Monday, 16 December 2013

BLOG TOUR - Platform 21 by T.R. Patrick (Interview & Giveaway)

Title: Platform 21
Author: T.R. Patrick
Series: Beyond the Veil #1
Publication date: October 1st 2013

*Best Debut Author of 2013" award from the Bookworm Best Awards*

Luke’s life is about to take a dangerous turn. 

But first he has to die. 

In the year 2052, high school sophomore Luke Gibson considers himself an average teenager in a world on the brink of monumental change. Joining his parents and sister, Laura, at the first World Energy Initiative Conference, he is among thousands gathered in a Denver arena to celebrate free renewable energy when a massive earthquake strikes killing everyone in the stadium. The last thing Luke sees before his death is a girl reaching out to him—a stranger whose face he remembers from his dreams. 

The end, however, is not the end. Suddenly, inexplicably, Luke is back home in Ohio and everything is different. His sister is gone, the victim in an unsolved homicide years before. Angela, his mysterious dream girl, is here also, and the only person besides Luke who recalls the previous reality. And now their determination to uncover the truth about Laura’s murder and their transformed world is making them targets—forced to flee for their lives from a nameless shadow organization and a government seeking vengeance for an unthinkable act of terror—as they stand on the threshold of a dark conspiracy that threatens all humankind. 

With Platform 21, a brilliantly inventive and unrelentingly exciting excursion to a troubled near-future, author T.R. Patrick joins the ranks of Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Veronica Roth (Divergent), Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four) and other masters of YA speculative suspense fiction. The first book in the “Beyond the Veil” series, Platform 21 follows teenager Luke Gibson up to and beyond his death in a horrific terrorist attack in Denver in the year 2052. Reawakening in a world strangely transformed, Luke sets out to uncover the truth about his new reality—joining forces with Angela, a girl he had seen previously in his dreams, in a desperate race for survival that will propel them across the threshold of an insidious global conspiracy that threatens the future of all humanity. 


1) How did you come up with the idea for Platform 21?

In a nutshell, the voices in my head told me what to write …

Platform 21, and the rest of the Beyond the Veil series, is a Character driven story. There was an idea that sparked the story, something that is now merely a shadow of what the story has become. In fact, the original concept for the book is now so obscure; I’d rather not talk about it.

I developed the general idea of the story, created a world with its own set of rules, and took bits and pieces of history from real life. Afterwards, I combined it with legends, myth, and conspiracy. What if every conspiracy theory was true? What if the world as we know it is a lie? Platform 21 is set in such a world.

From there, I developed an encyclopedia of characters. Each character has their own motives, purpose, and reason to exist that is personal to them. You have to remember, everyone thinks they are the main character of their own story. Your main characters are only as good as your supporting cast. If your supporting cast is weak, everything else suffers along with it. With this in mind, I wanted to let the characters drive the direction of the story. So – I didn’t outline. I simply began writing from a particular event, and let the characters decide how they would react to one another, and their world.

The rest, as they say, is history. The characters crafted this story, not me. There were moments when a character would do something that left me shocked and in a state of awe. One character in particular changed the direction, scope and trajectory of the entire series. One minute I thought I knew how a chapter would end, suddenly I realized the character wanted something completely different.

So – where did the idea of Platform 21 come from? Perhaps the voices in my head would give a better answer.

2) Describe Platform 21 in the length of a tweet, 140 characters or less

Near-Future YA Dystopian - 16yo Luke investigates changed reality, and his murdered sister; stumbles over worldwide conspiracy. #zombies???

3) How many books are planned for the series? 

There are eight books planned for this series, but then again – you might want to check with those voices in my head. They might want to stick around for longer than that.

4) Do you have any other projects lined up?

No – With eight books in this series and a full time job, my focus is on getting out the rest of the Beyond the Veil series. I’ve already have reviewers threaten to hunt my down if the next one doesn’t come out soon, so I’d better get on it!

The next book of the series is titled, “The Vorago Initiative” and I’m expecting a summer release (no promises!).

5) Do you have a specific writing process?

Type what the voices tell me to type …

No – there is absolutely more to it than that. I really believe in world building, and developing every character that steps foot on a page in my writing. There isn’t a single character that is only introduced once in my series, and if a character has a name, he or she has a purpose. I believe we are all connected with one another in some way, shape, and/or form. Illustrating this in Platform 21 has been a great joy.

