I am very happy to welcome my friend and talented author Laurie A. Green. Laurie is the winner of the 2016 Carolyn Readers Choice Award in the Specialized category for her book Inherit the Stars.
Laurie, I am thrilled to have you here at Whiskey With My Book. Congratulations on winning the award. It is a well-deserved award in my opinion!
Will you tell us a little about yourself?
I retired as a military budget director in February of this year, so my full-time job is now “author.” (Insert very big smile here.) I’m a three-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist who primarily writes Science Fiction Romance and founded the SFR Brigade community of writers in 2010.
I live on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico with my husband and various dogs, cats, and horses. We raise Thoroughbreds on a very limited basis and have a promising yearling filly whose registered name is—surprise!—Inherit the Stars.
Tell us about the Carolyn Readers Choice Awards.
The Carolyn Readers Choice Award is a competition sponsored by the North Texas chapter of RWA® and is named in honor of Carolyn Williamson, a founding member. The 2016 contest was open to any book published in 2015 and judged by romance readers who are not members of a professional writing organization or associated with the publishing industry in any way. The winner in each category are determined by the highest overall score from five judges.
What inspired you to start writing?
I can’t credit any particular influence; it just seems to be how I’m wired. I’ve written stories since I was very young. That was a good thing, because I grew up in a resort area that was quite isolated except for the summer months. By the time I was ten, my much-older siblings had left home and since all my friends lived many miles away, I spent a lot of time by myself. My stories kept me entertained, allowing me to create strange new lands to explore and epic adventures to embark on—all in my head, of course.
What are some of your favorite books?
Two that are sci-fi classics–Dragonriders of Pern and Dune. Two that are more recent science fiction romances–The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald and Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair.
There are many, many, many others—including a few by close peers—but these four have probably had the most impact on me as a writer.
Inherit the Stars has a big complex plot with lots of twists. Was this all planned or did it evolve as it was written?
I’m a complete pantser, so it began with an idea and an overall story path (which made several surprising course adjustments before the journey was done) with most of the detail and character interplay happening spontaneously on the page. These characters had an amazing story to tell, and it turned out to be a much bigger story than I realized when I sat down to write it.
If, suddenly, the ITS space faring technology was available today, would you want to take a trip off world?
Absolutely! Having artificial gravity would make space flight much less troublesome in terms of avoiding muscle atrophy and other negative effects of microgravity that today’s astronauts experience. If I could borrow a state-of-the-art, system-hopping ship like Specter, I’d love to do fly-bys of Jupiter and Saturn and some of their more interesting moons.
And then? Well, as a famous Star Fleet Admiral once said when asked for a course heading, “Second star to the right…and straight on ‘til morning.”
Who is your favorite character in Inherit the Stars?
Sair (the hero) will always be a very special character for me because of what he overcomes, his fierce loyalty to those he loves, and his unique sense of honor and duty. He’s also a bit of an antithesis to his subspecies—the Rathskians–who are brutal warriors. Sair isn’t prone to violence until his only choice is to fight.
Of the minor characters, my favorite is probably Jaeo (pronounced Jay-o). The tall, fair-haired, no-nonsense commodore is a charismatic leader and not the sort of man you’d want to cross, but he’s also suffered greatly for his beliefs. More of his story will be revealed in future books.
Can you tell us about the series and what we can expect?
The Inherited Stars Series a sweeping saga that spans several thousand years (14,000 if you count the backstory). I decided to start with the very dystopian era of Inherit the Stars circa 3500 AD so readers could experience what the known universe had become before I take them back to the beginnings—in our own time—to reveal what came before.
Novelette Farewell Andromeda –released at about the same time as the first novel–was set 200 years (or calendars, as Sair would say) in the future of Inherit the Stars, and offers hints of how the universe has evolved in those two centuries when a star-crossed couple meets on a repurposed space station–the same station, as it turns out, that played an important role in Inherit the Stars.
The next novel in the series, The Outer Planets, is a near future set in our own solar system, and the third, Draxis (working title) has a bit of a “sword and planet” feel to it. Both novels may seem like very divergent stories from Inherit the Stars, until the various story threads start coming together in a big way in the fourth and fifth novels. The sixth and final novel, Inherit the Vengeance, will be a direct sequel to Inherit the Stars.
