Posted by Babs Mountjoy
First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times? What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?
Thanks for inviting me to your blog today! I’m Laurie A. Green and I live in the great state of New Mexico, though I’m a native Michigander. My husband and I own a small ranch, so yes, we have the usual menagerie of critters—dogs, cats, horses.
As far as addictions (assuming the internet doesn’t count), I generally can’t function before I’ve had my two cups of coffee in the morning—and on really rough days I need an afternoon booster from Starbucks. I’m also a peppermint chain-popper, especially the soft puffy variety. Did you know peppermint is a natural antacid? Works wonders.
I don’t have a degree though I have quite a bit of unfinished business at various colleges. I’ve worked for 20 years as a military budget director, so the lack of a degree hasn’t hindered me and likewise, I don’t feel it’s had any adverse effect on my writing career.
I just became a debut author in January with a novelette, Farewell Andromeda, but my first novel, Inherit the Stars, launched in February. (It actually had two debuts—first as a serialized novel in three parts, and again as a complete novel in one volume.) Both titles are part of a Science Fiction Romance series. It’s now available in print, too!
What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?
The core idea for Inherit the Stars came to me in a dream. It’s about one man’s attempt to escape enslavement by a galactic superpower. To evade his captors, he strikes a desperate deal with the female captain of a prototype starship, and soon finds himself not only emotionally connected but fatefully entangled in her destiny–a course that will take him full circle to face the very evil he most fears.
I have to avoid spoilery here, but I can say I did quite a bit of research on theories surrounding dark energy, camouflage capabilities in space, and high tech communications, and then let my imagination take the reins. Writing is an education in and of itself. I always learn new things when I’m researching a novel.
Sounds fascinating! How would you best describe your books?
Unapologetically Science Fiction Romance with a side of high adventure. Most of my novels include military elements in some form, which seems to flow naturally from my long career in military in civilian support. Honor and duty are themes readers will see often in my work, and a love vs. duty scenario can lead to some powerful emotional conflicts.
What is your favorite genre to write? To read?
Oh, it’s SFR on both counts, but I do have one slipstream SFR/Paranormal manuscript completed and I do occasionally read outside the genre.
What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?
It would still be Science Fiction Romance, but I have to confess…I do have a family saga Historical on slow simmer in the back of my mind. It takes place in Spain, Mexico and the colonial Southwest (New Mexico) in the 1600-1700s. Maybe when I’m retired and have the time to do all the necessary research, I’ll see where it leads. It would be an ode to my adopted state.
When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve written stories ever since I learned how to scrawl words out on paper. Just wired that way, I guess. I was a very shy, quiet kid, and it was about my only outlet for self-expression. I think I have to credit my dream to become an author to a junior high English teacher who gave me a ton of encouragement and once told me to never stop writing. Someday I’d like to be able to tell her, “Thank you, Ms. Phillips. I never did.” I’m sure she has no idea what a huge impact her words had on me.
What do you love most about writing and what do you not like?
I love everything about writing. I totally get lost in the stories and the world when I’m in the zone. A whole day can pass in a blink. What I don’t enjoy is trying to juggle the time I want to spend on writing with all the other priorities in my life—the promotional duties, professional job and household chores all add up to a lot of demands on my time. If I had my druthers, I’d spend that time at the keyboard.
Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?
I’m one of those who can’t listen to music while I’m in the process of creating the story. I need absolute quiet for that. But I do listen to music when I’m plotting or brainstorming. I do a lot of that on my two-hours commute to and from work and it helps set the mood or tone for the story. I prefer soft and classic rock—America, John Denver, ELO, John Mayer and Moody Blues are some of my faves. I have “soundtracks” on my iPod for my various novels.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?
Yes, I’m a member of RWA, LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors), FF&P (Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal), and The Golden Network local chapters, CritiqueCircle, and the SFR Brigade.
CritiqueCircle.com was a huge find for me. I joined in 2007 and I made more progress in that first year than I had in the previous ten! I learned oodles about the craft through the critiques, and three of the novels that went through the CC queues went on to final in the RWA Golden Heart Awards. I also developed bonds with a large group of peers who have since become published authors—Barbara Elsborg, Arlene Webb, D.L. Jackson and Liana Brooks, to name just a few.
I know I love my critique group. You do learn so much! Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?
I think having a critique group is an essential tool for a writer. I have a pool of writers and authors that I exchange critiques with, many of whom I met on CritiqueCircle. Most of the writers on our joint blog—Spacefreighters Lounge—are close peers that I can count on to critique or beta-read my work or just help me hash out a new idea. I also have a couple of local peers I work with for face-to-face critiques. It’s more time consuming, but it can be really energizing to get that direct, immediate feedback.
