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Interview with Author AK Shelley

It is a great pleasure to welcome AK Shelley author Star Knight Errant: Thrust.

Welcome AK 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 you and your new story better!

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

This story was the cumulation of several separate threads in my life. For years, I’d wanted to write a romance to fulfil my membership requirements for Romance Writers of America, but I had few inspirational ideas that fit the form of a traditional romance, especially when it came to an HEA (happily ever after).

I’m a huge fan of speculative genres—science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal stories. I’ve been writing fantasy for years under a different pen name (Angela Shelley) and had always intended to write scifi one day. Then with the climate of the past couple years, in which science is not held in high regard by many people, it just seemed an important thing to elevate. It’s where I wanted to put my energy.

And, this particular story came to me in a dream, of all things. I dreamt the first scene almost exactly as it’s written—with the blue, axe-wielding Devants, non-responsive AI, the superhero, and all. When I woke, I had a bit of a eureka moment. Finally, the romance I could write!

So I wrote it for all of my friends at RWA who’d encouraged me over the years—Louisa Bacio, Kathleen Harrington, Dax Varley, Tara Lain, and many, many others (too many to list). And then I entered the story in two contests, mostly because I’d also promised these people I’d enter something as soon as I could (last year, they expanded rules for many unpublished writers’ contests to include those who’ve published but not in that particular genre—prior to that change I was over-qualified to enter). When the story won both contests, I was amazed. As a result of those contests, I sold the story to an editor at The Wild Rose Press. I’m very grateful people enjoy this crazy dream story as much as I do.

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

Remaining sane as a writer—that phrase makes me laugh! Like writers, as opposed to any other profession, have a particular challenge to remain sane. I have heard talk of a high number of writers fighting depression or anxiety. However, these problems are prevalent in our society overall, and I don’t believe writers have any special affinity toward these particular difficulties. I have noticed some writers tend to have especially big egos, though. Many tend to reify themselves as author, or best-selling author, or award-winning author. Then when they don’t find the success or accolades they believe are deserving of that label, they become upset. They forget that are not the label. So being aware of the pitfalls of ego is helpful for a sanity-check.

The key for success in any career, I think, is to hold the primary reason that convinced you to enter the field like a flame in your heart. The highest motivations are those centered around helping others, and they will give you energy to complete your task even when you don’t succeed. Of course, if your reason for writing is primarily selfish—to become famous or wealthy—then that won’t be much help when you encounter obstacles, which we all do, from time to time.

And then, beyond that, it can help to remember everything in this life is impermanent. Everything about this life comes together and falls apart. Life is just like that. Writing isn’t outside of that. You can’t cling to it. You need to come to a space where you are at peace with what you do and who you are. Sometimes that will include writing. Sometimes not.

Writing can be a powerful tool for spiritual development. But like all tools, it is neutral in nature. You need to wield it in a positive direction for it to have a positive result.

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

In my previous stories, mostly fantasy, I researched mythological creatures, climate change, and magical systems. So they were completely different from this one. Here, my research has been about what we know of Mars, the solar system, and the Andromeda Galaxy. Speed of light, space travel, stuff like that. And since I’ve been a fan of scifi for a long time—I’ve even done a little science journalism, much of what I write stands on the information I’ve gathered in the past. There is also a bit of a magical element hidden in the romance, and that research was based on some non-western traditions of spiritual development and healing through intimacy.

What else do you want to share about Star Knight Errant?

I am happy to share this teaser trailer and blurb for Star Knight Errant!

When newly-divorced Martian Air Science Engineer Cass Hedley takes a dare to use her new Home Artificial Intelligence system for a night of fun, there’s only one man she can imagine spending time with: her school-girl crush, the legendary comic book hero Star Knight Errant. She imagines strong hands, hard abs, and bubble baths, but her black market AI has another idea: an illegal fight club that will only end in the companion’s—or her own—death.
When Evander Mór transports to an unknown desert planet, he’s not surprised. Transport clones disappear often enough to not cause alarm. Back home on Exeter, his origin will see his cloning data didn’t arrive at Station Alpha and he’ll send another. Meanwhile, he’ll figure out what backwater he’s found himself on and enjoy the company of this gorgeous, sassy scientist. And apparently destroy a house AI bent on murder. But when things get hotter than a supernova between him and Cass, he discovers he’s only got 18 hours to stop the AI, convince her he’s more than fiction, and find a way to cross the gulf between galaxies to bring her home with him.
Star Knight Errant: Thrust, is expected August 26, 2019 through The Wild Rose Press.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Readers can interact and find out more about me and my stores through the following ways…

http://akshelley.com

https://twitter.com/AKShelley_

https://www.facebook.com/AKAShelley

https://www.instagram.com/akaskelley/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/883424453

https://www.amazon.com/author/akshelley

https://www.thewildrosepress.com/

 

Interview with AW Cross about Clara, Dreaming

It is a great pleasure to welcome back A.W. Cross author of Novel/Series: Clara, Dreaming: A Science Fiction Romance Sandman Retelling (Foxwept Array Book 2).

