You know that feeling when, as a sci-fi romance reader, you’re craving a new story from a new-to-you author, and also a space opera adventure with a variety of worlds, and also an “opposites attract” romance, and also awesome lesbians in space? Well, author Kellie Doherty might be the one for you. She’s released a duology of science fiction romance stories and the second book, LOSING HOLD (Desert Palm Press), just came out!
Here are the blurbs for both books:
Mia Foley is running away from the attack that changed her life. She’s captain of a new spaceship when the Acedians find her and try blasting her peaceful crew from the black. She must sever her bonds in order to run, again. But she’s grown fond of this crew, particularly Cassidy Gates. Staying with them will jeopardize their safety, and they have much closer fears than the Acedian hunters. Mia’s time is running out. She’s becoming one of them.
In the sequel to Finding Hekate, after escaping Donavin’s grasp, Mia Foley and her crew crash on a prison planet and need to deal with its inhabitants, beast and criminals alike. Mia hears Donavin in her mind once again and knows the transformation into one of his drones isn’t far off. Trapped in her own body, lashing against Donavin each chance she gets, and fearful that she’ll lose it all, Mia has to rely on her crew—on Cassidy—to save her. But she’s not the only one transforming in her little group, and things never go as smoothly as they could out in the black.
Nice! It still amazes me how sci-fi romance authors always know how to hit the sweet spots.
I invited Kellie Doherty aboard to pick her brain about her adventures in sci-fi romance. Read on to learn more about her work and geekful experiences!
Galaxy Express: What drew you to the world of writing?
Kellie Doherty: So. Many. Things. Television shows and books both contributed to drawing me in to the word of writing, though the first thing that initially caught my attention was the fanfiction of my favorite childhood show, Digimon. I loved watching Digimon when I was a kid, gobbled up everything I could on the subject, and eventually found my way to the fanfiction sphere. That’s where I originally started my writing career, creating in the worlds of others. It was an amazing jumping off point to where I am today. As for moving into the fiction realm, I always credit JK Rowling and Harry Potter, because it was really her books that made me realize I wanted to create novels, too.
GE: If there was a travel brochure about the world you created for FINDING HEKATE and LOSING HOLD, what would be a few of the things we would learn?
KD: Well, first off, it would have a huge Vespa symbol on it (a simple orange flame design surrounding a gray V), because that’s the government that rules the solar systems. You’d also learn about their tech—ColdAir coils, water jellies, shifters—because they’re pretty proud of their gear, and their military, too. There would be a tiny section at the bottom corner warning about the Acedians, but nothing too graphic or detailed.
There would also be a section for their more popular planets—Paradous if you like the sun, Pargon if you’re into the elite lifestyle, Skadi if you’re more into snow—but mostly you’d learn about the spaceships you could procure. There’d be an intense focus on one named Eclipse, a smaller transport shuttle owned by the Across the Stars trading company. On the back of a brochure, a small pair of gray eyes would stare at you from the corner.
GE: What’s the best part about writing heroine couples like Mia Foley and Cassidy Gates?
KD: The best part is portraying strong women who can kick ass and get stuff done but can also be soft and kind. To portray different versions of stubbornness, because both Mia and Cassidy are stubborn in their own ways.
It was also an opportunity to portray the lesbian lifestyle that wasn’t front-and-center, rather simply a facet of their lives. Sometimes the fact that the MC is a lesbian (or gay or trans or fluid, etc) is put on the center pole, and while those stories are needed, I wanted to change that focus, shift the attention away from their queerness and onto the action, the fear of being hunted and the choices they had to make because of it.
There is romance, of course, so the fact that these two women are lesbians is a factor, but it’s not the main crux of the story. The push and pull of their relationship vs. the danger is something I’ll always enjoy. Plus, I loved how different the two are. Mia is stoic and calm and withdrawn, whereas Cassidy is outgoing and cheerful and bubbly. Putting them together on a cramped spaceship and then inserting a huge dangerous secret on Mia’s end was endlessly fun to write.
GE: Finish this sentence: FINDING HEKATE will appeal to readers who enjoy…
KD: …the thrill of a good fight scene, a budding romance between two women, and the intense choice of having to decide between good and evil and the grayness that lies in between.
GE: Describe a few of the elements that attract you to writing/reading science fiction romance stories.
KD: Oh my goodness, on the reading side of things, the technology that folks create is amazing! I’m not really a hard science type of girl, so as long as the tech follows the rules in their world, I’m into it. On the writing side, creating technology is fun, too, figuring out new ways to do things by using tech. I also enjoy crafting alien species. While my Cicatrix Duology doesn’t have aliens in it, some of my shorter scifi stories do and it’s such a fun experience. As for the romance aspect, I always enjoy a good love story, and what better place to fall in love than on a spaceship traveling across the stars?
GE: Your bio states that you’re a Netflix fan. What’s your current favorite Netflix show, and/or the last favorite film you streamed there?
KD: I recently started watching The Flash. It dwells on some serious topics but doesn’t take itself too seriously. The characters are also super quirky!
Ge: What was your favorite geek discovery so far in 2017?
KD: I love that Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out! While I don’t have a platform for it, I’ve always been a HUGE Zelda nerd and I live vicariously through the YouTubers playing it.
GE: Tell us about the last book that kept you reading past your bedtime.
KD: I recently bought The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers from Powell’s here in Portland, and it’s been a fabulous read! I highly recommend it.
GE: What can readers look forward to from you?
KD: Well, Losing Hold is my most recent project that was just launched last April 2017.
Currently, I’m working on a five-book fantasy series, with the first four featuring a different queer main character and the fifth bringing them all together. I just finished the first draft of the first book and am working on going through it. It’ll be a bit before that comes out, though, as I don’t have a publisher for it yet and there are SO MANY THINGS that need to be done to make it sing for my readers. I’m pretty psyched about it, though. It’s about a Vagari Moon Knight who got a never-before-seen Blood pendant attached to her skin and she has to deal with the (sometimes deadly) consequences. Aside from that, I’m always submitting short stories and flashes to journals so if I land anything I’ll be sure to announce it!
GE: Where can readers find you?
KD: Readers can find me online on my website, Facebook (KellieDoherty89), and Twitter (Kellie_Doherty). Stop by and connect with me anytime. I’d love to chat!
Ms. Doherty, thanks so much for your time, and for your art!
About the author
Living in Alaska for a good portion of my life gave me an appreciation for nature, a hankering for a good cup of tea (or cider), and a passion for all things below zero. During those dark, winter nights, I kept myself busy by writing stories and creating characters. After spending time in already created universes writing fanfiction, I decided to build my own. I’ve crafted many different worlds since then, and I still write fanfic under the name SerenityQuill. In my free time, I like to read, go for hikes, and watch more Netflix than I probably should.
My debut novel Finding Hekate was published by Desert Palm Press in April 2016 and it’s sequel Losing Hold was published in April 2017. Check out my Books section for more information! I’ve also been involved with some other writing projects, like anthologies and zine publications, which you can check out by clicking the Other Writing Projects section. My work has also been featured in 49 Writers Alaska Shorts, Pathos Literary Magazine, the Chugiak Eagle River Star, F Magazine, and Alaska Women Speak. Additionally, I was a winner of the 2013 Sledgehammer award for “A Chance Encounter” and got an honorary mention for “Frosted” from the Radical Arts for Women 2011 Nicole Blizzard Short Story Contest.