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Monday, April 11, 2011


This author grew up in the West Midlands of the UK, moved to Australia as a teen, and spent most of her life either reading fantasy or science fiction books or acting out scenes from them.

She's worked as a textbook editor, project editor, has one science degree and in 2005 married an American (and subsequently moved there) but has since returned DownUnder and is now living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and baby daughter.

She's a 2010 Aurealis Award finalist (for Best SF Book), a Phillip K.Dick Award nominee, and a member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and the Supernatural Underground blog. She is represented by Kristin Nelson from the Nelson Literary Agency.

Here's what Publishers Weekly (starred review) had to say about her first book, SONGS OF SCARABAEUS - "This brilliantly conceived debut heralds a significant new talent... Creasy's convincing scientific speculation, appealing characterizations, and eerie alien landscapes make this science fiction romance deeply satisfying."
Please welcome Sara Creasy as she shares some interesting facts about herself and talks about CHILDREN OF SCARABAEUS, the second novel in her SFR series.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you write?
I write science fiction romance and my second book, CHILDREN OF SCARABAEUS, is just out from Harper Voyager. The prequel, SONG OF SCARABAEUS, has been nominated for an Aurealis Award and the Philip K. Dick Award.

I live in Melbourne, Australia, but was born in the UK and recently lived for 5 years in Arizona. I’m married to an American who also writes (sci-fi and fantasy), and we have a beautiful 10-month-old daughter. I worked in publishing for many years, and have also worked for a bank, a private detective, a computer shop, a curtain shop, an online company and the Commonwealth government.

How’s that for “a little bit”?!

What sparks your creativity?
All sorts of things. Images, especially of exotic places or things. Orchestral music. Certain scenes or visuals or even actors’ performances in movies. Sometimes, just thinking, letting my mind wander, usually just as I’m falling asleep. I love researching, and the internet makes it quick and easy and cheap. One idea leads to another and I end up with all sorts of largely irrelevant bits and pieces, but you never know which insignificant detail will generate a whole new character or setting or plot.

For anyone who hasn't read Sara's first book (not only should you get it ASAP), here's the blurb:

The best cypherteck in the galaxy, Edie can reinvent planets with little more than a thought. Trained since childhood in advanced biocyph seed technology by the all-powerful Crib empire, her mission is to terraform alien worlds while her masters bleed the outlawed Fringe populations dry. When renegade mercenaries kidnap Edie, she's not entirely sure it's a bad thing... until they leash her to a bodyguard, Finn - a former freedom fighter-turned-slave, beaten down but never broken. If Edie strays from Finn's side, he dies. If she doesn't cooperate, the pirates will kill them both.

But Edie's abilities far surpass anything her enemies imagine. And now, with Finn her only ally as the merciless Crib closes in, she'll have to prove it or die on the site of her only failure... a world called Scarabaeus.

Can you tell us about your latest release?
The Scarabaeus books take place in a far-future, somewhat dystopian universe, with a governing bureaucracy called the Crib ruling the central planets, surrounded by the outlawed Fringe worlds that are struggling to survive under Crib oppression.

The science part of the story involves using genetic engineering to terraform alien planets, which is what my heroine Edie does for a living. In the first book she is kidnapped by rovers (pirates) who need her help on the Fringe. They leash her to an unwilling bodyguard, Finn, who will die if she dies or goes out of range.

In the second book she and Finn are back in the hands of the Crib, and Edie is forced to work on a new project she predicts will be highly destructive to hundreds of planets across the galaxy. The Crib is using talented children on the project, and she feels compelled to help them as well as to help Finn escape.

There is a strong attraction between Edie and Finn, whose relationship is complicated not only by the leash but by their stressful situation that doesn’t leave much room for your typical romance. Still, the relationship moves up a few notches in the new book. There is definitely a stronger romance angle this time around.


