Set in the heart of San Francisco, Angels In the Mist weaves a world of androids, cyborgs, vampires and plasma guns into a complex tale that will keep you turning the pages. Ryan Southwick found his inspiration in his passion for science fiction, PC Games, and established career as a top software development expert.
What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve wanted to write a book for years. The Z-Tech characters had been bouncing around in my head since high school. One day I was reading an urban fantasy book my wife recommended, and I had the overwhelming urge to see if I could write something like this myself, so I pulled up MS Word and gave it a try. Two years and a lot of stops and starts later, I had the first draft and was absolutely hooked on writing fiction, though I didn’t tell anyone I was even writing a book until after the second draft.
Can you tell us about the book from your point of view?
Angels in the Mist was written from the beginning with a 3-4 book series in mind. This book introduces the protagonist, Anne Perrin, an ordinary waitress with psychological trauma who gets thrown into a terrible situation. Just when she thinks the situation can’t get any worse, she’s proven wrong in frightening and spectacular ways. Just as spectacular are the people at Z-Tech who bail her out, and who make Anne re-think what’s possible. More importantly, Anne finds the relationships her trauma had denied her for most of her life, though each relationship has its own challenges and quirks that make her constantly re-examine not only her definition of normal, but her own sexuality, and put her on the long-awaited path of healing.
All of this happens, of course, while a supernaturally strong homicidal sadist is stalking her to finish what he started.
What can readers expect from this book?
Laughter. Tears. Warm fuzzies. Technology. Fun. Action (oh, yes, the action…). And hopefully some new friends.
Can you tell me three fun facts about the main character of your book?
Without giving any spoilers? That’s a tough one.
- Anne is very empathetic but also has a great sense of humor and quick wit, which she uses as a defense mechanism in uncomfortable situations
- Anne secretly dreams of being an espionage agent like the heroine from her favorite book series, The Adventures of Jayne Madison, though she gave up hope when trauma struck as a late teen and turned her into a recluse. Oh, Anne, if you only knew…
- Anne is a borderline technophobe, which is ironic because… well, let’s leave it at that for now
What are your plans for future writing projects?
Believe it or not, the rest of the series is already finished in at least first-draft form. They’re in line for edits and covers and art and such with the publisher, who may now be regretting signing all of those contracts so close together.
In addition to the main series, I have one novella I’m calling book 1.5 already finished, Zima: Origins—a prequel that should be read after Book 1—that will be published shortly after the first book.
What do you want the world to know about your book?
That it’s accessible. Angels in the Mist mixes several genres, including urban fantasy and contemporary science fiction. It also touches on some heavy themes, but at its core, it’s meant to be an uplifting tale centered on a sweet waitress who bad things keep happening to, her indomitable spirit, and how important the friends we often consider family is to our well-being. Although the story carries a tech theme, you won’t be bombarded with engineering terms, I promise.
What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
How true family sees beyond our superficial flaws and cherish the people we are inside, and how those we consider family transcends blood relation and, in some cases, species.
How is your book different from other science fiction & fantasy books?
Many rely heavily on the mechanics of the genre to carry the story. I wanted Angels in the Mist to be a good story first, with the urban fantasy and science fiction elements as a bonus, and interesting characters who just happen to also have extraordinary attributes.
What is your favorite passage from your book?
“So what do you think?” Charlie said.
Mark rubbed his eyes. “I think we’re in for a long night. We have some very complex simulations to build for physiology we barely understand, and I’m still trying to shake the fun-but-distracting effects of vampire heroin-venom.”
“Would coffee help?”
“It couldn’t hurt.”
Charlie headed for the door. “Don’t be so sure. It’s been a while since I worked the coffee maker.”
“Angels in the Mist” will be officially released on June 16th and is currently available on pre-order on Amazon.