J. Dalton

Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?

My current WIP is the third book in the “Gates to the Galaxies” series, tentatively titled “A Search through the Gates!”. The First book, “The Gates to the Galaxies” was originally written for my youngest grandchildren and follows the exploits of the crew of a giant spaceship. While not a children’s book, the story lines were meant to entertain and educate them with an interaction, through time travel, with Apollo 13. The second book, “A Return to the Gates” was written for my older grandchildren, and several of the characters are based on them. It introduces the reader to the “Ones” who, through genetic experiments, have turned their race into one that is now dependent on drinking human blood in order to function during the daylight. The “Ones” were once the rulers of the universe and ruled from a huge “Dyson Sphere”! The WIP is written just for my enjoyment and continues the story line with a more adult style where the ”Ones’” original warriors are awakened from centuries of sleep in stasis pods. Then they try to re-gain rule of the universe. In my humble opinion, I think, It’s my best work yet!

How did you get started writing science fiction?

I never intended to be a writer! In 2016, I was diagnosed with CML (Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia). Thankfully, I am now in remission! After the initial shock, I was thinking about my legacy to my grandchildren. How would they remember me and how I influenced them? I decided to write a story with all my grandchildren as characters in it. That was the beginning of “An Unexpected Trip! (Through Time and Space). This was my first attempt at writing, and I wanted it to contain a moral lesson for my Grandchildren to learn. By telling a story in a book, it took my mind off my own problem. The kids liked it and I self-published it on Kindle. It actually sold several copies! Looking back, I wish that I had had enough money to hire an editor and an illustrator. I think that would have made it a much better read and more marketable. But, after my Leukemia diagnosis, I was forced to retire. I’m on a fixed income now and I can’t justify those expenses, just for vanity. I would never recover the expense.
After that, I realized that I really liked writing stories. I wasn’t doing it for the money, I was doing it because I enjoyed it! I decided that I would take the basic concepts in my original short story and write a series of science fiction novels. That was the start of the “Gates to the Galaxies” series.

Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?

I usually write in third person. I find it more difficult writing in first. It takes too much effort to figure out all the mental stuff that goes along with that.
What is your favorite part about being a writer?
I really enjoy the writing, the telling of a story. Figuring out how the twists and turns intertwine, to finally end up with what was originally just a fleeting thought, floating around in my mind! I think that, as I continue to write, I’m getting better. I’ve had no formal training, so it’s kind of “learn as you go” for me!

 What is the hardest part about being a writer?

I think that the hardest part is the editing! Knowing what to keep and what to dump. I tend to be very “wordy” as my wife would say, and punctuation can be a problem for me. I’m trying very hard to work on that, but affording an editor is usually just not an option for people who self-publish.

What stories or authors influence your writing?

I’m a voracious reader, especially of sci-fi! I often go through a book in a day or two, and like to read a huge variety of indie authors. I try to understand what moves me in a story line and, what I find annoying. Sometimes, a writer does a great job and then ruins the story by trying to end it too soon, by rushing the last chapter or two! That bothers me and I try to work on that in my books. Growing up, (I’m not done with that yet), I was a huge fan of the Star Trek series and anything involving space travel!
Some of my favorite authors are M.R. Forbes, Douglas E. Richards, Ken Lozito and Terry Mixon

Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?

I am not a fan of using conventional sci-fi concepts. I don’t use “Warp Speed” for my star ships. Instead, they use “Folded Space Drives”. I my books, I show how the concept of time travel is possible through the application of math and the use of “Dark” matter. I also have several other unconventional concepts coming in my WIP.
I ALWAYS leave a review on every indie book I read. If you want to support an indie writer, leave a review when you finish! Those help move the books up the search list!

What’s the best way to find you online?

I don’t have any social media other than twitter but, you can find me there at @JDalton69679184

Pick the book up at Amazon:


The Gates to the Galaxies: A Story of Space and Time Travel

Click Here

Jay Shaw

1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?
THE SHIFTING TIDE is the third book in my Dragonus Chronicles series of science fiction action romance space operas. When we first meet Julia “Wings” Swift in book one: THE SPACE COLONEL’S WOMAN she is a search and rescue chopper pilot on our Earth who’s unlucky in love. Julia’s life changes forever when an injured man falls through a portal and lands on her local beach. Swept off her feet by the charismatic and courageous Colonel Holden, will Julia say no to the thrilling possibility of an adventurous life in the fictional Dragonus Galaxy – come to life in an alternate reality?

In THE HUNTED Julia learns Dragonus Galaxy isn’t just the sexy exterior portrayed on a TV show. It’s as dark and seedy and dangerous as any place where one side wants power over another. This book deals with some dark themes among the romance and enduring love of Mark and Julia’s relationship as it grows and deepens alongside the menace of Dragonus’ enemies.

THE SHIFTING TIDE picks up five years after the end of THE HUNTED. Many things have changed, but one thing remains the same – Mark and Julia are still together. It’s a love that all space and time will lie down and be still for. Nothing could ever tear them apart, until… This third chapter in the Dragonus Chronicles reunites you with characters you’ve known and loved through the previous books, while at the same time introducing new ones. My beta readers have all said it’s a roller coaster of a ride that wreaks havoc on every single emotion you possess and leaves you asking for more.

