Happy Thursday…I hope. Wednesday was iffy. I overslept, which I NEVER do since I barely sleep at all. Then I tripped going through my building’s mailroom, luckily to be stopped by a wall before I went down like a broken prizefighter. Then I ran into the door facing to my office as I entered, causing an explosion of ginormous proportions as my Diet Coke went flying, ice cubes and all. I refused to leave my office the rest of the day until I could slink home. Oh, and it was 96 degrees and the air conditioning on my end of the floor went down. Sigh. Thursday will be better. It must be.
In the meantime, I’d like to welcome author Edward Hoornaert back to the blog. He was here recently, talking about adapting the story idea behind the movie version of “The African Queen” into his sci-fi romance, Escapee. Now, let’s hear about how he created his world’s settings.
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.
And now let’s hear from Edward!
Welcome to Banff
The sky is getting crowded! On May 10, 2016, NASA announced finding 1,284 new planets orbiting stars outside our solar system, called exoplanets. That’s on top of the approximately 1,000 exoplanets already detected since 2009. For a science fiction and romance writer like me, Edward Hoornaert, this is big news.
NASA has released travel posters for a few of the exoplanets they’ve discovered. Following NASA’s lead, I’ve made travel posters for my science fictional worlds. Here is the poster for Banff, the large moon on which my recently released science fiction romance novel, Escapee, is set.
Looks like a real hotspot for a vacation, eh? Either that, or it’s Dante’s Inferno. This hostile environment is what the hero and heroine of Escapee are up against.
In the classic movie, The African Queen, Charley and Rosie find love while battling the African jungle on their way to attack the enemy Germans. In Escapee, Hank and Catt find love while battling Banff’s storms and volcanoes on their way to attack enemies from planet Proxima.
Here’s more about the travel poster:
- Since Catt and Hank must fly all the way around their moon to attack the invaders’ headquarters, I needed a lot of place names – mountains, valleys, mining camps, etc. To make it easier (and more fun), I dug out a map ofBanff National Park, where the wife and I honeymooned, and stole names. For example, Catt’s airship is attacked by an enemy jet copter as they fly through the Louise Valley – but Earth’s Louise is the most famous lake in Banff National Park. Here’s the author at Lake Louise (the one here on Earth, of course):
- Banff (the fictional moon, not the national park) is dying. It used to be a planet, but it’s been captured into orbit around a gas giant. The giant’s gravity is tearing the moon apart, causing storms and thousands of volcanoes. Hence the poster’s tagline, “The hottest moon in the galaxy.”
- After being battered and sexually abused on her home planet, Catt stole money from her aristocratic abuser and escaped to Banff, because it was the best place to escape from the law. Cops don’t bother to chase fugitives to such a ridiculously dangerous moon. Hence the tagline at the bottom of the poster, “The cops’ll never find you.”
While I wouldn’t recommend building a summer home on Banff, it’s a great place to visit by reading Escapee.
Thanks, Edward! So…if you had a place you’d turn into a fantasy or space locale, what would it be? I can tell you that I turned Oberammergau, Germany, into the capital of Faerie for Belle Chasse…and stuck a gigantic red-glass tower in the middle of town. Hey, it’s fantasy!
Tell me a spot you think would make a good spec fiction setting for a chance at a $5 Amazon GC (or Book Depo equivalent, of course)!