Monday, October 1, 2012

Dreaming in Science-Fiction Romance

Cosmic Metropolis - Photo courtesy of
What propels writers to dream up sci-fi and futuristic books?

Over time, a few readers have asked me how I come up with sci-fi stories. I didn’t really understand the question—I mean, to me it was self-explanatory, right?—so during an online IM session, a reader explained that she couldn’t wrap her mind around sci-fi. She loved the genre, but it was difficult for her to imagine cool and unusual things that might happen, be created, or occur in the distant future.

“Ah,” I thought. “I get it now.” I suppose some might have a tough time imagining such things. And I guess reading sci-fi and futuristic fiction or watching those movies allows them to just kick back and let someone else take them to those worlds.

The techie stuff and world-building of these genres aside, writing this material boils down to the same thing: a solid plot and well-developed characters. Regardless of the genre, all stories require these two elements. There must be a problem to overcome, a series of events that lead the hero or heroine to solving the problem whether through h/her efforts or by the actions of others forcing the proverbial snowball to grow larger. The science fiction, however, is the candy coating—but it does need to be believable.

So what makes sci-fi/futuristic writers tick?

Well, there are many things that factor into this question, but in a nutshell I believe writers have a story to tell. Regardless of genre, we need to exorcise the people in our heads, lol. We must get those characters, the settings, conflict, romance, action, etc., out of our heads and onto paper or a computer screen. If we don’t, we self-combust.


And if you set those things aside, looking only at the science fiction aspect, I think there’s one answer to why we write it: we love to create, dream, and imagine. Putting it into manuscript form and seeing it published is an added bonus. However, the biggest benefit of all for a writer in this genre is asking, “What if?” and running with it like Satan is on our heels.

I asked a couple of Decadent’s sci-fi/futuristic authors what was important to them about writing one of their most recent titles in this genre. Author D.L. Jackson had this to say about her book, This Endris Night.

I was asked why I loved writing this story. Many who look at the cover of This Endris Night do not realize it is a science fiction romance story. The origins of this idea and the reason I enjoyed building this world, come from possible alien visitations to ancients on Earth, in this case, Alaska and the Native Yupik peoples. I love the thought of visitors from other worlds coming to Earth, living among the ancient civilizations, explaining some of the legends of the ancients.  This story is a mixture of Yupik culture and science fiction.
Ah, there it is. The what-if factor. Are there visitors from other worlds? Whether now or thousands of years ago, this is the biggest what-if question of all. To sci-fi authors this question is addictive, our so-called drug of choice.
D.L. goes on to say:
Shiya is a Yupik supermodel, running from a stalker, luring him to the land of her youth where she can face him on her own terms and put a stop to the deadly game of cat and mouse. Gunnar is from another world, a doppelganger, on Earth for one purpose, to recover the wreckage of a two hundred year old crash that has been exposed from a melting glacier. When he meets Shiya, he knows more than the crash debris will have to come home with him. Shiya is a hybrid, proof of his people’s existence and things are about to get infinitely more complicated when he learns she’s being hunted by one of his kind.
This one story opened up thousands of possibilities for future novels and novellas that will take place on almost every continent on the planet. I look forward to expanding this world, rewriting ancient legends and giving them a science fiction twist. For not all science fiction romance takes place in the stars.
Amen to that, D.L.! I couldn’t agree more!
But what about Decadent’s SFR Elatia series? It opens up a host of avenues to travel, roads or sky paths leading from one planet to another. This line of books introduces the reader to races of people one never imagined. In Elatia, a writer can dream to epic proportions and step into a new world never investigated before. One of Elatia’s authors, Jessica E. Subject, has this to say about what drove her to write An Unexpected Return.
My characters fight for what they want. They both have wonderful lives where they want for nothing, but both Aris and Xia want something different than what their parents expect of them. Aris is a prince on Tyto, but he doesnt want to rule. He wants to explore the universe, see what else is out there. Its something Im sure most young adults can relate to.

I agree with Jessica. Although the desire to see what’s out there beyond our limited part of the world is stronger in our youth, I believe we all have the need to see and know what’s out there. This is a topic that leads to hundreds of ideas a writer can elaborate on.

