Monday, March 7, 2011

Author Interview Series -Eric Krause

I love this picture. It looks like you
can win your own writer with $.50 and a claw.
Please welcome Eric Krause to So, Write!  I've been a fan of Eric's flash fiction for a while now and am super excited to have him here today to talk about his middle grade book Way Over the Line.  

Please tell us a little about yourself and what motivated you to start writing. 
I've been writing since elementary school. It started simply to entertain myself and my family members. The earliest stories I remember were "epic yarns" about the battle between Gummy Bears and Gummy Worms--well, they were epic to me, anyway. The praise my family heaped on me hooked me on writing fiction.

Now I write because I can't stop. Stories bombard me, and I need to get them down on paper or risk having my brain explode. (Though I often wonder if my skull would blow, too, or if the grey matter would simply run out my nose…) I've been published various times in various ezines, and that has helped my zest for the craft stay alive, as well.

I also post flash fiction stories on my blog (almost) every Friday for Friday Flash. Mondays on my blog are reserved for speculative fiction writing prompts, which I hope help other fiction writers find ideas. I also occasionally post "how-to" writing articles. You can find all of these, and more, on my blog: Eric J. Krause's Writing Spot.

What is Way Over the Line about? 
Jessie Campbell loves baseball, but he's terrified of the ball. Though he can make great running catches,  
if a ball is hit right at him, he'll duck out of the way. And forget about batting. When he and his best friend, Ryder Gonzalez, are abducted by space aliens, the boys learn that the aliens want Ryder to play in the huge Intergalactic Over the Line Tournament. Jessie is only along for the ride. He soon learns, however, that this won't be a simple spectator sport. He'll need to deal with horrors such as space pirates, and, even worse, actually participating on the field. With the help of Ryder, his alien teammates, a cute girl from another planet, and even Mickey Martell, the best baseball player in the Universe, Jessie must learn to push away his fears and focus on learning how to better play the game--both mentally and physically.

And if all of that wasn't enough pressure, there's also whisperings that he may be the fabled Chosen One, destined to bring the championship to his team.

How did you come up with the idea for Way Over the Line
Way Over the Line came to me first as an idea of baseball in space. I've always loved stories where games or sports are portrayed in a normal light, but with a bit of a twist to make them different. I had a few glimpses at how I wanted the game to be played, but I didn't have a story. The images, however, wouldn't leave me alone, so I began free writing and playing "What if?" to come to an understanding of the plot. The more words I doodled, the more the story solidified. Nothing would ever have happened with this book, though, if I hadn't originally pictured a young teen trying to bat against a robot hurling 100 MPH fastballs.

What makes Way Over the Line different or special compared to the other titles in the genre?
Way Over the Line
takes the very recognizable sport of baseball and places it in a science fiction setting. There are spaceships, aliens, lizard space pirates, and prophecies to go along with batters, fielders, and home runs. I hope readers will find this to be a fun change of pace from traditional sports stories and science fiction tales.

What type of reader will enjoy this book the most? 
This book is aimed at the 10-13 year old baseball and/or science fiction fan, but anyone who enjoys either genre can get a kick out of Way Over the Line. I also hope readers of all ages will enjoy following the emotional and physical growth of Jessie, the main character.

What has been the most difficult part of the publishing process for you? The most rewarding? 
The most difficult part of the process is marketing. The link to purchase Way Over the Line is prominently displayed on my blog, and I use Twitter (you can find me, @ericjkrause, at: and Facebook (my author page is here: quite a bit to get the word out. But having said that, I feel like very few people know about the book. That gets a bit frustrating.

Hands down the most rewarding part of the process is when I get a purchase notification. Not because of the incoming money (which is, don't get me wrong, nice), but because I know someone will have a chance to read the story. I'm hoping to hear what readers think of it. I'd love to know via Twitter, Facebook, my blog, or as reviews on the website where it was purchased.

Where can we buy your book? 
Way Over the Line is available only as an ebook. You can find it at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Apple iBookstore (if not now, very soon). You can visit my blog page for all of the links.

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to talk about Way Over the Line, Gen. Good luck with your upcoming release. I'm looking forward to reading it!

Thanks Eric!  I'm adding this one to my TBR pile for sure. I know my daughter would love this one.

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