Interview with a Fangirl: Shelby

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Shelby who is an engineer by profession and a podcaster by passion.

I first became aware of Shelby through the Star Wars podcast Hyperspace PodBlast that she co-hosts with her fiancé Bryan.

Welcome Shelby to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I think I’ve been into “geek culture” for as long as I can remember, starting out watching Sailor Moon after school everyday. That grew into a love of all sorts of fandoms, but my most recent and most intense fangirl obsession is Star Wars.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media is an amazing tool to connect with people. I think as social media has matured, so have fandoms and their acceptance of women online. I think overall things are getting better for women in this space. That or I’m just better at avoiding it! But I’d really like to highlight that social media has helped me to develop amazing friendships and engage in great discussions.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

So my Star Wars fandom story is probably the most interesting. At a very young age, I was “made” to watch A New Hope by a parent. I thought it was good I think, I don’t have any negative memories, but never watched anything else. After that, “I’ve never seen Star Wars”, was my interesting fact, and even when I thought about checking it out, it seemed too intimidating and huge to get into.

Then my fiance Bryan (who is the epitome of a Star Wars fanboy) slowly but surely encouraged me to get caught up before The Force Awakens came out. We sat down one weekend and I was hooked! From that point forward, Star Wars became a part of my life I didn’t know was missing.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

Star Wars fans have taught me that a passion for an IP can lead to incredible creations. The originality and crazy things fans come up with continually impress and inspire me. To see the personal impact Star Wars can have on individuals is just awesome and social media enables us to highlight those stories.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Oh goodness, here we go. Anime/Manga would be a close second to Star Wars. My most recent interest is RPGs, so I’m dabbling in D&D and hopefully in the future Starfinder and Edge of the Empire. Also, in no particular order: Stranger Things, Wonder Woman, MCU, Harry Potter, LoTR, Rick and Morty, Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, and many more.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Be yourself! There is no right or wrong way to be a fangirl and no one is the gatekeeper to the title. Don’t get discouraged if others try to push you out of the space. As a “fangirl” of math and science as both a passion and profession, I’ve learned it’s better not to try to fit the male mold as a woman, but to figure out how to claim the space for you to be who you are.

Where can others find and inteact with you?

You can find me on Twitter: @ShelBB8, through Hyperspace PodBlast: http://hyperspacepodblast.podbean.com/ or through Small Guest Writings: https://theweeklyscoundrel.blog/

Interview with Author Stephanie Osborn

It is a pleasure to welcome Stephanie Osborn author of the Division One series.

Welcome Stephanie to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Division One is a series based on my take of the urban legend about the covert group of men and women who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. and make the evidence… disappear. They are, in reality, a branch of the Pan-Galactic Law Enforcement and Immigration Agency, or PGLEIA. This galaxy-wide organization reports to the Galactic Council, and is broken into the equivalent of precincts, or divisions, for the sake of structural hierarchy, and Earth is the Headquarters for Galactic Division One.

The first book, Alpha and Omega, chronicles the inadvertent induction of Agent Omega into Division One’s brand-new department, Alpha Line. Alpha Line is the equivalent to a SWAT team, or perhaps the Texas Rangers – one situation, one team.

She is partnered with the new department’s chief, Agent Echo, the top field agent in the entire Division, and second in line for the Directorship. Together, they are designated as Alpha One, the premier team in Alpha Line. They work under Agent Fox, a human with considerable galactic experience and a fascinating – and unusually long – back story; he was a teenager in the Nazi concentration camps, yet he appears to be only around 50 years of age, if that.

The first two books of the series, Alpha and Omega, and A Small Medium At Large, came out earlier this year, in print and ebook formats. Book 3, A Very UnCONventional Christmas, just came out, and book 4, Tour de Force, comes out in October. The series will continue next year with several new books.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Special significance? Not really, though the “real” surnames of the two main characters were pulled from my own genealogy – a little trick I sometimes use just to help me quickly build the characters, since it means I know a bit about about the family background. I do usually try to pick character names that are reflective of the character, if possible, though not always.

For instance, Agent Echo’s name (on his birth certificate) was Alexander Ian Bryant. Bryant is loosely Celtic in origin (and in my family tree), hence I used variants of Celtic given names. Except Echo’s mother was Lipan Apache, and his middle name was SUPPOSED to be Elan, which is Apache for “friendly.” Only the registrar misheard and followed the Celtic flow of the rest of his name, making his middle name officially Ian on his birth certificate. (Strictly speaking, the Celtic equivalent of Alexander is Alistair, but I liked the sound of Alexander Ian better; Alistair sounds too pompous for that character.) “Friendly” as a name for him evokes an interesting dichotomy in my mind, since he is fierce in battle, and anything BUT friendly to an alien perp. He is also a reserved, “still waters run deep” kind of man, but he cares deeply about the people around him, those with whom he’s close. He doesn’t exactly show it a lot to said people, but it’s there. And over the course of the first book, we find that Omega becomes one of those people.