I believe critiques are essential. No writer can work in a vacuum. You need to get your work in front of others’ eyes so they can point out issues or problems you may not see because you’re too close to your work. It has to be a peer you can trust to give you solid advice. Critiqueing is an art form in itself. Not everyone makes a good critique partner.
Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?
This is actually the second go-round for me. I was ardently pursuing a career in publishing back in the mid-1990s when I got so discouraged that I stopped writing for a decade. When I decided to reboot and take another shot at it in 2007 (I credit that inspiration to a Halloween eve movie marathon of the Lord of the Rings trilogy), I’d lost a lot of time but I was twice as determined.
Four years later in 2011, I was named a double finalist in the RWA Golden Heart Awards and then became a single finalist again in 2012 with three separate novels. (One of them was Inherit the Stars, under its original title P2PC.) I found my agent, Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary Agency, during that time after a peer read a guest blog she wrote and urged me to query her. Over the next two years we knocked on a lot of doors, but Science Fiction Romance just wasn’t getting any takers. We decided to forego the traditional path last September, and we co-published my first two works in January and February. C0-publishing is the term I use for being published via my agent.
As per the above, I’m co-published through my agent—I call it “Indie with benefits”—so when I talk about “the call” it was the one I received from Amanda when I first queried her, and she emailed to say “we should talk.” I was so nervous before we had that first telephone conversation, pretty much scared to death we wouldn’t click. Not to worry! We ended up chatting for hours about my work, my plans and the industry in general. Then she made her official offer to represent me. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to find someone so enthusiastic and excited about my work and who wanted to be my agent.
What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?
Inherit the Stars was a very different experience from all my other novels because the idea hit so hard and the scenes unfolded so fast when I began writing that I blasted out the first draft in six weeks. I mentioned the original inspiration came from the remnants of a dream, but the story that unfolded from that single idea was like a driving force. My muse seemed to be on auto-pilot! And this novel is no lightweight, it weighs in at around 112,000 words.
What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?
Right now, I’m working on shining up the next novel in my series, The Outer Planets, for a fall release, and that will be followed in the Spring of 2016 with the third novel, also complete but in need of a good spit and polish. The next three books haven’t been written yet, but I’ll be retiring from my day job next February so I can devote more time to getting those wrapped up.
I’ll be attending the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas from May 12th-17th. This is my first RT, so I’m really looking forward to the experience. Next year, I hope to get to several more conferences and events.
What would you like to tell readers?
If you’re the sort who loves a good romance and feels a real sense of wonder when you gaze up at the stars, you’d probably enjoy my work. After all, space is the final Romance frontier.
If you’d like to learn more about my books, please visit my website: http://www.laurieagreen.com
Best wishes with your release!
Tags: adventure, author, book, dark energy, Laurie A. Green, Lyndi Alexander, military, New Mexico, publishing, RWA, science fiction, science fiction romance, science fiction romance Brigade, space, strong women, writer, writing
Posted by Babs Mountjoy
Today I’m so excited to have my writing friend from across the pond come visit– Pippa Jay has been a colleague since my early days at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, and we’re also in the Science Fiction Romance Brigade. She’s a mom and a rock and roll fan and a great writer–I’m just thrilled to have her here! I hope you all welcome her as much as I do.
Today she’s here with a character interview of her main character in her book GETHYON. Take it away, Pippa!
It’s been eight months since I left my young hero Gethyon on the planet Loganum, with his baby niece in tow and him hoping to see more of Marisol, the girl he met there. I thought I’d check up on him and see how things were going. When I finally track him down he’s trekking around a junk yard on the outskirts of Spire City, apparently on the hunt for a spaceship. Half buried in the cylindrical hull of an escape pod, it’s not until he pulls himself out swearing with his hands covered in green sludge that I see he’s let his red hair get long again. Other than that, he hasn’t changed at all as far as I can see.
Me: Hey, Gethyon.
His expression isn’t exactly welcoming once he catches sight of me, but I can’t blame him for that. I gave him a pretty hard ride, especially over the last few weeks we were in company. Oh, and I lost him his beloved Spirit Drifter, the spacecraft of his dreams and part of the reason he’s wiping slime off his hands in a junk yard. Maybe this wasn’t such a good time to visit…
Gethyon: Did you want something?
Me: I thought I’d see how you were settling down on your new home-world and how things were working out.
Gethyon: Everything’s fine.
I sense an unspoken ‘no thanks to you’ tacked onto the end of his words, but either he’s got better at diplomacy or he’s worried saying the wrong thing might spark off a new batch of trouble. Can’t blame him for that.
