Laurie Green is an award-winning SFR writer, currently unpublished.
How would you classify your SFR? (Space opera, romantic SF, apocalyptic, military SFR, or other.)
It's space opera with decidedly military overtones. It has space battles, cool technology and state-of-the-art ships. One of the MCs and three of the major characters hold military rank. It's certainly not romantic SF, because the romance and the SF elements drive the story with equal thrusters, and it’s not apocalyptic though it is a bit dystopian. I've had several beta readers say that the premise initially reminded them a bit of Joss Whedon’s Firefly series, but the similarities are superficial. By the way, the working title--P2PC--is futuristic slang for planet-to-planet courier. The female MC is a special cargo transporter. I get a lot of questions about the title. :)
What makes your story "different" or what unique elements would entertain readers?
Many things. I use basic SF ideas like holodecks and transporters and give them a whole new twist and purpose in this tale. Although it takes place 1,500 years in the future, I drew on elements from 2,000 year old civilizations, especially Rome, to define the cultures. The Romans considered themselves champions of culture and enlightenment with an emphasis on philosophy, the arts, literature, poetry, and personal freedoms--and then enjoyed gory spectacles of torture and carnage for entertainment. I have a dominant society in P2PC that also considers itself enlightened, but sustains a horrendous industry of which the MC is a victim. I keep most of the gruesomeness off-stage though its impact on the MC's life is profound.
The story is told entirely from the male MCs (Sair's) POV which I've been reminded (frequently) is a no-no for a romance. But I had a reason for writing the story from this perspective. There are surprises about the female MC (Drea) that would affect the dynamics if the reader was privvy to her thoughts. She's also runs very hot-and-cold until the reader finally peeks "behind her veil." Drea later trusts Sair enough to give back everything she's withheld from him emotionally.
Do you have a favorite line from your novel that you can share?
I have two, and both are connected to major plot points in the story.
"My father didn't build the Specter to be a cargo ship, Sair."
"History is seldom made in the quiet or the dark."
Anything else you'd like to share about your work?
Being the author of a unique subgenre of romance is not always an easy flight path, but I write the sort of stories I want to read. They're adventurous, thought-provoking, and they push the envelope a bit in terms of possibility. I hope at some point in the not-too-distant future, a lot of readers out there will discover my novel and say, "This is exactly the type of story I've been looking for!"
Could you give us a sneak peek of the story?
Love to! This passage takes place after Sair has been attacked by the aggressive female first mate, Zjel.
“There was no call for Zjel’s actions in the galley. I apologize on her behalf,” Drea said.
“She doesn’t even know me and she wants me dead.”
“Zjel’s no cold-blooded killer.”
“Not yet!” Sair snapped. “I was lucky this time. Every moment I’m on your ship, I have to worry about that knife-wielding she-marka getting to me. I’m better off risking the slavers. Lesser of two evils. I'll get off when we reach Helim.”
The captain took a couple of steps away from him, then turned back. “Zjel suffered something terrible at the hands of the Rathskians, Sair. She can’t separate you from your race. That’s why the animosity. I’ve spoken to her about her conduct.”
“What will that change? She hates Rathskians. I lived for seventeen calendars under the threat of a butcher’s knife. I don’t want to risk getting carved up now.”
“You won’t be.”
"I want my weapons back."
"You don't know how to use them, Sair. You'll only provoke her."
"At least I'd have a chance."
"All you'd have is false security. I don't want your blood and body parts splattered down the corridors of my ship."
Hades forbid I litter your spotless vessel with bits of my male anatomy. Sair clenched his teeth, glaring.
Drea spoke again, her voice soft. "I meant that with a great deal of affection, Sair. I don’t want anything bad to happen to you." She stepped forward and brushed his cheek with her hand.
“Sair.” His name came as a whisper as she slid her hand into his. “Don’t get off on Helim. It’s not safe.”
Now truly disarmed, he looked into Drea’s eyes and swayed closer to her lips.
The captain stiffened, her hands locked on his arms and thrust him back. “Zjel, proximity alert! Man the defense console.”
The first mate’s voice sounded from the com-speak. “Aye, Captain. What do we have?”
“Ithian Hammerhead destroyer off our port stern. I’m taking us red.”
Thanks for sharing your vision and your voice, and best wishes for future succes with your novel.