The concept for the Dragonus Chronicles began with the image of a redheaded woman strolling along a beach, enjoying the salt breeze in her hair as she wondered what the next phase of her life would be. I couldn’t shake the idea and wanted to know more about who she was. As I went through my day of being mum to two kids, doing laundry, making dinner, I knew I had to write her story down. Julia’s stroll along the beach was the first scene I wrote of what I realised would be an epic journey for both her and me. I’d never written anything before. As for the science fiction part of the story, I’d always wondered where studios came up with their ideas for TV shows. Perhaps, they’re based on the lives of real people living in an alternate reality?

2) How did you get started writing science fiction?
The Dragonus Chronicles is my first science fiction series and I started that in 2010. But I’ve always had a love for the escapism and adventure of the genre. I was three when Star Wars – A New Hope came out in the US and six by the time it made it out to New Zealand. I still remember when my gran took me to see it at the theatre. She wasn’t sure what she was getting me into but I was wide-eyed and in love. I think every hero I write will always have a touch of Han Solo about him, and my heroines a nod to Princess Leia. Then there was Battlestar Galactica, MacGyver, Indiana Jones, Stargate SG-1 and especially Atlantis, Farscape, the new Star Treks, and Doctor Who – how could I not end up writing romance in far-off galaxies where the heroines are just as gutsy as the heroes and they live for adventure and each other, while fighting off the badguys.

3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why?
Romance. Sci-fi romance. But I also write paranormal, and contemporary, romance. I love to read books that have everything in them, and that’s what I love to write too. If I were to just choose one genre I get bored and that’s a disaster for both me and my readers. Life is a giant melting pot and that’s how I like my writing to be.

4) What tropes do you think are important for that sub-genre?
Space pirates, mercenaries, military men, soldiers of fortune, treasure hunters.
Telepathy, a good and noble cause.
Bad guys who see themselves as heroes in their own story.
A love, that despite trials and tribulations, conquers all.
Friendly aliens, evil aliens, and alien artefacts.
Wormholes, alternate realities.
Nanotech.

5) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?
Third person, past tense; I find I have more freedom and more opportunity to cover more aspects of the story’s world. Writing first person limits you to only what that character knows, sees, or feels. First person isn’t so great when you have a cast of thousands in a story that covers two galaxies and an alternate reality or two.

6) What is your favorite part about being a writer?
The ability to share the worlds of my imagination with readers in a way that allows them to feel as if the characters have grabbed hold of their hand and yanked them into an adventure, where they can smell the air of an exciting and dangerous place, and their bills and problems no longer exist – if only for an hour or two.

7) What is the hardest part about being a writer?
*points to question six* and that time of night around two or three in the morning when the rest of the world is asleep, and self-doubt tells you you’re a crap writer and your story sucks.

8) What stories or authors influence your writing?
Wilbur Smith: for his ability to write epic far-reaching stories that pull you under the moment you open the cover.
Clive Cussler: for his talent with description and his likeable rugged heroes.
Sara Donati and Diana Gabaldon: for showing that female characters are complex and interesting and capable of defending themselves, and their men.
Anna Hackett, Jess Anastasi, and Veronica Scott: because they introduced me to the world of SFR where heroes and heroines were a team and space adventures could be had at the turn of a page.

9) Recommend a great science fiction book or movie that we might have missed you didn’t create?
Anna Hackett’s Phoenix Adventures series
Jess Anastasi’s Atrophy series
Veronica Scott’s Sector series

10) Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?
Jay lives in New Zealand, where she raises her two teenagers. She loves photography, and has a partiality for tall, dark-haired, military men in thigh holsters and combat boots. But isn’t opposed to the occasional shirtless cowboy in tight denim.
She spends her days having lunch with her most-excellent author friends, marathoning Netflix, and lurking on Facebook or Twitter.
Occasionally, you can catch her writing sexy space adventures, paranormal wolf-shifter escapades, or contemporary romances. And while there is guaranteed to be trials and tribulations, it is universally acknowledged her characters will eventually discover their one great love. A love all of time and space will lie down and be still for.

11) What’s the best way to find you online?
Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/jay-shaw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jayshawauthor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/jayshawauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jay-Shaw/e/B01CXLFUMG
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1509407
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.nz/jayshawauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jayshawauthor/
MeWe: http://mewe.com/i/jay.shaw2
Jays Romance Junkies: http://mewe.com/join/jays_romance_junkies

Blurb:

After a five year assignment on an alternate Earth, General Mark Holden accepts a posting as Commander in Chief of Phoenix City; taking his wife Julia and their two sons back to the only place which truly feels like home. But all is not as it appears. When their children are threatened, the storm of frustration and desire for revenge may well tear Mark and Julia apart forever.

Meanwhile, in Dragonus Galaxy, the tide is shifting. For the first time in the history of Arcadia, a lowly technician is now Grand Chancellor. More deranged than his predecessor, Ediixii will stop at nothing to stake his claim as supreme galactic ruler. His X2 hybrids number in the tens-of-thousands. But two pieces of Ediixii’s grand plan remain elusive.

Will Phoenix City, and her allies, free Dragonus from the Arcadian scourge once and for all?

Can Mark and Julia remain united against seemingly insurmountable odds?

Find out in the conclusion of Dragonus Chronicles’ first trilogy.


Available at Amazon:
The Space Colonel’s Woman (Dragonus Chronicles Book 1)
Click Here

 

Available From Amazon
The Hunted (Dragonus Chronicles) (Volume 2)
Click Here

Available At Amazon
The Shifting Tide (Dragonus Chronicles Book 3)
Click Here

Brandon Ketchum

1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction story. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?

