Dabbers, please welcome the wife-husband writing duo, Sandy and Duayne, who go by Ddwlem. They’ve published a fun adventure space opera, IZ~ The Izzy Story: Encounters, which I quite enjoyed and am looking forward to Book 2 in the series. It’s a real treat having them on the blog and I bet you’ll enjoy their humor as I do! Sandy & Duayne are also generously giving away 5 Audible US downloads and 10 Audible UK downloads of their book! Freaking awesome! So scroll to the bottom for details on how to enter.
What fictional world would you like to visit for the holidays?
The World of Authair (pronounced OUT THERE) is at the top of our list. We’re looking forward to our first flight in Graviton 1 to Planet Authair with our avatars before the end of this year.
How does modern pop culture influence your work? Do modern cultural references date a piece or add touchstones for the reader?
Cimi Nuja, our mathematical geek, is an embodiment of pop culture modern and retro. She’ll be seen wearing the latest in fashion as long as it allows her to be comfortable and efficient; if not she’ll re-fashion it to suit her needs.
What has been your worst or most difficult job? How does it compare to writing?
Determining the composition of petroleum streams and administrating an educational program have been our most challenging jobs. While the tedium necessary for identifying elements in samples of petroleum has little obvious relationship to the collaboration necessary to effectively work with educators we’ve blended those skills into a rare form of ingenuity we call IZ~.
Are minions/sidekicks just throwaway devices in a tale? Can they become more? Do they need to become more?
If you have a sidekick you’ve gotta make him kick. Leachim Ztulk is ours. He’s been assigned to Gore Andriol; so you can imagine what it must be like when you’re designated assistant ‘gets it wrong’ every time. Our sidekick is used as an entertaining thread throughout the story creating events that other characters have to deal with before they can get on with their mission.
What were you like as a kid? Did your kid-self see you being a writer?
*Duayne gets the first bid at this one.* I was one of those inquisitive little boys encouraged to explore. I wanted to know how things worked. In high school I built a cloud chamber to observe radioactive particles. I liked mixing chemicals and watching their reactions including making my own rockets and hydrogen balloons. My kid-self wanted action, writing a book wasn’t nearly that exciting to me at the time.
*Sandy chimes in.* And I was one of those quiet little girls who spent half of her first year of school at home because of a respiratory illness. There I entered the fictional world of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Reading or being read to was my favorite past time. Kate Greenaway was my heroin, I would not have pretended to follow in her footsteps. Writing was one of those unspoken aspirations that has only recently surfaced to be manifest in IZ~.
If you could sit down and have tea (or a beer) with 5 fictional characters, who would you invite to the table?
It would be a glass of Merlot for Brenda Leigh Johnson of The Closer, a hearty grog for Gulliver of Gulliver’s Travels, a super soda for Abbey of NCIS, a cup of tea for William Murdock in the Artful Detective while the two of us sit spellbound with our cups of coffee going cold.
What is a recurring or the most memorable geeky argument or debate you have taken part in?
Is it possible to have a planet revolving between two suns of a binary star system as does Planet Authair in IZ~ revolve between its two suns Olym and Valym? We’ve presented this proposal to several notable astronomers.
What is the first book you remember reading on your own?
*Sandy gets the first bid on this question.* Marigold Garden by Kate Greenaway was probably the first book I read all the way through, possibly having memorized it. The poetry was beautiful and the little girls lived in a world I wanted to experience.
*Duayne chimes in.* As for me, other than See Spot Run in my early years, the first book I remember reading was Flatland by Edwin Abbott Abbott. I was a freshman in High School at the time and taken by the idea of second and third dimensions and Abbott’s concept of the forth dimension. Perhaps it’s our divergence of preferences that generates our mutual enjoyment of the unusual.
Finally, what upcoming events and works would you like to share with the readers?
As we mentioned in your opening question our avatars will be traveling to Planet Authair. Look for the flight in Graviton 1 to Planet Authair to be available on our website in the fall of 2015. Denisa Kuldova, our 3D artist, is preparing the flight.
