What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* In the fourth grade, Russ Linton wrote down the vague goal of becoming a “writer and an artist” when he grew up. After a journey that led him from philosopher to graphic designer to stay at home parent and even a stint as an Investigative Specialist with the FBI, he finally got around to that “writing” part which he now pursues full time.
* Russ creates character-driven speculative fiction. His stories drip with blood, magic, and radioactive bugs. He writes for adults who are young at heart and youngsters who are old souls.
* Local / Personal Bio
* Russ lives in Denton, Texas where he writes beside an unnervingly quiet dog with the support of his history-obsessed son and his extremely patient wife. He regularly pursues community service and is currently scoutmaster for his son’s Boy Scout troop. He is a regular at the North Branch Writers’ Critique Group and has honed his craft through creative writing courses with Stanford University’s continuing studies program as well as writing workshops at local conventions.
* Russ holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do which was marginally more useful in a former life not making his living from behind a desk. He enjoys the outdoors and when he isn’t leading his scouts on virtual campouts in Minecraft, he’s making them haul their gear across state parks in the North Texas area.
How did you set upon the path of becoming a writer and what inspired you in regard to Crimson Son?
* I was born into myth. My parents were told there would be one child. My mother’s belly had swollen to the size of a VW, but clearly, there could be only one.
* Despite the vast wisdom of science, I emerged triumphant from the womb trailed by a sickly little thing who’d been stuffed in the corner, hiding from my sheer awesomeness. This was my sister. My twin energy, brought to this world through pure power of will and powerful magics.
* We were never children. From birth, we were given strange looks for our toddler size. We were goliaths. Nephilim among the mundane babies who clawed their way through the library’s easy-reader section shoving toys in their mouth and secreting drool in shiny trails like diapered slugs.
* I gazed on them in disdain and waddled into the chapter book section while my twin devoured the wheels off my toy cars. Her appetite knew no bounds. Trees, dog toys, she was feeding her energy to reverse the illness and unleash herself on the world at a later time.
* Me? I longed for the hero’s journey.
* We asked our mother to stop reading to us. She read too slowly, tried too hard to make our inner children happy with silly voices and sing-song. Bah! I needed to deconstruct the tropes. Examine the structure. Find truth within the words.
* Why are the fish red and blue? What kind of eldritch forces planted an attic in someone’s forehead? Shouldn’t the spider cover the interior of the barn in a three-dimensional manifesto about this pig’s slavery to the human race?
* I became lost in a world beyond worlds. A magic wood with shining pools, each deeper than my own imagination. I set out to explore them all.
* Then I got older.
* I lost those worlds. Only exploring them as a hobby. I was a grown up. I had to do grown up things. Yet a part of me clung to the mystical past and I would spend hours of my spare time describing these places to friends as a game. Visiting other worlds had become a shadowy hobby.
* Then I got wiser.
* I stopped chasing dreams and started living them. Now I create worlds. Won’t you join me?
A look into the story
* Nineteen-year-old Spencer is the son of the Crimson Mask, the world's most powerful Augment. Since witnessing his mother's abduction by a psychotic super villain two years ago, he's been confined to his father's arctic bunker. When the "Icehole" comes under attack from a rampaging robot, Spencer launches into his father's dangerous world of weaponized human beings known as Augments.
* With no superpowers of his own save a multi-tool, a quick wit and a boatload of emotional trauma, Spencer seeks to uncover his mother's fate and confront his absentee superhero father. As he stumbles through a web of conspiracies and top secret facilities, he rallies a team of everyday people and cast-off Augments. But Spencer soon discovers that the Black Beetle isn't his only enemy, nor his worst.
* I hand the phone back to Mom. “You’ll need to send later, I guess. The signal dropped. Should be in your outbox ready to go.”
* As she takes the phone, the wall of the room explodes.
* Here. Dream becomes nightmare. For a moment, I feel I can make it stand still, but why would I? Events unfold with the emptiness of the bunker gnawing at my insides. I can identify every stray chunk of plaster and splinter of wood in this time-robbed moment.
* Fragments of home spray like a swarm of locusts. Mom screams and the world spins under her protective dive. I struggle to see through a haze of dust. Glimpses of the valley filter past a humanoid silhouette. A long, pincered arm lashes out. The arm clamps tightly around Mom’s waist and retracts, drawing us closer.
* “Release the boy and he will live,” the Black Beetle speaks with an unnatural vibration. “He can relay a message for your husband.”
* Mom squeezes tighter but her screaming stops.
* I search her face, knowing what I’ll find, all the while scrambling to find an anchor as we slide across the room. She’s bleeding from a gash on her forehead and the pincer cinches tighter. Her eyes are full of fear, but focused. She’s calculating, deliberating. A hundred times? A thousand? It always hurts.
* “No, Mom, please!” I throw my hands around the leg of a toppled chair which drags uselessly behind us. Countless trips through this nightmare, I know I can’t keep us here, but I reach out anyway. And always, she lets go.
* I grab her arm, trying to pull her back, cursing my stunted size, my weak limbs, my feeble grip. Sweaty hands slip as the pincer continues to retract. Her trembling lips form a final smile and she watches me with a sad but determined expression.
* She mouths the words, “I love you.”
Buy Crimson Son here...
Amazon - US: Kindle Price: $0.99 until Oct. 29! | Amazon - UK | Create Space Paperback | Barnes and Noble: NOOK Book $0.99 until Oct. 29 | Smashwords | iTunes | Google Play | Powell's Books | txtr | Abe | Alibris | Kobo
Find Russ Linton here...
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Thank you for joining us here today, Russ Linton! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.
ANNOUNCEMENT! Russ will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner and another winner will receive a signed copy of Crimson Son (US ONLY), both prizes via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave your name and email with your comment AND use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Also, visit the other tour stops (find them here: goddessfishpromotions-vbt-crimson-son-by-russ-linton) for a greater chance of winning!
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