Thursday, May 24, 2012

Interview with sci-fi author Marie Bilodeau

Please welcome science-fiction author Marie Bilodeau. She's on a tour for her novel Destiny's Fall.

She's offering a gift to a lucky commentor on this blog today, and other chances to win. Details follow the interview.

Marie Bilodeau’s space fantasy novel, Destiny’s Blood, was a finalist in the Aurora Awards and won the Bronze Medal for Science-Fiction in the Foreword Book Awards. She is also the author of the Heirs of a Broken Land, a fantasy trilogy described as “fresh and exciting” by Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo award-winning author of WAKE. Her short stories have appeared in several magazines and anthologies. Her short story, The Legend of Gluck, published in When the Hero Comes Home (edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy), was also nominated for an Aurora Award. Marie is a professional storyteller, telling adaptations of fairy tales and myths, as well as original stories of her own creation.

Welcome, Marie. Please tell us about your current release.
Destiny’s Fall is the sequel to the award-winning Destiny’s Blood.

Our heroine, Layela Delamores, gives birth to her daughter, heir to the First Star. But what should be a joyous occasion turns to terror as the First Star rejects her daughter, triggering destruction across the Solarian Empire and sparking rebellion on the withering planet of Mirial.

Denied access to her ether as a new heir steps up to claim her throne, Layela embarks on a journey across worlds to save her daughter from the bloodthirsty rebels and from the fate deemed by the First Star long ago.

But not everyone can be saved, and destiny may prove impossible to escape.

Blurb for Destiny's Fall:
A broken tradition. A hunted child. A rebellion that threatens to topple the very fabric of the universe. 

When Layela Delamores gives birth to her first child, the ether immediately rejects what should be its only heir. A wave of destruction sweeps the ether races and sparks Solaria’s ire and rebellion on Mirial. A new heir rises to take the throne of Mirial, one who wields tainted ether.

Unable to access the flow of ether, Layela is left with little choice but to flee Mirial, seeking answers that may no longer exist, prepared to sacrifice everything to free herself and her daughter from the clutches of the First Star.

Excerpt from Destiny's Fall:
Elsa sent soothing waves to the earth. The saplings, still so small and tiny, responded in turn. Be still, she comforted them. They grew still and quiet, and she hoped they would avoid detection.

She reached out to the plants surrounding the gardens—the elm tree to the right, the great oak to the left. The bluebells lining the ground, mixed in with buttercups. The Lacile flowers which glowed gently, hiding now from the sun. The grass all around them, the wildflowers peeking through between the blades, the roses and their thorns, the poofy orange plants whose names she could never recall, and the bushes that held tiny leaves and pink flowers when spring was fresh and new.

She called out to all of them in the sunlight, to take care of the gardens, to protect the sproutlings of the Berganda in these uncertain times, while their mothers fought for peace on Mirial. Wave after wave of hope and need left her and filled the plants. With her all-too-human eyes, she imagined the plants standing a bit taller, but she knew it was only her imagination; they gently swayed in the wind around her.

Her own mother had been able to communicate with the plants and bend their will to hers. Or seal them to her with friendship, she wasn’t certain. Her own mother would have stood by Layela and fought, even giving up her life for her and the Berganda. Elsa hid her forming plans deep in her heart.

She had never known her mother, but she intended to live up to her legacy.

What inspired you to write this book?
Honestly, there wasn’t supposed to be a second book in the Destiny series. Dragon Moon Press’ Editor-in-Chief, Gabrielle Harbowy, requested a rewrite of the first book’s epilogue, saying it was too final. As soon as I handed that in, she asked if I’d be willing to write two more books in the series. 

And I certainly was!  Returning to the world of Destiny was like returning home and meeting old friends again.  Except I’d done horrible things to them in the first book, so they probably weren’t really happy to see me again. Regardless, a whole plot was quickly born and we headed towards adventure at breakneck speed!

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the third book of the series, which is darker, more action-packed and, for me at least, very nostalgic. I won’t spoil anything, but trust me – it’s gonna be awesome! 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When the whispers of a story would tease me awake and my pen met paper every morning before sunrise, when the scent of a latte was my sole companion as I discovered new worlds, and when I first wrote “The End” on a novel. That was more than ten years ago, after I finished university. And what a ride it’s been!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I wrote full time!  But not yet. I get up early in the mornings and head to a coffee shop downtown.  I write for about an hour (at least 1000 words) before heading in to work. I have an energizing job that I love in communications. I work a full day. Then, my day breaks down. I socialize, I read, I watch some TV, I prepare for storytelling shows. But the one thing I always do before going to bed is prep for the next day’s writing session. I plan my scene, put my characters to bed, and when the morning writing beckons, I’m ready to go before my first neuron fires (which can take a while). 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When I only have a third of a book left, I like to head to a convent where I can have a quiet writing retreat.  I write and write and write for three days, stopping to sleep, eat and take a walk once in a while.  My personal best was 45,000 words in two days, so it’s a worthwhile endeavor! I saw double for a while after that…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
She-ra. Never did find my power sword. Just a power pen. Sigh.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks for having me here today! Cheers!

You're quite welcome, Marie. Glad to be a tour host.

Readers, remember, Marie is giving away a signed e-book copy of Destiny's Blood (the first book in the series) to one randomly drawn commentor at every stop (so that means there will be a winner HERE), and an autographed set of Destiny's Blood and Destiny's Fall in print (US and Canada only) or e-book (International) to one randomly drawn commentor during the tour. So, leave your e-mail address with a comment below for a chance to win. And also follow the tour and comment at other stops to increase your odds of winning.


Marie Bilodeau said...

Thanks for hosting me! I'll be traveling today, but I'll pop in every few hours to say hi. ... Hi!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Marie today.

cait045 said...

I have to read this series it sounds so good. And if you say the third is awesome I can't wait.

Marie Bilodeau said...

Thanks! I appreciate your enthusiasm, AND Belle is one of my favourite Disney princesses, so I love your profile pic.