Please tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m an Australian writer, who grew up with three older brothers watching action, sci-fi and horror films. My favourite of these films were always the ones that had a strong romantic subplot to them! I think this sums up the kind of girl (and writer) I am – a tomboy on the outside, but a softie on the inside.
Tell us about the Aurora Series:
So far there are two books in the Aurora Series – Aurora: Darwin (available now) and Aurora: Pegasus (launching 1st December), but there are more to come! The series follows Captain Saul Harris of the UNF Aurora, and his new recruit Corporal Carrie Welles, as the Aurora saga unfolds around them. It’s a Space Opera with plenty of action, thrills, drama, a touch of horror, and strong romantic subplot.
What inspired you to write this particular story?:
I’ve always been attracted to stories with strong female characters, so part of it started with Carrie. She’s a woman determined to prove her worth, so I decided to throw her in the deep end and see if she would sink or swim. I’ve also always loved a story about a good man fighting for what is right, and that inspired the character of Harris. He’s a captain put under immense pressure and tasked with keeping his team together and alive.
Please share a favourite snippet from your book (Aurora: Darwin):
Carrie looked into Doc’s calming brown eyes. “So, you think it’s alright for him to call me and the other women liabilities, when he’s never even been in the field with us to know what we’re capable of?”
“No, I’m not saying that . . .”
“Well, tell me this Doc,” Carrie asked, searching his face for an answer. “If we’re going to be on the same team, doesn’t it make sense to try and work together? Shouldn’t he be encouraging me to work with him? Not pushing me away.”
“Yeah,” Doc nodded.
“So, what’s his problem, then?”
Doc tilted his head to the side in contemplation. “Well, I think the clash with McKinley comes down to your personalities. I think you’ll find that you two might be a lot alike.”
“Alike? Him! He’s nothing like me.” She waved him off.
“You’re both competitive for one,” he smiled, “and stubborn as hell.”
Carrie balked at the idea. “He’s way more stubborn than me!”
Doc laughed. “Welles, this is your second day on the ship and so far you’ve put your health at risk several times already because you refuse to back down.”
“When have I put my health at risk?”
Doc gave her an incredulous look. “You refused to admit that you needed the anti-nausea shot even though you made yourself sick. You let Carter’s jibes get to you on the climbing wall and then overdid it and could’ve fallen and broken your neck. And then, you didn’t back down with McKinley in the gym, even though you were clearly playing with fire there. Shall I go on?”
Carrie eyed Doc closely. “You pay attention, don’t you?”
He smiled confidently at her. “It’s my job to pay attention, corporal. And that’s why I know that if you just chill out with McKinley, treat him like your lieutenant, then things’ll settle down.”
She chewed at her lip, looking at him as he looked at her, waiting for her to give in. “I still think you should be telling him this!”
Doc nodded. “I’ll have a word to him. But you have to promise to put that red flag away.” He raised his eyebrows and put out his hand. “Do we have a deal?”
Carrie looked at him for a moment, then relented. She was having a hard time saying no to his cute smile and friendly brown eyes. She looked down at the tanned forearm being held out to her, then reached over and shook his firm, warm hand.
“Good,” he said standing up. “Now you’d better get back to work before the captain sees you and it’s both our asses.”
Carrie watched him walk back to the door. “Doc?” she called after him.
He stopped and turned around. “Yeah?”
“You owe me one.”
“Yeah, what for?” He looked confused.
“I didn’t shoot McKinley.” She said it with a straight face at first, but her mouth soon curled into a wicked grin.
A smile crept across Doc’s face, too. “Thank you for that.”
Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?:
I would say looks and (basic) personality both come at the same time. The character will just appear in my mind in a key scene from their story, and everything else will radiate out from there.
Any tips for aspiring authors?:
Be patient. I worked on the Aurora Series for about 4 years before seeking publication, and then it took about seven months to receive my first offer (which is actually a short time in reality!). The first draft of anything you write will be crap, but to complete a first draft is an amazing achievement. It’s by going over and over it that you will create your true story, and the more you polish it, the better your chances of publication will be. The best way I’ve heard a writer’s journey described is this: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Questions for fun:
If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change?
Yes. I would’ve buckled down and started writing again earlier than I did.
Writing was something I did a lot when I was in my early teens, but it fell to the wayside when I became addicted to film. I know my journey took me where it had to before it led me back to writing for a reason, but I still can’t help but think of those wasted years! Writing is very time consuming, so it’s important to keep your writing time precious.
What super-power would you choose?:
Mind-reading definitely. Particularly with men! Life would be so much easier if you could read the mind of a romantic prospect, to know if he’s just wasting your time or whether maybe he’s just too shy to say/do something!
If you could have three wishes, what would they be?:
To see the Aurora Series find a home in readers’ hearts.
To have my family and friends healthy and safe.
To find ‘the one’ (because he’s sure taking his sweet time to find me!)
Coffee, tea or wine?:
In my 20’s it was wine, definitely. But these days I’d say coffee. It’s a writer’s best friend.
What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!):
The books that linger with me as favourites are the ones that first left an impression on my young mind. When I first started writing I was inspired by teen angst stories, so books like S.E. Hinton’s Rumble Fish and Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero were favourites. I still have so many books to read that I’m hesitant to state anything recent as a favourite because I feel so under-read!
Favourite genre and why?:
I like hybrids. I like a good saga with plenty of action, thrills, drama, and romance, and ideally they would be set in sci-fi or fantastical worlds.
I like red, because it’s vibrant and passionate. I also like black because it’s slimming! ;)
Upcoming news and plans for the future?:
Well, hopefully I’ll see the rest of the Aurora Series released, along with several other books I’m planning – some in the spec-fic realm, and others in action/adventure and romance!
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to take part! Much appreciated.
Aurora: Pegasus blurb: http://momentumbooks.com.au/
Aurora: Darwin blurb: http://momentumbooks.com.au/
Aurora: Pegasus – 1st December 2013 | Aurora: Darwin – Available now on ebook
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