Ame Terra means “love earth” in Portuguese. The author loves earth, writing, traveling, photography and wine. In her first novel, Earth No. 105, she swirls love and chaos into sweet little morsels of suspense. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, son and rescue pup Odie.
Why storytelling? What made you yearn to tell a good story, and how long was this story within you before it came out?
I live visually. I have difficulty understanding things without visualizing the concept. My need for visualization led me to photography and graphic design. I started a photography blog and occasionally I would look at a photo I posted and felt like something was missing. The photo needed words. A thoughtful description to truly capture its meaning. I realized that words themselves could be a visualization. If written correctly, the words could create worlds yet to be discovered. Intrigued, I poured myself a glass of wine (or four), opened my laptop and visualized Earth No. 105 as my fingers tapped frantically.
What character from your book fills you with hope?
Earth No. 105 provides little to be hopeful about but Ryker Chale always seems to find the good (or at the very least the humor) in every situation.
“So,” she says as I sit next to her, “you’ve been hacking me, huh?” I knew this was coming.
“Just a couple of times,” I admit.
“A couple of times? When was the other time?” she demands as she turns to face me. I am blinded by her beauty. Hypnotized by her eyes. That rebellious piece of hair blowing in the wind making a line across her face.
I can’t fuck this up. I need to play the right card. I take a deep breath and judiciously submit my confession. “When I was leading us to the abandoned building in Cetabri City. I had my eyes closed, so I wanted to see that you were OK and what you were seeing. You were so strong, scared but strong. You really are amazing, and I cannot tell you how much I need you.” Ace of hearts. I played the right card for once in my life.
“OK, kiss-ass. We need some rules around here. I’m not sure I’m OK with this hacking thing, and what about when we . . . you know. Not that we are you-knowing, but if we ever do, or get close, you can’t just hack me to see if I like it or whatever. It’s fucking weird.”
This is not the response I was expecting. What are we talking about here? Sex. I think it is sex. We are talking sex. OK. Wait. No emotions. A controlled, tasteful response is required. Deal me in. Play the right card.
“OK, OK. I get it. No hacking Luna when we are doing it.” Well, that sucked so bad I can’t help but laugh. Luna is not laughing. I better fix this or all bets are off. “OK, seriously, I respect your feelings. I totally get where you are coming from. I wouldn’t want someone hacking me when I was getting it on.”
Luna’s face is unchanged. Wrong answer. I up the ante. “OK, for real. I promise not to hack Luna Koen. Ever. Unless you are in danger and I need to find you. But never for personal getting it on, I mean personal gain. Personal gain or pleasure. Or insight of any kind. Things like that. You know. Just for danger. Danger only.” I need to shut up. I fold.
Earth No. 105
What character from your work frightens you, makes you feel dirty to write?
Danna (Leader) is the dirt and the whole damn fright fest. She’s an evil, sexy mix of intelligence and insanity.
“What breed of Danna did we inherit this Earth?” he asks. “And how did Majeed score a pad like this?” He cruises the apartment, sifting through the bottles that line the bar. “Bro, he’s got a thirty-five-year-old whiskey here. Excellent.”
“Let me see that,” I demand as Darek holds it up like a waiter displaying a wine bottle. There is a piece of paper taped to it. Written in the same black marker that tags Jash’s hand are the words: hands off assholes. this is for a special occasion. Darek laughs and I smirk knowing we will probably attack that bottle by the end of the week.
“Danna is…” I stop to think about this. What breed of Danna? “Complex, embellished. Like a sultry, spiteful serpent.” My description unveils the fear I’ve tried to bury the last two days. Earth No. 105 has delivered a demon. A demon named Danna.
Earth No. 105: Birth
Proposal and Planning
Your main character walks into a bar. What happens?
He does actually walk into a bar (often):
I dress in my black cop gear and teleport to the West Side Tavern to meet Darek and Jash. I pace in the alley, preparing myself for Darek’s rage. I enter and find them sitting at the bar drinking whiskey; both have somber expressions. Jash’s eyes dart to me standing idle in the doorway. His body tenses, sounding the alarm, warning me without words. His expression confirms what I’ve been dreading, Darek is untamable. Slowly, I take the first step in their direction. Before my foot even touches the floor, Darek charges, flying at me like a supersonic psychopath.
“Darek. I have something to tell you. Let’s talk this out,” I plead with him telepathically. He lands before me in a wide stance with clenched fists. He stares me in the face with blue, vicious dark eyes and a tight-lipped smile. His body twitches, unable to contain the anger simmering inside.
“I hope you sent your clone fuck head!” Darek yells grabbing me by the arm and hurling me through the bar window as the non-Immunes fearfully scurry about hiding under tables and running for the exit.
