Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interview & Book Giveaway: Austin Boyd and Brannon Hollingsworth ~ Authors of H2O the Novel!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Austin & Brannon! Will you tell us a little about H2O?


Brannon: Sure! H20 is a speculative Christian fiction that examines the truth that the water that is here on this planet now is the same water that’s always been here. So what if, when you touched that water, you were granted a knee-buckling vision of something that water had seen at some point in the past? How would you deal with it? In H20, we get to see how Kate Pepper grapples with that very intriguing quandary! (Oh, and did I mention its 1st Person POV of Kate, a 29 year old highly successful business woman, written by two guys?!)

What's something the average reader wouldn't know about you?

Brannon: Well, since I’m a relatively new face to the publishing market, I would say just about everything! However, that’s way too easy an answer and it’s not nearly fulfilling enough, so I guess I would have to say that I’m a relatively “new” Christian – I was saved only six years ago!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?


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Austin Boyd
Austin: Third grade. I wrote a very simple kid’s poetry anthology for my teacher, Ms. Hawkins, in LaMarque, Texas. She'd inspired me so much to read and to write that I wanted to give something back in return. As a third grader, she encouraged me to read (and understand) James Fennimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans... a challenging tome for a 10 year old. And she made me write a summary of every book I read. Under her wise tutelage I consumed books, and filled up a box with the little 3x5 card summaries. I loved to read and to write... and I've been writing ever since.

Brannon: The 5th grade – I remember it vividly. I participated in a writing contest and won. It was at that moment I KNEW I wanted to be a writer. I’ve been working and striving to make that happen ever since that day.

How did H2O come about?
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Brannon Hollingsworth 

 Austin: Brannon tells the story best. For my part, I was between contracts with publishers and wanted something new and challenging to test me and to test my writing. The idea of a "fantasy" novel, told in first person female, was an incredible challenge... and I jumped at it. I've been very glad that I listened to Brannon... his concept for the novel was brilliant.
 
Brannon: Well, you probably won’t believe it, but the core concept of the book came to me when I splashed my face with water! The idea stunned me in its completeness and originality – I know that it was God speaking to me – no doubt about it. Eventually, after much prompting by the Holy Spirit (I was very reluctant, I’ll admit), I pitched the idea of co-authoring to Austin. He loved it and, as they say, we were off to the races!

How many books have you written and do you have a favorite?

Nobody's ChildAustin: I have written six novels (2006 – 2011), an anthology of poetry (1978), and many magazine articles (1978 – 1998). My favorite? The "book of my heart," as my editors at Zondervan call it, is Nobody's Child. My editor, Sue Brower, encouraged me to write a novel that was as descriptive as my poetry. I loved every minute of that assignment. But my favorite novel for proclaiming Scripture is very much H2O. A “fantasy” novel finally gave me the freedom to express Scripture in a way other than showing faith in the lives of a character, or quoting a Scripture verse. In this novel, we tell Bible water stories from the point of view of water, inside one of Kate’s visions... and I very much enjoyed that writing experience.  

Brannon: Technically, H20 is my first novel. However, I’ve co-authored and contributed to a ton of stuff: mosaic novels, anthologies, over 30 books in the RPG industry and many articles in RPG magazines. Also, I own my own company, Ignitus Innovation, Inc. (http://www.untoldthegame.com/i3) and we create and publish many games and game-related PDFs and books, as well as our flagship product, a card-based RPG called Untold: http://www.untoldthegame.com; I’ve had my hand in all of those products in various roles: concept creation, writer, editor, art director, layout guy, etc. I don’t think I have a favorite book – they’re kind of like my children…I love them all equally, but in different ways. I love the emotive heart of H20 and its clear and unadulterated statement of the Truth. I love Skein of Shadows (my mosaic novel) because it was such a blast to write, and I got to write with my best pals on the planet. I love my Untold work because it was an idea that I was able to grow from a mere seed into an entire product line and company. Each of my works has a special place in my heart for a specific reason, but none of them specifically “trumps” the others.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Austin: I read many books… about politics, about Islam, all sorts of novels, and how-to books about woodworking, bicycling, and writing. I ride a bicycle when I am not writing... sometimes I ride it very far. I love distance cycling and road touring. My goals are to ride from Huntsville, AL to Washington, DC next summer, and… maybe one year… from Key West to Fairbanks, Alaska. At night and in bad weather I work in a woodshop to build furniture for my family and newly married kids. I don’t watch much (if any) television.


Brannon: Even though I don’t get to go very often, I love backpacking, hiking, kayaking and exploring. Anything that takes me off the beaten path and exposes me to a new horizon or a new experience – those things energize me like nothing else. I have many, many passions, however: teaching, speaking, reading and playing music are just a few of them. My wife and I home school our four younger children as well, so a lot of time is spent opening my children’s eyes to God’s wonderful world and igniting their passion to learn. It’s awesome stuff.


Do you have a favorite time of year?

Austin: No doubt about this answer. I love the fall. The colors, the smells of the leaves, the fall carnivals, and hunting season. I love archery, and there's something eternally peaceful about spending part of a day stalk-hunting through damp fall woods, becoming one with nature.  

Brannon: Fall, hands down. Best time for backpacking (when the water’s running) and the best time to be outside in my humble opinion. Also, Thanksgiving’s in there too, which is my favorite holiday.

What are three things you wouldn't want to do without (besides the Bible, food, and family)?  

Austin: My bicycle, my Thesaurus… and my imagination.


Brannon: Hurm…three things that I wouldn’t want to do without would have to by my faith, my friends and my imagination. (Sorry, I tried hard for the whole alliteration thing, and it just wasn’t happening…I guess I could have gone for “furtive imagination…”)

Favorite movie and/or song?