Welcome back A.W. 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 your latest release!

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

Clara, Dreaming is the second book in my current Foxwept Array series, which are SFR fairy tale retellings. Clara is the heroine of this particular story. In it, she must save Nate, the man she’s loved since childhood from the clutches of the Sandman, an unethical virtual reality scientist who is manipulating Nate’s dreams.

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

My son and I love reading fairy tales together, and scifi romance is one of my favorite genres. For me, it was a natural fit! I was inspired to write this particular book after a week of extremely peculiar dreams I had as a result of the medication I take for my chronic illness (Crohn’s disease). I spent a day in bed wondering, what does it all mean? Which of course, led me down the rabbit hole of what dreams mean in general. Are they messages from the future? The past? A sinister government tool? Or just a result of too much cheese? I’ve always been a very vivid dreamer!

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

I actually do see some of myself in Clara, or at least, the person and writer I want to be. She’s very cool-headed and pragmatic, responding to things with logic and rationality rather than emotion. I find the days that I’m able to do this as a writer are the best, as I don’t get frazzled by deadlines or by spending forty minutes trying to find just the right word (which I’ll then delete thirty seconds later). That being said, when she needs to use her emotions to accomplish something, Clara does it in spades!

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

For Clara, Dreaming, I researched the concept of tactile virtual reality in terms of emotional and physical therapy. Although it’s only in its infancy at the moment, this is something I can see being a huge component of therapy in the future, especially for those with severe chronic illnesses or significantly debilitating conditions. It would also provide greater options for emotional therapies by taking patients out of an office or hospital setting.

I also researched haptic (tactile feedback) technology, imagining how it could be used if it were an implant sending signals to our nervous systems—both to help, and to hurt.

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

I’m a huge fan of strong imagery and symbolism, so I always try to make that come through in my writing, especially in more surreal elements such as dream sequences. I’ve lately also rediscovered my passion for formal language (the language in which most fairy tales are written). In fact, I ended up having to rewrite large parts of Clara because that formality seeped through into my own writing, to the point where it read like historical fiction rather than SFR. On the plus side, those original scenes will make fun exclusive content for my newsletter!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Facebook and Twitter! I always love to hear from people 😀

A.W. Cross is made of 100% star stuff. She write social science fiction romance and lives in the gorgeous wilds of Canada with her family and a deep nostalgia for the 80s.

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Interview with Author: Karen Janowsky

It is a great pleasure to welcome Karen Janowsky author The Persistence of Memory Book 1: Deja Vu.

Welcome Karen 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 you and your new series better!

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

The Persistence of Memory is actually a painting by the surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. It features a dreamscape with clocks melting. The interpretation is that time as we understand it is meaningless.

In this story, time is at the heart of the conflict. The characters are both from different time periods, and time has gone by at different rates for them. Somehow though, they keep finding each other—love and connection are more important than the passage of time.

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

Daniel is named for the Biblical figure who was thrown into a den of lions as punishment for his faith. His faith, however was what allowed him to survive. Daniel in this story is also a survivor, even though his faith has been utterly shaken.
Inanna is another name the Sumerian goddess Ishtar goes by. In this story, I’ve made her into a separate but related character to the goddess.

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

Superheroes and mythology have fascinated me since childhood. In fact one is really a modern version of the other. Heroes in these stories are all-too-human, but the stakes in their decisions and actions are much higher than for everyday people.

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

I’ll let you know once the characters have moved their residence from inside my head! They’ve been living there, driving the writing for over two years.

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

A lot of research went into this story: Sumerian civilization, mythology, and language, life in the 1930’s, the Second World War, Yiddish and Hebrew as languages, how to fight in various situations, and what certain intimate positions looked and felt like.

What makes you laugh?

I’ve got a pretty dry sense of humor, and I tend to like British comedians, like Eddie Izzard and (although he lives in the U.S. now) Craig Ferguson.

What makes you cry?

I’m a big sucker for happy endings. Loss makes me cry.