Edie Sha'nim believes she and her bodyguard lover, Finn, could find refuge from the tyranny of the Crib empire by fleeing to the Fringe worlds. But Edie's extraordinary cypherteck ability to manipulate the ecology of evolving planets makes her far too valuable to lose. Recaptured and forced to cooperate - or else she will watch Finn die - Edie is shocked to discover the Crib's new breed of cypherteck: children. She cannot stand by while the oppressors enslave the innocent, nor can she resist the lure of Scarabaeus, the first world she tried to save, when researchers discover what appears to be an evolving intelligence.

But escape - for Edie, for Finn, and for the exploited young - will require the ultimate sacrifice... and a shocking act of rebellion.

What was the easiest and hardest parts about writing the book?
The hardest part was the final rewrites for my editor. I was doing them just before and just after my baby daughter was born last year. I was not really in the best physical or emotional state to be creative or technical – both of which are needed at that stage of the process. The easiest part was writing the scenes between Edie and Finn. I know them so well now that their scenes flowed onto the page without any problems.

Do you have a pet that keeps you company when you write?
I don’t, but I really wish I did. I would love to be one of those writers who has a few cats lying around the place, rubbing against my legs or walking over my keyboard. But I’m allergic to cats. Until recently we had dogs, and I love dogs too, but they take a lot more work and I don’t have time with a baby.

What’s next for you? What are you working on?
I’m writing a new book, possibly a series. There’s more romance and a bit more fun planned for this story, although it does get quite dark.

My heroine is captain of a mapping ship. She navigates unknown wormholes in order to map them for future safe travel. The universe I’ve developed is a bit different this time – there are aliens, for a start. It’s great fun thinking up histories and cultures and biologies for alien races.

Do you have any advice/handy tips/craft skills you’d like to share with unpublished authors?
Here’s just a small piece of advice for those writing genre fiction who aren’t yet published: know your market.

Book sellers, and therefore editors, and therefore agents, want to know where to shelve your book. They want to know how to describe it in terms of its niche. So if you’re writing a historical gladiator murder mystery with space aliens and magic crystals and fourteen explicit sex scenes, you’re just confusing everyone. I’m not saying that book can’t be written and sold, but if you’re trying to attract attention for your first book you’ll increase your odds by sticking to established subgenres.

Sara, thank you so much for visiting today! It's been a pleasure having you here. And to keep the good times rolling, folks, there's a giveaway!

To celebrate the release of Sara's CHILDREN OF SCARABAEUS and keeping with the SFR theme, which alien culture in a movie, TV series or book really appealed to you when you saw or read about it?

Answer this by Friday, April 15th (Aussie time) and you'll go into draw for this great giveaway!

Check out Sara's website to learn more about her or her books.


  1. Good morning Kylie and Sara.
    Although urban fantasy, sci/fi generally isn't my thing I like the dystopian theme that been cropping up and with this mix, the books caught my attention. They sound very interesting.
    I cant say what Alien culture has really appealed to me but my fave tv series when i was a kid was was Battlestar Gallatica (not a fan of the re made series)
    Anyway, best of luck with the books

  2. Hi guys, another excellent interview. Sara's books sound fascinating! And your comment about know your market is so true, Sara...

    As to Alien cultures? I've read the Dune series many times over and the Fremen always fascinate me. The on-going battle between the Bene Gesserit and Paul Atreides keeps me hooked! I do love a good conflict :-)

  3. Cath, I bet you're like me and ended up addicted to the original version of Battlestar Galactica not the remake. :-)

    Helene, great to see you here. Ahh, the DUNE series. I read the whole series over one summer as a teen (such as it was back then). I really didn't like the Bene Gesserit, always felt they were a bit too creepy for my liking. I loved the worm-riding, now that was a scene and a half to imagine! Oh, and the blue eyes! I loved the incredible colour, especially when I saw it in the movie version.

  4. Nice interview and hosting. Sara has quite the pedigree. Good to see another successful SF writer coming from Kristin Nelson.

    Battlestar Galactica: Surprisingly for an all-things-SF fan, I really didn't care for either the original or the remake. Maybe the casting?

