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 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.
CHILDREN OF SCARABAEUS blurb:
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.