Win a $50 GC: Nighthawks by Jeremy Flagg

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

Teleportation. Hands down. The ability to fly would be great, but you’d freeze in New England, and reading minds would mean I’d spend a lot of time trying to cleanse myself from those thoughts. Teleportation, however, would cut down on my commute time, let me sleep in later, and make it easy to stop in and say hi to folks without the pain of getting to where I need to be. And depending on the range, it’d be nice to be able to just teleport somewhere warm for a little while and then head home without the hassle of planes, trains, and automobiles. It’s kind of the perfect superhuman ability (hence my main character.)

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

I’m a high school art teacher. My background is in art and this is why the main character of my novel has a background in art. While he is not really me, he does have some of my personality traits. I think this simple thing, a background in art, makes both of us have a different perspective on the world. We see beauty in weird places and it creates a certain fascination. I also think in Children of Nostradamus it gives a lot of character to my protagonist in the fact he starts trying to achieve his dream, getting his work seen in a gallery. This is where things initially begin to go horribly wrong for him.

When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?

I generally start with what they’re wearing and hair. I do this less because of the physical description, but because they are two things people use to express themselves. We can tell a lot about a person who wears a soft gray cashmere sweater versus a guy in a battered black motorcycle jacket. I also like to take this to include piercings, tattoos and other elements of style people use to express themselves. I think this is essential, both because it allows you to help identify them in the mind of the reader, but also important because it gives pieces of their personality.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I have a general plot outlined early in the process. I know where they will start and how they’ll finish, and sometimes I even know some major points in the middle. Once I have that guide, the rest of my work turns into going by the seat of my pants. I let my characters do the work and tell me where the story will go. If they miss some of my plot then I’ll go back and write it later and just let them do the walking. However, I find most often, if I listen to my characters, they’ll come up with a better plot overall and help dictate how the book will end. Lately, though, I’ve been trying to write out the “beats” of my chapters before I write it, this way I can write at a faster pace. The more words I can write, the faster the novel happens, and for me, that’s when my characters shine the best.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?

I think the thing I took away from Children of Nostradamus is that your characters are human. I’m writing in a superhero genre and you think from comic books that your heroes are always the good guys, but mine fell, faltered, and didn’t always do the hero thing. Just because they have abilities that make them more than human, they still have those dark parts of their personality. When confronted with dangerous situations, they don’t always do the “right” thing. I like this because even in their darkest moments we, the reader can see where they fall down and understand why they did. In the second book, it continues to explore this and we watch their descent even more so. I think this made my characters more believable and gives people a chance to connect with them and it helps separate them from their comic book counterparts. I only hope in the future novels they find a way to redeem themselves as the slope continues to get more slippery.

Twenty-six-year-old painter Conthan Cowan takes art to a shocking frontier…

His debut exhibit features the transformation of his high school friend, Sarah, as she went from a shy, soft-spoken girl to a Child of Nostradamus—an individual gifted with extraordinary abilities. Living in a society where the Children of Nostradamus are captured by the government, Conthan’s exhibit draws attention from officials and protesters alike.

A government psychic may be dead, but that doesn’t stop her from manipulating the future…

The deceased White House aide is only remembered for her failed assassination attempt on the president decades before Conthan was born. Foreseeing her own death, she scribed letters to bring together specific Children of Nostradamus on a mission that will change the world.

On the night of the gallery exhibition, Conthan receives one of those letters…

ispers from the past direct him to visit Sarah, the subject of his paintings, who like many Children of Nostradamus, is being detained in a government research facility. It’s there he finds himself aligned with a rogue group of Children on a mission to prevent a dark future.

As a dark future unfolds, there's only one hope to stop the destruction of the world...

The Children of Nostradamus.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Conthan Cowan,

As you ponder the situation laid out in front of you, it is clear that things will never be the same. Before you are many decisions, but alas, beyond this point I cannot see nor predict your future.

You are an element that seems to defy the strands of probability. I fear that before you lies a path that will test the fortitude of your soul. I wish I could give you more than a simple direction. I have done everything in my power to see you safe to this point. I wish I could tell you that somewhere on the other side of the darkness will be you, standing triumphant. However, I cannot. For that, I am sorry. What I can do is start you on your hero’s journey.

Go to Sarah.

With Regards,

Eleanor P. Valentine

About the Author:
I’m high school graphic design and marketing teacher, at a large suburban high school in Massachusetts. Working as a high school educator and observing the outlandish world of adolescence was the inspiration for my first young adult novel, “Suburban Zombie High.”

My inspiration for writing stems from being a youth who struggled with reading in school. While I found school assigned novels incredibly difficult to digest, I devoured comics and later fantasy novels. Their influences can be seen in the tall tales I spin.

I took the long route to becoming a writer. For a brief time, I majored in Creative Writing but exchanged one passion for another as I switched to Art and Design. My passion for reading about superheroes, fantastical worlds, and panic-stricken situations would become the foundation of my writing career.

I participated in my first NaNoWriMo in 2006 and continue to write an entire novel every November. Now I am the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison to the Massachusetts Metrowest Region. I also belong the New England Horror Writer’s Association and to a weekly writing group, the Metrowest Writers.

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Thanks for hosting!
I've greatly enjoyed following the tour for Nighthawks.. the excerpts have been great and the interviews the absolute best :D. I'm looking forward to reading Nighthawks, thanks for sharing!
amy bowens said…
I enjoyed your interview. Teleportation would definitely come in handy!
jflagg said…
Thanks Victoria! I've been having fun reading the comments. I'm thrilled to keep on writing and see where the characters take me as I keep going!