Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Up the Tower by J. P. Lantern Interview, Excerpt and Giveaways

Up the Tower
by J. P. Lantern



Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn't be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go...UP THE TOWER.



Before anything else—before the riot, before the flood, before the gap and the deaths and the fires and the pain—before all of that, Ana just wanted to get the hell out of Junktown.

But she was stuck there with Raj, and Raj had all the bodyguards, so she couldn't very well leave on her own. Walk into Junktown without any protection? No, thank you. She had a knife on her, but that was hardly enough. The knife fit neatly in a small, luxury Cardion-brand sheath at her side.

The rest of her outfit was direct out from a fashion magazine. She wore tight black Cardion slacks, her patent leather Aushwere ankle boots sexy and stylish and perfect for inner-city walking. Her dark blue blouse was Cardion again (there had been a sale); already she had noticed the way Raj had been hugging his eyes to how it cupped and clung to her body. He would have been looking a bit more, perhaps, but she wore her favorite Kadaya Sarin-brand leather jacket, allowing her a bit of modesty with the long sleeves and tight collar, despite the thinness of the material. She was a woman dressed to impress, but also was no whore—she had her man. He liked her dressed attractive, but not like some slut. Ana knew what he wanted, because that was her entire life, as she saw it, from now on.

They were inside the ground floor of a tall building. Cleanbots rushed around them, sweeping up dust, guided along by retrofitted eyebots that spied out areas of dust and disrepair.

 “Here's where we'll have the lobby,” said Raj, opening his hands out wide to the open space.

Ana had presence of mind to hold her tongue.

What she wanted to say was, “Really, dear? Here in the first possible place that someone could enter from the street? That's where you'll have the lobby? That's so inventive. You're so smart.”

What did she say was, “Oh! It will look beautiful, I'm sure.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed "rugged," though he would also be fine with "roughhewn" because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.
Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.


Where are you from?

I was born in Houston, Texas, originally. I lived all over Texas for about twenty years, and then I moved to St. Louis when I was twenty-two, where I still am. I think I am supposed to cheer on a sports team when I mention cities, so I always feel bad that I'm more of a fan of wrestling. So, go Randy Orton, I guess?

Tell us your latest news?

I have a novel that's just come out! It's called UP THE TOWER. It's about six disparate strangers in a dystopian slum who have to escape a catastrophic earthquake by climbing up an enormous skyscraper. It’s a frenetic run for survival in the worst situation possible. It's got corporate clones, crazy robots, suped-up tech suits, explosions, humor, friendships, true heroism, nasty villiany, and all the other great stuff that makes stories fun. Pick it up!
When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing, like most people I expect, in school. I did it because my teachers told me to. Truth be told, I sort of hated it. I would get in trouble constantly because I never turned in writing assignments (to this day, my parents are sort of stunned that I have chosen to be a professional writer, because they still see that fifth grader who would have endless zeroes on his report card from missing journals).
But as to when I started writing on my own, I was about fifteen. I wrote a few weird Douglas Adams/Terry Pratchett rip-off stories and then just kind of got in a groove of where I would have all these ideas like at midnight on a Friday or Saturday and then spend the next four or five hours putting them into a story. Over time that evolved into sitting down every day and putting words on the page.
I'm not sure of the why of becoming a writer. I have a sort of obsessive personality, and I'm horribly depressed if I don't have a project. As it turns out, writing novels takes sort of a long time, so if you have a personality like mine where you're really concerned with details and always need to be working on something, authoring is a perfect fit. It works out because now, as an indie writer, a lot of my sales depend on having a certain amount of volume of writing available and momentum of releases, so I have to be working pretty much all the time.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

This is an odd thing because it honestly happened in the complete opposite environment of writing that you could imagine. I was breaking bricks in a landscaping job that I had one summer. It was a record-breaking year for heat index in Texas, and I was outside all the time trying to neatly break off this mortar from these bricks so they could be used again. It was miserable; the only thing that made me feel better was that I knew that who I was was a writer, because that was the one thing I knew that doing that sort of work wouldn't take away from me.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Oh man, that was a while ago. I think it was the summer of 2003, and I didn't have a job. Working was very important to my parents. So I worked on the novel, which wasn't very good (though I didn't know it at the time, and of course it's right and proper that I didn't), to justify to myself not having a job. Of course, my parents didn't know about me writing until years after that, so it sort of ended up as a moot point.
What would you like my readers to know?

It's my birthday on Friday! Buy UP THE TOWER and give me the present of your patronage. Don't worry—you can do it early, I won't be offended. Also, you can follow me on twitter @jplantern and you can find my blog at jplantern.com.

Blog/website: http://jplantern.com

twitter: @jplantern

The author will be awarding a backlist ebook copy to a randomly drawn winner at every stop during the tour. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon GC will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am a huge disaster movie fan so I am sure I would love this too THANKS

    1. I hope you will! It's just $0.99 on Amazon right now.

  2. Thanks for the feature! I'll be around all day to answer any questions that might crop up about me or the book, so feel free to ask!

  3. I like the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

  4. Wow this book sounds amazing, besides the fact that it is a dystopian type book, there is earth quake action, sounds like a great read!! thank you

  5. i loved the excerpt

  6. I liked the excerpt!

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com