Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You will soon be participating in Comic Excitement Convention this January 14-15, 2017, at the LA Convention Center. How did you become involved in the show, and what are you most looking forward to about the event?
A.C. Hachem: I learned of CX17 through my Facebook feed, actually, and immediately thought to myself, "Hey, this is exciting! A brand new comic convention, right here in my backyard!" It seemed like good timing and a great place to showcase my first sci-fi novel, so I reached out to the contact email listed on the site to learn more about the event. L.A. is a very big place, and pop culture is in its D.N.A. so I'm pretty excited about participating in a new event like Comic Excitement, witnessing its growth, and, hopefully, growing right along with it. So rad that so much fandom can be found under one roof!
BD: You will soon be releasing your debut science fiction novel, Dawn of Legaia. What can you tell readers about the premise of the book, and what inspired the project?
ACH: After spending a couple of years reading and writing poetry, I wanted to engage in a literary endeavor more commercial in nature. Growing up, I spent a lot of time playing video games, so I wanted to couple my love for fictional realms with my admiration for the written word. I started piecing characters and settings together based on my own hobbies and life experiences, and sooner or later, I was standing on Dawn of Legaia's foundation.
The story is about a twenty-two-year-old prodigy of science named Monte Cizek who has just been tasked with discovering a new energy system that can sustainably power Legaia, the Earth’s first orbiting space colony. With the help of his mentor, Legaia’s project lead Dr. Randal Porter, and Nate, the world’s most advanced conscious android robot, Monte must overcome the obstacles that stand between him and Legaia’s success. At the core of his frustration is L.A. business mogul Richard Hurlocke, whose greed and collusion send the fate of Legaia, and humanity, spiraling toward chaos.
BD: This book marks Book One of The Legaia Series. Do you have a certain number of books planned for the series, and is there a planned release schedule for each book?
ACH: These are the types of ponderings that keep writers up at night. The Legaia Series will definitely be at the very least, a trilogy, but if folks fall in love with these characters even half as much as I have, I think 5-7 installments could easily happen. Even some of the supporting characters, like the Itinerants (a band of noble, psychic vagabonds), I feel are interesting enough that I'd want to write more about them, develop them further, along with characters I haven't even conjured up yet. In a perfect world, I'd release one of these books every year, but we'll have to wait and see what direction life takes me in before I can commit to a concrete publishing schedule like that.
BD: In what capacity will you be appearing at Comic Excitement Convention, and are there any particular projects - in addition to Dawn of Legaia - that you will be promoting at the convention?
ACH: I'll be a Featured Guest at CX17 along with several other talented cosplayers, artists, illustrators, authors, and actors. Dozens more vendors and exhibitors will be present, as well, offering all sorts of comic book and pop culture goodies. Dawn of Legaia has been my passion project for a while now, so for the next few months, the bulk of my time will be spent promoting this novel, before I take a breather and write again.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your books?
ACH: I feel Dawn of Legaia is a multi-faceted story that can be enjoyed by a wide array of people. The science isn't too hard or technical, but just legit enough to satisfy most science fiction enthusiasts. DoL can bring smirks and tears, so if readers find themselves experiencing a relatively broad spectrum of emotions while reading the book, then I'll be all right with that. I don't think I could list all the elements in the story if I tried, but I can say that it’s a diverse story that hopefully appeals to a lot of people.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you would like to share with our readers?
ACH: As an independent artist, when the writer's hat comes off, the marketer's hat is placed firmly upon one's head. (Too many hats...) The next several months will be spent promoting Dawn of Legaia and arranging signing events at conventions, bookstores, and comic book shops throughout Los Angeles. But once that settles down, it'll come time to sit down and do some serious contemplating to ensure the sequel is even better.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about your work?
ACH: My blog and social media pages are pretty good resources for readers and potential readers to check out, because for the most part, I only post about things I like there, and if you like the content within my blog posts or social media feeds, you'll most likely like the content within my novels, as well. I'm active on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. My blog can be found at achachem.com/blog and come 1/11/17, Dawn of Legaia can be purchased on amazon.com, bn.com, or dawnoflegaia.com. Happy Reading, Sci-Fi Fans!