I recently had my science fiction story “Elevator Man” win an honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. I was inspired by another contest seeking positive spins on space or space exploration, and wondered what would happen if authorities rushed a space elevator into production without worrying about safety features. What would the human cost be, and would people be willing to pay it? In the end it takes a heroic sacrifice in order to defeat the bureaucracy of non-disclosure agreements and bring the problem to light. It certainly didn’t win the contest that wanted positive stories!

2) How did you get started writing science fiction?

I’ve always been an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy above all other genres, so naturally, when I began writing, I favored those genres. As for writing, I always had stories inside of me that I yearned to tell, but typewriters defeated my patience in my youth. When I got my first computer, I sat down to bang out yarns on the modern generations’ typewriter, and haven’t stopped.

3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why?

I’ve favored soft sci-fi because, frankly, I don’t have the science or the research capabilities to write hard sci-fi. Of the sci-fi stories I’ve had published, the sub-genres have included grimdark, dystopian, space opera, comedy, and even supernatural. Other sub-genres I’ve played with in sci-fi include noir, adventure, political, LGBTQ-focused, and time travel. I enjoy exploring these sub-genres because short fiction lends itself to variety in topic, plot, and characters, and I cannot contain my voice to just one style or type.

4) What tropes do you think are important for that sub-genre?

The thing about tropes is that they’re tired and overdone. The other thing about tropes is that they’re absolutely essential. I think what we need to realize about tropes is to analyze when one is being overused and do our best to avoid throwing fuel onto that fire. For instance, I haven’t written anything with the “how we got here” trope in a long time, because I’m so sick and tired of reading, hearing, and watching it. Every show, book, and story seems to use it these days, and it’s absolutely ruined the trope for me. Still and all, tropes are an essential part of writing fiction, because nearly everything is a trope any longer. Show me a writer who is snobby enough to claim they don’t use tropes, and you’ll be showing me a writer who is lying.

5) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?

That’s both a difficult and an easy question to answer, this two-parter. I write almost exclusively in past tense. Some few stories have made sense for me to use present tense, but past tense is as comfortable to me as an old pair of boots. As for the point of view part of the question, it really depends on the story and the characters. My book following the exploits of an intersex swordfighter just naturally came out in first person, while “Elevator Man” made sense as a third-person omniscient point of view. Another book of mine with four main characters has three third-person omni POVs and one first-person, so it can be a mix-and-match outcome as well.

6) What is your favorite part about being a writer?

My favorite part is the fact that I get to create everything from scratch and use those materials–worlds, characters, settings, everything–to construct whatever story I wish to tell.

7) What is the hardest part about being a writer?

Writing! Although it’s fun, writing is long, hard, difficult work. Anyone who tells you it’s easy to write, and especially to become a published writer, is either lying or selling something.

8) What stories or authors influence your writing?

Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Fritz Leiber, Robert E. Howard, and many, many others.

10) Anything else about you that you would like us to know?

I am a social worker and therapist, a veteran of the U.S. Army, and I don’t like Spam!

11) What’s the best way to find you online?

My website is www.brandonketchum.com, and you can find me on Instagram (ketchum_brandon), Twitter (@BrandonTKetchum), and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/brandon.ketchum.5)

Georgia Knight

1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?

My science fiction novels focus on the plight of an escaped convict, the notorious Kayla McGann, as she tries to evade both the governing authority (the Union) and bounty hunters. It plays heavily on the light and dark sides of human nature, and gives the reader the perspective from both sides. Fast paced, multiple characters across a vast human empire, hatred, revenge, political games, power hungry maniacs, it has it all and I am really enjoying writing it. The story is told through a series of fast-paced “Episodes” – a serialization concept based on how Stephen King released Green Mile, which was a reading experience I very much enjoyed! Four episodes have so far been released, and five is due out soon. This story arc will be either 8 or 10 episodes in length, and ideas for a second “season” are already formulated.

2) How did you get started writing science fiction?

That is impossible to say really. I have written from childhood, and my first attempts at novels were Doctor Who homages when I was about 9. I love reading horror and thrillers the most, but when it comes to writing, science fiction works for me. Possibly, it is that the genre allows the writer to create “huge” stories, without the boundaries of what we know now and the societies and rules we live by in the real world.

 

3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why?

 

Hadrian’s Gate would best be described as a dark science fiction saga, set in a future expansionist galaxy.

 

4) What tropes do you think are important for that sub-genre?

 

That is actually something I gave a lot of thought to before commencing the series! I have a little book that notes down the main aspects of life, everyone’s life, and I took each one and considered how they might change in the future. There are many emotions humans enjoy and always have, and I wanted to make sure these were important in my plots; love, power, hate, fear. These aspects are human constants and will not change. Similarly, there are human constructs that have been around for as long as civilization, and I did not see these changing much either; war, crime, politics, race hate, celebrity, science, religion. The tropes I use flows from that thinking, so we have a government that rules with an iron fist, we have questionable science, we have battles in space, we have space criminals, we have love affairs, we have betrayals and power games on a galactic level!

 

5) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?

The first book I ever finished (a horror) was actually in the first person, and I loved writing it! This series is very much in the third person, but I do jump into the heads of the characters frequently and in doing so dabble with the first. Similarly, the narrative is past, but when telling it from a characters perspective can be told in the present.

6) What is your favorite part about being a writer?

The work being read by others, and them enjoying my stories.

7) What is the hardest part about being a writer?

Oh without doubt, editing and proof-reading! You need to do it again, and again, and again and even when you involve a proof-reader, they still miss things which can be annoying!

8) What stories or authors influence your writing?