Austin: Movie -- Last of the Mohicans. Song: Bridge Over Troubled Waters.



Brannon: I actually don’t. I love tons of different kinds of music and love to compose my own tunes as well, but it really depends on my mood as to what I’m looking for in terms of music. Sometimes I want driving rock, sometimes some ethereal classical, and sometimes something funky and groovy. With movies, it’s very much the same – I don’t watch a lot of movies and almost no T.V., so if I spend my precious moments on staring at the “boob tube” it is with the goal of being inspired or seeking some sort of information. I love epic movies, adventures, and fantastical stuff just as much as a well-formed documentary or “Dirty Jobs”!

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

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Austin: Philippians 4:6 is perhaps the one I quote the most -- "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” It helps me deal with the stresses of a 60-hour job as a CEO, deal with the stresses of health issues that we’re handling at home, and hold fast to God’s promise that He has everything under His control. Worry is wasted emotional energy, inspired by the enemy. 


Brannon: I’m a big James fan (I just love the way he tells it like it is), so one of my “hip pocket” verses is James 5:12 – it doesn’t get much plainer than that.


What do you hope readers take away from H2O?

Austin: I want readers to capture a love of the incredible imagery of the Bible. See the water dripping over Jesus’s head in the Jordan River, feel the water pouring from His side on the cross. The Bible is filled to overflowing with beautiful imagery, yet we tend to analyze it so thoroughly in our study that we miss the chance to immerse ourselves in the beauty of what it describes. Perhaps, for me, that realization became most clear when I actually stood in the Jordan River in Israel, touched reeds that were bathed by the same waters that baptized Jesus millennia ago.




Brannon: It’s my hope that readers see that there’s a true and undying love that exists that yearns for THEM. No matter what they’ve done and no matter how dirty they think they might be, it’s never too late to become clean. I hope that their eyes are opened to Truth in a way that surprises and fascinates them all in the same moment.

Are you currently working on any new novels? Do you plan on writing another book together?

Austin: Absolutely. We’ll release O2, another “fantasy” from AMG as part of “The Eternal Elements” series, in December 2012. I am also working on the second novel in my series “The Pandora Files,” a suspense series with Zondervan. It’s going to be a busy year!




Brannon: Absolutely – Austin and I are currently working on the next book in The Eternal Elements series, entitled O2 and we’ve already got preliminary plans for many other books in the series too. I’ve got a ton of ideas that I’m kicking around in my head for solo projects (or possibly other collab stuff) but there’s nothing concrete at the moment.

Thank you both so much for being here! Where can we find you on the web?

Austin: My web site is www.austinboyd.com

Our novel web site is www.H2OtheNovel.com



Brannon: Thank you for having us! I am all over the place, on all the social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+. etc. I have all those links compiled into a single place on my personal website (which is http://brannonhollingsworth.com, BTW). You can find all of those links here: http://brannonhollingsworth.com/press
The official website for the novel (maintained by the publisher) is http://www.h20thenovel.com


Book giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of H2O the Novel! This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends 1/24


a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fun novel! Yay! I love speculative fiction.

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  2. Oh would love to read it now...did not know of it..the author interview is one of the best ever...thanks for doing it...and Happy Anniversary
    jackie
    at jackiepaulson8@gmail.com
    book reviews done at
    http://getreadingnow.wordpress.com

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  3. jackie paulson at jackiepaulson8@gmail.com
    sounds like something I want to read in my TBR BOOKS OF 2012.

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  4. Very cool concept. Best of luck with the book.

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  5. This is a new novel for me. Thanks for the spotlight. I'll be sure to check this one out.

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  6. Hi Austin and Brannon! Glad to get to know you a little. H2O sounds unique and intriguing.

    I work with Christian Author D.I. Telbat and he has sold a couple of stories written from the female POV also, so it can be done! ;)

    Wishing you much success with the book and your other projects.

    Thanks for the interview, Melanie!

    Dee for D.I. Telbat

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  7. Wow this book sounds good, I would love to win it! This was a really cool interview!

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  8. What an amazing story concept! No doubt that it was definitely divinely inspired. I'd love to read this book. It sounds incredible!
    rrgreene62(at)gmail.com

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  9. I enjoyed reading about the author and the interesting basis of this story H2O

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  10. I very much enjoyed reading about the author and the basis of this story which really proposes and interesting question.

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  11. this sounds like an interesting book to read!

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  12. I'm a Christian, too, and this premise definitely intrigues me! Thanks for the chance to win a copy:)

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  13. I would love to win a copy of this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  14. I think Brannon is amazing an amazing person, I would love to read his latest

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  15. This sounds like an interesting book!!

    cbus.blogger@gmail.com

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  16. you wrote a wonderful review - I am hooked to "What If" type of books and I have added ths book to my *to read* list

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    Louis
    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

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  17. I would looove to read this, even if I don't win I'll still buy it. :)

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  18. Ooh! This sounds really good! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  19. I agree with Austin, Bridge Over Troubled Water is one of my favorite songs as well.
    Thanks for the chance to win this cool book.

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  20. Awesome Review and interview!! Would love to read this book!!

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  21. Sounds great! I haven't heard of this book until now, but it looks like a great read! Thanks for hosting the giveaway. (:

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  22. Sounds great! I love clean books, and this one sounds like it's a real winner. (: Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

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  23. Sounds like a great book!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

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  24. I'd love a chance to read this book!

    unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  25. This book sounds very interesting. I enjoyed reading the post.

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  26. I would love to win this sounds like a great book!

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