Special Guest: Author Jack Hillman

Today author Jack Hillman is here to talk about his trilogy about giants.

Jack's Library

Jack Hillman is a journalist, novelist, playwright and a medical underwriter.  His published short fiction has appeared in multiple magazines, both on-line and print.  He is a member of SFWA and Pennwriters.  Visit: www.jackhillman.com for more info.

 ·When did you decide to be an author?

I’ve been writing most of my life in one way or another.  My first published work was in 1969 while still in high school.  But I listened to people who said “Get a real job.” So I didn’t write much for about twenty years.  Then my wife said I should just do it, so I’ve been writing professionally for over twenty years now.

 ·What was your first piece published?

I wrote a number of things before I was published in 1969.  But they’ve disappeared in many moves since then.  That piece was a short essay in a school magazine.  I kept that one.

 ·What character is most like you?

Robert Hienlein’s Lazarus Long.  I’m just as sarcastic as he is.

 ·What was the first story you wrote as a child?

I really don’t remember.  It was a LONG time ago. (you remember: walked five miles, uphill both ways, in three feet of snow, in July, barefoot, etc.)

·Do you have any advice for anyone writing a book?

Yes, get some help and don’t try to do it on your own.  There are a lot of good teachers out there.  If you try to do it cold, you’ll get frustrated and discouraged.

·Who is your favorite author?

I have several: Robert Heinlein, David Weber, Mercedes Lackey, Christopher Stacheff, David Eddings, Keith Laumer, all come to the top of the list.

·What technique do use write (make it up as you go, plan it)?

I usually plan a bit for novels, but short stories sort of develop on their own, usually from a weird idea.

What piece are you working on now?

A hard science fiction novel that solves the two main problems of a generation ship, and a YA SF novel about a young boy on a strange planet who gets involved with aliens.

·What is your favorite book?

Jeeze, that’s like asking “who’s your favorite kid?”  Again, I have several: Glory Road by Robert Heinlein, The Stainless Steel Rat,  by Harry Harrison, Fairey Tale, by Raymond Feist, The Still, Small Voice of Trumpets by Lloyd Biggle, these probably top the list.  And of course Lord Of The Rings by Tolkein.

Did you receive any awards for a book of yours?

Unfortunately, no.  Want to submit me for one?

91e3892db8f24ce23200a96e8a8e8475

A Young Boy Comes To The Lehigh Valley-

 Meets Beings From Another Dimension-

 And Joins A Battle To Save Two Worlds!

 Enjoy The Adventure!

 Excerpt:

As Eric neared the quarry, he listened and watched for wolves or dogs.  Uncle Al had warned him again about the dogs and Eric had almost told him about the incident at the cliff.  For some reason, he didn’t.  Eric wasn’t sure if Uncle Al wouldn’t believe him or if he just wanted a secret of his own, something he didn’t have to share with anyone.

But the only sounds today were the birds in the trees and a tractor in the distance.  In the half hour it took him to get to the quarry, Eric saw nothing more dangerous than a rabbit.  He began to wonder if he had dreamed the whole thing, including the blond Giant.

At the quarry, Eric fished for a while but nothing was biting much as the sun rose higher.  All he caught were hand sized sunfish that seemed to eat his worms without being caught as often as they swallowed the hook.  He propped the rod in a forked branch near the edge of the water and pulled off his shirt, lying back on the grassy bank in the sun, adding to his tan.  He had almost dropped off to sleep when a shadow crossed his face.

“Well, looky here,” someone said.  A heavy boot thudded into Eric’s ribs, knocking the breath from him.  All he could see were shadows against the sun until rough hands dragged him to his feet.

A fist in the stomach doubled him over before he could catch more than a quick look at his attackers.  Crawling to his knees, he looked down at three pair of booted feet and cringed as he realized who these guys were.  The shaved heads were as good as a trademark.  Skinheads, dressed in combat boots, camo pants and black T-shirts which were like a uniform for them.  And they were looking for trouble.  They were the same group that had almost started something at the store.

“Looks like we got ourselves a trespasser, boys,” the same voice said to Eric’s left as they dragged him upright.

“Not trespassing,” Eric gasped, still trying to catch his breath.  Another fist in the stomach doubled him over and he sagged against the hands holding him up.

“Did I give you permission to talk, punk?” the voice asked.  “If I say you’re trespassing, then you are.”  Eric was dropped to the ground and a boot caught the side of his head as the skinheads turned to go through Eric’s gear.  His shirt was ripped and tossed into the water along with the fishing rod.  The tackle box was dumped and the contents scattered, lures crushed by heavy boots.  His lunch was examined, tasted and discarded like garbage.  Eric clutched his stomach, barely able to keep down his breakfast as he looked at his attackers.  The pain in his head was blinding.

