G. Lloyd Helm will be awarding 10 paperback copies of the book to 10 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. (international giveaway)
MEET G. LIOYD HELM
My CV is --68 yrs. Married 45 years, 6'3" More or less good health--Now then I assume you want something a little less chilly, so I am a ne'er-do-well scribbler who lives off the largess of my eternally patient wife. Through her kindness and former position in the U.S Air Force I have traveled around the world, including three years in Spain, four years in Germany, and three years in Italy, Also three years in Virginia, six long years in Indiana, and shorter stents elsewhere. I read voraciously and omnivorously. Been an actor, librarian, brick layer, store clerk, taxi driver, carpenter and a few dozen other things. I'll talk to anybody about anything.
What was your first book?
My first book was a strange fantasy about a man who could stop war by simply saying Stop! It is called Other Doors and it is available from Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Because the story was so different and because no one had ever heard of me I couldn't get anyone to publish it so I put a publishing company together to do it myself. Mouse Prints Publishing. I have sold hundreds of copies of OD on Military bases around the world. I have the honor of being able to say that since OD came out in 1996 it has gone to every war zone in the world. There are still times now when uniformed strangers see me selling books and greet me with the words "Peace be with you." which is a tag line from the book.
Describe your first break.
Hard question. Not sure I have had one yet, though when Rogue Phoenix picked up Other Doors and re-published it that was somewhat of a break. Still, I have yet to get on a best seller list and most of my sales have come from me going out to Book fairs and swap meets and gift shows. I've sold a lot of books like that.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
I don't really have a favorite genre, though I used to read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, but even then I read all kinds of stuff. Like I said before I'm omnivorous. I'm also a historian so I also read quite a bit of history and philosophies of history. As to what I write, I have books in several genre. Other Doors is fantasy, but unlike any other out there, Design my second book is "Soft Science Fiction" which means that the story is more important than the hardware. Sometimes in Dreams is a kind of a twisted romance. World Without End is hard to classify. I'd say fantasy but again, no elves or magicians. It is a story about a drought. Then comes Train wheels, flying saucers and the ghost of Tiburcio Vasquez, which is a volume of short stories. They are fantasy adventures that all start in bars and end in bars. They are amusing.
And now comes Serpents and Doves which is straight ahead literature like East of Eden, or The Sun Also Rises. I have even been compared to Hemingway a couple of times, especially in Sometimes in Dreams which is set in Venice like Papa's Across the River and into the Trees.
Are Happy Endings are must in your stories?
No. Though to me "happy ending" is a tough concept. A Happy ending could be when everybody dies at the end. And what might be thought of as a happy ending, "they marry, have two kids and live together for fifty years," might be more tragic than happy.
What makes a protagonist interesting?
Reality. Good guys aren't always completely good and bad guys aren't always completely bad. A good protagonist is a mix of good and bad, smart and stupid; lucky and unlucky. Humanity. If the reader is convinced that the protagonist could be him or herself that makes it interesting.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
Creation. I love being the god of the worlds I create. I like having power, but some of my best stories are of people dumped into situations where their power is curtailed or bent.
What is the worst thing?
I have two answers for that. The worst thing is that I have trouble getting my mind to focus so I end up procrastinating which makes me feel bad--depressed, But once I get to it and begin working the worst thing is killing off characters. I am very much like God the creator in that I love all my creatures, even those who sometimes aren't so lovable, and I hate having to kill them off even when it has to be done. I will freely admit I often cry when I have to kill someone off.
Pantser or plotter?
Another question that doesn't really fit me. I guess I would have to say Pantser because I don't outline anything. I often will scribble down notes of what I want to include in the book but it isn't really an outline. I know where I want to start and where I want to end but the middle is kind of a crap shoot.
What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.
My direction is going to be more of the same, but I am currently working on a movie script from my first novel Other Doors I would really like to find a producer willing to make a movie about peace rather than the usual battles. I am trying hard to promote peace in the world. I am also working on the follow up book from Other Doors. It is called The Jewel Within the Flame. It is about a third finished.
Here's a little taste of the beginning of the script--
A Screen Play from the Novel
SCENE-- FLICKERING TORCH LIT INTERIOR OF A CAVE, SLIMY WALLS, SOUND OF WATER DRIPPING.
Ben Fordham, Large well built man of 35 who is unconscious, is chained to a carven stone throne,
ANGLE ON FORDHAM'S FACE AS HE OPENS HIS EYES, STARTLED. HE TRIES TO GET FREE AND CAN'T BECAUSE HE IS CHAINED/STRAPPED TO A STONE CHAIR LIKE A THRONE. He looks around and catches a glimpse of his left forearm.
