Interview with Author K.G. Stutts

Today it is my honor to interview K.G. Stutts, author of Mirror Image and the rest of the Mirror Series.

Welcome to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl K.G. and thank you for letting us get to know you better by agreeing to answer the following questions!

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

Some of the names have very special meaning for me. In my Mirror series, the name Madison Mackenzie was originally going to be my daughter’s name, if I ever had a baby. I’m getting older and the likelihood of having a child is still there, but growing slimmer. I wanted the name to live in something I consider my baby, my first book series. So Mack and Maddie got their names. Some of the character names are based on friends or family. Elizabeth is one of my nieces. Will is a childhood friend. I do like to give little nods to people of places from time to time.

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

I’ve always been a sci-fi fan. Growing up, my dad and brother would watch Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, and Star Wars. I was enthralled by the dangerous locations, the aliens, the technology. I was hooked. My dad and I still have discussions about Stargate SG-1 and was really sad when it and Stargate Atlantis was cancelled. And the romance… I’m just a romantic at heart. I wear it on my sleeve.

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

Are writers sane? I haven’t quite figured that part out. Honestly, I get cranky if I go a while without writing. I am the marketing manager for my indie company so lately my focus has been on getting a new author released and setting up for a podcast I will be hosting for my company. It’s been two weeks since I’ve written, even though there are scenes in my head. I can feel it!

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

I do a lot of research depending on the story I’m writing. For my Amethyst Chronicles, it was different weaponry and fighting styles. For the Mirror series, it was biology and genetics. Sometimes it’s the area the story is taken place. I cannot stress the importance of research, even if you feel familiar with the subject matter. It adds depth and realness.

What makes you laugh?

I’m naturally very silly and friendly. Laughter is the key to a happy heart, in my opinion. I try to do it often.

What makes you cry?

Seeing a being being mistreated, either a person or an animal.

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

I think a lot of me is reflected in my stories. I love to drop pop culture references for my many different fandoms (Doctor Who, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc)

Thank you again K.G. for stopping by and letting us get to know you better!

 

Mirror Image published by Distinguished Press is available to right now for the low price of $0.99 on Amazon.com.

Madison Mackenzie Rhodes, Maddie for short, would call her life “comfortable.” She works in a call center, lives with her best friend of fifteen years, and spends most of her free time with her family. Her entire world is turned upside down when she finds out that she is a clone, created to hide the secret that we are not alone in this galaxy. Her counterpart, going by the nickname Mack, works for the Intergalactic Security Commission, which works with a coalition of other planets that protect each other and create technology. When an enemy rises from within the ISC that targets both Maddie and Mack, they must work together to save their lives as well as the planet.

K.G. Stutts is the author of several sci-fi romance series as well as several romance stories. She has a degree in massage therapy. As a contributor to Independent Writers Association (IWA) her insights can be seen regularly there and on her own blog at kgstutts.blogspot.com and her website at kgstutts.com.  When she’s not weaving words, she enjoys reading, playing RPGs, hockey, wrestling, and football, and is a big sci-fi nerd. Currently she resides in North Carolina, USA with her husband, Brad.

You can learn more about K.G. and about the rest of the Mirror series by following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, and by visiting her on either her blog or her website.

Backlash Cover Reveal and Excerpt

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl is happy to present the cover for Backlash by S.A. Hoag!

  
Backlash is the prequel novella to The Wildblood series by S. A. Hoag. Set on a near-future Earth mostly devoid of humans, this reveals some of the harsh realities facing people of The Vista, and how Team Three began.
Before Team Three became Team Three, there was The Blackout.

Vista Security is used to the feral bands of human wandering the landscape since a brief and devastating war wiped away civilization. Sixteen years later, they’ve adapted to dealing with the challenges facing their safe haven.

That is, until a new threat appears, one they never expected and one they have little defense against. Security throws in everything they can muster; it quickly takes a toll. Their advantage – an untested team of officers barely more than children themselves; officers with dark secrets and a hidden agenda.

In a free-for-all battle to preserve one of the last sanctuaries of man, Team Three discovers their secrets are their strength and that their future will take them far beyond what they’ve ever known.

Action, a bit of romance and a good splash of sci-fi set the scene for Backlash, the prequel novella of The Wildblood series.

Excerpt from Backlash

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Shannon,” her radio crackled static, snapping her out of a restless sleep. It was Wade on his private channel.

