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Archive for the ‘Science Fiction Romance’ Category

Some of you may recall my first long form publication was Rayessa and the Space Pirates, which was picked up by Harlequin’s Escape Publishing (digital imprint) in 2013. Rayessa had been languishing my hard drive for a number of years. It started as a short story, maybe way far back as 2002. I was writing the story for Elsewhere. At the time the first 7,500 were the longest short I’d written and it still wasn’t done. When the space pirates turned up, well I knew it wasn’t going to be a short story anymore. It ended up as a novella, then a slightly longer novella. It took it out and revised it a couple of times. I gave it to a couple of people to read with some positive feedback. I submitted it a couple of places. Once it was forwarded to the children’s editor at HarperCollins Australia. It was rejected but the rejection was along the lines of we already have stories along these lines and sorry to take  so long to get back to you. Then it sat in the hard drive a little longer. Then I went to my first RWA conference in the Gold Coast (2012) where Penguin launched their Destiny Imprint and Harlequin launched Escape. It was actually at the launch cocktail party of Destiny that I clued in that Rayessa was also a romance. Chinking champagne glasses with Nicole Murphy I said that I thought I had romance arc in some of my stories. She was like ‘Dah, why do you think I told you to come here?’ The clue people was the slideshow they had playing on the walls. Science fiction scenes at a romance conference.

So Rayessa was published. Then I wrote Rae and Essa’s Space Adventures, which should have been titled, Essa Takes on the Space Pirates or better still. Essa Rescues Mum from the Space Pirates etc. Now Escape decided they didn’t want any more spate pirate stories from me when they took Rae and Essa’s Space Adventures (and also revamped the Rayessa cover). Not with this family at least. So I changed the ending to Rae and Essa’s Space Adventures so there wasn’t too much hanging. But I always had in mind to write Opeia’s story. Opeia (Opi) is the mother of Rae and Essa, the head of AllEarth Corp.

Now pesky ideas will keep bothering you until your write them down. I thought I’d dealt with Opi by writing some notes about the story in my ‘Notebook of Really Cool Ideas’ that Gillian Polack gave me when I started the PhD. It is meant as a place to park ideas so I can come back to them when the Phd is done. Well obviously Opi had other ideas.

Opi meets NaNoWriMo and viola! she is out there on paper! I tried to be more emotionally contemplative in Opi Battles the Space Pirates. My wonderful beta reader (who is a fan of the first two books) gave me feedback. I had to rewrite the beginning and the ending after that. That plot twist that I had come up with but abandoned because I was trying to address my plot addiction by being a bit more touchy feely, well I had to put the plot bit in. It’s just that type of book.

It’s fluff, it’s funny (I think so) and it’s light and possibly uplifting. (Complete opposite to the Dragonwine series). Opi Battles the Space Pirates is also longer than the first two books, just under 60,000 words, it’s adult, but not sexy, more sweet in keeping with the other two books. It features an older protagonist (42) and a space battle goddamit!

Stay tuned. Cover art is in progress. Proofreading is in progress. I’m going to self-publish this one for fun.

Just to refresh your memory, here are the covers of the first two books, which I adore. Not sure the wonderful covers sell as many books as they should, but they are pretty and swish.

Link to the Escape website here. The books are at all major e-retailers. You can also buy these books in large print format/hardcover for libraries I think. I can’t afford to buy myself a  hard back version. There are some copies in libraries in Australia and the USA. Here.

However, I plan to have a print version of Opi Battles the Space Pirates. Just for fun, for a laugh and maybe as giveaways. So watch out.

Oh and the moral of the story? Don’t throw anything out. Learn from rejections. Don’t give up. Keep writing. Follow your heart…and whatever!

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Time seems to fly by so quickly these days. Some kind of inverse perception. When I was a child time passed slowly. Now, I can’t believe how fast.

I wish it would slow down.

For me, 2016 was an interesting year. Lots of changes in my life. I left the work force and started a PhD in Creative Writing. I had done my sums, and of course, things change so sums are often being trimmed and rearranged. Do I regret leaving work? Hell no! It was the best thing for me physically and mentally. Of course I miss the huge $ I was making but there was a cost involved. I’m content.