ANGLE down at his left arm, which is covered with a very elaborate tattoo. Fordham shakes his head trying to clear the cobwebs and remember where the tattoo came from. The sound of marching feet echoing in the cavern makes him snap his head up.
ANGLE on entrance opening from another part of the cave-- A troop of 5 men in Romanesque armor, four carrying spears the fifth clearly an officer/commander calls them to a halt.
Steps forward unlocks cuffs and leg irons, steps back.
FORDHAM HESITATES A MOMENT THEN TRIES TO OBEY BUT IS APPARENTLY TOO WEAK.
Stephen Mitchell did not know what he was getting into at a small church college in Tennessee. Sex, protest, friendship, and Civil rights. The title “Serpents and Doves” comes from the warning Jesus gave to his disciples as he sent them out to preach the gospel, knowing the dangers they were going into. He said “I send you out as sheep among wolves, therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Stephen Mitchell learns first-hand what that warning means when he goes to a Tennessee church college in the midst of the turbulent 60’s. He learns about friendship, war, protest, the sexual revolution, and civil rights.
Ethan’s suicide rocked the school, but not nearly as much as Stephen expected. The New Jersey and New York folks mostly didn’t know anything about Ethan or the BSU so they noted the suicide as a bit of news, but it didn’t effect them much. There was some anti-homosexual noise and the inevitable nasty jokes, but Ethan Patrick’s passing caused no more than a ripple for the most part.
There was some noise and protest from the Mason First Baptist Church when Billie Jo asked them to hold the funeral service, but finally they said they would bury him, but not in the church cemetery. They ignored the fact of his suicide and the reasons for it and held a small service. Stephen debated with himself whether he should go. He had about decided not to when Cathy Powell cornered him and asked if he would go with her. “I really don’t have the strength Steve,” she said. “I’m just a wreck. Can’t you please come with me?”
Stephen seriously thought about saying, Why don’t you go ask David Hall? But didn’t say it. “All right. I’ll meet you at the church.”
She smiled sadly, but Stephen thought he saw just the smallest glimmer of triumph in it.
The coffin was set across the aisle in front of the altar. Closed. It was silvery gray and looked more like a large tin can than a coffin. The congregation was small, mostly people from the BSU but a few from Beacon’s faculty including Dr. Conners and Dr. Marchant. Having the Pope there was no surprise. Probably here to make sure the sumbitch is really dead, Stephen thought, and then felt bad about thinking it.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
G. Lloyd Helm has been writing for 40 years, having published poetry in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers including “The New York Poetry Anthology,” “Stars and Stripes News,” “The Los Angeles Times,” “The Antelope Valley Press,” and “The Antelope Valley Anthologies,” among others.
… Has published short stories and memoirs both in the US and in England in such journals as “Pligrimage” which published the memoir “Football” in spring 2005, and a second memoir “4 April, 1968” in the winter of 2008. He has published short stories in “Citadel” the literary magazine of Los Angeles City College,” “Delivered Magazine,” which is based in London, “Short Story Library,” The University of S. Illinois’ “Eureka Literary Magazine,” “Tales as like as not,” and London’s “Black Gate Magazine.” Recently published “Even Up” a Civil War Ghost story at www.ruthlesspeoples.com, an English on line magazine, and the short story “A Lovely Elephant” in “Delivered Magazine” an English fiction journal. “The Other Fellows Shoes,” Pulp Empire III, Metahuman Press, Cedar Rapids, IA Nov. 2010. Is being published in an on line experiment from Alfie Dog Publishing in England. May 2012.
…Has published three novels in the F&SF field, 1) OTHER DOORS, From MousePrints Publishing, and 2) DESIGN from American Star. 3) WORLD WITHOUT END from Rogue Phoenix Press, www.roguephoenixpress.com OTHER DOORS, originally published in 1997, was published electronically by Rogue Phoenix Press in July 2010. Also Published a literary Romance novel called SOMETIMES IN DREAMS, from Siren’s call. Most recently a volume of short stories called TRAIN WHEELS, FLYING SAUCERS, AND THE GHOST OF TIBURCIO VASQUEZ. Many of these stories appear on the Alfie Dog site.
…Is in process of publishing an adult literary novel called SERPENTS AND DOVES with Rogue Phoenix Press, which will be out in May 2016.