And since Echo is from Texas, and Bryants figured prominently in Texas history, I tied it in, just a bit, as being a branch of the family who founded Bryant Station, etc.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

Oh, SF was always my favorite genre, growing up. I read ‘most every science fiction book I could get my hands on. I wanted to work in the space program (which I eventually wound up doing), and it fired my imagination and made me excited for the future. My second favorite genre to read was mystery, and I always liked action-adventure, a bit of thriller, and a soupcon of romance. Which probably explains why that is the recipe for most of the books that I write!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I try to be disciplined about it, meaning that I write almost every day – it’s a job, after all. I can become a real workaholic if I’m not careful, though, and I’m handicapped, so – well, if you are familiar with the ‘spoons’ analogy of chronic illness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory ), I just don’t have as many spoons as I used to have. So sometimes I have to just MAKE myself take a break. Otherwise…I’ve ended up quite sick as a result of pushing past my limits. And that can set me back for months, as I try to recover. Because let’s face it, creativity requires significant amounts of energy. And if all your energy is being funneled into getting well, there isn’t anything left for creation.

And yeah, I do find that several of my characters wind up being a lot like that. If you really enjoy what you’re doing, then in a fashion it stops becoming work, and you don’t WANT to stop.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

Well, for this set of books, I had, and have, to do a lot of research regarding the Milky Way Galaxy and its structure. My graduate work was in astronomy and astrophysics, so I consider it a lot of fun, but what I have to do is to figure out where things are in the galaxy with respect to each other; what areas are potentially inhabitable, and what are not. Even just relative orientations! For instance, I’m currently writing book 5, Trojan Horse, and I had to ascertain where the Orion Nebula was with respect to Earth, and what was visible from the location of the nebula when looking back TOWARD Earth. So…kind of a galactic map, if you will.

What makes you laugh?

A well-constructed pun; a good joke with an unexpected punchline; my husband’s excellent one-liners. I love my husband’s sense of humor, and one of the things I have always adored about him is his ability to find a way to make me laugh, no matter how down or upset I may be about a situation.

One of the funniest things I can recall in recent years was when I discovered a webcomic called Vexxarr. The eponymous alien is an outcast from his kind, a space traveler who has collected a hodgepodge crew about himself, and who is constantly getting into all kinds of scrapes and getting out on his wits.

So in this one particular sequence of strips, Vexxarr gets nearly eaten by a large alien kaiju kind of monster, and is rescued before he can go down the creature’s gullet. Upon being returned to his ship, he is in severe shock and is monosyllabic for a bit, as his crew tries to find out exactly what happened. Finally the story gets pieced together and as one of them recounts it in toto, he makes this vivid, horrible description of Vexxarr entering the maw of the beast, with its slavering jaws, huge, razor-sharp teeth, ravening tongue…

And suddenly Vexxarr pipes up with the only polysyllabic word he’s said since the whole horrid event started.

“UVULA!” he yells at the top of his lungs.

I howled laughing. I laughed until tears just ran down my cheeks. I laughed until I was out of breath, but I couldn’t stop. I laughed hysterically for probably ten minutes, until I was gasping for air. And it was probably half an hour or better before the very thought of the strip didn’t send me off into fresh gales of laughter.

For quite a while that was the rallying cry on the Vexxarr message board…

I got to meet and get to know the webcomic’s creator a few years ago, and he’s as fun and funny as his strip. I have hopes that one of these days he’ll let me coauthor a short story arc in the strip with him. I’d love to see him bring our ideas to a kind of life like that.

What makes you cry?

Watching a hero/heroine sacrifice him/herself for the sake of someone or something s/he loves. Seeing a baby anything die or be killed. Bittersweet endings. Seeing misunderstood creatures or people be mistreated.

I watched the Japanese kaiju film, Rodan, the other day and was SO sad when the creatures died at the end, because in the end, one fell into the lava, and the other chose to dive in after it, preferring to die at its side than live without it…and there was something so loving, so touching, about it that it kind of ‘humanized’ them even though they had killed people.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I’m a big film buff, particularly of science fiction and fantasy movies, but also the related genre of comic-book movies. My writing has been described as very cinematic in style, so that when someone reads it, it creates the effect of a movie playing in his/her head. And that’s pretty much correct, because when I write, it’s like watching a movie in my head and just transcribing it.

I think the funny banter found in most of the comic-type movies also comes out in my writing, too, as I find my characters have a tendency to do the same kind of banter.

###

Thanks Stephanie for taking time to let us get to know about the Division One series and yourself better!

Division One series, published by Chromosphere Press is available through Amazon:

Division One series

Division One series

About Stephanie Osborn

Few can claim the varied background of award-winning author Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery.

Veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her resumé. Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, Martian aeolian geophysics, radiation physics, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons effects.

Stephanie holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is “fluent” in several more, including geology and anatomy.

