Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Interview with Angela James, Executive Editor At Samhain Publishing

Welcome back to the second part of our Samhain Publishing feature! If you’re looking for part one, you only need to snap your fingers twice and click here.

Ready to go? Great!

Science fiction romance, like its parent genre, involves speculative aspects. That applies to the romance every bit as much as the science. After all, just because SFR involves a romance doesn’t mean the worlds, technologies, and characters shouldn’t be otherworldly, exotic, or even disturbing. And one of the exciting aspects of this sub-genre is its potential to explore romances with really dark themes, or those based on different cultural romance models.

Not only that, but why limit SFR to male/female? The “What if” question can also extend to various other relationship types, such as m/m, f/f, m/m/f, f/m/f...and alien! (I think you get the painted picture here.)

Let's push a few envelopes, people!

That's why I see so much potential here for all SFR authors. Samhain is about nurturing niche market genres. SFR could be many things to its readers--classic comfort reads, experimental tales, or somewhere in between.

Before we get to my interview with Angela James, I’d like to shine a deserving spotlight on some of Samhain’s authors--particularly those who fall under the science fiction romance umbrella.

So please...explore the links below. Chef is passing around simosas and chilled glasses of mango lassi while you browse.

To aid you, Samhain’s Discover New Authors! feature serves up links to nuevo authors such as Maria Zannini, Michael Amos, Bettie Sharpe, and J. L. Langley.

Now for the main course--some of which is rilly hawt and spicy! You'll find links to the various author Web sites, their corresponding Samhain pages, and other articles of interest here:

Jordanna KayTHE PRICE OF DISCOVERY & TABOO. (FYI, TGE regular Lisa Paitz Spindler designed the cover!)

Bianca D’Arc – The Resonance Mates series, beginning with HARA’S LEGACY


(Side note: Liz Kreger was just nominated for a Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award for her book PROMISE FOR TOMORROW in the “Small Press Contemporary Paranormal/Futuristic” category. Congratulations, Liz!)






And if your taste leans toward SF with romantic elements--and since you're here, I'm betting they do--Samhain offers the following authors:


Sara ReinkeTETHERS (in this story, the heroine’s a mom!)


Hope you had fun finding new reads--I know I did! And now, sit back and enjoy our feature presentation:

The Interview

The Galaxy Express: I've heard you're a fan of FIREFLY. Please take a moment to gush about why it appeals to you.

Angela James: Firefly has this perfect mix of otherworld appeal, romance, humor and fantastic character development and interactions. There isn't a character on that show who's not got an interesting past, present and future. Add in the action, the amazing dialogue and well—seriously, what's not to love? Except that it ended much, much too early.

TGE: What are some of your other favorite SF books and movies?

AJ: In books, I'm a fan of Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series. I've been a long time fan of Linnea Sinclair's work—so long ago that it was when she was writing under a different name for a small, small press. I also enjoy any books by Elizabeth Moon, Eve Kenin, S.L. Viehl, and Kristine Smith. I could think about this all day and still probably miss a bunch.

TGE: You've expressed an interest in acquiring science fiction with romantic elements for Samhain. What kinds of stories/story elements would you like to see?

AJ: Yes, I really love science fiction but sadly, we very rarely see any submitted to Samhain. I'm not sure if it's that not many people are writing it, or that they don't know we really want to publish it. I've often said I'd do bad things to see a great science fiction romance in the vein of Firefly, with that Old West feel, amazing characters, romance and action. But above all, there are three things I want to see in a science fiction submission 1) a romantic element 2) a well-developed sense of world building and 3) characters (both main and secondary) that I can fall in love with or be invested in. That's why Firefly works—the characters come alive for the audience. You want to know them, be their friend and hang out with them. Those are the characters I want in a book.

TGE: Other than an excellent story, what can aspiring science fiction romance authors do to increase their odds of being published with Samhain?

AJ: Do their research. Know what we're looking for, what our business is about, what we're looking for in a submission. Then, before you submit, edit, edit, edit. Not just your manuscript, but your query letter and synopsis too.

TGE: In a general sense, how are science fiction romance e-books selling these days?

AJ: There is definitely a market for them. A thirsty market since everyone seems to want to write in the paranormal genre, and not too many in the science fiction romance genre.

TGE: Science fiction romance is currently a niche market. What are your projections about its future?

AJ: Any niche market is always going to have a future, because there's always going to be a group of people who are hungry for it. Will it grow beyond a nice market to the next big trend? Anything is possible with the right books!

TGE: Please tell us about any Samhain books in the science fiction romance/romantic SF category that would appeal to readers of this blog.

AJ: We have a nice handful of authors who've published books in the science fiction romance subgenre, including Liz Kreger, Katriena Knights and Liz Craven. There are a few less that published science fiction with minor romantic elements but there are a few like Robert Leader, Sara Reinke and Saje Williams.

Ms. James, thank you so much for your time and insights! I’ve really enjoyed having you and your authors aboard The Galaxy Express!

Joyfully yours,