Welcome to the TRB Lounge, the part of TRB that helps authors and publishers promote their titles.
Today, we are featuring Erin Rhew, author of The Transhuman Project, for our feature, Author Interview.
About The Author
Erin Rhew is an editor, the operations manager for a small press, and a YA fantasy and sci-fi author. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.”
A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin spent years in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest before returning to her roots in the land of hushpuppies, sweet tea, and pig pickin’. She’s married to fellow author, the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) Deek Rhew, and spends her time writing side-by-side with him under the watchful eye of their patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. Erin and Deek enjoy taking long walks, drinking coffee, lifting, boxing, eating pizza, staying up late into the night talking, and adventuring together.
you can connect with the author here
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Can you please tell my readers about your ambitions for your writing career?
Of course, everyone would love to have a bestselling novel, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of that. But mostly, I enjoy entertaining people. If people read my book and feel like they’ve taken an amazing adventure by the end, I can’t ask for much else.
Which writers inspire you?
I love, love, love Rick Riordan. His Percy Jackson series is top-notch for me. I really like how he mixes mythology with the modern world and adds a splash of humor. I’m not nearly as funny as Rick, but I try to have a humorous character, my Percy homage if you will, in every book.
Tell us about your book?
The Transhuman Project is about two neighboring countries, each subjugated by different things. Pacifica is run by a brutal dictator, and Kadar tangled up in the fake niceities of social media shows called Life Channels. Molly Richards and her friends get sucked up in the middle of both countries, and Molly must figure out a way to stop a tyrant from turning people into robots called transhumans while smiling and waving for the Kadarian masses who’ve made her their latest obsession.
It’s about friendship, love, social media, family, and what’s really important in life.
How long did it take you to write it?
The initial draft took me about three months to write. However, what you see now is actually the sequel. I decided the real story lay not in the original but in what comes after. So, I’ve been writing, rewriting, and fussing with this story for about five years.
Are you working on any other project(s) right now? If yes, what are they?
I am currently working on story which places a historical figure in modern times. I’m very excited about it and can’t wait to share it with readers!
When did you decide to become a writer?
I don’t know that I ever really decided to become a writer. I think I was born a writer. When I was four, I wrote my first poem (a terrible rhyme verse about cars, since my grandparents own a car dealership), and I’ve been hooked since that moment.
Why do you write?
I write because I can’t not write. Stories live in my core, and characters take up residency in my mind. They clamor to have their stories told, and I am at their mercy to oblige.
Where do your ideas come from?
I am inspired by everything around me. But mostly my ideas come from conversations I have with my husband. We’ll be like “what if this” or “have you ever thought of that,” and stories evolve.
How do you prefer to write? On computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?
I prefer to use my laptop because it’s portable, and I think way faster than I can write. I’m a pretty fast typist though, so my fingers can *almost* keep up with my brain when I type.
What are your 5 favorite books and 5 favorite authors?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I love a lot of books, so I’ll just name five I really dig.
- Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. I know it’s not technically a book (it’s a play), but the Bard is one of my biggest inspirations. I’ve played Juliet in three different renditions of the play, and I have almost the whole thing memorized.
- The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Percy Jackson is one of the funniest characters I’ve ever read.
- 122 Rules and Birth of an American Gigolo by Deek Rhew. Yep, that’s my husband. I’m obviously biased, but let me tell you, my man has got words. I’ve worked for small presses for years now, and I can truly say I’ve never seen such an amazing mix of literary and commercial in one voice. He’s masterful.
- She Wants It All by Jessica Calla. One word—Dave. I love this story so much, and I definitely have a book crush on Dave. Jess creates such vivid worlds and characters that you can’t help but get swept up in them.
- The Bloodline Series by Richelle Mead. While I enjoyed the Vampire Academy series, I really, really loved the follow-up series. It’s a whole world of alchemists and vampires that is a new, fresh take on the genre.
How do you deal with Writer’s Block?
It depends. If I’m on a deadline, I sit down and force myself to write, even if what comes out is garbage. But if I’m not on a deadline, I take some time to get inspired again. I read, watch shows, and talk to people. Inevitably, it rejuvenates my spirit.
What advice would you give to new aspiring authors?
Two things: never give up on your dream and edit, edit, edit. This business is tough, so you’ll need a thick skin. You’ll have to believe in yourself and your works even if no one else does. But you wrote something, so stick with it and keep believing. Secondly, edit, edit, edit, and when you think you’re done, edit some more. Never, ever, ever turn in a first draft to anyone.
Thank you, Erin, for all the insightful and interesting answers. I personally loved your writing advice!
About The Book
The Transhuman Project
When a video of Molly Richards is taken out of context and goes viral, she’s thrust into the upper echelons of social media stardom and becomes an overnight success in a country where Life Channel ratings reign supreme. As Kadar’s fastest-rising celebrity, her life becomes a media circus, a show put on for the shallow national audience salivating for the next new thing.
But in a world where image is king, danger and death hide among the shadows. In the nearby country of Pacifica, the brutal Caezar turns his citizens into robotic weapons who infiltrate Kadar as sleeper transhumans. They walk among the populace, unaware they are pawns in the madman’s personal arsenal.
Only Molly, her friends, and an elite group of Kadarian fighters known as the Cyber Knights fully understand the transhuman threat, and only they can break the Caezar’s terrorist grip on both Pacifica and Kadar. Battling Fire Bots and humanoid agents, they seek to put a stop to the Caezar’s tyranny by unraveling the secrets buried between layers of deception.
And they have to do it all while smiling and waving for the cameras.
As Molly and her friends peer behind the glitz and glamour, they discover something more frightening and more sinister than anything they’ve encountered yet…the truth.
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