Interview with an Author: Carysa Locke
It is a pleasure to welcome Science Fiction author of The Telepathic Space Pirate series, Carysa Locke.
What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?
I wanted something that would tie all of the books together, and make it clear these were space opera/science fiction romance books about pirates. The entire series will share the naming convention: Pirate Bound, Pirate Nemesis, Pirate Rival, and so on.
Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you?
If so, give a few examples…
In this book, yes! My grandmother’s name was Sanna. I always loved it and thought it was so unique. She passed away in the year before I originally wrote this novella, so I decided to honor her by using her name for a character, but when I was writing, it was too painful to see it on the screen. I changed the spelling slightly, and that made it work. Hence, the heroine’s name in this prequel is Sanah.
What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?
I have always been a huge science fiction fangirl. I cried in the theater when Spock died in Wrath of Khan, sure my favorite character was never coming back (I was eight.) I used to beg my parents to rent the Star Wars movies from the video store. When we finally had our own VCR and owned the trilogy, my sister and I watched them so many times we had all of the dialogue memorized. Fastforward years later, and I had spent a lot of time writing fantasy books, but never dipped my toe into science fiction. I realized I was intimidated – you had to explain your world building with science! And I was an English major with no real skill in that area. However, eventually I realized that plenty of space opera functions on the same basic “rules” for things like space travel and colonization. These rules are so prevalent that the audience accepts them without having to explain exactly how they work. It’s how shows like Firefly and Battlstar Galactica have come after Star Trek and Star Wars in the mythology. Sure, you need to explain how that stuff functions in your individual world, but I had been hung up on explaining how it was possible at all, and that just wasn’t necessary. Once I figured that out, writing science fiction became possible.
Around the same time, my best friend and co-author for this series was running a roleplay world she created – this world. Since then, we’ve developed it a lot more fully than it needed to be as a roleplay game, but she is responsible for creating the pirates and much of their culture, as well as several of the characters. This is why she is my co-author. She creates the bare bones, then we flesh it out together and take storylines we might have role-played and change or expand them for books. Without her, this series wouldn’t exist.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?
This is a great question. I rely on my morning coffee a lot more than I probably should, and sometimes it’s a struggle for me as a writer to remember that not everyone likes it! Some of my characters love coffee, but not all of them. I also think it is really important for writers to take time to read, watch movies or TV, play video games – basically, to recharge the creative juices by inhaling entertainment from other sources.
What makes you laugh?
You mean beyond funny pet videos on Facebook? I love character humor, where the characters create the moment by being who they are and saying the things they do to each other. Some writers really have a great grasp of this, and it can be a really good moment of levity in the midst of a serious book. Nora Roberts does this really well in her J.D. Robb books, where Roarke and Eve will have some great conversations that make me laugh as a reader.
What makes you cry?
I am a fairly emotional person. I definitely cry sometimes when I read or watch movies. When I connect with a character, I’m very empathic to their struggles. If someone is facing something that really hurt them, often it makes me cry.
What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?
I’m a huge fan of writers like Ilona Andrews and Jim Butcher, as well as shows like The Walking Dead, and as I mentioned above, movies like Star Wars. I have no doubt all of these things are reflected in my writing. Early on, my writing was influenced heavily by writers like Anne McCaffrey, Nora Roberts, Neil Gaiman, David Gemmell…these were the writers I was reading throughout my childhood and young adult-hood. I not only read them, but studied how they wrote characters, how they plotted their stories. I took notes and tried to emulate what they were really good at. I don’t take notes anymore, but I have no doubt the things I love to watch or read influence how I write. I still notice something an author does really, really well – like exposition, for example – and then try to figure out how to incorporate that into my own writing to make it better.
Sanah would do anything to protect her little sister, even if it means taking refuge with ruthless pirates. But the psychically Talented pirates terrorizing Commonwealth space are not quite the monsters she has been led to believe. When Sanah’s empathic gift shows her the truth behind the stories, she is no longer certain who the villains are in her world.
A race on the verge of extinction…
Dem’s only goal is to protect his people, especially since a deadly bio-weapon decimated their population. Only a handful of women survived, and every day is a fight to rebuild. With Sanah’s empathy and her sister’s rare ability to heal, they could be the salvation Dem and his people have been looking for.
A dangerous secret that could destroy everything…
But how can Sanah trust Dem with her life? Especially when he’d kill her if he knew the truth.
Pirate Bound is a short prequel novel to the Telepathic Space Pirates series. It is a standalone story within the series.
You can find out more about Carysa Locke on her website, www.carysalocke.com
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