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April CSR Discussion Day: Corporate Galactic by astone2292


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April showers bring... well, snow in my neck of the woods! It seems like everywhere I looked online people were talking about strange weather. Life on Earth has been rough the last few years, but could it be worse? That's explored in astone2292's story based on our prompt game, Corporate Galactic. Did you enjoy these snapshots in future time? Share your thoughts below, and enjoy my interview with him too!

Do you eat your fruits and vegetables?
Do wine and cheddar broccoli soup count?

Have you ever gone out in public, realized your shirt is on backwards, and just don’t care?
It’s happened a few times, but it hasn’t since I filled my closet with short-sleeve button ups. It’s really hard to wear one inside-out.

What’s something personal about you people might be surprised to know?
When I was eight years old, my parents’ house was hit by a tornado while we were inside. All I remember is the sound of a stampede, then a two-by-four smacked me in the face.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
The Man with a Million Masks: Someone Who Doesn’t Know Himself.

What’s the best part of being an author?
I can do whatever I want! Authors can do things normal humans can not. Go back in time, travel to outer space, invent new worlds. I went to school to be an artist, but my fingers would never translate what I wanted to create. Using my imagination in writing, I regret not spending more time in English and other writing classes.

Which was a harder genre to tackle Dystopian or SciFi?
Well, each was difficult in its own way, but I’ll give the award to Dystopian. Dystopian involves creating a society of sorts that operates with great suffering. This can lead authors down a rabbit hole into the dark corners of their imagination. How warped can an environment be without truly breaking the human psyche? Corporate Galactic was a dip in the water for me, and I might be tempted to take a plunge.

There are three main characters, one in each chapter. Do you relate to one character the most?
Not particularly. I see a part of me in each of them. Jared because I like being analytical and having as many options available. I relate to Symanthus when I work. She likes production, smooth operation, and seeing success. Silyn for his leadership style. He doesn’t want to rock the boat, but when things don’t go according to plan, he’s able to act with a sense of compassion.

Hybrid human & alien cuisine… in a taco. What kind of dessert do you think Silyn would enjoy?
Ha! If there’s one thing every species could come together on, it’d be cuisine. If there were to be more hybrid human and alien cuisine combinations, specifically for dessert, the easy answer is cake and pie. Oh the possibilities! The human race will always argue which is superior (The correct answer is pie. Bring it on, comment section!), so I can’t imagine what the other species in the Galactic would bring to the debate table. But for Silyn, I’d say brownies. He already goes to the aura bar, and we saw what those pods can do.

Can you sum up this story in one sentence?
What would happen if Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk became rulers of Earth?

Can you share a little of your current or future story(s) with readers?
The current story I’m working on is Death in the Shadows, the final book in a trilogy starring a man who can control shadows using magic. He’s destined to fall in love with a local shapeshifter, and fight the man who murdered his parents. Along the way, he meets many new friends across the globe, develops his understanding of magic, and even becomes a puppet to a few of the seven gods who run the universe. A warning for interested readers: the first book is terribly written, as it was my first attempt at writing. I used third-person omniscient after snorting a line of Fun Dip. POV switches-a-plenty! A thorough edit is in progress, and the new changes look much cleaner.

 A blurb from Death in the Shadows:

Spoiler

After a silent minute, Tierney grumbled and clothed himself. As he took the elevator, he anticipated another encounter with a shadow mage. Hope it’s that British guy. I’ve been itching for a word with him! Leaving the building, he brandished a cigar and lit it with his fire magic. Turning the corner, he walked slowly and scanned the area. Don’t see anyone, and I can’t feel any magic either. Still… Filling his palm with energy, he prepared to send a fireball flying.

Approaching the fence hiding the dumpster, Tierney was on alert. A lone street-lamp was the only source of light, ominously pointing at the destination. Taking a puff, he exhaled. He grabbed his phone and texted the mysterious number, Here. Show yourself.

Circling the trash area, he was alone. Tierney growled to himself and muttered, “Wasting my time.” He waited, doing his best to enjoy the cigar. When it dwindled down to the stub, he dropped and crushed it under his shoe. The lycan took a few steps towards the hotel, but he heard a noise behind him. Readying another fireball, he pivoted. Nothing was there. What the… I swear… He squinted.

There was a hole in the grass. Treading carefully, he noticed it was larger than he first thought. Is it a sinkhole? Pulling his phone, he turned on the flashlight and shined it on the crater.

“Hello, Alpha Scott.”

Surprised by the voice, Tierney took a step back. He recognized who it was. “Fenn?” Aiming the light down the hole revealed a slope and the beta. He's an earth mage?

Fenn’s face was illuminated by his phone’s display. “Sorry, I tried texting you back, but my service doesn’t do well underground.”

The alpha ignored the humor. “This continued stalking won’t look well on my report, Beta Andrews.”

“Robert told me you had a run-in with Hunter. Alpha was… disappointed with him. But I’m not here on their behalf.”

“Oh?”

“I know the council hasn’t painted the best picture,” admitted Fenn, “but I want to change that. I hear you went to see Dalton’s uncle out in Tell City.” When Tierney straightened his stance, Fenn waved a hand. “Settle down, please? Hunt put a tracker on your car overnight, but once Alpha found out you confronted him, he was sidelined and I got the reins. I erased the section where you went to the farm.”

Tierney slackened, but remained apprehensive. “Why would you do that?”

“Because I want Stuerm out.”

Future stories in my to-write bank include a guy who purchases a mail-order bride but receives a husband instead, a Frosty the Snowman origin story, and a collection called Tales of Inanimate Objects where I take on the perspective of various objects used on a daily basis, such as a cigarette or a doorknob. Will the objects be tortured? Will they be sexual? Who knows?

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