By Rachel M. Anderson / RMA Publicity
(Minneapolis) – They say everything happens for a reason and when Aimee Kuzenski of Minneapolis was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, she took it as a wake-up call.
“I had always wanted to publish a story I had written as a project for National Novel Writing Month back in 2008, but life intervened and I didn’t get a chance to work on it for a while,” she said. But once the diagnosis for colon cancer came, she had to slow down and take it easy. With the downtime came the opportunity to finally finish Eye of the Storm, a science fiction novel where gods and mortals meet, and the apocalypse follows.
The story begins with the main character, the god War, bent on revenge after an ancient enemy tricks him into destroying his human identity. He takes drastic steps to protect his empire, seizing the body of a young West Point lieutenant named Camilla Sykes. Meantime, Ian Dorsey, the son of the man War had murdered on that fateful day, appears to be losing his mind in the bargain. Why else would he be hearing voices that are telling him to kill his father’s client? Or are the voices coming from somewhere darker?
Kuzenski did a lot of research on schizophrenia as she worked to develop Ian’s character. “I wanted the character to be believable,” she said. “I’ve had psychiatrists tell me I did a good job. I’m very proud of that.”
Science fiction is a genre Kuzenski has enjoyed since her childhood. Starting with six hour marathons of classic Dr. Who on Sundays and reading every single book on Greek myths her grandmother would allow her to check out, she eventually moved on to the adult science fiction stacks, and read everything there. She started writing science fiction stories when she was in high school.
When it came time to get her first book, Eye of the Storm, published, Kuzenski started up a Kickstarter program to raise the funds she would need to hire an editor, get a cover designed, print and promote the book. Along the way she teamed up with Bookmen Media Group (BMG), a cooperative publisher in the Twin Cities. Unlike a traditional press, which would purchase the manuscript and take over the project, BMG shares the expenses of getting a book published, but allows the author to maintain editorial control.
BMG helped Kuzenski find an editor and proofreader she liked. While she was busy working on the book’s final edits, BMG took care of lining up the printer, distribution and promotion.
“We at BMG enjoy assisting authors in bringing their books to market,” said company founder Dari McDonald. “I was impressed how Aimee addressed the issues of military rape, mythology and urban fantasy into a captivating novel. You feel as if you are in a theatre watching the play unfold. “
Eye of the Storm was officially released as both a paperback and eBook on Sept. 1, 2013, and the early reviews are very positive. Matt Vinez posted this review on Amazon.com saying, “I wasn't sure what to expect when I started on this book, but it kept my attention the entire way through! Definitely looking forward to the next in this series; breezed through this book, hardly noticing the time passing.”
Reviewer Laci Balfour said, “I have always enjoyed the theme of gods taking human form in fiction. Kuzenski's description of the internal conflict between deity and mortal is enthralling. I tore through this book in just a few sittings. There is a tight, simple plot, and it moves quickly”
Eye of the Storm is now available at bookstores everywhere. In Minneapolis, it can be found at Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore and Dream Haven Books, Comics and Art. Books are also available for purchase via Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Direct links can be accessed from the author’s website, http://akuzenski.com.
About the author: Aimee Kuzenski
Aimee Kuzenski was born in Clintonville, Wisc., and currently lives in northeast Minneapolis, Minn. She moved there in 1996, in an effort to use her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater from the University of Wisconsin, Steven’s Point for good. But she soon discovered she didn't like the uncertainty of having to look for a new job every four weeks, not to mention the lack of health care coverage.
After some discussion and internal musing, Aimee took herself to the University of Minnesota for electrical engineering training. The final result seems to be a blending of the two extremely different disciplines. By day, she works as a technical writer for a local engineering company. For much of the rest of the time, she sits in her home studio and writes fantasy, science fiction, and her own blend of the two. She also trains in eskrima, a Filipino martial art, and enjoys attending science fiction conventions.
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