Thursday, October 21, 2010
Because science fiction contains the potential to expand the mind more than any other genre – to me, at least. That's the same kind of mind-expanding that comes when we recognise a little bit more of what God is like. And the two can definitely come together: science fiction can lead into worship. Just think of the grandness of the universe…
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I moved into my new house. I'd been on the road and globetrotting for many years, but now I have a home of my own again and a "tower" room with a view of the sea a few miles away. It's good to be settled at last.
Sounds like a wonderful room to write in. How has being published changed your life?
It hasn't, really. As Jeff Gerke says, being published is like having a candy bar. It's nice, but not that much of a big deal.
What are you reading right now?
The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card, and SHINE, an anthology of optimistic science fiction.
What is your current work in progress?
I've got two: CyberDublin and Godspeed. In CyberDublin, the Oodles global hypernet falls to sabotage and we watch as a houseful of Dublin girls are faced with reality that's suddenly a whole lot less virtual than they're used to. But the saboteurs are closer to home than they know…
Godspeed is the sequel to my first book Faith Awakened: If you could solve world hunger, you'd do it, right? What if government experiments turned your miracle fertiliser into a weapon of mass destruction? Meet Naomi, the Belfast biologist forced to flee from her own creation.
Oh yes, and I'm writing a chapter a month on the superhero serial Comet Born for Digital Dragon Magazine. You can find an index of the story so far at http://gracebridges.blogspot.com/p/comet-born.html.
What would be your dream vacation?
An unplanned roadtrip around New Zealand. It's my own country, but there are many parts of it I have yet to see. It would be great to hop in the car with no time limit and head off into the wild yonder. All I need is someone to go with me, because alone's no fun. Someday!
How do you choose your settings for each book?
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Chris Walley. One of my very favourite authors, he wrote the epic Lamb Among the Stars space trilogy which I just love to bits. Also, as a publisher myself, there are some of my own authors I've never met and would like very much to do so: Fred Warren and P.A. Baines, both brilliant writers.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Beach walking, photography, a little painting, and now home improvement!
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My sales are still low so it's easy to wonder if it matters to anyone what I'm doing. Yet it matters to God, that much is sure, and I've proven over and over that there's nothing like writing to clarify my own soul.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read widely – Eat dem books! The more you read, the more vocabulary and styles you will have at your fingertips. Then read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by King and Browne, the single best writing manual I have ever found, and live by its principles.
Tell us about the featured book.
LEGENDARY SPACE PILGRIMS
If Pilgrim's Progress happened in space, this is what it might look like... On a planet that has never seen the sun, a harvester hears a Voice from beyond. It's time to leave the oatfield. Mario and Caitlin escape the mind control of Planet Monday, following the Voice to unknown worlds where wonders and challenges await. Have you got what it takes...to be a legend?
Please give us the first page of the book.
The clang of the work-bells forced its way into Mario’s consciousness. A sliver of light pushed through his eyelids, and he pried them all the way open.
Morning again. Monday morning. But on Planet Monday, every day was the same. No joke. He threw back the thick rough-woven blanket and heaved himself upright.
His limbs were slow to respond as he lurched into the plastic wet-cell that towered beside his bed. What had he been up to last night? It sure didn’t feel like he’d slept the full nineteen hours.
He slid the pane across the opening and flinched at the shock of the cold water. After thirty seconds the water switched off and he stood still as the airdryers around the cell’s base kicked in. The air wasn’t much warmer than the water, but it invigorated him.
Stepping out of the cell into the two-by-four-foot floor space of his living quarters, he opened the long drawer built under the bed and pulled out a sky-grey sweatsuit, standard issue. Some things never changed. He chased the thought across his consciousness and peered out the tiny window above the bed. Square grey buildings met his gaze. Above hung the eternal grey clouds. Nothing ever changed on Monday. Unless…
Unless he’d been mindwiped.
He groaned and let himself sink onto the tangled brown bedcover. Looking up at the emergency transport tube access in the ceiling just above head height, he examined its round rim. No dust. Talk in the fields said this was the sign of recent use. Of mindwipe.
He blinked and shivered as he stared unseeing at the vid-wall’s moving feed of Ocean region, intended to soothe but failing at present.
Last night, they’d sucked him up that tube. Wiped his emotional memory. Extreme feelings were erased from the workers—a technique no one ever remembered going through. But everyone knew it happened, since afterwards only the simplest facts remained. Had he really been emoting so badly?
Mario scratched his head, put on his boots, then the second bell sounded. He rose, seized his blade-gloves by the cuffs, and moved to the door as it swished open simultaneously with all the other doors up and down the hallway.
The two hundred inhabitants of the third floor exited their quarters as one. To be precise, the third floor of Wing B, Building 17, Sector X9, Foodstuffs Region, Planet Monday. The doors swished closed again and the workers turned to march towards 17’s central hub.
Mario strode over the hallway’s threshold to the third-floor lobby and accepted a breakfast pack from the dispenser in the doorway. He bit off the cap and squeezed the warm coffee-flavoured sludge into his gullet on his way to the mass transport tube. He joined the shuffling line in front of Wing B’s accessway and guzzled the rest of his breakfast while he waited. Smiles greeted him, but he’d lost all memory of their owners.
Monday-morning-itis. The clown who named this planet deserved to be recrewed to Sewage Region. Just because they discovered it on a Monday…since when do you have Mondays in space, anyhow?
He chucked the empty plastic foodsack in a waste unit to the left of the accessway, slipped on the bladed work-gloves, and stepped into the pod that opened before him.
The thin plastic shell closed. A jolt accompanied the sudden blackness as the pod began its journey. The familiar whoosh of the surrounding air calmed him, which was a bonus for the emo-reader implanted in his neck. If it didn’t detect strong emotions, he wouldn’t get sent to be mindwiped. But it was too late for that. Again.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My books are available at all the usual online stores, and at a discount from http://www.splashdownbooks.com/. Please connect with me on Facebook (www.gracebridges.com/facebook) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/gracebridges). You can also find me on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/gracebridges1 and links to my published short stories are at http://gracebridges.blogspot.com/p/grace-author.html .
Thanks everyone for reading!
And thank you, Grace, for visiting us today.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.