In addition she possesses a license of ministry, has been a duly sworn, certified police officer, and is a National Weather Service certified storm spotter.

Her travels have taken her to the top of Pikes Peak, across the world’s highest suspension bridge, down gold mines, in the footsteps of dinosaurs, through groves of giant Sequoias, and even to the volcanoes of the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest, where she was present for several phreatic eruptions of Mount St. Helens.

Now retired from space work, Stephanie has trained her sights on writing. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to almost 30 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. She is the co-author of the Cresperian Saga book series, and has written the critically acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as “Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files,” and its pulp-bestselling prequel series, Gentleman Aegis, the very first book of which won a Silver Falchion award. She has dabbled in paranormal/horror as well, releasing the ebook novella El Vengador, based on a true story. Currently she’s launching into the unknown with the Division One series, her take on the urban legend of the people who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. to make things…disappear.

In addition to her writing work, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery now happily “pays it forward,” teaching math and science through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.

The Mystery continues.

You can learn more about Stephanie and the Division One series via her webite, http://www.stephanie-osborn.com/

Excerpt: Clone Me a Lover

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is proud to present this excerpt from Clone Me a Lover by Rosalie Redd
Excerpt from Clone Me A Lover

“I…didn’t hear you come in. How long have you been here?”
He leaned against the doorframe, his arms crossed. A slow smile tugged at his lips, and she focused on them. They were so tempting, and it was all she could do to pull her gaze to his eyes.
“Long enough to watch you make that…squirrel?”
A nervous laugh broke from her lips. “This is an ornithium, a small sub-surface dweller from our planet. The tiny creature comes above ground to retrieve nuts that fall from the trees during the season’s first frost. It is the good luck symbol for our winter celebration—Lintria, representing hope and love, for if this small animal can survive in the harshest of conditions, so can we.”
“I see. When is your next observance?” His calm demeanor called to her, sending a tingle of curiosity and excitement along her nerves.
“In a few days, when our sun is lowest in the horizon in the southern hemisphere. This special day is celebrated by everyone in our culture.” Her throat constricted. Not everyone. Toman was still in jail. If she didn’t return to get him out before the celebration, he’d observe the rite in the mines and never participate in another. I can’t think about that.
With a quick swallow, she focused her attention on the sexy man in front of her. “Thank you, again, for replacing the reactor.”
His gaze flicked to her mouth before returning to her eyes. The brown in his irises deepened.
Warmth spread between her thighs, and she bit her lip.
He took a step forward, closing the distance between them. “It was the least I could do, given you saved me from a long, cold, lonely journey through space.”
“Well, then, seems we’ve saved each other.”
Love is a dangerous, forbidden emotion.

Human clone Angelo Thirteen craves something illicit—to fall in love. When a tenacious female Altonian retrieves his escape pod from the rubble of a shipwreck, he may just get his chance. Drawn to her determined spirit and mesmerizing golden eyes, he must pierce the battle thickened walls surrounding her heart to uncover what he covets most.

Elle cares about two things in the universe—her ship and her brother. When her sibling is imprisoned on a savage ice world nothing will derail her from her recovery mission, that is, until she rescues a sexy human clone from the icy coldness of space. Falling for his tender, sensuous nature wasn’t part of her plan and now she must choose between saving her brother from Alta’s prison or risking her heart.

Lose yourself in the Interstellar Lovers series with this delicious tale of sensual discovery and longing. You can buy Clone Me A Lover from the following retailers:

After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for award-winning author Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. She pens paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy romance in her office cave located in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing. You can find Rosalie via her Website: http://www.rosalieredd.com and the following social media sites:

Interview with a Fangirl: Andrea

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Andrea Lynn Fleming, who is an actress in Chicago, and has been involved in theater for almost 30 years. She is actively cosplaying in the Chicago area for local charity events and hopes to continue for years to come!

Andrea as General Leia

Andrea as General Leia


I first became aware of Andrea through the Star Wars fan community and been very impressed with her Cosplay, especially her General Leia!

Welcome Andrea to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

The first time I realized I was a fangirl was back in 1977 when I first saw the Star Wars movie. I didn’t know at the time that was what it was called, but I didn’t care. I loved the movie and everything about it.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has been wonderful. It has helped me meet other women and girls just like me. I used to think that I was alone in my fandom, but after my daughter and her friends realized how much of a fangirl I was, they have helped me get on social media and express myself openly. It’s such a joy to see how many of us are out there!

