A hearty welcome goes to author Roxanne Bland today. She’s chatting with me about her new science fiction work, The Moreva of Astoreth.
This is just one of many stops Roxanne is making as she does a virtual book tour.
Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated.
Welcome, Roxanne. Please tell us about your current release.
In a world where gods and science are indelibly intertwined, Moreva Tehi, priestess, scientist, healer, and the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful goddess, is temporarily exiled from Temple life in her beloved desert home to a volatile, far northern corner of the planet for willfully neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
What inspired you to write this book?
In a way, you could say this story was thirty years in the making. A friend from college and I collaborated on a story. I always meant to write it down, but you know how life gets in the way. Then, years later, I read Zecharia Sitchin’s Earth Chronicles series, wherein he posits that ancient astronauts came to Earth, created humans and founded the Sumerian civilization. Later, I got the bright idea to meld the story my friend and I had created with Sitchin’s theories.
Excerpt from The Moreva of Astoreth:
“I could have you executed for this, Moreva Tehi,” Astoreth said. My Devi grandmother, the Goddess of Love, scowled at me from Her golden throne in the massive Great Hall of Her equally massive Temple.
Sitting on my heels, I bowed my head and stared at the black and gold polished floor, trying to ignore the trickle of sweat snaking its way down my spine. “Yes, Most Holy One.”
“You blaspheme by not celebrating Ohra, My holiest of rites. And this one was important—the worthiest of the hakoi, handpicked by Me, celebrated with us. ”
“I can only offer my most abject apologies, Most Holy One.”
“Your apologies are not accepted.”
“Yes, Most Holy One.”
“Where were you?”
“I was in the laboratory, working on a cure for red fever. Many hakoi died last winter—”
“I know that,” my grandmother snapped. “But why did you miss Ohra? Did you not hear the bells?”
“Yes, Most Holy One. I heard them. I was about to lay aside my work when I noticed an anomaly in one of my pareon solutions. It was odd, so I decided to investigate. What I found…I just lost track of time.”
“You lost track of time?” Astoreth repeated, sounding incredulous.
“Do you expect Me to believe that?”
“Yes, Most Holy One. It is the truth.”
A moment later, my head and hearts started to throb. I knew why. My grandmother was probing me for signs I had lied. But She wouldn’t find any. There was no point in lying to Astoreth, and it was dangerous, too. Swaying under the onslaught from Her power, I endured the pain without making a sound. After what seemed like forever the throbbing subsided, leaving me feeling sick and dizzy.
What exciting story are you working on next?
The sequel to my first book, a paranormal urban fantasy in which a werewolf trapped in a bitter love triangle falls for an amnesiac space alien who may or may not be a serial killer. Now the four have to get over their differences and work together to stop an invasion of Earth by the alien’s enemies.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve written on and off since I was a child, but it wasn’t until 2001 that I started taking it seriously. So I’d date it from then.
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 could write full time! No, I have a day job—I write for a tax-related trade magazine—so I’m a part-timer. I usually get up when most people are sleeping—around two or three in the morning—and write until it’s time for the workday to begin. Needless to say, I don’t get much sleep.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I really don’t think I have any. No rituals, no “everything-must-be-just-so”. I just sit down, fire up the old computer and write.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My very, very first career goal that I remember was to be a jockey. Then I grew too big. So my second career goal was to be a concert pianist. My career goal now is to be a full-time author.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Believe in yourself and go for your dreams. You’ll be amazed by the places the journey takes you.
Thanks for being here today, Roxanne!