an exact date, but I’m shooting for something in mid 2019. Stay tuned!

About the Author

T. Eric Bakutis is an author and game designer based in Maryland. He is happily married and shares his house with a vicious, predatory cat and a sad-faced, cowardly dog. He’s been working as a professional videogame developer for over eight years. His first fantasy trilogy, Tales of the Five Provinces, is now complete, and his first science fiction novel, Supremacy’s Shadow, is due in February 2018.

In his spare time, Eric hikes with his lovely wife, little girl, and crazy dog, spends time in VRChat exploring the metaverse, and participates in local events like the Baltimore Science Fiction Society Critique Circle. His first novel, Glyphbinder, was a finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and his short fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies.

You can read his free cyberpunk police procedural, Loose Circuit, at

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Emily H said...

Thank you for posting

T. Eric Bakutis said...

Thank you for the interview! Great questions, and thanks again for hosting my book!

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