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

The first time I saw Star Wars was when I was 11 in 1977. My father took me to see it in the theater for my birthday that year. I instantly loved the movie and I have been a super fan ever since. I was on the Oprah show in 1997 for the special edition films that were released that year. I was the only one in the audience that day dressed in costume. What an honor that was.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

It has been amazing to be a part of the Star Wars community. Everyone is so supportive of others and you’re not afraid to be yourself. I was ridiculed in the 80’s for my fandom, and really found myself keeping it to myself, until social media, and now I no longer need to be secretive about it. I can openly express how much I love this community and franchise. I enjoy being able to cosplay anytime the opportunity presents itself.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I also enjoy Star Trek, the Marvel Universe, but of course my first love is Star Wars.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Never be afraid of being who you are and what you like! Always enjoy your favorite things to your fullest ability. It doesn’t matter what others think. What matters most is what makes you happy. In the end, you will be the one others look up to. I know that’s what I discovered about myself, and it’s amazing watching my daughter and her friends fangirl without any worries of what others think. I know I dream of being in one of these movies myself some day.

Where can others find and inteact with you?

I am on Instagram at Lynnflemingact, and you can find me also on Twitter: @LynnFlemingACT.

Thanks again Andrea dor letting us get to know you better!

Thank you and May the Force Be With You!

The Freemaker Adventures Continues Today

The Freemaker Adventures Continues Today!

The Freemaker Family: Zander, Rowan and Kordi

The Freemaker Family: Zander, Rowan and Kordi

I am a big fan of the LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures and I am really excited that the first episodes of season two, “A New Home” and “Trouble on Tibalt” air today starting at 10:30AM EST on DisneyXD!  I cannot wait to see what new adventures the Freemaker Family gets into next! 

As you can see, I have already set my DVR thanks to the Xfinity App!

As you can see, I have already set my DVR thanks to the Xfinity App!

Are you a fan of The Freemaker Adventures

Are you looking forward to Season 2 as much as I am?

Interview with Editor: Corie Weaver

It is a pleasure to welcome Corie Weaver editor of the Sci-Fi Anthology series, Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.


Welcome to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

We chose the name Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide because we wanted to create a sample of science fiction stories for readers of all ages. Every collection includes stories that represent the wide spectrum of science fiction, from rocket ship adventure, to weird west to post- apocalyptic to steampunk and more.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

A random conversation with a friend back in 2014 sparked a new multi-year project – so be careful! My best friend was looking for new books for her young daughter. The qualifications seemed simple: Science fiction or fantasy, female protagonist, no romance. It was harder to find titles than I thought it would be. Sure, there were options – Wrinkle in Time, Zita the Space Girl, The City of Ember…. But not as many as I’d assumed. Turns out, according to a 2011 study of 6,000 children’s books, only 31 percent had central female characters, and even fewer featured main characters of color.*

I love science fiction. I believe it can bring us to a brighter future. So, I did the only logical thing, and put out a call for submissions for an anthology of science fiction shorts for middle grade readers, with a focus on diversity and representation. Girls, boys, robots – everyone is welcome here.

* “Gender in Twentieth-Century Children’s Books: Patterns of Disparity in Titles and Central Characters.” (http://gas.sagepub.com/content/25/2/197.full.pdf+html) The results of the study are also discussed in this Guardian article: (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/may/06/gender-imbalance-children-s-literature)

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing or the writing of the authors of the series?

Tamora Pierce, Isaac Asimov, Usula K. LeGuin, Terry Prachett, Neil Gaiman – the list goes on and on. But one story I read in Asimov’s Magazine *mumblemumble* years ago has stuck with me for years – Beggars in Spain, by Nancy Kress. I reached out to Nancy when we started the anthology project, and she’s sold us a story every year. When I asked why she was such a strong supporter, she answered:

“When I was a child, the school library had a Girls’ Section, which included fairy tales, and a Boys’ Section, which included all the science fiction. Things have changed, of course, but not enough. There is a strong need for science fiction, as opposed to fantasy, aimed at girls, especially in the middle grades. This anthology is an important contribution to the effort to fill that need, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.”

If someone is interested in learning more about the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, where would they go?

The 2018 collection will be on Kickstarter starting June 13th, shipping in December.

Also, the 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide is now available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is also available for Libraries! Learn more at http://dreamingrobotpress.com/2017-young-explorers-adventure-guide/!

Interview with a Fangirl: Christina

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Christina Fung, who blogs about HER Star Wars Story at http://www.mschristinafung.com.

Christina proudly wears her favorite HerUniverse Star Wars tee!

Christina proudly wears her favorite HerUniverse Star Wars tee!

I first became aware of Christina through her love of Her Universe and Star Wars via her Twitter, @StarWarsisLove.

Welcome Christina to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I first realized that I was a fangirl when I was around 15-years-old and I re-discovered Star Wars.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has helped me discover other fans and connect with them. When I was younger I used to think that I was the only girl who liked Star Wars, but though social media I found out that I wasn’t alone – not by a long shot!

