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Thank you Greta for agreeing to host today. I recently discovered your Morgan series and can’t wait to read Kuralon Rescue. Please share with us how you decided to write Sci-Fi.
Why I write science fiction – with a dollop of romance
Actually, it’s a good question. How did I end up writing SF? I have a BA(Hons) in history and zilch ability in maths and physics, hardly the grounding for somebody writing space operas. Or so you might think. But despite my lack of grounding in ‘hard’ science, I was fascinated by the stars, astronomy and cosmology. I also read quite a bit of science fiction. I particularly enjoyed Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. I’ve read all of H.G. Wells’ books and a number of Jules Verne’s classics. These days I read Elizabeth Moon and Jack McDevitt.
I have to admit, though, that the possibility of writing an SF story rose as a result of Star Wars. I remember sitting in the movie theatre for that opening scene when Princess Leia’s cruiser is being attacked. At first all you see is the tracers from the lasers as the (invisible) ship fires at the fleeing vessel. Then the star destroyer appears – more and more and more of it. Yes, I ducked. I really enjoyed the movie, but I wasn’t completely hooked until I saw The Empire Strikes Back. Oh, wow. Big capital ships, men in uniforms, strange space cities. It even had a hint of romance in the stormy relationship between Han and Leia. I loved it.
Romance had traditionally been lacking in science fiction. The R word was always associated with cheap, trashy little books that women read and the male-dominated science fiction industry (if I can call it that) didn’t want to be polluted with girl cooties. However, I’m just one of a growing band of women and men who want to write good SF with real relationships in them. Love is such a powerful emotion; it can cause people to do strange, or noble, or heroic things. Why wouldn’t there be romance in space? Moreover, why should the romance detract from the science fiction?
So I write fast-paced, action-adventure stories which would probably have been labeled ‘pulp fiction’. That’s okay. I’m not expecting to win a Neula award. They’re fun, they always include strong women with minds of their own who don’t need rescuing, thanks all the same, and they always include powerful men (admirals) who find themselves compromised by their growing relationship with said powerful women. While none of my stories is in any way hard SF, I do try to make my science a lot better than you’ll find in Star Wars. No getting around in space without a hyper drive, no hundreds of alien species able to exist in the same atmosphere. No human/alien hybrids. No space ships zooming around in space as they would in atmosphere. And no Force. Also no vampires, and no mental telepathy.
At the moment, I’ve just finished Kuralon Rescue, set in the Morgan Selwood universe. I’m introducing a new group of women, who earn the label of ‘Morgan’s Misfits’. Morgan is a bit player in this book, which is about four strong, capable but very different women who have to form a cohesive team to rescue a man from a prison camp. The book is yet to be edited and I haven’t decided on a cover – but it’ll be out soonish.
Here’s the blurb.
Jirra’s on the run, Siena’s rescuing her lover, Toreni wants Master Chef status and Chet wants her reputation back. Four women, four goals, and one very small ship. Add a fleet request to free a rebel, the promise of little to no help and a caste-defined society simmering with discontent on the edge of explosion.
Now, on their own, they’re staging an escape from a backwater prison planet and navigating the murky terrain of dreams forbidden by the rigid caste system underpinning their culture. Success demands more than team work. They’ll have to jettison their own prejudices and forge relationships free of the rules and caste lines.
There’s more than just lives at stake. There’s dreams and a possible tomorrow more fragile than gossamer.
Greta van der Rol loves writing action-packed adventures with a side salad of romance. Most of her work is space opera, but she has written paranormal and historical fiction.
She lives not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoys photography and cooking when she isn’t bent over the computer. She has a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping her in her writing endeavours.
Website – http://gretavanderrol.net/
Twitter – http://twitter.com/GretavdR
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Greta.J.vanderrol