Author Interview with Brenda Cooper

silver ship and the seaTo celebrate the re-release of her first novel, The Silver Ship and the Sea, and promote the Kickstarter project for her connected short story collection, Stories of Fremont’s Children, author Brenda Cooper was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the world of these stories.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Prisoners of a war they barely remember, Fremont’s Children must find a way to survive in a world that abhors their very nature. Or they must discover a way to leave it…

Brenda Cooper’s Fremont’s Children series launches with her award-winning novel The Silver Ship and the Sea. Cooper explores what it means to be so different that others feel they must oppress you.

Six genetically enhanced children are stranded on the colony planet Fremont in a war between genetic purists and those that would tinker with the code. Orphaned, the children have few remnants of their heritage other than an old woman who was left for abandoned at the end of the war, and a mysterious silver ship that appears to have no doors.

To keep themselves alive, the children must leave the safety of the insular community and brave the beautiful but dangerous wilds of Fremont. Is it an echo of their own natures, or a proving ground of their genetic worth?

In this battle of wills and principles, what does the future hold for Fremont’s Children?

Amazon


What inspirations from Earth’s landscape did you use for the alien world of Fremont?

Fremont is more dangerous to humans than Earth. It’s a water world, with less landmass than we have, but with air that its inhabitants can breathe and land for them to walk on. So in some fundamental ways it is similar — frankly, more similar than any real alien worlds are likely to be. It’s younger than Earth, and less impacted by humans. For example, we’ve hunted the Earth down to smaller predators, but once there were sabre-toothed cats. On Fremont, there are pawcats, who are larger than our lions and more aggressive. There are demon dogs who hunt in packs and are larger than wolves and more dangerous to humans than wolves. The grass is sharp enough to draw blood. There are active volcanoes, many earthquakes, and periodic meteor strikes.  Continue reading

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Love Across the Universe Blog Tour: What’s next?

Love Across the UniverseI’m pleased to host the authors of the new science fiction/romance anthology, Love Across the Universe, which came out on August 1. Now that their stories have been released into the wild, it’s time to find out what all of them are working on next!


Elsa M. Carruthers: “All B+ut You”

I have a few essays to write and novel revisions.

 M.T. DeSantis: “The Princess of Sands”

I’m currently collaborating on a rather epic fantasy novel, which is very near completion. It’s about an old wizard and a blind warrior who are working to save their corner of the world while telling bad jokes. Hoping to start shopping that around soon. There’s also the Stars and Stone Christmas anthology story, which has a rough plot outline, if not character names or a title yet.  Continue reading

Author Interview: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #12

The weather is spectacularly stormy here in my corner of Maryland today. I can only assume that the star of Steel Magic, storm-mage Toria Connor, is perturbed that all the attention has been on Victory lately as the main character in Steel Blood.

Too bad for both of them, though, because today the focus is on me! Fellow Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction grad Jacob Baugher interviewed me on his blog today, for the latest stop on the tour.

What is your writing kryptonite? 

The biggest obstacle to my writing time is definitely my Netflix addiction. My queue is enormous, partly because some shows I literally don’t have time to watch during their season, even with DVR, and partly because there are some shows that I just have to keep watching now that I’ve started, no matter how outside my genre (ScandalReignHawaii 5-0). On the other hand, Netflix’s new ability to download episodes has been amazing, because during the months of the year when I’m drafting a new book, I can limit my Netflix time to my treadmill time. Watching an episode takes about the same amount of time it takes me to speed-walk 5k, so everyone wins!

Check out the rest of the interview on Baugher’s blog, and while you’re there, drop him a note and tell him to get back to working on his novel! I read the beginning of it when he was still a student, and I’m anxiously awaiting the day it gets published. (There’s a violinist, which means it already has a special place in my heart.)


Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting author Jennifer Loring to talk about what makes my supernatural creatures stand out from the rest!

Meet Penny and Matiu from HOUNDS OF THE UNDERWORLD!

Hounds of the UnderworldThis Wednesday, a new novel from the writing team of Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts will be released from Raw Dog Screaming Press! They quickly embraced the spirit of family that I love about RDSP, and jumped on the idea when I suggested a bit of cross-promotion since our newest books are arriving a week apart. Today, I’m interviewing their main characters, while they’re returning the favor with Victory on their blogs!

Hounds of the Underworld (The Path of Ra Book One) is now available for pre-order. I’ll post my review of this excellent near-future supernatural noir murder mystery on Wednesday!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Raw Dog Screaming Press


ABOUT THE BOOK

On the verge of losing her laboratory, her savings, and all respect for herself, Pandora (Penny) Yee lands her first contract as scientific consult to the police department. And with seventeen murder cases on the go, the surly inspector is happy to leave her to it. Only she’s going to need to get around, and that means her slightly unhinged adopted brother, Matiu, will be doing the driving. But something about the case spooks Matiu, something other than the lack of a body in the congealing pool of blood in the locked room or that odd little bowl.

Matiu doesn’t like anything about this case, from the voices that screamed at him when he touched that bowl, to the way his hateful imaginary friend Makere has come back to torment him, to the fact that the victim seems to be tied up with a man from Matiu’s past, a man who takes pleasure in watching dogs tear each other to pieces for profit and entertainment.

Hounds of the Underworld blends mystery, near-future noir and horror. Set in New Zealand it’s the product of a collaboration by two Kiwi authors, one with Chinese heritage and the other Māori. This debut book in The Path of Ra series offers compelling new voices and an exotic perspective on the detective drama.


[Note: The characters in the following interview refer to me as Hanna, my real name.]

What’s your favourite place to be?

