Title: The Cloud
Author: Elmore Hammes
Page count: 238
Genre: Science Fiction
Price: Paperback $9.95, e-book $1.99
Elmore Hammes has written several novels which may be found on online book sites and ordered through most retail bookstores. His short stories have appeared in various online and print publications, including The First Line, Espresso Fiction and St. Anthony Messenger. He is an avid reader, enjoys golf and sand volleyball, and participates in Mainstage Community Theatre productions.
Tell us about your book:
The Cloud is really a two-part story. In the first part, the last survivor of a planet doomed by an approaching menace – the Cloud, a cosmic entity absorbing all life in its path – is rocketed to Earth (this part was done specifically in homage to the origin of Superman). He falls in love with a farm girl from Indiana, and together they must stop the Cloud from destroying Earth. The second part of the book deals with the aftermath of their love, and has a few harsher elements of violence in it. Overall, the book is a modern space opera, with elements of action, romance and a bit of mystery, and is appropriate for teenage and older readers.
How long did it take to write the book?
The first draft took several months. Revisions happened over the next year before I decided it was ready for publication.
What inspired you to write the book?
I have always enjoyed science fiction, particularly where the characters took precedence over the science. I also wanted to pay homage to Superman and pulp classics like Flash Gordon – which is done through the opening chapters.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
For this novel, I wrote almost every day during the first draft. I also did more research, primarily using the internet to verify certain astronomical terms and facts such as distances between planets. While the book certainly isn’t focused on science, I didn’t want to just make up things that I could record accurately.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
Foremost, I hope they come away with a sense of enjoyment from being entertained, with hopefully a few surprises along the way. The story is also representative of my views on the ‘good overcomes in the end’ tale – as I do believe that in the end, good will triumph over evil, and that people making choices for love will be successful.
Where can we go to buy your book?
The paperback is available by order at retail bookstores as well as all online stores, although Amazon is typically the cheapest price for that. The e-book is available in Kindle, Nook and i-Pad editions through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple, and in a variety of formats at Smashwords.
Any other links or info you’d like to share?
My very simple web-site is www.elmorehammes.com and has an option for ordering autographed copies of all my books. It also has information on some of my other activities such as my mission trips to Mexico.
Excerpt from book:
He got up slowly. He offered his hand to Char, wanting to lead her, to touch her, to comfort her. She pulled hers back and folded her arms, pulling them tight against her chest.
He sighed. “Follow me, Charlotte. It would be best to show you, first. Then I will explain it all.” He started off across the meadow. He looked back and saw she had remained standing beside the tree, arms still crossed, swaying as if unsure which direction to take. “Please,” he called to her. “It will all be clearer if you just let me show you.”
She hesitated, then walked up beside him. “All right, but if this is some kind of trick, you’ll regret it.”
“I already have my regrets,” he said.
He led her across the meadow to the spot where he had hidden the rocket ship. He held out his arm, concentrated on the cells, making them softer on top and firmer below, pushing the communicator up through layers of skin until it was completely exposed, then sealing the skin beneath it so it remained outside his body.
Char blinked, not sure what he was doing. It looked like the band around his wrist had emerged from his flesh, but she knew that couldn’t be right. Maybe he was some kind of government man – that might explain the mystery about him. Might explain some things, she thought, but not her dead herd.
He noted the puzzled look on her face. It would only get stranger for her, he knew. He felt she was strong enough to handle the truth. It was the only way to explain things. It was the only way she might again look at him the way she had at the kitchen table, would connect with him, would link her life force with him. He entered the command in the communicator.
Char drew a breath in when the ground in front of them started to shift. She took a step back as a large metallic object rose from the earth, seeming to float on air before settling back down on the meadow grass. Settling down on grass and dirt that did not show the slightest trace that a large metal object – oh, admit it, she thought – did not show the slightest trace that a spaceship had just come out from it.
“Oh. My. God.”
“No,” he said. “I am not a god…”