Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Interview with sci-fi novelist Keira Michelle Telford

Today's guest is science fiction novelist Keira Michelle Telford who is touring her novel SILVER: Entropy with Virtual Book Tour Cafe.

Keira will be giving away 2 signed paperbacks during her tour. So if you'd like to be entered to win, leave your e-mail address with your comment below. You can also visit her other tour stops and leave comments for more chances to win.

Keira Michelle Telford was born and raised in the UK. She spent the early part of her childhood in Worcestershire, before the family moved to Wales where she lived for most of her teenage years. In 2006, she moved to Canada. She currently resides in beautiful British Columbia, where she lives with her husband and 10 guinea pigs.

Welcome, Keira. Please tell us about your current release.
SILVER: Acheron is the first book (a 40,000 word novella) in a 10-book series featuring the character of Ella ‘Silver’ Cross. Set more than 300 years in the future, the Silver Series takes place in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world where humans are a species on the brink of extinction. No longer at the top of the food chain, humans are preyed upon by the Chimera—genetic mutants that outnumber humankind 25:1.

And Silver is a Hunter—the best in the city. At least, she used to be…

Dishonorably discharged from the Hunter Division and banished for crimes she did not commit, Silver struggles to come to terms with her new prison-like surroundings: a segregated area of the city called the Fringe District, populated by murderers, thieves and rapists.

Starving, and desperate for money, she reluctantly accepts the Police Division's invitation to enroll in a covert Bounty Hunter program: an initiative devised to infiltrate the criminal underworld of the Fringers, and to force the very worst warrant dodging law-breakers to meet their fate—death.

Unfortunately, Silver doesn't realize that the Police Division is about to up the ante. They need more than little snippets of information and arrests—they need someone to pull the trigger.

They need an executioner.

What inspired you to write this book?
In one way or another, I’ve been writing these books for over a decade. Of course, the series has changed heaps since I first conceived it. Those who’ve been following my guest posts on this tour will know that it was originally set in space. Yup. I almost wrote a space opera. I guess what originally inspired me to write these books were the characters themselves. I’ve ‘known’ Silver since I was about 13 or 14. She wasn’t called that then, but she looked the same. Her name changed about three times as I tested her out in various different situations and universes. The other characters came later, as different social interactions started to click on the page.

Who knew the Police Division had safe houses tucked away all over the Fringe District?
Silver didn’t.
Luka takes more than a little pride in showing off one of his Division’s best kept secrets, and also hopes that something about this experience will perk up her mood.
Punching his key code into a concealed pad behind a disused electrical box, he swipes his wrist across a hidden tag plate and beams a grin back at her over his shoulder.
“Hunter’s have got their toys, we’ve got ours.”
The entry system seems to like his credentials, and an inconspicuous cellar door clicks and pops on the inside as the locking mechanism swiftly retracts behind it. Lifting the lid on the place, Luka ushers Silver hastily down a steel step ladder into the bunker beneath.
He’s right on her tail, and the door automatically reseals itself behind them—locking them in.
“What is this place?” Silver wonders.
“Nothing, so far as any civilians know. To them, there’s nothing down here but dirt. To us, it’s a covert safe house. It’s not finished yet, mind you.”
He’s not wrong.
The floor is a mixture of concrete and loose wooden planks. The walls are bare drywall, waiting to be painted, and there aren’t any doors. Silver can see three rooms: a kitchen, bathroom and a small living and sleeping area.
“I could totally live here.”
“Not without company.” Luka nods to the CCTV monitoring system, wired in to every room. “It’s not hooked up in here yet, but it soon will be.”
Silver’s still stuck on one tiny detail. “A safe house for what? You’re planning on starting a witness protection program for all of your little snitches?”
Luka shrugs. “Once it’s fully operational, the safe house network should help us keep our assets alive just long enough to get what we need from them.”
Silver, who is unquestionably the Police Division’s best asset, develops furrows in her brow at his nonchalant disregard for the lives of the people they’re buying.
“And how long do you expect that to be, typically? I’m just wondering if I should cancel my gym membership.”
Her sarcasm alerts him to the taste of his own toes, but it’s too late to take it back properly. “You don’t count.”
“No? Why not?”
“You’re not like them.”
Covered in the blood of a man she just slaughtered, Silver would beg to differ.
“After what I did today, I reckon the only things left separating me from them are oral hygiene and clean undies.”
“Come on, Silver, it was self-defense.”
“The first shot, maybe. The second and third were questionable. The one that blew his face off? That one was pure anger.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently writing SILVER: Quietus (the fifth book in the series, working title) and editing SILVER: A New Age Dawns (the fourth book). A New Age Dawns is due for a digital release later this summer, and will be available in paperback by the fall.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As soon as I was old enough to know what it meant to be devoted to ‘words that stay’.

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?
On a good week, I can spend about 50 hours writing. At that pace, and if I were being paid hourly, I’d be raking in 40 hours of overtime every month. How awesome would that be? Then, there are those weeks where my pen barely touches the page. I hate those weeks.

I write mostly at night, between the hours of 9pm and 3am. Due to my night owl tendencies, I’m a virtual zombie before 10am. Eventually, I’ll meander downstairs, take some allergy medication and a vitamin D pill (‘cause I’m too pale for sunlight), and pour myself a glass of Diet Dr. Pepper (the first one of many throughout the day). I’ll feed the (guinea) pigs and fire up my laptop. From then on, it’s just me, my button chair, and Silver.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can listen to the same song on repeat for about twelve hours straight while I’m working. I’m pretty sure that counts as a quirk. Either that, or it’s just another one of my weird OCD compulsions. Lately, it’s been a Delain song called ‘We Are The Others’. Before that, I was slightly obssessed with Nightwish’s Imaginaerum album. ‘Scaretale’ was my song of choice for at least a month.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. I never wanted a pony; I wanted a Parker fountain pen and an endless supply of paper. Plus, being a writer is the only thing saving me from changing my name to Walter. Last name: Mitty. Over the years, I’ve thought it would be neat to be a lot of things… all of which I loved for about fifteen minutes, then got bored. I’ve started (and, in several cases, not finished) so many different post-secondary degrees and courses that I’ve lost count. I’ve toyed with careers such as: evolutionary biologist, archaeologist, forensic anthropologist, canine behaviourist, paleontologist… and so on. Then, I realized that I don’t have to choose—I can be all of these things. Or rather more precisely: I can make my characters be all of these things, so that I don’t have to :)

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I think it’s possible that Ella ‘Silver’ Cross might be a post-apocalyptic, more hardcore version of Xena: Warrior Princess. She’s a total badass, she’s willing to die for what she believes in, she’s not short of her own personal demons, and she’s got that whole ambiguously bisexual thing going on. (Okay, sometimes not so ambiguous). Xena might have more leather, but Silver’s got more metal. (Rifles, sub-machine guns, bazookas, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers to be precise). And there is one more thing they have in common: ultimately, her courage will change the world.

Thanks, Keira. Readers, remember to leave an e-mail with your comment if you'd like a chance at 1 of the 2 signed books being given away during this tour!

1 comment:

Maria_M. said...

Love the interview.