There are also many shorter works in hopper that will flesh out the series at various points on the timeline, and provide “the rest of the story” (as Paul Harvey would say) of some of the characters and events. Readers who expressed a desire to spend more time with the Inherit the Stars “crew” without having to wait for the final novel to be released will be very happy with these satellite stories, I think.
What are you reading now?
Lea Kirk’s Prophecy, which is an amazing science fiction romance story. But…no spoilers!
Laurie, feel free to add anything else you would like people to know about you or your books.
In addition to the Carolyn Readers Choice Award, Inherit the Stars was also named one of the Best Books of 2015: E-Originals by LibraryJournal.com. The novel is also available serialized into three parts, beginning with Part I: Flight OR you can experience the first chapter for free, along with science fiction romance first chapters by nine other authors in Portals Volume One that just released in mid-May.
Find out more about my work on my website: Author Laurie A. Green
And a very special thanks to you, Riley, for hosting me today!
Laurie, it was absolutely my pleasure. Inherit the Stars also ranks in the top three (three because I can’t pick just one) of my own favorites for 2015 books. Thereby affirming all those judges’ decisions. If you are interested in my thoughts about Inherit the Stars check out my review here.
For more winners of the Carolyn Readers’ Choice Awards, go here.
How about an excerpt from Inherit the Stars:
He stopped at the foot of the gangway. “Cap here?”
“I’d like to talk to him.”
A twitch pulled at the edge of her mouth. “I’m the mate. Talk to me.”
He recalled the bookie’s warning and stifled a smile. Watch out for this little breeder? Had to be a joke. “I don’t do business with crew.”
“What of it?”
Her knife flashed as it caught the sun. “I’ll gut you, you bastard scum!”
Sair threw both hands up and jumped back as the woman took a swing at him. She was faster. The tip of her blade slashed the left breast of his jacket. “Sunnabitch!”
She lunged again, this time dropping the blade low, set on gelding him. Sair scrambled out of her reach, cold sweat breaking out on his neck. She was good with her knife. Damned good. Mate’ll slit your throat, the bookie had said, but it wasn’t his throat she was after.
“Put the knife down, you crazy marka. I’m a customer.”
“Not on this ship, heo.”
Angry at the insult, he made a grab for her knife hand. Foolish. She blocked with her free hand, seized his wrist, and wrenched it at an unnatural angle, immobilizing him. Her blade sliced across his palm in a slow, excruciating cut. A blatant sign of contempt. “Heo.”
“Zjel!” A woman’s voice rang out from the direction of the street.
The little slasher released him and backed off a few steps. Keeping one eye on his assailant, Sair cradled his wounded hand and stared at the blonde who strode toward him, a com set perched on her left ear. She wore the same olive-drab flightsuit, unfastened down the front with a sleek black t-skin underneath, and the tease of her curves made his breath catch.
The new arrival marched up, oblivious to the smaller woman’s incessant knife-weaving, and looked him in the eye before turning to his attacker. “What goes?”
“This Rathscum challenged me.”
“Challenged you?” Sair snapped. “I only asked to speak to the cap.” Blood seeped from his cut and fell to the dust below.
“What do you want?”
Gold stars glittered on her collar. This is the captain? One look at her and he knew he had to leave on this ship. “Passage.”
“Anywhere better.” He eyed the mate, still brandishing her blade, and tried not to think about his stinging, bloodied hand.
The captain appraised him with keen brown eyes. Wispy blond locks framed her face. “How much do you have?”
“We’re not taking this heo—”
The captain’s gaze moved to her first mate’s face. No words were spoken, but her message was clear.
The smaller woman’s face screwed into a frown. “Peitchau!” She swiped her bloody knife on her thigh, sheathed it, and stalked up the gangway before disappearing into the ship. She’d sworn in Purmian, which should’ve come as no surprise. Her size made her subspecies obvious.
The captain turned to him, her eyes doing a slow sweep of his body, taking his measure. “How much?” she asked again.
Amazon Links for The Inherited Stars books:
Find Laurie at:
Website: Author Laurie A. Green