What inspired you to start writing science fiction and dystopian novels?
My love of science fiction of course! I love movies and TV shows more than I do books. I know I know... Burn her, she’s a witch! But hear me out. Hard science fiction makes great visuals for TV and movies, and that’s what I binged on as a child
and adult. Dystopian stories have this dark undercurrent I am wildly attracted to. Because I guess I’m a little bit dark myself.
Which of your characters is most like you and why?
All my characters tend to be a little of me. In my young adult Breeder Files series, Anya Macklin, the protagonist, is shy and a loner. I was shy when I was younger and I’m definitely a happy loner as an adult. Dom Pavesi overthinks things. Moi. Sheila Kouris speaks her mind and tries to put a comic spin on bad situations. I’d like to be ballsy like her, so she’s part fantasy, but the comic? Yeah, I like to deliver the humor.
If you could co-write a book with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Margaret Atwood. I love the Handmaid’s Tale and think she would be a lovely writer to collaborate with. We could spitball the most dreadful societies imaginable, really get dark, then chuck in a bit of ironic humor to lift it up.
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
I’m not superstitious, but I guess one ritual I have when I’m doing that first draft is to write in the morning. It’s when my brain is most responsive. We’re talking bum in chair to get writing done. No magic bullets. No special tricks. No “the moon must be in the fourth percentile before I can write” bull. That’s all excuses, because writing is not about waiting for inspiration to strike. That’s fantasy. It requires discipline and incredible amounts of concentration. An outline is essential before you start writing, otherwise you risk wasting time rewriting bad stuff.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who are just starting out?
Are you writing for income or for a hobby? Hobbies are cool. Write for fun.
If you’re writing for income, treat everything like a business. Your voice is important, but so is honing your craft and producing what readers want. Keep learning and don’t shun good advice, just because you don’t like criticism. Learn to distance yourself from your writing. They are your book babies, but you gotta let ‘em fly.
What's the most challenging aspect of writing science fiction and dystopian novels?
Keeping it real while making it up. I love how science fiction gives you permission to write whatever you want, but if you don’t follow the laws of science and logic, that’s going to be a big no-no for fans. I like to include science in my books, and what’s there is strictly fact checked. You can’t wing locations and planetary conditions. If a planet has no gravity, you can’t be running off somewhere.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
Teleportation please! Sometimes you just want to get places faster. But once a day usage. Otherwise, I wouldn’t appreciate it, and I’d probably get lazy!
What can readers expect from your upcoming projects and releases?
I’m wrapping out a second series this year called the Resistance Files, a follow-up series to the Breeder Files. After that, it’s back to the drawing board. My Genesis series is dystopian but written for an adult audience. The focus is on a broken Earth and a utopian new world with a mysterious alien race. I might switch back to the more grown-up books next. I also write fantasy under a pen name, Kate Gellar. I’m working on new ideas under that umbrella.
The "Breeder Files" series features a diverse cast of characters fighting against oppression and inequality. How did you go about creating such a varied and dynamic group of characters, and what do you hope readers take away from their struggles?
It started with Anya Macklin, the forgotten child who struggled at home but then was thrust into a new, orphaned life. The other characters came next. Some were polar opposites of her. Others were so similar, it caused conflict. The characters are fighting a cold, unfeeling system that is trying to use them for its own gain. What do I hope readers take away from it? In the face of oppression, where you’re at risk of losing yourself, trust your gut.
Bonus questions part two:
Can you recall a book that elicited a strong emotional response from you, whether it be tears or anger? If so, which book was it and what was it about the story that made you feel so strongly?
The Hunger Games - Mockingjay. There was this scene where an old man was shot as Katniss was promoting her win. I was sitting in a restaurant alone and I started crying! The writing was beautiful, the scene haunting. You really felt the unspoken connection between her and the crowds.
Link to The Facility (Book 1) on Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)
Link to Genesis Code (Book 1) on website (available wide)