“Go ahead,” she answered groggily. Her watch read 9:30 pm and she was supposed to go on duty at 2:00 am. An hour – she’d been asleep an hour.

“Gear up. I’ll be there in five minutes to get you.”

“What’s going on?” she wondered, rubbing her eyes.

“Don’t ask, just do.”

He didn’t sound like they might be playing wargames. Shan moved.

Her mother was in the kitchen. Deirdre Allen was five foot three, with pale blond
hair, hazel eyes, and was one of The Vista’s actual doctors. She’d been twenty-nine when civilization ended. “The hospital just called me in,” she announced. “Are you on-call?”

“I am now. Wade didn’t tell me why.”

War games?

“No,” Shan told her. “Not this time. I know you don’t like carrying, but I think this is serious. Take a sidearm, Mom, please.”

Deirdre nodded. “For your peace of mind I will.” She knew how to use it; she’d been forced to in the past and hoped she never would again. “Whatever it is, be careful.”

“I am, and Wade wouldn’t let me get away with anything else.”

She hugged her. “I mean it.”

“I’ll see you in the morning,” Shan said, hearing a car. “That’s Wade. If he tells me it’s practice, I’ll let you know.” She didn’t think it was likely, but he’d fooled her before.

The moment she dropped into the passenger seat, she knew it was real. “Can you tell me now?” She’d dressed in winter camos with body armor, both Sigs and a boot gun, clips in all her pockets, plus an array of knives. Her pack held spare ammo, food rations and various bits of survival equipment.

He glanced sideways at her, heading towards Station Two with a purpose. “We lost a Scout at Wisdom about an hour ago.”

“Lost?” she repeated, not expecting it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

S. A. Hoag is an author, lapidary artist, very amateur astronomer (“I just look at the stars, I can’t name ’em.”), and accidental desert-dweller. Born in the middle of Colorado, more specifically Salida, she has lived in a number of cities in a number of states before crash-landing in the New Mexico desert. Not Roswell, however. Science Fiction has always been her first interest in reading and writing; many other genres sneak into the novels and that’s alright with her.

Where to find her –

Her Blog
Her Facebook page 
Follow her on Twitter

You can also check out Book 1 of the The Wildblood series, The Vista on Amazon.com.

Interview with Author: Laurie A Green

It is my honor to interview Laurie A Green, author of Inherit The Stars and three-time RWA® Golden Heart® finalist!

Welcome to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl Laurie and thank you for letting us get to know you better by agreeing to answer the following questions!

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

I’m so glad you asked this question because although the first novel—Inherit the Stars—and the series title—The Inherited Stars—sound very similar, they actually have completely different meanings.

The title Inherit the Stars was taken directly from a line of dialogue between the hero and heroine in the first novel. Avoiding spoilers here, Drea’s (the heroine’s) “situation” at times makes her feel very removed and isolated. Because of her perceived “handicap” she believes no man could ever love her. The hero, Sair, offers her another perspective—that she has inherited a wonderful gift of experiences no other human being has known, and that she is more, not less, desirable because of it. The title ties to the overall theme of taking back their lives, and in doing so, changing the future of the galaxy forever.

The Inherited Stars series refers to the corner of space that these characters inhabit. This sector of the Milky Way is rich in Earth-similar Goldilocks planets. There’s a big mystery attached to that, one involving a history that’s been intentionally altered–but that readers can uncover as they explore the various stories in the series.

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

The names are not at all random.

Drea was named for her mother, Daedrea, a woman who was contracted by her father—a driven, and much in-demand starship designer—to bear him a child. He never married her mother, and Drea never knew her, something that she deeply regrets.

Sair is just plain “Sair.” He has no last name. The tradition of his subspecies is that the first-born male (and sole heir) is given the name of his mother’s family, so many of his first-born male relatives have names like Mik, Augus, and Kell. Sair’s ancestry, and the reason (more secrets!) behind this unusual naming tradition, will come to light later in the series. Sair is the direct descendent of an individual known as the Holy T’mar who established the laws of his planetary culture centuries before. The Rathskian subspecies has an extremely colorful but tragic history.

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

I have a profound fascination with space and the stars, and that love is stamped deep into my work. To me, there’s nothing more exciting than a soaring romance set in space, on a colonized planet or in some other time or alternate universe. Although I ran into a lot of resistance from Big 5 publishers who didn’t believe Science Fiction and Romance belong together, I believe the exact opposite. Science Fiction and Romance share the same DNA. Both genres are all about exploration and discovery. And Science Fiction is, after all, the final Romance frontier.