The Hadrian’s Gate series combines influences and ideas I have had stored up for many years! I only finally managed to get the pen flowing though when I looked at it all through a different lense, which was, bizarrely, Game of Thrones! Whilst my plot, characters and settings bear absolutely no similarity to the dragon filled world of GoT, what I have taken on is the multiple storylines all proceeding at rapid pace, and a complex depth of characters. Another big influence was the “feel” of Blake’s 7, a cult British Sci-fi series from the late 1970s / early 1980s. The expansive human race, a corrupt government, and a band of unlikely comrades… Other influences are undoubtedly the numerous science fiction stories, series and films I’ve read over the years. Writing style, though, is most likely influenced by the man I’ve read the most – every book in fact – and that would be Stephen King.

9) Recommend a great science fiction book or movie that we might have missed you didn’t create?

I’m going to recommend a TV series already referenced. Blake’s 7. It’s old, its clunky, the acting is very hammy at times, but this was the late 1970s. What it had, though, was grittiness and dark themes that were pretty unique for that much gentler time – TV drama’s were not as bold or brutal as they are now. It portrayed a future with real people, people who had flaws and emotions, not just trained astronauts or space cadets. As a young child, it left me with such fond memories. As an adult, re-watched, I loved it all over again!

10) Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?

It has a complex plot, and I might just carry it on until I’m too old to write! 11) What’s the best way to find you online? I’m on Twitter as , Instagram as GeorgiaKnightAuthor, Facebook as Hadrian’s Gate – Georgia Knight and you can find my blog and series updates at – basically, I’m everywhere!

Erica Ciko Campbell

1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?

My current WIP is an Epic Gothic Space Opera told from the perspective of an alien named Prince Ralyn of Marduk. The story (I haven’t revealed the title to the public yet) chronicles his turbulent coming-of-age, and follows his struggle to decide between serving as the Emperor’s bounty hunter or living a life of freedom as a space pirate.

The main character first came to me when I was in middle school. For some perspective, I’m 27 now. This story has been with me for a long, long time, but I was only able to articulate it in recent years. I always loved anime like Outlaw Star and Cowboy Bebop, and I found that most books could never compare. I wanted to write something that had that epic, star-crossed feel—but with no mention of humanity at all.

2) How did you get started writing science fiction?

When I was 12 years old, I got really into these online forums where I would role-play with other kids. We’d write stories back and forth with each other all day every day. My characters were aliens: all-powerful beings of darkness from other planets. I remember my parents scolding me constantly because all I wanted to do was sit indoors and write on the computer all summer long. They thought I was talking to weird old men or something, but really all I wanted to do was write. I swear I spent 12 hours a day sitting there role-playing sometimes. I was the nerdiest kid you could imagine.

I soon moved on to writing short stories, but I didn’t realize I could make a living writing Science Fiction until I became a freelance writer in my mid-twenties. I finally decided to write the novel when I realized my writing really was good enough for people to pay for.

3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why?

My novel is a Space Opera, because I’ve always been a sucker for that melodramatic, larger-than-life aura. My ultimate goal is for the reader to forget that the Earth exists at all, and there’s no better way to accomplish this than crafting a vast, all-encompassing system of galaxies for readers to get lost in.

Most of my short stories could be categorized as Sci-Fi Horror, or even Cosmic Horror. They always turn out very Lovecraftian.

4) Can you define Cosmic Horror?

In Cosmic Horror, the true “fear factor” of the story comes from the great unknown. It’s meant to fill readers with a sense of dread for the vastness of space and the cold, endless dark. With this subgenre, what you can’t see (and perhaps even what you could never conceive) is what keeps you up at night. Basically, it’s knowable only by the fact that the human brain isn’t equipped to understand its true depth.

 

5) What tropes do you think are important for that sub-genre?

For Space Opera: The melodrama, for sure—you can’t be afraid to twist the reader’s emotions.

For Sci-Fi Horror: The unreliable first-person narrator that pays homage to the early classics. For whatever reason, nearly all my short-stories have been falling into this pattern lately.

6) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?

My novel is in third person, but my short stories are often in unreliable first-person. Both have their place, but if you forced me to choose one and only one forever at gunpoint, I’d pick third person.

7) What is your favorite part about being a writer?

There’s something truly satisfying about being able to immortalize a moment and make people feel emotions they didn’t even know they had, all with the power of words. A good writer can take you by the hand and lead you into either a hall of nightmares, or a garden of infinite pleasures—and a really good writer can do this without letting you know where you’re going to end up until the last few paragraphs. I’ve always gotten a kick out of this.

Also, being able to work from home (or anywhere) is awesome. I can make a living from my couch, and I never have to worry about a commute or having a boss.

8) What is the hardest part about being a writer?

When you work on a major project like a novel, you have to lose all hope for instant gratification. Most people don’t realize how hard it is to have all your best work unpublished, hung up in some computer file that you can’t show anyone until it’s published. You’ll end up pouring weeks, months, and even years of your life into something that may never see the light of day.

From the beginning, you need to accept that all the work you do may be unappreciated and unremembered. It’s true when they say that you should never write for recognition or money: I think most successful writers only got where they are today because they had no choice but to pour their souls onto the page.

9) What stories or authors influence your writing?

The author that influenced me far beyond all others is H. P. Lovecraft. I truly believe that many of his short stories are unparalleled to this day, and no other author will ever come close to impressing me half as much as him. People have said my short stories remind them of him somewhat, and I’ve actually worked for some clients who specifically wanted a Lovecraftian style.

