Friday, November 10, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 20: Among the Stacks with Phillip Tomasso


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hey, Phillip.  Welcome back to The Gal.  It's been awhile since we sat down together.  What's been going on since we last spoke?

Phillip Tomasso:
It has been a while. Too long, in my opinion. Thank you for having me back. I appreciate it. 2017 was a busy, busy writing year. Sinister Grin Press released my Severed Empire fantasy series: Wizard’s Rise, Wizard’s War, Queens of Osiris, and Assassin’s Promise. They have been amazing to work with. And, as if that were not enough, I still have one more new novel due out from Severed Press before the end of the year, a sci-fi / horror novel, Absolute Zero. Whew! I am tired just talking about it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Who are you outside of writing?

Phillip Tomasso:
That is a deep, deep question. I have a day job. Except I work the graveyard shift. Fulltime, I am employed as a Fire / EMS Dispatcher for a 911 center. We handle roughly 3,000,000 calls a year. Quite busy, quite stressful, but most of all, quite rewarding. I love playing guitar. I am okay at it. My singing, though. It is horrible. Doesn’t stop me. It should. It just doesn’t. But more than my writing, my job, or my hobbies, I am a father. I have raised three amazing kids. And although they are all twenty and older now, they are still my everything. Anything, and everything I accomplish, I am doing it in a roundabout way for them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Phillip Tomasso:
It’s funny. I wish more would. I have a huge family, and tons of friends – and tons of friends who read. And they are generally the least likely to read my work. Don’t know why that it. Wish I did. These are the people I care about most, and their opinions I want the most, and I can’t get them to read the books. It’s okay. No hard feelings. Just saying.  

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Phillip Tomasso:
A gift. I can’t imagine when it would or could ever be considered a curse. I love telling stories, and am so thankful I have publishers interested in my work. So thankful. My characters are always inside my head talking to me, keeping me company, urging me on, and forward, and I love them for it! I have torn scraps of paper all over the house, and notes on my phone, and audio recordings on my phone, all so I don’t forget what comes next. It is a jumbled, crazy way to live, but I couldn’t imagine living my life any other way.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you outline?  Do you start with characters or plot?  Do you just sit down and start writing?  What works best for you?

Phillip Tomasso:
This is a perfect question, as I am just about to begin a new Work In Progress (WIP). When I come up with an idea, the process is nothing shy of scattered, and chaotic. It is like when you write a word down in the center of the page and then free flow ideas all around it. From there I sketch out a one-page synopsis of what I expect the story to become. I will then draft who my characters are. I like to make up a separate page for each character and document as much about them as I can. After I have a sense of who the characters are, and what the story will entail, I craft a rough-rough outline. And then, and then, I just write.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you do when characters don't follow the outline/plan?

Phillip Tomasso:
I mentioned above how my characters are constantly talking to me inside my head. They could be from a book I am in the middle of writing, or from one I’ve just started outlining, or one I’ve yet to sketch out. (Sounds weird, I know). They become real. They have a say in what happens to them. They are not shy about voicing their opinions, either. There have been times when I am writing dialogue and the character personified in my mind will say, “I wouldn’t say that,” or “I wouldn’t say it that way. I would say it like this... “ (And now I am looking for the ambulance, as I am sure someone reading this has called, concerned about my overall well being). #MentalHygieneArrest

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?

Phillip Tomasso:
There are a handful of things motivate me. This is in addition to setting aside time each day to sit and write. Reading an amazing book, seeing an awe-inspiring movie, or Mother Nature – whether it is a walk through woods, along water, a thunder or snowstorm, or anything “beautiful” seen outside. Nature is so inspiring.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you an avid reader?

Phillip Tomasso:
Yes. I am. I use Goodreads more than Facebook. I set book reading goals, and generally crush them. I do not believe a writer can be a writer without being a reader. Maybe they can. There might be some out there. I just don’t believe it is truly possible ;-)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?

Phillip Tomasso:
I go in spurts. I read all over the genre spectrum. I love horror, and legal thrillers. I am currently enjoying military/spy/war novels, and fantasy. I love science fiction, and medical suspense novels. My apartment is filled with full bookcases of everything from Walter Mosely and Dennis Lehane to Stephen King and Mark Lawrence, sprinkled in with John Grisham and Tess Gerritsen.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do your fans mean to you?

Phillip Tomasso:
Fans are everything. I try to interact with them on social media as promptly, and as intimately as possible! I love getting emails, and Facebook messages, Tweets, and Goodreads comments! It is days when those things happen that I am happiest with my decision to follow my dream of writing!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Phillip Tomasso:
I am super excited about Absolute Zero, the first in my new sci-fi/horror trilogy (Severed Press). The first book could be out around, or just after Thanksgiving. The second is in the works now with a working title of Absolute Exodus (and the third, Absolute Velocity). Additionally, I have a straight up ghost novella, Woman in the Woods, which will should get a release date from Sinister Grin Press at some point in 2018.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (STaLKeR links.)