Penny: My favourite place? The lab. Without question. Partly because it’s mine — well, it will be just as soon as I can pay Dad back the money I borrowed to set it up. Even a standard benchtop DNA sequencer will put a big hole in your bank account, let alone the consumables. Anyway, the lab is my space. I love everything about it: the straight lines of the epoxy benches, the waft of cold air when I open the cold store, and the scent of Decon cleanser. I guess that’ll be the potassium hydroxide. I share the lab with my technician, Beaker. Beak came with me when I left LysisCo, my last place of employ, and he’s a real asset to Yee Scientific, although he will insist on hanging his lab coat on the wrong hook.

Matiu: Tough question. I haven’t got a favourite place so much, unless you count being behind the wheel. I like it because… going places, you know? Being on the road, the hiss of the tyres, scenery drifting by. I like driving, and I’m lucky, I know, because of my dad and the job and all, but, yeah, that’s my time. My favourite “place”, know what I mean? I like it, because it gives me a little bit of peace and quiet, in my head. Time to think for myself, without anyone else… getting to me.  Continue reading

Sunday inspirational interview at the Tower of the Archmage: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #7

One of my life goals is to eventually see the Steel Empires series adapted into a table-top RPG. A lot of my history and passion for gaming has gone into this series, which the Tower of Archmage captures nicely in it’s Sunday Inspirational post, featuring an interview with me! A quick look:

Let’s jump right into it: How has gaming influenced how you write?

JLG: As a table-top gamer since high school, I think the other players have influenced me more than the mechanics of gaming itself. Gaming involves working together with other people to solve problems, so I’ve never been one for the “lone wolf’ protagonist. My characters are surrounded by friends and loved ones and allies of convenience, who must all work together to solve conflict or escape their current situations. The variety of characters, played by such variety of people, that I’ve experienced over the years definitely helped me realize that relationships are just as important as plot.

If you’re interested in gaming, be sure to follow the Tower of the Archmage blog for all sorts of cool tips and ideas!


Tomorrow, it’s Victory’s turn in the spotlight — she’s being interviewed at the blogs of fellow RDSP authors Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts. Meanwhile, I’ll be interviewing the main characters of their upcoming novel, Hounds of the Underworld, which releases this Wednesday!

Author Interview with Sara Dobie Bauer

Earlier this month, I reviewed a fantastic paranormal romance called Bite Somebody, which was equal parts adorable and hilarious. Tomorrow, the sequel comes out! To celebrate, I’m interviewing author Sara Dobie Bauer today, but be sure to check back here tomorrow for my review of Bite Somebody Else, which is currently available for pre-order.


bite somebody elseABOUT THE BOOK

Imogene helped her newbie vampire friend Celia hook up with an adorable human, but now Celia has dropped an atomic bomb of surprise: she has a possibly blood-sucking baby on the way. Imogene is not pleased, especially when a mysterious, ancient, and annoyingly gorgeous vampire historian shows up to monitor Celia’s unprecedented pregnancy.

Lord Nicholas Christopher Cuthbert III is everything Imogene hates: posh, mannerly, and totally uninterested in her. Plus, she thinks he’s hiding something. So what if he smells like a fresh garden and looks like a rich boarding school kid just begging to be debauched? Imogene has self-control. Or something.

As Celia’s pregnancy progresses at a freakishly fast pace, Imogene and Nicholas play an ever-escalating game of will they or won’t they, until his sexy maker shows up on Admiral Key, forcing Nicholas to reveal his true intentions toward Celia’s soon-to-arrive infant.

World Weaver Press | Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks


Vampire fiction comes close to overwhelming the urban fantasy genre these days. What unique spin do you put on “vampirism” in your books to keep things fresh?

My unique spin is comedy. I don’t take anything seriously. Like, anything. I’ve been reading vampire literature since I was too young to be reading vampire literature. (I’m pretty sure my twelve-year-old teenage girl hormones were unleashed via Interview with the Vampire.) I love the old tropes — the charisma and mystery of classic vampires. Because I love the tropes, I had fun tearing them apart. Imogene and Celia are totally insane, ridiculous, and non-mysterious vampires. They get into awkward messes and have stupidly hilarious adventures. There’s even a semantics discussion: “Are we dead or undead?” I had a blast writing this series, and people have a blast reading the books. It’s escapism in the most snort-laughing of ways. Oh, and there’s a bit of sex — although even the sex is filled with miscues, accidental feet to the face, and broken fingers.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Shaun Hume

Shaun Hume reached out to me a few weeks ago regarding a possible review for his book (he complimented me on my book covers, which is the fastest way to this author’s heart) (other than salty black licorice). Unfortunately, I was unable to fit him into my schedule, but I was still intrigued enough that I had to know more!


ewan pendle and the white wraithABOUT THE BOOK

Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal.

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real Creatures that inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like him, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.

Paperback | eBook


Since your reviewers bring up the Harry Potter connection, I think the most important thing potential readers might want to know is how are your books different from the Harry Potter universe?

Maybe the most important world difference between Ewan Pendle and Harry Potter is the lack of magic. Magic does exist in the world of Creatures and Lenitnes, but it’s a relatively new discovery. While it certainly is an emerging aspect (hence the rather newly formed Witch Clique), few people understand it, and even fewer can perform any magic at all.

The other main difference would be the number of strong and unique female characters. I’m a massive HP fan, and love it dearly, but there really aren’t many girls within the story who take on much of a narratively propelling role. In my story it was a conscious choice to create more female characters, purely because I find them more interesting to write. This, I think, gives much more scope to the story and its characters.  Continue reading