However, I drew a lot of inspiration from George R. R. Martin as well. He taught me how to plant a seed early on that eventually grows into a monster. I always deeply enjoyed little “mysteries” and hidden truths in stories, and Martin is a master at this.

10) Recommend a great science fiction book or movie that we might have missed you didn’t create?

The work of H. P. Lovecraft doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves in the modern age. I think people are worried that the stories are dated, or perhaps they think they can’t connect with them because they’re from a different time. Try reading “The Whisperer in Darkness,” “The Haunter of the Dark,” or “The Thing on the Doorstep.”

 

11) Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?

I’m exactly a quarter of the way through the “exhaustive editing” stage of my novel, so it should still be a little while before it’s available to the public. It’s in pretty good shape (as in, I’d feel comfortable sending it to publishers as it stands right now) but I’m still rewording a few things here and there. It’s also going to be part of a series, and I’m in the very early stages of working on Book Two as well.

I plan on traditionally publishing the novel, and I’m currently seeking agent representation. If any agents out there are interested in an Epic Gothic Space Opera for the ages, contact me any time!

11) What’s the best way to find you online?

My website Written Constellations is the best way to catch up with what’s going on in my world, but you can also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Kristin Ward

 

1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is
it about and how did you come up with the concept?

My first two young adult books, After the Green Withered and the sequel, Burden of Truth, are set in a dystopian world that reflects our possible future. I was inspired to write this story while completing research for a graduate course I wrote in environmental education. My course included concepts regarding earth’s history and, within this, I learned a great deal about the impact humans have had on the planet. As I studied and composed the course, an idea began to germinate.

What if there was a global drought due to the impact humans have had on the planet?  What if water became the global currency?

That seedling idea sat with me for a year or so as I finished my course writing and began to teach a few graduate courses. Eventually, I began to write the story but it took a whopping five years to get it from draft to publish! The final push actually came about after I read an article about Cape Town’s water crisis. At the time of the article, it was predicted that Cape Town’s water supply would run dry in April of 2018, not tens of years in the future. Reading this, I knew the story I wanted to tell was incredibly relevant so I buckled down and finished the first book.


2) How did you get started writing science fiction?

Science fiction has been a favorite genre to read for years. When inspiration struck and I began to write, the scifi genre was really a must as the story I wanted to tell fits within it.


3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why?

My first two books are dystopian. This genre was inevitable considering the story I wanted to tell.  The premise is a future of man’s making. It is the choices humanity made that became the downfall. My main character lives in the aftermath.

I think, as humans, we have a natural curiosity regarding the future. This is something that is beyond our control, and, as a species, I think many of us are uncomfortable with that uncertainty. So perhaps a dystopian story sheds light on a possible future that human beings can affect in the present. I know that for my books, what mankind is doing to the planet right now lays the foundation for the world my main character inherits. Perhaps if we made different choices, her life would have been different. In a sense, we can prevent this dystopian society from ever coming to fruition.


4) What tropes do you think are important for that sub-genre?

Within the young adult genre, there are numerous tropes that you find in YA books. I think it’s important to give readers a connection to the story through this familiarity while not following them completely. My main character is a seventeen-year-old girl who is wrestling with societal and familial responsibilities while figuring out who she is and what she stands for. This is a common theme in many YA books as the characters reflect a time period in a person’s life where individuals are developing their perception in the world and their place within the fabric of society.


5) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?

I prefer to write in the first person for my YA books. This is a common narrative perspective as it allows readers to become the characters and experience the journey on a very personal level.


6) What is your favorite part about being a writer?

My favorite parts of my writing journey are many and varied. Pressing the submit button on Amazon was an incredible moment. Prior to that, I had talked about writing and publishing a book for years. To actually take that step and put it into the hands of readers was momentous and I did a little happy dance when it officially went live.

Another big moment for me was winning the 2018 Best Indie Book Award in the young adult category took me by complete surprise. While I had entered the competition with the hope of winning, I didn’t honestly consider my debut novel as a true contender. Receiving the congratulatory email from Best Indie Book Award was a defining moment. I felt that recognition validated, not only my story concept, but also my writing craft.

But the experiences that surpass these big achievements, are the reviews readers compose that reflect the connection they have to the characters and story. It is the words they write which are truly profound.


7) What is the hardest part about being a writer?

There seems to be a strange time warp that occurs in my life. This is evident when  the workday crawls by, painfully, slowly, hour by hour. But writing time? I get in my groove and two hours have flown by and it feels like I just got started. I think I need to analyze this phenomenon because this whole time thing is the biggest challenge and my greatest downfall in productivity. Well, I may get lost in the internet playground from time to time. Then there’s Twitter. I might spend too much time scrolling through tweets. And Instagram. Fine. Facebook too.


8) What stories or authors influence your writing?

Aside from my wonderful English teacher who inspired me many, many years ago, I am heavily influenced by what I read.

 

In the dystopian genre, it all began when I read The Giver. The world Lois Lowry created had a lot of elements that are reflective of a society under intense control where our very nature as human beings is suppressed. The book reached so many emotional levels. I really enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale which I reread recently as I had every intention of watching the miniseries. I have yet to watch it but it’s on my list. I also enjoyed The Hunger Games books and feel that Suzanne Collins touched on some powerful societal issues.


9) Recommend a great science fiction book or movie that we might have
missed you didn’t create?

I love geeking out with a good scifi flick. In fact, I’m a huge movie nut and often drop random quotes from some of my favorites. Recently, I re-watched one of my favorite, campy scifi flicks, Starship Troopers. This is by no means a little known movie, but I do love the big action (big bugs too) and fun characters (Neil Patrick Harris was great!)!


10) Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?

I have had numerous readers tell me that my books are a truly frightening vision because they could see the world of my main character coming to fruition in real life. An important idea of the story is that the choices we make, environmentally, have consequences. We may not see them in our lifetime, but what we do can, and will, affect the future. In the end, if the people in Enora’s world had made different choices long before she was born, then her life and the events that shape the story, would have been a much different tale to tell.


11) What’s the best way to find you online?

I love interacting with readers and am regularly on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Drop by and say hello!

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/kristin_ward_author/

website:

https://www.writingandmythreesons.com

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Kristin-Ward/e/B07D5LC4CR/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/YA_Author

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/KristinWardAuthor/

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18149425.Kristin_Ward

Buy Links:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D2X7YSY

And other online retailers:

https://www.books2read.com/b/after-the-green-withered

Lauren Hemphill

1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?

My debut novel, Viridis, is about a soldier struggling to discover her place in the war while also tackling the moral quandaries of who is ‘right’ in a situation such as this. It places a specific emphasis on character arcs and character studies, which aim to make the story more personal and much more difficult to decide who is the villain in this situation. I’ve always loved grey characters, which is why I think I came up with a story about war. A lot of times, good people get caught up in bad situations, or end up fighting for what they believe is right only to discover that the powers at be may not be in the same boat. Not only that, I’ve always loved space and world-building, so the idea of designing an entire galaxy sounded like an immense amount of fun.

 

2) How did you get started writing science fiction?

 

Originally, when I was pretty young, I wrote Star Wars fanfiction. It helped me get used to the concept of writing and scifi genres, and eventually, I broke out and wrote a few different original stories before tackling Viridis. 3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why? I tend to like military scifi! I used to study roman military tactics in my Latin class in high school, and fell in love with the different ways of thinking. I’d love incorporate those tactics further into my writing and be able to show more of these maneuvers. 4) What tropes do you think are important for that sub-genre? Space travel is definitely a trope that should be in military scifi. Specifically, I think it better ensures the ‘science fiction’ aspect to a military-like drama. Though, robots are definitely a fun aspect of the genre as well, which often lends itself to a good reflection on what it means to be human.

5) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?

I like third person past tense! It is more natural for me to write in this perspective and I enjoy changing perspectives throughout the story.

6) What is your favorite part about being a writer?

I love the accomplishment. I love having written. I love the way I can create an entire galaxy and people to populate it. It makes me feel alive.

7) What is the hardest part about being a writer?

I’d say making sure I don’t look down on my work. Being realistic with myself is important, however, I tend to hold myself to unrealistic standards and harshly compare myself to other successful authors. Making sure I stay positive about my work and confident in what I do is immensely important but incredibly difficult.

8) What stories or authors influence your writing?

Two authors that have had a great influence on my writing are Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies series, and Jay Kristoff, author of the Stormdancer series. Scott got me into reading and writing when I was a lot younger, and Jay’s style is wonderful and inspiring, and picks me up whenever I feel in a slump.

9) Recommend a great science fiction book or movie that we might have missed you didn’t create?

Personally, I adore the Invasion movie with Nicole Kidman. I watched it when I was younger and was in awe of how a lot of the tension wasn’t around gunfights or other action tropes, but more around survival. I liked how it made my young heart pound.

10) Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?

I would also like to mention that I’m a tiny house builder! A random fact, for sure, but the construction of my own home has helped me be more patient with my writing, and helped me work through various ideas as I designed my own home. It’s been great keeping my hands busy and my mind active.

11) What’s the best way to find you online?

I have a website, , but I’m also on Instagram and Twitter under the name Knightmarelair!

Amaris Farr

1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?

“Vanished” (working title) is my sci-fi novel in the works and is the first in a series about humans and aliens discovering each other in a very unexpected way, and how they work together to all their benefit. “Vanished” starts the story off with humans finding and colonizing the long-searched for Planet X, only for it to disappear entirely from our galaxy. It will follow three protagonists, one human each from Earth and the colony, and one alien that the colonist will interact with. I’ve been working on this story for a long time. It started as a very different idea about a planet being used as a prison colony, and was very much influenced by popular YA novels of the time (think Hunger Games, Divergent, etc). I played with the concept in that form for years but was never satisfied with it, and finally decided to try some different ideas until I finally found one that I felt I really liked and felt I could make work.

2) How did you get started writing science fiction?

Vanished is actually my first sci-fi novel. Fantasy is my main genre, but I’ve always loved to read all things speculative fiction. Writing sci-fi comes more from just exploring different story ideas and seeing where they naturally land than specifically choosing it as a genre.

3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why?

I write science-fantasy. Writing hard science fiction is beyond me, it’s too technical. I like the idea of science fiction and fantasy- technology and magic- playing alongside each other, and all the possibilities that opens up. And adding the element of magic to technology means I don’t have to try to make everything make scientific sense and gives me more freedom to play around and have fun with it.

4) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?

I don’t have a strong preference for any of them and have used all of them at one time or another. It just depends on the story I’m writing and whichever one tells that story best.

5) What is your favorite part about being a writer?

I love world-building! Creating universes, filling them with characters and stories, figuring out how the world works—all of this is just fun to me. It’s like playtime. Even though I know I can’t (or at least shouldn’t) include all of this background information in a story, I just enjoy building up as much detail into a world as possible. I have a fantasy universe that I’m working on that I’ve been working on for years. While I plan on eventually releasing books from it, right now it’s just a giant playground. Other than that I really love the actual act of writing. Whether it’s typing away at a keyboard or writing a story out by hand, writing is magic.