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

One word. Perseverance.

There is nothing easy about this business. It can test even the most dedicated writer. But you know what? It’s not supposed to be easy. That’s the key. Once I understood that meltdowns and “I want to give it all up” black clouds of despair are only a part of the creative process, I knew I’d figured out something that was important. Those writerly black moments are only my creative mind’s way of resetting before it comes back swinging.

My characters tend to share my it’s-always-darkest-before-dawn mindset. Tenacity can be a strong survival tactic. They never give up, never surrender. And since I delight in taking these poor tortured souls right off the proverbial cliff before letting them battle back to win their HEA, it’s an essential part of their makeup.

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

Oh gosh, sometimes I lived on the internet! For my series, I did a lot of research on subjects like dark energy, wormholes, the planets and moons of our solar system, protodog, multiverse theory and read books by astronauts to learn the mechanics of living in space such as Do Your Ears Pop in Space? by R. Mike Mullane and Off the Planet by Jerry M. Linenger.

I also researched ancient civilizations and things like meteor impacts and the Younger Dryas event. The theories about solar outbursts, galactic superwaves and interstellar dust clouds in the work of Robert M. Schoch, Ph. D. (Forgotten Civilization) I found particularly fascinating.

I like to get a good understanding of the science in my stories…and then apply liberal doses of imagination. After all, the genre is Science Fiction Romance. :D

What makes you laugh?

Puppy antics, some comedians, America’s Funniest Home videos and those spontaneous crazy moments that happen in every day life. Once in a great while a scene in a movie will hit me just so, and I’ll be trying to muffle my laughter long after everyone else in the audience has stopped. You know that opening scene in The Sleeper? For some reason, I find that hysterical. Fifteen minutes after it ends, I’m still snorting and snickering.

What makes you cry?

I’m not very good at handling any sort of “goodbyes.” Funerals, leaving a person I enjoyed sharing time with but will probably never see again, or doing something for the last time usually summons the tears.

Oh, and abused animals. It just rips my heart out to see an animal who is suffering or unloved.

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

I’ve worked for the military for 20 years and most of my family has served, so it’s probably no big surprise that my novels carry military elements or themes involving duty and honor.

But there’s another element that manages to slip into many of my stories in subtle ways…

My spouse and I breed and raise Thoroughbreds on a very small scale and I’m a big fan of the horseracing industry. Though there are seldom horses in my novels, there are horsey-aspects that seem to wheedle their way in.

I’ll give a few examples and try to keep them as spoiler-free as possible.

One heroine has knowledge of equine pedigrees and genetics that gives her the tools to go head-to-head with an empire’s sacred traditions, because their archaic laws are keeping two young lovers apart who belong together.

In another story, the hero is a slave used in a human breeding program, and his “book” (schedule) is managed like that on a Thoroughbred breeding farm.

In a third novel, my heroine has a holographic music box that was a gift from her late father. It’s a precious keepsake that projects a recording of a musical cur she performed as a teen on the back of her beloved horse, Maestro. This music box might seem a sentimental incidental, but it plays a huge role in one scene.

I think writers do write what they know. And though horses are a rare occurrence in SF/R (Firefly being a rare exception), my knowledge of the Thoroughbred industry and equine genetics often finds an outlet in my stories and plotlines.

Thank you again Laurie for stopping by and letting us get to know you better!

Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA® Golden Heart® finalist and science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which now totals over 600 members.

Her extended family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. When she’s not writing, networking, or searching out the perfect cup of Starbucks, she’s usually busy exercising her left brain as a military budget director.

You can connect with her on her website, Author Laurie A. Green, which also includes more information on her books Farewell Andromeda and Inherit the Stars (Also available in a three-part serialized novel)!

Interview with a Fangirl: Darth Makenna

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

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to someone I consider to be the “Ultimate Little Fangirl”, Darth Makenna!

Welcome Darth Makenna to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and THANK YOU so much for agreeing to answer my questions!

How long have you considered yourself to be a Fangirl?

Almost 4 years, after meeting Ashley Eckstein at GeekGirlcon in Washington, who told me all about what it means to be a Fangirl!

When did you first see Star Wars and did you like it right away?

