Sunday, May 22, 2011

Author Interview: Tony Bertauski (eBook Tour)

Today, I am hosting a stop as part of The Discovery of Socket Greeny eBook Tour hosted by the fabulous team at Book Lovin' Bitches
     Tony Bertauski lives in Charleston, SC with his charming wife, Heather, and two great kids, Ben and Maddi. He's a teacher at Trident Technical College and a columnist for the Post and Courier. He's published two textbooks on landscape design. He was also a 2008 winner of the SC Fiction Contest for this short story entitled, 4-Letter Words. You can always find out more at
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models?
Most of my career has been technical writing, such as textbooks, magazine articles and newspaper columns, but I always wanted to write something entertaining. When my kids were younger, I wrote stories for them, mainly to encourage my son to read. Didn’t work. But the story stuck with me. More accurately, the character took root. His name was Socket Greeny. For the life of me, I can’t remember how I came up with that name. Even tried to change it.     Socket and his story stuck with me for a couple reasons. One, his story was a faint reflection of my own experience of looking for meaning in life. His has been infinitely more entertaining than mine. Maybe another reason has to do with role models, now that you mention it. I never thought of it that way, but there have been some very important people in my life at various times, most importantly some Zen teachers I’ve had the fortune to work with. I think there were some lessons I’ve learned that I wanted to pass along through Socket’s story.
3LB: Describe The Discovery of Socket Greeny in 5 words. 
Self Discovery in Kick Ass Fashion
3LB: If you were stranded in an area with lots and lots AND lots of snow, which one of your book characters would you want there with you? (This is happening in real life, not virtualmode!)
Without question, it’s Socket. All three books are written from the first-person POV, so my experience was more intimate with his character than any of the others.
3LB: Spindle is definitely my favorite character. Who was your favorite to write?
I loved Spindle, too! I wanted him to be warm and intimate, the kind of person that is incredibly intelligent but innocent, a best friend. Since he wasn’t he human, he maintained that structured characteristic you’re likely to find in an android (he always spoke properly, never using contractions, and was of course ignorant of kid stuff like any parent would be).     Back to your question, who was my favorite character? I think of Socket Greeny’s story as the entire 3-book arc. And in that case, Pon (book 2) would be my favorite. He occurs as Socket’s mentor at a pivotal time of growth, and his final scene (as it unfolded in my head) was riveting to write. A close second to Pon is Pike (as he appears in book 3). He returns in the final book and his character turns out to be quite complex, and the most fun to write.
3LB: I feel that names hold meaning and importance to characters. How do you come up with or decided on the names for your characters? Do they hold meaning? 

Bravo! Yes, almost every name had purpose. I put a lot of thought into most characters’ names.     Socket’s name is explained in book 3. Greeny, however, represented compassion (the color green). Pivot is a turning point in the trilogy’s story arc (you’ll see in book 3). Pon’s name (book 2) has special meaning (you’ll see by the end). Chute was named as Socket’s girlfriend, as a chute represents safety, of something to slow descent. Streeter gives direction, or promotes movement, as pavement (street) would. Even Broak’s original name, Vestal, was a reference to purity.
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
I have a few prequels in mind for characters in Socket Greeny’s life in order to tell the backstory of his parents, Pivot, and so forth. I’ve come up with some outlines but haven’t got to writing yet.
3LB: Describe yourself in 3 words.
Introspective. Simple. Human.
3LB: What do you like to read when you're not working on your own stuff?
I’ve read a lot of YA stuff, but I’ll read anything that’s compelling. Laura Halse Anderson, Neal Shusterman, and right now I’m reading Animal Farm by George Orwell and The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking. I’m all over the place.
3LB: If you bring to life any book character in history, who would you chose?
It would probably be Spindle. Or Pon. Wait, Obi-Wan. I can’t choose!
3LB: If your characters had a Twitter, what would they be Tweeting?
Streeter would be tweeting every tech gadget that hits the market. Chute would tweet sports. And Socket wouldn’t have a Twitter account.
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
  1. I once recorded my dreams for over a year and learned how to lucid dream, at one point. (Talk about alternate reality.)
  2. I married my high school girlfriend 19 years ago.
  3. My memory relies heavily on a piece of paper I carry at all times.
  4. I don’t carry a cell phone.
  5. My wardrobe consists of five t-shirts.
3LB: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Writing fiction is a tricky business. You do it because you love the process, but unless a publisher/agent picks you up, you have to market it. And even if a publisher/agent picks you up, you still have to market it otherwise very few people will read it. I don’t like marketing, so I’ll have to accept few will read it.
That, or hope that somehow it magically goes viral.
To learn more about Tony and his book, already available, visit:

Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours
Tour Schedule:
  1. 4/27 review @ Just Another Book Addict
  2. 4/27 review @ My Eclectic Bookshelf
  3. 4/28 giveaway @ Just Another Book Addict
  4. 4/29 author guest post @ My Eclectic Bookshelf
  5. 4/30 review @ Sara Is Reading What?
  6. 5/1 giveaway @ Sara Is Reading What?
  7. 5/2 review @ It's All About Books
  8. 5/3 author guest post @ It's All About Books
  9. 5/4 review @ From The Trees
  10. 5/4 review @ Read My Mind
  11. 5/5 giveaway @ From The Trees
  12. 5/5 giveaway @ Read My Mind
  13. 5/6 review @ Aobibliosphere
  14. 5/7 author guest post @ Aobibliosphere
  15. 5/9 review @ Book Lover's Hideaway
  16. 5/10 author guest post @ Book Lover's Hideaway
  17. 5/12 review @ Ramblings of a (Future) Librarian
  18. 5/13 author guest post @ Ramblings of a (Future) Librarian
  19. 5/17 review @ Clandestine Sanctuary
  20. 5/18 author guest post @ Clandestine Sanctuary
  21. 5/18 review @ My Reading Room
  22. 5/20 author interview @ My Reading Room
  23. 5/21 review @ iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books
  24. 5/22 author interview @ iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books


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