Me: So you’re all settled into a place? How’s Kauri?
Gethyon: Yeah, we’re settled. Got a nice apartment on the west side of the city, near the park. I take Kauri to play there every day after work.
Me: She must be getting big now. What is she, about eighteen months? Must be a handful.
This time I get a rueful smile.
Gethyon: More than a handful. She’s a full time job all by herself.
Me: So you’re working now? Doing what?
Gethyon: Installing and repairing crystophilic systems. I can pick and choose my hours, so that works out best for Kauri. I can spend a bit of time with her and Marisol.
Me: I’m glad to hear it. So you see a lot of Marisol these days?
Maybe I’m imagining it, but I’d swear he blushed then, just before he ducked his head so I couldn’t see his face.
Gethyon: (mumbles) Quite a bit.
Aww, bless! I guess he hasn’t got around to asking her to move in with him yet. Or maybe her parents didn’t like that idea even though they’re both majority age. Not when Gethyon turned up with a baby.
Me: So you’re happy here on Loganum? Not finding it too quiet?
I get a chuckle at that.
Gethyon: I prefer it quiet, thank you, although it’s a bit more lively than being stuck on Lyagnius with mother. Loganum is working out just fine.
Me: You’ve not had any trouble? No sign of that Jinx coming back?
Gethyon: (shuddering) No, no sign of her. Haven’t sensed or seen her around. I’m hoping my run in with the Siah-dhu means I’ve scared her off. For now at least.
Me: And I bet that’s a relief, especially with little Kauri to look after.
Gethyon: Very much so. (He hesitates) You really tried to make life difficult for me. For all of us.
I shrug. Me: That’s kind of my job.
He gives me a frown. Gethyon: If you say so…
Me: Well, I’m really pleased things are working out for you now. I’ll leave you to it. Great to see you again, Gethyon.
I turn to leave but…
Gethyon: I mean, is that it? You turn up out of nowhere, ask me how things are going and just leave again?
He looks suspicious.
Me: Seriously. I mean, you surely don’t want me to stick around, do you?
I grin. After all, last time I was near him, he ended up travelling halfway across the universe and through twenty years in time. Twice!
Gethyon: I guess not. No offence, but I’ll be happier if I don’t see you again.
Me: None taken. And yes. You probably would.
Shame really. Because I’m pretty sure he will be seeing me again…
A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 20 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the SFR Brigade, a community of science fiction romance authors and publishing professionals committed to writing and promoting the very best in the genre. Double SFR Galaxy Award Winner. Readers Favorite Contest and GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards finalist.The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards semi-finalist.
Website – http://www.pippajay.co.uk
Adventures in Scifi – http://www.pippajay.blogspot.co.uk
Spacefreighters Lounge – http://www.spacefreighters.blogspot.com
Romancing the Genres – http://www.romancingthegenres.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/pippajaygreen
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5054558.Pippa_Jay
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pippa-Jay-Adventures-in-Scifi/114058821953752
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/pippajaygreen/
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/101080630877126516448/posts
SFR Brigade – http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/
A YA Science Fiction Novel
Released by Champagne Books 3rd June 2013
His father died. His mother abandoned him. In the depths of space, darkness seeks him.
Abandoned by his mother after his father’s death, Gethyon Rees feels at odds with his world and longs to travel the stars. But discovering he has the power to do so leaves him scarred for life. Worse, it alerts the Siah-dhu—a dark entity that seeks his kind for their special abilities—to his existence, and sets a bounty hunter on his trail.
When those same alien powers lead Gethyon to commit a terrible act, they also aid his escape. Marooned on the sea-world of Ulto Marinos, Gethyon and his twin sister must work off their debt to the Seagrafter captain who rescued them while Gethyon puzzles over their transportation. How has he done this? And what more is he capable of?
Before he can learn any answers, the Wardens arrive to arrest him for his crime. Can his powers save him now? And where will he end up next?
BURST – http://burstbooks.ca/product.php?id_product=99
Kobo – http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Gethyon/book-PBNMPmlj7E-LpAed79fkDQ/page1.html?s=Cgke5CRKHESGZxG7MmccQQ&r=1
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gethyon-ebook/dp/B00D5UIQ80/
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/Gethyon-ebook/dp/B00D5UIQ80/
Omnilit – https://www.omnilit.com/product-gethyon-1216049-245.html?oid=
B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gethyon-pippa-jay/1115474634?ean=9781927454565
Don’t miss this fabulous trailer!!
Tags: adventure, author, book, Champagne Books, Gethyon, Lyndi Alexander, Pippa Jay, science fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, science fiction romance Brigade, space, Spirit Drifter, writer, writing, young adult