I usually try to blog about non-SFR things at the TGE blog, but Something’s Come Up, as they say. So this one is going to have a self-publishing focus, with a bit of SFR thrown in.
The rotten thing about self-publishing is what a monumental time pit it is. So much time and energy is spent formatting, updating websites, updating social media, marketing, overseeing covers, wrangling with technology, etc. that writing time itself becomes rare. It’s like writing while working, except your work is also part of the writing business and there’s no second source of income. However, for me, that is all balanced by one thing. Control. Self-publishing gives me the kind of flexibility and control that would be impossible with a book published by the typical, multi-author press. Which is a nice lead-in to something that I consider to be quite important.
One reason I love hanging out with niche genres is the chance to discover unique projects authors and other creators dream up. One such project is C. Rose’s POSH BYTES, a collection of short stories that explore how certain technological advances impact our relationship with the concept of beauty as well as society in general. I wanted to learn more about this anthology so I invited the author aboard for an interview. Shared SFR news is twice the fun, eh?
Here are the cover and blurb for POSH BYTES, followed by my interview with author C. Rose!
FALL INTO POSH BYTES, WHERE EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL…In a universe where anyone can choose to be beautiful, who really is? Appearances can be deceiving, and usually are. When reality is shaped by illusion, anything can happen.Science and art converge in the luxe glamor of BeautyWorld. These loosely connected Tales of Whimsey and Woe explore the concept of perceived beauty, and how the lives and loves of Posh Bytes’ colorful characters are affected for the better or worse because of it.In a world where everyone appears to be perfect, what can possibly go wrong?
Galaxy Express 2.0: What was the inspiration for POSH BYTES?
C. Rose: The anthology grew out of one short story in the collection. It’s called “Eye of the Beholder.” I wanted to write a story about losing love and finding it again, and was intrigued by playing with the notion of perceived beauty. From that one story, I realized I could really do so much with the concept. I wanted to explore what life would be like if humans could alter their appearance, simply from buying a program. Everyone possesses a neural implant, so buying such programs would be a simple matter. How would it affect humanity and our relationships with each other, though? Technological and medical advancement is great, but what’s the trade-off? Don’t get me wrong, though, my stories are solely meant to entertain. I want readers to enjoy the constructed universe called BeautyWorld.
GE: Tell us about the some of the futuristic technology explored in this setting (without spoilers!)
C. Rose: In BeautyWorld, everyone has a neural implant. This device pretty much drives everyday life. Basically, everything we currently do on our computers and Smartphones is done merely through a series of head tilts, blinks, and vocal commands. Characters are able to converse, pay their rent, convey their medical history, and even sexually proposition others through their neural implant’s link. The implant also contains additional storage for those details and memories one can’t really be burdened with on a daily basis.
Most importantly to the concept of my collected stories, the neural implant connects to the ocular nerve, allowing people to project any desired image of themselves. A new lipstick is a program that you buy and “apply.” The same goes for clothing. Like today, there’s haute couture and bargain basement. What you spend affects what others see. Beware of those bargain basement programs! They’re notorious for not being coded well, and embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions have been known to occur.
Another futuristic advancement I was interested in was oral perfume. I know there are companies working on this concept right now, and the idea intrigues me. In BeautyWorld, though, an oral supplement can not only make a perfume emanate gently from the skin, but it can also give off inhaled drugs and sexual pheromones to affect the behavior of others. I wanted to consider how all of these these technological and medical advancements affected various businesses and industries, such as: fashion, beauty, space exploration, funeral homes, journalism, criminal life, and secret societies. Several of my stories have all these concepts peppered throughout them in various ways. The stories interlock in a loose manner, with some of the characters showing up in different tales. The collection, taken as a whole, ends on a cliff-hanger.
GE: What was the last book you read and/or the last film you watched?
C. Rose: I always read more than one book at once. Currently, I’m reading the “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis, “Niv: The Authorised Biography of David Niven” by Graham Lord, “Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen” by Lois McMaster Bujold, and an advanced copy of “Finders Keepers” by J.J. DiBenedetto. The last film I saw in the theater was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and at home, the last film I saw was “Only Angels Have Wings” with Cary Grant, who I love more than any actor, living or dead!
GE: Please share a memorable anecdote about your cat, Danny.
C. Rose: Danny is the anti-cat. He’s more dog, really. We adopted him from our local shelter in December of 2014. The first few days we had him, I returned home to discover that he’d jumped atop a kitchen cabinet and stolen a bag of chips. He then carried the bag of chips into one of the bedrooms where he tore it open, ate half the bag, and then promptly vomited on the bedroom floor twice. Yep, that’s our Danny, and we love him!
GE: Where can readers find you?
C. Rose: Readers can find me at: http://poshbytes.com/ and may email me at: author “at” poshbytes DOT com
About the author
C. Rose works by day as an archivist and records manager. Alternately, she enjoys daydreaming and scribbling by night. She lives with her loving husband and a very demanding cat named Danny. He runs the real show. No, really, he does. And don’t you forget it…
Ms. Rose, thanks for your time, and for your art.
I also discovered a previous interview with C. Rose and the post features an excerpt from POSH BYTES as well. Happy reading!
I blogged at GeekMom about the origin tale behind DESPICABLE SCARLET, the all-ages, illustrated fanfic project I created to share with my daughter and yours.
This story features a redemption tale for MINIONS supervillain Scarlet Overkill (along with her groovy husband, Herb) and is geared for fans of the DESPICABLE ME movie franchise. It’s also my DIY attempt to help address the gender imbalance when it comes to female protagonists.
