Road to Juneau by Liam Quane - Sci-fi, Fantasy - Interview

Road to Juneau
by Liam Quane

Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Date of Publication:  18 May 2021
ISBN Hardcover: 978-1-78645-473-7
ISBN Paperback: 978-1-78645-452-2
ISBN eBook: 978-1-78645-453-9
Number of pages: 330
Word Count: 109,038

Cover Artist: Holly Dunn

How was God supposed to defend Earth from the Monster, when the Monster knew Earth better than God ever could?

New York: two years after the Third World War. Humanity is rebuilding its cities brick by brick; the damage done to the people, however, is a lot harder to repair. 

Dan Hardacre is one of those people. An aspiring stage actor and experienced draft-dodger, Dan struggles to find his place within the Utopic rebuild of New York City. When he’s not caught up with the duties of work, Dan lives a quiet life in mourning for his mother, Dyani, who went missing when he was a teenager.

One night, Dan experiences a vivid, terrifying nightmare that puts him right on the front lines of the war for which he dodged the draft; it ends with him facing Death itself in the form of a metallic, faceless humanoid creature that calls itself the Valkyrie. To investigate the reason behind his haunting experience, Dan seeks out a meeting with his estranged father, who reveals the startling truth about Dan’s dream: it wasn’t a dream. 

With this newfound knowledge and the powers it brings, Dan makes it his mission to return to the scene of his nightmare. However, he soon comes to know that confronting the Valkyrie not only endangers him but the war-withstanding world he leaves behind.

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Interview with  Liam Quane

Welcome to JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder 

Thank you for having me!

Tell us about your newest book.

My newest book is actually my first book so that’s fun and weird and daunting and exciting and other things. It’s a science-fantasy novel set in the near future after a non-nuclear world war 3 has caused a need for a majority of the world to reset itself, rebuilding whole cities back up. The novel follows a wannabe stage actor named Dan Hardacre, a young man living in New York City. Dan has always had questions in his life, why can’t he feel at home anywhere? Why is his relationship with his father so awkward? Why was he spared from fighting in the war? Why is he having dreams about fighting cosmic cods from space? You know…the usual things. The novel follows Dan to the ends of time and space as he seeks answers to these haunting questions.

Writing isn’t easy. What was the most difficult thing you dealt with when writing Road to Juneau?

Probably keeping the ever-changing science up to date. Progress doesn’t wait for your publication date.

Indeed. Tell us a little bit about your writing career.

I’m a filmmaker who decided to write a book so I have not had much of a writing career outside of the novel which is still kind of brand new.

They say Hind-sight is 20/20. If you could give advice to the writer you were the first time you sat down to write, what would it be?

To follow your instinct. Human beings are natural storytellers so if you want your stories to go somewhere in particular then follow that path. If you change your mind, alterations can always be made after.

What was your most difficult scene to write?

Probably Chapter 12 entitled: “Predictably”. It’s set at the heart of the war and has a lot of characters who act as moving parts for the story to progress so it was a challenge to strike a balance with them. It was also tricky to try and write a believable war that felt ubiquitous. The soldiers had been there a while so it wasn’t new for them to be a part of the environment.

Are themes a big part of your stories, or not so much?

Yes, very much so. The theme of duality crop up frequently in my stories. The whole good vs evil thing isn’t usually touched upon in anymore because people like their villains to have grey dimensions but I find it off-putting to read, say, a character who is a clinical sociopath who also displays empathy for others, that’s just incorrect and becomes difficult to take in. I believe that “grey” characters mostly teach people that it’s ok to be a little mean to people, which is incredibly dangerous way of thinking. You should always be good to people and if you fail, then change is in order. I enjoy pure characterization so it’s always refreshing for me to read characters who reflect the true binary natures of good and evil.

What are you working on now?

A new novel and a screenplay, both of which I’m unable to give any details about, I’m afraid. I can say that the novel isn’t connected to Road to Juneau in any way.

Is there a release date planned?

It was released on May 18th 2021 so It’s out now!

Awesome! Who is your favorite character from your own stories, and why?

My favorite character is actually a spoiler so I can’t say who they are or why but let’s just say that, in my opinion, they’re the best thing I’ve ever written. I wish I could but it’s too much too soon. I hope someone out there likes them as much as I do.

Most writers were readers as children. What was your favorite book in grade school?

I used to sit there and read Homer’s Odyssey when I was a child, I couldn’t quite grasp the nuances but it’s had a titanic influence over me ever since.