The oldest skinhead looked to be about eighteen years old and had arms covered with tattoos of daggers and swastikas.  His black shirt was armless, crudely ripped away, and showed stains from his last several meals.  He was tall, of medium build but with a bulge at the waist that suggested too much beer.

The second skinhead was a bit younger but large for his age.  He was almost as tall and heavy as his older companion and was going to fat more rapidly.  The third member of the group looked about Eric’s age but the dark clothes and boots made him seem larger than Eric.  He was the one who watched Eric carefully as the other two did most of the damage.  Eric had almost regained his breath as they started toward him again.  He was in for a fight he knew he could not win.

“Now, it’s your turn, Red,” tattoos said, cracking his knuckles loudly.

“I think not,” came another voice from behind the three.

Before they could turn, the older two were hoisted into the air by their heavy web belts and held aloft on their backs.  Standing below them, one boy in each hand, was the blond Giant Eric had met a few days ago, the one he thought of as Thor.  With casual ease, he tossed the two youths into the quarry.  They hit the water almost twenty feet from shore.  As the two foundered in their water-soaked clothes and boots, the man turned toward the last skinhead.  With a glare of appraisal, he shook his head and turned to face Eric.

“This one I leave for you, Warrior Eric,” the man said, crossing his arms and towering over the bald youth.

Eric took a deep breath, not without some pain, and looked at his opponent.  The young skinhead took one look at Eric, who couldn’t have fought if he wanted to, one look at the blond Giant behind him, and left at a dead run into the woods.  The other two skinheads climbed out of the water and followed, aided by a kick apiece from a laughing Giant.

“Thanks,” Eric managed to say clearly while his vision kept spinning around.  “I don’t think I could have done anything to them anyway.”

“A fair challenge is good for warriors,” Thor stated.  “But to attack from secret and with three against one, this is not fair.  It seems these bald children are not willing to face you one to one.”

“That’s the way they do things, usually.”  Eric struggled to stay on his feet.  His stomach was turning like a boiling pot and his head was spinning from the impact of the boot.  He looked at the man in front of him and the image drifted from one to two and back again, making Eric’s stomach even worse.  He lifted a hand to his head and felt the beginnings of a large lump forming, but the hand came away clear of blood.  The boot hadn’t broken the skin when he was kicked.

Just then a huge hawk dropped from the sky in front of Eric and began to change.  Eric rubbed his eyes as the bird became a tall, slim, dark haired man as tall as Thor, wearing a cloak of feathers.

Eric felt a wave of nausea pass through him.  He must be hallucinating, he thought.  His head spun from the kicks he had taken and he slumped to the ground in a dead faint as the hawkman started to talk to him.

 

Eric woke slowly, feeling the pain of his bruises with every breath.  He opened his eyes to the dim, flickering light of a candle and looked up at a rough rock ceiling.  It looked like he was in some sort of cave.  He turned his head to the right to check the area and was nose to nose to a rock with teeth.

“Ahhhh,” Eric yelled, bouncing off the bed and against the rock wall to the left, scraping his bare back.

The rock blinked, still smiling with blinding white teeth.  Eric could now see the chiseled features of a face the size of a basketball surrounded by dark wavy hair.  The creature stood by the side of the bed, waiting for Eric to speak.

“Where the heck am I?” Eric managed to spit out around teeth clenched to stop their chattering.  The cave was small, barely enough room for the bed and the two people.  There was nowhere for Eric to run from whatever had him pinned in the cave.

“You in Sudri’s place,” the short creature answered in a voice like grinding rock.

“Who’s Sudri?” Eric asked, almost afraid of the answer.

“Me Sudri,” the creature replied.  “You Eric.”  The creature stuck out a right hand that looked like a flattened baseball mitt.  “Pleasetameecha.”

Eric suddenly realized only the last word had been in English.  He cautiously reached out across the bed and shook hands.  The creature gently squeezed Eric’s hand as he shook it gravely up and down twice.  “Ah, what are you, anyway?” he asked cautiously.

The dark gray face split into a wide grin again as the short figure slapped his chest with a sound of two rocks colliding.  “Rock dwarf.  Dig deep in ground.  Make stuff from what we find: shiny rocks to trade, good swords for Aesir, axes and plows for farmers.”  The dwarf looked pleased with his accomplishments.  He handed the boy a brown tunic-like shirt that Eric pulled over his head absently, wincing as the cloth rubbed the new scrapes on his back.

