Seeing Night - Can you tell us a little bit about Being in your own words?
TRM - Being, on the surface, is about an extraterrestrial marooned in a trailer park in Lancaster, California, after her ship collides with space trash orbiting Earth. It’s also about much more, though. It’s about human behavior and our destructive relationships with Earth and one another. It explores the meaning of family, friendship, overcoming prejudice and oneself, especially when all hope seems lost. It’s very much a love story, both in the familial sense as well as the romantic sense.
SNR - What got you interested in writing a young adult story about aliens?
TRM - Many things. First, my parents met and fell in love while working at NASA, so I’ve always had a fondness for space and all things space-related, as well as a fascination with the possibility of life on other planets. But I didn’t want to write a story about invaders because that’s been done countless times. Rather, what appealed to me was writing about advanced, benevolent beings that wouldn’t waste their time with us unless we were a threat to their existence. Also, the idea came in the form of an A-HA moment and I had to explore it further. Lastly, I had been searching for a vehicle that would allow me to hold up a mirror to our society and I believed this was it.
SNR - What inspired you with your creative character names such as: EBN-Reyoz-x and Aix?
TRM - Feedback from friends, other writers and my novelist mentors who thought the original character names read and sounded too Anglo or human.
SNR - Also speaking of creative names I really liked the name Sents for humans, what made you want to call them something different?
TRM - Writing this sort of story is really tricky, because it can’t be written in a non-human language (well it could, but what’s the point if humans can’t read it?) So, I had to invent alien-slang for certain words because extraterrestrials wouldn’t have the same names for things that we have. Sents is an ironic and derogatory term, because with the exception of a few characters (Aix, Xtarr and Nyl) my extraterrestrial beings think humans lack sense based on how we’re destroying Earth. There’s also some word play going on, as cents are the lowest denomination of American currency and thus, worth next to nothing, which is how they view us.
SNR - What was one of your favorite parts about writing this story?
TRM - You want just one? Writing Being allowed me to spend most every day (for years) within the confines of my own imagination, and I tend to be happiest there.
· SNR - Who are some of your favorite characters in Young Adult literature, besides your own of course?
TRM - Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger and Ronald Weasley, of course
SNR - eBooks are all the hype these days, what made you decide on an eBook?
TRM - It’s a long story. At first, I intended to go with traditional publishing because I hold some credentials: a B.A. in Creative Writing, I’ve studied with award-winning novelists and have had articles published (the most recent of which was picked up by The Times of India.) Now, before I launch into this saga, it’s important to note that the Being you’ve read and reviewed is not the original story. The original manuscript contains a male protagonist and is more of a sci-fi buddy story.
- I submitted the original manuscript to three agents and received rejections. No biggie, that’s par for the course. However, last summer, I attended a writer’s conference and met with an experienced, established editor from New York. After having reviewed the first ten pages of my original manuscript, she said my idea wasn’t marketable based on current publishing trends. As you can imagine, I was heartbroken, but determined not to give up because I’d invested three years of my life into this work. So I asked what she recommended. She suggested that I change certain elements of the story, namely, make my protagonist a female and include a love interest so it could be considered a paranormal romance. At this point, I had already re-written my original manuscript three times from start to finish (in addition to taking each chapter through multiple edits.) The idea of another major rewrite didn’t appeal to me but I decided to think about it.
- In October, I learned I required back surgery and would be out of work for at least two months. Since I doubted I would ever get that much time off work again, I decided to give another re-write a try. I re-wrote the first few chapters, liked what I read, decided to continue and completed the rough draft within the first few weeks of physical therapy. Then as I was editing the final draft of what would become the published version of Being, I started seeing trailers for this feature film entitled, PAUL, an alien buddy movie.
- Now, I’ve been doing this long enough to know it can take up to a year to get the right agent and up to another year for said agent to find the right editor. As far as I was concerned, I didn’t have the luxury of time on my side. About this same time, I began hearing about a young woman named Amanda Hocking and her success as an indie author. After much research, I decided to take a chance, self-published and started praying that I hadn’t made the single worst mistake of my writing career.
SNR - If you could be any one of your characters which one would you be and why?
TMR - I’m not sure I would choose to be any of them, no offense to my characters. But if I had to choose one, I would like to be Xtarr, because she’s royalty and has staff to attend to all her needs, lol.
SNR - Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about or maybe the second to Being?
TMR - Being’s sequel, Just Being, is in the works.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------REVIEW OF BEING BY T.R. MOUSNER
BOOK THEME: Aliens
RECEIVED: Copy from Author
EBN is a guardian of the sky for her planet, on a mission something goes wrong and she crashes in Erox aka Earth. Very injured and lost in a place called Lancaster California, as said on her navigation map EBN must find a safe area while waiting for rescue. Finding a safe house in a trailer park she can’t blend in with humans, she doesn’t have enough supplies and she starts connecting with a young mute boy who lives near by. When rescue never comes and her injuries worsen, plus her touch seems told hold a healing ability, she must find away to get home and evade the Military at all cost.
EBN is a young Guardian of the sky being only six hundred Scyros cycles old, she has to learn about earth and hope that her grandfather will send someone to help her. What was interesting was how the story was written, it goes from EBN’s POV, to her brother Aix that is still on their planet, and to Shane the young human she becomes friends with. Also can I just mention EBN is seven feet tall! Luckily she has a suit that goes over her skin to make her look human…well almost human.
The story really focus’s on the brother sister relationships a lot, which I really enjoyed. Aix is really worried about his missing sister EBN and we follow him on his journey to figure out what has happen to her. While on earth the close relationship of Shane and his sister is amazingly written, they help each other survive without parents. There is a mystery behind their father, but I don’t want to give too much away. It’s really an emotional journey for the reader, really hoping that these kids can get through all the hardships.
I really enjoyed trying to figure out why EBN crashed on earth, why know one was coming for her and how much her family had something to do with it. Her grandfather is in charge of her missions and she tries desperately to communicate with him through out the book. While on her planet her bother Aix tries to figure out why his grandfather is acting weird and his parents don’t seem to care their daughters missing. It really keeps you on your toes as you try and unfold the mystery.
The ending leaves you with some unanswered questions, which aren’t frustrating but it really makes you hope the second comeS out soon. I want to find out what happens with EBN, Shane and Aix. There is a lot going on at EBN’s planet and she is the only one who can figure it out. Being was a fantastic science fiction read for young adults and adult who love anything with a bit of romance, action, and adventure with aliens.
This is a young adult series for all ages and may have some alien words you’ll have to try and understand. But it’s a fun ride! Recommended for fans of Pittacus Lore’s I Am Number Four and James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series.