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

I’m a huge superhero fan, and a Doctor Who fan. So both the superhero genre and time travel loom large in the story. I also love and research fairy tales, and several of my published poems and short stories are retellings of them.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Book 1 starts off a slow burn romance. Daniel and Nina have a lot to work through and resolve before they can really be together. But it does happen, and by Books 2 and 3, the romance borders on erotica as they explore their relationship and sexuality.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

You can find out more about The Persistence of Memory Book 1: Deja Vu by visiting Goodreads or Amazon. I WILL have a Facebook fan page and author web page soon; my publisher is still developing them. Until then, they can reach me at author@karenjanowsky.com.

LEGO Star Wars Animation Panel Highlights and Interview with Moderator Steve Dunk

LEGO Star Wars Animation Panel Highlights

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Lucasfilm’s Leland Chee and LEGO’s Jason Cosler.

One of my must see panels at Star Wars Celebration Chicago was the LEGO Star Wars Animation Panel with Bill Motz and Both Roth. This panel, moderated by Steve Dunk, dived into the creative process and what it took to create both the LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures and All-Stars animation series. The panelists included the creators of these series, Bill Motz and Bob Roth, Lucasfilm’s Leland Chee and LEGO’s Jason Cosler.

Whiteboards at Lucasfilm were used to capture production notes

All shared stories of how these shows came together and included slides of story boards, whiteboard notes and drawings, character concept art and discussion of the creative and production process. There were a few videos shared including two unaired clips and a really funny video from Wil Film, who was the animation studio for both The Freemaker Adventures and All-Stars.

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Droidography as told by Roger

The biggest surprise of the panel was when Matthew Woods, who voiced Roger in both animated series came in near the end, just when they were discussing if Droidography was Canon or not. Matt not only talked about his role as Roger, but also his role as voice director for these series.

Alan Tudyk and Kelly Marie Tran reprise their roles in LEGO form

Overall, I was very happy I made it to this panel. As an added bonus, I was able to catch up with Moderator Steve Dunk after the panel was over and ask him about what it took to put this amazing panel together.

Interview with Steve Dunk

Steve Dunk introduces the panelists

Patty: What first gave you the idea to have this panel?

Steve: I had been watching/covering The Freemaker Adventures since it started. As a huge fan of the show naturally I reached out to Bill and Bob and we started a relationship, first just interviewing them and then into a friendship. So, when I heard All-Stars would be their last bit of Star Wars, and Celebration was coming up, it made sense that they should get a proper sending off.

Patty: How do you decide what to discuss in the panel in the time slot you had?

Steve: You start by writing down all the things you love about the shows and any unanswered questions you might have. Then you realize you’ve got hours of material that need to be cut down to one! So, you just start prioritizing, making cuts, and deciding what’s most important.
Getting behind the scenes content, video, and which guests are on your panel very much determines your schedule because that takes up a good chunk of the time. Each one needs to be paid attention to otherwise they’re just sitting up there for no reason.

Patty: How did this panel differ from other panels you have been involved with before?

Patty: It was more important to me because it was also very personal. I love these characters so much and I hold Bill and Bob in such high regard that letting them down wasn’t an option. You always have a stake in what your doing, but this was different.
Basically, I worked harder at this then anything I’d done in the past.

Patty: How difficult was to schedule the guests for the panel, especially Matthew Woods?

Steve: Aside from Bill and Bob, who were in from the start, Jason Cosler and Leland Chee were surprisingly easy. It helped that they were both already attending Celebration but when I reached out to them, they were ecstatic to be a part of celebrating Bill and Bob. At one-point Michael Kramer was going to be a guest but he had to drop out due to his schedule.
Matthew Wood was trickier. He was of course already attending but was very busy all weekend, particularly that day. This was something we worked on for weeks and even still that day we were ironing out the details. I owe him a lot because he basically ran to our panel, stayed to the end, and then had to run off to something else. It was crazy and somehow the timing worked out perfectly.

Patty: What kind of research did you have to do for this panel?

Steve: This was the easy part actually! Like I said, this show means a lot to me and of course I run the Freemaker Facts, so no research was necessary. Really, it was just preparing for the day itself and getting to Fan Stage for rehearsals which took place on Thursday.

Character concept art for LEGO Star Wars All-Stars by Kilian Plunkett

Patty: How difficult was it to get the behind the scenes photos and character artwork shown during the panel?

