Indie Book Promo is happy to welcome Thane Keller to the blog!. He’s here to answer some of our questions and to share about his book, Trials. If this book sounds like something you would be interested in reading, please find a buy link below and pick up a copy or two – it’s 99 cents for a limited time!
IBP – Tell us about your new release?
Thane – Trials is a thrilling dystopian science fiction novel that brings the despicable aspects of human nature together with the best aspects. If you are interested in Mars colonization, evolution, the future of the human race, the psychology of man, or anything in between, Trials is definitely for you!
IBP – Tell me a little about yourself
Thane – I am Thane Keller and I currently live with my wife and three little boys in a small town called Eschenbach, which is located in the Bavarian Region of Germany. I am a devout Christian, an Army Officer with twelve years of service and two combat deployments, and a psychology major working on a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. We live a busy, hectic, fun-filled life and cannot imagine it any other way!
IBP – Do you read reviews written about your book?
Thane – Absolutely! I read every review posted and if I have the contact information of the writer, I like to respond to them as well. I think one of the best things about the review process is getting a chance to learn from your readers, refine your writing, and make a few new friends along the way. To encourage readers to leave me reviews, I have established a VIP mailing list on www.thanekeller.com. If someone has left me a review, they can join that special mailing list and get my next book for free!
IBP – Do you listen to music while writing?
Thane – Yes! I love listening to dark classical music while I write. As a child, I used to listen to classical music on long drives and invent stories about what was happening in the song. Today, the music helps me focus and get lost in the mind of one of my characters. Right now, my favorite album to write to is from Philip Wesley – Dark Night of the Soul.
IBP – How long did it take you to write your current book?
Thane – I wrote Trials over a two-year span across three continents! I actually started the book while I was deployed to Afghanistan for an eleven-month tour. My team and I would work from about 7A.M. to 10 P.M. After my shift, I wrote from 10 P.M. to midnight. When I came home to New York, I kept writing and refining the story and finally, once we moved to Germany, I had it professionally edited and sent for publication. As you can imagine, it has been quite a process and I have learned so much.
IBP – Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Thane – I think every writer sees him or herself in many of their characters. Books are a lot like a fingerprint that identify the soul of the author. In Trials, I am closely attached to the main character, Jonah. In fact, the most stressful part of this process has been opening up about my own life and struggles through Jonah’s dream. He, like me and many other soldiers are scarred by our experiences in war. We are all different now but our experiences allow us to overcome the next Trial – which is what Jonah can do on our behalf.
Malek is certainly my next favorite character in the story. His name actually means King – but don’t let my preference for Malek fool you. He’s as wicked as they come!
IBP – How did you come up with your premise for your books?
Thane – I actually got the premise for Trials when I saw that Mars-One was planning a permanent settlement on Mars in 2025. The very thought of going on a one-way journey inspired me to consider the what-ifs and write the story. What if they failed? What if something went wrong? What if the colony succeeded? Who would be stuck in the middle? I think the neatest thing about Trials is that it encourages other people to consider the what-ifs as well; and I hope readers do just that!
IBP – What is the one book that you think everyone should read?
Thane – I have to dig deep for this one because there are so many greats. If I have to choose just one, I would go with Lord of the Flies. William Golding was so brilliant in exploring human nature and the role of civilized society. His contrast between the desire to live morally and act selfishly, to be civilized as opposed to savagery, and innocence opposed to natural evil was simply brilliant.
IBP – Where can your fans find you?
Thane – My fans can find me at www.thanekeller.com where they can read short stories, read chapters of my books, sign up for the VIP program, or simply write me a note. I am on Twitter @thanekeller and on Facebook as Thane Keller. Readers can also find me on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble. I would love to interact with and hear from each and every fan!
IBP – Vampires or werewolves?
Thane – Vampires for sure! The vampire is the ultimate creature of carnality; continually seeking to fulfill the desires of the flesh in an evil, passionate, and sensual way. They can see in the dark, they fly, they drink blood, and they are super strong. Werewolves are dogs! Come on people!
IBP – What projects are you currently working on right now? Would you mind sharing them with us?
Thane – I have three projects right now! My next novel is titled Fractal Space and takes place in a distance galaxy on the brink of war. I’m certain any Science Fiction Fan will love this book! I’m also working on a prequel to Trials, as well as, its sequel! Fans can go to www.thanekeller.com to see snippets from the novels and read short stories about the characters.
Trials is a science fiction thriller that follows Jonah Shepherd, a wrongly accused retired soldier that has been exiled to the planet Mars by a corrupt and totalitarian government. As Jonah’s world descends into chaos, he is forced to rely on his ingenuity and military training to escape the red planet and reunite with the love of his life, Evie. Standing in Jonah’s way is a megalomaniac named Malek, the shadowy mining company Unicore, and one hundred and forty million miles of empty space.
Thane is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a degree in psychology and a minor in English. Following college, Thane married his high school sweetheart Sarah, and started his career as a cavalryman in the United States Army. After over eleven years of service, he has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan where he was personally engaged in ground combat. His service has thus far earned him two Bronze Stars and numerous other awards and decorations.
Relying on his psychology background, military experience, and Christian faith, Thane writes novels that seek to explore human nature under dire circumstances, the reality of pain and suffering, and the resilience of individuals to accomplish super human feats. Thane’s hopes are that as readers experience his character’s journey through the gift of reading, readers will be greater equipped to endure the inevitable ups and downs in life itself and dream to accomplish greater things.
In addition to his wife Sarah, Thane is blessed to have three wonderful boys that do all they can to keep him from pursuing his love of writing.
It swayed back and forth for her. That giant worm. Experiment gone wrong. Its sharp, snake-like tongue jutted in and out of its wide circular mouth. Saliva dripped off rows of razor sharp teeth as it waited, mouth open for the gift she was preparing to give. It didn’t need meat – she’d designed it to survive on sulfur and iron found beneath the surface. But it liked meat. And she was happy to oblige.
Guards led two blindfolded miners down the narrow passageway. The worm, standing on its tail, leaned towards them and hissed like a cobra ready to strike. It was a quiet hiss, almost a purr, and as soon as it let out its purr, the worm shrunk below the ledge and wrapped itself upward around a cavern stalactite to increase its reach. The miners pleaded. She ignored them, instead choosing to remove their blindfolds so they could watch her majestic creation consume them. Helpless and vulnerable, the two were put on their knees at the mouth of the cavern and they whimpered softly as the giant worm unwrapped itself and slithered along the ground to stand in front of them. Reaching its favored location, the worm rose up, extending its body to full height far above the thin ledge that served as its feeding tray. Smiling, she turned and ascended back up the passage way to the sound of desperate screams followed by complete silence.