This time my guest is Ann Aguirre, author of the sci-fi series, Sirantha Jax, the UF series Corrine Solomon and, under the pseudonym "Ava Gray," she pens the paranormal romance (to put it loosely) series, Skin. PLUS, she also writes a paranormal apocalyptic action in collaboration with Carrie Lofty. And, yes, that IS a lot of series. O_O
So, now without further adieu, enjoy!
(1) So, I guess I may as well start with the basics: how exactly did Ann Aguirre break into the publishing world?
I signed with Laura Bradford in March of 2007. On April 11th, my husband's birthday, we pitched my romantic science fiction novel, Grimspace. We had an offer from Anne Sowards within a couple of weeks.
(2) Is writing a full-time job or have you got an alter-ego thing going on à la Clark Kent?
I write full time, and then some.
(3) Your first series, a sci-fi romance/adventure, deals with Sirantha Jax – a Jumper slash, um, rebel leader – as she adjusts to her new life in the aftermath of the world order’s shake-up. What inspirations led you to develop your mythology?
I love science fiction films and television, but from other women, I often heard the complaint that SF in books was too dry or technical for them to enjoy as much as movies and TV. So I set out to write a SF series for women. Now, the majority of my readers say, "I've never read SF before, but I love this." Music to my ears.
(4) Jax is puts a whole new spin on heroines – after all, she’s in outer space using her mind to navigate ships through some pretty bizarre short cuts. It’s pretty unique. How did your Jumpers come to be?
I sat down and started writing. Pretty cool, huh?
(5) Now, March. How would describe your hero?
Damaged, but determined to do the right thing. Devoted, dedicated, deliciously intense.
(6) The relationship between Jax and March has had its rocky moments but some how it all comes out seeming a lot more real because of it. Has it be hard setting the development of their relationship?
(7) Now, you’ve also got your Corine Solomon series which as Corine, a touch sensitive, getting pulled into some pretty intense situations on account of her unique talent. It’s pretty different from your Jax series; where did the idea come from?
I keep a bunch of slips of paper in a Buddha cookie jar. Whatever idea gets drawn by the idea money, that's the one I write next. (Not really. I wanted to write UF set in Mexico. Everything came out of that desire.)
(8) How does writing Corine and Chance compare to writing Jax and March? Is it very difficult shifting gears from one to the other?
No. I don't write them at the same time.
(9) And then there’s your alter-ego, Ava Gray. First question: why the pen name for the Skin books when Corine and Jax are both written under Ann Aguirre? What’s so different about the Skin series?
Ava Gray is romance with graphic sex. It's better to brand that separately, so I can write SFF and YA under my real name.
(10) And isn’t there a YA series – Razorland – in the works for next year? What’s the scoop there?
It's dystopian, post-apocalyptic fiction. You can learn more here: http://www.annaguirre.com/books/ya-novels/razorland/
(11) Your next publication, Killbox, the fourth Jax novel, releases August 31. What can you tell us about this book?
I feel it's the best one so far. Heartbreaking, though. Learn more here: http://www.annaguirre.com/books/jax-series/Killbox/
(12) Now, in a perfect world where publishers bow to your every whim, how long do you plan on the Jax, Corine and Skin series being?
Jax wraps up in six books in 2012. Corine is open-ended, so I will write those as long as readers want them. The Skin series may well be complete now, though I don't rule out spin-offs set in the same universe, depending on how the rest of the releases do.
(13) Any other series cooking up in that apparently rather crowded imagination of yours?
(14)And on that note, how do you manage all these series, pen names, and genres? How has your head not exploded?
Carefully? Plus, my head's full of hamsters who thrive on stress; they devour it like grated carrots.
(15)How exactly did you come up with your characters? Are any of them based on real people? Trade secret. If I told you, then everyone who read your blog could do it. I'm protecting my livelihood here.
No, no, they're not.
(16)What sort of research is done per book? Any particular texts you rely on? Could you break down your research process?
Depends on the subject matter and how much I already know about it. Every book is different. I use the internet a lot, but I also have friends and colleagues who know a lot about various areas. I have one friend who I ask about legal stuff, another about forensic procedures and another who specializes in computers. I'm not shy about asking questions, and I do try to get things right.
(17) Finally, some random questions about you:
a. What are your hobbies aside from writing? My release schedule doesn't leave me that much time for anything else, but books still top the list. Books, movies, music, shopping with my daughter, video games with my son, yoga. I don't know if that stuff counts as hobbies so much as my life, though.
b. Could you please describe your dream day? I get to sleep for twelve hours, and then read and watch movies for the other twelve with nobody wanting anything from me. Not even once.
c. If you found a genie, what would be your three wishes? Health for my family.
Happiness for my friends.
Plenty of work for me.
Thanks for having me.
And there you have it. Be sure to swing by Ann's website over here or over here for all the latest 411 on her past and future releases, not to mention whatever else may be going on over there. And also be sure to pick up her latest release, Killbox, no doubt available at bookseller near you. (Was that too much? I went to far into promo-land, didn't I? Oops.)