I started the PhD with a vengeance–long days and it hurt too, but now I’m better at balance and I hurt less as a result. I actually felt good for many, many months and I was happy. I realise I can stay home and read and relax while studying instead of in a chair in the study centre everyday. I tried twice this year to get an APA and was unsuccessful, (APA is a stipend/grant for studying) and I have to give up applying now. It was a lot of work putting the application together. Hint do honours and you’ll be a shoe in, they are worth more than a Masters by coursework).  Now I have to look for part time work to fund me. I was hoping for some tutoring at uni but there are no guarantees.

One the writing front, I put out Argenterra in late April. It’s my epic, portal fantasy, that’s not dark (like Dragon wine) and is suitable for YA readers. It’s romance themed too. I thought I’d get the next two in the series out this year but that was a lot harder than it seemed to be when I thought it up. Book 2, Oathbound is with the editor (some delays there with editor moving house) and Book 2, Ungiven Land is awaiting one beta reader comments before being revised and sent to the editor. I’m thinking they will be out in the first half of 2017. I was so thrilled to get those books written. Finish drafting my first trilogy!!! (15 years in the making) Wohoo! Next year, when the books get published I’ll see how the hybrid, indie, self-publishing gig works for me.

Under the name, Dani Kristoff, I was published again by Escape Publishing, this time with Invoked. It’s the third and last book in the Spellbound in Sydney series. I thought this book was coming out next year so I was so happy to have it come out in December. I have one more book to write under Dani Kristoff and then Dani might retire. I enjoy writing the sexy paranormal books, but you have to have a big enough audience to make it worth your while and frankly, I don’t. I’m proud of those books. Invoked was the hardest thing I’d ever written. Nearly chucked it out. Rewrote it almost completely. It taught me a lot about writing. Although it is dark, especially compared to Spiritbound which was light and bright and lovely.

So for Nanowrimo I wrote another Space Pirate book. This time starring Opi, Rae and Essa’s mother. It’s fun and I like it a lot. I’m going to publish this myself.  Escape aren’t selling enough of the other books, Rayessa and the Space Pirates and Rae and Essa Space Adventures to acquire it. But I’m totally cool with that. I want to publish it myself. It’s a bit of light fun. I’ve kept it sweet level in case any YA readers happen on it, but it’s longer 55,000 words and features older protagonists and space pirates….

Also in December, I dusted off the draft of Deathwings, book three in the Dragon Wine series. I’ve booked it in with the editor that Momentum used for the first two books and I’ve got book 4 booked in too. So fingers crossed I’ll have them out in 2017 too. I have to meet the editor’s deadlines!!! Both books are mostly written. I had to dump about 10,000 words from book 4 and I did that over a year ago (then Phd happened). It was starting off too slowly according to beta readers. I have not written a word of the last two books  (5 & 6) and that will be my side project for the rest of 2017. Around other writing and the PhD and part time work if I get any.

I have three other books in completed draft form. Into the Dark Glass (YA fantasy) is currently with a skilled beta reader. It’s the most ready to go somewhere. Cold Soldier (SF Romance) – I haven’t touched this in nearly a year. Needs a new beginning and a revision. The Tainted Lady, my attempt a Regency romance needs a revised beginning and a revision then polish, then beta readers etc. Ruby Heart is still looking for a home but I’ve a mind to write Emerald Fire (the sequel) or actually finish writing it. Half written I think. I have a couple of other things started but may have to wait years before I revisit them.

I have my PhD novel to write too, which will get drafted during 2017. I think all this other writing helps me refine my craft so the PhD novel will benefit.

I have to prepare for my confirmation seminar in March so I’ll be busy with that in January and February and maybe before New Year. It’s my first piece of work that gets assessed and the foundation for the PhD. I will then be officially one year into the PhD too. My surveys that are part of the PhD are going great guns. Need more responses though.