“Dwarves.  Aesir.  Where the heck am I?” Eric said to himself, muffled in the tunic.

The dwarf apparently had good ears.  “You in Asgard.  In Sudri’s place.”

“Asgard,” Eric repeated.  “I think I just landed in a dream.  Or maybe a nightmare.”

“No dream,” Sudri said emphatically, slapping his chest with a sharp crack.  “Sudri real.”

“Yeah, but am I?” Eric asked.  “How did I get to Asgard?  The last thing I remember was passing out by the fishing hole.”

“Thunder guy bring you,” Sudri answered.

“Beg pardon?”  Eric looked confused.

“Thunder guy.  You know.”  Sudri’s face screwed up as if he tried to remember, then brightened.  “Thor.”  The dwarf picked up a pitcher and poured a dark liquid into a stone cup.  He handed the cup to Eric.  “Thor say drink this.  Fix you up.”

“What is it?”  Eric sniffed the liquid.  The odor was barely discernible but not unpleasant.

Sudri shrugged, a movement similar to a pile of gravel shifting.  “God stuff, who knows.  Odin make it.  Just drink or Sudri in trouble with thunder guy.”

Eric took a sip.  Sort of sweet but not bad, he thought.  He drank the rest of the liquid.  As he handed the cup back, he felt a warmth beginning in his stomach and spreading through his body.  As the flush faded, Eric realized his bruises no longer hurt.  He felt fresher and stronger than ever before.

Follow the continuing saga of the Giant’s War trilogy- a classic adventure of young children in amazing settings- and find out where the Lost River really comes out!

giantswantthelostriver-200

When Eric Johnson moved from Philadelphia a year ago, he didn’t have any friends in the Lehigh Valley.  Now he had a lot of them, just not the usual sort for a twelve-year old boy.  Aside from Tommy Kuhns and Stephanie Fuller-two young children his own age- Eric’s house was often visited by Norse Gods, Rock Dwarves, Valkyr, and unfortunately the occasional Frost Giant.  And most teens weren’t caught up in a war that crossed multiple dimensions.

Now the Frost Giants were trying to get access to Enigma Caverns and the Lost River, so they could continue their battle against the Aesir and conquer the people of Earth as well.  Eric, Tommy and Stephanie had to find out why the Giants really wanted the Lost River and stop the Giants from taking control of Enigma Caverns.

Then Eric is thrown into the Lost River and disappears, and things really get strange!

 

giantswantragnorak-200

The Giants are stirring again and this time they’ve decided to make Eric Johnson work for them. They infect Eric and his friend Stephanie with a disease to weaken the Aesir and the dwarves.  Then they set about starting Fimbulwinter to paralyze the rest of the planet while they keep trying to obtain control of Mimir, the Aesir self- aware computer that has the information needed to get everyone back to their home dimension.  They also kidnap Loki and try to turn him against his own people and get control of Mimir.  But Eric, Tommy and Stephanie don’t take all this lying down.  Tommy has been training with the Norns, the Aesir engineers and has learned a lot.  Eric and Stephanie have been working with Fornir the dragon and the Valkyr to prepare for the upcoming battle, because everyone knows it’s coming, just not when. With Tommy and the Norns help, Eric must reverse the climate shift created by the giants and they must all prepare for Ragnarok as the Giants attack.

Then they find the other dragon and things get really dangerous!

Watch the book trailer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a33-dl3DVZs

These books are available at www.musapublishing.com

 

More about Jack Hillman!!!

A lifelong Pennsylvania resident, Jack began a love of books sitting amid the mystery of hospitals and medical paraphernalia. Mythology of all cultures and a fascination with martial philosophies led to King Arthur, the knights of the round table and an array of science fiction and fantasy authors that had a strong impact on his life.

Real life got in the way of a writing career, but after thirty years in the life and medical insurance field, Jack took to writing again. Bolstered by a secondary career as a journalist, Jack has written on a wide variety of subjects and keeps his hand in medical and insurance matters on a daily basis while writing in multiple genres of fiction and fact.

He lives in eastern Pennsylvania with his supportive wife, a squad of feline editors, an exceedingly esoteric library and an array of edged weapons to inspire his works. More information about Jack can be found at www.JackHillman-Writer.com

 

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4 Responses to Special Guest: Author Jack Hillman

  1. clarissajohal says:

    Great interview and what an interesting author! Love the cover art too.

  2. Wow, Jack, looks like you’ve been a busy boy penning all those novels! Kudos to all your hard work! Wishing you success in all your publishing ventures! Nice interview, Gaea! Cheers!

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