In the Tunguska hospital where I was born, there was a fire in the post-natal wing necessitating a speedy rescue by my uncle. He braved billowing smoke from ceiling-high purple flames feeding on pharmaceuticals and the tender skin of those unlucky enough not to have a swashbuckling relative. No one who was me died, thankfully, but this harrowing brush with bring fricasseed only hours after making my grand world entrance has clung to me, and to this day I avoid medical centers that are smoldering. Offered a return back to the void so soon after coming out of it has injected a sense of urgency into my life, and chronicling my adventures has become not merely a passion but a necessity.
My name is Alexander Hamilton Bryant. It is also Christopher Ronald Bryant but only among family, heralds and members of the legal profession. You may not have heard of either though I have influenced your life through cooking for powerful figures in government: I prepare spicy dishes for the likes of bland but influential men in our nation’s capital. (Among my other published works is Burn Them in the Name of the Lord: Capsicum in the Bush White House. My Flames of Allah! dish, for example, crippled two food tasters, but the Vice President ate it with no ill effects, just that trademark quiet chuckle. Iraq was invaded less than two weeks later, an outcome far from my intention.)
I have orbited the planet at a height of one hundred thirteen miles, much of it voluntarily.
I have been stalked by an orangutigerocerous and, separately, an unspeakably vile teenage girl both times in the same Indian jungle.
I have killed a man, though in my defense he was going to die eventually anyway.
I am a U.S. citizen after much wrangling, bribery and an incident of blackmail wherein parts of Siberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo might be surprised to know that they belong to Henderson’s Rare Gifts and Tackle Boxes now. My oath of patriotism is on record with the RNC, and my ACLU card is registered with the Democratic Party.
You are probably interested in my writing credentials, however, so let me cover some of that ground.
Colder is my first novel entirely written in the United States. My previous book, Cold, sold well in Russia and southern Finland but failed to break out into western Europe, probably owing to the presentation medium of cured reindeer hide. For this new book, I have made good use of something my hated enemies and hated friends alike call an “electronic micro-computing device thingie”. I hope you will bear with me as I try to describe everything with words.
Should all go well and I become justly famous for this initial endeavor, then The Tamelin Light, Colder’s sequel, will pop out of the womb about 18 months from now. It is, as my interview with the (Greater East Northern Albanian) National Book Review has already indicated, about half written.
These simulated ink dots thank you for your attention.
THE Alexander Bryant
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Realism and science are very important to me both in my daily life and in my writing. So is humor. So is the unexpected. These three sum me and my writing up pretty well, I think.
Describe your book ‘Colder (Second Edition)’ in 30 words or less.
What do you do if your family’s ancient cosmic monsters that you don't believe in bring the FBI to your front door? A story set against Lovecraft's Mythos universe.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Making it perfect. Making supernatural horror accessible, scientifically feasible and interesting with compelling characters you care about requires, for me, dozens of rewrites through the months and years.
What books have had the greatest influence on you?
Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg and the Illuminati books (including the amazing Historical Illuminati trilogy)
A variety of science books including Wind by Jan Deblieu, The Clock of the Long Now by the society of the same name, and Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe.
Briefly share with us what you do to market your book?
I am building a web site; there is a Twitter feed; a Facebook promotion is planned; the BookBuzzr, of course. I have taken a break from promotions recently largely because it is tiresome (I like to write, not to self-promote) and requires years of steadily pushing against the winds of apathy. But I will get back to it this summer, I think.
How do you spend your time when you are not writing?
The computer games Portal and Portal II, trying out D&D 4th Edition, walking & biking, spending lots of time with my new daughter, and reading popular science books (I am not a scientist, so pop sci is as close as I can get to the subject).
What are you working on next?
The sequel to Colder, a short story prequel, and a pair of much lighter unrelated short stories that feature a unique take on superheroes. I have also drafted a screenplay of Colder, and I am working on its website (and learning how to use Dreamweaver at the same time!).
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