Tuesday, November 12, 2013

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Cara Bristol - Putting Romance into Science Fiction

Today I am pleased to have Cara Bristol with me in the Writer's Studio. Author of the famed 'Spanking' series, Cara brings us a wonderful read in BREEDER, an erotic Sci-Fi tale of another world where men are the Alpha species - or are they? Hmm

Rather than the traditional Q & A, I asked Cara to share a bit of her expertise with us. Please welcome Cara Bristol.

What comes to mind when you hear science fiction?
Sky labs, space ships, strange alien creatures, explosions, and light shows?
That’s a common perception of sci-fi, and people love that stuff—or they don’t. But science fiction is so much more than spaceships and aliens, more than Star Trek and Star Wars. It’s Jurassic Park, 1984, Andromeda Strain, A Handmaid’s Tale, Blade Runner, Logan’s Run, the Terminator, and Twilight Zone.

Sci-fi can be set far in the future or just a few years ahead. It can be set on Earth or in space or on another world. Serious or funny. Dystopian or utopian.  It can be almost indistinguishable from a contemporary story, or it can blend into fantasy and paranormal.
Most of all, it can be a love story. Science fiction romance is a subgenre that turns the futuristic into the setting for the romance.

When I started writing Breeder, I ventured into a “brave new world” of unchartered territory for me and my readers. But Breeder, a story of forbidden love, couldn’t be told any other way than as a sci-fi romance. However, I feared losing my contemporary romance readership base.
Emotion, I thought. Emotion is the key to success. Make readers feel what the characters feel. Make them gasp in shock, rail in outrage, cringe in dread, and weep in despair. Make them vested in the outcome. But let them finish the novel feeling good.

I set the stakes high every step of the way. I didn’t shy away from anything—not violence, not sex, not love. It’s all there in vivid detail. Show, don’t tell, became the mantra as I wrote the story.
I strove to avoid the elements that often bump me in sci-fi. I can accept strange aliens as secondary characters, but I want to fall in love with the hero. And spotted blue men with three eyes don’t do it for me. So the “aliens” of planet Parseon in Breeder are humanoid in appearance. Because reading sci-fi sometimes is like trying to decipher a foreign language, I created character names (and “foreign terms”) that were easy to pronounce: Omra, Dak, Corren, Sival, Marlix.
I tried to make the alien world relatable by making comparisons to earth.

Most of all, I offered story. Breeder can be read on two levels. The first level is the romance: a man and a woman triumphing against the odds to be together. But Breeder has a deeper message, which I never overtly state, but “show” throughout the book. I trust that readers will see it.

Dak, a ruling Alpha of Parseon, purchases Omra, a breeder slave. He intends to impregnate her and hand her off to his partner. As Dak and Omra discover a sexual bliss banned by law, he begins to question the ways of his people, jeopardizing his command and her life.

If not for the sneeze, Dak would have exited the musty, dank corridor. But the muffled sound caught his attention. When he squinted into the darkened cell, he spotted a female crouched on a straw mat in the corner. He hadn’t noticed her on his way into the Breeder Containment Facility; the habitation unit had appeared empty.

Dak turned to the BCF director and sighed. “What about her?”
The beta’s already crooked mouth drooped farther in distaste. “My apologies, Commander. You don’t want that one.”

Sival’s disparagement piqued Dak’s interest. The director’s opinion had proven worthless; none of the breeders he’d preselected for inspection had rated close to satisfactory.
“I would like to see her,” Dak insisted.
“Very well, Commander.” Sival saluted and opened the habitation cell with a master entry card. Dak stepped into the small enclosure. The director followed, and the metal gate clanked shut.

About Cara Bristol:
Cara Bristol has written everything from mainstream long and short fiction to nonfiction magazine and newspaper articles. She sold her first erotic romance in 2009. Now multi-published, she has ten erotic romances and two anthologies to her name. The author of the popular Rod and Cane Society domestic discipline series, Cara writes spanking fiction most often, but her published works also include contemporary and paranormal erotic romances. Breeder is her first science fiction novel and the start of a series. She lives in the Midwest  United States with her husband. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and watching reality TV shows.

