Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Author Interview of Forbidden Playground

Author Interview of Forbidden Playground

About the book
Part human. Part alien.
Being superhuman doesn't make them immune to love. Or to heartbreak.
Akeelah never asks to be different. She sure doesn't ask to be a hybrid. She doesn't want to be a psychic orbweaver like her people - able to create new worlds with only a thought.
She. Just. Wants. To. Be. A. Girl.
More precisely, Saffron's girl.
Saffron's her best friend, a hybrid like her - and hot. Being superhuman doesn't make him immune to love. Or heartbreak. His one focus - Akeelah.
Coming into their powers and against the wishes of their android guardians, Akeelah and Saffron practice their psychic skills. Because of the dangers of orbweaving, the guardians they trust take Akeelah away, zap her memory.
Saffron can't live without Akeelah. All he wants is her memory restored, so she knows she's in love with him. But trust is rare in a world full of deception, androids, and aliens - even when two people love each other.

About the Author:

New Adult and Adult Sci-Fi Romance Author S.B.K. Burns write about:

Heroines with Attitude
Heroes with Heart
Themes of Diversity
Blending Science and Spirituality.

A scientific generalist, graduate of more coursework than she wants to remember. The wife of the next Bill Gates of alternate energy. The mother of the smartest son on the planet.
Author Website: S.B.K. Burns

Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write the book?

If I recollect correctly, two events inspired the writing of Forbidden Playground, my first novel (and one of the novels in my Legends of The Goldens Series of sci-fi/fantasy romances).

First, there was a news item about African albinos being hunted down and murdered for their body parts. What if in a future world where skin color had been mostly averaged out, there was a practice similar to this, except albino space aliens (adapted to Arctic conditions) were mistaken for Earth albinos instead? I know. My imaginative logic sounds kind of convoluted, but later, after I wrote the book, an albino model, Shaun Ross (my Pinterest example of a psychic Golden) appeared as a space alien in Katy Perry’s E.T. video.

The second inspiration was for my first written scene in the book. While having coffee in a funky coffee bar in Hillcrest, a suburb of San Diego, I saw a skinny guy with orange hair come into the bar, flirting with its patrons. Then through the front glass window, I saw him going outside to dance with a burly black man in drag. In my novel, the crossdresser turned out to be an undercover government agent, formerly a Navy SEAL. The orange-haired guy, turned out to be Earth’s secret weapon. A human so laid back that no invading psychics, neither Goldens or vampires could withstand his negative vibes. (You can tell I had fun with this—definitely not formulaic.)

2. When did you realise that you wanted to write a book?

Though I’d thought of myself mostly as a scientist/mathematician, my parents had the hobby of acting in little theater, so there were always scripts around from which I read the dialogue.  But it wasn’t until I was considerably into my adult life that I found time to write when my husband and I returned from Russia with a little boy, from an orphanage. My six-year-old needed so much attention at school that I had to quit a lucrative engineering job to go to help his teachers discipline him.

3. Who helped you in writing the book, and please tell us about their contributions?

I joined a neighborhood creative writing group where I learned to read my evolving manuscript and critique those of others. And so it took about a year to write my first novel with the help of editors in this group of approximately forty writers.

4. How is your book going to inspire the readers?

The book is filled with those human attributes I admire: the power of holding hands in the innocence of love, the unexpected sacrifice of one person for another, and, especially, the humor evolving from our own idiosyncratic ways.

5. If you are given the chance to change one thing in your book what would it be?

A great question. I think I will always be willing to change anything in any of my books. As a writer, I’ve learned not really to have a thick skin to criticism, but to look at writing more as play (and in many instances collaborative play. Maybe, I’m just a playwright at heart).

Playwrights listen to their actors and the story evolves from there. I listen to my characters and critics. Maybe what motivates me more than doing it my way is entertaining the reader. So I need to listen to what my audience says about what they need and hope our needs coincide.

6. How do you find time to write and which part of the day is best for writing for you?

My best time to write is as soon as I get up in the morning, all the way through to lunch. However, now that I’m learning about promoting my books, more of my time is taken up with that.

7. Which books have inspired you the most, in the journey of writing this book?

I guess I’m an incurable romantic. That’s why I write romances. Much of the romance, besides being about the lovers, is about the a romantic look at human life. And, so, the books that continue to inspire me are those social science fictions I read as a child (Asimov, Simak, Brunner, and Heinlein) that besides being about science were about the best motives in the human spirit.

8. What is the best advice, you would give for writers who are trying to write a book?

Don’t get too wrapped up in the final product. Start with describing an interesting place, then put two characters in that place and decide what topic you’d like them to talk about. While you write, don’t worry about spelling, or grammar, or editing. Just write. You can always go back later and edit, preferably the next day.
I use this technique in order to be gentle with my creative being. Beings that get flogged stop producing.

9. What are your hobbies?

I love nature and the weather. For example, I get up early one morning each month (one day before the full moon) and photograph the moon as it gets distorted, setting through atmospheric layers over the Pacific Ocean (one of my images is on my Twitter page (@snrubnasus)).

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

I’ve completed two books in a steampunk series that are being shopped around to publishers. I call the series Ages of Invention since each book is from a time in science history where those inventions, we’ve come to know today, were first contemplated. Famous scientists make cameo appearances. Entangled suggests that the great overlooked women of science were the royals who convinced their husbands to fund the first royal societies of Europe (actually very close to the truth). Fly Like An Eagle suggests a secret laboratory during the establishment of the Franklin Institute of Science in Philadelphia, 1824, where a Native American first designs a da Vinci-inspired hangglider.

My WIP, Flat Spin, is a space-opera thriller romance, incorporating much of my experiences working in the aerospace industry.