Along with the rest of the world, I’m processing terrorist attacks, the US election, Brexit, war in Syria, Australian bloody politics and views on refugees, deaths of fav actors and musicians. May we weather these things and find 2017 a better time to live in. Highlights, Jane Austen Festival in Canberra, RWA Conference in Adelaide, Shanghai visiting my son in October and presenting a paper on Twitter poetry in November. Also, I am standing for GUFF ( Going Under Fan Fund), which is a fund to send people from Australia to Europe from SF conventions or a European fan to Australia) and there are some great candidates this year all vying to get to the SF World Con in Helsinki in August. (link below)

Downside some work injury related stuff that I won’t blog about until resolved. Worst thing ever!

I’m still addicted to Twitter and Facebook. I’m the world’s worst gardener, besides the Dweeb and I totally failed at sending Christmas cards this year. I’m pleased to say that this year  for me Christmas isn’t about excess as it usually is. My two daughters are vegans and we are having a small gathering this year so less meat, less waste, less money spent. I kinda feel good about that. I will miss my son, who is in China and two of my grandchildren and their mother who are in Perth this Christmas.

Most of all I want to say, I wish you well and happy and prosperous this Christmas, end of year, New Year. I am grateful for my health, my wonderful family and friends. My excellent partner Matthew (the Dweeb) and for those of you to interact with anywhere in the world and on the internet.

Maybe I’ll see some of you at the ARRA convention in Melbourne in February.

 

More info on GUFF

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I’ve known a new cover was coming but nothing could prepare me for the awesomeness of it.

Here is the resdesigned cover of Rayessa and the Space Pirates.

Rayessa And The Space PiratesIt’s so very cool.

Also, I’m not sure if I shared the blurb of Rae and Essa Space Adventures.

In Rayessa and the Space Pirates, Rae made a startling discovery about her past. Now her twin sister Essa has her own adventures to pursue.

Essa Gayens is starting to accept her sister Rae into her life, sharing a dorm room in their swanky private school on Earth. Smarter, savvier and more in touch with the world than Rae, Essa’s feelings of superiority and advantage are shaken when their mother goes missing, along with Rae’s boyfriend, Alwin.

When Rae takes off after them into outer space, Essa is spurred into action. Very soon, Essa is hot on her trail, sneaking out of school, bribing officials and begging Captain Thorn Hanover to take her on his ship.

Thorn is a hunk, and Essa is thrilled with the prospect of an interesting trip, but Thorn has no interest in a spoiled rich girl. Not only does he reject her advances, he sets her up on the chore roster and expects her to work for her passage.

Essa has never been anything but a pampered princess, but both Rae and Thorn are challenging her to dig deeper, to be more. But to aspire is to risk failure, and Essa has never really risked anything before. Can she start with her heart?

I also noticed that iBooks had Rae and Essa Space Adventures for 99 cents.

Here is a link the Australian iBooks store. Link.

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Today I have great pleasure in bringing an interview to you with SE Gilchrist. Suzanne is an Escape Publishing author buddy, who writes steamy science fiction. Thank you for being here today.

SE Gilchrist

SE Gilchrist

Star Pirate’s Justice is your new SF romance novel out with Escape Publishing. Can you tell us a bit about it?

 

Set in Earth’s future, Star Pirate’s Justice is the second single title story about a group of women who volunteered to terra form a new earth only to find themselves ‘sold’ into ‘slavery’ in an alien world. Only the traders who sold them know the way back to Earth. And to make their lives more difficult there is a war going on for control of an amazing energy source which can not only be used to power intergalactic space travel but can be harnessed to form space/time travel vortexes. (I can hear my youngest son who studies physics yelling at me right about now!)

In this story, Carly is on a mission to find a Darkon warrior turned star pirate and return him to Darkos to face justice. She also believes the star pirate has gate way maps in his possession. But she arrests him at the moment when he is about to make a deal with a smuggler which will give him the evidence he needs to clear his name and reveal the identity of the true traitor. There’s space battles, bounty hunters and a ‘gun’ fight in a market place so this story has more ‘action’ than Legend Beyond the Stars.

Tell us about yourself.

