Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase Star Racer by Martin Felando


A novel with 130 pages of illustrations and art. Hundreds of warrior princesses dolls, battlejet racing, giant boomerangs. Good times.

The Star Racers saga begins, and way too much fun awaits you . . . .

In the year 3834, Maelae and other ruthless killers threaten Earth and thousands of planets. Earth's only hope is to win a dangerous race called Grand Battle.

Everyone thinks Sashi Oon is unqualified to guide a battlejet pilot through the massive obstacles of Grand Battle, and when Sashi chooses rookie Rev Arden, no one gives them a chance.

Join Rev, Sashi, rockstars Stepp and Krissy and their warrior princess dolls, as well as Scrap Meat, Eyeball, Betsy's Lover, Little Blue, and Imani from Intelligent Sources on this incredible adventure!

Don't miss the fun, and don't miss the Pinky & Dux Show!

Martin Felando

Before moving to NYC, Martin Felando lived in San Diego with his faithful wolf dog Chutney. His passions include movies, television, reading books, and biking. 

His play True was performed at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Theater Institute and the Wine Cellar Theater in Los Angeles.

He is the author of thirty feature-length screenplays, including Full Throttle, Return to Love, The Black Knight, Devastating Forest, Sorcerer, Plastic Army, The Curse, Husband and Wife, and The Hangman Trilogy. He is currently writing the second novel in the Star Racers saga.


Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. I think of all the constant exploring and interpreting and experiencing, and wanting to share. I think of all the stories I’ve read and watched. Years ago I helped raise $2M for homeless women. Working in skid row for two years I saw how the ladies improved. I wanted to make a difference with my stories and wrote down a mission statement to write stories that would improve myself and improve the world.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

A.  I like visualizing and going through fun adventures with my characters. I like the challenge of figuring out what to do next. I am sometimes captivated and compelled to write. Sometimes it feels like I’m healing when I write. I love walking in NYC and imagining various scenes, and sometimes the ideas pop up like toast after a spirited walk. Many times I would walk a different path, explore a new street to inspire me to come up with something new to write. Ever stood on the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge at night? Try it. Maybe some ideas will pop up.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?

A.  When I have already written down the story but I know it’s not good enough. When I keep rewriting and rewriting. When I read something so dull and lifeless and wrong I wonder how I could have written it.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?

A.  If I could make a wish, then to learn the guitar and be a musician. Or create art and shoot photos. Years ago I had a solo gallery art exhibition in the Gora Gallery in Montreal. I created wax paintings. Imagine melting wax and adding color in a soup pan, then pouring the colorful liquid onto a flat or tilted canvas. Lots of fun. I take a lot of photos and post them on my Instagram.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.   The mission is ongoing.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A.  Two choices, first is non-fiction: Aristotle’s Ethics, because it helped me start a lifelong focus on self-improvement. Fiction favorite book is Dune, because it really gripped me at the end. Like Dune’s character Paul I left my life by the sea San Diego and moved to another world, NYC.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.  I’d like to say Doc Savage. But other than his habit of fine-tuning his mind and body every day, not much else fits. I’m sort of like Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – his grandfather was important to him too, and he encountered the kind of people that I encountered.

I have an Interesting synchronicity with Spider-Man. In 1987, a few days after telling Wesley Snipes he should play a good vampire who uses martial arts to defeat bad vampires, I was bitten by a parasite and noticed my left leg’s veins were swollen and resembled a spider web. The doctor said I had an early case of Lyme disease. I took penicillin and stayed in bed for two weeks at the home of a silver-haired woman who looked like the twin sister of Aunt May in the first Spider-Man movie. No TV for two weeks as I lay in bed, and I read How To Read A Book by Mortimer Adler, which inspired a lot of reading, especially Plato. Take a look at Plato’s Theaetetus. Tough read, but good brain food. I probably wouldn’t have read Ulysses, Infinite Jest, or Newton’s Principia if not for Adler’s book.

