Book Tour – “Spaceship Broken, Needs Repairs” by Russell Nohelty

Book Tour – “Spaceship Broken, Needs Repairs” by Russell Nohelty

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Russell Nohelty who joins me today for a chat during his tour to promote his latest release, Spaceship Broken, Needs Repairs.



author-pic-russell-noheltyRussell Nohelty is a writer, publisher, and speaker. He runs Wannabe Press, which publishes weird books for weird people, and hosts The Business of Art podcast, which helps creatives build better businesses.

Russell is the author of Gumshoes: The Case of Madison’s Father and My Father Didn’t Kill Himself, along with the creator of the Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter, Gherkin Boy, and Katrina Hates the Dead graphic novels. He makes books that are as entertaining and weird as they are thought provoking.

Social Media Links: @russellnohelty on Twitter and Instagram. /russellnohelty on Facebook





SPACESHIP 6 X 9 FRONTSammy’s had a tough life. His father is abusive. His mother is an alcoholic. He developed pulmonary fibrosis from asbestos and needs an oxygen tank to breath.

His family is poor and getting poorer.

One day his mother’s had enough and steals him away to a life on the run. She’d rather be a fugitive than subject Sammy to his father’s rage.

It doesn’t take long for life on the run with a sick child to catch up to her. In order to keep Sammy alive she has no choice but to move in with her emotionally abusive grandfather.

Sammy just wants a normal life. He just wants to get along, but when he meets a homeless alien that all changes. Now, he has to help her fix her ship and get off the planet.

This is a book about families, broken homes, and the power of friendship. Whether you enjoy whimsy, dark humor, or coming of age stories, there is something for you inside these pages.

Sci-fi. It’s a YA book, but for very mature kids. Warning: There is some strong language and the book deals with abuse.

Buy your copy here



Here’s an excerpt!



It started with a bang and a whimper.

Well it wasn’t really a bang.

It was more like a slap. Well, exactly like a slap.

Actually, it wasn’t really a slap either. It was – what’s the sound a fist makes when it connects with a woman’s jaw? Like a woomp, or a thud, or a thwonk.

Well, that was the sound. The sound of my mother being punched across the jaw by my father; her hair, her body, suspended motionless for a second, then falling gracefully in slow motion, as I watched horrified and petrified, nestled in the corner behind her.

He’d aimed for me, but Mom jumped between us so that I wouldn’t face his assault. She always did that.

She told me that the initial blow was always the worst; that she became numb after the third or fourth hit.

At least that’s what she told me. I never believed her. I too often saw the pain on her face when he kicked her ribs for the eighth and ninth times. I watched helpless as the tears welled in her eyes. It was hell.

Dad screamed the vilest things imaginable while he beat her. I blocked out the worst of it through years of wilful self-delusion. But a few burrowed deep into my memory. I used to wake at night, drenched in cold sweat. His screams jolted me out of my daydreams. They snapped me back to reality.

“You vile, worthless WHORE!”

“Lying sack of shit!”

“Dumb Bitch!”

Those were his favorites. She would cry and cry, for hours it seemed, until giant snot bubbles came out of her nose. He punched, kicked, screamed, and stomped my mother within inches of her life on more than a dozen occasions.

She spent weeks in the hospital, battling to breathe, hoping to die. Punctured lungs, broken noses, and cracked rib cages became the norm; Police reports and flimsy denials, standard operating procedure. He didn’t like lies, but truths only made him madder and the beatings more vicious. After a spell we kept our mouth shut and did our bid –hoping to one day get paroled.


Mom wouldn’t let him take out his anger on me. Not on her twelve-year old baby with an oxygen tank; not to the little kid whose simple existence was a miracle. Not to the kid that she made this way.

And I don’t mean in the way her egg and his sperm did the freaky-deeky so I could eventually be popped out nine months later.

Though of course that’s 100% accurate in the most literal sense; I mean you could interpret it that way for sure. But more so my condition was brought on by their negligence.

I have a condition called pulmonary fibrosis. There’s a couple of causes from genetics to environmental factors. It basically meant my lungs were all messed up, scarred over, and didn’t work right. If they worked worse, I’d be on a lung transplant list, but they work just well enough that I’ll just have shitty lung disease for the rest of my shortened life.