So, it all begins with drafting the rules of the world – the characters, setting, and research. Everything must be done in great detail. Research was very important to Platform 21 as the story’s setting in East Liverpool, OH was very important. The city itself is the book’s most important character. I needed to know this city as though I always lived there. Even though my first visit was just last year, the locals who have read Platform 21 think I have a deep rooted East Liverpool connection. It’s all because of the research I did and the friendly help and advice of a few local historians.

After developing the setting and characters independently of the featured writing, I conceptualized the beginning and ending of the book. I dropped my characters into the setting, and let them interact with one another as they would. This requires a lot of role-playing on my part, and this can be quite exhausting (and focus intensive). It certainly isn’t the easy way to write a book, but I think the writing is better off because of this. My characters are free to direct themselves, and I never force them into a particular direction.

As characters surprise me, I do have to take a step back and figure out how it changes things. One strange decision on the part of any character can change the entire story. There are so many moving parts, just as it is in real life, that just one minor difference could mean a significantly different outcome than what I originally anticipated. It’s a fun way to write, but definitely challenging.

6) What do you like to do when you aren't writing? 

I’m all over the place, so the list might be a bit long. Aside from writing, I have a number of fun hobbies to include riding my motorcycle, going boating in the Chesapeake, playing poker, or gaming. I absolutely hate to sit idle for long, and I’m not the type to follow a television series from beginning to end. 

To me, everything I do is about seeing the world. Not just as it is, but also how others see it. I want to see with someone else’s perspective and pick apart the world. I want to understand it on more than just a surface level. I’m a big picture guy, and the deeper I dig into our world the more I begin to realize just how massive it really is. We live in an incredible place filled with far more mystery than we are willing to credit. It’s this sense of creativity that drove me to write Platform 21. I want to write about the little mysteries and stories most people know nothing about. It’s my hope to inspire others to explore the fascinating places I’ve only just stumbled upon.

7) Have you always wanted to be a writer? 

Yes, though I suppose there was a time when I was five or six that I wanted to be a police officer or a fireman . . .

8) Who are some of your favourite authors?

Most of my favorite authors are well known and I’m certain most people are tired of hearing about them. So, I want to give a shout out to a little known author that shaped the way I write.

T.A. Barron is the author of the, “Lost Years of Merlin” series. I read every single one I could get my hands on during my Middle School years. He, in my humble opinion, was one of the most overlooked MG/YA writers of the Post-Harry Potter era. Perhaps it was the subject of Merlin which left him mostly undiscovered, but he delved into a world far different than anything I’ve encountered regarding Camelot, and the Merlin we are all familiar with. However, he is making a resurgence as more and more people are discovering his work!

The first book of T.A. Barron’s that I read was “The Merlin Effect.” It left one heck of a lasting impression with me. I grew as a reader and a writer as I continued along my journey with Merlin in his younger years. Unfortunately, I’m the only person I know who has read the series! So please – go out there and try it out! It is definitely worth the read (and I hear a movie inspired by ‘The Lost Years of Merlin’ is in production!)


Author Bio:
Author Timothy R. Patrick, born in 1985, started writing when he was only nine, delivering his first short story to his Mom for her birthday. Since then, writing has been an incredible passion. Every chance he could write, he took it. He even scratched out a few stories in Naval Boot Camp at Great Lakes, Illinois.

Tim spent four years in the Navy achieving the rank of Petty Officer 2nd class. He served three years aboard USS Chosin and was deployed twice in support of the Global War on Terror, and Iraqi Freedom. However, he would always be remembered as the guy who sat in the corner of the mess decks writing a book he would never release. He said it wasn't good enough.

After his time in the Navy, Tim became a Test Engineer working for companies like Scientific Research Corporation and Hewlett Packard. During this phase of his life he moved to Charleston, South Carolina where he bought a home and tried to settle into the American Dream. But Tim wasn't content with that, he wanted to do something more than work the 9 to 5. So, he tried his hand at politics and ran for Dorchester County Council as an Independent. They said he was too young and verbose. After losing the election, he decided to try his hand at writing instead.

Today, Timothy Patrick is the author of, Platform 21 - the first installment of the "Beyond the Veil" series. Platform 21 is a novel set in the near future which follows a young man on a journey to solve his sister's murder in the midst of global conspiracy. His current project is, The Vorago Initiative - which picks up right where Platform 21 left off.


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