We are planning to research the Olmec people in an upcoming trip to Mexico. This is in preparation for Wheeling and Dealing, Book 4 in the series. We’ll be posting those adventures and recognizing the people who help us uncover the curiosities of this magnificent ancient culture on Facebook and our website.
Places to Find Ddwlem
You can find us on WordPress at Iztheizzystory@wordpress.com
FAPA (Florida Authors and Publishers Association) has chosen IZ~ The Izzy Story: Book 1, Encounters as a finalist in the category of Florida Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction. The Gold and Silver Metal winners of each category will be announced at the conference held at the Hilton in Orlando, FL August 7 – 9 of this year. There are 3 books chosen in this category: The other two finalists are John Horse: Florida’s First Freedom Fighter by Betty Turso and The Sparks by Kyle Prue.
IZ~ The Izzy Story consists of a series of books that describe the life and adventures of Izzy, his loyal friends and, few but deadly, enemies. There is humor and drama, woven through scientifically imagined possibilities that question the origin and of our myths and legends.
This introductory book describes the first encounters of Izzy with the Good , the Bad and the Earthlings and lays the basis for subsequent books in the series.
“Encounters,” consists of 5 chapters from different times and locations. It weaves a tale around Izzy’s life and how he lost a precious possession while on a mission to Earth with his companions. Their plan was to develop a vaccine to cure a plague that was rampant on their home planet Authair. Each chapter further develops a mystery surrounding the discovery of a curiously crafted artifact.
Chapter 1, “Attack,” reveals that Izzy Tzeus, was created by a lab accident at the Ponce Heidon Institute of Genetic Research on Planet Authair. Surprisingly he’s found to be half cat, half iguana with a trace of Authairian blood and was named because Ponce kept asking, “What is he?” He uses telepathic powers and can communicate with any life form. Izzy surprises everyone including himself when he learns he can produce a sound capable of subduing enemies and saving lives.
For those who don’t believe such a small creature’s sound could be so potent, in Chapter 2 “Skeptical”, older Izzy attempts to prove it is true. He also provides evidence of the team’s visit to prehistoric Earth through a gift he received from Kurl Tszargon. Kurl depicted Izzy’s life story by engraving an ancient Authairian script around a plate’s edge. This precious gift was lost during the volcanic eruption in Santorini around 1600 BCE. But shortly after the eruption, a broken fragment is recovered by a Welsh sailor, Illiachus, who believes it is a gift from the gods.
It is eventually rediscovered in 2000 CE at Stonehenge by Tasy, a terrier belonging to Dee, an archaeology coed attending Bournemouth University. Her professor, Geoffrey Devans, once he recovers from the shock of his student ‘stealing’ an artifact from the earth at Stonehenge hypothesizes the artifact was fabricated during the Bronze Age in Wales but composed of materials known to have only recently been developed here on Earth. The script around the edge resembles Linear A, so professor and student travel to Santorini to have Dee’s grandfather, Aristotle Maritimis, attempt to translate it’s message.
They are joined by Thorf Serendopolis, an archaeology student who has just arrived in Santorini from Princeton University to conduct his PhD research who shortly before leaving for Greece, had discovered he has a strange allele on his DNA that may account for his superior intellect and athletic prowess. On arriving at Santorini, Thorf has a déjà vu feeling that haunts him. That night he has a series of nightmares about riots and a plague in a distant world, then about a young girl gathering firewood on a beach.
The origin of the dream is realized in Chapter 5. The young girl’s grandfather, Illiachus, recites a fireside ballad to the children of his clan about his encounters with human-like creatures and a dragon that descend to Earth and bargain with him, and how he survives the destruction of Santorini and finds a treasure made by the gods.
The authors are offering 5 Audible US downloads of Encounters and 10 Audible UK downloads of Encounters! For a quick entry, tell me in the comments 1) Do you have an Audible account and indicate US or UK (and leave a way to contact you); and 2) What has been your worst or most difficult job? Also, you can enter the Rafflecopter below which has additional entries. Contest ends Midnight July 31st, 2015!