Sunday, March 18, 2012

Interview with Kevin Paul Shaw Broden, Author of Clockwork Genie

 Hi everyone! 

Today we are chatting with Kevin Paul, author of the contemporary fantasy/paranormal murder mystery novel Clockwork Genie.  Kevin Paul will be joining us for a live interview on Blog Talk Radio, Wednesday, March 21st, at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time. We hope you'll stop by and listen in.

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this interview for your chance to win a copy of Clockwork Genie. Don't forget to leave your email address in the following format: parayournormalteam(at)gmail(dot)com. Now for the interview!

Hey, Kevin! And welcome! Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you and all of ParaYourNormal for sitting down with my genie friend and I.

As a child I discovered comic books and soon knew I wanted to create comics and super heroes of my own. They would eventually become FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY.

While taking art courses to learn how to draw muscular heroes as realistically as possible, I discovered what I was really doing, no matter the medium, was story telling.

This turned into short stories, the first appearing in my college newspaper, and on to scripts for comic
books and for television animation such as for the Japanese series MIDNIGHT HORROR SCHOOL (a series that has as of yet not appeared in America.)

I continue to have a passion for comic books and for animation, but a few years ago I took a serious dive into writing novels. As part of Nanowrimo I wrote a science fiction tale, but about half way through it, a complete different story idea came to me. I paused long enough to write down a page of notes and then finished the story I had committed myself to doing. Once November was over I jumped right into the new idea, a fantasy tale that eventually became my first published novel CLOCKWORK GENIE.

How do you carve out time to write?

I wish I knew. It was easier to find the time to write until about a year ago when I picked up a 'day job' with the scholarship foundation of my local community college. Truthfully, having a restricted amount of time has forced me to dedicate more of it to serious writing. When I have all the free time in the world, nothing gets done. Deadlines are good. No, really, they are.

What’s the biggest creative difference between writing a novel and writing/illustrating a comic?

Comic books are a visual medium and 90 % of the story is told in the pictures. If I'm writing for another artist, the description of the scene has to be made clear enough for the artist to understand, but not overly detailed that it takes away his/her own creativity when drawing it. When I am writer/artist on the comic I don't have to be as detailed as I already have a clear idea of what I want to draw and most of the story comes together as I start sketching the art. The story then has to be told in a 22 to 36 pages comic, usually with 6 to 8 panels per page, sometimes less. When Shannon and I write our webcomic FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY, which is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary online, Each page has to tell its own story because people reading may not have seen the pages before it, and hope it will entice them to stick around for the next page a week later.

With comic books as my background, my novel writing carries some of the same style. I don't always
fully describe the details of a scene other than what is absolutely necessary for the story or to se the mood, and let the reader fill in the gaps with their own imagination as if they were the artists of our shared comic book. Am certain I have a lot to improve upon, and am still learning with each new story I write.

Which book are we talking about today and what is it about?

CLOCKWORK GENIE is my first published novel and is both a Contemporary Fantasy and a Murder Mystery, and in some ways it is also a Paranormal Romance. There may be no ghosts, vampires, or werewolves, but there is a very powerful magical genie that just learned her master has been murdered.

The story is about Cecilia Orchard who has been struggling on her own since graduating from college to earn enough money to pay the rent of her apartment. Her data entry job isn't great and she's always on the verge of being fired by a very nasty boss.

If that's not bad enough, Cecilia has just been informed she's the prime suspect in the murder of
a grandfather she never knew existed. Why did the cop that wants to arrest her have to be so darn

Cecilia discovers she's the heir to a vast fortune, and then is given a golden pocket watch. She finds
herself the new master of a very powerful magical genie. The entire world could be hers at the mention of
a wish, but what does Cecilia really want?

You may also be interested to know that I painted the cover of the novel.

What inspired this book?

The original kernel of an idea has been sitting in the back of my head for quite a while, maybe back to childhood. Like many of my stories it grew out of a question: "If a genie is so powerful, why is it trapped in the lamp?" The idea morphed through the years, until it took the form of the golden pocket watch. Along with the relationship with its new master and the people around her, I explore that question and give one plausible answer.

From there the story grew pretty quickly, and I dumped the first drafted on to the keyboard very quickly. It would take several more drafts and rewrites, and introduction of other characters along the way until it became the book that now sits on virtual bookshelves.

Tell us something about your characters that we wouldn’t be able to figure out by reading the book.

I suppose what no one knows is that Cecilia is, minus the magic and millions of dollars, is me. As a writer with a pretty vast imagination, that if I was ever confronted by the supernatural or aliens, I would take it fairly calmly and matter-of-factly. So I took that idea and transferred it to Cecilia. She writes fantasy and mysteries like me, and so when she confronted by it. She's surprised by it but takes it coolly, or at least tries to.

Are there other books in the works? Can you tell us a bit about it?

Last month I released my second novel, entitled: REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST. This story
takes me back to my first love of the masked heroes. Going back to the 1930s' Pulps the heroes grew out of and became the super heroes of the comics.

I am currently working on a sequel to CLOCKWORK GENIE. Without going into a lot of detail, our
heroine and her friends must deal with the consequence of the genie's existence. Wishes out of the past come back to haunt them.

Where can readers purchase your book?

Currently my books are only available online as ebooks.

CLOCKWORK GENIE can be found at most major ebook distributors, and some, to my excitement, not so major. Best to start off at Amazon.

REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST is also available on Amazon and soon at other locations.

FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY - The webcomic that Shannon Muir and I have
been producing for the last ten years can be found at it's own website:

May we read an excerpt from the book?

Certainly, here is an important scene from Chapter 4 of CLOCKWORK GENIE, after this everything goes crazy:

“Tastes like a tin can.” Cecilia said after the third bite of the microwave dinner.

As Cecilia ate, she kept reading each entry on the man who was supposed to be her grandfather. He owned a multinational corporation, which included many subsidiary companies in Los Angeles as well as New York. It went on and on. It was all just crazy.

“There is no way in the world that all this could be possible,” she said as she dropped the dinner
tray into the already overflowing trashcan beneath the kitchen sink. Cecilia felt confused and didn’t know what to do next. She picked up her purse from where she had dropped it on the couch and pulled out the cell phone. She scrolled through the contact list until she reached the right number and pressed Talk.

Her uncle Phil had always been there for Cecilia when she needed the extra support as she
struggled through college. She could always call him when life got too much for her. This was one of
those times.

The phone rang three times and then went to voice mail.

“Darn! Hi, Uncle Phil, it’s me. Can we chat one of these days? No rush, I’ve just got a question
about my dad…” Her voice trailed off when her eye caught the glimmer and sparkle of the watch as it gently swayed in the glass case.

After a moment of silence she realized she was still on the phone, “I’ll try to call you tomorrow.
Night. Love ya.”

Cecilia put the phone down and sat at the table. She stared at the watch for several minutes, almost mesmerized by it. Finally, curiosity got a hold of her.

“I’m probably knocking a thousand dollars off the value just by opening the case,” Cecilia said as
she did just that, “and ten thousand by touching it.”

She unhooked the chain from its support and examined the watch. The outer case had fine ornate engravings all over it and as she turned it in the light the patterns seemed to change, to dance. Sometimes it looked like writing, other times decorative floral patterns, and then again like mechanical gears of what must be inside.

“Has to be a trick of the light,” she moved away from the desk lamp to look at it under the fluorescents of the kitchen and yet again the pattern was different. She saw brushes and quills.

“So exhausted I’m seeing things. Wake up already Cecilia,” she said to her herself.

She was returning to the table to put the watch away when her finger came across the little
clasp and the watch popped open.

“Oh, no. I’ve broken it!”

The crystal face of the watch was perfect like a diamond. The hands pointed exactly at the right
time but suddenly spun around the dial and stopped on twelve.

Light flared across the crystal startling Cecilia and she fell back on to the floor, tightly grasping
the watch so it didn’t break.

“Tommy? I’m sorry, Tommy? Really I am. Tommy? Hey, where am I?”

Cecilia’s vision was blurred from the flash, but she could make out a woman’s form standing in
front of her, “Who’s there?”

“Who the hell are you?” the woman shouted down at Cecilia on the floor.

“I…” her vision cleared. Standing before Cecilia was a young woman; her hair was red like flames
of a campfire. Though dressed in an emerald green evening gown, she wore a leather bomber jacket over it. She was quite beautiful.

“Now this confirms it, I’m dreaming. I’ve gone insane,” Cecilia said aloud, “That woman from
those photographs is standing in my apartment. That … that Genevieve woman.”

“Of course, I’m Genevieve, that’s Tommy’s watch,” the woman said with a childlike voice yet
scolded like a parent.

“The watch?” Cecilia looked from the woman to the watch and back again, “This is my
grandfather’s watch.”

Genevieve gasped, “Your grandfather? How long have I been in there?” She looked about and
began to panic.

Cecilia gathered herself and stood up, and noticed fear in the strange woman’s eyes.

“You have the watch.”

“Uh, ya.”

“You have Tommy’s watch!”

“Ya, this was Thomas Granger’s watch, what of it?”

“Where is Tommy? Where is he?” Genevieve demanded, tears filled her eyes.

“Oh, God, you don’t know. I thought maybe the police had finally contacted you, or that lawyer
Kramer sent you to talk to me.”

“Tell me where Thomas Granger is!” Genevieve was shaking now; tears flowed down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry to be the one that has to tell you this. Thomas Granger was killed yesterday.”

“Killed? No, no, no.”

“Ya, I’m sorry, but he was murdered. The police are still investigating. They’ll probably want to
talk with you. I should call Detective Lambert.”

“I don’t want to be alone,” Genevieve said through her tears.

“Why would you be alone?” Cecilia was doing her best not to freak out, yet she seemed to be the
calmer head here. It was this figment of her imagination that was going nuts. Certain this was all going on inside her head; the stress of work had finally gotten to her. If her imaginary friend had just cracked, didn’t that mean she had already lost it herself?

Genevieve looked at the watch again, and forced away her tears as she looked towards Cecilia.
Suddenly the woman dropped to her knees and bowed her head to the floor facing Cecilia.

“Mistress,” she said humbly.


“Your wish is my command.”

Where can your readers connect with you on the web?

The best place to find me online is my blog where I ramble on about writing, comic books, animation, and from time to time put up a book review:

You can follow me on Twitter: @Kevinpsb00

Thank you for this opportunity to explore what's Para in my Normal with you. Genevieve had a good time too.

1 comment:

  1. I love a good paranormal mystery and it's kind of nice to have something para that's not vampire or were!