I'm delighted to welcome fellow SFR Brigade author Greta van der Rol to my blog today. If you haven't yet heard, a group of very awesome authors got together to release the Nebula Nights box set. For the low price of $0.99, you get eleven sci-fi romances to enjoy. I've managed to snag a few spare moments from Greta so I can get details about her contribution to this collection - The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy.
1. Hi, Greta, and thank you for stopping by today. It’s a pleasure to be one of your hosts for the Nebula Nights tour. Could you tell us a little about your contribution to the box set?
The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy is a love story told against a backdrop of rising tension between the two sentient species in the galaxy, humans and the alien Ptorix Empire. After a massacre of Ptorix miners on a remote planet, Admiral Saahren is sacked in an attempt to appease the outraged Ptorix. He wants his job back, so goes undercover to find evidence to clear his name. In that process he meets Allysha, who was brought up with the Ptorix, can speak their language and is also an information systems expert. Saahren falls head over heels in love for the first time in his life. But Allysha is shattered when she finds out the under cover agent is really Admiral Saahren, the man she blames for the death of her father and many other civilians in an attack a few years ago. Saahren must win her trust, at least, if he is to get his job back and prevent the coming war. Of course, he also wants to win her heart.
2. If you had to describe your novel in one sentence, or, if there is a sentence in the book that captures the essence of the work as a whole, what would that sentence be and why?
Truth depends on your point of view. You know the saying that history is always written from the point of view of the winners? That's what I'm talking about. Everything we see around us, every situation, is coloured by our own standards and perceptions. And that happens in IA:C. Allysha, with her sympathy for the Ptorix, sees the attack which killed her father as a war crime. To the humans, Saahren is a hero. Which is right?
3. What was your most defining moment in your novel? Was there a point in time where a certain character had a truly standout moment, or, even for you as an author, was there a moment where during your writing process you felt that your work truly shined?
This book was the first I ever wrote and it went through a variety of incarnations. I had to learn a lot of lessons on the way, not least how to add romance to my characters. When my editor finally agreed I'd got it right, I was over the moon.
4. Avoiding spoilers, which character surprised you over the course of their development? Is this character your favorite, or is there another that you prefer?
Saahren kept on surprising me. He falls in love at first sight (yes, I do believe that happens) but he's an admiral, used to giving orders and being obeyed. Except it doesn't work like that with Allysha. He's on a long learning curve that doesn't end with this book.
5. Did your novel end the way you believed it would back when you first started writing it? Or did things change along the way?
Things changed all over the place :) But the plot did not. That was fixed a long time back. It was more who was involved in various scenes. Originally, I had intended that Saahren take up his role as a leader, from a distance, much earlier. Rather than be involved in the hand to hand fighting (so to speak) he would be forced to send Allysha with a team to do the dirty work. It was an agent who suggested the story would work better as a romance if he became an undercover agent. And she was right.
6. As I’m sure you know, the romance genre is vast, spanning countless subgenres and even crossing or mixing genres. What, do you think, sets your book apart from the rest of the other novels in the genre?
My novel combines action, politics and romance set against a backdrop of war with an alien species. More than one person has compared the book to Star Wars or Star Trek – but with a romance in the mix. I think that's a fair assessment. But I'll add that the science in my book is a bit better than you'll find in Star Wars.
7. What drew you to the romance genre? Did you know from the start that your book was going to be a romance, or did the plot develop into one?
I'm not actually a romance reader, never read Mills & Boon. Although I did enjoy the Angelique books. I always was (still am) a science fiction reader, but that very human romance element was so often skipped over, or omitted altogether. SF was books for the boys. The pulp fiction covers said it all, token scantily-dressed, swooning female being rescued by the bronzed alpha male. So I guess what I always intended was for something with the flavour of Star Wars, but with that romance arc. I mean, sex is a pretty timeless element, isn't it?
8. What would you say to readers who are hesitant to try reading books in the romance genre?
Romance has so many sub-genres there's something for everyone. If you like science fiction, you may well like SF romance. If you like historical fiction, you'll probably like historical romance. Romance is a huge part of life, which has had a compelling influence on our history.
9. Behind every great author, there’s a great reader. Who are some of your favorite authors? Who inspires you?
There are so many. I'll mention only a few. Anne McCaffrey, whose Pern novels are without a doubt science fiction romance. Elizabeth Moon, who included romantic elements in her Serrano and Vatta series. (I suspect she had to tone down the romance in those books to appease the SF boys only club) Jack McDevitt's Benedict novels, which combine hard science with made up but very convincing history. And I must include Terry Pratchett, because I love his work.
10. Last question, what’s up next for you? Do you have any projects you’re working on right now? What are your future plans?
I'm still writing science fiction romance. I've started a new series in a different universe from the Iron Admiral's. It's called Morgan's Misfits, a spin off from my most successful Morgan Selwood books. Which reminds me, I really must get on with that Work in Progress.
Thanks so much for hosting me, and asking such thought-provoking questions.
The pleasure was definitely all mine!
Nebula Nights: Love Among The Stars
by Melisse Aires, SJ Pajonas, PK Hrezo, C.E. Kilgore, Cathryn Cade, Catrina Taylor, Veronica Scott, Lyn Brittan, Pauline Baird Jones, K.G. Stutts, and Greta van der Rol
11 Sci-Fi Romances that’ll sweep you away!
If you like your science fiction blazing with adventure and your space opera spiced with romance, this boxed set is for you. From first contact to battles for survival and love on war-torn planets, this collection from bestselling & award winning authors, including Cathryn Cade, Veronica Scott, PK Hrezo and more, will leave you sighing with satisfaction.
Her Cyborg Awakes by Melisse Aires
Her gentle cyborg servant helped her escape violence--but now he's changed into a warrior! Is he safe?
Removed (The Nogiku Series, #1) by SJ Pajonas
In this Japan-inspired tale, one woman’s family destiny is key to the survival of the last city on Earth.
Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. by PK Hrezo
Welcome to Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.
Noelle In His Heart by C.E. Kilgore
Noelle wishes for someone who understands she has love to give but commitments to honor. Stranded on Earth, Steve longs for someone who will understand that his alien heart can love just as deeply.
Stark Pleasure: the Space Magnate's Mistress by Cathryn Cade
Kiri te Nawa survives the perils of the galaxy on her wits ... although when it comes to space magnate Logan Stark, she’d rather use her body. But can she trust him with her secrets?
Birth of an Empire: The Beginning by Catrina Taylor
Three former genetic experiments chose peace over war in a sector that's known only war for a century. As each one squares against their governments they will question the experiences that guide them.
Escape From Zulaire by Veronica Scott
When the planet erupts into war, Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane must decide whether to save Andi Markriss, the intergalactic businesswoman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.
Solia's Moon by Lyn Brittan
SFR Galaxy Award Winner! When Dr. Solia uncovers her company's foray into creating humanoid life, she enlists the help of her handsome ex, Sheriff Sable, in bringing a little justice to the universe.
The Key by Pauline Baird Jones
Her orders are simple: do the impossible and do it yesterday. But this time the impossible might actually be impossible. The only way it could get worse? If her heart starts beating for the wrong guy.
The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy by Greta van der Rol
The Galaxy teeters on the brink of war. Can ex-admiral Saahren persuade the woman who hates him to help him prevent the coming conflagration? And perhaps even love him?
Mirror Image by KG Stutts
Maddie's entire world is turned upside down when she finds out that she is a clone. Now she must work with her counterpart to protect Earth.