Hi, everyone and a big thank you to Lisa for having me! Today I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the inspiration for my upcoming novel Gravitational Attraction. While I have a biology/nursing background, I’ve always had a soft spot for physics. It’s how stuff works, after all. When my son came to me to help him kick around an idea for an RPG he was working on, the idea being for a new kind of interstellar drive, my writing brain went supernova.
The basic premise of the gravito-electromagnetic (GEM) drive has to do with a fictitious, yet to be discovered relationship between gravity wells and magnetism, this being…eeep! What? Oh, hi, Isaac, you scared the he—I mean I didn’t hear you come in.
“Spending time with the Corzin does that to you.” Isaac grins, far too pleased with himself.
Makes you sneaky? Folks, this is Isaac Ozawa, one of my heroes from Gravitational Attraction.
“Funny. You know better. Listen, I can see you’re all excited, but do you really think Lisa’s readers want tech specs?”
Um…I’m thinking maybe…no? Did you come in so I could interview you instead?
Isaac’s dark eyes spark with laughter. “Right. Not happening. I thought it would be stellar to interview you instead.”
Oh, all ri—excuse me? No, no, that’s all wrong. Characters don’t interview authors. The main characters certainly don’t. It’s just…wrong.
“I could go away, I suppose.” Isaac leans on the edge of the desk. “Let someone else do it. Admiral Ranulf, maybe?”
No, no! You stay! *sigh* Go ahead. Ask away.
Isaac gently removes my death grip from his arm. “Here’s one that’s been nagging at me. Why are so many of your heroes physically challenged?”
“Don’t do the innocent puppy look. Please. Diego Sandoval has a seizure disorder. Philippe d’Anjou has a crippled leg. Josh Kempski has anger issues that might as well be a physical issue. Vassily Belikov has neurological problems. And me? Do we even have to talk about what the damn faulty pilot implant did to me?”
Ah…right. What about Kasha?
“He’s a cat most of the time.”
Yes, but he’s not physically challenged. Ha!
“Do I really have to point out that he has penile spines? Can you answer the question?”
Oh. Good point. I guess there really are two reasons. The first is purely my characterization preference as an author and as a reader. I get bored to tears with the “perfect Alpha male” as hero. Even a tortured one can be boring. Been there. Done that. I like a hero who’s a little different, who has more to overcome. The second, and I’ll be honest, is because of my own physical issues. I have MS and, yes, I do identify with characters who have difficulty doing some of the things Alpha males take for granted.
Isaac rolls his eyes but he’s smiling. “Wonderful. So we get to suffer for your art.”
Yes…I mean, no! Er…yeah. You do. Sorry.
“It’s all right. At least we do better than the villains in your stories who tend to get—”
Hey! No spoilers!
“All right, all right.” Isaac holds out his hands, pleading. “Not even a little one? About how Turk likes to—”
“Can we talk about the Corzin? What was your inspiration for them?”
Originally, I’d envisioned a Janissary sort of group, a group of marooned humans taken into service in an alien culture, used as their fiercest fighters, trained from birth as living weapons. But as the story unfolded, the relationship between the Corzin and their hosts became more complex, more symbiotic. Turk himself became my inspiration, his attitudes and reactions often surprising me.
“Does that happen a lot? Characters surprising you?”
Asks the man who sneaks up on me and demands an interview? Hmph. A lot? No. But certain characters refuse to fit into the mold I carve for them. Turk struggled against it every step until about a quarter way through we called a truce and sat down and talked.
Yes. He had to tell me who he really was. Normally, when I start a story the characters all have family histories, to one degree or another, personal histories that include who raised them, how they were educated, and what childhood traumas they suffered. None of this might make it into the story, but it helps us come to an understanding about each other.
“I can understand how it might’ve taken some time. Turk doesn’t like to talk about himself.”
No, but we managed. Should I tell them about the story now?
“How about if I do?”
It’s your interview.
“Perfect. Gravitational Attraction is due out at Silver Publishing in early February of 2012. You see, I’m the comm officer for the courier ship Hermes. On a routine run, we receive a distress call and find what appears to be an empty ship. Not entirely empty. The corridors are splattered with gore, and there’s one lone survivor locked in a holding cell. After that, things get complicated and strange.”
That’s all you want to say?
“Weren’t you just shrieking about spoilers?”
Right. For updates on Gravitational Attraction, a M/M Science Fiction novel, as we get closer to launch, and to find out more about Angel’s work and her not-so-perfect heroes, pop on over to Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind.
Thank you for joining me on the sofa today, Angel and I forgive you for the cheesecake faux pas!