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I have vague memories of watching The Empire Strikes Back on TV with my dad when I was young, but after that I pretty much forgot about it. When I became a teenager I saw a magazine cover with the cast from Attack of the Clones and it piqued my curiosity. I bought the magazine (which I still have) and spent the entire summer learning everything I could about Star Wars. I’ve been a fan ever since.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

Being a fan doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone, and that is a beautiful thing. Star Wars has an enormous presence and there are so, so many ways that you can be a fan of it. One of the best things about connecting with other fans is getting to learn more about the world of Star Wars though their knowledge of the Star Wars universe. I love getting to know people who are more into the books than I am, or who play different video games than I do. If I had all the time in the world it still wouldn’t be enough to explore all of Star Wars, so getting to know it though other fans is such an incredible thing.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Disney Parks! I love spending time at theme parks in general, but there is just something extra special about Disney. Once upon a time I worked at Disneyland, and I have such fond memories of those days. Now I get to experience Disneyland though my son’s eyes, and I’m so pleased that he loves it just as much as I do. Plus, Disney and Star Wars are so interwoven that it’s hard not to love both.
Also, Firefly. So much love for that series!

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

This is a great time to be a fangirl! Not so long ago it wasn’t cool to be a fan of anything that wasn’t mainstream. Thankfully, times have changed. Now, being a fangirl is mainstream, but because being a fan is unique to each person what being a fangirl really means is that you aren’t afraid to be yourself and share your passions. Be proud of your fandom, if it is what makes you happy then it is part of who you are, and being yourself is always cool.

What cool Fangirl related project or projects are you working on that you would like to share?

The first thing people usually find out about me is that I like Star Wars, a lot. I’m in the process of trying to join the 501st so that I can do charity work and geek out about Star Wars at the same time.  I wear my fandom on my sleeve and occasionally blog about it at mschristinafung.com and of course you can follow me on twitter as @StarWarsisLove to learn what other awesome Fangirl things I am doing!

Guest Post: Turning Unhealthy Obsessions Into Viable Fiction

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl again welcomes author Alexandra Christian as a guest blogger to talk about how unhealthy obsessions can be turned into viable fiction.

Take it away Alexandra!

Turning Unhealthy Obsessions into Viable Fiction, or Why “Sapiosexual Love Monkey” Really Just Means Benedict Cumberbatch Fanfiction By Alexandra Christian

Sapiosexual: (adj.): being sexually aroused by intelligence.

In my bio, you’ll notice that part of my mission statement with Little Red Hen Romance is bringing sapiosexual love monkeys to intelligent readers everywhere. It’s a concept I came across several years ago as I began nursing an unhealthy fangirl obsession with the BBC’s series Sherlock and its star, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Lemme start at the beginning. Around that same time, I became miserable at my day job and really depressed about writing in general. I was adrift in a sea of uncertainty and was desperately trying to find my way to shore. The kinds of books I wanted to read didn’t seem to exist and I felt like there was little to no market for the kinds of books I wanted to write. I loved romance novels, but couldn’t stand the heroes. Christian Grey was a whiny Mama’s boy with too much time and money on his hands. Edward Cullen had a God complex. The standard Harlequin hero was just an oiled torso stereotype. I wanted more. I refused to believe that I was a freak for wanting action and intrigue with her romantic stories. I wanted a hero who was not only able to rush into battle, but could also engage in a battle of wits. A hero who could think his way out of any situation. A cool, calculating hero who was interested in more than just what lurked between the heroine’s thighs. When I aired my grievances to my sister she said, “Have I got a show for you.”

By the middle of the first episode, I was offering my body as tribute. The deduction monologues made my heart (and other less-mentionable parts) flutter. The way Sherlock just seemed to know things. The way he studied EVERYTHING. It made me (and I suspect many others) wonder what a man like that would be like as a lover. By the end of series one, I was more inspired than I had been in more than a year. By the end of that week, I had written a short, erotic horror story titled “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” about an obsessed fangirl. And by the end of the month, the hero of my new Phoenix Rising series, Macijah “Cage” St. John, was born.

In the first chapter of Naked (Phoenix Rising 1), if you’ve watched Sherlock at all, you can see the influence. He’s extremely sharp and does not suffer fools. His English wit cuts like a knife. And the physical description of Cage, while more Khan (from Star Trek Into Darkness) than Sherlock, is very definitely Cumberbatch-ish. See..

The man who had come to her rescue was standing in the impromptu doorway that had been made by his and the wolf-man’s bodies hitting the wall. Her mouth hung limply from her jaw as she realized that he hadn’t a stitch of clothing on his body. Pale skin stretched over a lean musculature, lined with scars that kept drawing her eyes downward. Phoebe felt her face go up in flames and she commanded herself to look up into his face. His dark, curly hair was wild, but his blue eyes burned brightly.

Cage embodies the Alpha hero I always wanted. He’s not just a meathead with lots of disposable income. Or a shifter that can’t control his primal urges. Cage uses his brain, not just his fists or his weapons. He’s complex with a past that’s reflected in eyes that are lined with age and experience, not guy-liner. And because of that, I suppose that most of my stories and books that have been written in the last couple of years have a healthy dose of my Cumberbatch obsession.

So there. I’ve confessed. Whew… it feels good. Freeing. But I can’t promise that I will go forth and sin no more. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s some sin going on in my WIP even as we speak.

