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.
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?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jay-Shaw/e/B01CXLFUMG
Jays Romance Junkies: http://mewe.com/join/jays_romance_junkies
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)
Available From Amazon
The Hunted (Dragonus Chronicles) (Volume 2)
Available At Amazon
The Shifting Tide (Dragonus Chronicles Book 3)