6) What is the hardest part about being a writer?

I haven’t gotten to the point of publication and marketing yet, but looking ahead to it I know that’s what I’ll struggle the most with. Even just being active on social media is something I’m not great at, so I know that promoting myself and trying to get readers is not going to be easy. I plan to take my time getting there and learn as much as I can before then to try to ease my anxiety about it and build up some confidence.

7) What stories or authors influence your writing?

Tolkien, Neal Shusterman, Brandon Sanderson, Suzanne Collins, and Garth Nix are some of my favorite authors and have written some of my absolute favorite books. I don’t know that they so much influence my writing, but they certainly inspire me.

8) Recommend a great science fiction book or movie that we might have missed you didn’t create?

The Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale is a really fun science fantasy series and one of my favorites. At ten books (plus three prequel novels) it’s quite an undertaking to suggest, but so worth it.

9) What’s the best way to find you online?

At the moment Twitter is the only place you’ll find me

Libby Doyle

1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is
it about and how did you come up with the concept?

 

My last published novel was The Vengeance Season: Book III of the Covalent Series. I call the series a romantic science fantasy because there is a central love story, and because the science wouldn’t work in the real world.

The books feature a race of ancient beings—the Covalent—who hold the elemental forces in balance. Long ago, the expanding forces of Creation and Destruction threatened to destroy the Covalent, so the most powerful among them fused their minds to bond the forces and prevent their expansion. The tension caused other dimensions to burst in folds from the bonded realms, one of which is home to Earth. The Covalent found Earth and were fascinated by humans, sentient beings like themselves but whose short lives they saw as an expression of Creation turned to Destruction. They were received as gods or divine emissaries, but many were ill-behaved and lost Balance, the source of their power. They become sick and weak themselves. Their rulers outlawed travel to Earth, and their presence among humans receded into myth.

My story begins when a powerful Covalent warrior is exiled to Earth after his father, Lucifer, rebels against the leadership and starts a war. The banished warrior falls in love with a human woman, which has all kinds of consequences.

The concept of Balance grew out of my interest in Yin and Yang, the idea that we shouldn’t attach values to creation/destruction, darkness/light or good/evil, but see them as an interaction. And, of course, the notion that aliens visited Earth in the distant past is nothing new. Think Chariots of the Gods.

The series will be five books total. The third concluded a major story arc. I’m working on The Warlord Season and aim to publish by the end of this year.

 

2) How did you get started writing science fiction?

 

I read a ton of science fiction in high school. I was a Dune fanatic. When I went to college, being an English major, I switched to a university’s idea of literature. When I worked as a reporter I read a ton of nonfiction, mostly history and politics.

I’d say television brought me back to fantasy and science fiction. I’m a big Joss Whedon fan. My writing lives by his quote, “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.” To tell you the truth, I’m not sure why I came up with a science fantasy story rather than something else. I guess all the stuff I read fermented in my brain for 25 years and out poured the Covalent Series.

 

3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why?

 

I consider my book science fantasy because it doesn’t contain hard science. No technically sound descriptions of artificial gravity or propulsion drives or the like, although I do get into quantum physics a little.

One reviewer who loved my first book called it a sci-fi suspense romance. I like that label. The love story is central, but there is also a murder mystery and a bunch of other stuff going on, which is where the suspense comes in. The series is genre-bending, very difficult to fit into a slot.

 

4) What tropes do you think are important for that sub-genre?

 

In a science-fiction alien romance, the alien is usually the male in the couple. He’s always powerful and always handsome. This is true of my books. Alien romances tend to have lots of sex, which is also true of my book.

My male hero passes for human on Earth, a variation on the supernaturals-among-us trope common in urban fantasy. My books also feature political intrigue on an alien world, a science-fantasy staple.

In addition, the Covalent move through the cosmos using rifts—tears in the fabric of existence—a variation on portals or wormholes, a trope used often in sci-fi romance and all kinds of science fiction.

The Covalent don’t use spaceships, though. They rely on a type of Covalent known as a traveler, born with the ability to perceive the molecular composition of all things. This talent, developed through intensive study, allows them to navigate the rifts. Those who achieve mastery are called adepts, the highest rank of traveler. Adepts can manipulate the properties of matter and energy with their minds. They can detect and alter the bonds that give structure to all things. In other words, they’re quantum wizards, another variation on a trope. If we’re talking archetypes, they’re tricksters.

 

5) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?

 

I write in third-person past tense with a few different point-of-view characters. I never switch POV within a scene, but I do from scene to scene.

6) What is your favorite part about being a writer?

 

Getting in that zone where the words seem to be coming from my subconscious. Sure, if I’m not feeling it I can use the things I’ve learned about the craft of writing to come up with something decent, but the best stuff just flows. All writers have experienced it, I’m guessing. You know, when you reread a passage and then say to yourself, “Damn. I came up with that?”

7) What is the hardest part about being a writer?

 

Visibility and marketing, especially with a genre-bending series like mine. I [expletive deleted] hate marketing. Don’t we all?

8) What stories or authors influence your writing?

 

I mentioned Dune. I love all those books and I’m in the camp that likes to call them science fantasy rather than science fiction. After all, in that world, they used a drug that induced visions to navigate space, not an Epstein drive.

