Category Archives: Author Friends

What Does Cara Bristol, Woman’s Best Friend is a Robot Dog, and Pets in Space, Have in Common?

Pets In Space 600x900I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Cara Bristol:

Maltese puppy, 6 months old, sitting in front of white backgroun

My pet in Spark of Attraction is a robotic dog named Sparky. I’d call him an android, except “andro” specifically refers to a man, so by definition an android is a robot with a human appearance. So maybe Sparky the canine is a “candroid.” Lol.

In any case, he looks and acts like a real dog. So real, that when hero Dante first encounters him, he mistakes him for a real animal, which is not allowed on a military spaceship, and so immediate friction results between him and the heroine. Then Sparky bites the captain with his electrically charged teeth, and that doesn’t go over well either.

Sparky is a K9-500 model, a prototype invented by the heroine’s deceased father, and is all Miranda has left to remember him by. The K9-500 is programmed to protect her no matter what. The protection sequence cannot be halted, not even by Miranda herself.
If you were going to create a robotic dog, what traits would you want it to have?

Spark of Attraction blurb

Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased.

After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.

An excerpt from Spark of Attraction, Pets in Space

“Sparky, no!” Miranda grabbed her robotic dog and tried to pull him off the captain. This was awful. Stone would airlock him for sure. “Release, Sparky, release!” she cried, but the companion-model robot hung on. “Let go!”

The captain bent, and gripping the dog’s upper and lower jaws, began to pry its mouth open with his bare hands.

“Don’t hurt Sparky!” He was all she had left, and the captain could break him, dislocate his jaw.

“Hurt him?” He peered up at her. “Might I remind you its teeth are imbedded in my leg?”

She reached under the collar for the power switch on the dog’s nape. He jerked, released the captain’s ankle, and fell over. Still. Silent. “I’m so sorry,” she apologized, wringing her hands. “He’s programmed to protect me, and he perceived you as a threat.” Maybe if she’d explained at the start her dog was a canine artificial intelligence model, all of this could have been avoided—but at the captain’s edict, she had panicked.

She scooped him up and clutched him protectively to her chest, stroking his soft synthetic fur. He looked and acted so lifelike, sometimes she forgot he was a robot. They’d have to eject her from the ship before she’d allow them to remove him. If they put him on a pod, how could she be sure she’d get him back?
He hadn’t been bothering anything.

Well, not until he bit the captain.

If Stone’s eyes had been cold before, they were positively flinty now. She’d never seen such a dark scowl.

Blood stained his pants leg, and he pulled it up to reveal a lacerated ankle. For all its small size, the K9-500 had a jaw like a vise and sharp metal teeth. If the bot had attacked a human, the damage could have been severe. Rumor had it Dante Stone was a cyborg, a computer-enhanced human with biomimetic parts. She’d heard cyborgs were immune to pain and practically indestructible.

“I’m sorry,” she repeated. “It doesn’t hurt much, though, right?”
“Of course, it hurts!” he snapped. “Why would you think it doesn’t?”

“Don’t you have those nano thingees?”

Her fellow colonists were staring, watching the interchange, waiting to see what would happen. Would the captain toss her into the brig? Airlock poor Sparky?

Cara Bristol’s website: http://www.carabristol.com
Cara Bristol’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/9aRJj
Cara Bristol on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cara.bristol.3
Cara Bristol’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cara-Bristol/e/B004D8KZTQ/

Click here for your copy of Pets in Space

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Marie Long and M.C.V. Egan Talk with S.E. Smith About Writing and Attending Indie Book Fest 2016

I can’t wait to introduce you to two amazing authors whom I met at IndieBookFest 2016! Hurricane Matthew was having fun with our internet connection so stick with us with the video goes in and out for a moment at one point.

Marie Long writes Scarred (New Adult Romance). You can check out her website at http://www.marielongauthor.com/.

Scarred Marie Long
Scarred Marie Long

 

Catalina writes under M.C.V. Egan. Her book is The Bridge of Deaths (Historical Fiction based on real life stories). Check out her stories at http://thebridgeofdeaths.com/.

Bridges of Deaths
Bridges of Deaths

#PoweredByIndie #IndieBookFest2016

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Lea Kirk, What is Your Favorite Space Toy/Weapon/Aircraft & Why? and Pets in Space

Pets In Space 600x900I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Lea Kirk:

“Everyone aboard,” Gryf ordered. “Time to strap in.”

“Will you double check my seatbelt, Uncle Graig, please?”

Maggie smile sweetly.

“Of course, little bird.”

Juan grasped the handle of his gear bag. “I’ll stow your bag, Uncle Graig.” The six-year-old bounded up the ramp and disappeared into the craft.

There wasn’t much in the bag, just a couple of changes of civilian clothes he’d taken from the stores of Camp One.

Everything he’d owned had been left behind aboard the Atlantis when the Anferthians had boarded the ship.

There are so many cool devices out there in sci-filandia it’s hard to choose just one. So, here’s my top three favorite sci-fi “gadgets”.

The transporter from Star Trek. I mean, could you imagine having that at your beck-and-call? No more saving to purchase over-priced airplane tickets. And who wouldn’t be happy if they didn’t have to sit next to Patient Zero on an airplane as they hacked and sneezed all the way across the country? Think of all the travel time you’d save. Unlike Dr. McCoy, I’d have no issues having my molecules disassembled and reassembled if it meant getting from one place to another in seconds. Sign me up for the frequent beamer mileage award program, now!

