21 Sep 2017

Author Liana Brooks talks about her writing life, and her new SF romance BODIES IN MOTION

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts

 

Selena Caryll lost everything in the war: her ship, her crew, her family. The only thing keeping her going is the hope that somehow the feuding, ground-bound settlers and the fuelless space fleet can set aside their differences. But getting the politically-fractured fleet moving again is more than she can manage alone. For now, she has to settle for working undercover with the planetary police force.

When someone tries to reignite conflict between the planet-siders and the fleet, there’s only one person who has the rank and ability to help Selena protect the fleet: Titan Sciarra, Fleet Guardian—the one man she’s tried hardest to avoid since the war destroyed her life.

In a world where the stagnant weight of tradition can be as deadly as any knife, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

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Why did you write this book? Many, many years ago when I was trying to take a mental break from the Time and Shadows series I decided to try writing Harry Potter fanfic. I was fascinated by the isolation Hermione had at the end of the series, how she’d given up every aspect of her muggle life to become part of something else. And I wondered if she’d ever want to go back to MP3 players, smartphones, and democracy after fighting to live in the hyper-controlled world of the witches. Needless to say… I don’t appreciate Harry Potter well enough to write good fanfic in that universe and the idea quickly spun out of control. I kept thinking of magic in terms of science, implants for wands, crews instead of Hogwart’s houses.

I took the threads of the story and started to write NEWTON’S CRADLE, and realized I’d jumped too far ahead in the story for it to make sense. So, I went back and tried to figure out where I needed to start. Not with the war, because wars are boring, but with the fallout of the war. How do you rebuild cultures and trust and friendship after something as awful as a civil war?

How do you forgive someone who fought against you because they thought it was the only way to survive?

BODIES IN MOTION is the catalyst for change, it’s the pivot point where everyone in this universe gets a second chance at making the right choice.

Is BODIES IN MOTION a standalone book? BODIES IN MOTION is the first in a series of books about the Malik system. It can be read all on its own, and the other books will be written in a way that allows them to be read without the reader having read the other books, but it will have an over-arching storyline as well.

If you could have something from the BODIES IN MOTION universe, what would you have? The implant for sure. The ability to teleport alone would be worth it. I spend way too much time commuting! I also like the idea of being able to program a broom to sweep the kitchen while I get some writing done.

Liana Brooks's office, which is rather messy and obviously a place where someone does creative work

How would you describe the life of a writer? Imagine sitting in an overgrown cottage in the woods, bears trundling past as the snow falls on withered vines. Inside a woman sits over a magic tablet conjuring infinite worlds. She captures these worlds, presses them into a portable container, and distributes them around the world. When someone finds one, they enter another world.

That’s writing. It’s magic done with computers and inks and patience. It’s the ability to conjure best friends, vicious enemies, and infinite wonders out of nothingness. Everyone should try story-telling at least once.

What advice do you have for writers who aren’t published yet? Keep at it! Keep writing. If you want to publish keep writing, keep learning, keep trying. If a book isn’t working, write a new one. If you want to write but can’t figure out how to make the story in your head appear on the page take classes, meet with writing groups, check out online places like CritiqueCircle.com and give yourself space to learn. The only thing standing between a new author and publication is time. If you keep at it, you’ll get published someday.

What is essential for writing? For me it’s constant access to either a notebook or a keyboard. I travel a lot, I spend about 2 hours a day commuting, and if an idea strikes I want to write it down. I usually have a notebook in my purse, and a few years ago I added a folding Bluetooth keyboard that allows me to type scenes into an email and send it to myself. I think about 70% of my books since CONVERGENCE POINT have been written on a folding keyboard. They’re awesome.

How many hours a day do you spend writing? On a good day I can dedicate four hours to publishing. That includes writing, editing (for myself or clients), marketing, and professional development (webinars, reading, ect). That isn’t enough time to think of books and come up with plot solutions though. I can’t spend four hours staring at the wall daydreaming. I send those four hours active, and then let my brain work out plot problems while I’m doing something else, like walking the dog.

What’s your writing space look like? Perpetually covered in post-it notes! I have a very messy desk, covered in notes for various projects, in an open-space office that was probably supposed to be a formal dining room. It only works because my kids are in school all day so I have the house to myself.

What do you snack on while writing? I always have a glass of water nearby (or I forget to hydrate) and usually I like something with a crunch. Lately I’ve been snacking on toasted squash seeds. You dry them, toss them in olive oil and salt, and bake at 275F until they look lightly toasted. They’re a little bit addictive.

What do you listen to while you write? Usually epic instrumental music or soundtracks. The Wonder Woman soundtrack is good for writing, any of the Lord of the Rings soundtracks, the music from Two Steps From Hell and Assassin’s Creed are also great writing soundtracks. I want something with a good tempo so I don’t get bored.

Author Bio:

Liana Brooks write sci-fi and crime fiction for people who like happy endings. She believes in time travel to the future, even if it takes a good book and all night to get there. When she isn’t writing, Liana hikes the mountains of Washington with her family and giant dog. Find her at LianaBrooks.com or on Twitter as @LianaBrooks

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