Saturday, October 10, 2015

Book Tour: The Grand Dissolute by Joel Van Valin

The year is 1998 and Jimmy Pagley is falling in love—with a pretty, foreign cafe waitress named Haydee. What he doesn't know is that Haydee is a temvelar, a time traveler from the 29th century, on a mission to find her old mentor. Soon Jimmy and Haydee find themselves caught up in a dark conspiracy of rogue temvelars and government agents, on a search that leads through airports and space stations, art museums and suburban bakyards, Greek temples and Medieval castles, and beyond time itself. The Grand Dissolute is a traveler's portrait of a tumultuous, romantic age—our own.

Joel Van Valin is the author of the fantasy novel, The Flower of Clear Burning and the publisher of Whistling Shade literary journal. He lives with his wife Lisa, a veterinarian, in St. Paul.

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Top Ten Curious Facts

Top Ten Curious Facts about The Grand Dissolute

1.     The hero of The Grand Dissolute, Jimmy Pagley, is a veterinarian. A year or two after completing the novel I met my wife, who happens to be a real life veterinarian!
2.     The Grand Dissolute is largely set in St. Paul, Minnesota, ‘cause that’s where I live.
3.     The planet Tarrymore was introduced in my first book, an unpublished sci-fi novel. In The Grand Dissolute I decided to make it the home of the Time Ministry.
4.     Some characters in The Grand Dissolute, like Dennis the Irishman and Rob, are based on friends of mine.
5.     Physicists have not, to my knowledge, come up with a name for the theoretical energy released when objects travel backwards through time. So I named the energy toc, after the tick-tock of a clock.
6.     Speaking of Physics – I got a C in it in highschool!
7.     The name of the Whistler character who appears at the end of The Grand Dissolute is from the literary journal I publish, Whistling Shade. Each issue starts with a short column I write called “From the Whistler.”
8.     The Grand Dissolute started out as a short poem about a guy whose girlfriend is secretly a time traveler. Then I expanded it into a story. Then the story got the better of me, and I had to make it into a novel!
9.     And there’s more ... I plan to write a series of novels featuring the temvelars. Work has started on the second book and the provisional title is “Lost in the Renaissance” (if that gives you a hint as to what era we will be traveling back to).
10.  And you may not have heard the last from Haydee and Jimmy, either!

Snippet #2

Arriving back on Tarrymore, Toma stopped for a drink at the Falling Star in Red Shade Lane. The cantina had been the drinking retreat of artisans and craftsmen for centuries; more recently it had become the preferred haunt of the temvelars. Its narrow entrance lay across the street from the constabulary, so it was no surprise that he was greeted by Lauro Rain, the constable himself. A small darting man with unkempt hair and piercing green eyes, Rain always seemed a bit off-kilter, and those who did not know him well thought him a trifle mad. He would disappear into his rooms for days on end, and at other times could be seen walking the evening streets of Tarrymore having conversations with himself. But the truth was that other than some drunken space tourists and a domestic dispute or two, there was little need for the law in Tarrymore.
Where Haydee was going, he knew it had been otherwise. Toma had only traveled to 20th century America once, on a field trip when he was a student. It had overwhelmed him with its noise and chaos. All these millions of people honking their horns, ringing each other on their phones, driving cranes and bulldozers to erect monstrous buildings with floor after rising floor of soulless office cubicles. And consuming everything—fast food, soda pop, computers, disposable cameras, cheap clothing made in factories by children in some other part of the world. Destruction, violence, litigation—they did not seem to have the least idea of a purpose for being there, nor the slightest code of honor to live by. And yet there was always that inexplicable romantic charm about the Grand Dissolute, an age more fascinating than any other. A dark past is interesting, he reasoned, particularly when it’s your own. And even his own time and place, quiet little Tarrymore sitting so picturesquely between its sea and cliffs, was still bound up by what had happened there eight hundred years ago.

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