Welcome to the story of how I came to write a science fiction story--curiously devoid of science (wherein I interview myself!) Me: Well, this is such a weird departure for you, I hardly know where to begin with this interview. Myself: You could start where you usually do. Or not. Me: I could, but I think I'll start with where this came from. Where on earth did you get the idea for this book? Myself: Well, once I finished Out of Time, I started kicking around ideas for the next book. This "kicking" involved watching Stargate Atlantis-- Me: You were researching book ideas by watching television? Myself: Um...yeah. Me: Okay...so how did that work for you? Myself: Well, not so good at first. I started getting ideas for Atlantis and not my book. It got so bad, I decided to write my idea down, just to get it out of my head. It was pretty pointless, since I didn't own the rights to write anything about these characters. Me: And how did that work for you? Myself: Well, one hundred pages later...not at all. But I liked the character I'd created that did belong to me, so I decided to try to migrate her to a story I did have the right to write. I tried different approaches. I even tried to take her out of the science/fantasy world, but she had some special things about her that belonged in a fantasy type world, so I pressed forward and suddenly the story just clicked. Me: Were you able to use much of your 100 pages? Myself: Not as much as I would have liked. (sigh) But just getting a great character was worth it, IMHO. I love everything about this character. She's pretty much everything I'm not. (grin) Me: There's something else...different about this book, right? Myself: (sigh) Yes. It's...long. By the time it is for sale, it might not be as long, but it is longer than any book I've ever written. I didn't mean to do that. It just...happened. Me: It just...happened? It had nothing to do with you typing, oh, too many words? Myself: No, it just happened. I'm too lazy to type too many words. Me: Right. So, moving on, this book, does it contain your signature humor mixed with your signature peril? Myself: Absolutely. My early readers tell me that they are glad about that, too. I had a lot of fun with the setting, with the characters, even with some of the names. Me: How do you have fun with names? Myself: Well, the story is set in another galaxy, so I had to make up all kinds of names. When I could, I had fun with that, but it was also kind of hard. Me: Does your galaxy have its own language? Myself: No. I didn't want to go there. I'm lucky I know MY language, no way I could make up another one. Clearly this isn't a book for hard core science fiction readers, unless they are also able to get a bit whacky and have fun--and are able to do without the science component. Me: Why did you leave the science out of the science fiction? Myself: You just had to ask, didn't you? (sigh) Basically, science is my worst subject. Even ahead of math. Way ahead. I bought a book about world building and right away knew I was in trouble. They wanted me to do math AND science! So, if you want a meticulously researched book, this isn't it. I made it ALL up. It's all fiction. Me: There's a funny story about your character, isn't there? Myself: You know there is. Sara Donovan, my main character can seriously kick butt. Well, one day I was channeling her, trying to get her walk down. I had to go get the mail. Some guys were working on a roof across from the mail box and I guess I was walking like I thought she'd walk and I got whistled at. It was pretty funny. Of course, they were too far away to see how old I was--or they'd probably have fallen off the roof. Me: You channeled Sara a lot, didn't you? Is this typical for you? Myself: I usually get pretty deep in my characters, but this deep has only happened to me twice. The other time was Pig in a Park and I thought that was because the book was first person. But Sara clearly wanted this story told.