Steve: Not necessarily difficult as it was just a matter of getting Lucasfilm and LEGO to approve it. Bob helped with that part, making sure those requests went to the right people more quickly. Same as the unaired video clips, we put in the request and waited for the approval. It helped that I had a bit of a relationship going there, where they were familiar with me.

Patty: Did the fan community help you with planning for this panel?

Steve: Not the planning part, but the inspiration. I love the Freemaker fans and I heard from many who were excited about it, even ones that couldn’t be there. I had them in mind for some of the content, knowing they would enjoy it as much as I would.

Patty: Is there anything else you would like to share about the panel not already mentioned?

Steve: Sure. At one point I was going to assemble a video of cast members, in/out of character, saying hello to Bill and Bob. I just ran out of time and it’s too bad because it would have been amazing to see that.
Just a huge thanks to Wil Film, LEGO, Lucasfilm, and the fans that showed up. I had such a great time meeting everyone.

Interview with Author: Carol Van Natta

It is a great pleasure to welcome Carol Van Natta author of the Central Galactic Concordance space opera series.

Welcome Carol 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 you and your series better!

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

The title of my space opera romance series is the Central Galactic Concordance. The series is set millennia in the future, when humans have faster-than-light travel and have spread out among the stars. Future us has the galaxy to ourselves, so we mine resources at will and pick “goldilocks” planets to terraform and colonize. The series—and the box set—is named after the current government that manages 500+ planets.

The big damn story arc of the series concerns a revolution that will end 200 years of peace. Minders—people with mental talents such as telepathy and telekinesis—were once a minority, and helped save civilization during the catastrophic fall of the previous empire. Now that there are more of them, they are no longer content to be regulated and controlled. As you might imagine, this doesn’t go over well with the government agency tasked with the mission to keep the galactic peace.

I’ll be the first to admit that “Central Galactic Concordance” doesn’t roll trippingly off the tongue. However, I wanted the series name broad enough that I could tell other stories in the universe that dealt with interesting characters and smaller issues, too. I like to think I’ve made up for the series title by having more evocative story titles: Overload Flux, Minder Rising, Pico’s Crush, the three books in the box set, plus Jumper’s Hope (Book 4), and the upcoming Spark Transform.

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

Sometimes, both story titles and character names come easily and quickly, and sometimes they change half a dozen times before I find the perfect name.

In Overload Flux (book 1 of the series), the main female character is an ex-assassin trying to learn ordinary social skills. I wanted her name to sound both old-fashioned and a bit awkward, so it took me a few tries to settle on Mairwen Morganthur. The main male character’s name, Luka Foxe, came more easily. His first name is Polish and his last name English, but his ancestry is a mix of Nordic and several others.

In Minder Rising (book 2), Lièrén Sòng is the hero, estranged from his old, rich family because of his job as a covert agent. The lingua franca of the galaxy used to be Mandarin, before the present government changed it to Standard English, so Lièrén’s name reflects that history. The title of Pico’s Crush (book 3) came before I even had the outline finished. Pico is the daughter of the main male character, and his military nickname was Crush. There are a couple of other meanings for the title, too, which readers will discover for themselves.

In the galactic civilization, people are highly multicultural and interracial, so family names don’t necessarily help in guessing the person’s actual ethnicity or what their primary language is. Furthermore, if you have the money, it’s safe and easy to get a full body makeover to change height, skin color, bone structure, and physiognomy. I usually name ALL my characters. I then have to remove the names of the bit-players during the edit process so readers don’t think they’re stuck in a Russian novel.

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

My muse’s home base is science fiction. One summer when I was young, my parents gave me science fiction books (starting with Andre Norton) to stop me from whining about having nothing to read. I burned through every SF&F paperback in the house and never looked back. Romance came a little later, when I was in high school, and writing Star Trek fan fiction with my friends.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when my muse marched in with the plot for this big, sprawling space-opera plot about evolution and revolution. I wanted the relationships to be romances, because in trying times, hope and justice are needed more than ever.

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

Whoever told you I am sane has taken one giant step away from their good senses. 😉

Seriously, the advice I give to new writers is to first, finish the manuscript, and second, protect your muse by separating the business side from the art side.

Starting manuscripts is easy; finishing them is hard. Want proof? Ask for a show of hands on how many people have started a novel, then watch how many hands drop when you ask how many have finished it. Figuring out how to finish the first novel, then repeat that with the second, third, twelfth, and fortieth novel is the secret sauce for a successful career. By separating the business side, you can relegate the trolls, naysayers, and basic mistakes as the price of doing business, not personal attacks on the stories you love to tell.

