“The Next Big Thing” Interview with Author Deborah Teramis Christian

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This week I’m participating in a little blog hop. What’s that, you ask? Well, it just means I have an interview here about me/my work, and other authors are doing the same thing. Here you can get a glimpse into the next big thing on my writing agenda, and then check out some other cool authors and see what they’re working on as well. A big thanks goes out to Vicki Taylor for introducing me to this. Links to the other authors are at the end of this interview.

What is the working title of your next book?

Splintegrate. That’s a combo of “splinter” and “integrate.” Pronounce it like “integrate” with a “spl” on the front. It refers to a cloning process that’s central to the story.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

After my book Mainline ends, I knew that the next book I wanted to write in that setting would take place a couple of years later, with some of the Mainline characters making an appearance, but really focusing on a different protagonist.

The star of this book is Kes, a professional dominatrix in a licensed entertainment quarter on the planet Lyndir. Her story came to me from a few places: from wanting to put a face to some power and relationship dynamics I knew pretty well, from seeing/experiencing part of her story dilemma in a dream, and from talking with Kes on the cosmophone. Once I tuned into her time and place, other parts of the larger story also came to me.

What genre does your book fall under?

Definitely science fiction!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

That’s a funny question, because I clip art and screen-shot a lot of stuff on the web in order to have a visual for how I see people. It all goes into various image folders I browse through now and then. Unfortunately I have not yet found anyone who has the right vibe for Kes (except a woman I know in my personal life), so it’s very difficult to say who should act her or other major characters from my book. I see these people so very clearly, and more than that, have a feel for how they vibe, so any actor in the real world would have to come very close to embodying (or acting!) in a way that struck that kind of a chord.

OK so now I have prevaricated, I will nevertheless venture a thought or two on this point.

Madonna retro

An almost “Kes”-like Madonna

If she were 20 years younger, totally in the right fetish wear, throwing regal ‘Tude, taller and with really long hair– Madonna could maybe just pull off the title role. If she were rockin’ the acting side of things.

Morena Baccarin, when she was playing Inara in Firefly, is a close match to Morya, Kes’ lover.

Elizabeth Mitchell would make a great Bejmet, the head of the entertainer clan Kes is part of.

And I really can’t get much more specific than that right now. I need binders full of women! That’s what I need. 🙂 Yeah, there are men in the story too, but I’m at even more of a loss with them, actor-wise. I see them in my head, but haven’t seen them on the screen.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

“Caught up in deadly political intrigue and cloned against her will, Kes struggles to survive, to save everything she holds dear, and win her freedom from those who would control her.”

This is actually a multi-plot-thread story with an ensemble cast, so this one sentence does not do justice to the layers of stuff in this book. But it will do for the main character.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This book will be published by Tor Books in Fall 2013, if I can stay on schedule with some stuff.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Years. My writing was disrupted by a lot of life transition, the death of my mother, and other major upheavals, and it was not possible for me to just sit down and write this book for a long time. It has been a very arduous road giving birth to this brainchild.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I have no idea! I think’s it’s a pretty unusual story.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A former relationship partner and a close friend were definite inspiration for parts of this book. The main inspiration, though, came directly from my dreams, where I met Kes and first heard her story.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I have written at least 5 “garbage” versions of this book. I won’t even dignify them by calling them “drafts,” because I went through a period where my left brain insisted that I write, but my right brain wasn’t having any of it. We were not on the same page, which is a great way, it turns out, to write garbage.

The setting for this book is the Sa’adani Empire, my sf universe which is also a role-playing game setting developed over 30 years. It is also the backdrop for my short story “Live Fire” and my collection of folklore from the Empire called Sa’adani Tales.

My fantasy stories are set on a world called Astareth. That is the homeworld of what will become the Sa’adani Empire millenia later. So, my fantasy and science fiction take place in the same fictional universe, just separated by time. Some passing cultural references in Splintegrate (like the name of a goddess, or a common cuss phrase) have their origins on Astareth and are mentioned in my fantasy novels as well. This kind of cultural continuity ties this book to my other works.

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That’s it for now, and thank you for visiting! Here are other fabulous authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their Next Big Thing.





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