My brother introduced me to Star Wars when I was about 3 and yes I liked it right away.

What is your favorite Star Wars character?

I cannot choose just one. Can I give you my top 3 droids and top 5 or so characters?

You sure can! So who are your favorite Star Wars droids and characters?

My favorite droids are Chopper, R2-D2 and C3PO, I like him a lot.

My favorite Star Wars characters are Hera, Zeb, Ezra, Sabine, Kanan, Ahsoka Tano, Darth Vader and Captain Rex, who is going to be in Season 2 of Rebels…FangirlFlail! I know that one of the Fangirls out there is a big fan of Rex.  I just wanted to say that.

Finally, what would you like say about being a young Fangirl to any other young fangirls out there?

Yes!
Every girl has a dream. A dream to do what they want and I fulfilled my dream. I created my character that I really wanted to make every since I first saw Star Wars. I wanted to be Darth Vader. I wanted to be my OWN Darth Vader. I wanted to be me, playing my favorite charater. With the help of my Mom, I was able to become Darth Makenna!

It was a pleasure interviewing you, Darth Makenna. You are definately an inspiration to Fangirls of any age, including myself.

Guest Post: Catrina Taylor on Cross Genre Stories

Today it is my pleasure to host Catrina Taylor, who is the author of cross genre series, Knights of the Immortals. Please welcome Catrina to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl as she describes how her new series, Knights of the Immortals, crosses genres and defies expectations.

Take it away, Catrina!

Every genre seems to be defined. Science fiction, Mystery, Romance, Historical Fiction are all examples of genre with dedicated followings. But what do you have when a book crosses genre, age groups, and redefines what people should expect? You have a truly unique piece of fiction that will captivate audiences across the board and leave you questioning – Where does this go?

In Knights of the Immortals readers find themselves introduced to what begins as a contemporary world with high school students. It doesn’t remain there. Instead, as the series continues, it takes you into a lost city, off the planet, and into new situations and settings that will challenge what you think about SciFi, Romance, and many other genres.

The openIng scene of the series represents the blending of expectations, and challenging of genre as it introduces two pivotal characters. The first character you meet is a knight. He’s in full armor and performs a rite for the dignity of an old friend. As his sword sends his friend to a peaceful death, he hears a noise he’s not expecting and when he looks for it, you meet a young woman who’s lost her groceries. Thankfully her backpack stays on her back. And there you see an ‘oh, what?’ moment that will be a constant reaction throughout the first season of this new serial.

Knights of the Immortals books 1 and 2 will be released in May 2015. Books 3 and 4 will be released in rapid succession with the rest of the first season ready to go soon thereafter.

Below is an excerpt from the first installment, The Knight’s Apprentice.

Knights of the Immortals – James and Cerita

As she steps around the desk to join them, she notices James’ hair has been cut. The back is cropped short against his head and the front is longer, hanging forward from his ears to face. When he brushes his bangs back, his ears seem to disappear altogether. The moment his deep eyes meet hers, she swallows hard and smiles.
He stands and shifts his weight. “I um . . . hungry?”
She studies him carefully, noting the black jeans and vest over a white button down. Dress shoes replace his usual black and green sneakers. “This is a lot more than I was expecting.” Her eyes turn to the table. “Thank you.”
He runs a hand through his hair. “I can’t take all the credit. But,” he slides over to grab the flower and extends it to her, “this is for you.”
Absently, Cerita tucks a piece of hair behind her ear, and takes the flower from his hand. “Thanks.”
“Hate to interrupt you love birds, but lunch break is only forty minutes. I’ll need her help getting the computers to work with me on the end of week stuff.” Jenna grins and nearly skips back behind the desk.
James reaches for Cerita’s hand and guides her to the couch in front of the table. “So . . .”
“So . . .” Her eyes drift to the pizza again. “Looks good.”
He half smiles. “It’s homemade.”
“Really? I wouldn’t have known by looking at it.”
“You’ll know when you taste it.” He leans over, picks up a plate, and then extends it to her. His hand shakes a little. He puts his second hand around the other side of the plate to steady it. “I guess I’m nervous.”
Her smile grows a bit. “So am I.”
“I hope you like it.”
She takes a nibble. The first bite is rich in flavor, and savory. The meat is cut into small slivers that melt in her mouth, and the cheese blends perfectly to compliment it. “Mmm . . .”
His face brightens, and he digs into his own slice. “I’m glad that you like it.”
“It is wonderful. Who made this?”
“I did.”
Her eyes widen. “I had no idea you could cook like this. What’s the meat?”
His face drops a little. “Well, it’s not a usual meat you’d put on a regular pizza.”
She pauses her meal. “Okay?”
“It’s lamb. It’s cooked well, then the excess grease from it is dried out a bit before it’s added to the cheese blend.” He speaks with authority, but his face reddens.
“It’s delicious.” She finishes her piece, savoring every bite. “You’re an expert with this.”

