Today's Darklight On... is with Fiona Gregory. Welcome Fiona!
How did you come to write speculative fiction?
I started focusing on writing futuristic romance after I had success with a short story, which was eventually published in the RWAustralia Little Gems Anthology. My critique group had been yawning their way through my current WIP, a contemporary romance, but when I took The Protector along for a critique there was stunned silence after everyone finished reading. Finally someone said “Why on earth aren’t you writing this stuff all the time?”
A futuristic romance author was born…
Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I always said I was a plotter and I make detailed plans before I start to write. Unfortunately, once I start writing my carefully constructed plans go out the window and my characters go off and do their own thing. I fasten my seatbelt and go along for the ride.
Who are you favourite authors?
I read across the whole romance spectrum:
· Susan Grant and Liz Maverick for my futuristic fix,
· Christine Wells, Anna Campbell and Jean M Auel for my historical fix, and
· Nikki Logan, Rachel Robinson and Melissa James for my contemporary romance fix.
What are you currently reading?
· Susan Grant’s The Star Princess - I love a continuity series.
· Counting the days to the release of Jean M Auel’s The Land of the Painted Caves – Book six in the Earth’s Children continuity.
· My library bag – I select five items at random without looking at the back cover blurbs – this month I have a book on self-sufficiency, a health magazine, two novels and a collation of true crime stories. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.
I see you love the continuity series – do you plan to write one?
I’d love to. I have an idea for an artificial planet that’s a self-contained hospital and local community. It’s in a neutral zone and injured soldiers from many planets and opposing forces will land, and meet the locals. And each other. Romance central!
Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, StarTrek series and movies… I could go on and on.
I also loved a little-known series from 1995 – American Gothic – one of the writers was Shaun Cassidy – one of my childhood idols. It only lasted one series but I loved it.
Do have a favourite of your characters?
My current favourite is my hero in my Emerald entry – he’s gorgeous – brown eyes, great tan, washboard abs. And he’s in the armed forces.
What are you working on currently?
I’ve just finished my entry for the RWA Little Gems Short Story contest and also posted my second round Emerald entry, a futuristic romance.
My next novel is another futuristic romance – I’ve been spending hours with caravan brochures, planning my ideal spaceship for my hero and heroine to take a trip across the universe. Should be fun.
What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
I like to run and I use my running time to ‘pre-write’ – my creative process to explore the possibilities for what will happen next. Years ago I did a course that suggested trying to find twenty different options to take the story forward from where you are now. A long run is perfect for this activity.
Unfortunately, my calves are always tight because instead of a post-run stretch I’m more likely to grab a notebook and start writing. My physio despairs…
Fiona has had a short story published in the last two years of
Little Gems Anthologies - Turquoise and Topaz.
We wish her luck for a hat-trick with Garnet!