I live in the Hunter Valley of NSW with my three adult children and two dogs and have recently added a rescue cat to our family. I was raised as a Novacastrian then spent quite a few years travelling, mainly around outback Australia. Like many, I’ve been writing off and on for like, forever, however have only taken my ‘muse’ seriously since 2008. My first publication was an erotic, post-apocalyptic short story, Paying the Forfeit, in the Hot Down Under series with Momentum Books on 1st Dec 2012. My next publication was with Escape Publishing, who released my single title and the first book in my sci fi romance series, Legend Beyond the Stars on 10th Jan 2013. Since then I’ve had two novellas published with Escape (also in the same series) and have indie published, two erotic historical/fantasy novellas, one erotic, post-apocalyptic novella and one sweet rural romance short novel. And now of course, Star Pirate’s Justice is out with Escape since 1st Feb 2014.

Tell us a bit about why you write SF romance?

I love it. I love the scope it provides, the ability to make up your own world with its own culture and laws. I love how it gives the opportunity to combine adventure action and romance all in the one package. I also love how a writer can explore controversial subjects, such as: climate change, cloning, genetic dna modelling etc. Plus I cant help myself where alpha warrior type heroes are concerned.

Star Pirate’s Justice is part of an epic saga. Are we going to see more of it in the future?

Definitely. The next single title (fingers crossed) may be out later this year, When Stars Collide. I also have another two novellas in the works (one is Elise’s story and the other introduces some new characters) and the first single title book in the follow on series when some of the women return to Earth, Beyond Aquarius, is also almost completed. Actually, Paying the Forfeit and Storm of Fire are set in this ‘new’ world.

What are you working on at the moment?

Two stories in my sci fi series (as per above) and another rural romance.

What is your writing process? (planner, panster, write every day, write sporadically, writers block etc).

I start with an idea, usually a situation or an event for example for Star Pirate’s Justice my idea was the search for the gate way maps to Earth and a traitor who has been framed. From there my characters evolve, still very much shadowy creatures in my mind. I usually write up to three to five chapters before I sit down and do a story outline and do a fairly indepth study on the characters’ world. I also do a lot of character background / history writing and sometimes I can get new ideas from working on their past that I add into the story. Working on their backstories also helps me with writers block. I would love to say I’m so disciplined I write every day but I’d be lying! I have a full time job and sometimes there is like zero creativity in me some nights. Any leave days and the weekends I try to squeeze in as many writing hours as I can manage.

What do you prefer drafting the story or revising and reworking?

Drafting the story is the bomb for me. I do a lot of revising and re-writing as I go so my first draft is usually fairly ‘clean’. Its a slower process but it works for me.

What part of writing do you find the hardest?

I would have to say writing the love / sex scenes in a fresh way. Sometimes I say ‘insert love scene in .X’s POV say 250 words’ and come back to it later.

What do you plan to work on next?

I have a list. (I know, so anal but I just love spreadsheets) So, after the stories referred to above, I’ve got a New Adult sci fi / futuristic novel I’m also keen to get out there and another fantasy erotic novella in my Bound series.

 

Thank you so much for your time today, Suzanne. Next interview I’m bringing on the boys!

Star Pirates Justice

Star Pirates Justice

 

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Author spotlight

It’s my pleasure to bring to you an interview with the lovely Ingrid Jonach. I was very fortunate to read this novel before it hit the press. Donna.

Ingrid Jonach

Ingrid tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in the national capital of Australia – Canberra – with my husband and my pug dog Mooshi.

I have always loved to read and write, so when I finished school I decided to study creative writing at university as part of a degree in professional writing.

While I was at university I self published a picture book called A Lot of Things.

I signed a two book deal with Pan Macmillan Australia soon after for my children’s books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France.  I most recently had a young adult novel published called When The World Was Flat (and we were in love).

How did you get the Strange Chemistry deal?

I had a wonderful agent working to sell When The World Was Flat (and we were in love) and it was quite a quick process from submission to book deal with Strange Chemistry.

We had knocked on a lot of doors before that book deal though.  I just about burst out of my skin when we got the offer.  I think it came through on email about five in the morning due to the time differences between my agent in the US, Strange Chemistry in the UK and me in Australia.

When the World was flat (and we were in love)? How did that story evolve for you?

I had very clear characterisations for each of my characters from the get-go. The story, however, developed organically around the characters.  It even transitioned from contemporary romance to speculative fiction during the writing and editing process. That was a significant rewrite, as the first draft had already been written when I decided to inject some science fiction.

The book has a very complex set up. How did you keep track of that?

