Word-Slingers – Kashif Ross

Today I have another guest from Sizzling PR, Kashif Ross. The inner geek in me loves his cover because it’s oh-so-animeish! Let’s go, Kashif!

1) How long have you been writing?

Writing is the only thing I can say I’ve done forever. I started in 8th grade by making a story about talking dog detectives. I don’t remember the plot, but my teacher really liked it, and he hated everything we wrote. I completed my first novel in 2008, my last year in college and I’ve written four more since then.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

Thanks for the definition 😉 I’m married, I work part-time at an elementary where students rage wildly through the playground pulling hair and crying…it’s quite epic, I’m learning Spanish with Rosetta Stone (yo hablo español mal), and I fight crime occasionally or participate in epic wars on my PS3. How do I manage all of this? I don’t. I just write for hours on end and allow work and other activities to fit in my schedule when I’m bored. Writing takes my mind off all my real world problems. I’m pretty sure my level of avoidance is considered pathological, but I’ll continue this poor behavior until lightening strikes (lightening = my wife).

3) What can you tell the audience about your recent release, Barcode: Legend of Apollo?

I can tell that your audience needs to go out and get this book. It’s like a goldmine of delicious goodness waiting to be devoured (in real life you shouldn’t eat anything in a goldmine). Barcode is about this jerk named Spencer. Seriously, the guy is rude and sarcastic. He wants nothing to do with his responsibility as a gladiator. Let me rephrase that, he is the gladiator! Spencer is extremely powerful, but lazy. He’s been sheltered all his life and it’s about time for him to grow up. A mysterious character named Kode comes along and speeds up the process for him. Kode wants Spencer to get stronger in order to fight an evil dictator named Helios. If Spencer refuses, Kode will kill everyone he knows and loves. This novel was written for people sick of the stereotypical, “Fantasy boy gets wizard/vampire/paranormal ability and learns about his enemy. Some ugly girl likes him and they fight the evil together. They save the world and discover their love for each other after 3 – 5 books in the series.” My story will not fit this stereotype. Do not read it if you’re not open for change or tragic endings. Book 1 is only the beginning of a very different type of hero story.

4) What is it about the urban-fantasy/sci-fi genre that you like so much? And to throw in some romance, that’s quite an accomplishment. I love the cover, by the way. Very anime-ish.

Why thank you! *blush* Warning: I’m a strange guy. I personally have no attachment to urban fantasy or science fiction. I just write whatever comes to mind. I didn’t figure out what genre the novel was considered until it was completed. The story began on a hot and sunny day in Southern California. I was watching Naruto and Bleach and realized I could write better stories. So I did. The characters in both manga seemed to do a lot of stupid things, but survived every trial. I wanted to write something more “realistic” and epic. After thinking about the story for years, my original concept evolved. What started as an anime and manga, developed into a full length fantasy novel.

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre (as if three-in-one isn’t enough), and if yes, what to and when?

Yes. For sure. My first four novels were romance. Like I said, I moved into these other genres by chance. Whenever a new story pops into my head, I’ll write it. I already have two or three YA stories dancing around in my thoughts. I really want to write one of them next year.

6) When’s your next book coming out?

I’ve completed a novelette and Book 2 of the series about one month ago. The novelette, Barcode: I Am John, should be released May 1st. It’s a prequel to Legend of Apollo. The novel, Barcode: Cavern of Youth, should be out June 1st. I’m waiting on more amazing cover art and my editors right now.

7) Sweet or sour?

Oh goodness, sweet. Sour doesn’t make me a pleasant person. Women are sweet, love is sweet, and when you’re excited it’s more likely you’ll shout “Sweet!” because “Sour!” makes no sense.

8) Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?

Vanilla. I’m 5’6 of not so manly chocolate. The rule of nature is to never eat your own kind.

Twitter: @Animscition
Spencer’s an infamously well-known “god” uninterested in his own fate. He turns nineteen-years-old on the first day of his last year at Colt Academy, the academic institution for gladiators. To celebrate, he unwillingly mentors a mysterious nerd, watches his family’s helicopter plunge into the ground, and meets a strange Louisianan boy that may want to kill him. With the future of his family’s fortune on the line, Spencer not only has to fight the occasional trip to Hades, but also train with his most hated childhood friend, discover the truth about his mother’s death, and reestablish his legend as America’s savior.

I’m such a failure.

My instructors say I’m the first of the bloodline that isn’t naturally a top ranking student. Therefore, professors are inclined to boost my grades in order to keep “the great Apollo” at the top of his class.

I apologize dear ancestors. I will honor you by falling on my sword.

Damn. I don’t have a weapon yet. Give me a few days, folks.

I find a seat on a stone bench next to a small pond and watch as several lizard-fish swim and crawl through the shallow water. One has the flesh of a koi fish but the body of a garden lizard. The gold and black colors blur as my heavy eyes close and my head drops. I’m still jet-lagged.

As I open my eyes, a sharp kick lands between my ribs. Before my attacker can remove her foot, I grab it tightly and swing her into the pool.

The plague sitting in front of me with her butt dipped in an inch of water, and her arms folded neatly around her legs, just so happens to call herself Hannah’s best friend, though I knew her long before the two met.

This tomboy has a kick that’s out of this world. Her barcodes are powered by the goddess Atalanta. Every god and demigod has a code that they’re born with. That’s what separates us from Apes and humans. Some gods bond well with their bodies, while others pump so much power into their flesh that they can hardly stand. Ever. It can be a gift or a curse.
“You got my panties wet, jerk.”
“Why would a boy wear panties?”

“Don’t call me a boy, you ugly pig.”

“You walk like one, talk like one, but wait, you kick like a girl,” I tease, but my ribs scream in pain. Even more, I’m defiantly conscious that Michelle’s beauty competes closely with the most attractive girl on campus, Hannah. Still, she and I are mortal enemies that will one day battle to her death.

I’ve seen these visions in my sleep. Any morning I wake up after slaying her just so happens to be a great day. Yes. I’m very aware that many people consider these dreams, but if they are prophetic, The Writer does truly love me.

“What does Hannah see in you?”

“What do you mean? She said that in our first year you always gushed over my blue eyes, and wouldn’t stop raving about my face.” I watch the wicked witch’s eyes nearly leap out of their sockets, and her face turns pale. If the tattoos on her legs shine, I’ll need to flee for my own safety. “Geez. You look so upset; I almost think it’s true.”

Kashif has very kindly agreed to put up one copy of Barcode: Legend of Apollo as a gift to one lucky commenter. So…get to commenting! Winner to be announced Thursday (yes, I’m shrinking my normal window of opportunity). Good luck, everyone and have a great Monday.


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