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Friday 16 October 2015

ℚ♫ Yours Truly, 2095 - Brian Paone

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Yours Truly, 2095 (, Scout Media, 354 pages) a Science Fiction Time Travel novel.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Trailer | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A big welcome to Brian Paone; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for Yours Truly, 2095?

"One of my favorite albums of all time, is Electric Light Orchestra’s 1981 concept album, Time.

Somewhere in my late teens / early twenties, I thought that the storyline of the Time album should be flushed out either as a novel or a movie.  I knew, at the time, that I was nowhere NEAR talented enough yet to take on such a task as writing the adaptation of the album.  After publishing two novels, one in 2007 and the other in 2010, I believed that I was ready to tackle turning the plotline and story-arc of ELO’s Time album into a full length novel.

I began working on the outline in February 2012, and the first step was to take the lyrics of all 16 songs, and dissect their meaning (both literally and figuratively) and put together a cohesive linear storyline.  I wanted to do what The Who’s Tommy, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall movies did for those albums… but just in novel format.

The Time album has very concrete characters and storyline (as does The Wall and GenesisThe Lamb Lies Down on Broadway) but there are enough unsung moments in the progression of the story, that I knew I had to fill in the gaps of the lyrics with my own literary license.  In the lyrics we are told, flat-out, that the main character (Jeff) is from the 1980’s and wakes up in 2095, with no idea or explanation how he got there, that there is a woman who is a perfect robotic replica of his wife (Julie) from the 80’s, he wants nothing more than to return to his wife but there is some issue that needs to be resolved in their marriage, that he takes a one way trip to the Moon to find his way back, and there are multiple new organizations controlling the world’s power.

These are very specific lyrics that move the album forward.  After pulling out the lyrics that could not be disputed, I then went through line by line and interpreted the lyrics that could be left up to the imagination of the listener of what the lyrics meant, and how I was going to make it a concrete part of my book.  For instance, there is a lyric in the album that says:
Someone has broken out of Satellite Two, look very carefully it might be you!”
That was pretty ambiguous inside the song, so I had to make a decision to what exactly Satellite Two even WAS, who the “someone” was, why it might be a clone of someone else… and then I had to try to make it work inside the storyline around it.  The album is 16 tracks, and just shy of 50 minutes in length.  The book took me almost 40 months to write because I wanted to stay as true to every single word on the album as I could."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"-I think a lot of myself is reflected in almost every character, but mostly in the main character of Jeff—especially the scene when he reaches the city on the moon.  I wrote this book while living in Japan, and I used how I felt when I landed in Tokyo as direct inspiration on how Jeff feels in Shard’s End (the city on the moon.)  He has an experience on the Cosmic—which is the train system on the moon, and it mirrored by experience on the JR (Japan’s railway system.) I also gave the characters my own personal likes and dislikes when it comes to music, food, and technology."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Yours Truly, 2095 - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The artist is someone I met in Japan.  His name is Aaron Austin and he nailed exactly what I wanted.  Because the book is based on ELO’s “Time” album, I wanted the cover of the book to be based on the cover of the album.  If you put the cover of the album next to the cover of the book, it will all make sense.  The cover of the book is like an extension of the cover of the album from 1981.  I couldn’t be happier with the outcome."

Why should we read Yours Truly, 2095 and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?

"It’s a time-travel story without the whirring machine and flashing lights.  Time-travel is viable in my story through actual quantum physics and real laws of property that exist.  Even in The Time Traveler’s Wife there wasn’t a machine, but we still never knew the “how.”  My book, almost like a Michael Crichton novel, gives you the “how,” and it’s steeped in science-fact.  Also, who doesn’t love a romance story involving a robot??"
Can you tell us something quirky about Yours Truly, 2095, its story and characters?
"With this book, the fact that Electric Light Orchestra is one of my favorite bands, and I have been listening to, and studied, the Time album in great detail, but also, I did about four months of research on the theory on entanglement and entropy, which is the “how” of my time-travel.  I read multiple books on the theories, watched hours of lectures, and other studies, before I even started writing.

Almost every character was named after either a band member, or names that are sung in any of ELO songs from their entire discography.  The few characters that did not get pulled from ELO band members or song lyrics, are Violetta (my 6-year-old daughter gave that name), Blazak (that’s the last name of author Randy Blazak), Cozy (that’s the name of Randy’s baby), Rael (that’s the name of the main character in the Genesis album “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”), and Mimi (who was my grandmother who passed away during the writing of the novel.)"
Who would you recommend Yours Truly, 2095 to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend it to sci-fi fans, time travel fans, and romance fans… and of course, Electric Light Orchestra fans.  It isn’t so “sci-fi” that straight romance fans wouldn’t enjoy it, and it isn’t so “lovey dovey” that sci-fi fans wouldn’t enjoy it.  It’s more like The Time Traveler’s Wife."
If you could / wished to turn Yours Truly, 2095  into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Rose Byrne would play J0, John C Reilly would play Bruce, Jason Bateman would play Jeff… and I would have either Chris Nolan, David Fincher, or David Cronenberg direct."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"All 3 of my published books are completely different from each other.  I have dabbled in horror, time travel, and tragedies.  But I think the one consistent isn’t necessarily a genre that I stick with, but a theme.  All 3 of my books have a theme of redemption.  The main character always goes through some sort of growth personally, which ultimately leads to redeeming themselves, or making something right that they had messed up earlier."
What is your writing process?
"I do what I call “extend the day to 28 hours long.” I forfeit sleep to make up the time with writing.  When I was writing “Yours Truly, 2095,” there were many nights when my wife would kiss me goodnight at 10pm, and I would stumble to bed around 3am.  Normally I would have gone to bed with her, but I extend my day by giving up sleep to get caught up.  So my process, when I am in “writing the next book” mode, is full steam ahead, and eating and sleeping become second fiddle."
What is in store next?
"I will begin outlining my 4th book in a few months.  Tentatively untitled, it’s going to be a comedic-military novel, almost in the style of the film Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton.  This will be about the true adventures I had when my wife, who is an Officer in the Navy, left me alone with our two toddlers when she got deployed for 8 months, and the learning curve and craziness that ensued during those months.  I’m hoping to have a 2017 release schedule for that.

I also have a short story coming out in October in an anthology of authors from all over the world called, A Matter of Words."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?

"The Scottish terrier is named Sadie, and the Pekingese is named Paploo."
Babies!  Hello Sadie and Paploo!  Thank you for sharing them with us :-)

Yours Truly, 2095 - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you!

Brian Paone said...

Thank you for having me! This was one of the more fun interviews I've done since the book came out!