Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: All We Leave Behind: Transits of Three by Benjamin X. Wretlind @bxwretlind @GoddessFish

All We Leave Behind: Transits of Three

by Benjamin X. Wretlind

GENRE: Science Fiction


Following the exodus from rising floodwaters, the surviving descendants of those who came to create a society on a planet far from Earth have struggled to rebuild within the remains of an ancient temple. Now, as disease and an unfamiliar environment threaten to destroy them yet again, everyone seems to have an opinion about what to do next.

Miriam and Tobias Page, newly married, believe there may be a possible home beyond a distant canyon. Their journey with a quarter of the population doesn’t start well and soon nature and their own humanity will conspire to end it all. Meanwhile, Miriam’s two cousins, Joel and Micah, have different ideas. Joel is convinced the best course of action is to return to the mountains they left to mine for the ore that would make a great return to Earth possible. Micah hopes to stay, learn all he can about the temple’s previous occupants, and prove both of them wrong. But soon, he and his new partner Patience realize that no option is truly safe.

As the transits of three different groups get underway, new dangers and surprises emerge from within the rainforests, mountains, and deserts of the planet…and one of those may have followed them from Earth. While a final home is a dream away, present nightmares must be dealt with first if any of them are going to survive.


How many?” Moran asked.

Four. Just up ahead.” Tobias tightened his grip on his weapon.

Bethany is waiting for us.”

Moran stopped and watched as the caravan slowly edged toward the right, away from immediate danger. “Wish we had more to spare.”

So do I.” Tobias took in a calming breath and let it out slowly. The nervousness in his stomach eased up. Miriam had taught him several techniques for dealing with fear, for calming his anxiety and sharpening his mind. He would forever be grateful to be married to a counselor, a therapist, a wise wizard of the brain’s complications.

Ready?” Moran asked.

They both walked slowly toward Bethany’s position, their eyes locked on the trees where Tobias saw the four animals.

Eight,” Bethany whispered as they approached. “Four more in a cluster of trees to the right of the others.”

Typical pack. Haven’t heard the growl, yet,” Moran said. “Maybe they didn’t see us.”

Oh, they did.” Tobias pointed to the tree with the first rychat he spotted. “I swear I saw that one lick its lips.”

Well, we’ll have to take care of that.”

Moran raised his crossbow and took aim at the one Tobias pointed out. In tandem, both Tobias and Bethany raised their own weapons.

One on the trunk,” Tobias whispered.

Bethany responded. “The big one to the right.”

The three were silent as they steadied themselves.

Interview with Benjamin X. Wretlind

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    Since All We Leave Behind is the third book in the Transit series, I was already pretty well involved. However, the whole series idea started around 2020 when nothing seemed to be going right in the world (not that much has changed). I turned to my wife and said “Wouldn’t it be something if we could start over as a society? I wonder what would happen?” Her response was really what finalized the entire structure of the story, which has led to this book. “Well,” she said sardonically, “I think you’d have to get a group of people to a different planet, if you really wanted to start over. We’ve kind of screwed things up here beyond repair.”

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goal for this book was to establish the genesis of three different cultures who all came from the same seed, if you will. If you look back at history, most cultures can be traced to common beginnings. So what happened after? Why are our cultures so drastically different? That’s the goal of the series--to explore our anthropology in a science fiction setting. In other words, it’s a forward look through a backwards lens. Has the goal been met? It’s getting there. There are nine books in this series and as All We Leave Behind is just number 3, a lot has to happen. But humans didn’t reach this point quickly, either.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    For me it’s been ensuring that the characters act in a way that is consistent with the second book, Sunshine and Shadow. I took a few months off between writing book two and book three. During that time, I wrote two other novels, one a first-person steampunk (Beneath Gehenna) and another a young adult literary novel with mythological elements (Beans of Anafi). Getting back into the mindset of the characters as I left them at the end of Sunshine and Shadow was not as easy as I hoped.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    World building. There’s an eight-part blog series I wrote on using anthropology for building worlds for science fiction and fantasy, and I’ve been trying to stick to it as I go on. A culture can be defined by eight different elements and without just one of them, something won’t feel right. The fun part was making sure that all eight elements were included, which has also helped in getting me to plan out several of the later novels.

    Were there alternate endings you considered?

    Not for this novel. I managed to establish all three cultures without deviating too much from my original plan. For the first novel, Out of Due Season, the ending was changed drastically by a sudden idea when I was three-fourths of the way through it. I thought: what if there was a new antagonist, one that would ramp up the stakes even more? That new antagonist was the genesis of the third established culture in All We Leave Behind, and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t added them in while writing Out of Due Season.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    The most influential person I met while writing this book was Darby Karchut, a presenter at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in 2022. Darby hosted a workshop on using anthropology for world building, and from that I was able to really get into the cultures I was creating.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    I gravitate toward speculative fiction--science fiction, techno-thrillers, and magical realism being at the top of the list. However, I do enjoy some fantasy, a little horror, and mysteries.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Benjamin, a speculative fiction author, ran with scissors when he was five. He now writes, paints, uses sharp woodworking tools and plays with glue. Sometimes he does these things at the same time.

Benjamin lives with his wife Jesse in Colorado.

Connect with Benjamin X. Wretlind

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub



$25 Amazon/BN GC

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Benjamin X. Wretlind said...

Thank you for hosting!

Bea LaRocca said...

I enjoyed reading your interview and am looking forward to reading All We Leave Behind: Transits of Three and the previous books from this series. I am a huge sci-fi fan and am wondering if you would share some of your favorite stories with me, there may be some great books out there that I haven't read yet.

Benjamin X. Wretlind said...

My favorite series would be Foundation (Isaac Asimov), which I think are best to be read in chronological order (starting with Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation). Most people will pick up Foundation and read from there, but they all fit together to form great pattern. Other scifi books that I am enthralled with are Saturn Run by John Sandford, Gathering of the Four by A. E. Bennett, and Aestus by S. Z. Attwell.

Sherry said...

Sounds like a great story.

Ally Swanson - FAB said...

Intriguing book cover!!