I’m participating in a panel of children’s book writers on Sunday, June 7th, 3:00pm at the San Mateo County Fair, Literary Arts (Expo Hall). We’ll be discussing the how’s and why’s of writing for kids. My fellow panelists are both great writers. I’m looking forward to it. Please join us! More info
Prudence Breitrose, who writes the Mousenet series and Anita Volta , writer of Patulous, a story about a caterpillar will also be weighing in.
San Mateo County Fair, Literary Arts
I’d like to welcome Elizabeth Lang, author of The Empire series. The second book in the series, The Rebels, is just out. Both books are well structured with nail-biting adventures at every turn. I encourage everyone to check out Elizabeth’s links below and add her books to your Must Read list.
You mention in your Bio that you decided to take up writing as a result of working with computers, was there a deciding moment or event that pushed you to do so?
The realization was gradual. I used to love English class at school and I was a whiz at word games, so it was a shock to discover that I was losing my proficiency at them.
I adore world building myself. The hardest part is preventing my mind from constantly making unwanted “improvements”. Would you mind sharing with us the tools you use to keep your fantasy worlds pinned down?
For me, the inspiration for my worlds are the gritty settings of Blade Runner and even Star Wars, and my own natural cynicism about how our world will evolve once we get out into space.
What sort of research did you do while you were building the world you describe so vividly in The Rebels?
I did a lot of online research on cutting edge technology, plus a little creativity, such as the emo-inputs for the holovids movies. We have the UltraAVX technology in theatres now and I remember going to my first one and having high expectations. Considering the 3D technology that was available, and the extra price we have to pay for an Ultra, it was a big letdown. That was my inspiration for the emo-input technology and the ability to have a full sensory experience, including being able to pick the POV for the movie experience.
Your background is in Computer Science and IT, very finite, and structured disciplines. Do you feel this helped or hindered your writing? Please elaborate.
This helped a great deal, especially with the character of Adrian, who is a very rational thinker. The structure and organization required for computer work has been tremendous in developing complex plots and keeping track of character arcs.
A nice little romance percolates through both The Empire and The Rebels. It adds a welcome softness to the sci-fi thriller genre. Was this intentional? Or did it sneak in (as it so often does) on its own?
It was a complete surprise to me. The romance was ‘just there.’ The story was never about the romance, but Adrian and Kali appeared to have other ideas. When someone first mentioned that it was an SFR (sci-fi romance)—I had no idea there was a whole sub-genre for it—I was shocked.
The funny thing is that when I entered the first book, The Empire, into the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in 2011, I entered it for Science Fiction, and for Romance (never expecting much from it). I did make it as a finalist, but ironically, in the Romance category, not Science Fiction.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on The Andromedans, which is Book 3 of the Empire series and is scheduled for release this year. It was meant to be the last book, but there is still so much story left to tell in this book that I’ve decided to split it into two books and do a Douglas Adams—this trilogy will now be four books, with the last one having a tentative title of Vitaran Gambit with a tentative release date of 2014.
Beyond that, I have two projects in development. A new sci-fi/fantasy/comedy called Mrs. Beeston that will turn the quest genre on its head, tail, and any other body part you can imagine.
The second one is a sci-fi/noir story where I dump an Adrian-type character (along with a Kal-femme fatale) into a hard-boiled detective story. This one is the hardest one for me to write because comedy that is at the same time nonsensical, but still makes a crazy kind of sense is not very easy.
Congratulations Elizabeth, you’ve written two excellent sci-fi thrillers. The best of luck to you!
Thank you very much, Wendy! I enjoyed the questions and wish you all the best as well.