Thursday 11 February 2016

#‎B2BCYCON Interview With Author Belinda Crawford

Today, I have another wonderful Brain to Books Cyber Convention author feature. Remember, this great event for authors and readers alike is coming to Goodreads this April, on the 8th, 9th and 10th. 

Be sure to check out all the details and pertinent links for the event here:

Now on with the main event, our Brain to Books author feature.

Today I have a great interview with YA science fiction author Belinda Crawford.

Interview with Belinda Crawford

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

The first thing you should know is that I'm a geek, I get excited about things like Star Wars, computers and Mass Effect 4 (the best sci-fi roleplaying game ever). I'm also completely nuts about horses, which means I also get excited about saddles, bridles and, of course, the equines themselves. 
I'm not one of those people who always knew they wanted to be an author, in fact when I was a kid, my mum despaired of me ever reading up a book, let alone writing one. Luckily for me, she bought me a bunch of horse magazines. Being the horse-mad kid I was, I gobbled them up, and the rest is history. 
Now, I live in rural Victoria, surrounded by horses, books, writing implements of various shades of digital and analog, and a small herd of cats.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Hero is a science fiction adventure set far into the future on an alien planet. Humans colonised the planet long ago, only to discover that a native spore was killing them, so they built giant cities that floated above its reach. 
The story is about a girl called Hero who wants, more than anything, to escape her parents’ overly protective bubble. Her only friend is Fink, a 600kg genetically engineered ruc-pard (a little bit of rat, mixed with a little bit of leopard and a whole lot of alien), who’s her confidant, protector and ice-cream-eating buddy. 
When Hero finally has a taste of the freedom she craves, she discovers she’s part of centuries-old plan, set in motion by the first colonists, to change the world.

What do you enjoy most about writing in the science fiction genre?

I love science fiction because it lets me explore the future, one that's more hopeful than what you usually find in dystopian fiction. Taking the events and ideas of today and extrapolating them into the future is a lot of fun, for example, there are people today researching how to get trees to grow carbon fibre. 
Just imagine what it would be like if, at some point in the future, cars were made out of trees, from the carbon fibre framework right down to the tyres. It sounds like something elves would do, except cooler.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

Letting my inner brat loose. Hero is smart mouthed, opinionated and sneaky, and writing the her dialogue was a blast. It’s smart, snappy and full of the kind of sass you’d expect from a teenager with a chip on her shoulder.

Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?

My ideas come from all over the place–TV, films, books, random articles on the internet, dreams. I suck them into my brain and let them ferment in what Natalie Goldberg, in her book Writing Down the Bones, calls the mental compost heap. Eventually, one idea will nag at me, which is when I know it’s time to turn it into a book. 
From there, I brainstorm, fleshing out that first idea with others–often from the compost heap themselves–until I have the main character, their inner conflict and the world they live in sketched out. Next, I go through several planning phases, each more detailed than the last as I build upon my mental sketch, and then I’ll start writing. 
I’ll go through about five or six drafts, starting with an absolutely horrid discovery draft–where the details of the plot are worked out–and ending on a final draft where I’ll go back and foreshadow a subplot I added in draft three, or straighten out character descriptions that became muddled somewhere between drafts two and five.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

Self-confidence. The voice in the back of your head that tells you that last line/paragraph/chapter sucked, is a killer and it’s danged hard silence. Over the years, I’ve learned to push it aside and keep slugging. In my view, the only way to beat self-doubt is to keep trying, you’ll get there eventually.

Do you have a favourite author, or writing inspiration?

Lately, I’ve been blown away by Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings and the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Both of them do a really great job of describing worlds that are very different from ours, by giving you enough information to understand what’s happening in any given scene without any extra fat.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?

My family owns a small stud where we breed Arabian horses, so when I’m not writing, reading or playing Guild Wars I can usually be found working with a horse. 
As well as breeding horses, I'm an endurance rider, which is like going on a really long trail ride over a prearranged course of anywhere between 40 and 80km (25-50 miles) once a month. It means I get to spend a lot of time on a horse, not just at an endurance event, but training as well. 
It's awesome.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

Currently, I’m putting the finishing touches on the second book in The Hero Rebellion, while planning the third and final book in the series. I have big plans for book three, in which I’m going to do a homage to one of my favourite TV series, Farscape (if you could see me right now, I’m doing my Mr Burns ‘Excellent’ impression and resisting the urge to cackle). 
As for book two, it takes a dark turn when Hero is forced to face the consequences of the her actions in book one, and at the end of it, she’ll discover that she’s not quite the girl she thought she was. In fact, she’ll discover that the world isn’t what she thought it was and that there are secrets upon secrets keeping her homeworld’s cities afloat.

Author bio:

Belinda is a geek. She loves Star Wars, Dr Who, spaceships and girls who kick butt. When she’s not writing books or playing Guild Wars, she’s on a horse named Wombat or wrangling a small herd of cats.
Currently, Belinda is putting the finishing touches on the second book in The Hero Rebellion, due for release September this year.

Hero (The Hero Rebellion #1) by Belinda Crawford

Centuries ago, humans colonised Jørn, a lonely planet on the far side of the galaxy. Arriving in five great colony ships, they quickly settled the surface only to discover, after a few short years, that the planet was killing them. The culprit, a native spore, carried on every wind to every corner of the globe.
Genetic engineering, blending DNA from Earth and Jørn species, saved their crops and livestock, but for humans there was no cure. Instead they took to the skies, turning their colony ships into cities that floated above the spore’s reach.
Hero Regan is special, and not in a way she likes. She hears voices, voices in her head that other people can’t. Surrounded by butlers, bodyguards and tutors, insulated from the outside world, her only solace is Fink, a six-hundred-kilogram, genetically engineered ruc-pard. They share lives, thoughts, triple-chocolate marshmallow ice-cream and the burning desire for freedom.
Their chance comes when Hero is allowed to attend school in Cumulus City. Here, along with making unexpected friends, Hero discovers she is an unwitting part of a master plan set into motion by the first colonists, a plan she must either help or foil if she’s ever to attain the freedom she craves.

Hero is available at

I'd like to thank  Belinda Crawford for stopping by today, and be sure to check out her virtual booth at the convention this April.

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