Today we interview Joynell Schultz, who is launching a brand new apocalyptic science fiction romance series called Earth’s Only Hope. The prequel, Connecting is included in a huge, limited-edition science fiction and fantasy box set called Rogue Skies, all 24 stories for only 99c.
Here you see the author with her Great Dane, Checkers.
We asked Joynell the usual twisted questions and got these answers:
Why an apocalyptic SF series? Most science fiction writers imagine the end of the world at some point or another. Why this particular end?
-About six months ago, my father (who’s a bit of a conspiracy theorist) was talking about us entering another ice age and he was going into details about everything that would happen at the end of the world. While he was talking, I began to imagine the basic premise of this series of novels. I had been writing mostly fantasy type books, so this series (Earth’s Only Hope) is a bit different for me.
This looks like it’s setting up to be science fiction romance. Is it?
-All my books have elements of romance, only they’re more on the sweet/clean side. I’ll never have open-door sex, but developing relationships are very important to the stories. The relationship between Lon and Jana in Connecting (The novel included in Rogue Skies) is critical for the plot development, even though the majority of the relationship takes place telepathically across the galaxy. My books always walk the line, whether they’re a “romance” or if they’re “sci-fi” or “fantasy.” This series of books is no different.
Did you imagine the hero/heroine relationship first, and then find a science fictional story to frame the relationship? Or did you imagine the end of the world first, and then create some characters who fit the worlds you had built?
-I knew I wanted to write a apocalyptic ice age story first, but before any of the plot came to me, I knew I wanted a long-distance relationship between an alien and a human. In Connecting I struggled with how to have a human and alien communicate, as radio signals would take years to reach another galaxy … then, with my son’s help, we came up with the idea of telepathy.
You’ve written a lot of romances. What’s your take on alpha heroes vs beta heroes? Do you lean one way or the other, statistically?
–Good question! My heroes are usually beta heroes, so I tend to lean that way. I mean, who doesn’t love a nice guy? But my characters tend to appear as alphas at first glance, so maybe I lean more towards the gamma hero direction. Alpha males on the outside, but they have weaknesses and care for someone else and don’t have an ego. The best of both worlds.
It has been said, the three questions we have about every alien race when we start reading a science fiction story are:
“What do they look like?”
“How technological are they?”
“What do they think of earthling sex?”
Do you agree? Which of those questions did you answer first when writing this series? Did you skip any question?
–First, I’m not drawn to the sci-fi romance stories with aliens with tails, horns, and other interesting body parts. In my story Connecting, the premise is that all human life derived from the same place in the galaxy, so all races of human-like beings are very similar. In Connecting the alien’s only difference from humans is that his skin changes colors when he’s in pain. In the next book in the series, Departing, the alien race is different from humans only in that they have two hearts and breath through their skin. Other than that, they all look human. The technology is addressed, as some alien races are more advanced, and some are less advanced. A lot of it has to do with what resources are available on their home planet. And regarding earthling sex. Ahem … I write cleanish romances, so that’s not really addressed, other than in Departing, the aliens don’t kiss.
Get Rogue Skies for a limited time only, for 99c!
Find everything Joynell at her website.
Books in the Earth’s Only Hope Series:
Connecting (Prequel): Available only in the Rogue Skies Box Set
Departing (Book 1): Available now
Surviving (Book 2): Coming this fall
Returning (Book 3): Coming this winter