Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Guest Author: Catherine Cerveny, science fiction novelist

Today my guest is Catherine Cerveny, a writer of science fiction romances.

Catherine Cerveny was born in Peterborough, Ontario. She'd always planned to move away to the big city, but the small town life got its hooks in her and that's where she still resides today. Catherine is a huge fan of romance and science fiction and wishes the two genres would cross paths more often.




Interview

1. Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a city girl at heart who now lives in the country and still has yet to adapt to this strange environment where you wave to all your neighbors, and it’s okay if you forget to lock your door at night. I love reading (what writer doesn’t?), collecting knick-knacks of all sorts, drinking chocolate martinis, shopping, and color coordinating everything I own so that it all matches. I still make time to watch Saturday morning cartoons, and when I have the opportunity and can afford it, I love to travel. I want to see as much of the world as I can while I’m able. I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember, always drawn to plots that feature the bizarre, the unusual, the fantastic, and of course, the romance.
2. What made you want to become a writer?
I’ve always loved stories. Loved hearing them. Loved reading them. Loved imagining what might happen next whenever I finished a really good book or movie. I’ve also tended to be a pretty quiet person, generally keeping my thoughts to myself, yet suffering from a huge imagination. Turns out all that daydreaming and love of stories has to find an outlet somewhere. Hence, writing.
3. What are you reading at the moment? Would you recommend it to readers of this blog? Why?
 I’m about to crack open the latest installment of the Kate Daniels series, Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews. I’m so excited to read it, pretty much everything in my life will be falling to the wayside for the next few days! I love the urban fantasy setting, the world building, the romantic elements, the mixing of the humor along with the serious—pretty much everything about this series. Kate Daniels is a total kick-ass heroine, and I love her commitment to everything she cares about. This series has drama, action, and great characters. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves urban fantasy.
4. Do you think people have misconceptions about the speculative fiction? Why do you think it is a worthwhile genre?
People definitely have misconceptions about speculative fiction, and it’s something that really annoys me and is one of my biggest pet peeves. There’s this feeling out there that if a novel isn’t “literary,” it isn’t any good or it doesn’t count. It’s just genre fiction, and it’s somehow subpar and has nothing to say about the human condition or the struggles people face. It’s all spaceships or vampires or gun-toting aliens—hmmm, actually I would totally read that story. But back to my point…I think speculative fiction has a great deal to say about what it means to be human, especially as the characters struggle to find the humanity within themselves because on the outside, they’re considered monstrous. They have to fight harder to prove themselves and come to terms with who they are.
What I also love about speculative fiction is how writers stretch their imaginations and those of their readers. They present us with new worlds and new ways to think about the universe. They speculate on what the future might look like and give us ideas we might never have considered ourselves. Would we have these awesome hand-held computers we call cell phones if Star Trek hadn’t brought them to us first via their communicators? Well, probably. Maybe. I don’t know. Whatever the case, many of the things we have now and take for granted were first envisioned years ago by speculative fiction writers, and I can’t help but feel that just really cool.
5. Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book?
My currently novel, The Rule of Luck is a science fiction romance. It’s set about 800-1000 years in the future, after the world has come back from the brink of collapse after severe climate change and several ecological disasters.  Society is ruled by One Gov who promises equality for all, but the rules are harsh, and nonconformity isn’t an option. The main character, Felicia Sevigny, is a Tarot card reader trying to keep her head down and live her life as best she can until Russian crime lord Alexei Petriv visits her shop and demands a reading. She’s quickly pulled into his world and into events that will change the rest of her life.
6. What is your favorite writing tip or quote?
This isn’t so much a tip or a quote, but more of a mantra I say to myself whenever I’m feeling really lazy and can’t motivate myself to write: If you treat writing like it’s a hobby, that’s all it will ever be.
When I can’t get a particular scene in the novel to play out just the way I want, reach a lull in the story and can’t get over the hump, or am just feeling down and wondering why I’m putting myself through this misery and torture in the first place, that’s what I tell myself. If I want to succeed at this, I have to write. And if I want to write something decent and half-way interesting, I have to keep writing. Keep improving. Keep trying. Once I’ve given myself my little pep talk, it’s usually enough to get my butt off the couch and get back in front of my computer.
7. Tell us a little about your plans for the future.  Do you have any other books in the works?
Actually, the sequel to The Rule of Luck is coming out December 6: The Chaos of Luck. It picks up a few months after the events in the first book and continues Felicia’s adventures and her new life on Mars. I hadn’t planned on writing a sequel, but it turned out to be much easier than I thought. After all, I know and love these characters, and it satisfied my own curiosity when it came to speculating about what might happen next to them. It was also a lot of fun to imagine what life might be like on the Mars of the future—after we’ve terraformed it, of course.
Where can we find you online? (please cut and paste links):
Twitter: @catcerveny