My characters reflect attributes of me, my family, friends, the cashier with the annoying voice, the energetic plumber, the coworker who permanently smells of cigarette smoke, the parent who lets their kids decorate them like a holiday tree… I am a secret observer and a shameless thief of attitudes, mannerisms, style, nervous tics, and relationships that sooner or later end up in my books. My primary physician suspects I’m a hypochondriac because I ask him about odd diseases and conditions. My chiropractor gleefully helps me figure out what happens to people in a fight, and if they could limp away afterward.

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

Research, otherwise known as creative avoidance when I’m supposed to be writing, is one of the most entertaining parts of writing. For the space opera series, I’ve haunted the physics and materials science groups, pondered islands of stability, learned how long a parsec is (93 million miles/ 150 million kilometers—the Milky Way galaxy is about 30 kiloparsecs across), and watched hundreds of YouTube videos on everything from 3-D printing with molten glass to astronauts in zero gravity. I happily invent technology (such as new metal alloys for faster-than-light ships) and weapons (beamers, force blades, spider mechs) galore, but I like them to at least be plausible and consistent.

What makes you laugh?

Pretty much anything, actually, because I love to laugh. Good improv comedy. Tripping over my own feet. My silly cats.

What makes you cry?

The same things that make most people cry—sad movies, brave rovers left alone on a far planet, romances with all the feels, the last of the Thin Mints Girl Scouts cookies.

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

I am a fan of science, humor, book series, found families, romance, fantasy, good people, magic, justice, cats and other pets, whimsy, perseverance to do what’s right, and happily ever afters. And yes, they’re all reflected in my writing, because life is too short to write about things I’m not a fan of, like entitled jerks and eggplant.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I love meeting new people and finding out what they like to read. Come say hello Facebook (https://facebook.com/CarolVanNattaAuthor), or sign up for my monthly newsletter at https://bit.ly/CVN-news. My website has book news, a blog, and extras for readers: https://author.carolvannatta.com. You can also learn more about the series at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3980825.Carol_Van_Natta.

Interview with Author: AW Cross

It is a great pleasure to welcome A.W. Cross author of Pine, Alive (Foxwept Array Book 1).

Welcome A.W. 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 you and your stories better!

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

The title of the book, Pine, Alive, refers to both the source inspiration and the “theme” of the book. It’s an SFR retelling of Collodi’s Pinocchio, and the name Pinocchio means “pine nut.” So the name references the source without being too on-the-nose. The character, Pine, is a sentient android in a time and place where her sentience isn’t yet equated to being truly alive by the world in which she lives, which is one of the themes explored in the book.

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

I do! I always try to use names that have a meaning relevant to the story or are a nod to something or someone. In Pine, Alive, for example, all the characters names reference their counterpart in the original Pinocchio in some way. For example, James’s last name, Cruicéad, means cricket in French (I’m Canadian), and that is the role he plays in the book.

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

I’ve always loved both SFR and fairy tales. I was reading Pinocchio to my son one night during the week when I was planning what my new series would be about. In the middle of the story, inspiration struck!

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

I think for me, the most important attribute for remaining sane is being strict about making time for self care. I have Crohn’s disease, so managing stress (of which there’s a lot when you’re an author) is incredibly important to my well-being. Unfortunately, I’m not always successful!

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

For this particular series, I’m reading a lot of fairy tales and researching their origins, themes, interpretations, and how they’ve changed with those different interpretations. I like to start as close to the original story as I can, then incorporate some of the various changes that have been made to them over the years. And, since there are also science fiction aspects to this series, I have to research scientific concepts such as artificial intelligence, dream therapy, ocular influence, genetic mutation…things like that. I used to be a scientist, so I enjoy this part of the research almost as much as the fairy tales, though I have to try to keep it brief—there’s a rabbit hole of great research out there!

What makes you laugh?

I love memes! I find they’re always a great pick-me-up. And pretty much anything that comes out of my four-year-old’s mouth. Right now he’s going through a phase where he’s telling everyone, “ya basic!”

What makes you cry?

Sooo much. Usually the news and whenever people are awful to each other. I also have my heart constantly broken by movies, TV, and books. I cry A LOT, lol.

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

I always add little easter eggs of things I like in my writing—but of course I can’t tell you what those are, or it would ruin the hunt!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! I love interacting whenever I have a chance 😀
You can also find more about me and my stories through the following: Website, Goodreads, BookBub or Amazon

 

Interview with Author: EG Manetti

It is a great pleasure to welcome EG Manetti author of the Twelve Systems Chronicles series!

