I’m so thrilled to have the uber talented Sara Creasy, author of Song of Scarabaeus, and the upcoming Children of Scarabaeus (due March 29th!!), on the blog today!
Sara has also generously offered up copies of both books to one lucky winner!
Giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone that entered!
Giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone that entered!
Thanks so much for dropping by the blog, Sara! It’s a pleasure to have you here!For those that haven’t read your series, can you tell us a bit about it?
Song of Scarabaeus and Children of Scarabaeus are officially shelved as “romantic science fiction”. My description is that they’re far-future science fiction adventures with romance and a bit of weird biology. The first book was nominated for a Philip K. Dick Award, which was a huge and pleasant surprise. I developed the science ideas – terraforming alien worlds using genetic engineering – using my biology background. The protagonist is Edie, who programs the terraforming technology for the mighty Crib empire. She’s kidnapped by space pirates for her abilities, and leashed to an ex-con bodyguard Finn.
You had the perfect childhood environment in which to foster an active imagination, growing up in an old Victorian house with secret rooms in the UK! Did you have thoughts of being a fiction writer when you were young, or did that come about later?
I never imagined being paid to write, no. But I wrote a lot, as did my two sisters. We used to write little magazines with articles allegedly written by our various stuffed animals. We drew comic strips and wrote silly little soap operas on our typewriters. So there was always a lot of writing going on, but I have to say I didn’t grow up in a family where the Arts was seen as a viable career choice.
You mentioned The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and Little Grey Men as favorite reads when you were a child. Are there any others you particularly enjoyed?
One book that sticks in my mind is Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink, written in the 30s. I ordered it from the school book club when I was about ten. It’s still in print – just last year I bought a new edition at Amazon to share it with my nieces and daughter. It’s about two girls on a voyage to Australia who get shipwrecked on a desert island … along with four babies!Another book I loved was Mandy, by Julie Andrews (yes, THE Julie Andrews), in which an orphan girl finds and restores an abandoned cottage. It has one room with walls covered in shells – that’s the detail I never forgot.I also loved Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave series, my absolute favorite retelling of the Arthurian legend. In this version, which starts with Merlin as a boy, he uses mostly science rather than magic, which fools everyone that he’s a wizard.These books all had an otherworldly quality about them, even though they weren’t all fantasy as such. The same goes for the Little House books and Flowers in the Attic. I don’t remember reading any realistic contemporaries other than a couple of Judy Blumes – I always wanted that escapist fantasy element.
Any contemporary faves?
I’m currently on the lookout for my “new favorite author I haven’t discovered yet”, so suggestions are welcome. The authors I’ve been reading the most over the past year are Elizabeth Moon (military SF) and Linnea Sinclair (SF romance).
Is there anything you absolutely need in order to write? Anything in particular that gets the creative juices flowing?
I need a few hours of uninterrupted time, which lately hasn’t happened because I have a 9-month-old baby. I find it hard to write in short stretches but I realize it’s something I have to learn to do.When I’m stuck on a plot, music gets the creative juices flowing (orchestral music like film soundtracks, not lyrics). Just put on the headphones and do nothing except listen and imagine for an hour. Again, that’s not possible these days and plotting has become more of a technical exercise – nowhere near as much fun, and nowhere near as successful either. Waiting for the muse to strike gives much better results, it’s just not at all predictable.
When you started Edie’s story, did you have any idea how many books you wanted to do, or did you just decide to see where the story took you?
I knew where the first book was going to end, and that there was more to come after that. After two books I don’t have more story to tell for those characters – not right now, anyway (there are only so many times they can save the galaxy) – but I do like the universe I created and I might return to it one day.
When you’re not writing amazing sci-fi, what do you like to do to unwind?
I play with my amazing baby! And take about a hundred photos of her every day. She’s the most incredible little person. I love watching her learn new things (except for the latest, blowing raspberries while eating).I used to watch sci-fi movies and TV shows with my husband, as he’s a big fan like me, but since arriving in Australia last September we haven’t set up his big American TV yet. And I do read, but not as much as I’d like. I’ve been borrowing books from the library (they are so expensive to buy here) and keep getting overdue fines, so clearly I’m not getting through them fast enough.
Is there anything you can tell us about yourself that maybe not a lot of people know about?
Well, my blog readers probably know this already: I married a writer – he writes as M C Planck. We met online (although not on a dating site) six years ago and the first thing we did was exchange manuscripts. That’s an interesting way to get to know someone! We have the same agent, Kristin Nelson, and she just sold his first science fiction book Firaxe to Tor. He also writes epic fantasy.
Can you share with us any teasers or news about upcoming projects?
I’m writing three books and haven’t yet decided which one to concentrate on, so I work on whichever one I feel like writing that day. One is a middle grade contemporary fantasy, which is a new thing for me but of course it’s exactly the kind of book I’d have loved reading as a child. Another is SF adventure, lighter in tone than the Scarabaeus books and with more romance. The third is technically SF but reads like a historical or fantasy romance, and it has some steampunk elements, although not in the Victoriana sense… That one needs a bit of focus, as you can tell from my muddled description.
Thanks so much for joining me today, Sara!
Thank you for the opportunity!