Happy Thursday….I think it’s Thursday, right? I had a solid 14 hours on the day job today (Wednesday) without even a lunch break so I am Southern Fried Author right now. BUT, if you’re in the UK, Amazon is offering up REDEMPTION, book one of the Penton Legacy series, as part of a special “Start a New Series” promotion, and you can pick up the Kindle edition for 99p. Give it a try while it’s cheap! LOL.
Today, however, I’d like to welcome a new-to-me author to the blog, Edward Hoornaert. He’s currently touring his new release, ESCAPEE, a sci-fi romance that is a followup to The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station, although the books can be read as standalones. I am always intrigued by guys who write romance (and admit it!), so let’s learn more…
ABOUT EDWARD: What kind of guy writes romance? A guy who married his high school sweetheart a week after graduation and still lives the HEA decades later. A guy who’s a certifiable Harlequin hero—he inspired Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Rita Award finalist Mr. Valentine, which is dedicated to him. Edward started out writing contemporary romances for Silhouette Books, but these days he concentrates on science fiction romance. He’s been a teacher, principal, technical writer, salesman, janitor, and symphonic oboist. He and wife Judi live in Tucson, Arizona. They have three sons, a daughter, a mutt, and the galaxy’s most adorable grandson.
The African Queen in outer space….Catt Sayer just wants to survive. The working-class fugitive delivers military supplies on her decrepit airship, but her hard-won livelihood vanishes when invaders overrun her harsh moon. Now an idealistic, upper-class officer wants her to risk her life on a hopeless voyage to attack enemy headquarters – manned by 10,000 soldiers. …..Edward Hoornaert’s romantic space opera, Escapee, continues the saga of the Dukelsky family (begun in The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station). If you like The African Queen and the thrill of underdogs finding love while battling a hostile environment, you’ll love Escapee. Note: The books of the Repelling the Invasion series can be read in any order or as standalones. The first book of the series is The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station.
Now, let’s hear from Edward:
Hello, all. My name is Edward Hoornaert (pronounced HORN ART). Escapee, a science fiction romance, is my fourteenth published book.
Writers are often asked “Where did you get the idea for the book?” Usually I have a hard time answering, because inspirations are nothing more than grains of sand inside an oyster’s shell, covered with layer upon layer of ideas until the inspiration is no longer recognizable. But for Escapee, my inspiration remains visible, though well disguised.
I was inspired by one of my favorite movies, The African Queen. My version is set on an inhospitable moon, rather than the African jungle, but in both tales the hero and heroine battle nature and, ultimately, the invading enemy.
How did I transform a movie into a science fiction romance?
Analyzing the movie
I rented the movie and looked for two things:
*Stages — Charley and Rosie’s relationship go through several distinct phases.
*Turning points — Events cause their relationship to change from stage to stage.
I then devised analogous stages and turning points for Escapee.
*Stage 1: Polite disconnect between hero and heroine.
In AQ, Rosie, a missionary in German East Africa, disapproves of Charley, a crude freighter captain who brings supplies, but treats him with chilly politeness.
In Escapee, Hector, a stuffy career army officer, disapproves of the freewheeling, lower-class airship pilot, Cattaroon, who supplies his base.
Turning point: The enemy invades.
In AQ, the Germans leave Rosie alone and stranded—until Charley comes by and saves her.
In Escapee, while Hector’s on leave, humans from the Proxima system destroy his entire command, leaving him stranded and alone—until Catt lands, looking for survivors.
Stage 2: Rosie devises a suicidal goal.
In AQ, Rosie wants to attack a German warship. Charley humors her, thinking she’ll give up when she learns the river’s dangers.
In Escapee, Hector wants to attack enemy headquarters. Catt humors him, certain he’ll give up when he realizes the moon’s dangers.
So far the two stories are similar. Now they start to diverge, though the skeleton remains similar.
Turning point: When mild danger fails to deter her from her purpose, his true feelings come out explosively.
In AQ, after shooting rapids doesn’t deter Rosie, Charley gets drunk and insults her. She dumps out all his rum.
In Escapee, after getting caught in a volcano’s updraft doesn’t deter Hector, Catt sabotages the cannon stored in the airship’s hold.
Stage 3: Futile attempts to rebuild a civil relationship.
Stage 4: Falling in love
“Inspired By,” Not a Ripoff
I won’t bore you with all six stages, but hopefully you get the general idea. Analyzing the movie helped to develop my story’s outline, but Escapee has a different feel than the movie. Some of the differences:
*The hostile environments pose different challenges—river rapids vs. hurricanes and volcanoes.
*The characters’ genders are reversed, and their personalities are different.
*I added secondary characters. Catt and Hector capture an enemy who tries to sabotage the airship. Hector has an ugly/lovable alien pet. Catt’s android co-pilot provides comic relief as well as the book’s most poignant scene.
*AQ’s ending requires an act of God (a rainstorm that floats their grounded boat) and a wild coincidence (their sunken boat nonetheless sinks the ship). Escapee’s ending relies less on coincidence.
What movie would you like to turn into an “inspired by” novel? Tell us about it in the comments.
Thanks, Edward! I LOVE The African Queen—it’s definitely in my all-time top 10 movies. So this is a fascinating question. Of course, the movie The African Queen was inspired by the book of the same name, written by C.S. Forrester and set during World War I. So when I begin thinking of some of my favorite movies, they’re already based on novels that I’ve already read. Therefore, I’m going to go off the charts with my answer and say I’d like to read (or write) a novel based on a memoir, Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Rick a couple of times—the man is hysterical because, as we established yesterday, people from Alabama are nothing if not funny—but he writes with such beauty and lyricism it breaks my heart and makes me want to quit writing. All nonfiction, however.
So, how about you guys? What movie would you like to see an updated novel inspired by? Leave a comment to be entered for a $5 Amazon gift card (or Book Depo equivalent), and be sure to enter the Rafflecopter to be entered for the $25 gift card or one of five digital copies of the first book in Edward’s SFR series.