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The Get My Book Out There Podcast with Narelle Todd and S.E. Smith
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By Cara Bristol
One question authors are asked is how they come up with their characters names. In my science fiction romance, many of the names are symbolic representations of the characters themselves. Without “inside information,” readers probably won’t realize the significance of the names, but it helps me to define the characters.
In Rescued by the Cyborg, my story in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, heroine Solia is a Faria. Faria are fairy-like aliens who radiate light. You could say they have an “inner glow.” In the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series, I first mention Faria in book 2, Mated with the Cyborg, then created a Faria heroine in book 3, Captured by the Cyborg. Her name was Illumina for illumination meaning light. When I decided to create another Faria heroine for Rescued by the Cyborg, I needed another “light” name. Latin roots offer wonderful alien sounding names. I asked myself what kinds of things produce light. The sun radiates light! Sun in Latin is solis. I needed it to be feminine sounding, so my character became Solia.
Most of my cyborg names in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series are symbolic as well. Cyborgs are machine/computer-augmented humans. To emphasize their humanity and show they’re not robots, I gave them all “man” names. The hero in Rescued by the Cyborg is Guy Roarke (Other cyborgs in the series: Mann, Homme, Andros, Sonny, Fellows). The only cyborg who doesn’t have a man name is Cyber Operations Director Carter Aymes because when the series started, he wasn’t a cyborg, and I’m such a pantser, I didn’t know he was going to become one.
Mittzi, the kitten in Rescued, has four white mittens (paws).
The villains of Rescued by the Cyborg are called Ka-Tȇ (pronounced Kah TAY) and live on the planet Katnia. Because they resemble hairless panthers, they are named after cats—but as I point out in the story, they are not genetically related to felines.
Rescued by the Cyborg
A Novella in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance Series
A cyborg’s haunted past and a Faria’s clouded future entwine…
Hostage and sole survivor Solia waits for death at the hands of vicious predatory aliens when Cy-Ops agent Guy Roarke disobeys orders and charges in. A former medic, he initiates emergency medical procedures before rushing her to Cybermed.
Guy is taken with Solia, but the guilt of a past mistake won’t allow him to plan for a future with the delicate, brave beauty. Life is so uncertain, he can’t even keep Mittzi, the kitten his niece gave him. What he can do is see to it Solia gets the help she needs for a full recovery. But when best intentions place her in greater danger, it’s up to a little kitten to make everything all right again.
Rescued by the Cyborg Excerpt
In this scene, the hero discovers the villains have captured a Faria.
“Scan the surface for life-forms alien to Katnia,” Guy ordered. “Report any anomalies.”
“Scanning,” said the computer.
For several minutes the only sound in the cockpit was Mittzi purring, and then the computer spoke. “The exospheric molecular analysis has been completed.”
“Plasma diffusion with a molecular array consistent with a class B attack cruiser has been detected.”
Guy accessed his databanks in the microprocessor embedded between the hemispheres of his brain and pulled up a list of individuals and organizations known to run class B attack cruisers. It was a short list.
“Identical plasmic trace elements were detected in the troposphere and at ground level,” the ship’s AI said.
“You’re saying a craft landed on the planet’s surface?”
“The probability is 99.87 percent.”
“How long ago?”
“Adjusting for weather and atmospheric conditions, the range would be between two and three weeks. The surface scan for alien life has been completed.”
“What did you find?” He held his breath. Report nothing. Please, report nothing.
“One alien life-form has been identified.”
He clenched a fist. “What?”
“A Farian female.”
Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2
The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence. http://www.petsinspaceantho.com
Cara Bristol Bio
USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol writes steamy science fiction romance with an emphasis on the characters and their romance, with a little humor, heat, and danger added for fun. She is the author of three science fiction romance series: sexy cyborg Cy-Ops Scifi Romance series, the dark erotic Breeder series, and the new humorous Alien Mate series. She likes to say that she writes science fiction for readers who don’t like sci-fi. Cara lives in Missouri with her alpha hero, her husband, and Hannah, her cat, aka her writing supervisor.