Q.  What character from all your stories are you most like?

A.  Star Racers is my debut novel, but I have written 30 feature-length screenplays. In Star Racers I think I’m most like Rev.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A.   I would love to get to know Proust and his Remembrance of Things Past. I’d also like to read E.R. Eddison’s Zimiamvia Trilogy.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A.   I love the spring. I used to be a summer guy, but after living in NYC with its winters, the coming of spring is wonderful. I love the summer and wearing shorts, and love the fall with all the colorful leaves, but spring flowers are beautiful. I found myself photographing a lot of tulips this month, and that’s been a lot of fun.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A.  Star Racers is a bit different than most novels in that I hired four concept artists to do the art. The idea of using these artists bloomed as naturally as a flower. I wanted to raise public relations money for a radio campaign, and failed to achieve funding. But I hired artists to create visuals for that campaign, and then I thought about using art inside the book. That led me to search for more concept artists, and I found them all over the globe. J.C. Park lives in South Korea. He created the front cover illustration. At first I thought an action scene with battlejets racing through a battleworld with giant boomerangs would be best. Then I thought of a battlejet hanger concept, and that’s what J.C. Park created.

If you look at the front cover, you’ll see there’s an abstract, sci-fi icon just above my name. Gordon Studer created that icon and the spine icons, and helped establish the basic front cover design. He created over twenty abstract sci-fi icons and the book designer Patrick Linsenmeyer and I used them as paragraph dividers and page borders in the paperback. The icons really make a difference in creating an artistic atmosphere – it adds a layer to the reading experience. I think you know that little touches can make a big difference and the icons deliver. The icons are positioned vertically and get their own page – they mirror the upcoming chapter’s theme. Zheng Wei Gu from Singapore, 19 years old, created Sashi, Pinky, and a warrior princess doll. Readers love the dolls and the warrior princess is in color in the ebook. Most of the book art is created by Piotr Foksowicz from Poland. 60 illustrations. One of them is the back cover illustration of Maelae and it’s getting a lot of love on social media sites. Unlike most novels, all of the artwork is full-page, not tiny drawings. Because there are 130 full-page illustrations, Star Racers can start a healthy debate about whether or not it redefines the graphic novel.

A favorite book cover would be Stranger In A Strange Land.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A.   I wanted to create a video to promote the book online so I hired two veteran cameramen to record people in Times Square reading and reacting to chapter one. They read the chapter, then gave their assessment of it. I hired an actress to ask them questions as they spoke. Getting people in Times Square to 1) find people who will stop and listen to anything, 2) agree to read a chapter in NYC’s loudest street, and 3) get people to say or do something that viewers would find interesting was filled with frustration and lots of joy.

The video was difficult to get it done, and exhausting to edit it all. But I loved it – it was a lot of fun to meet new people who were honestly glad and excited about Star Racers. Hearing total strangers say they loved it/liked it was a lot of joy, a memorable time. I’m glad I worked with good, talented people and seeing the video for the first time and later being liked on Facebook is still a high point of the entire writing and publishing process. It’s like I created my own little film, and it was a lot of fun to do.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. I’m currently writing the second novel in the Star Racers saga. Not easy for me to write one novel and market another novel at the same time! The first novel took me five years to write. The second novel will not take as long, but I want readers to know that I’m not hurrying to get it done. I want people to love it, and I’m excited about what I have so far.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.   I hope you take a look at Star Racers on Amazon. It really is something special – there’s a reason why it won the National Award for best science fiction. There are 130 pages of illustrations, and I hope you see the value in having four concept artists work on making it a special experience for you. The first four chapters and some illustrations are on Amazon for you to read and enjoy. If you’ve read this far then you just earned a nugget I hope you find valuable: if you’d like to say hello and have questions, email me at martinfelando@gmail.com 


Did you know that my novel Star Racers just won the National 
Book Award for Best Science Fiction? Silver Medal, IPPY Book Awards, 2016.  That is pretty awesome, right?  Check out more about it below:

2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Results
Congratulations and sincere thanks to the independent authors and publishers who participated in our 20th annual, 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards contes...
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