###

Thanks again Alexandra for being a guest blogger today and for sharing this insight with us!


You can find out more Alexandra by visting the following:
Website: http://lexxxchristian.wixsite.com/alexandrachristian
Blog: http://lexxxchristian.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSouthernBellefromHell/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexxxchristian
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/b5c_Un

Alexandra Christian is an author of mostly romance with a speculative slant. Her love of Stephen King and sweet tea has flavored her fiction with a Southern Gothic sensibility that reeks of Spanish moss and deep fried eccentricity. As one-half of the writing team at Little Red Hen Romance, she’s committed to bringing exciting stories and sapiosexual love monkeys to intelligent readers everywhere. Lexx also likes to keep her fingers in lots of different pies having written everything from sci-fi and horror to Sherlock Holmes adventures. Her alter-ego, A.C. Thompson, is also the editor of the highly successful Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series of anthologies.
A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and her husband, author Tally Johnson. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Broad Universe—an organization that supports female authors of speculative fiction.

Note: Alexandra was kind enough to share an excerpt of Naked and you can find this here!

Excerpt from Naked: Phoenix Rising #1

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is proud to present this excerpt from Naked: Phoenix Rising #1 by Alexandra Christian

Excerpt from Naked

There is no situation that can’t be made worse with the addition of heavy rain. Phoebe stumbled down the path behind St. John, her sensible pumps sinking into the squishy ground with every step. His long-legged strides weren’t particularly fast, but she was practically running to catch up. She was also trying to pull a bulky suitcase behind her without much luck. Finally she ran over a large rock, tipping the case over and taking her with it. She sat down hard on the wet ground, the standing water in the grass splashing up and peppering her with a spray of muddy freckles. “Damnit!” she cried, wanting to throw herself down and have a kicking and screaming tantrum. Instead she took off one of her shoes and threw it as hard as she could. It whizzed past St. John’s ear, and he finally turned.
“Problem?” he asked, strolling back toward where she sat in the grass.
“Can you slow down a minute, please?” Her tone was teetering on annoyance. Couldn’t he see that she was having trouble? So much for the politeness of the British.
He stared down at her, his arms crossed over his chest. “Actually, no. We need to get as far away from that crash site as soon as possible and you to that spaceport so I can be on my way.” He looked over the assortment of items that had fallen out of the case as it tipped over. “Got any trainers in there?”
Phoebe looked up at him like he had suddenly lapsed into Chinese. “What?”
“Trainers. Shoes. Like shoes you wear for running.”
“Oh. Not really, no.”
“Jeans? A jumper?”
“No. I didn’t think I’d be trekking through the forest,” she replied, taking his offered hand and letting him pull her upright. She limped over to where she had thrown her shoe, searching the grass.
“Is there anything in there that’s helpful or important?”
“Well of course,” she replied. “My clothes and toothbrush… anti-bac hand lotion…” She continued listing off all of the things as she pulled her discarded shoe back on. Heaving a sigh, he grabbed the suitcase and slung it as hard as he could over the ravine.
“What are you doing?” She could feel the pressure of angry tears behind her eyes as she watched all of her worldly possessions take a header down the bank, spilling her delicates over the dirty ground. How dare he have such disregard for her personal property! Not to mention that the items in that suitcase were her security blankets. There might not be anything of value or anything “helpful,” but there were things she needed! A picture of her family, her allergy medicine… her copy of Gone With the Wind. Phoebe started to run after the case, but St. John held her back. She beat her fists against his arms and chest. “Let me go! That’s my stuff! I need it!”
“Your stuff is slowing us down. Look, I said I would help you, but I’m not a bellhop or a hero! If you’re going with me, you play by my rules.” He looked up into the sky and let her go. “Come on… it’s nearly dawn.”
She watched him go, starting to reconsider her pleas for his help and then realizing that she had little choice but to follow him. They were now so far off the beaten path that she’d never find her way out. Steeling her jaw and giving a last glance back to where he’d thrown her suitcase, she started walking. Despite his growling, he did slow the pace a little so that she could keep up.
As they walked on and on, the trees rose up around them in an ominous canopy that nearly obliterated the early morning light of dawn. She could hear the stream that ran along beside them at the bottom of the ravine. It was hard to believe in their world that places such as this still even existed. It was almost desolate, but beautiful. Watching him as they walked, she slowly realized that St. John seemed almost as distressed as she felt. By now they’d been walking for hours, and in that time he’d become increasingly irritable. After several attempts at conversation, Phoebe had just given up and walked beside him silently. But his mood was starting to make her worry even more than she had been already.
“So… you don’t really seem like the normal space traveler,” he said, surprising her by breaking the silence. St. John shifted the backpack from one shoulder to the other. “What’s taking you to New London?”
“What? Oh… yes. My sister,” she replied. “I’m going to visit her.”
“Interesting,” he replied blandly.
Her heart pounded in her chest. She didn’t fully trust St. John and wasn’t sure that she should reveal her true intentions. Anyone could be working for Machine. Maybe he had been sent to keep an eye on her. Phoe was a fan of James Bond, so she had spent many an hour watching spy movies. He could be some kind of operative that was just waiting for an opportunity to steal the medallion and leave her broken body in the woods. And of course there was the werewolf thing. “Not really. I mean… it’s just a visit.”
“Well considering that no one really lives on the space colony unless they’re either filthy rich or a scientist of some sort. Judging by your clothes, you don’t appear to be particularly wealthy. So that leaves scientist.”
“She’s an archaeologist,” Phoebe answered. “She works for the Interplanetary Union, looking for natural resources and such. I’m a librarian.”
“I didn’t know those existed anymore. Libraries, I mean.”
“In small towns mostly, I suppose. I mean, I used to work for a digital archive in New Orleans, but I… I didn’t really like it there.” She bit down on her lip, wishing she could take it back. Her brain whirred, already constructing the story that she would tell him when he asked why she’d left New Orleans. Everyone asked why.
To her surprise, St. John just nodded, glancing toward the lightening sky again.
“What about you?”
“What about me?” he parroted.
“Well… what do you do?”
“I… I’m not really sure how to describe what I do. I’m a problem solver, I guess.” Given the things Phoe saw in his backpack, his problem solving skills must involve heavy artillery.
###
Librarian at one of Earth’s last paper libraries, Phoebe Addison is about to have a romantic and interplanetary adventure wilder than anything she’s ever read.

