Interview with fantasy adventure author S.S. Dudley

Today’s spotlight shines on the fantasy/adventure novel Elf
Hills
by S.S. Dudley.

During his virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, S.S.
will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn
winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use
the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.
Author bio
and links:
S.
S. Dudley grew up in Wyoming, USA, an avid reader and lover of the outdoors. He
studied at the University of Wyoming and the University of Illinois. He started
his first book (an epic fantasy hand-written in with a blue fountain pen…) when
he was 13, but never finished it. At some point (as his mother recently
reminded him), he decided that he needed to go do something (like get a job)
for a while before he could, or should, write. He did, and spent time in
Colombia, Panamá, Antarctica and the dark recesses of large science buildings
on college campuses. That done, he now writes, lives and runs in Northern
California with his wife and two children. He can be found at
http://www.ssdudley.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
Please
tell us a bit about Elf Hills:
Something strange, something magical, is going on in the dusty
hills behind the small town of Villaloma. Yet each time Linda Peters puts on
her running shoes and sets out to find the enchanted kingdom she imagines—full
of dancing elves, unicorns, and more—something stops her. And with school
starting soon, she only has a few more chances to really search the hills.
While Linda’s frustration and doubt grow, her cousin, Nugu, looks
for answers in his books and wonders if maybe, just maybe, Linda’s stories are
for real.
The day finally arrives when Linda can run far, the day she is
sure she will find her magic city. But when she and Nugu feel their goal must
lie just beyond the next hill, they only find more hill.
Is it all a figment of an over-active imagination; a wistful
fantasy?
Or is there truly something magical in those hills that only the
strong of heart—and leg—can discover?
Excerpt from Elf Hills
© 2014 by S. S. Dudley
From Chapter 4:
A rustle from a bush to the side of
the trail attracted his attention. He watched, expecting a rabbit or ground
squirrel to pop out and hoping for a snake or something he could actually
catch. Distracted from his search, he quietly picked his way down from the
rocks, watching the bush. It rustled again as his foot touched down.
A wave of apprehension washed over
him. Something about the moment was familiar, as if he had been in this
situation before. The images were vague, so he dismissed them. His imagination
got away from him sometimes.
He tiptoed toward the bush, his eyes
scanning and probing, looking for a sign of the critter hidden underneath.
He reached out to grab a branch and
pull it back—again the images washed over him, memories… There! It was a… a
raccoon? Big round eyes, a wide face with a black, furry mask, short stubby
ears, and lots of fur. It was holding something shiny in its hands—paws? The
creature quickly concealed what it held and growled, showing a mouthful of
teeth.
“Augh!” Nugu fell back,
scrambling like a crab.
A safe ten feet away, Nugu watched
the bush. It rattled again. The raccoon—it could only be a raccoon, he
thought—waddled out into the open. It was walking on two feet. Do raccoons walk
on two feet? Nugu tried to remember all of the animal documentaries he had
seen. Maybe? And do raccoons get so big? This guy looked like he could take on
Jeremiah, Nugu’s four-year-old (almost five) brother. It reminded Nugu of
something else entirely, some creature from a book… or a movie.
Unconsciously, feeling more nervous,
Nugu took a couple steps backward.
The big, standing raccoon looked at
him, and threw its arms in the air. “BaaaagahLOO!” it grunted. Nugu
jumped straight up, turned, and ran.
Any weird things you
do when you’re alone?
Nap.
As a writer, it is darn hard to write when you are sleepy and can’t motivate
yourself to move your fingers. So I lay down and take a nap. But I am
particular: I lay down on the floor, legs crossed, arms crossed across my
chest, and usually for 21 to 26 minutes. Depending on how tired I feel. I
discovered this in college once. Can still remember that day. Getting into
position, sleeping profoundly for 21 minutes, and waking completely refreshed
and ready for more studying. It works like a charm most times.
What do you think you’re
really good at?
I’m
a good dad. A pretty good husband (though I’ve been known to be a bit spacey).
I believe strongly in my abilities as a writer and editor. I have extensive
experience in these, even though I am only just now starting to write fiction.
I’m a good mentor, too. So I’ve been told, anyway. Once upon a time I was very
good in martial arts and swimming.

What do you think you’re really bad at?
Ugh.
That’s a long list. Remembering things. Staying focused. Being selfish (yes, a
strange one, but it gets to a point where I get in the way of my own dreams.
One has to be a bit selfish about their time and energy to move forward).
Steven Pressfield would call it “resistance.” Saving money. Braiding
hair. Cracking eggs (Yes, I know. My six-year-old laughs at me).


Is
your life anything like it was two years ago?

Um…
for the most part. I live in the same town, my day job is the same day job. I
am writing. The biggest change has been the arrival of my son into the world.
He threw a huge wrench into our otherwise organized lives. A good wrench. But
wow, going from one to two kids—for us, anyway—was tough. Somehow I managed to
get the books written while also doing the day job and changing several
thousand diapers. Oh yeah, and not sleeping.
I
have published books now, too. That’s a big difference. It makes the writing
“real.”
Anything else you’d
like readers to know?
·  The e-book price is $0.99, paperback
$8.99. 
·  Kindle version and paperback are available
from Amazon.
·  ePub, PDF, Kindle and other versions are
available from Smashwords here: Smashwords
·  Folks who sign up for my newsletter through
my website can have the e-book free.
·  Folks who purchase through my Website
(Kindle, ePub, PDF; via payhip.com) and share their purchase via
social media can have it 50% off.
·  iBooks and B&N coming soon.
Thanks, S.S.!

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