Today I’m thrilled to welcome B.T. Keaton to Whispers & Wonder as we kick off the Transference Book Tour presented by Storytellers On Tour! This upcoming week we’ll be showcasing Brandon’s Dystopian Sci-Fi standalone tale, Transference. I’ve had my eye on this one for quite a bit, so I’m super excited to hear what people think of it! Stay tuned for some fantastic features from our Roadies across blogs and social media – it’s going to be a great week.
Brandon stopped by for a chat about how this story of his has come to fruition, the research involved, his favorite character he’s written, what lies ahead, and more! So, keep scrolling to learn more about the book and author, check out the awesome interview, and enter to win a copy of Transference!
We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers and Bookstagrammers to help us feature Transference. This is what we have going on, so make sure to check out each and every one throughout the week for some brilliant content, including reviews and more.
JULY 28TH – THE KICKOFF
Whispers & Wonder (IG: @whispersandwonder)
Fantasy Book Critic
I Smell Sheep
Book and Nature Professor (IG: @bookandnatureprof)
Bookwyrm’s Guide to the Galaxy
AUGUST 3RD – THE ENCORE
Queen’s Book Asylum
For more info, visit the official tour page at Storytellers On Tour.
Rebellion. Revenge. Revelation.
Barrabas Madzimure is banished to the desert planet Eridania for his many crimes. Slaves to the Church and to the will of its prophet Jovian, a charismatic figurehead who rules everything on Earth, Madzimure and his cohorts toil underground digging endlessly for the substance eridanium—the source of Jovian’s alien power.
But Madzimure can no longer hide from his past. Facing execution, he claims to have once been Thaniel Kilraven, transferred decades earlier into the body of Madzimure against his will. Under interrogation the stories of both men are brought to light, and the terrible fate of the lost Kilraven bloodline is revealed.
Madzimure escapes, knowing the only way to salvage what’s left of the Kilraven name and confront his destiny—and Jovian—is by facing them head on. But the horrific truths he finds on Earth might be the undoing of all mankind. What if everything humanity believed about civilization was a lie? Will anything or anyone be left from the fallout?
Meet The Author
Brandon Keaton is a citizen of Aotearoa, and has called its beautiful capital city of Wellington home for over ten years. Some of his career highlights include slaving joyfully in big-box retail, making coffee for advertising execs, and duty-managing a craft beer brewery. He is also passionate about animals and has an undying affinity for gummy bears. Brandon is a member of The Science Fiction & Fantasy Association of New Zealand and The Libertarian Futurist Society. He is currently penning the sequel to TRANSFERENCE, his debut indie novel.
Thanks so much for stopping by for a chat, Brandon. Since we already have your official bio, care to tell us about yourself in ten words or less?
I love walks on the beach, but I hate sand.
Give us an idea of how Transference came to fruition.
The idea swirled in my head for years. I wanted to do something fresh, but also, I knew it was still going to be a kind of mix and mash of things that I’ve seen in my life. Since I think of my stories in an almost life-like way, or cinematic sense, movies from my childhood like Ghostbusters and Aliens were bound to be a big influence. Also, my late father was a real sci-fi fan, and so when you put all that together, I really just wanted to tell a story that I liked and that I thought he would like. I hope I’ve done that. Although I can’t help but think he might say it’s a little too heady for his taste. (laughs)
Can you share with us something about Transference that isn’t in the blurb?
The book is told from multiple points of view. Not to the grand level that Game of Thrones achieved or anything like that, but I wanted both male and female perspectives leading the charge. That was critical for me to tell the story. And you know, not being female, I found that really challenging. And rewarding.
Was there any specific research you’ve done or inspiration you’ve pulled from for this story of yours?
