Sunday, November 14, 2010

Written on

An Interview With Author Ella Drake

Silver Bound

Ella Drake pens “Dark Paranormal, Futuristic, and Science Fiction Romance.” Her work has been published by Cobblestone Press, Liquid Silver Books, and Samhain Publishing. One of those stories includes her novella FIRESTORM ON E’TERRA, which I blogged about here.

This is an author to watch, especially since she has two science fiction romances coming soon from Carina Press. They are: SILVER BOUND (11/22/10) and JAQ’S HARP: A BEANSTALK STORY (2/21/11). SILVER BOUND’s pending release made for a great reason to interview Ella Drake so we could discover more about her work. Read on to learn about the connection between Han Solo, lassos, and floating islands:

The Galaxy Express: What kicked off your interest in science fiction romance?

Ella Drake: Han Solo! Ever since watching Star Wars as a young girl, I’ve looked for a little romance in my SF. I watched Buck Rogers for that Buck and Wilma fix, too. But there wasn’t much romance in my dad’s SF shelf. For a while, that meant that I had to make do with Fantasy. Whenever I read now, if a character is explored in depth with relationships and family, I come to expect a romantic interest, or a dedicated partner. Without it, it feels a bit out of place to me. I’d say I’m an incurable romantic, but I don’t think that’s it. I think the human condition makes that search for a partner(s) a basic inclination. You don’t need a significant other—or several—to be a complete person, but I think many of us want that relationship. I’ve always been an avid reader, always interested in the future, the “what if”, the cool funky gadgets. I think Science Fiction Romance is natural for me.

TGE: When did you know you wanted to become an author? What type of stories can readers expect from you?

ED: I’m not one of those kids who wrote stories from the time she could put crayon to construction paper. From time to time, I did write a bit creatively in relation to school assignments, much to the dismay of a few teachers, and luckily, to the delight of others. I didn’t think about being an author until soon after I’d had my third baby. I’d just read as many erotic futuristic ebooks as I could get my hands on, and I wanted more. I sat down, told myself not to self-edit, and started writing. That first story was a futuristic. Maybe one day it’ll see the light of day, but one thing you can expect from me is that I’ll use my imagination to its fullest. I like to twist things and turn tropes this way and that.

TGE: SILVER BOUND is your forthcoming ebook from Carina Press (November 22, 2010). What inspired you to write this story?

ED: I don’t really have this happen frequently, but an image popped into my mind of a woman being controlled by a silver collar. I sat down to explore what could have happened to this woman and found myself twisting how one might expect a “sex slave” futuristic plot to go. I decided to have fun with it.

TGE: Tell us a little bit about the world that hero Sheriff Guy Trident and heroine Jewel Quinn inhabit. What distinguishes it from other science fiction romances?

ED: For one, I haven’t seen many SFRs with this type of Space Western, with an actual cowboy as hero (one exception is WITHER by Yolanda Sfetsos). SILVER BOUND isn’t Star Trek, in the pushing frontiers and exploring new worlds way, but in the bit of old world stuck in space kind of way. I enjoyed mixing a bit of anachronistic flavor of a cattle rancher with a race across the galaxy. Guy is good with his lasso and can fly a spaceship. Jewel goes from small town miss to stealing shuttlecraft.

Han SoloTGE: If you could be any type of character in a space western story, who would you be?

ED: Can I say Han Solo again? Somehow, when I picture who I’d want to be in a space exploration setting, it’s always as a man. Hmmm. Something I should ponder, maybe? Anyway, the type of character I’d want to be is the self-sufficient woman who is a force to be reckoned with, whether wielding a rifle or a laser gun. And a smart-aleck.

TGE: You’ve been blogging about sci-fi romance and paranormal romance since 2007. What are a few of the most interesting things you learned about these subgenres since then?

ED: What I’ve learned is that things are evolving, rapidly. The paranormal and SF romances of 2007 look different than the ones of today. Today’s are maybe a little grittier and push the boundaries of the romance genre. I couldn’t have read The Iron Duke in 2007 and I’m glad to have been able to read it in 2010. Most of the futuristic stories I could find in 2007 were the steamy and erotic kind (which I thoroughly enjoyed). Many futuristics from those same publishers have heated up tremendously in the past few years. Some have started publishing paranormal and SF Romance with less steamy titles. Ebooks are moving toward mainstream. I can get my hands on even hotter as well as sweeter SFR. And I can get them all with the click of a button. In 2007, if I wanted more mainstream SFR, I had to hunt it down and order it if I could find it. In the end though, they all stretch the imagination and are so much fun to read.

Titan A.E.TGE: Please describe a few of your favorite science fiction romance books, films, and/or television shows.

ED: I’m a big fan of Linnea Sinclair. One of my all-time favorite heroes is Kel-Paten in Games of Command. He’s one of those characters that stays with me. With that outer shell of strength and authority offset by his gooey vulnerability for Sass on the inside, he’s the perfect SFR hero. In film, it’s tough. I have favorite SF movies that include a love story, but they don’t always end well or the romance is way back seat. The original Terminator had the romance fairly front and center, but we didn’t exactly get a HEA with that one. When I’m in the mood for space western/science fiction romance, I load up Titan AE, an animated movie from 2000 that has that edge of space/exploration feel as well as a sweet romance.

TGE: You also sold “Jaq’s Harp,” a futuristic twist on a famous fairytale, to Carina Press. Can we get a brief sneak peek at the story?

ED: One of the fairytales my kids talk about as not making moral sense is “Jack and the Beanstalk”. They frequently talk about how it should’ve been. This usually takes the form of the Giant winning, or Jack being arrested, but one day I let my mind wander. What in the world is a person to learn from this story? Is there a moral? What if the beanstalk were actually biotechnology? What if the giant was a mega-corp? What if Jack was actually Jacqueline? And what if she were a secret agent? How cool would that be? And to make it cooler, it should have floating islands!

By the time I finished “Jaq’s Harp”, I had a futuristic romance with bio-punk overtones. This novella was so much fun writing that I’ve already completed the first draft of its sequel, another future tale of twisted proportions.

I’ve just posted an excerpt for Jaq’s Harp on my site.

TGE: Is there anything else you’d like to share about SILVER BOUND or science fiction romance in general?

ED: Science Fiction Romance is my addiction. I can’t express that any other way. I love writing it. I love reading it. Send more my way!

There’s more news regarding SILVER BOUND. It’s to be released in audio from Audible.com. I simply can not wait to hear it. SFR in audio! I’ll update my website (http://www.elladrake.com/SilverBound.htm) when I have the audible link. In the meantime, if you want more details about the world for SILVER BOUND, visit my site for maps, a deleted scene, and more.

Thank you, Heather.

***

Ms. Drake, thanks so much for your time, and for your art.

If you want to sample Ella Drake’s work right now, you can read her SF tale The Adventures of Daphne for free on her site. You can also interact with the author on Facebook, Twitter (Lori_Ella), and Goodreads.

Joyfully yours,

Heather