Alien Invasion, Author Interview, flash fiction, I'll Rescue You, Indie Author, M.T. Thomas, Sci-Fi
Welcome! Please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself.
Hello! My name is Michelle Thomas, also known as “M.T. Thomas” and I am the author of the book “I’ll Rescue You” that you can find on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble as a paperback or on Kindle and Nook as an ebook.
I enjoy sunsets and long walks on the beach…just kidding! 😉 My true passions range from all forms of art, to church and family, and to science. I am a Medial Laboratory Scientist by day and an author by night. I have two daughters and a wonderful husband whom I’ve been with for 12 years.
What motivates you to write?
I’ve always wanted to write. I had a couple poems published back in the day and planned out my novel years ago but never had a chance to write it down. I was a double major at the University of North Dakota, majoring in Medical Science as well as Music (I play 4 instruments, 5 if you consider a 4 key Euphonium different than a 3 key Euphonium).
Between 2 majors (one requiring 6 semesters of Microbiology, 4 semesters of Chemistry, 2 semesters of Biology, 2 semesters of Hematology, 2 semesters of Immunology, and a few other “ologies” that you don’t care to hear about), many concerts (I once played for an audience of 12,000 people and I have performed twice on TV), a job at a bio analytical research center as a lab assistant (the lab experience helped me land a job after graduation), and a husband and baby at home who deserve as much attention as I can feasibly give them, there was no time to write anything not homework related (there was also no time to sleep either, I literally lived on coffee and once worked a 36 hour shift)
I always thought, “I’ll write my book right after graduation! I just have to make it till then.” However, right after graduation, I started my new job and we began building our dream house. Again, there was no time. After our house was built and I became comfortably settled in my job, I became pregnant with our second daughter. It would be another 2 years before I felt I had another moment to breathe and actually think about my book. Now, here I am, 5 years post-graduation and I have finally written the story I came up with 10 years ago.
I am motivated by sheer desire to finish what I started so long ago and hopefully continue on after the finish line to write other books.
What is the title of your most recent book? Give us a brief overview on what the book is about.
My book is called “I’ll Rescue You”. It’s a science fiction story that takes place 40 years after an attempted alien invasion which also happens to be the present day. I have 3 main characters, one of which is an alien villain whose eyes are opened to the fact that he may be on the wrong side. My readers will follow along as he goes from thinking that he is a hero to realizing that he is, in fact, the bad guy.
Another main character is a half-human girl who must rise above the prejudice she faces every day from humans who hold a deep hate for the aliens. She gets kidnapped by our alien villains and her whole-human half-sister joins a group of humans who set out to rescue her. The sister is my third protagonist. She is utterly ordinary and completely relatable to any reader, and yet she must overcome obstacles to rescue her big sister.
I intend it to be the first book in a trilogy so there are a few questions left unanswered and an ending that leaves room for the next two installments of the story.
What makes it unique from the other books out there?
One thing that comes to mind is the fact that my story takes place post-invasion and the humans won the first war. Usually, alien invasion stories take place during the actual invasion while people are learning for the first time that they are not alone or, if they take place after, the Earth is destroyed and people are struggling to survive.
I wanted my characters to start off in a world that already KNEW aliens existed and that they were a threat. I wanted it to be a somewhat fair fight where the humans of Earth know what they are up against and are rushing to prepare for another war with the aliens.
Another thing that makes “I’ll Rescue You” unique is the many illustrations. It has over 30 sketches throughout its pages to draw the reader into my world.
What is the title of your current work-in-progress or the most recent manuscript you’ve completed apart from your most recent book? Would you mind sharing what it is about?
I suppose I have already shared a bit about it. It’s the sequel to my most recent book. Its title is “The War to Come” and it will answer some questions raised in book one as well as introduce a couple new villains that will make life a lot more difficult for our protagonists.
You seem to keep yourself busy. How do you stay sane?
A lot of prayer. Whether you are religious or not, you would be surprised how much a quick “God help me” actually works in any type of stressful situation. Not to mention, if you have time, prayer is so relaxing, like meditation if you are into that sort of thing.
How often do you write?
While I am on break at work and the hour before my kids and husband wake up in the morning. We live on a hill outside of a city where we have a beautiful view of the city lights at night below us as well as the stars above us. One of my favorite things to do is sit at my picture window with my coffee and lap top, while the whole house is quiet and the sun hasn’t risen yet. This is when my writing truly comes to life.
What famous author would you compare your own writing style with?
None. I am a poet at heart (it is where I got my start, after all) so I try to make my narrative as poetic as possible. I love to use play-on-words and repeat the same word with a different contextual meaning in the same paragraph whenever possible (example: “the eye of the storm caught my eye, its gray iris reflecting my own”). It makes my writing stand out, at least, I feel it does.
Who are five of your favorite authors?
Wow, there are so many! Daniel Handler (also known as Lemony Snicket) is my favorite. His handle on irony is genius. J.K. Rowling is another favorite, call me stereotypical but she is a talented writer. Lucy Maud Montgomery, she wrote Anne of Green Gables, a series filled with a surprising amount of wisdom. If you haven’t read it yet, you should because it’s a good story that may actually make you a better person after reading it. Speaking of reading books that may make you a better person, I also enjoy Joyce Meyer. Her books are the only “self-help” books that I enjoy, mostly because she writes the same way as she speaks, with a sense of humor and clear, yet laughable, analogies. Cassandra Clare is another favorite. Her strength comes in her ability to create such interesting characters with amazing histories and yet they are still relatable.
