You’re active in the science fiction romance community. What are some of the trends or changes that you’ve seen in the last couple of years?***
Laurie: I think Science Fiction Romance has started to gain a lot more recognition in the last two years. A few breakout indie SFR novels have shaken the rafters a bit–and I’m thinking in particular of The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith (a 2013 SFR Galaxy Award winner) and now Spark Rising by Kate Corcino (a SFR Galaxy Award winner this year). Despite SFR still being a “hard sell” to the Big 5, author Sharon Lynn Fisher, a 2013 RWA© RITA Award finalist, has published three SFR titles—Ghost Planet, The Ophelia Prophecy and newly released, Echo 8—with a predominantly SF house, Tor Books. I think the upswing is due in part to SFR authors brainstorming new ways to reach out to potential readers and expand the audience. For example, SFR has always been difficult to find in both traditional and e-book stores, so a new site developed by author C.E. Kilgore called SFR Station offers readers the advantage of one-stop shopping for a variety of SFR titles that are searchable via tags and categories. SFR authors tend to be a creative lot and I believe they’ll continue to find imaginative ways to connect with new readers to raise interest in the genre.
Heather: What Laurie said, plus the genre’s gotten boosts from folks like Veronica Scott, an author who writes Sci-Fi Encounters for the USA Today blog, and KS Augustin, an author who launched Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly, the digital magazine devoted entirely to SFR. The neighborhood has been expanding quite a lot, and it’s being built by incredibly smart and talented women!