Author website: http://carabristol.com/
Twitter  @CaraBristol
Email: carabristol50@yahoo.com
Breeder Buy LinkAmazon
Breeder Buy Link - ARe

Monday, November 11, 2013

THE WEEK AHEAD - November 11 Coming out on top

Last week was pretty much a wash for me. Though we had a couple of mild pre-winter days I did not feel up to anything except taking cold meds and snuggling on the couch. 'Tis the season for the ABC Family Channel 'Countdown to Christmas'. They always have an amazing line-up of heartwarming stories of love and family during the holidays. 'Scrooge' is always thwarted in the end. And though predictable is not always something we like in a story, when there is potential for cold medicine to knock you out part way through the movie, you know there is going to be a HEA so it's all good.

I read the new book in the 'Hannah's Daughters' series by Emma Miller. Rebecca's Christmas Gift tells the story of another of the widow Hannah's daughters, Rebecca. I have loved this series set in an Amish community from the very first one, 'Courting Ruth'. There are several other books by Ms Miller and I look forward to reading them all.

As you can see by the sidebar, my Nano total is not so great. I wrote approx 900 words while we were in Nashville, which is where I caught this silly cold. So I did almost not writing on Heart on the Line until yesterday when I rocked out about 5000 words! Although I knew this was a story I could love, I wasn't feeling the passion for the characters like I did Trey and Ali in Somewhere Down the Line. But while trying to get a few words in Saturday I found my muse... my late stepmother, Grammy. She is Granny Pearl and in many ways, I am Kassandra Ewards. Not in the relationship with the hero, Bo Peterson, but in Kassandra's love of Granny Pearl and all the things Grammy taught me. Once I made that connection, the words began to flow. But then it was time for the Broncos vs Chargers game and life became the couch and a crochet hook for the next three hours.

I have been a Broncos fan since John Elway's first year on the team when I met him at a backyard BBQ. I don't care what people say about John. I met him off the field, away from press, just hangin' out and he is a good and decent man. I have a poster of John that my daughter gave me for my birthday one year. Though I have almost no wall space in my office, that poster hangs prominently next to my computer. Beneath the picture is the word DEDICATION - and the dictionary meaning of the word. John has dedicated the majority of his life to the Denver Broncos in some form to this day as VP of the organization. Some might think him an odd example to follow, but I think he's done okay for himself. May we all be half as blessed in doing what we love.

As a side note for all you John Elway fans, Stanford University will retire his #7 Jersey in a ceremony on Thursday, November 14th. He will join Jim Plunkett (No. 16) and Ernie Nevers (No. 1) as the only players whose jerseys have been enshrined by the program. Congratulations, John!

Monday, November 4, 2013

THE WEEK AHEAD - Nano Week 1

And We're Off!

Well, some more than others. Off to a good start, I mean. Not in an 'off' way, though maybe those of us who take on this crazy challenge are a bit 'off'. But knowing we are not alone is what makes the journey so much FUN!

I don't have much of a word count yet but I knew I would be slow out of the gate. Spending time with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters (Adrian and Abigail) is so much more important to me. I know they will not always live close enough for me to visit whenever I need those precious hugs so I take all the opportunities I can now.

Amid the chaos of Abigail (2) pretending to be a puppy (something she learned from her big sister) and Adrian (6) playing Candy Land at the other end of the table with Grandpa (they are quite competitive LOL), I did manage almost 900 words.

Now we are home. This is Day 4. I've been getting some business stuff caught up while the washing machine gets a workout. But I'm almost through with the 'have to' projects for the day and ready to open up the manuscript. I left Cassie gathering up the band's personal items from the concert hall dressing room, making sure everything is back on the bus before they pull out to the next town on the tour. Soon Cassie's phone will ring with sad news and then the fun begins.

How's your Nano projecting going?