I’m very happy to be hosting SF Romance author Sharon Lynn Fisher on the blog today! I’m a steadfast fan of Sharon’s, having also read her previous two books. Each one is so different from the other, but all three have a definite romance element to them, which I find to be a nice change of pace from my usual reading. Yesterday I reviewed Echo 8, and you can read it here. Check out my interview with Sharon below, and then enter to win one of THREE finished copies of Echo 8 at the end of the post! (US/Canada only. Don’t worry, my international peeps—your time is coming)
Please welcome Sharon to Books, Bones & Buffy!
Welcome back to Books, Bones & Buffy, Sharon! And congrats on the publication of Echo 8. Back in 2012 when I first interviewed you, you mentioned that Echo 8 had been a RWA Golden Heart finalist, and at the time it was unpublished. Now it’s a published book! Can you tell us a little about the evolution of the book?
It’s great to be back, thanks, Tammy! (And you certainly have a good memory!)
Echo 8 is the book I started writing right after Ghost Planet. That was back when almost everyone who’d written a novel went the agent/traditional publisher route. I had read that the best thing to do while a book was on submission was to get busy writing the next one. In part to keep your mind off the excruciating submission process and so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. But also in case you get lucky enough to interest an agent, because they are sure to ask you what else you’re working on and you don’t want to say, “Um.”
So I wrote Echo 8 on and off during the course of a year of revising Ghost Planet and signing with an agent, and then another agent, and finally my publisher. Tor wanted to do a two-book contract, and we offered them Echo 8 and The Ophelia Prophecy. I was praying for Echo 8, because the book is special to me and my beta readers, but mainly because it was already written! But my editor chose Ophelia. After we wrapped up that contract, though, my agent went back to my editor, and this time she bought it.
Each book you write seems to be quite different from the last. In Ghost Planet, you imagined a world where aliens attach themselves to people in the form of a dead loved one. In the Ophelia Prophecy you explored interspecies romance between humans and insect-like creatures. Tell us a little about what we can expect in Echo 8.
Echo 8 is more down-to-earth, literally. It’s set in near-future Seattle. Its locations include an old school repurposed into a psi research facility, an antique and notorious art deco ferry, a historic neighborhood on Puget Sound, and … well, a post-apocalyptic version of Oregon wine country on a parallel Earth. (You had to know something like that was coming.)
The story centers on three main characters: Jake, a man shifted from the alternate Earth, who now has to drain energy from others to survive. Tess, the parapsychologist trying to save him. Ross, the FBI agent torn between love and duty. I confess I’m a sucker for a love triangle.
You recently published two novellas in the Fantasies in Color Series, The Garden Rules and Raven Takes a Pearl. Is this a self-publishing venture, and can you tell us more about this series?
Yes, Fantasies in Color is a side project — a series of erotica novelettes (all BDSM so far), each based on a color. I’m indie publishing them in partnership with my literary agency. It’s tough to make it as an author these days — many experts say tougher than it ever was. I felt like I needed to diversify a little bit, and I thought it might be a fun thing to try. I write some hot scenes for my sci-fi romances, but I’ve never written straight-up smut. (Though I do acquire and edit erotica in my day job, as editorial director for SilkWords.com.) I timidly sent the first one to my agent, and she loved it and asked if I wanted their help in publishing the series.
The stories themselves are good smutty fun. As with my novels, I do employ a lot of world-building, so the speculative elements have substance. And I also focus on the heroine’s journey as well as trying to write good sex.
Besides all this (and unrelated, despite the title), I also have a novella in progress on Wattpad, RED: Love in the Time of Flesh-eaters. I think I’d classify that one as new adult sci-fi romance. It has zombies!
All three of your published novels are science fiction romance. What is it about the combination of romance and science fiction that appeals to you as a writer?
I don’t know if my typical answer to this question is all that satisfying, but here it is: It’s just what I write. By that I mean that it never occurred to me to write anything else. I’ve always written speculative stories that include a romance. It’s also what I enjoy reading. Actually I also love classics, but they fit the profile — part romance, part something else. I’ve never read much contemporary romance because they focus more exclusively on the romance. I like the balance of PRPSE.
As for the sci-fi in my romance, before my debut (Ghost Planet), I wrote mostly fantasy romance. GP was my first attempt at sci-fi, and I decided I liked it. I liked it A LOT.
Just for fun, in honor of Echo 8, pick a bookshelf in your house and count over to the EIGHTH book. What is it?
Ha ha, I have a stack of reference books on my desk. The eighth one down is Baby & Child Emergency First Aid. (Wedged between the more relevant Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality and An Introduction to Parapsychology.)
Okay, going downstairs to check my actual bookshelf …
The Lurker at the Threshold, H.P. Lovecraft
Please tell us three things about yourself that can’t be found on your website.
I have a little section of factoids under my bio, so that makes this a toughie! Let me see …
- When I was in junior high, I pretended I was sick for three days so I could stay home and finish reading Watership Down. (I eventually read it seven times.)
- I’ve struggled with anxiety all my life, and depression for the last decade or so. (But meditation, yoga, and a supportive partner have made huge, positive changes for me in the last several years.)
- The “little prophecies” that Echo 8’s heroine talks about actually come from my own experience. I sometimes dream about stuff the day before it happens. It’s usually nothing important. In a recent example, I dreamed I was walking down the street and saw an alligator. Next day I had lunch at a restaurant that was in a house, and the bathroom still had a bathtub in it. When I flipped on the light I saw two plastic alligators sitting on a pile of rocks in the tub. More recently, though, I dreamed I found my daughter lying on a beach, and I picked her up and carried her into the bathroom, unresponsive, to try to hydrate her. When I woke up, I had an email from her dad saying she was very ill and he was thinking of taking her to urgent care. (She’s fine! Just a stomach bug.)
Thanks so much, Sharon, this was so much fun:-D
About the author:
Three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist SHARON LYNN FISHER lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes SF/fantasy and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. A Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist and a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award finalist, Sharon Lynn Fisher writes stories for the geeky at heart—meaty mash-ups of sci-fi, suspense, and romance, with no apology for the latter. She lives where it rains nine months of the year. And she has a strange obsession with gingers (down to her freaky orange cat). Her works include Ghost Planet (2012), The Ophelia Prophecy (2014), and Echo 8 (2015). Aboutme/SharonLynnFisher | @SharonFisher | Facebook | Goodreads
Praise for the works of Sharon Lynn Fisher:
“An absorbing and exciting story full of science, sex, and intriguing plot twists.”
—Publishers Weekly on Ghost Planet
“I have a winner! This is a really fun Sci-Fi romance…. Very cool setup and characters that I couldn’t put down…I loved it!”
—Felicia Day, actress, blogger, and geek, on Ghost Planet
“Futuristic romance author Fisher…wraps this venture’s tangled plot around red-hot erotic encounters…[she] makes a solid case for responsible bioengineering research and creates colorful settings from boggy Ireland to Manti-and-Moorish Granada.”
— Publishers Weekly on The Ophelia Prophecy
“Fisher…returns with a sexy, irresistible take on the enemies-to-lovers trope… [her] light touch guarantees that the development of this slow-burn romance feels authentic, organic and totally satisfying.”
— RT Book Reviews on The Ophelia Prophecy
Echo 8 is out TODAY from Tor Books! Courtesy of the publisher, I have THREE finished copies to give away. This giveaway is for U.S. and Canada only, and ends February 13th. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!