Thank you Caterina for sharing this with us!

You can learn more about this series by liking Distinguished Press Facebook page.

Guest Post: Pippa Jay’s Four R’s of Writing

Today it is my pleasure to host Pippa Jay, who is the author of Keir, Book 1 of the Redemption series.

In this post Pippa talks about the fours R’s that guide her writing process.

Take it away Pippa!


My Four Rs of Writing

Hi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. One thing I get asked a lot in interviews is what advice I would give to an aspiring author. In general I boil it down to a single quote from one of my favorite scifi films, the comedic Galaxy Quest. Commander Quincy Taggart says: “Never give up – never surrender!” It’s been my battle-cry throughout my publishing career to date, and the one thing I always fall back on when all else fails.
But it’s not really writing advice. So here are my four Rs for Writing (and R does not stand for ‘rules’!):

• 1. Read. I don’t know any authors who didn’t start out as readers first. And who read widely, voraciously, and constantly. Sure, reading in the genre you want to write or are writing in is great in terms of finding out what’s been done, what’s popular, what’s overdone and what’s marketable. But I’m a big advocate for also reading widely, and not just fiction. A fellow co-blogger of mine discussed what she’d learned from reading other kinds of fiction. For myself, fantasy and historical novels taught me a lot about world building. Barbara Cartland novels taught me what kind of romance I didn’t want to write (and I was reading these far too young! My parents didn’t believe in keeping their books out of my eight year old hands, or at least didn’t realize I was raiding their bookshelves when I ran out of books of my own). I also love quirky crime books – Agatha Christie, Conan Doyle and Ellis Peters – though I doubt I could ever write a crime story myself. And despite releasing my 12th title this coming May as I also celebrate my 3rd anniversary as a published author, I still read books on writing too. My top recommendations are The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall, and Writing Sex When You Don’t Feel Sexy by Em Petrova and Suzanne Rock. Plus non- fiction books definitely come under R number 2.

• 2. Research. Again, another rule I see is ‘write what you know’. Well, I write spaceships, aliens, and other worlds, which I can’t really know. I can extrapolate how arriving on an alien planet might feel from, say, travelling to a foreign country, and how sudden shifts in gravity might feel from going on a rollercoaster, but it needs more. So this is where you need to research. Luckily I happen to love science, so reading up on that for something like the current theories on how to produce artificial gravity or proposed asteroid mining is never a chore. For science I generally start with NASA’s website or a few scientific sites I follow, but for most other things I start with Wikipedia and move on from there. When setting a book in Louisiana (which I’ve never visited – I’ve never even been to the US), I had the benefit of several internet friends who were born, lived or moved there, or knew good resources for me to use, such as a website of Cajun phrases and words, or YouTube videos of the local wildlife.

• 3. Write. Yes, yes, not technically an R even if it sounds like it starts with one. There’s an R in there. :P And it might seem like stating the obvious, but who hasn’t had someone say to them ‘I’ve thought about writing a book.’ Thinking about it isn’t good enough. You have to actually stick your butt in a chair and do it! Different things work for different people though, and this is where you need to find your own groove. Don’t let anyone tell you this is the way it must be done. For years I’ve felt a degree of failure because I don’t and cannot plot. I’ve tried. It doesn’t work for me and kills the initial creative spark that gets me writing a story. Pantsing is what comes naturally to me, so I stick with it.
You may find a daily word count target works for you. Perhaps you need a daily or weekly prompt. You might prefer to put your head down and write 5K one day, then do nothing for a week. Some edit as they write, others prefer to go back over a finished but rough first draft. Right now I have a set daily word count of 250, but I may well do 1K one day, then nothing for a few (right now I’m averaging about 370 a day). This year I’m doing both Camp NaNoWriMos in April and July to complete two projects owed to my publisher, and the main one in November to do a 50K sequel to a book I already have with them, because their minimum word count level for new submissions has changed. NaNoWriMo has always been really good to kick start a project for me, or to get something out of my head that I need to clear, but it isn’t for everyone (admission – I’ve only ever ‘won’ it once, and that was for Camp when I set myself a word count of 20K to finish off three short stories. I still don’t consider that a failure, because I achieved my own personal goal – to finish something, or to get something started). Experiment. Find what works best for you (and ignore anyone who says it’s the ‘wrong’ way to do it).

