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)!
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.