Necessary Evil – an interview with TJ Akers + giveaway

akers

And now you’re wondering…which is the Necessary Evil? The interview or the story?

Cue diabolical laugh while rubbing hands together. I’ll never tell!!!

TJ, aka Tim, has already signed our slam book, so without further ado, let’s hear from him all about his new story, Necessary Evil!

Necessary Evil is a short story in a serial anthology. How does it compare to what you normally write?

Necessary Evil is pretty close to what I normally write. I do have a Christian worldview, and by the way we Christians are not clones of one another so the worldviews can vary from individual to individual. As a bible college graduate, all the wonderful ideas truths, theological\philosophical theories, and varying doctrines, are fair game for inclusion in anything I write. The hard part is making them palatable and entertaining to as broad an audience as possible without being preachy.

Tell us about the challenges of writing a story based on a character someone else created. Did that make things easier for you, or more difficult?

I asked Mike Lynch, the author of story one, and the organizer of this project, if he could send me his original story. Mike is great to work with and pretty much gave me free reign. The nice thing is that I know two other contributors and critiqued them in an effort to help. I’m a mega-geek when it comes to comic books, and within comics, continuity is an enormous part of characters popularity. So the biggest challenge is to develop some sort of continuity with nine or ten other writers. Instead of concentrating on Stelfson, the titular character, I focused on a recruit of Stelfson. This is a pretty safe approach. As I saw other stories, I was able to go back and put small details here and there to help build a sense of continuity. If I succeeded or not, I’ll have to wait and see.

What audience did you have in mind when you wrote Necessary Evil? And were did you get the idea for your story’s premise?

I like writing for YA, and especially Middle Grade readers, but my audience for this is more along the lines of the high school to early College reader. Hopefully, anyone sixteen or older would enjoy this.

My day job is in Information Technology. I do a lot of PC and Mac diagnostic\repair and end user support. The idea of turning someone into a virus to do harm to a computer isn’t much of stretch for what I do. I add the twist of my protagonist the human-turned-virus becoming my hero the antivirus. It is about transformation and the heroic journey. We all have our own stories in which we get to be the hero off, and the hero story is something that inspires all us every day people.

What are you working on now?

I’m revamping a speculative fiction novel called The Infinity Box. It is finished, but I put it away for a couple of years because I didn’t have it quite right and wasn’t sure how to fix it.  Another novel of mine, Chocolate Eyes, is sitting on the computer of an editor at Zonderkidz. It was a finalist in the 2013 Genesis contest and a finalist in the 2012 First Impressions contest.  Chocolate Eyes Is a real departure from what I normally write, it is about seventh grader that learns how to deal with bullies and difficult family members from caring for a precocious horse he saves from slaughter. Some of the judges in the Genesis contest accused it of being too dark, but the story is hilarious.  It would be really nice to work with Zonderkidz, because I’m a big fan of what they’re trying to accomplish in developing projects that reach out to a broader audience.  I do have Chocolate Eyes out to other places too, after all, I do want to get published and I’m not getting any younger.

Chocolate Eyes

Chocolate Eyes

What is one thing you’d like your readers to know?

Everyone should get caught up in the narrative of book at least twice a year. You read a book and it captivates you to the point that you lose track of time. When you finish it, you feel sad. Like getting off your favorite carnival ride, or watching a great movie. People don’t read enough for entertainment and that makes me sad.

To celebrate our first Scriblerians release, we’re giving away 6 copies of Necessary Evil (ebook only). How do you win? (1) You have to be a follower of this blog or follow TJ Akers on Facebook, and (2) be willing to post an honest review on Amazon after you’ve read it. Interested? Sign-up below!

Now, tell us, dear reader? Are you a short story fan? And which is your favorite?

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3 thoughts on “Necessary Evil – an interview with TJ Akers + giveaway

  1. I agree – people don’t read enough. And the best books are the ones you inhale & get immersed in. 🙂 And a hero/protagonist virus/anti-virus sounds neat! (And I’m too much of a Reboot addict as that’s always the first place my mind goes when I hear “story inside a computer” – lol)

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    • I loved Reboot! It’s one of my all time favorite cartoons. As an IT professional the humor was soooo funny. I was very disappointed when Fox Network (It might have been Kids WB) didn’t show the third season. I found it on animeflavor.com. The final season was absolutely cool, but considerably darker in tone. I still think the X-files parody was so classic. Thanks for leaving a comment. Have you seen the second Hobbit movie? What did you think?

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      • We have the DVDs for the 3rd season. (And you can even catch the season 4 episodes/movies on Hulu!) Definitely darker but very, very cool. Btw, did you know Reboot is getting rebooted? http://www.rebootrevival.com/ Alphanumeric! 😉

        Sadly, have not seen the second Hobbit movie yet. And I have a feeling we’ll end up waiting for the DVD. Finding a babysitter is too hard lately. Plus we’re buying a house and too busy from all of that (we close tomorrow!).

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