• 4. Repeat. It’s all well and good doing 1-3, but if you’re planning to make a career of it, once isn’t enough. You need to do it again, and again, and again. At the end of your first book you might feel drained, physically and emotionally. You might feel invigorated and burning to do the next. If the first, take a break. If the second, maybe pace yourself a bit.

But now I come back full circle to repeat my opening piece of advice.

Never give up – never surrender!

Pippa thanks so much for sharing your 4 R’s with us.  I know that these will also guide my writing in the future!  However, I would personally add one more R…Rest!

For more on Pippa Jay you can check out my recent the interview with her. For more information on Keir and other stories by Pippa Jay, check out her Web page or sign up for her no-spam newsletter!

Pippa also regularly posts on these Blogs: Adventures in Scifi, Spacefreighters Lounge, Romancing the Genres and SFR Brigade.

You can also follow Pippa on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Wattpad

Interview with Author: Rachel Leigh Smith

Today it is my honor to interview Rachel Leigh Smith, author of My Name is A’yen, Book 1 of the A’yen’s Legacy series.

Welcome to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl Rachel, and thank you so much for agreeing to answer my questions today!

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

The title of everything is very significant, for every book and the series as a whole. The first book, My Name Is A’yen, is all about the hero, A’yen. He’s a slave, as is the rest of his humanoid species. They’re not viewed as people, and he hates being referred to as it or slave. Several times in the novel he glares at someone and says “my name is A’yen, get it right.” Had I landed a traditional deal for this book, the title I chose is a hill I was willing to die on. It’s never been anything else, and never will be.

The series name, A’yen’s Legacy, took me awhile to find. I don’t want to spoil the first book too much, though, so I’m purposely keeping this vague. A’yen and Fae discover the man who surrendered to A’yen’s people being enslaved was named A’yen. This past A’yen’s legacy was one of slavery. My A’yen is destined to be part of the legacy of setting his people free. Legacy is a recurring theme in the series.

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

They absolutely do! My parents were very intentional when they named me and my three siblings, so I carried that idea into naming my characters. Since I have a lot of aliens, I can make up my own names and give them the meaning I want. I pull on Welsh names for inspiration, and sometimes I’ll keep that meaning.
A’yen, for example, means strength in his language. A’yen is a very strong person and secure in who he is. No one can push him around, despite the fact he’s a slave. He lives to make his life difficult, basically. Farran, Fae’s full name, is Gaelic, and it means adventurous. She’s adventurous as a character. Funny thing is, when she told me her name, I had no idea it meant adventurous…

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

Well, that’s actually kinda funny. When I started writing My Name Is A’yen, I had no idea SFR was a genre. I had no clue what to call this thing spawning in my head. It was “the space opera” for several months. I found out about SFR when I was doing market research so I could put a proposal together for an agent.
As far as being inspired to write this genre, it was a dream. I dreamed A’yen on the night of what should have been my third wedding anniversary. Even though I grew up watching SF on TV, it’s something I’ve never read. Even now, I don’t read straight SF. I’m such a romance lover that if it’s not there in a major way, I have a hard time finishing something. It took me almost six months to read A Storm Of Swords, and I love those books and the show.
When I told my family I was writing about aliens, they all had the same reaction: total shock!

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

Staying sane… This is a tough one. I live in a family where our philosophy is being a little insane is more fun. I think it’s important to have things to do other than writing, so you’re not consumed with it all the time. I like doing needle crafts and going to the movies. If I’m sitting on the couch watching TV or a movie, I’m doing counted cross-stitch, crochet, or knitting. Going to the movies gets this extreme introvert out of the house in a way that doesn’t exhaust me.
I live at home with my parents and sister, and as a family we like to sit outside in our breezeway and talk, and float in the pool during the summer. It’s always a nice break, and there’s lots of laughing that goes with it.
A’yen does like to swim and relax in water, for a multitude of reasons. He’s also an artist, he sketches and paints with watercolors. It was important to me to give him some kind of outlet for his emotions and frustrations.