Phillip Tomasso:

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview or the last?

Phillip Tomasso:
If you read a book by an author, any author, leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.  Those reviews mean so much to an author.  Reviews, even bad ones, are always, and greatly, appreciated!
            If you are an aspiring author, stick with it.  Work on some short stories.  Build up a portfolio.  Read.  Write.  Read.  Write.  Read.  Write!


About the author:
Phillip Tomasso III is the award-winning author of many novels, including the Severed Empire series, and Amazon Best-Selling Vaccination Trilogy.
            He lives in Rochester, NY with his three kids, works full-time as a Fire Dispatcher for 9-1-1, and is always hard at work on his next story!

About the books:
A war is coming.  There is no way to prevent it.  The only thing for certain is that there will be one loser... and one winner.

For over two hundred years, the Rye Empire enforced drastic measures outlawing the use of magic.  To avoid capture, a handful of remaining Wizards escaped royal persecution and made it into hiding.  Shortly after the decree, the empire crumbled, but the laws remained in place... 
            The Mountain King's ambitions of becoming the next Emperor will be realized.  With forced help from an enslaved sorceress, he will stop at nothing until he achieves his dreams.  The easiest path to victory can be obtained by retrieving buried talismans.  With those enchanted items in his possession, he can summon the Wizards, steal, and harness their power.  In an effort to save the Old Empire from a growing, sinister magic, seventeen-year-old farmboy Mykal and five friends begin a desperate journey.  They must collect the talismans before the Mountain King.  Their trek will force Mykal to face fears, and accept truths he'd never known existed.  There isn't much time.  A war is coming.  Their chances of winning will depend on whether they succeed or not.  If they fail, a terrible darkness will steal the light from the Grey Ashland Realm... forever.

The realms across land and sea must unify if there is any hope of stopping the Mountain King, however, time is not on their side.  Mykal and his small band of friends must warn King Nabal that the Mountain King will surely move forces against Grey Ashland and the rest of the Old Empire.  This fight will involve more than knights, and swords; Magic has become the weapon of choice.  New to his craft, Mykal is unsure of his ability to combat during war as a wizard.
            Unfortunately, the War is no longer coming.  The War has arrived!

TWO YEARS AFTER THE WAR HAS ENDED:

Since the demise of the Mountain King, Hermon Cordillera's daughters have stepped up and share the throne as queens of the Osiris Realm.  But when women go missing from the kingdom, they are unable to find whoever is responsible for the growing number of abductions...

Centuries ago, Wizards investigated crimes the crown couldn't solve.

Mykal, the young wizard, continues honing his magical skills with his mother, and his tactical training with Blodwyn, his oldest friend.  Living in secret within the ancient library ruins, they are surprised when a young woman shows up asking them for help.
            Mykal and Blodwyn return to Cordillera's castle, this time as allies.  Takes with unraveling the mystery, they soon realize there isn't much evidence pointing in any direction.  They are ill prepared for the untold dangers that await them.  It will come down to more than Mykal's magic if they hope to survive, and if they want to resolve the case of Osiris' abducted people.

Welcome to the Severed Empire.

This is the story of Blodwyn long before he became the dynamic hero you first met in Wizard's Rise, Wizard's War, and the Queen of Osiris.  Blodwyn wasn't always an assassin.  In fact, when he was a boy...
            The King's Watch combed the lands in search of wizards, witches, and anyone practicing magic.  When the Watch stormed Blodwyn's home, it was Blodwyn's father they wanted.  The self-taught alchemist was a law-breaker in the eyes of the king, and the penalty of his art was death.
            Bent on revenge, Blodwyn befriended Rasheed, a dangerous assassin.  The plan was simple: Learn everything Rasheed could teach him, and then track down the knights of the Watch.
            The only problem with simple plans was that they rarely played out the way one expected.  Before long, Blodwyn finds himself in the middle of more than he could have anticipated.  The anger that once fueled his drive, and motivation was replaced with new feelings and strong friendships.
            When finally Blodwyn encounters the King's Watch, the young boy - the assassin - has a difficult decision to make...

When a recon becomes a rescue... nothing is absolute!
            Earth, a desolate wasteland is now run by the Corporations from space stations off planet... A colony of thirty-three people are part of compounds set up on Neptune.  Their objective is mining the planet surface for natural resources.  When a distress signal reaches Euphoric Enterprises on the Nebula Way Station, the Eclipse is immediately dispatched to investigate.
            The crew of the Eclipse has no idea what they were getting themselves into.  When they reach Neptune, and send out a shuttle party, they hope they can find the root cause behind the alarm.  Nothing is ever simple.  Something sinister lies in wait for them on Neptune.  The mission quickly goes from an investigation into a rescue operation.
            The young crew from the Eclipse now finds themselves in the fight of their lives!

2 comments:

Phillip Tomasso said...

Thank you for the interview. I enjoyed the questions very much!

Meghan H said...

It's always a pleasure having you, Phillip. Thanks for stopping by.