Author Interview TH Leatherman

TH Leatherman, Author, Science Fiction

Introduction

It is my pleasure to introduce TH Leatherman, author of the Burning Son series. I met TH at the 2018 Comic Con in Denver. He described the characters in his science fiction series as space pirates, which immediately drew my attention. He also showed me a picture of his cat that had vampire-like fangs. Intrigued, I read and reviewed his first book, The Burning Son, in his series which reminded me of the author—lots of kinetic energy and engaging.

Below is TH Leatherman’s biography, author interview, and contact information. Click on the book covers below for a direct purchase link to Amazon.

Biography

TH Leatherman is an author from Firestone, Colorado. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, winemaking, and the Rocky Mountain lifestyle. When not busy writing his next book, he can be found hiking with his wife and two sons or walking his rescued dogs. He worked as a stock broker for twenty years before he started writing full time. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regis University with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Psychology. He has released four books, The Burning Son, Marque of the Son, Son Rise, and The Son Set (an omnibus edition of the first three books).

For more information, visit his website

Author Interview

Would you provide an overview of the books you’ve published in The Burning Son series?

The Burning Son – is about Mark losing everything, and has to leave his father behind. Mark is forced to start life over as part of a smuggler’s crew. A lot of the book has to do with him trying to find his place in that crew.

The Burning Son Book Cover

 

Marque of the Son – is about Mark building his new life. He starts the book on a foreign world with no ship and half a crew. His driving goal continues to be finding his father. That goal seems a long way off.

Marque of the Son Book Cover

Son Rise – Mark has a ship and crew, but his one safety net, the pirate port, is taken away from him. Worse, everyone that should be allies are fighting with each other. Mark must pull it all together and get all his allies moving in the same direction.

Son Rise Book Cover

Son Set – is an omnibus edition. Books 1-3 under one cover.

Son Set Books 1-3 Under One Cover


What inspired you to write the space pirate odyssey, The Burning Son?

I had been working and reworking the same novel for ten years: Cat’s Tale. I couldn’t get it quite right. It continues to be a work in progress. Frustrated, I pushed it aside and began a new project. I wanted something that felt like the action adventures of Clive Cussler married with a Star Wars like space opera. That grew into The Burning Son.

Are there any characters or sub-plots in The Burning Son that have modern-day parallels? Explain how. 

Like many sci-fi authors before me, I use fiction to address social problems we face today. I touch on a wide variety of issues important to me, but the biggest one in The Burning Son is religious extremism. The Erethizon are on a mission to unite the galaxy under their Theocracy. Most of the galaxy views them as religious fanatics, which the Erethizon encourage. If everyone focuses on the maniac in the middle of the room, no one will see the manipulation going on in the behind the scenes. Some of my readers mistakenly think that I’m anti-religion, but that isn’t the case. I only have a problem with people forcing their beliefs on others. Another big issue is artificial intelligence. What will it look like when it becomes a reality? Will it be a tool we control, or will it control us? What if it could rationalize or moralize?

Is there any sub-character in The Burning Son who is your favorite? Explain why.

Um, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite kid. Do I have characters I enjoy writing more than others, again I love them all. I love Racy’s big heart, War ‘n Pace’s mischievousness, Nephie’s awe and wonder as she explores who she is becoming, and Sophie’s sarcastic wit. There was one surprise, however. As I was writing The Burning Son, I decided I wanted more than just science to exist in this universe. I wanted some mysticism. So, I wrote in Pythia. OMG. What started out as an add-on character just took off. I think more than any other secondary character, she is the one that has grown the most throughout the series. My readers know that sometimes characters die. It’s war, and in war, bad things happen to good people. I receive more “you absolutely can’t kill Pithy!” emails than for any other character.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

Every day! I never know what insult is going to fly out of Sophie’s mouth, what creative cussing Ike will come up with, or what crazy stunt Racy is about to pull. That’s part of the fun of writing these characters. To me, they are the imaginary friends that live in my home office with me. They make me laugh, they make me cry, and I want my readers to live in their world, if only for a brief while.

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

As a writer, you come to expect a bad review from time to time. You develop a thick skin. You hope everyone who reads your work falls in love with the story as much as you have, but that’s just not the case. The longer you write, you learn what your strengths are and what you can improve upon. Every once in a while, you’ll run across haters who will say mean things, just to be mean. One time a reader berated the alien races I had created for The Burning Son. I put a lot into each race’s ideals, goals, mannerisms, language, societal norms, politics, food, and how each race’s biology and homeworld environment, plays into that. That one left me scratching my head.

Then there are the awesome surprises. Having been part of the writing community for the past twelve years, I’ve made several friends who are also writers. Whenever one of them writes a review for one of my books, I get butterflies. These are the people I most admire and respect. For them to tell me, in a public forum, how much they enjoyed reading my story, there’s nothing else like it.

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

Marketing. Like most writers, I struggle to reach new readers. You know that there are hundreds of thousands of people out there that would fall in love with your work, if only you can get in front of them. I know that if I can get most sci-fi readers to read the first three pages of my book, they’ll continue reading. It’s just getting in front of people and getting them to invest that first five minutes, that’s the struggle.

What might we be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a wine snob. I love fine wines. I make wine and mead for fun. There was a time before I became a published author that I thought I would open a winery. I went so far as to start an LLC and still have two winery business plans on file.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Having breakfast or dinner on the porch with my wife Stephanie. She’s the most awesome person I ever met, and I’m the luckiest man alive because she’s my best friend and I’m married to her.

You can contact TH Leatherman and learn more about his books at:

Amazon Author Page

Website/Blog

Twitter

Patreon with exclusive stories

Facebook

Utube

 

Book Review The Burning Son by TH Leatherman

The Burning SonThe Burning Son by T.H. Leatherman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fasten your seatbelts for the action-packed space odyssey, “The Burning Sun,” by T. H. Leatherman. The story starts in breakneck speed over Yale’s night sky where navigator Mark Martin witnesses the Erethizon forces (known as the “procu-bears”) ambushing his home settlement. Mark helps his sister, Sophie escape, but he can’t save his senatorial father who’s been captured by the enemy. To flee their desperate situation, the brother-sister team hooks up with a female captain in need of a medic and navigator on her pirate spaceship called the Leonard Fox. And with an “aye, arrr,” they burst through the enemy blockade. Escaping danger, at least for the moment, Sarah and Mark become acquainted with the motley crew, including the foxlike Muscats who oversee the engineering bay. To his dismay, Mark learns his homeland’s republic has been transformed into a monarchy under the control of the Erethizons. He is determined to find a way to free his father and his home planet, but he faces threats from unknown forces lurking among the crew. The twists are unexpected in this riveting odyssey, and the ending will make you hunger for the next adventure in the series.

Author Leatherman’s space odyssey is told from first person point of view of Mark Martin. The story effectively captures the humor in his voice to make this a fun read. The story is fast-pace and the dialogue is snappy. The narrative is lean but adequately describes the characters and the interstellar worlds. The competing races of the humans (the Terran Confederation), the engineering-minded Muscat, and the amphibian, psychic Dru are unique and intriguing. They must join forces to defeat the Erethizon, whose crusade is to seize control over every world and to spread their fanatical religious beliefs. Action dominates the beginning of the story. It is not until later that I feel grounded in the interstellar worlds and can fully understand the stakes.

“The Burning Sun” is recommended for science fictions readers who love their tales fast-paced and full of action. The additional bonus of a spaceship full of quirky characters makes this book a fun and entertaining read.

View all my reviews