Thursday, December 2, 2010
Interview with Marcella Burnard author of Enemy Within
I just finished Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard. I felt as soon as I started reading that the book was going to be something special, and the only disappointment when I finished was that there was not more to read. Marcella is a new Science Fiction Romance author and Enemy Within is a must buy for any Science Fiction Romance fan. While her style is similar to Linnea Sinclair her voice is her own. After I finished reading I wanted to know more about Marcella and I asked her if she was willing to do a short interview. (I wanted to keep it short so I did not cut into her writing time. I want more books like Enemy Within.) She agreed and is with me today to answer a few question about her writing, her cats and what is planned for the future. Thank you for being here today Marcella. Let’s get started on the questions.
Question 1: Why did you decided to write Science Fiction Romance?
I don't know that it was a decision. I'd always loved reading science fiction, and I'd been reading some SFR (Linnea Sinclair, mostly), when an idea popped into my head. I began writing that story - even entering the opening in a few contests. Feedback indicated that while I had real knack for science fiction, that particular story felt too much like a TV show on at the time. I did NOT want that! So I shelved that story and floundered for a few weeks. Then one day, a character walked into my head, took up residence and wouldn't leave until I wrote her story. That was Ari, the main character from Enemy Within. She was specific about being the captain of a space ship. She dictated the science fiction, the hero insisted on the romance. I went along for the ride so I wouldn't have to end up taking psychoactive medications to get the pair of them out of my head. Writing the book was cheaper. ;)
Question 2: I have noticed that cats own both readers and writers of
SFR. I got a good laugh when I read the names of your feline
snoopervisors. Do you call them by their full names? If you do how
do you keep from getting your tongue tangled?
Only one of the cats goes by a shorter version of her name - Eratosthenes is called Erie unless she's being bad. Then I say Eratosthenes...not that it matters. She's stone deaf. As for not getting tongue tied - practice. Hatshepsut seems to be tough for most people. Once someone hears how Autolycus is said, it's easy. Cuillean, too. But Hatshepsut, even after I've said it a few times, tends to tie most people in knots. Needless to say, the vet techs at the local clinic groan and roll their eyes when we say 'hey, new cat!'
Question 3: I am fascinated by the craft of writing and the different
approaches authors take. How do you structure you novels and what is
your typical writing day like?
I'm a character driven writer. I won't know what happens in a book until I know the forces driving the people – whether they are the main characters, the bad guys, or an entire government. To get all of that, I use the templates from Break Into Fiction by Mary Buckham and Diana Love. I generally have an overall plotline in mind, but I spend several days working through my characters and their conflicts. Once I start work on a book, there's lots of tea involved and usually at least one cat trying to make editorial suggestions by walking across my keyboard when I won't get up to take them outside. I usually begin writing straight through, but that inevitably breaks down as flashes of scenes start popping into my head all out of order. I jot them down as fast as possible and then begin filling in the holes to connect everything together. I am incredibly lucky in that I have a fantastic critique group. They won't let me get away with much. By the time I turn something in to the editor, it's in pretty reasonable shape. But on any given day, things look like this: the alarm goes off. Cuillean comes in for pets and cuddles. The second alarm goes off and we all get up. I feed cats, make breakfast, pack my husband's lunch and wave him out the door. Chores, that whole shower/getting dressed like a real adult thing, email, make a day's task list. Anything from that list (phone calls, short projects, etc) that can be done before 10am are done. At 10am, the manuscript comes up and I go to work. Music is usually a part of the process. If I'm not on a tight deadline, I'll stop at two or three to finish my chore/project list and to start dinner. If I'm on deadline, everyone eats take out and does their own laundry. :)
I see a distinct similarity between your cats and mine. They get fed first, I have to stop and pet and sooner or later they end up blocking my computer screen. I wonder if they are telepathic and communicate with each other or maybe there is a book they read on what is expected of cats!
Question 4: You have done some complex world and character building
in Enemy Within. Will there be more stories set in this universe?
I have plans for five stories in this series. Whether I get to write and publish them depends on how the winds of fortune treat the publishing world.
Marcella thanks for the great interview. I hope the publishing world is kind. There is not enough SFR now and I would hate to lose your future novels for any reason. So listen up fans. Talk Enemy Within up so that sales stay good and Marcella can keep publishing.
If you would like to know more about Marcella go to her web site at http://www.marcellaburnard.com/.
Berkley published Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard. You can purchase at Enemy Within at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders or your local bookstore.