The beautiful art for DESPICABLE SCARLET was created by the amazing Bananataffy!
Galaxy Express 2.0 welcomes author Alison Aimes, author of the prison planet sci-fi romance TRAPPED. This book (available both digitally and in print) is hot off the press and the blurb alone promises a steamy ride in an otherworldly adventure:
Cadet Bella West has one simple objective when she joins the scientific mission to Dragath25, the notorious prison planet housing Earth’s condemned. Earn the credits necessary to save her family from starvation. But when her shuttle crashes and the majority of her crew perish, her simple mission becomes complicated fast. Now, to stay alive she’ll have to depend on one of Dragath’s own. But such protection doesn’t come free.
Convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, 673 has become more beast than man after eight grueling years on an unforgiving, hazardous planet of dirt and rock—and even more treacherous inhabitants. He doesn’t look out for anyone but himself and he certainly never grows attached. So when the bold female offers him pleasure in return for protection, he takes the deal without hesitation. He never expects how her touch will alter him. Or the growing realization that saving her may be the key to his own salvation.
But as dangers mount and their ‘simple’ deal unravels will he prove to be her surprise savior or her ultimate downfall? Because caring for someone on Dragath25 may prove the greatest hazard of all.
And now for my interview with Alison Aimes!
Galaxy Express: What sparked the idea for TRAPPED?
Alison Aimes: I know it sounds cliché, but the idea came to me in a dream. I woke up with images of a hostile prison planet and a trapped woman floating around in my brain. (Let’s not look too deeply into my psyche on this one, ok? J) From those images, the story just took off and the ‘what if’s’ kept coming. What if a woman crashed on a hostile planet? What if that planet was filled with ruthless criminals? What if her only hope for survival was one of the convicts, a hardened man with a questionable past? What would she be willing to do to save herself? What would he be prepared to take? The answers ended up being action-packed and scorching hot and so much fun to write. Thank goodness for dreams!
GE: What kind of world can readers expect to find in this story?
AA: Trapped is set hundreds of years in the future on Dragath25, a harsh environment filled with violent criminals, hungry predators and endless rust-colored rock. Yeah, I know. That doesn’t sound very sexy, but it’s that ruthless environment that brings the hero and heroine together. And what’s more? There are secret caves on Dragath25, tiny oases drenched in lush, colorful plants and warm turquoise springs. Fragile places made all the more romantic in contrast to the harshness elsewhere.
GE: What kinds of heroes and heroines do you enjoy writing about?
AA: I think the first aspect that pulls me to a character is a tortured past and a secret. Once I know what my heroine and hero are wrestling to overcome, I can see how they might be able to help one another, make each other stronger, and fall in love. No matter what, though, my heroes and heroines are strong, determined, courageous—and hot as heck!
GE: How would you rate the heat level for TRAPPED?
AA: It’s definitely on the HOT side. I’ve been told my sex scenes are ‘off the charts’ which makes me very happy.
GE: Your blurb indicates TRAPPED is “action-packed.” Funny how the myth that women don’t like action-adventure elements persists, and yet romance authors keep delivering it. What’s your take on that issue?
AA: Uh-oh, the historian in me really wants to take this question and run, but I’ll control myself and make only a quick reference to the nineteenth century and the way in which during that era femininity was securely linked to domesticity, family, and home and set in contrast to war and public life. Since then, stereotypes like the one you mentioned have continued to prevail. But whether you were raised on Charlie’s Angels or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, most women and men like a little action mixed with their romance. How a person acts under pressure or what he or she is willing to sacrifice to protect those they love reveals so much.
GE: Tell us about which sci-fi romance book/film you can’t live without.
AA: That’s a hard one as there are so many terrific sci-fi romance books and films out there, but the first that comes to mind is Susan Kearney’s The Challenge. It was one of the first sci-fi romances I ever read. Have you read it? It’s terrific. Romantic, clever, action-packed, and super sexy. I loved it as a reader, but it also inspired me as a writer.
GE: If you could have any type of job in a futuristic society, what would it be?
AA: Tough choice. I can’t decide between the Earth liaison for alien life forms or the time traveler who polices past, present, and future to ensure continuity in our space/time paradigm. Either way, I’m hoping my future self is a lot more bad-ass and gets a cool uniform. Present-day me spends way too much time sitting around in her pajamas.
GE: Can you tell us more about the Condemned series and what to expect?
AA: Well, I’m super excited because I’m writing book two in the series right now. TAKEN takes place in the depths of Dragath25 in a secret labor camp, a sweltering maze of caves overrun by brutal prisoners-turned-slaves. Believe me, it’s hot, hot, hot! The story reveals what happens to Cadet Ava Davies who vanishes without a trace in TRAPPED. After that, I’ve got plans—big plans—for Book 3 and 4. I can’t wait.
Thank you so much for having me here today. Happy reading!
About the Author
Alison Aimes is the award-winning author of the sexy sci fi romance series the Condemned as well as the sizzling contemporary romance Billionaires’ Revenge series. A sci fi fanatic with a PhD in Modern History, she’s an all over the map kind of woman whose always had a love for dramatic stories and great books, no matter the era. Now, she’s creating her own stories full of intrigue and passion, but always with a happy-ever-after ending. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two kids, and her dog. When not in front of the computer, she can be found hanging with family and friends, hiking, trying to turn herself into a pretzel through yoga, listening to a fabulous TED talk, or, last but not least, sitting on the couch imagining her characters’ next great adventures.