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

To be honest, I did very little research for My Name Is A’yen. I double-checked electromagnetic field stuff to make sure my telepathy theory was plausible, but that was about it. The science of my setting, the mechanics of the ship they’re on in the first quarter of the book, and the atmospheric details of the planet they’re exploring, don’t factor into the story. So I spent zero time researching it.
I came to SFR from writing historicals. I really enjoy doing research, and can spend hours tracking stuff down in Google Books. The lack of research I did for My Name Is A’yen was a nice creative break, though. I never had to stop the flow of my writing to double-check something that impacted what happened next.
I’m all about the characters, and unless the science of something directly impacts a POV character, it’s not something I’m going to spend time on. I’m definitely a romance first SFR author.

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

I’m a fan of tortured heroes, and absolutely this is reflected in my writing! I also prefer his POV in a romance, so I write hero-focused romance. Whenever you crack open a Rachel Leigh Smith novel, you’re getting a romance all about the hero.
I also love Farscape, and A’yen’s has a little bit of Crichton in him in regards to his snarky outlook on life. His best friend, Pete, looks like Ben Browder. I’m also a Star Trek: TNG fan, and in my head the transport ship they’re on for the first quarter of the book is very similar to the Enterprise-D.
My music tastes run to post-grunge rock. There are a couple of references in the novel to A’yen’s music preferences, which are modeled on mine. This was the first novel I ever wrote while listening to music, and my tastes carried into A’yen. It suited his character. In fact, his theme song is “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down.
I’ve been fascinated with archaeology since my first Indiana Jones movie, so when Fae told me she was an archaeologist I wasn’t surprised.
As the series progresses, I start introducing another set of people known as the Marcasian Empire. This culture is built on my undying fascination with ancient Egypt. I’m having a blast building their culture and history and creating a futuristic version of the ancient Egyptian religion.

Thank you so much Rachel for agreeing to this interview!

My Name Is A’yen

A’yen’s Legacy, #1, available in ebook and paperback

They’ve taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A’yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master’s murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant of the galaxy.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A’yen’s trust. But she’s a breeder’s daughter and can’t be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches, and messages from a long-dead king change A’yen’s mind about her importance. When she’s threatened, he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeders Association’s radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

This book is available from Amazon.com, Bn.com, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks and ARE.

Also available in the A’yen’s Legacy series:
The King’s Mistress, A’yen’s Legacy #2
To Save A Life, A’yen’s Legacy #3

About the author:

Rachel Leigh Smith writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family and a half-crazed calico. When not writing, which isn’t often, she’s hanging with her family, doing counted cross-stitch, or yakking about life, the universe, and everything with her besties. There may also be Netflix binging…

She’s a member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and Romance Writers of America. She blogs sporadically at www.rachelleighsmith.com, hangs out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RachelLeighSmithAuthor, and can sometimes be found at Twitter, Pininterest, Google Plus.
You can learn more about Rachel and her stories by visiting her Goodreads and Amazon author pages.

Click on the link below to win an autographed copy of My Name Is A’yen. Contest ends 5/31/2015.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b8ecc1883/?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Restless In Peaceville New Cover Reveal

Restless In Peaceville, returning to retailers soon.

Same cute zombie story, brand new cover!


Welcome to Peaceville, population 2067 and rising…from the grave…

Luke Chester has had enough. He’s the school geek, the girls laugh at him, he’s lost his dead-end job at the pizza place, and in the midst of the world’s messiest divorce his parents don’t even know he exists. An overdose of his mom’s tranquilizers and a stomach full of whiskey should solve all his problems…

But they don’t. Instead, Luke finds himself booted out of the afterlife for not dying a natural death, with nowhere to go but back to his recently vacated corpse and reality. How the hell is he going to pass for one of the living without someone trying to blow his brains out for being one of the undead?

And it just gets worse. He’s got to fight his own desperate craving to consume the living, evade the weird supernatural hunter who’s having a field day with the new undeads rising, and there’s this creepy black shadow following him around. Add to that the distraction of female fellow undead Annabelle burning to avenge her own murder, and clearly there’s no rest for the wicked. Jeez, all he wanted to do was R.I.P.

Restless In Peaceville can be found via Pippa Jay’s Web page

You can add it to your Goodreads TBR

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Exclusive snippets and stories coming soon!

