Hi everyone! Today I am excited to welcome Blaine Arden back to the blog. She is here to tell us more about her new book Aliens, Smith and Jones, and has brought a copy to give away to one lucky commenter.  Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

When I started writing Noah Jones, a couple of years ago, when Aliens, Smith and Jones was still supposed to be a short story, I only knew a couple of things about him. I knew he was an ex-alien transformed into a human, knew he had arrived on Earth in 1648, that he was virtually immortal, preferred to drink water, and looked to be forty-ish.

That was it. That was all I knew about my main character. Well, that, and the fact that, in the story, he would fall in love for the second time since he’d arrived on Earth. I had no idea what Noah looked like before he transformed, had no clue where he’d come from, how he landed on Earth, why he had to transform, and why he hadn’t just gone back home.

Like most writers, I found my answers by asking questions, not just the ones mentioned above, but also more detailed, more specific question. Of course, the longer my list of question, the more detailed my information on Noah, and the less I actually used in the story itself. But that’s not what gathering all that information was about. It was about knowing my character and being able to answer any question I came across while writing Noah’s story.

Noah isn’t the only alien in Aliens, Smith and Jones, though I admit, my research on those others weren’t as extensive. For those, I went with a more lackadaisical approach of picking and choosing. Now, my methods weren’t quite what I describe below, but they were close enough. 🙂

Today, I’m giving away one e-book version of Aliens, Smith and Jonesfor a lucky commenter. Normally, I’d say ‘leave your name and e-mail address, and I’ll pick a winner’, but this time, I’d like to play a little game with you all.

We’re going to design us some aliens! All you need is a dice or two to find out what sort of alien you can come up with. Some of the sections have the option for 2 dice if you’re adventurous and would like to mix and match your answers!

A: Color (1 or 2 dice) – 1 = white, 2 = red, 3 = black, 4 = purple, 5 = green, 6 = transparent
B: Limbs (1 or 2 dice) – 1 = hands/feet, 2 = claws/hoofs, 3 = hoofs/hands, 4 = feet/claws, 5 = wings/hands/feet, 6 = wings/claws/hoofs
C: # of Limbs (1 die) – 1 = 2 limbs, 2 = 4 limbs, 3 = 5 limbs, 4 = 6 limbs, 5 = 7 limbs, 6 = 8 limbs
D: Sort of Creature (1 or 2 dice) – 1 = humanoid, 2 = fish, 3 = fantasy, 4 = cat-/doglike, 5 = reptile, 6 = birdlike
E: Skin (1 or 2 dice) – 1 = scales, 2 = fur, 3 = rock, 4 = leather, 5 = metal, 6 = plastic
F: Size (1 die) – 1 = human, 2 = giant, 3 = fairy, 4 = elephant, 5 = dog/cat, 6 = grass/bug
G: Language (1 die) – 1 = human language, 2 = garbling, 3 = telepathy/mindlink, 4 = sign language, 5 = body language, 6 = snorts/whistles

I’m looking forward to seeing all your aliens in the comments! Each commenter will be entered into the giveaway, so grab some dice and show me your aliens! 🙂

Blaine’s giveaway will run through Friday, July 27th at 11:59 pm EST.  Be sure to leave a comment with your alien design to enter!

Joyfully Jay