by Cindy Borgne
(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books including buy links.
Vallar is a character driven science fiction novel.
Sixteen-year-old Ian Connors works for Marscorp, using his psychic ability to give the organization an advantage over other groups angling for control of the embattled planet. The people of Earth have abandoned the colonies of Mars due to a dwindling of their own resources. The leaders of Marscorp believe that by pooling the planets assets, they will be able to gain enough power to force their way back to Earth.
Ian's job is to use his visions to locate smaller organizations in order to plunder their valuables and incorporate their masses. But a disturbing vision and a horrible loss cause Ian to doubt his loyalties to a corrupt, dictatorial admiral.
Unwilling to be a pawn in the Admiral's dangerous game, Ian must find a way to escape and protect a girl he sees himself with in the future. His only hope may lie with a new organization known as Vallar - an alliance of rebel organizations willing to fight for their survival.
NOTE: Only 99 cents. A great bargain for this book.
(Q) Where did the concept for the book come about?
It was a combination of two things. In the story, the main character Ian, has the ability to foresee the future. So I put him in him a situation where he uses his ability for the wrong reasons, but he doesn’t realize it at first because he’s being manipulated. When he doesn’t realize it, he has to get away from the people using him for their own greed. The second reason is in the beginning of the story Ian sees himself with a girl he’s never met. I enjoyed experimenting with his desire to be with her based on a vision. It’s also is a forbidden type of love, and I had fun writing it.
(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?
About a year.
(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?
Some of the usual big names in science fiction such as Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, and Connie Willis. I love Orson Scott Card’s books on writing. I also like Wilbur Smith for historicals and have used some of his methods.
(Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?
I have a nice easy chair in the living room where I’m most comfortable for writing. My muse is always best in the morning. I like to have something on in the background either music or the television. I think this is because I grew up with the TV on most of the time. It’s sort of like having company that doesn’t interrupt my writing.
(Q) As a writer, what is your greatest fear?
I always worry that something in life will take away all my writing time. Recently I’ve been looking for a full time day job, and I worry that between that and my kids it will be difficult to get any writing done.
(Q) What normally occupies your desk while writing? Pencils? Coffee mugs? Breakfast crumbs?
Pencils, pens, stapler and always a glass of water. I’m sort of addicted to water. At least it’s a harmless addiction.
(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they?
I’m working on a sequel to Vallar. I’m only about 20K words into because I keep changing the beginning.
(Q) What tip would you offer to a new writer who is just beginning their submission journey?
Join a critique group, participate, and accept advice. Build up your online networks through blogs, facebook and twitter before you’re published. If you want to be traditionally publishing read the Query Shark’s blog all the way through and keep re-writing your query. If you’re self-publishing, get several reviews of your book before you publish.
(Q) What research was involved in writing this book?
There was a good deal of research involved. I studied the book “A Traveler’s Guide to Mars.” This book has the best detailed description of the various areas of Mars that I could find. I also have a geologist/engineer critique partner that helped me with some of the technical aspects. I studied any map about Mars I could find. Google Mars is a good resource. I also studied all the environment on Mars in depth.
(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?
This is something from the end of chapter 5.
The vessel teetered on the edge of something. Outside, a thick mass swirled, making it impossible to see. My heart beat out of control. The hull became like a cage with narrowing walls. A crack formed on the front shield and grew in short spurts with every movement.
A few others slowly stood up. Nate’s feet barely fit on a small ledge. Another man hung onto the wall opposite of him. I looked back and forth between Nate and the cracked front port, which threatened to depressurize the vessel at any moment.
“Nobody move,” ordered the captain.
“I’m slipping!” Nate yelled.
“The port is about to go,” I said. “Those men have to come down here.”
Everyone argued at once.
“Nate!” I yelled over the talking. “Try to come down slowly.”
“No, don’t move. You’re going to knock us over.”
“He’s right. We have to come down,” said a panicked voice. The man opposite Nate crawled down, but he went too fast.
“Stop!” the captain ordered.
The vessel swayed and slid, threatening to fall at any instant. The crack streaked across the window like a lightning bolt. I held my breath. The large transparent shield bowed outward and exploded. Clear particles flew outside and blended into the churning heap. Men screamed as the craft depressurized.
“Somebody help him!” I yelled.
Nate’s hands slid off the wall. His arms flailed about as he tried to grab something. Two others flew into him and pushed him out the front port along with them. Nate disappeared into the churning dust.
“Nate!” I screamed as the vessel tilted and slid downward.