Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Meme - EYE CANDY by Ryan Schneider

Thriller writer and writer friend Rob Guthrie tagged me recently to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Meme.

It's a blog chain in which writers tag fellow writer friends to answer a list of standard questions about their current or forthcoming novel.  Thanks, Rob. (Visit Rob at and read his books. Seriously.)

So here we go.

1. What is the title of your book?

Eye Candy.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I can't answer that without revealing a spoiler. So let's see if I can dance around it while still providing some semblance of an answer.

I had an idea for what I thought was a powerful scene, and which had a powerful concept behind it. I wanted to write to arrive at that scene. So I began at the beginning, and finally got there about 60% of the way into the story.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction. Though at its heart it is a love story. Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets all his friends together to kick some serious ass and gets girl again.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Tough question.

I've been asking myself this for some time, particularly when my cover designer Rahzzah and I discussed how the two main characters, Danny and Candy, should appear on the cover.

For Danny, my criteria were that he be handsome, something along the lines of George Clooney or Hugh Jackman.

For the scene showcased in the cover art, Danny needed to look strung out (read the book to see why!).

I found this image of Hugh Jackman which was perfect. A long way from Wolverine.

But actors love to showcase their range.

For Candy, the criteria were tall and blond, but also classy and elegant.

Not overly glamorous; attractive, but the kind of woman who is generally liked by other women.

I pictured her with great hair, too. I think Rahzzah nailed it.

Claire Danes is one possibility.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In a near-future Los Angeles, roboticist Danny Olivaw finds himself on a blind date with a beautiful robopsychologist named Candy, and the next day, strange things begin to happen; little do they know what fate has in store for them.

6. Who is publishing your book?

All my books are self published. Back in 2008-2009, I spent a year querying agents regarding my novel The Go-Kids, an epic science fiction thriller starring five lovable teens tasked with using high technology in a battle of spiritual warfare.

The more I re-wrote my query letter and re-submitted it, I confronted the reality of selling one's novel. To do so would truly mean selling it. Akin to selling your car. It's gone. Bye bye. No longer yours. The new owner gets to do whatever they want with it, and they are not interested in and do not care if the wheel shimmies slightly at 71 miles per hour, or that the car tends to leak coolant so check it regularly, or that you've driven it and loved it every day for 13 years and aren't even sure why you're selling it.

Your book is precious like that.

At least, mine was to me.

So when I heard about self publishing, it was really a no brainer. I would handle everything myself. Whatever happened, I would be fully responsible. And I haven't regretted it for a second.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About a year. A bit too long, in my opinion. But it is 460 pages.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Readers will notice references to and inspiration from Isaac Asimov's robot novels Robots and Murder: The Caves of Steel/ The Naked Sun/ Robots of Dawn, as well as some of his short fiction such as I, Robot.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

This relates to the scene I mentioned in Question 2. The title was also an inspiration.

Also, as I read (and often re-read) Asimov's work, I took copious notes whenever something in one of his stories inspired a new invention or a new take on technology which I could employ in my book. I filled most of an entire notebook. Those notes informed the story outline immensely, and proved invaluable during the process of getting to know Candy and Danny, and in bringing their characters to life. I believe character is paramount and solid characters we know and love are a must.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Reviews for Eye Candy are beginning to accumulate, and thus far the response has been very positive; 4- and 5-star reviews.

Here are a few excerpts from reviewers:

"This is a book that delivers on everything promised in the title and on the cover. And a whole lot more. ...this is a professionally written book, properly edited, and a pleasure to read. I recommend it to all SF readers..." 4 STARS ~Gordon A. Long (Delta, British Columbia) (via

The writing is often humorous and flows, making it a pleasure to read. I enjoyed this book and didn't want it to end." 5 STARS ~Digidude700 (Amazon UK)

"If you love your robot novels, you want to read Mr. Schneider's EYE CANDY. You will fall in love with the robots in this book. They are naive, cocky, flamboyant, sexy, serious, curious! They learn, they feel, they try hard to live by the laws even when the laws are what didn't let them live. If you had never read a book about robots, you HAVE to READ Mr. Schneider's EYE CANDY." 5 STARS ~valruspines (via

I'll make a deal with you: if you promise to post a review on Amazon (and it can be brief), I'm happy to provide a complimentary review copy. Contact me HERE via my Contact page and we'll arrange the details. I have both Kindle and Epub available.

The book also has a slew of Easter eggs in it. For anyone not familiar, Easter eggs are little treats or surprises hidden in a text or very often a video game. So I invite you to read the story and see if you can find the Easter eggs.

So that's Eye Candy.

I invite you to click the link and give it a read. I had an absolute ball while writing it. You'll have fun reading it.

Finally, allow me to introduce the two writers I've tagged on The Next Big Thing Blog Meme:

First, James A. West.

James states that he "will write for chips & salsa", but his fiction is worth a great deal more.

James is a talented writer of fantasy novels.

His latest work is Shadow and Steel (Heirs of the Fallen Book 3).

And it's FREE this weekend at Amazon, so click the link above.

I've read James' work and enjoyed it a great deal.

I read Reaper of Sorrows (Songs of the Scorpion - Volume I). It was quite good. Great fantasy, with a strong hero reminiscent of Maximus from the film "Gladiator", great action, and some pretty effed-up dark magic.

James' Next Big Thing Blog Meme is Friday, June 14, 2013. So be sure to visit his blog to see what he's cooking up.

When deciding which authors to tap, Chris Jackson came immediately to mind.

Chris is an award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, including the novel Weapon of Flesh.

His latest novel is Pathfinder Tales: Pirate's Honor.

Chris's Next Big Thing Blog Meme is Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

Visit his website at to see what he's up to.

Thank you.

I hope you've enjoyed The Next Big Thing Blog Meme and you will grab a review copy of Eye Candy right now!

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