OUT OF THE STACKS

Librarian Phoebe Addison has lived her entire life within a seventy-five mile radius of her small Louisiana town, but when she receives a strange medallion from her adventurous, off-world sister, reality tilts toward the bizarre. Everything Phoe thought she knew is…well, wrong. Dead wrong. But bone-numbing fear has no place in this brave new world—nor by the side of the dangerous, exquisite man who saves her life.

…AND INTO THE FIRE

Following the tragic slaughter of his family, operative Macijah “Cage” St. John understands evil in a way no man ever should. He traded happiness for a magnificent and terrible power, and fate isn’t done with him yet. He wasn’t looking for comfort. He didn’t need tenderness. But today he’ll play hero to a damsel in distress, and his quest will deliver him to the uncanny Martian colony of New London—and his heart to the demure Phoebe Addison. The bookish beauty’s hidden talents and deep abiding love just might save Cage from himself.

Boroughs Publishing: http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/naked
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071CRSKV2
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/naked-alexandra-christian/1126242975?ean=2940154124833
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/naked-65
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/718364
Print: https://www.createspace.com/709449

Alexandra Christian is an author of mostly romance with a speculative slant. Her love of Stephen King and sweet tea has flavored her fiction with a Southern Gothic sensibility that reeks of Spanish moss and deep fried eccentricity. As one-half of the writing team at Little Red Hen Romance, she’s committed to bringing exciting stories and sapiosexual love monkeys to intelligent readers everywhere. Lexx also likes to keep her fingers in lots of different pies having written everything from sci-fi and horror to Sherlock Holmes adventures. Her alter-ego, A.C. Thompson, is also the editor of the highly successful Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series of anthologies.

A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and her husband, author Tally Johnson. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Broad Universe—an organization that supports female authors of speculative fiction.  You can find out more about Alexandra by visiting:

Website: http://lexxxchristian.wixsite.com/alexandrachristian

Blog: http://lexxxchristian.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSouthernBellefromHell/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexxxchristian

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/b5c_Un

Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Alexandra-Christian/e/B009QU3UD4/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

INSTAFREEBIE: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/bfwiS

Memories of Seeing Star Wars in 1977: Additional Stories


Note: This article is a supplement to my article Memories of Seeing Star Wars, on StarWars.com that is part of the week long Star Wars 40th Anniversary Celebration. Unfortunately, I could not include everyone that provided me with their story for the StarWars.com article. Therefore, this article provides some of these additional stories. I really want to thank everyone who provided me with their stories of seeing Star Wars in 1977!


Memories of Seeing Star Wars in 1977: Additional Stories

Today is the 40th Anniversary of when Star Wars, now known as Star Wars: A New Hope, was first released in theaters on May 25, 1977. To mark this anniversary, I asked fans from around the world what their memories of watching this film as it was released in 1977. The purpose of collecting these stories is to not only reminisce about all these experiences, but to also give those who were not around in 1977 an idea of how monumental this film was when it was first released. I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I did!

Pauline Baird Jones recalls that she was a thousand (okay six) months pregnant when the film came out.  It was not until the end of the 1977, after the birth of her daughter, that she saw the film with her husband and her daughter, who slept in a carrier on the floor through the whole thing because they didn’t know anyone who could babysit.

Carol Van Natta was staying with generous friends because she just had out-patient surgery the day before and wasn’t supposed to be alone for the weekend. Carol wasn’t supposed to stand or walk more than 5 minutes at a time. As the Best Surprise Ever, her friends stood in line for four hours, then bundled her into their car to see Star Wars.