Welcome EG 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 you and your stories better!

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

The Twelve Systems Chronicles was selected to convey both science fiction and the epic fantasy. As of February 19, 2019, there are seven volumes and another four or five to come. Why 12 systems, not 10 or 14? That’s my subtle homage to George Lucas and the original Star Wars movies: I have the death sentence on twelve systems.

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

Great question and one that came up in one of my reader groups recently. Super convenient for me because I have the response all set. The character names come from many sources; family, friends, my erratic muse. Some are deliberate choices based on meaning. Others are simply names, although I try to pull from the full range of cultures. A few of the main and supporting characters:

With the heroine, Lilian; it was her name from the first. I have no idea where it came from or why it is spelled as it is. The same is true of the Five Warriors and Adelaide—they and their stories emerged from my psyche full-blown.

The alpha male main character, Lucius took some time to settle – I wanted something that evoked the ruthlessness and warrior culture of ancient Rome, but also Rome’s commitment to law and order. According to ‘Behind the Names’ –Roman praenomen, or given name, which was derived from Latin lux “light”. Two Etruscan kings of early Rome had this name as well as several prominent later Romans, including Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known simply as Seneca), a statesman, philosopher, orator and tragedian.

Lucius’ sons; Cesare & Raphael because I wanted to keep the Latin theme. Cesare Borgia has always fascinated me. Raphael because – art.

Lilian’s mother, Helena is a version of my given name — I couldn’t resist.

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

The story started as a vivid dream that I had the morning before a five-hour car trip. By the time I reached my destination, I had the outline in my head. That I dream in science fiction romance does not surprise me.

I’ve loved science-fiction since I found Captain Kirk and Spock on cable when I was a teenager. Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, and Andre Norton were huge favorites that I interspersed with romance authors Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodwiss, Amanda Quick, and others.  Then I discovered Anne McCaffery and science fiction romance – it has been my go-to ever since.  Although I’ve also been heavily influenced by fantasy authors; J.R.R. Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, Jacqueline Carey, and Stephen Donaldson, to name a few.

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

Commitment, determination, endurance, tenacity, and imagination. And yes, Lilian embodies all of these and more.

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

This is my first set of novels. I’ve researched everything from ancient swords and daggers to crystal computing to poisons.

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

I love good world-building, nuanced characters, and well-constructed plot with elements of action and/or suspense. Like Dune or Star Wars it takes place in a galaxy far, far away, although the characters and plot hold the moral nuances of Dune rather than that the clear-cut good versus evil of Star Wars. The society of the Twelve Systems has similarities to twenty-first western culture, but also some critical differences.  It is a ruthless society, driven by power and wealth, rigid and often violent. At the same time, while the class distinctions are extreme, they are based on genealogy, not ethnic group or religion. For all its tolerance of violence, there has not been whole-sale ware in over a millennium, they take care of the environment, and is compassionate with the mentally ill.  Romantic love is rare and not highly valued. Sex is considered a pleasant past-time. Honor, duty, strength are the core of the value system and most relationships.

Where duty and passion collide – The Twelve Systems Chronicles.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

This is not a conventional series in terms of romance tropes, one review called it ‘a slow-burn with sex.’ Although the heroine triumphs in every volume, the classic HEA is not an element. Yet. The narrative line is complex, and the series should be read in order. Although sex and romance are integral to the long-term story arc, each volume contains mystery, intrigue, action, adventure and some violence. The sexy bits tend to be more graphic than the violent bits.

According to InD’Tale Magazine: Science fiction is a genre known for its technical and often intricate world building, its epic battles and futuristic technologies. Romance, however, is rarely a required aspect. . . until now. EG Manetti is the newest name and hottest rising star for the very fact that she so beautifully weaves those two elements together. With characters that jump off the page, love that is forbidden yet unstoppable mixed with top-notch worlds and technology, sci-fi has never looked so good or become so addictive!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I have Goodreads and Facebook pages, a Twelve Systems Chronicles Facebook page as well as a blog.   And there is my monthly newsletter, Red Gems.

Interview with Author: Nix Whittaker

It is a great pleasure to welcome Nix Whittaker author of Lady Golden Hand.

Welcome Nix 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 you and your stories better!

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

I did this one backwards. I started with cover with a woman with a brass mechanical hand and the name of the novel Lady Golden Hand just popped into my head. But the series name is based on another series in this world called Wyvern Chronicles. Since this was going to be my first foray into mystery I went with Wyvern Mysteries so at least readers knew what they were getting into and yes there are dragons in this story.

