Please join me today for an interview of Stoney M. Setzer, author of Zero Hour.
Who do you think would like your book? (Or alternately: Please tell prospective readers why they’d like your book.)
In the foreword, I talk about how the speculative-fiction genre is kept afloat by millions of people and how it stands to reason that at least some of them are probably Christians. I’m a Christian, and I’ve always loved stuff like The Twilight Zone, old sci-fi movies, and so on. So, I’ve written spec-fic that is Christian, without the objectionable content that often finds its way into more mainstream spec-fic.
So basically, if you want to read Twilight Zone-like stories that come from a Christian worldview and that are “clean” in terms of content, Zero Hour is for you.
What is your favorite thing about your story?
One of my favorites themes is the idea of everyday people finding themselves in unusual situations, which was a staple of The Twilight Zone. As you read the 15 stories in this book, you’ll find that theme shows up quite a bit.
Do you remember how long it took you to write? How about to edit and find a publisher?
That’s sort of hard to say, since it’s a collection of short stories. I can tell you that most of the individual stories probably took less than a week or two once I got my idea finalized. My publisher approached me about the book after he had already published several of my stories over a span of 2 or 3 years.
As for finding a publisher, I had already “met” Lyndon Perry through a writers’ group on Yahoo. I had been contributing stories to his ezine, Residential Aliens, for a while when we first started talking about a book. So, that part was actually pretty easy, since he already knew my work. In fact, roughly half of the stories were first published in Residential Aliens. So, a big thank-you to him for believing in my work.
What is your favorite type of book to read? Do you have any favorite books or authors?
I figure that you should write what you like to read, so my favorite would be suspenseful stories. This can be sci-fi related, straight mysteries, whatever, just as long as there’s a strong element of suspense. Of course, I also like other things--Christian living, sports-related books, humor, etc.
As for particular authors, my top four would be (in no particular order): Tim Downs, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, and CS Lewis.
What’s your favorite movie or TV show?
Do I have to narrow it down to just one? lol Well, the original Twilight Zone series is of course going to be high on the list, since it’s been such a big influence on my work. I could say the same for most of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, especially “The Birds,” “Psycho,” and “Spellbound.”
Beyond that, I’m a huge fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (especially the “Joel” episodes), Fringe, Smallville, Human Target, and the WWE shows (which had an influence on “The Alabama Hammer” story). As for movies, my tastes are all over the place--Star Wars, Young Frankenstein, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Signs…too many to list, really.
Can readers contact you?
Sure, if they want to! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you were alive in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc., did you have any hairstyles that now make you cringe?
For a while I did a “buzz cut” just because I wanted something easy to take care of, and once I actually had my barber shave my head until it was almost completely bald. Unfortunately, my head isn’t shaped right to carry off the “cueball” look….
Is there anything else you’d like your prospective readers to know? (If not, I’ll just delete this question.)
I’ve recently finished a novel, Dead Man Running, which is currently in the proofreading/editing stage. It’s more of a straight (not spec-fic) suspense thriller, but I come at it with the same Christian worldview as I did in Zero Hour. Hopefully you will be seeing that soon.
I’d also like to give some credit to my good friend Michael Jarrell, who provided the illustrations for this book. The cover art is actually a photo of a grandfather clock that my Granddaddy actually built himself. Of course, there was a little Photoshop done to the picture, an alteration to fit the title that will be immediately obvious.
Please share a synopsis or blurb, and a brief excerpt from your book.
Author Stoney M. Setzer brings together 15 short stories in this new anthology from ResAliens Press. If you enjoy Twilight Zone-like mysteries served up with a spiritual twist, this debut collection of speculative fiction is just for you. (from the back cover)
Thank you for your time, and best of luck with your book! :)
Thank you for taking the time to interview me!
EXCERPT FROM “ZERO HOUR,” BY STONEY M. SETZER
AS TAKEN FROM THE SHORT STORY,
“DOOMSDAY FALLS ON A TUESDAY THIS YEAR”
They stared back at Harold as if they found him amusing. “Do not be alarmed, Earthman,” the older said. “Your eyes do not deceive you.”
Harold was struck by the irony of the directive. Two aliens open his bedroom window and let themselves in, and he wasn‘t supposed to be alarmed? “Who are you? What do you want?”
“Your city has been selected as the first site on Earth for colonization. Unfortunately, code stipulates that we must select one member of your race with whom to share our intentions so that he may tell his fellows. We have chosen you.”
Harold's jaw dropped. “Why me?”
“If we chose a herald that people would believe, they might mount a resistance, and code stipulates that we cannot colonize where there is active, informed resistance.”
“But if none heed your warnings, then we proceed as planned,” the younger chimed in. “That‘s why we chose you. Based on your history, no one will believe you.”
You can buy the book here: