As an author, it can be disheartening to walk into a bookstore and face the unending sea of titles. My novel is a drop in the ocean. The idea that someone might accidentally stumble on my book and buy it seems unlikely. And yet, behind the unending sea of titles, is an unending stream of authors, each one willing to offer support. Writers do not compete with each other the way other businesses do. Since reading one book fuels the need to read more, one author’s success boosts us all. Plus we’re generally nice, non-confrontational, introverts.
And in the spirit of helping my fellow authors and giving myself a little boost while I’m at it, I’ve taken up the baton on this blog hop. The metaphoric baton was passed to me by fellow Double Dragon Publishing author Linda Nightingale. Linda was born in South Carolina, and has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Atlanta and Houston. The mother of two sons, she enjoys sports cars, piano, symphony and theatre and has spent thirteen years breeding, training and showing Andalusian horses. By day she’s a legal assistant, by night an author. Her vampire paranormal Cardinal Desires (Double Dragon Publishing) won her the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award. Check out her blog at lindanightingale.wordpress.com and her website www.lindanightingale.com, where you might just find a free vampire story to sink your fangs into.
Thank you, Linda, for passing the baton to me. Now without further preamble, onto the requisite blog hop questions.
What am I working on?
I’m working on a novel with a constantly changing working title. Trybrid or tribrid, perhaps. It’s set on an alien world whose lizard-like (but somewhat mammalian) people have a rather different family structure. The woman is the head of the household while her husbands take care of the house and the children. When a human crash lands on the planet, he fathers a part human, two parts alien child. I like to take a classic SF trope and turn it on its head. My first book, Wardroids, is a twist on the classic robots-take-over story. This new one is an alien encounter story in reverse.
How does my work differ from others in this genre?
There’s a lot of concept-driven science fiction out there. I’m more interested in characters. Those who have read Wardroids might have noticed that the wardroid uprising took a back seat to Adam Black and Emily Reid’s respective journeys of self-discovery. In Tribrid, the story is less about the human-landing itself and more about the people whose lives are affected by it. Also, though I wouldn’t call my work comedic, my sense of humour infuses itself into my writing. After a while I stopped trying to fight it and the result has been kind of awesome.
Why do I write what I write?
Science fiction has always been a passion of mine. Robots, aliens, time travelers and space explorers have been living in my brain since childhood all clamoring for a turn to tell their stories. My favourite things to read and watch are science fiction. It is a genre without limitations, unconstrained by time and space. I can put forth a message without hitting people over the head. You can do that with any fiction, but SF is particularly good at it because reality can be changed to suit your needs. The setting can be anywhere, at any time, and the characters can be anything. They don’t even have to be human! So I can draw attention to the gender roles in our society by flipping them around, for example. I can say something about the relationships between men and women by turning the women into wardroids. While people are being entertained by a story about robot soldiers, they’re also thinking about the roles of women, the marginalization of certain groups of people, and the nature of love. Most importantly, science fiction is a lot of fun.
How does your writing process work?
I’m still learning my process, but currently I set a 500-word a day writing quota which all goes to hell when editing time comes. Then comes a lot of procrastinating, self-loathing, and begrudging revisions. Right now, I’m just coming out of the I-hate-my-writing stage of re-writing and am entering the this-book-is-going-to-be-awesome stage. Eventually I produce a somewhat completed manuscript that is worthy of human eyes.
Well I’ve been running with the baton for long enough so now I shall pass it to some of my fellow authors. Here are three writing women who are up to the challenge.
Paula Harvey is fiction writer from Louisiana who is currently working to complete her very first YA Series, South Louisiana High School. The students are abuzz with strange rumors; teachers working for top-secret spy organizations, aliens in and around the school, even an invisible superhero. Why are there so many rumors flying around the school? Well, because at least one of these rumors is true. Each book within the South Louisiana High series focuses on the experience of a student or teacher, and in so doing, takes its reader on an unforgettable adventure with an array of quirky characters. Check out Paula’s blog at paulalharvey.weebly.com/yes-please.html for next week’s blog post. For more info on the South Louisiana High School Series, check out southlouisianahighschool.
Elizabeth Hein writes women’s fiction with a bit of a sharp edge. She tells the stories of people that go unnoticed in everyday life – the woman standing in line at the bank, that mousy gal in the last cubicle, the PTA mom – because there is usually something extraordinarily nasty going on in their lives. She’s on a mission is to make you care about these women and think twice before ignoring the people you meet each day. Her first novel, Overlook, is now available. How To Climb The Eiffel Tower will be published by Light Messages Publishing in October 2014. Visit Elizabeth Hein at scribblinginthestorageroom.wordpress.com and elizabethhein.com
Carole-Ann Vance is a writer and a dreamer who took on the challenge of blogging almost two years ago. She has completed one novel length tale, but must overcome her crippling fear of revision in order to return to the story to begin once again. In the meantime, another medley of characters has beckoned, and a new story has begun. Carole-Ann writes about the complex world of families and adds in a touch of magic to enhance an already emotional mix. Carole-Ann has also been an awesome addition to my writing critique group. I’ve enjoyed delved into her stories for the past six years. You can visit Carole-Ann at www.caroleannvance.com
These fellow authors will be taking up the baton on their blogs next week. Be sure to check them out! And while you’re at it, support authors in any way you can. Read and buy books, attend a book launch or signing, shop at your local independent book store, fill up your Kobo, borrow from the library, review the books you love on Goodreads or on your own blog. Writer or not, we must all take up the baton in our own way, because a world without stories would be absolutely awful.