Jessica also says:

Xia was destined to become an Adamo, following in her mothers footsteps. But as she finishes her first level of training, she begins to doubt whether that career is truly her calling. She feels guilty for wanting something else, doesnt want to disappoint her mother. Yet, at the same time, she doubts shell be happy in that profession. Add in a different career path, and I can totally relate to Xia.

Guilt. Wow, that’s something we all relate to, isn’t it? Thus another solid foundation for a plot. Regardless if it’s sci-fi, horror, or even contemporary romance, guilt is known to motivate people in very entertaining ways—in life as well as fiction, lol.

Lastly, Jessica adds:

When I introduced these two characters to each other, they both became more focused on finding happiness rather than the approval of others. So, much of An Unexpected Return relates to finding ones own path in the world, regardless of what others want for you, about finding what makes you happy.
And for writers, spinning our tales is what makes us happy. It’s what makes us tick. The same goes for me. I have to write. To me, it’s the same as breathing.
When I was approached to write the launch book, Forever Across the Stars, for the Elatia line, I was overwhelmed with deadlines, and the impending holidays only compounded my stress level. However, I wanted so badly to take the details I was given and run with them. Not only was I driven to please Decadent’s lovely owners, I wanted to create something different. It had been quite a while since I’d written science fiction longer than 5K or 10K. I enjoyed this particular writing experience more than I have in a long, long time. 
Through a cruel custom of the planet Viktari, Feather, my heroine, discovers who she truly is and, having been denied emotion for so many years, she embarks on a personal journey complicated by two men who fall in love with her and a villain bent on taking over the planet Elatia. I think Feather is one of the most damaged characters I’ve ever written, one who transcends her plight and emerges from the fire like the Phoenix. In doing so, she’s able to accept the love of a special man and finally allow herself to give her love in return.
So, if you’ve never read a SFR book, I invite you to try these titles or any of the other numerous sci-fi and futuristic books available at Decadent Publishing. Who knows, you might become a new fan of the genre. ☺
***So, now that you've come to the end of this post, how would you like the opportunity to win a cool t-shirt OR a cool tote with D.L. Jackson's book covers? If so, enter by using the Rafflecopter form below. 

Want to know more about Decadent's SFR and Futuristic Romance?
Links to Decadent's Science-Fiction and Futuristic Titles
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  1. I love sci-fi, it's also one of my favorite channels on TV if I'm watching TV. I had so much fun writing Conquering Venus, at Decadent Publishing, with Azura Ice that I can't wait to finish up my next book in the series. I know this series at Decadent will do great there are so many fans of this genre.
    Maria MoonStar/Trinity Blacio

  2. What a great article! I love to write fantasy, science-fiction, and modern. I love mixing them even more. This prompted some thoughts that had been percolating in my own mind quite a bit lately, so I re-blogged this on facebook and my personal blog. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Hi Trin. Yes, Conquering Venus certainly encompasses many sci-fi elements, not to mention it's beyond hot, lol.

    Way cool, Cia! :-D

  4. I'd loved your comment about having to exorcise the characters & story out of our heads, or self-combust. Yes, it's just like that! If I hadn't written Forge, they'd've been picking pieces of me off the ceiling.

  5. Intriguing! I think it's the process, though, for paranormals, urban fantasies, even historicals. Anything that takes us away from our daily lives!

  6. Thank you for a great article about why sci fi & romance writers write, very interesting to learn about their process and thoughts. Congratulations on the new releases! :)

  7. Taryn, writing and reading are the best way to escape our daily lives. It's the cheapest vacation one can buy, lol.

    Hi Abigail! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. cky15: I just loved the article. I love reaing sci-fi romance books.

  9. Great article. And the cover art is so beautiful!

  10. Great article. I love science fiction and fantasy.


  11. Good morning, cky15! I'm glad you enjoyed the article! I really enjoy reading SFR, too.

    Thank you, Arabella. I love Decadent's cover art as well.

    Hey there, Janice! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the kudos on the article!

  12. Arabella,
    You are the winner of your choice of a t-shirt or tote. I will me contacting you shortly. Thanks to all for stopping by.

    D L