Social media links:
Web site: http://www.carabristol.com
Twitter: @CaraBristol, https://twitter.com/CaraBristol
1. Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write?
I’ve been writing (as an adult) for 13 years. I wrote as a child, but stopped in high school to concentrate on my studies. I’ve been published for seven years. I write romance, mostly paranormal but with a little sci-fi and fantasy and contemporary for variety. I like to try out new things and the different genres let me do that.
2. What inspired you to write your first book?
The very first one I wrote (that lives in the back of a cupboard) was a tale of forbidden love with a vampire hero. It was actually more of an urban fantasy than a romance. I can’t remember where the idea for that story came from. The first book that was published was An Elemental Tail and that came from a dream where I was handed a very old book made out of mermaid skin.
3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! I read nonfiction and fiction. I love books about lost or ancient civilizations. Fragments of ideas will tumble around for ages before clumping together into something that can be turned into a story. Sometimes the point of inspiration is clear, other times it’s an assortment of what ifs.
4. Where/When do you do the most of your writing?
I write while the kids are at school, and while I have a desk I move around. Over Christmas I did some of my best writing on the sofa in the shadow of the Christmas tree. I read something about runners getting better times when surrounded by nature, so maybe I type faster when near a tree?
5. What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment?
Staying published. This business can be very hard. Signing one contract is no guarantee of getting another.
6. What series/book did you write that has the biggest following.
The Shadowlands. It was my first novel and print series and that really helped me get my name out there.
7. Do you have a favorite author?
I have lots of favorite authors. I’m loving Marie Brennan’s Memoires of Lady Trent series (regencyesque fantasy), Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road series and Deborah Blakes Baba Yaga/Rider series.
8. Do you have any advice for other authors?
Read in the genre you want to write in and read widely. Also just keep going. What’s hot now will change in six to twelve months. You just have to keep writing.
9. Is there a particular niche or direction you would like to expand your writing portfolio into?
I have just branched out under another pen name as I wanted to start writing urban fantasy. I didn’t want to use the same name as Shona Husk writes romance and there is a guaranteed HEA at the end, with urban fantasy it will take a few books and I didn’t want to break that promise to my romance readers.
10. Describe your latest WIP
Lady of Silver is paranormal romance, with a dose of suspense. There’s an evil vampire, a human cop who discovers there’s more to the world than he ever thought possible and a woman who is part of a dying race of magic users. It’s the first book in the series and while they stand alone there is an overarching plot. I like my series to have an end, and a common thread.
11. How can readers reach you?
I’m on twitter and facebook and goodreads, or they can subscribe to my newsletter if they just want to keep up with my new releases.
SHONA HUSK is the author of the Shadowlands, Blood and Silver, and the Face the Music series. You can find out more information about Shona at www.shonahusk.com or follow her on Twitter @ShonaHusk, Facebook www.facebook.com/shonahusk or join her newsletter: http://mad.ly/signups/119074/join
Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write?
I write science fiction romance primarily, although I also have a series of paranormal romances set in ancient Egypt and have begun a fantasy series. I’ve always been a writer, going back to my first completed book at the age of seven, which featured princesses, cats and flying horses, and had a riverboat captain as the hero/love interest. I still have that one (self-illustrated too!) but have no plans to release it LOL.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m going to assume we’re talking about my first published book, as you can see from the above answer that I’ve written literally my entire life. The fundamental answer is that I never can find enough books that I want to read, so I write them. Priestess of the Nile was my first published book, from Carina Press in 2012, and I was inspired by my love of ancient Egypt, my fascination with the paranormal element of shifters – I viewed the Crocodile God, who is the hero, as being a shifter – and the fact that Carina had put out a call for ancient world romances. A few months later I self-published my first science fiction romance, Wreck of the Nebula Dream, which is loosely inspired by the Titanic sinking, but set in the far future, aboard an interstellar luxury liner. I’ve always been fascinated by anything to do with the Titanic and thought the situation made for an intriguing springboard to an action-packed scifi story with romantic elements.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anything and everything can become the germ of a story idea. My most recent book Danger in the Stars, was inspired by the idea of a kidnapped alien priestess who also happens to be a super empath, held by an interstellar crime syndicate and forced to do their bidding. The original concept was for my novella Star Cruise: Stowaway in the ‘Pets In Space’ anthology (story now available separately). After I finished writing that story, I still had more adventures to tell, and so I wrote Danger in the Stars, which features the sister of the heroine in Stowaway. The other element of Danger which fascinated me was who could my heroine Miriell trust? Who would be her hero and love interest in a situation like that? How would they ever get free of the mob?