The Rule of Luck

The Rule of Luck is a whirlwind thriller romance in a futuristic setting that will tug at your
heartstrings while sending you on high-speed chases alongside a genetically-enhanced (and incredibly handsome...) criminal mastermind.

As a famed tarot card reader, all is well in luck and love for Felicia Sevigny, until Russian crime leader Alexei Petriv walks into her shop and demands a reading.

Petriv's future looks dark and full of danger, which wouldn't be Felicia's problem, except that it's also aligned with hers. Felicia discovers she is the key pawn in Petriv's plot to overthrow the all-knowing government, and she must decide if she will trust with him with her heart, body and soul, before the future of the entire human race collapses around her.

Excerpt

I’ve always been a big fan of eyeliner. The darker, the better. Growing up, I’d heard the expression “Pretty is as pretty does” almost every day of my life—but I believe that sometimes pretty needs help. Since I’ve decided against tattooing my way to beauty or using gene modification; I do things the old-fashioned way. And as one of the only Tarot card readers in Nairobi, I’ve cultivated a certain look that is as much personal choice as mysterious mask. So the fact that I stood in the tiny bathroom of my card reading shop and scrubbed my face clean, opting for tasteful over flashy, made me feel like I’d sold out.

“All for the greater good,” I mumbled, examining my nearly naked face. “I can look straitlaced and respectable for an hour. Two, tops.”

A quick time check showed it was nearly seven in the morning. It made me glad I’d decided to close up shop early at two and catch some sleep on the reception room couch. At least I didn’t look like complete garbage, even if my sleep was more tossing and turning than actual shut-eye.

I hightailed it to the front door. I needed to be on the other side of the city by nine sharp. To do that in an hour using the unreliable Y-Line would take all the prayers and karmic brownie points I had to spare. Maybe if I lit some incense sticks and offered a prayer for guidance…but no, no time for that.
Then I had to stop, my hand frozen in mid-reach on the way to the doorknob. Standing in the entranceway of my shop was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. I know it’s shallow to focus on looks since they are so easily bought and modified, and yet…

“I’d like a Tarot card reading, please,” he said, his voice so deep, I was certain the windows rattled.

“I’m sorry, but we’re closed. I can take your information and schedule an appointment for later this week.” I infused my voice with as much formality as I could muster. Anything to prevent stammering like a drooling idiot in front of such a good-looking man. Even though “good-looking” barely covered it.

“This won’t take long and I’m prepared to pay generously,” he said, as if he’d already dropped gold notes into my account. Wonderful—arrogant enough to assume money buys everything and he thinks his time is more valuable than mine. Well, that was exactly the shot of ice water I needed to break the spell.

“I appreciate your offer, but I’m afraid you’ll have to book an appointment.” Like everybody else.

“Unfortunately, I’m leaving Nairobi today. This is my last stop before my flight. I’ve heard of your reputation as a card reader. My research says you’re quite accurate.”

And just like that, he pierced the proverbial chink in my armor. When people said they’d heard of me, I felt honor-bound to accept. If word got back to the source that I was ungracious or unobliging, I could lose business. Damn it, why had I let my receptionist Natty leave early? She could have dealt with this situation. Oh right, it was so I could sleep and get ready in private with no one the wiser. But why had I forgotten to lock up? I did not have time for this.


I'd like to thank Catherine for joining us, and if the above catches your interest, leave a comment. The book can be purchased at the link below.