Now, one of the causes of pulmonary fibrosis could have been my mother smoking during pregnancy. As much as I’d love to blame her for that, she took impeccable care while I baked inside her. She didn’t smoke, took prenatal vitamins, listened to classical music, and stayed away from fish. She didn’t even drink. Not one drop. It wasn’t until after my diagnosis that the pills and booze took hold.

No, the cause of my condition comes from being poor; really, really poor; so poor that we couldn’t afford adequate housing. Poor enough to squat anyplace that accepted our meager cash, even if it meant buildings riddled with asbestos.

As a child I was susceptible to all sorts of things that my parents’ immune system could withstand.

I’m 18 now.

I was 12 during this story.

I was 8 when they diagnosed me.

That’s the worst part. My condition wasn’t some genetic defect. It wasn’t some moment-of-birth botch. It wasn’t something I’d lived with my entire life.

I remember being a normal kid; playing sports, running, jumping, living outside a protective cocoon. I remember biting into a fresh apple without tasting sand. I remember breathing without pins and needles stabbing my lungs. I remember a life where my parents didn’t blame themselves for my existence, where even for a moment we were blissfully happy.

I mean blissfully happy. Over the moon, laugh every night, Norman Rockwell, Kodak stock portrait happy. The kind of happy we would nauseatingly shake our heads at today. The kind of happy that breaks my heart to think about, because I can never have it again.

Seven though, that was a magical year. Dad came home every night to a warm cooked meal. He regaled Mom with stories of his day as she sat enthralled on the edge of her seat. We made pillow forts and watched old movies that went way over my head, all cuddled up around the shitty CRT Dad found at a yard sale. We were dirt poor. We didn’t care though. We didn’t need things to be happy. We just needed to be together.

It wasn’t meant to last though. I started getting winded at soccer practice, then I could barely make it home from school, my chest began to burn and ache throughout the day and into the night. Then, the wretched coughing started, followed by the blood.

We went to doctor after doctor after doctor and our meager finances ran dry, but Mom and Dad were vigilant. They endured any cost, no matter how high, to ensure that my health was sound.

Specialist after specialist shook their head and confirmed my parents’ worst fears. By my eighth birthday it was a foregone conclusion. They didn’t get me toys, or video games, or even books. They got me two shiny oxygen tanks. I still use them to this day. Happy Birthday to me, right?


And here’s an interview with the author…


Who is your favorite author?

I have to pick three in writing and one for comics. For comics it’s Brian K. Vaughn. Everything he writes, I love. For books, it’s Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Terry Pratchett. If those three had a love baby, I like to think it would have been me.

How do you describe your writing style?

I write pretty matter of fact, like Hemingway. Everything I write has a lot of layers. I learned that through both journalism and screenwriting.

I wish I could be more eloquent, but I don’t have it in me. I like to blend drama and humor, too, just like life. I like to think of my work as entertaining and thought provoking. If you just want an entertaining read, you can get that, but if you want to think more deeply you can do that too.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

Because it dives into the deepest, darkest parts of your soul while still being very poignant and funny at the same time. If you like 80s coming of age stories with a little sci-fi flare, you will dig this book.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

All of them. Every character is a big piece of my soul. With Spaceship Broken, Needs Repairs a lot of the main character is a reflection of me, just like his grandfather is a reflection of my own Pop. It’s hard for me to read my books after I finish the proofing because it’s such a raw reflection of me in so many ways.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

Please god no. I put my characters through Hell. Good things don’t happen to the characters in my books. If I had to choose, I guess Gherkin Boy, because I’ve always wanted to meet an intergalactic eyeball.

What books have most influenced your life?

1984″ was the earliest book I read that changed my view on the world. Then, “The Tao of Pooh” was another one because it opened up my eyes to other religious traditions and helped solidify my dislike for religion in general. Finally, “Y: The Last Man” got me back into comics, and comics made my career.

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

Galapagos” by Kurt Vonnegut. It had so much potential and fell flat for me. I would love to make my own version of that book, but I never would. For good or bad, a book is a reflection of the person and should be left alone to tell its own story in its own time.

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

The Beatles, because they are a real band, not a manufactured one, who built their career one fan at a time, make awesome stuff, and then killed themselves to serve their audience better until it drove them crazy.

Who should play you in a film of your life?

David Duchovny or John Cusack would be great if you could teleport them 20 years back in time somehow.


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