What are you currently reading?
George Martin’s famous series commonly known as “Game of Thrones” but the actual name of the series is “A Song of Ice and Fire”.
Time for some quick questions:
- Favorite Quote? “Health nuts will feel stupid one day when they are lying in a hospital bed, dying of nothing.” – Author unknown
If you could be one character from your own writing, who would it be and why?
I would be Belle. She is slow to anger and quick to forgive. She has her priorities straight and loves others more than she loves herself.
Finally, what advice would you give to other writers?
Focus as much energy on marketing your book as you do in writing it. Also, be willing to accept criticism and make changes to your book if you are out-voted by your critics on any particular subject. Remember that you want other people to buy your book so you can’t write a story that only YOU like.
Do You Trust Me?
The stars, they’re in a different pattern. I’m 225 million kilometers away, forging a new path for human kind on the planet Mars, making the biggest breakthrough since the moon landing, and yet the stars are all I can think about. I’ve had the constellations memorized since I was a child. Fascinated with outer space, I would dream of being an astronaut someday and my dreams carried me here, to this moment in history. I’m here, and yet, I dearly miss the constellations. It’s funny how you can stare at something you knew so well, such as these very stars, and yet, find them completely unrecognizable at a different angle.
“Stop procrastinating,” I scold myself. My shaking hands fasten my suit over my shaking body. I’m about to be the first person to step onto Mars. The door to the lethal atmosphere surrounding my ship opens. “Here I go.”
The sand was softer and less dense than I had imagined. As I sink slightly into the loose ground below me, my lips curl into a smile. “This is something to tell everyone at home.”
Lifting my eyes to a moving patch of orange sand before me, my smile disappears. What could possibly be moving below this ground? My heart jumps into my throat at the same time that a figure jumps from the sand. He is somewhat small, with a flat, fishlike head and webbed fingers but it is his eyes that captivate me, his very, very human eyes.
My scream echoes inside my helmet and I try to turn and run away but my feet have sunk into this cursed loose sand. I struggle and I fall; my shoulder scrapes against a sharp corner of my ship’s landing gear, tearing a deadly hole in my suit. Tears are running down my cheek and I can’t figure out whether they are tears of fear because of the alien, or tears of hopelessness because I now know for certain that I’m going to die. I feel the air get sucked from my suit, choking the life from me as it’s replaced with a gaseous air that burns my lungs.
At least I won’t die at the hands of that monster. I think to myself with a bittersweet feeling of defeat. I suppose this is equivalent to saying “well this can’t get any worse”; a figure of speech that seems to be followed by another stroke of bad luck that does, in fact, make matters worse. Likewise, it was as if fate responded “oh really” and, with a smirk, had decided to betray me one last time.
The monster had disappeared back beneath the sandy surface, diving in like a fish into water, only to reappear beneath me, pushing me upwards into a standing position with its unnatural arms. My lungs hurt too much to scream again so I just stared, helplessly, at this alien through my kaleidoscope of tears. He stares back and I hear a voice; a voice inside my helmet, not reverberated through it from the outside but one that’s INSIDE my helmet. His mouth doesn’t move but I hear the words “do you trust me?”
The voice was obviously a hallucination due to lack of oxygen, but what was not a hallucination was the cold, webbed fingers that slipped into the tear of my space suit. Their touch on my bare skin sent shivers down my spine and, suddenly, I was alert. My lungs no longer hurt and my dizziness left me. Adrenaline can truly do wonders! After all, what other explanation was there?
The voice returned. “Do you trust me?” I thought of the people who made this suit for me, I had trusted them and look where it got me.
“Do you trust me?” The words echoed in the space surrounding my head. I thought of all the astrophysicists who had come before me, giants who’s shoulders I had stood on, fellow scientists who told me Martians didn’t exist. I had trusted them and look where it got me.
“Do you trust me?” I thought of my superiors, the ones who bestowed this great mission onto my shoulders and promised that I would return a hero. I had trusted them and look where it got me.
Yet again, the voice repeated “do you trust me?” I forced myself to breathe in whatever toxic fumes were inside my helmet carrying the disembodied voice to my ears; I breathed out my own response into the unearthly air, hysterical beyond the point of caring whether the voice was real or not. “No! NO! No, I don’t trust you! …How could I?”
The human eyes staring into my own human eyes showed a hurt expression. A shadow of disappointment fell across his face ever so briefly, like a cloud passing over the sun. “Then you are not ready to be here.”
The world around me fell into darkness. The lack of oxygen must have finally caught up with me and caused me to pass out. I’m not surprised, I knew this would happen eventually; adrenaline can only last so long. I faded away, thinking about how my lonely corpse will forever be left in this sandy grave where no loved one of mine will ever be able to reach it.
I was surprised after all; surprised when my groggy eyes opened. I awoke warm in my bed inside my space ship. A sigh of relief escaped my lips, followed by a spasm of laughter. “It was just a dream! It was all just a dream.” I hopped out of bed. Today is the day! Today I become the first person to take a stroll on Mars.
I strode over to where my suit hung, ready to keep me safe from the poisonous air outside. My breath caught in my throat, for a moment the oxygen rich atmosphere might as well have been replaced with the atmosphere of Mars because my shock prevented me from breathing anyway. My fingers reached out, almost unconsciously, and touched a hole that had been torn into the shoulder of my suit.