Please welcome Aubrie Dionne to the blog today! Aubrie is one of my critique partners and a contributor to Raven and the Writing Desk. Her science fiction romance novel Paradise 21 will debut from Entangled Publishing tomorrow. It's an awesome book, and if you want to read my review of it, click here.
Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind’s last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where humanity can begin anew—a planet that won’t be reached in Aries’ lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries-long voyage.
But Aries has other plans.
When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers the rumors about pirates—humans who escaped Earth before its demise—are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet’s native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns her freedom will come at a hefty price.
The life of the man she loves.
To purchase: Books on Board, Diesel eBook Store, Amazon, B&N
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8vCni_TZUA
Aubrie, Paradise 21 is a science fiction romance novel. What inspired you to write it?
My love of science fiction started way back as a kid. I’d watch the old Star Wars movies on tapes over and over until I knew every single word. Then, I’d go out to the backyard with my sister and we’d play out each scene, fighting over who got to be Princess Leia.
In my teen years, I watched every episode of Star Trek, The Next Generation. Data was my favorite character, and I’d imagine what it would be like to meet him. I always wanted him to find his way to being more human.
Space opera was exactly the right genre for me, because it had a certain amount of science, but it didn’t get too technical. I understood what was going on, and there was romance to spice the story up.
This is what I strive for in my own writing: to have the perfect balance of sci fi, romance, and adventure.
I think you succeeded in what you strive for. From idea to publication, how long did your journey take for Paradise 21?
It took me a few weeks to think about the idea, then seven months to write. After that, I queried agents for six months before finding Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge. Dawn queried for about a month before Entangled Publishing picked it up. I signed my contract within a week of their offer in March, and it took until August to go through the edits and get it published. So I’d say a year and a half total.
(And I owe finding Dawn to Cherie. Cherie had met Dawn at a writer’s conference, and she recommended her to me. Thank you, Cherie! )
Aww, you're welcome, Aubrie. Dawn's pretty great. I really enjoyed meeting her. I know you are also a flutist and a teacher. How do you balance writing with everything else?
I write in the mornings and late at night when I can’t practice my flute! Sometimes the two careers bump up against one another, and I have to decide which one takes priority at the time. But, for the most part, they compliment each other nicely.
How much does music inspire your writing?
A lot. It’s actually why I got into writing in the first place. I make up stories to go along with the music when I teach to make my flute students play with more emotion. My students urged me to write them down because they liked the stories so much, so I decided to follow their advice, seeing that they followed my advice every lesson!
Plotter or pantser?
A little of both. I have a general idea and direction, and end point, but I fill in the middle as I go along.
If you could recommend one book—not one of your own—what book would that be?
That would be your book, Once Upon a December Nightmare, of course! I LOVE scary stories, and even though I can’t write horror myself, I love to read it.
Once Upon a December Nightmare kept me on the edge of my seat, and I’d already read it before when I beta read it. I love how there’s a tie in to civil war history, and the whole story flows so well.
Aww! You're too kind, Aubrie! And no, I didn't tell her to say that. *blushes* What else are you working on? Anything forthcoming?
Yes, I just finished the second book in the series, Tundra 37, and before I go into the third, I’m writing a prequel. This will tie into the series in a novella form. Hopefully, this will get more readers interested at a very low price. That way they can see if they like the world I’ve created before diving into a full-fledged book.
This prequel, A Hero Rising, will chronicle the great great great grandfather of Striker, the main character in Paradise 21. It will tell the story of how the Space Pirates culture got started, and the fall of Earth after the colony ships leave.
Thank you for this fantastic interview and review, Cherie! This book’s success is due in a big part to your guidance as a critique partner.
Tundra 37 is awesome, and I feel so lucky I got to read it already. You're welcome, Aubrie. Paradise 21 is wonderful and I wish it and your future works much success.
Aubrie is an author and flutist in New England. Her stories have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, A Fly in Amber, and several print anthologies including Skulls and Crossbones by Minddancer Press, Rise of the Necromancers, by Pill Hill Press, Nightbird Singing in the Dead of Night by Nightbird Publishing, Dragontales and Mertales by Wyvern Publications, A Yuletide Wish by Nightwolf Publications, and Aurora Rising by Aurora Wolf Publications. Her epic fantasy is published with Wyvern Publications, and several of her ebooks are published with Lyrical Press and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, she plays in orchestras and teaches flute at Plymouth State University and a community music school.