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

Not particularly in this series. I do like to delve into multiple meanings for the names of my characters but since this was set in 1830’s London I knew I had to stick with the names that were around then. Since this is an anachronistic retelling of history and there was no Queen Victoria I was a little tongue in cheek about calling the dragon Victor. But Rayne was just about having an authentic name to balance out the other liberties I take with history.

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

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

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

So one of the reasons why I like steampunk and Gaslamp is because I can take liberties with history. But I also wanted to stay true to the feel of 1830’s England which meant I had to do some research. It helps that my sister-in-law is busy working in the Tower at the moment and could help with some of the research. Though you’d be surprised what you find like the fact that eye rolling was more about flirting at this time than some sarcastic gesture. Or that newspapers weren’t competitive and shared stories.

What makes you laugh?

Dry wit and since I teach English I love a good pun.

What makes you cry?

Soppy movies. The cornier the better.

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

I love a good romance. So even though all of my stories have strong plots in another genre I always have multiple romantic tropes in there as well. In Lady Golden Hand we have enemy to lover trope as I think the sparks help with the romance.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Readers can always sign up to my newsletter on my website www.nixwhittaker.com where they can get free books and short stories. But I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nix-Whittaker-1540555802866070/

More information on Lady Golden Hand and my other stories are available through the following links:

Lady Golden Hand: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MDSP3LW

Blazing Blunderbuss: https://books2read.com/u/31xNd6

The Mechanicals: https://books2read.com/u/mVBM1A

Wyvern’s Trim and other stories: https://books2read.com/u/mvvr0J

The Jade Dragon: https://books2read.com/u/3RVVrY

Ruby Beyond Compare:  https://books2read.com/u/bQ9Yvd

Hero is a man: https://books2read.com/u/b5rn2p

You can run: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YPU0OVQ

Sorrow also sings: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015PHRUUK

Blind Leading: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B9VERNO

Model: Serenity: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FD4HJT9

Model: Scribe: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MYNVQCP

Interview with Author: Cynthia Sax

It is a great pleasure to welcome Cynthia Sax author of Choosing Chuckles.

Welcome Cynthia 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 you and your stories better!

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

Cynthia Sax:  Chuckles is the name of the cyborg hero of Choosing Chuckles. Cyborgs are assigned a model number when they are manufactured. They give themselves their names. Chuckles is known for being a bit grumpy. His name pokes fun of that. The fact that he has embraced that name tells us he isn’t as bad-tempered as he makes some others believe he is.

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

Cynthia Sax:  I named the heroine of Choosing Chuckles Bettina as a nod to Simone Micheline Bodin aka Bettina. She was considered to be one of the first supermodels and was best known for her beauty, but she was much more than that. She was a designer, a poet and a composer.

Like the supermodel, Bettina, my heroine, is viewed by some beings as merely a pretty face, but she is much more than that. She designs jewelry (not clothes), has honorable, worthy, secret goals that have nothing to do with her beauty.

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

Cynthia Sax:  I fell in cyborg romance after reading stories by Laurann Dohner and Eve Langlais. When they both took a break from their awesome series at the same time, I decided to write the stories I was craving to read.

I was most interested in exploring WHY cyborgs, soldiers manufactured to fight, beings programmed to be loyal, would rebel against their makers. My series, both Cyborg Sizzle and, the new one—Cyborg Space Exploration, are, as a result, a bit darker than some other Cyborg Romance series.

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

Cynthia Sax: A sense of humor is necessary in this wonderful business. I think it is also necessary for a happy life and for relationships. Things go wrong. The unexpected happens.

My main characters, yes, even Chuckles, our grumpy cyborg, all have senses of humor. They might not crack jokes all the time but they do tend to laugh and see the irony in the universe.  

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

Cynthia Sax:  One of my favorite sciences is Evolutionary Biology and I tend to weave that into my Cyborg and SciFi Romances. In Choosing Chuckles, our hero and heroine end up stranded on a rainforest type world. It was great fun crafting new alien species based on existing Earth rainforest creatures.

This, however, requires learning quite a bit about these species. I can talk for hours about the Panamanian white-faced capuchin, for example. (laughs) Yes, I’m a fountain of useless information, as my Dear Wonderful Hubby jokes.

Patty: What makes you laugh?

Cynthia Sax: I have a weakness for VERY bad puns. I also love hearing other people laugh. That usually sets me off. My Dear Wonderful Hubby makes me laugh all the time. He is always making jokes.