Is there anything you would like to add before we finish?

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity and I hope someone out there finds this interesting enough to maybe, possibly give Road to Juneau a look. Who knows, it might be exactly the story you’ve been looking for.

I bet it will be for the Sci-fi and Fantasy lovers out there. Good luck with Road to Juneau, and thank you for being with us today.

Chapter 1

8:08 a.m. That’s what my clock says as I burst out of my covers. I must have fallen out of bed again. I know this because I’m staring at it from the other side of my room. There was luck to this particular tumble, however: I’m only sixteen minutes behind! I wheeze as I lift myself up, kicking the sheets from my ankles like a half-swaddled baby. The same old tapping returns, persistent and loud, and I walk over to my ground-floor window, lifting it dramatically in an effort to shoo the seagull pecking at the pane. The blunt-billed bird squawks as it flaps away. I slam the window closed, keeping the cold morning air off my skin for a few more minutes.

My shower was lukewarm and my breakfast fictional. This is the best I can hope for on Tribute day at my place of work: Montage Tower. The building may be taller than most, but the work is still lowly. I lock my bedroom door out of an irrational precaution; my roommate is still upstairs. It’s his third day off this week, and it’s silent, but I know he’s awake because his door is slightly ajar. If anything were to disappear from my room, he would be blamed for it regardless, as either a successful thief or a failing watchdog. I collect my earbuds, phone, and wallet combo and silently make for the exit. As my door card reaches the scanner, a magazine bricks the window, launched from the top of the stairs where Sam now stands.

“Almost hit you, Dan!” he shouts down to me in his usual
excitable manner.

“What is it this time? I’m already late.” I almost don’t reply.

“Page twelve—the blue chaise longue!” He points at the once airborne catalog, which now sits crumpled in my hands.

“I’m not dragging a chaise longue home for you!”

“It’s not for me, it’s for Shanty,” he says, partitioning himself
from the blame.

I spin the catalog around and read the cover. “Scratchwork

“It’s only small—twenty-five by sixteen.” He holds his hands out
like a puppeteer.

“Can’t your hamster just sleep in your bed with you?”

“No. He has an erratic sleeping pattern.”

A silence lingers.

“Fffffine,” I reluctantly sputter, throwing the catalog onto the
floor in a sulk.

Sam giggles and retreats back into his lair of aspen shavings and
lavender. I finally scan my door card, which sounds a cheery beep of

Do you remember the colors of your life? How it used to feel before you became responsible and independent? Everyone does, I guess. Three shades usually cocoon themselves around the memories: the Blue Stage, the Purple Stage, and the Gray Stage. I am at Gray and dreading what comes after. The Blue Stage is the oldest. It consists of the memories of when you were a child. An only child. Not specifically you, but me. I forget how to separate myself from the situation sometimes, Sorry. Anyway, my childhood could only be described as glowing.

Mom and Dad were always here for me, breakfast table mornings and dinner table evenings. They both worked interesting jobs, each excelling in a separate creative field. My mother was a software programmer; a good one too. The start-up she worked at grew from a hole in 5 the wall to an admired business. Similarly, my father was successful in his career as an architect, not of towering superstructures but of small, respectable buildings in which families could live happy lives.

Those homes are gone now. I was around thirteen years old when I realized I’d never heard my parents fight. In fact, I hadn’t seen any anger from them at all. Not toward each other.

Not about work, or money—something which we were never without. Eventually, as my teenhood set in, I attributed their constant state of bliss to a secret drug habit, hoping to one day join the gang. But I was wrong. I found this out soon after Purple reared its ugly head. My life as a teenager was a lot slower than when I was a kid, and that aforementioned blissful family atmosphere quickly started to crack. Dad’s work hours increased. Taxes were the same, but he wasn’t, not with the stress he carried to keep the family “secure.” The same could be said for Mom. The company she originally worked for was poached and absorbed into a much larger company named Hourglass Industries—the place that now owns the building I work in. I think I repressed the name of the original, probably for the best.

About the Author:

Liam Quane is a British filmmaker and author from the working-class town of Skelmersdale, Lancashire. After gaining experience making short films, writing screenplays and editing music videos, Liam turned onto a different storytelling venture in the form of novels. And, after reading six of them, he wrote his own in a hectic hail of key presses and dicey guesses. This bullheaded effort morphed into what would later be called Road to Juneau. It may be his first book, but he has more ideas for further bookcentric ventures.

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