They drove me to the front of the theater right before the doors opened. They hustled me in like I was a visiting VIP. I will always associate that movie with the love and kindness of friends.

Jayne Fury was a freshman in high school. She went with her best friend to see the first showing of Star Wars. There were lines then, but nothing like the ones that followed. Jayne gobbled every magazine that covered the movie and saw the movie 13 times in it’s first run.

Catherine Cerveny was 5 years old when she first saw Star Wars in 1977 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Her dad wanted to see it and took both herself and her brother, who was 3, to the local drive-in theater.

Imagine being only 5 and seeing Star Wars for the first time. Needless to say that movie defined my love of the science fiction genre for the rest of my life.

SciFi Romance author Terry Roy was 17 and a college freshman in New Jersey where she lived at the time. Her brother took her to see it after he’d already seen it three times. 😀 Terry grew up reading mostly HIS books of SciFi and Fantasy and if not for him would have never gotten into the genre let alone see Star Wars in the theaters in 1977.

Podcaster Michael Ehmcke saw Star Wars at a Double feature at a drive in theater in SW Kentucky. Star Wars was both the first and the second movie that night. Michael recalls that his brother fell asleep during the second viewing.  However, he was so fascinated that he had to stay and watch it again!

Garrett Sessions saw Star Wars at the movie theater near LSU in Baton Rouge, LA.

I have more impressions than memories of what the inside of the theater looked like, but it was a huge room (to a five year old) with lights in the ceiling and red wallpaper. Then my mind was blown: the music, the adventure, the aliens and especially the lightsabers all left a powerful impression.

Sarah Cole saw it, somewhat reluctantly, with her father and younger brother. However, this changed when the trumpet blast shifted space and time to a galaxy far, far away that felt just like coming home. 


Patrick Izzio was 2 in 1977 and it is probably the earliest memory that he has.

My life was forever changed that day and now my son saw it when he was 6 so the tradition and the lifestyle is being passed on.

Bill Madia was 13 years old and was dropped off at the theater to see Star Wars with both his brother and two brothers from a family friend.

We even brought our own popcorn! (Back then, you could do that!) We got our seats down in the fourth row right in the center. No one was in front of us. This was in the suburbs of Chicago back int the late ’70’s which weren’t as populated as they are now so the crowd wasn’t capacity yet. Anyway, the rows in front of us were empty until a couple kids younger than us went to sit in those rows. My brother was the oldest, 14, so he said that those seats were reserved. “Really?” the kids said. “Yeah, a group of film critics are coming in,” is what we told them. Aaahh, to be a kid again! They found seats behind us and we had an unobstructed view of the entire film!!! Like I said, at the time, in the ‘burbs, word of mouth hadn’t hit yet about the film, so it wasn’t a packed house that day. Every viewing after that, however…. Oh, well. That’s my little story.

Kai Charles saw Star Wars a few days before her birthday in ’77.

It changed my life. For the rest of the summer I walked their weekly to see it. Many times alone since my friends got sick of it after the third time. I’m convinced that watching the Death Star explode over and over while sitting front row center is why I needed glasses the following Fall! It was so worth it!

David Manderville recalls seeing Star Wars with his Dad…

My dad took me to McDonalds before we went to the movie…it’s in the same strip plaza as the theater (still is, and the theater is still there). We ate and I RAN to the theater (I had to wait for him to get there to get the tickets). There were only a few people in line…there was no big premiere (no one knew how big this would be)….when the movie started, I think the theater was only about half full.

Cue the lights and the movie started….we read the crawl and settled in for the movie.

And when the star destroyer flew overhead and filled that theater with stereo speaker rumbles, I turned to my dad and said….

“This is going to be good”.

I’ve been a fan ever since.

Mark Marquis was 7 in 1977 and his Father took him to the Cobb Cinema on Greensprings Hwy in Birmingham, AL. Mark remininces about what he felt after watching Star Wars for fhe first time…

It’s amusing to think about now, but the scenes that are the most vivid in my memory were the ones which included (what a 7 year old might consider to be) dark or grisly elements: Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s fate, Ponda Boba’s arm on the floor of the cantina. Vader’s interrogation droid. For a child who had only watched G-rated Disney movies and was raised in a strict, sheltered religious home, Star Wars seemed like adult entertainment.

Finally, my husband, Michael Hammond, recalls that his Mom took him out of school, it WAS a school day, and said that it was because they had to go somewhere. She did not tell Michael where he was going. He thought it was a Doctor’s appointment. However, they took a bus to a theater just outside of Detroit, where Star Wars was playing. He was very surprised that his Mom not only remembered that he really wanted to see the film, but took him out of school to see it! Michael’s reaction to seeing the film is summed up as:

I was in shock and awe before, during and after. I am surprised that we are still talking about this amazing film 40 years later!

Poster for Star Wars

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