Patty: What makes you cry?

Cynthia Sax: If someone else is crying, I’ll cry. I also tend to cry while writing the cry scenes in my own stories. A death of a secondary character will almost always make me cry, especially if that character sacrifices her or himself for another being.

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

Cynthia Sax:  I’m a fan of many Cyborg Romance writers (Laurann Dohner and Eve Langlais being two of my earliest favorites). That has definitely influenced my writing as I would never want to write something that didn’t grow the niche or that brought shame to it. I want to leave Cyborg Romance as great as it was when I first discovered it.

Do no harm. (grins) That sounds very Star Trek-like, doesn’t it?

Patty: Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Cynthia Sax:  Choosing Chuckles is the first story in a Cyborg Sizzle spinoff series called Cyborg Space Exploration. I’ve tried to craft this new series so it could be read on its own, with readers knowing nothing about the Cyborg Sizzle world. But I’ve also tried to craft it so Cyborg Sizzle readers will be super happy. That was a challenging balancing act but, with my awesome editor’s help, I think I accomplished it.

Patty: What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Cynthia Sax: There are many ways for readers to interact with me or find out more about Choosing Chuckles including:

Visiting my Website: http://cynthiasax.com/

Signing up for dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter,   http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.sax

Twitter:  @CynthiaSax

Blog:  http://tasteofcyn.com/

More about Choosing Chuckles and where to Pre-Order…

A Cynical Cyborg Meets A Bad, Bad Female.

Chuckles hates all humans. In the past, humans betrayed him. That treachery caused permanent damage to his muscular form, resulting in a lifespan of pain.

When the primitive D Model cyborg answers a distress call sent by a pink-and-blue haired, sparkly human female, he knows it’s a trap. He still has to respond to her fake cry for help. She belongs to him, is the one being genetically fabricated for him. But he plans to be her captor, not her captive.

Bettina, aka Bait, works with a team of females, snaring sexual predators in space, seizing their ships and transporting them to primitive planets. As soon as she speaks with Chuckles, she knows he’s not like the others. He has honor, is a being worthy of respect, of caring.

But she can’t let him go. She has to trap him. His dominance thrills her. His deep voice evokes desires she’d never experienced in the past. She’ll risk it all, breaking every rule for one wild encounter with the male she calls Sir.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Choosing-Chuckles-Cyborg-Space-Exploration-ebook/dp/B07MXQ13WS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Choosing-Chuckles-Cyborg-Space-Exploration-ebook/dp/B07MXQ13WS

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/choosing-chuckles/id1450000541

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/choosing-chuckles-cynthia-sax/1130326339

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/choosing-chuckles

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/918618

Interview with Author: Linda Mooney

It is a great pleasure to welcome Linda Mooney author of JEXX.

Welcome Linda 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 you and your stories better!

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

JEXX is the name of Jelia and Kaxx when their bodies meld and become a single new entity, the one with enriched powers and energy.

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

I fell in love with the sci-fi genre with Podcayne of Mars, back when I was a kid. My first taste of adult sci-fi romance was Janette Taylor’s Moondust and Madness. Since then, I’ve had the passion to write in that genre.

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

You need a sense of humor, patience, the drive to finish what you start, imagination, and the belief in yourself that, although the book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it was important enough for you to tell the story. Therefore the story has worth.

And, yes, I think my characters reflect some of those attributes.

What makes you laugh?

Snarky remarks. Comments that come from out of nowhere, but perfectly fit the situation.

What makes you cry?

When the hero or heroine feel they’ve lost all hope. When there’s an ultimate sacrifice. Deliciously happy endings.

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

I want the heart of the story to be the budding romance between the main characters, but I don’t want the book to be all conflict between them (misunderstanding and constant verbal fighting). I want a plot that is unique to anything I’ve read before, and for there to be action and adventure, maybe some mystery, and a resolution where the H/H realize they were meant to be together for their own sake, as well as for the good of others.

Yes, these are definitely reflected in my stories.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Although JEXX is a standalone, I learned a long time ago never to say there won’t be a sequel, or even a series sprouting from it in the future.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Email me. Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter. Comment on my blog. Join my newsletter. Details below:

Website: http://lindamooney.com/ (Join my newsletter!)

Blog: http://lindamooney.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Mooney/e/B002BMES1W

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/linda-mooney

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/735249946549380/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaMooney

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/lindam54

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lindam54/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Linda_Mooney

Instagram: http://instagram.com/macwombat

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