Note: Wistful Nebulae is moving to http://mpaxauthor.com/blog/ on August 20th. The website and this blog are the same, publishing the same articles on the same days, MWF.
I'm privileged to chat with the talented Laura Eno today, author of many wonderful stories. I've personally enjoyed Tempest's Child, am currently reading Immortal Desires and Raven, the first book in The Carriena Oracles series. Book two, Wraith, comes out today.
First off, I envy at how fast Laura produces new work. Second, I enjoy reading what she produces. The Carriena Oracles series has many things about it I love: space travel, exploration, discovery, archeology, history, action, drama, and romance. And it touches on the theme of equality, a trope I enjoy toying with myself.
MP: Welcome to Spacedock 19, Laura. I was able to get Craze to tend bar for us today. Be careful not to touch him. I'll have some of your nice ale, bud. Thanks. You?
LE: Thanks for having me. I'll try a cup of his famous Verkinn malt, if you don't mind.
MP: I noted in Raven that your main character was once a slave. Science fiction is a great venue for exploring our humanity or lack of it. Were you consciously thinking of class/equality when you came up with the plot?
LE: Not at first. I often find my theme growing organically as I write. Mostly I was hunting for a woman who had overcome adversity to get where she was. Later on I realized that her story repeated throughout the Carriena system as I began to populate it.
MP: I love those overcoming adversity stories. Perhaps why I'm enjoying Raven so far. There's a thought that it's a mistake to write a female lead in science fiction or any story in which we want to attract a wider audience.
LE: I think science fiction has traditionally been the domain of male readers throughout the years, but I also think genres had more rigid lines than they do now. After all, we've come a long way from the '50s sci-fi movies with the pretty girl screaming and fainting before the hero rescues her. Science fiction is expanding into different sub-genres as well, engaging a wider audience. I love writing space opera because it's about the cultural aspects of the future – the people in it and how they interact with situations – not the hard sci-fi that gets so technical. Will some be turned off by my use of a strong female as lead character? Quite possibly. But I may attract others to the genre that might not have considered it before. It wasn't very long ago that female authors couldn't write sci-fi either, unless they used a male pen name. The walls aren't down yet, but there are cracks in it.
MP: I've noted in fandom online, a lot of the avid followers of science fiction and fantasy seem to be female. I'd say it was Lois Lane who drew me to the genre early on. Not many women had jobs like hers at the time, and she was brassy and outspoken. Besides Mary Tyler Moore and That Girl, science fiction seemed to break barriers more than any other genre. Perhaps why it draws more and more female fans and writers. I'm happy to see it.
LE: In some ways, Raven starts out as the antithesis of Lois Lane. She's a loner; her only friend is an android. Though she's come far from her slavery roots, she's stopped growing – stopped healing. Raven shuns any kind of contact that could lead to friendship for fear of feeling emotions.
MP: A past like that would take a long time to heal from, I'd think. So Raven's remaining scars and scabs make sense. Sometimes I wonder whether our tendency to oppress others is innately human, a universal law, or something we learned that has become intensely ingrained. Either way, I love stories where those deemed not to matter rise up and make a difference, a statement that no one is insignificant.
LE: Definitely. Power shapes our thinking and with it, some people choose oppression to keep it. But like with anything else, it can be lost. With my Carriena Oracles series, there will be times in which that loss of power might not benefit people as much as it should, even as it removes the horrors of oppression. There is a compromise to justice.
MP: That sounds mighty interesting, Laura. Can’t wait to tear into my copy of Wraith and see how this all plays out.
LE: I've had a great time chatting with you today…or is it tonight? My hours are still mixed up out here in space.
MP: Says it’s evening on my chronometer. Don’t worry about leaving any chips, Craze and I have an agreement.
To celebrate the release of Wraith, Laura is making Raven a free download for today only. Go to this link and use the code: PU65D
And, of course, Wraith is available today for only .99 on KindleUS, KindleUK, Nook, and Smashwords.
Someone wants them dead. Another wants them captured. No one can be trusted. Secrets, lies, and revelations await Raven and Mikael as their search for Mikael's missing friend leads them to Wraith, a mysterious moon owned by Jeffrey Hamilton, cybernetics genius and Ben's creator. How much of the Oracle's technology does Hamilton possess and where did it come from?
Raven's nightmares from the past threaten her sanity, while Mikael's guilt slowly consumes him. Ben's in more danger than anyone as they race to find the answers to uncertain questions—questions which could lead to death for them all.
What are your thoughts on how equality struggles and power shape fiction and worlds?