Today's Darklight On is Sandra Harris. Welcome, Sandra!
How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
Something about the ‘paranormal’, the different, has always attracted me. One of my fondest memories is sitting with my dad watching the early Doctor Who series. Our favourite was Tom Baker—and of course everybody loved K9. In my teens I loved reading The Black Stallion and Elyne Mitchell’s The Silver Brumby series, then onto the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Later I discovered Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series (that’s a laugh a minute) and I love the quirky nature of Douglas Adams’ works, especially the Dirk Gently books.
Please tell us a little about your road to publication.
I have been very lucky in my road to publication . . . and it started with rejection. The first RWA conference I attended was the 2010 at Coogee. I pitched to an editor and was asked for a full. I sent that in and although two editors looked at the work and said they liked my voice they did not think the work suitable for their publishing house. My lucky break. Since then I’ve had the chance to improve the story, to lift it from what it was to something immeasurably better.
Your debut release is Alien, Mine. Can you tell us a little about it?
Alien, Mine was released on June 19 this year. A science fiction romance, it follows the story of a modern day, independent Earth woman caught in conflict on the far side of the Galaxy. She faces the challenges of staying alive and out of the clutches of some truly nefarious aliens, and conquering cross-cultural/species mysteries to be with the warrior she falls in love with.
Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I started authorial life as an out-and-out panster. Now I’ve morphed into an in-between girl—I think of myself as a plotster. I tell my characters they have certain goals to attain and then let them have at it. More often than not they take me in a totally different direction to what I imagined. Pesky little beggers. J
Do you have a favourite of your characters?
Absolutely not! All characters are loved equally, but some might be loved more equally than others. J (Sorry, George)
What are you currently working on?
Another sci-fi romance, though not related to Alien, Mine. This one is set on Earth in the near future.
What is your favourite part of the writing process?
I get an absolute kick out of writing something that springs off the page, something that brings out in the reader whatever emotion the hero/ine is experiencing.
What can we expect from Sandra Harris in the future?
More sci-fi romance. The WIP I’m currently working on is the first in a loosely connected series of three books, two set on near-future Earth, one on a planet a few hundred light years away.
Who are your favourite authors?
Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Anne McCaffrey.
What are you currently reading?
The Art of Romance Writing by Valerie Parv.
Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
Nope, no favourites, but I’m a big fan of Star Trek, especially the OS. More recently Firefly and Eureka. I like the kick-butt heroines in Aliens and AVP, loved Galaxy Quest. I could go on and on.
Do you have advice for emerging writers?
Keep writing. Learn how your writing process works and accept it. If it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that each author commits to their craft differently. Don’t be scared to give up, I’ve done it tons of times. I think the longest period was thirty minutes and, of course, I’ve always returned to it. J I’ve tried doing the ‘must do’ word count, doesn’t work for me. If you procrastinate, train yourself not to. And if you’re intent on making writing a career, treat it like one. If you don’t respect your writing, don’t expect your family and friends to.
Thanks, Sandra, and congratulations on your first book release.
You can find out more about Sandra at:
Website and blog: www.sandraharrisauthor.com
Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/ka4jskr
And for a sneak preview of Alien, Mine...
The Bluthen have one consuming passion: themselves. In their expansion across the galaxy, they will go to any lengths to dominate species they encounter.
Torn from modern day Earth and stranded on the far side of the Galaxy, Sandrea Fairbairn must use every particle of courage she possesses to adjust to her new life and live for tomorrow.
Eugen Mhartak, a general in the Tri-Race Alliance Army, refuses to bow to the merciless Bluthen. Haunted by the loss of far too many innocent lives he has vowed to drive the ruthless invaders from Alliance space.
The strength and valour of Eugen Mhartak attracts Sandrea as no man ever has, but she struggles to read the enigmatic general’s heart. Determined to help him triumph over the Bluthen she uncovers a diabolical plot against the Alliance.
Drawn by the courage and exotic beauty of Sandrea, Mhartak battles to overcome the barriers of cross-cultural differences that separate them and claim her ardent interest. He must conquer his deepest fears to be the man she needs. When his principles are betrayed by his own government and he is faced with the impossible prospect of taking Sandrea’s life in order to save his home planet, Mhartak desperately searches for a way to keep safe both his world and the magnificent woman who has stolen his heart.