The Noisy Cricket from Men in Black. As far as weapons go, this is the badest of the bad. Astronomical power in a convenient, pocket-sized package. Let’s face it, you pull this baby out and alien miscreants are going to bolt for the first ship off planet. The only improvement I can think of making is adding an airbag that deploys behind you when you shoot. Although, watching Agent Jay flying backward and butt first into the taxi’s windshield never gets old.

The Heart of Gold from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This is one sleek space ship that I’d love to steal from Zaphod Beeblebrox. Everything about this ship redefines cool. The all-white design, the happy talking doors, Marvin the Paranoid Android. Admittedly, the starkness of an all-white interior might get to me after a while, but cheerful doors who are so pleased to open and close for you might off-set that. Marvin, in my humble opinion, is the greatest robot in the history of sci-fi robots. Love that little, depressed guy. But my most favorite thing on the ship, the one thing I really want, is the Infinite Improbability Drive.

P01-Explorers-Wanted-NASA-Recruitment-Poster-600x

Is it surprising that we’ve circled back to travel? Not really. I love traveling, and any of the fantastical worlds featured in the Pets in Space Anthology would make ideal destinations. The Infinite Improbability Drive would be the perfect means of getting there, or anywhere. I’m always looking to the future and dreaming of how we can travel from Point A to Point B, C,…Z faster and with the least amount of fuss.

The only problem with the IID is that you never know where you’ll end up, or what you’ll be when you get there. But, hey, life’s an exciting adventure, right?

To find out more about Lea Kirk, please click here.

Click here for your copy of Pets in Space

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People Make Space for Pets with Alexis Glynn Latner

Pets In Space 600x900I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Alexis Glynn Latner:

Some classic children’s literature, penned by authors passionate for the welfare of animals, was written in the first person point of view of an animal. Think Black Beauty and Beautiful Joe. I loved these books as a child and still own my childhood copies. I’m aware now of how anthropomorphic the writing was.

AGL Blog 5

”My name is Beautiful Joe, and I am a brown dog of medium size. I am called Beautiful Joe, but not because I am a beauty. . . . I am an old dog now, and am writing, or rather getting a friend to write, the story of my life.”

More recent writers have done a pet’s point of view in more sophisticated ways – such as this from Dean Koontz’s thriller Dragon’s Tears:

“He is not afraid. Not. Afraid.

“He is a dog, sharp claws and quick.

“Creeping, he passes thick, high oleander. Then the people place where he’s been before. . . .

“The smell of the thing-that-will-kill-you is heavy on the fog. But like all smells in fog, not as easy to track. . . .”

“Careful. Sniff. Young-man-bad-thing smell, very strong. Not afraid. Not, not, not, not. He is a dog. Good dog, good.”

This is a third-person point of view that’s very immediate.

And it is a natural for science fiction. Science fiction can get into the mind of an alien with enough telling details and little enough analytical distance that readers are convinced and the suspension of disbelief does not fail. In their own ways, our familiar pets are more alien than we tend to take them for.

To find out more about Alexis Glynn Latner, please click here.

Click here for your copy of Pets in Space

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Carysa Locke on Why Pets in Space is a Project Close to Her Heart

Pets In Space 600x900I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Carysa Locke :

Pets are not always the easiest thing on a writer. Sure, they can be inspiring. I drew more than a little inspiration for Ember, the fox-like kith in my story, Escape Run, from both my dogs and my cats. But sometimes they can also be the opposite of inspiring.

Once, our puppy Maya hit the table my laptop was sitting on so hard, it flew into the air and landed face down on our hardwood floor. The flash drive plugged into the side of it broke, and after a few flickers, the screen on my laptop turned black and wouldn’t come back on. I had to take it in to the Mac store, where the nice technician reconnected the cable that sends picture to the screen. Since I was busy trying not to hyperventilate at the thought of having to buy a new laptop, I was very grateful the actual issue proved so small.

My cats also have to get in on the fun. Here is one of them, Nimue. She likes to lay on my arm and sleep. It makes it very challenging to type while a (cough) twelve pound cat is attached to one’s arm. My other puppy, Sophia, will lay her head across my entire keyboard sometimes. I think she does it when she thinks I’ve ignored her for too long. It’s a bit nerve wracking, suddenly having this dog head land on the keyboard in the middle of a scene. I’m always hoping she doesn’t accidentally hit the power button when I haven’t saved in awhile.

Blog Post #6

Still, I wouldn’t trade any of these little foibles for anything. My pets are part of my family. Especially when it comes to writing science fiction, I think it is important to think about things other than human. Interacting with pets gives me insight into a different perspective, one that is the closest thing to alien we are currently going to find here on Earth.

When the opportunity for Pets in Space came my way, I was instantly interested. How better to share my love of animals than through writing? I’m so grateful to be here with such an amazing group of authors. I hope readers will enjoy what we’ve come up with.

Anything that can be done to raise awareness for rescue animals, or to aid organizations that train animals to be companions for humans in need, is a great thing to be a part of. I’m proud to be involved with Pets in Space, and so excited to share my story, Escape Run.

Here is a small teaser:

Cole Madras was a big man, tall and broad, with the muscular look of a soldier. His hair was dark and long enough to brush his shoulders. A few strands of gray threaded through it, catching the light. Cole wasn’t the sort to use nanites or dye to hide the changing color. His face was more arresting than handsome, strong and square with a few lines around his expressive mouth, and at the corners of his eyes. Hazel, his eyes had always reminded Teegan of the forest. Green and brown and full of secrets. His skin was lighter than her own, browned by the sun.

Emotions too complicated to untangle closed her throat and held her frozen for an endless moment. Funny, how the mind created physical responses in a completely mental environment.

To find out more about Carysa Locke, please click here.

Click here for your copy of Pets in Space

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