    Anyway, first coolest alien culture looked perfectly human. Klaatu in the Day the Earth Stood Still (original version). It was the first time I'd even considered something from beyond earth, and it was so neat that it was a peaceful being who wanted to save Earth from its own self-destructiveness. Michael Rennie is really sexy (sort of Spock-like. Gort was pretty neat too.

  5. Great interview Kylie, and congrats Sara, I have your first book here and it will be the next one on my list!!
    When I think of aliens, lots of movies immediately come to mind - all scary LOL!
    Signs, Alien, The Fourth Kind (shiver) - and the much tamer I Am Number Four, which I'm yet to read!

  6. Another great interview. I must admit, I've seen these books all over the internet, but I think you've just sold me.
    As to aliens, I loved the movie Pitch Black,with Vin Diesel as Riddick and all those scary creatures in the dark. Or the creepy-cool vibe of Sunshine, where they find that missing ship and board it only to find out what really happened to the crew.
    Or for an old classic, Ice Pirates, featuring Space Herpes (he he), time warps and cool amazon warrior women.

  7. Marva, the Nelson Literary Agency has quite a few successful authors, haven't they? I have to admit I haven't watched The Day The Earth Stood Still all the way through, only in snippets. And I've always wondered how the Keanu Reeves version stacked up against it.

    Mel and Bec, you aren't going to regret your next choice in reading material - SONG and CHILDREN are riveting. I dare you to put them down and read them in more than one sitting! LOL

    Oh, Mel, I want to watch I Am Number Four - I've only seen the shorts of it and was interested.

    Bec, I love the Riddick series, both of them - Pitch Black & The Chronicles of Riddick. Both are good as stand alones although the continuity is there if you watch them in order. Wish they'd make another.

    Thanks for dropping in!

  8. Great interview, Kylie and Sara. Your books sound fantastic, Sara - I am adding them to my "to buy" list. My book shop will love me when I get there!

    The alien culture I most like is that one from Cocoon the movie. Where the oldies swim in a pool with the aliens and get young. Kind of like an alien version of Peter Pan!

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of more good reading, Kylie!


  9. Ahhh, women after my own heart! Great interview and thanks for coming, Sara. Havent read either, but have seen SOS around the net. Will have to order myself a copy, methinks! :)

    Okay, SciFi... *cracks knuckles*

    The Crystal Singer, and the sequel. Anything with crystals in it sucked me in big time as a pre-teen; mixed with singing and scifi?? LOVE Anne McCaffrey.

    Ooooh, Mel, The Fourth Kind. *shudder* Freaked me right out. Very good.

    And I very happily disagree about BSG. Love, love, LOVE the new one and also the new V. Loved the old ones too, so it's not that, LOL. I think it's just the reimaginings are much grittier and more realistic. And who wouldnt love Starbuck as a chick? *vbg*

    Sigh. There are too many to list! I read a book when I was about ten, called 'Invasion of the Blue Lights'. Scared the pants of pre-teen me. Still have it. And 'The Halfmen of O'. Awesome books.

    Wishing you all the best with Children of Scarabaeus.


  10. What a fun interview and congrats on the new baby!

  11. Thanks for the great interview, Kylie and Sara. Final edits just before and after a new baby - wow. The Scarabaeus novels sound very appealing - I'm sure I'll enjoy reading them. Best luck.

  12. Michelle, good thing we know each other as I can disagree with you about Starbuck in the latest remake. I'm afraid I can't see the character as anything but male.

    Ahh, the Crystal Singer series, now they were a great read, but then most books by Anne McCaffrey fall into that category! LOL

    Hi Pauline and Leigh, thanks for dropping in. Leigh, I suspect you'll ENJOY Song and Children no worries.

  13. I love the Pitch Black movies too, and they are making a third!

    Thanks for doing the interview, Kylie. I'm so glad for the chance to give Aussie readers a chance at my book.

  14. Woohoo on the Chronicles of Riddick #3!!! Yay!