Where/When do you do the most of your writing?
I’m a fulltime author now, which is wonderful and I’m so appreciative of the readers who’ve bought my books and made this possible! I write in the living room, at my great grandmother’s desk, on my laptop, closely supervised by my two cats. I’m most creative in the morning so I try to get one solid writing stint in every morning before diving into the promo and social media work that an independent author needs to do these days. Although don’t let me kid you – I love being on Facebook and Twitter and talking to people so much that it can really eat up a lot of the day for me if I let it! I usually get in another hour or two of writing in the evenings, but not always.
What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment?
Raising my two daughters as a single Mom after their Dad was killed in a bicycle accident when they were only 3 and 5. I’m very proud of my daughters, who are now college graduates and mothers themselves. After that, I’m proud that I got my first book published and that I’ve been able to leave the day job and become a fulltime author. Which required me to write quite a few books of course – no overnight success here. And in the old day job at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory I received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal for certain business process improvements and let me tell you, I’m very proud of that.
What series/book did you write that has the biggest following?
I think because it has the most books released (eleven to date), my Sectors SciFi Romance series has the biggest following. It’s a connected series, all in the same interstellar civilization, and most of the books are standalone. I have written a few direct sequels, however. I have a page on my website that explains my thoughts on reading order but usually it’s fine to read the books in any order.
Who has influenced your writing the most?
Andre Norton. As a kid, I loved her tales of interstellar adventure but I definitely felt there needed to be ROMANCE. At the time she wrote, that wasn’t the way the genre went of course. Anne McCaffrey, with her ability to create worlds like Pern, with the dragon riders. Movies like “Aliens”, with a strong heroine like Ripley, and an equally strong hero like Corporal Hicks, and the way they work together, depend on each other and respect each other. I add a lot more romance and less gore and ick factor.
Do you have a favorite author?
Of course Susan is a must buy for me! Add Nalini Singh, Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. Anna Hackett and Michelle Diener are two SFR authors also high on my list.
Do you have any advice for other authors?
Write something every day and don’t self-edit too much on the first draft. There is no perfect on a first draft and if you self-edit too much, you can paralyze yourself. Get the words down and then you can go back and improve and expand. Try not to compare your books, your sales, your readership or anything else to any other author. Yes, we can all learn from each other, but direct comparisons can be daunting and discouraging if you let them. We’re all on our own path. There’s no one right way to go about this business of being an author. Understand it is a business, especially if you self-publish, which I do.
Is there a particular niche or direction you would like to expand your writing portfolio into?
Scifi romance will always be my first love, but I enjoy taking side trips to ancient Egypt and I’m really excited about the world I created for my fantasy series. I wish there was more time or that I was one of those people who could work on one novel in the morning and another novel in the afternoon. I’m so eager to tell ALL the stories, you know? But my Muse believes in writing one book at a time.
Describe your latest WIP.
Two Against the Stars is the third story in my ‘kidnapped alien empathic priestess’ set of plots. The heroine Charalle escapes the mob on her own through a fluke at the beginning of the book and then makes the difficult decision to put her safety in jeopardy to rescue a Special Forces soldier. The two of them are on the run trying to avoid the crime syndicate enforcers and find a way to save themselves, bring down the bad guys and reach that Happy Ever After ending.
How can readers reach you?
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5428500.Veronica_ScottAmazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Scott/e/B006CUCJ92Newsletter : http://wordpress.us7.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=2a337b96e2ee1ee1250004b9d&id=7462393c9e