November 1, 2012
Fall has arrived, and with it, perfect weather to curl up with a book. November brings The Dusk Watchman, the final volume of Tom Lloyd's The Twilight Reign series. Brenda Cooper joins us to answer a few questions about The Creative Fire, book one of the Ruby's Song duology. So let's get started!
|Exclusive Q & A with Brenda Cooper!|
Rene Sears: As you mention in your author's note, your protagonist, Ruby Martin, is inspired by Eva Peron, and like Evita, rises from a lower social class to prominence. Why did you choose Evita as a model?
Brenda Cooper: I'm fascinated by people who come to power from simple roots. Oprah Winfrey, for example, or J.K. Rowling. Eva Peron is particularly interesting because she was not a woman in a man's clothes gathering power, but a woman using sexuality and drive to gain power that she then used to advocate for her own people. Yes, she also benefited personally. Was she a heroine or a wanton woman?
I'm an urban fantasy reader, and I'm weary of perfect kick-ass women. I wanted to write about a woman with a mixed record of choices, but who ultimately did a lot of good. That's how I crafted Ruby. I hope that readers find her fascinating, and more layered. They shouldn't like everything Ruby does, but in the end, they should respect her drive.
As a reader note, this is not a sex-on-the-page book; I wrote it to appeal to all ages.
Rene Sears: What was the genesis of setting her story on a generation ship?
Brenda Cooper: I wanted to contain the power that Ruby had to fight. The Creative Fire, while smaller than Argentina, is a better analog for a country before the days of the Internet and casual flight than any current or future location on Earth. A colony planet would have worked just as well, but my Silver Ship series is about a colony planet. The Creative Fire seemed like a fresher location to explore, and also a reasonable futuristic setting for a mostly-patriarchal society.
Also, I didn't lift the plot directly from the musical from Eva's life. I created the character from those things, added few echoes fans of Evita will like, but it is really a revolution story and an adventure as well as a character study. And of course, in good science fiction, setting is also character, and setting drives the available story choices. I'm geeky enough that a space ship is just a grand place to play in.
Rene Sears: What books are you reading?
Brenda Cooper: That's a dangerous question since I multitask as a reader. I'm currently reading two books in physical form: David Brin's brilliant new novel, Existence, and for non-fiction I'm reading Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas, which explores how climate change is likely to impact us at varying degrees of warming. Electronically, I'm reading Madeline Ashby's novel, vN: The First Machine Dynasty, and the business book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip and Dan Heath. And that's the stuff I've actually worked on at least a few pages of today. My to-read pile is scary.
One of hardest parts about being a writer is I have less time to read! Sometimes really long or complex books take me weeks. Years ago, they would have taken days, or maybe hours.
Thank you, Brenda, for joining us!
|The Creative Fire|
Get a look at Hugo-winning artist John Picacio's thoughts on the cover painting for The Creative Fire.
"The Creative Fire is one of those books, that when you begin you cannot put it down. I loved reading this book, and everything in it. ...this is an exceptional book, and I cannot wait for the next one to come out."
-Boekie's Book Review
"Cooper puts a science fiction spin on the life of Eva Perón in this fast-paced, teen-friendly series starter."
- Publishers Weekly.
"On the one hand we have Brenda Cooper's lush, sensual, emotionally driven writing. And on the other we have Ruby, a young woman with an inexhaustible drive for freedom. Put them together on The Creative Fire, a ship ripe for revolution, and you have a timeless story that sings. Highly recommended."
-Brad Beaulieu, author of The Winds of Khalakhovo
Nothing can match the power of a single voice. . . .
Ruby Martin expects to spend her days repairing robots while avoiding the dangerous peacekeeping forces that roam the corridors of the generation ship The Creative Fire
. The social structure of the ship is rigidly divided, with Ruby and her friends on the bottom. Then a ship-wide accident gives Ruby a chance to fight for the freedom she craves.
|The Dusk Watchman|
"Powerful storytelling complements a large cast of characters
and a complex narrative that touches on everything from romance to
high drama to fast-paced war scenes."
"Every Steven Erikson fan should be reading this.... one of the most entertaining and enjoyable fantasy series I've ever read." -Elitist Book Reviews
The final reckoning of the Twilight Reign has come.
The future of the Land will be decided now, written in the blood of men. After his pyrrhic victory at Moorview, King Emin learns the truth about the child Ruhen. Powerless to act, he must mourn his friends and watch his enemy promise a new age of peace to the beleaguered peoples of the Land. While the remaining Menin troops seek revenge, daemons freely walk the Land, and Ruhen's power grows, a glimmer of hope remains.
If you missed the beginning of the Twilight Reign series, be sure to check out our coupon below to get the first book, The Stormcaller, half off!
|Coming this Month!|
"Steele adeptly mixes political intrigue, combat, and character development as he ushers Jamey through an action-packed trial by fire. Like the best Heinlein juveniles, the science is realistic and the concepts drawn from modern speculation, and there's even some chaste romance. This is solid, space-faring fun."-Publishers Weekly
"The idea of teenagers on the moon seemed too good to be true as I've read other books about similar topics and they always disappointed, but not Apollo's Outcasts. I'd recommend it for anyone who loves space travel, political stories, or has a love for science fiction in general."-Night Owl Reviews
"I was quite shocked at just how quickly the story moved along.... [A] story that is accessible not only to the YA audience but to an adult one as well.... [A] strong sci-fi adventure novel with a lot of good science that doesn't get bogged down in the detailed explanations."-Escape Pod
"At times witty and snarky as well as suspenseful and terrifying, this story grabs readers immediately and propels them along the streets of London in what is an alternate 1895. Automatons, computers and steam engines give this book a feel both futuristic and fantastical. The instant connection between Tweed and Nightingale is believable and the reader will eagerly await the sequel to see what is in store for these two. ...Even those readers who do not embrace the steampunk genre will love the pacing and mystery of this story. Highly recommended for ages 12 and older."-SWON Libraries
"The dialogue is witty, enlightening, and a successful mix of modern English and historical English, giving the book a unique twist. Crilley's dialogue gives the novel a fun quality... full of fast-paced action, gripping adventure, and an addicting mystery. ...I recommend Crilley's novel to lovers of the steampunk genre and Sherlock Holmes...a fantastic book."
"The Lazarus Machine is an excellent steampunk YA adventure novel. It's fast-paced -- every potentially dull moment is interrupted by gunfire, exploding buildings, or a high-speed steam carriage chase -- yet includes some interesting commentary on the challenges of ethical scientific research as well. If you like your action/heist tales dressed up in goggles and greatcoats, this is a perfect choice." -Steampunk Canada
That's it for this issue. As always, please check out our newly revamped website
and drop by our blog
Editorial Assistant, Pyr®
an imprint of Prometheus Books