Two of my favorite writers are Ursula K. LeGuin and Margaret Atwood, women who often take on gender issues in their writing. I aspire to be like them, even though my stuff is pulpier.

 

9) Recommend a great science fiction book or movie that we might have
missed you didn’t create?

 

If you’ve never read Kameron Hurley, you should check her out. God’s War is a great book, filled with kick-ass women, complex motivations and fabulous worldbuilding.

10) Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?

 

I’m also a freelance editor. I’ve got the chops. I have a master’s degree in journalism and worked in the business for more than a decade.

 

11) What’s the best way to find you online?

 

You can visit my website at https://www.libbydoyle.com, find me on Twitter at @libbydoyle9, and on Instagram at libbydoylewriter.

Thank you for asking me questions!

Ricardo Victoria

1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?

In short, ‘Tempest Blades: The Withered King’ is a story that blends science fiction and fantasy, with some anime-like flavour, in a thrilling story about saving the world while battling your own past, and training a new generation, without dying in the attempt.

It’s about a retired hero, Fionn, who thought that his days as a warrior were over, when he agrees to do a favour to a friend and then meets Gaby & Alex, who never expected to become heroes. Now he must teach them how to uses their special abilities and even more special swords, the titular Tempest Blades so they must join forces to stop an ancient evil. Fionn is battling wit issues from his past and needs to learn to move on and find that there are second chances out there. The world also has a mix of magic and science.

As for the concept, I had been working on the basic ideas and the main characters since I was in high school and a few years ago, everything started to click and created a basic plot from a basic idea: in most stories, the mentor ends dying by the middle of the story or near the end so the plucky young heroes save the world. As a lecturer, I find the idea of a teacher being a secondary character a sad one, given how much teachers give us along our lives. So I took the trope of the Mentor Occupational Hazard and turned it on its head by telling the story mostly from the POV of the mentor, have it being the Main Character and decide that he is not planning to die to make room for the new heroes, but rather, planning to live to train them properly and hopefully, find a small measure of peace at the end of the day. And from there the story and the characters started to work on their own.

2) How did you get started writing science fiction?

I started writing stories in high school, mostly as occupational therapy to deal with my depression bouts. But I started in a more ‘professional’ manner in 2015 when I was part of the foundation of Inklings Press, a writers’ cooperative that publishes anthologies. That gave me the impulse and the practice to try my hand at writing a novel.

3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why?

I focus mainly in science fantasy. I love it because it allows me to spread my wings and create weird, crazy, fun ideas around the plots I have in mind. Besides, is the genre I grew up with my steady diet of Saturday Morning Cartoons and Anime. In case someone what to know more about Science Fantasy, I wrote a few entries about the topic at my blog:

What the hell is Science Fantasy? Part 1: A definition

What the hell is Science Fantasy? Part 2: A Sliding scale.

A brief story of Science Fantasy

I also have dwelled in SF focused in Artificial Intelligence, Bioethics and the end of the universe. Mostly because I like to explore what makes a ‘person’ well… a ‘person’, and in which shapes we will discuss that issue in the near future.

4) What tropes do you think are important for that sub-genre?

I don’t think any trope in particular are necessary or mandatory. As I see it, tropes are ingredients, seasonings to give flavour to a story, so they need to be used judiciously to get a great dish. Overusing can be counterproductive. That said, probably the most common tropes to be found in science fantasy is Magitek, as defined by TV Tropes

(https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Magitek) and Magic understood as a science (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic). The key to science fantasy is making the juxtaposition of Magic and Technology look like something normal and plausible within the world building of the story.

5) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?

Usually, third person and in the past. I only use first person when writing horror.

6) What is your favorite part about being a writer?

Being able to share my crazy ideas with others, while discussing topics I’m interested in. But mostly, having a space to allow my imagination run wild.

7) What is the hardest part about being a writer?

In my case, revising my own work. Given that I’m writing in my second language, no matter how good I become at that, I still need help to revise the work, else some mistake can escape my sight. This is of importance when it comes to syntaxes (English syntaxes is different to that in Spanish, and occasionally, if I’m not paying attention or I’m too excited writing, I can get them mixed and write run off sentences).

8) What stories or authors influence your writing?

Terry Pratchett mostly. As well, GRR Martin, Masamune Shirow (the creator of Ghost in the Shell), Roger Zelazny, Hajime Kanzaki and a bit of cosmic horror by Lovecraft. And while they are not created by a single author, the Final Fantasy videogames.

9) Recommend a great science fiction book or movie that we might have missed you didn’t create?

Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny. It’s a retelling of Hindu myths and the Buddha’s story, but from a SF point of view with some poetic prose. Very high concept, with a vibe like that of anime or Jack Kirby. It deserves to be made film and not just used as cover for secret operations like explained in ‘Argo’. It’s my book to go to explain how science fantasy looks in book form.

10) Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?

My novel is currently in preorder both in Amazon (https://www.amazon.com.mx/Withered-King-Tempest-Blades/dp/1932926747/) and in Barnes & Noble (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-withered-king-ricardo-victoria/1129603780?ean=9781932926743). It will be released in August 20th of this year. And if you are a fan of Final Fantasy styled stories, then you surely will enjoy this book (or so I hope).

11) What’s the best way to find you online?

Twitter. Most of my author/book related interaction are through twitter (https://twitter.com/Winged_Leo). The other place is my own blog:

https://ricardovictoriau.com/blog/

I don’t update its as frequently as I want, but I usually share my musings on writing, stuff about the setting of my novel and my opinions on writing. I rarely use FB for anything that is not personal or family related.