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and Broad Universe, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

Find out more about Pippa’s other stories through her Website, http://www.pippajay.co.uk, her Amazon author page, her All Romance eBooks author page and of course through her Newsletter.

Pippa also regularly posts on these Blogs: Adventures in Scifi, Spacefreighters Lounge, Romancing the Genres and SFR Brigade.

Follow Pippa on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Wattpad

SWCA Recap: Ralph McQuarrie: Star Wars Art

From the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim App

Ralph McQuarrie: Star Wars Art

Lucasfilm executive editor J.W. Rinzler, Abrams senior editor Eric Klopfer and authors Brandon Alinger, David Mandel and Wade Lageose discuss the seminal Star Wars artist and the upcoming book on his work. The new Abrams publication, set for release in Spring 2016, will be the most comprehensive volume of Ralph McQuarrie’s extensive Star Wars work ever assembled. McQuarrie’s long history with Lucasfilm will be covered in the discussion, from his early days working directly with George Lucas through the publications he worked on in the mid-90s. The team will talk about the process of creating the coffee-table book and show many highlight artworks in this exclusive preview. Track: Art, Classic Trilogy

Overall, it was a very good presentation. It gave me a further appreciation of Ralph McQuarrie and his work on the Star Wars films and related projects. It also gave me a deeper understanding of what Ralph went through during the making of these films and just how much work really went into making these beautiful pieces.

I am not going to give you a detailed account of what was discussed during this panel because this has already been done by Adam Kautzer. Instead I am going to give you a few of the pieces shown during the panel and my impressions of what was revealed or what I learned from these pieces.

Cover Reveal for the Ralph McQuarrie: Art of Star Wars


Some may think that the cover art is not appropriate because it is from one of the ‘Legends’ books instead of from the films. However, I really like the cover choice for this book. For me, this cover evokes both Star Wars and the art of Ralph McQuarrie without reusing artwork that has been used on the cover of other reference books.


Ralph’s famous painting with R2-D2 and C3PO that was used to sell Star Wars to the studio execs.

  
When searching through the LucasFilm archives, it was discovered that Ralph had two versions of this famous piece, each with different ‘facial’ features for C3PO. This was an interesting fact to me because I never realized that small details like facial feature could change the whole feel of a character. I wonder if this was a result of feedback from George Lucas or if one day he felt the character would be better with the other facial features?

LucasFilm is moving card

This was an interesting item for me to learn about because I did not realize that Ralph created this piece. In addition, based on what was shown in the panel, this was sketched out first and notes made on the sketch with changes. This tells me that even for small projects, like this one, Ralph put a lot of thought and care into what he was going to do before he put paint on the canvas.

The Emperor’s Throne Room in an underground cavern


I first heard about this piece of Ralph McQuarrie Star Wars Art from Paul Bateman, who apprenticed with Ralph. I was very happy to see to piece included in the presentation.  

Rancor Pit

  
Ralph created this with so much detail, especially the teeth and claws of the Rancor.  I just find this piece fascinating because it feels like this dangerous creature will just burst out from the canvas and tear everyone and everything apart.

I am looking forward to all of the other artwork, stories and anything else that will be revealed when this book comes out in 2016.

Interview with a Fangirl: Pippa Jay

I am continuing my interviews with fangirls that I met through social media.

This time I am interviewing author and Fangirl Pippa Jay!

Welcome Pippa to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and agreeing to answer these questions.

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

I guess the realization grew on me going into my teens. Most of my female friends were swooning over boy bands and going to concerts while I was collecting the toys and memorabilia, and going to SF signings and conventions.

When did you first see Star Wars and did you love it right away or did this grow over time?

I was eight years old and it was the first showing of Star Wars: A New Hope on TV for Christmas. And yes, it was love at first sight! I’d never even heard of it before then.

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

To be who I am and to love what I love, and not care what others think. And not to give in to the Dark Side. :P

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has helped me connect with fellow fangirls and share the love, but it’s also made me aware of a lot of the sexism, abuse and trolling aimed at female fans. That was quite a horrifying revelation to me because it wasn’t something I’d ever really encountered personally before. Not at UK cons anyway. But it also gave me the chance to link up with my fellow fangirls and be proud to be one. To have others to share my geekiness with, and to learn I wasn’t alone.

Thank you so much Pippa for answering these questions and sharing your thoughts with us.

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