Aside from a timeline of events to ensure no one went to school on a weekend, it was all in my head.  I am not very organised, so a few scribbled notes or a couple of comments through the manuscript served as reminders of plot twists or missing information.

You’ve been writing children’s books previously. How did you end up writing for young adults and is that where you’d like to be writing?

I loved writing for children and I expect I will do it again down the track, but I decided to write a young adult novel because I wanted to tell a love story. I have always been a hopeless romantic and when the mood struck one day I started writing When the World was Flat (and we were in love).

I am working on a couple of other young adult novels, but I can see myself writing in other genres down the track.  For example, the former journalist in me would like to write non-fiction.

What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a panster?

I am normally a pantser, but I am desperately trying to reform!

I have actually been spending the past month meticulously plotting my next manuscript using palm cards.  I thought I would find it frustrating, but I absolutely love it!  I think it will save me a lot of time with revisions.

I used to try to write everyday, but I have a demanding day job and I am usually a bit brain dead by the end of the day (and I am not a morning person). Unless on deadline, I generally write on weekends, which involves sacrificing a lot of time with friends and family unfortunately.

What do you prefer drafting the story or revising and reworking?

A couple of months ago I would have said revisions, but now I think it is plotting!

I just love dreaming up scenes for my work in progress and I think I am enjoying it even more now that I have a system (palm cards).  I used to just scribble scenes on pieces of paper (that I would promptly misplace) or in my phone (which would never be read again).

What part of writing do you find hardest?

I do really love revisions, but they can be very difficult.  It is like rewiring your brain.  I admit I often forget which characters or scenes were removed from When the World was Flat (and we were in love) during edits with my agent or Strange Chemistry.

What do you plan to work on next?

I am looking forward to writing my third young adult manuscript, which I am currently plotting.  I am also hoping that my second young adult manuscript, which is with my agent, is picked up for publication.  It is a bit early to tell you about them, aside from them both being young adult sci fi romance and being loosely linked to When the World was Flat (and we were in love).

Book Details

When the World was Flat (and we were in love)

Author: Ingrid Jonach

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15767908-when-the-world-was-flat

Available in hardcover, paperback, ebook and audio through all good bookstores and online.

 

When the World was Flat

Blurb

Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.

When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.

But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.

When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.

An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.

Author Bio

Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.

Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.

Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.

Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.

Find out more at www.ingridjonach.com

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What a fun day it was yesterday. It was launch day and all seemed right with the world. After gym, I met with Rydges to discuss Conflux 9 arrangements. That went really well and you know April isn’t that far away. I needed to sort a few things so we can finalise the program. I know we had this idea of it being nice and compact and well shit that doesn’t cut it. The program is so jampacked, it’s splitting its packaging. BTW to find out more check out the Conflux website, which is now http://www.conflux.org.au

Then after a bit of work at home, I drove to Young, which is about 2.5 hours away by car. I’d never been there before but I wanted to have coffee with Valerie Parv (the amazing romance author). Valerie used to live in Canberra and used to be  handy. However, she abandoned us for the lovely town of Young. I must say I was very impressed with the place. Valerie is now also writing science fiction. I’ll tell you a secret. In her younger days, Valerie was an SF fan. I found her name in some old fan stuff a few years ago. So I thought I’d let her know about Conflux natcon because she has a book out called, Birthright. Here is the link to Amazon. Some great reviews there. http://www.amazon.com/Birthright-ebook/dp/B00A0C07BK/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1357853906&sr=8-13&keywords=birthright

And both Nicole and I thought that Conflux is the place for her to come and shout out about her book.

Anyway we had a great natter together for a couple of hours and then I came home. I love driving and I love seeing new places.

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So continuing on with the promotional stuff I have added a Facebook page for Rayessa and her own Twitter Account. She’s a bit wary because she’s stuck on an asteroid and doesn’t know anyone except Gris and various and dubious space pirates.

Her facebook page is here. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rayessa-the-Space-Pirates/413707248709192

On Twitter she’s @RayessaSpacePir

And her blog is here http://rayessaandthespacepirates.wordpress.com

More stuff to come. I have to put the thinking cap on. On 10 January, Alwin Anton is going to come to the rescue.

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