Inspiration absolutely came from a hodgepodge of movies from my youth. As a child of the 80s (and 90s) I was affected by all the pop-culture blitzing. Cartoons, comics, magazines, video games, I mean you name it. I did a lot of what some might call unnecessary research to flesh out details of the story. For example, there’s a chapter in New York City where Terra is hoofing through empty streets. Having never been to New York, I had to do a lot of Google-mapping, and measuring out distances… finding images of the landscape. I mean that took a lot of time for what may have only amounted to a few paragraphs here and there, but I wanted to get it right for myself. Hopefully the reader appreciates something about it, too! (laughs)
What do you hope your readers take away from Transference?
The book is about a lot of things, I think. And I didn’t intend for that, it’s just what it became. But ultimately, it’s about family, and the strong love of family. And I think it’s also, in a broader sense, about where we came from. Why are we here? That sort of thing. I had fun prodding at those topics.
What comes first, the plot or the characters?
Transference I think is primarily plot-driven. But it would also be nothing without its characters. So, I guess you could say you can’t have one without the other. Like love and marriage. (laughs)
Do you have a favorite character you’ve written? If so, who? What about them sets them apart from all the others?
In terms of Transference, I really liked writing Elisabeth, Terra, and the Surgeon. We only get one chapter from Elisabeth’s point of view, but I think what she has to say and what she does is vital to the story. That almost didn’t make it in the book, mind you! (laughs) It was an 11th hour addition. Terra is important to me because she is based on a person I know in real life, and someone I’ve loved all my life. The character of Terra is not a literal interpretation of this person, but a re-imagining of them had their life gone in a different direction. And the Surgeon was simply fun to write. Here was a man who had everything in life, and yet in the end the only thing that mattered to him was an unlikely friendship.
What do you think makes a good story?
Death! (laughs). No, but seriously, I think investment is vital. Having an emotional connection to a character. If you don’t care about what’s happening to at least one character, then everything else is likely to fall away and cause you to lose interest.
If you could go back and change how you approached writing your debut novel, what’s the one thing you’d do differently?
I probably should’ve written it from third person POV instead of first. But I wanted to get inside the characters’ heads. I wanted you to be in their heads, going along on that journey with them. Something about that felt more alive and exciting to me. I have come to understand since that shifting points of view can be confusing to some readers. But hey, I’m still learning, and it takes all kinds, right? Different strokes for different folks.
Writing can be a stressful pursuit. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
The book was finished probably for six years before it was published. I sat on it for a long time because I felt like the ending wasn’t right. It was just too pat. Then in 2019 it hit me… a good villain/antagonist always has more than one motivation. So, what that motivation was, thankfully, just grew organically out of the story I’d already told. I didn’t have to force it. And I think waiting set the book up for a potentially bigger, more mind-bending follow-up. So, really what I’m saying is, don’t get frustrated if it takes time to get it right.
Ok, let’s see what kind of person you truly are.
Coffee or Tea?
I love the smell of coffee, but not the taste. So, tea wins by default here.
Winter or Summer?
Physical books or Ebooks?
Mountains or Oceans?
I’m kinda afraid of open water, so let’s go with mountains.
Beer or Wine?
Beer. Dark beer especially.
Books or Movies?
This is the toughest one for me. How about a draw? No, no… books win.
Cowboys or Aliens?
Pie or Cake?
Hmm, are these euphemisms? I choose cake either way (laughs).
Rural or Urban?
I’d love to say rural, but I probably lean more toward urban.
Work hard or Play hard?
Play. Always play.
Thank you again for taking the time have a chat, Brandon. Tell us, what lies ahead for you?
God knows (laughs). I’m working on the sequel to Transference, but it’s been slow going. I can’t really explain why that is, because the first one was written rather quickly by comparison. Anyway, I’d love to publish picture books at some point as well, and I’ve got more than a few stories in the can. So, we will just see how things pan out. Time will tell, as they say. And thank you so much for having me, this has been my pleasure.
Enter to win yourself a signed paperback of Transference by B.T. Keaton! Three copies are looking to find their forever homes.
Ends 8/4 • International
That’s all I got for ya! Be sure to keep an eye on the official Transference tour page over at Storytellers On Tour to see what the other bloggers and Bookstagrammers have to share!