Archive | July, 2013

777 Meme Continues/Busy Summer

18 Jul

I’m on the last day of my vacation this lovely day – I’m on a 4 on/4 off, hence the going back for the weekend – my apologies for not posting, I’ve been trying to orchestrate other things and get other work done, not to mention basically just taking off and enjoying this glorious, albeit humid, weather. I have another 12 days off at the end of summer – life is good when you can bank overtime – but let’s just say that my ‘Summer Reading’ is probably going to have to wait a bit longer. There are so many festivals and things to do in the Summer Time here in Manitoba – I’m planning on staying out in the country next week to hit up Clear Lake and hopefully sneak in some horseback riding while I’m there, but we’ll see how busy it is – I might pick up a few extra days if the region is crazy busy.

Anyway, Audra Middleton had us doing the 777 Meme on the WOTI site, and it was so much fun, we decided we should continue on with it for our personal blogs. You can check out who contributed thus far by the above link, and I’m not saying who I’ve got lined up until the end of the month on my Wednesdays. Here’s a different Work in Progress; I don’t normally like talking about Works in Progress until the manuscript is ready and I got a nibble of interest, but eh – I technically have like, 6 other books to chose from, so hopefully I’ll get to be more of a one-trick pony in the future. I write fast but I edit slow, if that makes any sense. I technically could go to the project I’m working on now, but my main character’s a bit of a jerk and the context is kind of ridiculous. Not that I’m scared to post something that hasn’t been edited a billion times so you can see what kind of chicken-scratches my drafts are. No-siree.

7-7-7 Challenge: Terran

            Suddenly the metallic limb I had control over went dead. I realized I was also missing my right leg, their weight rendering me effectively pinned. “Avery, listen to me. You need to calm down.”

            “What did you do to me?” I asked. “What happened? The Marshal, he-“

            “Second-Grade Marshal Osbert Nolmon died before his memories could be recalled,” the nurse said. I realized that only my left eye was crying. I moved my real hand to feel my face, learn what was missing, but he took my hand. “You need to focus, Miss Walker.”

Nice and chipper, eh? Now, on to the questions:

1: What is the working title of your book(s)?


2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

There were two things that made me start to think of this novel. Before I got into EMS, I was curious about the moralities of modifying human beings – how we might think it’s grotesque to alter people, but if they can live fulfilled or even improved lives if we cut away parts of them that are useless or ineffectual and replace them with technology – from limb lengthening surgery to the use of lasik and pastic surgery, at what point are we modified to beyond human, and, to what end does it serve?

The other thing was that my earlier novels fall under the category of adventure novels – usually the climax comes out of violence and adventure – and while I enjoy writing fight sequences, I wanted to stray away from that direction, just for the sake of ‘not all endings require a show of might’. This was a desire to do a more character-driven novel that is harder to define by plot because it doesn’t follow the usual format – there is no single villain to topple.

3: What genre does your book come under?

I classify it as cyberpunk, but it could also skirts on the line of transhumanist. Where I go with technology isn’t that it itself is evil, but what people do with it.

 4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I never cast my characters with actors. Unless of course I’m watching something I enjoy, then I’d be all like, “I could totally write in a part for Will Smith/Vin Diesel/John Malkovich right now…” but generally, I would prefer that if my books were ever made into a film/miniseries/video game, that they would take relative unknowns for the lead parts.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

After a young woman’s life is destroyed and she is unwillingly transformed into a cyborg, she has to relearn what it is to be human when she no longer can call herself one legally.

 The novel’s set on a Martian Colony, so hence the title, Terran.

 6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

The book will be sent out when I’m happy with it. I have a lot more science-fiction reading to do in the meantime that are very case-specific to help me consider everything in the book. I will go along traditional publication lines with this one – even though I am going to self-publish other books, this is one of those things where I’m not comfortable putting it out without help. It’s character-driven rather then plot-driven, so I need other people’s perspective on everything because it’s not as simple as other books (I’m not saying this is an overly complicated novel, however, the parameters are very different then ones that are more like 1) Seek Objective 2) Fulfill mission 3) Things go horribly wrong).

 7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I dreamed up a different type of plot with a male lead on Mars in essentially the same world when I was 25, but around that time The Hunger Games came out, and he was going to be a cyborg modifying himself slowly cutting away bits and pieces of his humanity to become a better fighter so that he could make enough money to get himself and his family off the Martian colony. I don’t like jumping on trends and my friends were kvetching about Battle Royale, so I scrapped the idea and wrote a different book instead, but I wanted to write a book about cyborgs. I still kept the idea going, and mostly put the focus on a more natural, down-to-earth character who didn’t want glory or to achieve, she just wanted to live a quiet, normal life. I officially started Terran after Tower of Obsidian (I wrote a few lines and chapters before, prepping for Nano) and was going to write it in place of ToO, but a friend of mine made a comment on how fantasy is silly nonsense, so I put Terran on hold to write Tower. Terran took me over a year to write the first draft, because I had to put it to the side, stop, and think about what I was doing. It was challenging on numerous levels – I’d say all in all, Terran took about 16 months for the first draft, clocking in at 90,000 words. This is very slow for me – since I got my BA, I can usually manage a 100K+ novel a year, plus some short stories. However, I don’t like writing the same thing and I like to challenge, so while I type over 100 WPM, I do like to stop the manuscript process and work on other projects to think through issues in other stories. 

 8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Oh, this is a hard one – William Gibson is like the father of this genre, but I got a lot of ideas from movies as well as books – Blade Runner, Total Recall (with Arnold Swartzenegger), Soldier – I suppose this animated movie hardly anyone will remember – called Light Years. Authors – Isaac Asimov, Octavia E. Butler in terms of her social commentary. My dad had a collection of comic books that he gave me – Weird stories, but while I haven’t read the book for Logan’s Run or watched the movie (I’ve only seen parts of it) I had the comic version of Logan’s Run, so there’s another story that probably quietly influenced me.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Like I said, I was considering the morality of changing human beings. I’m in EMS, so obviously I believe in short-term intervention, but I do start to question the use of surgery and modification if it’s done purely for aesthetic, or if people are kept on life-support when they no longer wish for those interventions.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I’ll get back to you on that when I have a finalized working draft.

Edit: I’ve got a few people responding, so you can check out Kathy Ann Trueman and Catherine Dove – more to come. In the meantime, if you’re an author and you’d like to participate, consider yourself tagged.


777 Challenge / Sci-Fi Fangirl Cometh

4 Jul

So fellow Burst author Audra Middleton had an idea for a meme – for as many days as possible for the month of July, we over at Worlds of the Imagination and as many guests as we can, are posting WIP’s of a speculative nature – but only seven lines, on page seven or seventy-seven seven lines down.  I cheated because the scene in question is short but it’s close enough.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, Champagne/Burst is based out of High River, which is apparently the worst place effected by that flood. To the best of my knowledge, Ellen’s back in the office but you’ll have to check out our publisher’s page for more info as it becomes available.

In other news, I finally saw the new Riddick Trailer – I don’t even know why I like those movies as much as I do; effectively they’re Conan in Space, but that might be why I enjoy it. I also just saw the movie Iron Sky – which is a movie about Moon Nazis and Sarah Palin is president. If that doesn’t sound interesting to you, nothing more I can say will change that – but if you got a hankering for something… different… I say check it out.