So much for having a civilized conversation. I lay face to sidewalk blanketed in glass. The non-Immunes gather around forming a circle; some try to assist, some call for help and some take pictures. Think Zander. Think. How do I fix this? Blood is starting to pool beneath my body. I push myself up from the ground; the motion causes pieces of broken glass to embed deeply into my hands and knees. The crowd of non-Immunes cries out in horror as I stand before them with shards of glass protruding from my skin. I scan the faces. How do I fix this? I can’t. Not without Darek. They are eerily quiet, breathless with anticipation. I pluck a piece of glass from my face that was dangerously close to my eye and toss it to the ground, causing the crowd to expel a gasp of dismay in unison. Sirens howl in the distance, growing louder and louder. I stand with my back to the bar, my body littered with lacerations while cellphones flash and blood streams from my shredded flesh like a river of molten lava. I need to get out of here. This drama unfolding for the world to witness needs to be deleted. Damn you Darek!
Earth No. 105: Birth
The Downfall on Date Night
When you are writing, tell me about the emotions that are running through you and what it takes to work alongside them.
Emotions? I’m not sure what runs through me while writing is an emotion. It is more like a prolonged hysteria as my mind forces the release of its creations. An uncontrolled acceleration with the objective being the transfer of the creation to words before my mind shuts down or worse, creates an alternative. Wow. That was therapeutic and maybe a bit bizarre. I’m really not that intense, emotionally detached…maybe.
How do you police your production? Do you have a word quota, or a page goal, maybe you work for a set amount of time? Do you place demands on yourself when you’re working? How do you meet those demands?
I don’t set quotas or goals. I place no demands on myself in any aspects of my life. Goals, time restraints, things like that have never been my thing. That being said, I recall many times where they would have come in handy. I get lost in the writing process. My thoughts are consuming and my mind blocks out all that surrounds me. Writing is my creative release and cannot be restrained by time, demands or goals.
A publishing house gets ahold of you and wants you to take over writing an established character. For instance, DC Comics calls you and tells you they want you to take over writing Batman. What is the dream? What established character would you love to write?
Leonard Snart, a.k.a Captain Cold is my type of guy: a badass with a kind heart. I wouldn’t change much about him. He is perfect as he is but I would definitely make him more of a player. He has the potential to be just as hot as Captain America but cooler (pun intended).
Everyone has at least one specific challenge that holds him or her back. What is that challenge in your work and how do you overcome it?
The Earth No. 105 series is written in the present tense/first person. Being new to writing, I was not aware that this rare. The personalities are so strong, so intense; I was present as I wrote, with them. It suits the series and readers have told me that they befriended the characters as a result.
The problem is that I cannot get myself out of the book. My warped mind drags me in and suddenly it’s “say” and “see” instead of “said” and “saw”. To overcome it, I will have my trusted editor extract my errors, make notes of my shortcomings and move on to the next adventure.
How did you find the time to write this book with your busy life? What ideas do you have on how others can make time in their lives?
I have a full-time job, long commute, a nine-year-old and a dog so needless to say, I have very little me-time. Luckily, I am a night owl by nature and even if my life rejects that premise, I cannot fall asleep before midnight. I do most of my creative writing during the late hours. I have little to offer for ideas to make time for writing. It is a struggle and I can often be found at soccer practices wrapped in a blanket wearing those fingerless gloves typing away in my folding chair. The only suggestion I have would be to learn to type correctly. To type correctly means using all ten fingers and never looking at the keyboard. Finger speed increases productivity. A writer who cannot type is like a Jedi without a lightsaber.
Without giving any spoilers, what is your favorite thing about this book?
Jash Majeed. https://kyraleary.com/2016/11/17/jash-majeed/
If we wanted a good story—book, show or movie—one that you didn’t write, where would you send us?
To my fellow Indie authors. There are so many great minds sorted and categorized into the oblivion called Amazon. These great minds might have a typo or two and a less than operational website but they write a good story. A story written from the heart, not from their bank account. I would send you to the unknowns. I review them at: https://kyraleary.com/book-reviews/
Let’s talk about tools. Do you have a word processor that you would tell us to use? Is there a certain computer that has become your favorite? What do you look for in a keyboard? What would you absolutely have to have if you were to sit down and write your next book?
I cannot live without my MacBook Pro. It is an extension of my being. Maybe that is a bit strong but I love it dearly. And wine. A nice, strong red.
If we read your work and crave more, can we find more that you have written? Will we ever see another book by you? If we fall in love with your work, how can we find you and everything you have done?
Everything I have done? There are things I have done that will never admit but my books, stories and art can be found at www.kyraleary.com.