Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Cyclopes' Eye by Jeffrey Haskey-Valerius @jeffreyhvwrites @RABTBookTours

YA Dystopian, Soft Sci-Fi

Date to be Published: 04-09-2024

Publisher: NineStar Press


First they came for his sister’s eye. Now they’re coming for his. And what’s even worse is he deserves it.

Henry has never had anything good happen to him, period. Full stop. That’s why, after school, he’s going to put on his big-boy pants and confess his love to his best friend—because the universe owes him one, dammit, and he needs a win.

But maybe doing it on Drill Day wasn't the best idea—the one day a month that healthcare conglomerate Axiom infiltrates schools across America to select a new candidate to give up one of their eyes, for... research? And if this Drill Day is anything like the last, Henry will never get a chance at a good life. Especially if his past keeps threatening to eat him alive, and especially if his old ways of keeping the darkness at bay refuse to work anymore.


Interview with Jeffrey Haskey-Valerius

    Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

    Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward blew my mind. The characters are so nuanced and complex, and the way Ward wrote them while also weaving together deeply lyrical prose and a heartbreaking plot seemed so effortless. It made me want to be a stronger writer.

    How do you select the names of your characters?

    Oftentimes, I use a placeholder name with the intent to change it later, but then I get so used to that name in my head that it feels right and becomes the character’s name. But even still, I usually utilize a baby name website to look up the meaning of names to see if it fits with the character. Finally, if I have a character’s first and last name, I have to google it to make sure it’s not already in use!!

    Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

    There are no secrets. Hopefully like most good suspense books, readers will have been able to pick up on the clues I’ve laid down throughout the book, so once the things come together at the end, they’ll go, ah, yes!

    What was your hardest scene to write?

    There’s a pivotal scene toward the end that’s set around a bonfire, where the characters formulate their resistance against the villainous Axiom that’s collecting people’s eyes. It was hard to write because not only was there a lot of emotion that had to be portrayed, but there were many different voices to distinguish as each character’s own, while also of course advancing the plot and building tension. I knew it was a scene that was integral to the book and series as a whole, so it’s the one that went through the most revisions.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    I definitely want each installment to form a cohesive story with one strong voice throughout.

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

    I wanted to put my characters first. I knew there would be a lot of action and mystery in this world, but as a reader, characters are always what’s more important to me. I wanted them to have a heart and for each of them, even the secondary characters and even the villains, to have sympathetic qualities and a unique voice. I’m very happy with how all of my characters turned out!

    What inspired you to write The Cyclopes’ Eye?

    This is my first novel. I’d written loads of shorter pieces and always wanted to write an entire book, but I was too daunted by the challenge. Finally, I was at a good place in my life where I had the time to devote to something like that, and I’m grateful I didn’t back away from it!

    Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in The Cyclopes’ Eye series or what you have planned for the future?

    I’m hard at work on the series at large, and it should be available soon! The sequel will answer some of the questions I set up in the end of the first book, like what happened to Sam and his Third Eye, and will he and Henry end up together?

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Cyclopes’ Eye?

    The two main characters are Henry and Judith Youngwell. They’re twins, but they couldn’t be more different.

    In exchange for her eye, Judith and her family received a brand new, huge, and beautiful house. But when she loses everything that used to make her feel alive, like the ability to play piano, suddenly this fancy house feels a whole lot emptier than her old life ever did.

    Henry, the narrator, has never been good at letting things go. Knowing it should have been his eye instead of Judith’s, this guilt is going to consume him. Kill him. But when he turns his rage outward, his emotions literally turn lethal, and he and Judith must find a way to clean up his mess, and also survive.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    I loved writing the relationships between each character, especially between the narrator Henry and his sister, Judith. His rapport with his best friend Norah was also really special and fun to write. Also, some of the bloodier scenes were fun to write because I was really able to slip into Henry’s delusions.

About the Author

Jeffrey Haskey-Valerius works in healthcare by day and writes weird fiction and poetry by night. His shorter work has been featured in numerous literary journals and has been nominated for prizes, including Best of the Net. He currently lives in the Midwest with his unbelievably handsome and perfect dog, and also a human whom he loves. The Cyclopes’ Eye is his debut novel.


Contact Links



Twitter: @jeffreyhvwrites

Instagram: @jeffreyhvwrites

TikTok: @jeffreyhvwrites

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Michael Law said...

Great interview! This looks really good. Thanks for sharing.