Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Interview with Guest Author Sharon Lynn Fisher & Giveaway!

Welcome Sharon Lynn Fisher! We’re so glad to have you visit Castles & Guns.
Thanks so much for having me! Fun to be here so near Halloween – love that creepy castle on your banner.
Thank you very much!
1. What are three things everyone should know about you?
  • I mix romance with my sci-fi. For me, they are two great tastes that go great together (dating myself with that one). Love exploring the nuances of relationships while navigating the perils of future worlds. 
  • I love talking with/hearing from readers, whether they like my story or not. I try to always unobtrusively thank the people who read and comment on my work, because I feel honored they took the time. And I still squee like a little girl over every positive review (“they like me!”).
  • I screw up sometimes. I say that as much for my own benefit as for anyone else’s. It’s impossible to be perfect, and always struggling (inevitably failing) to be perfect just adds crankiness on top of imperfection.

2. When/how did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I am one of those people who have always known. From my earliest years I spent all my free time reading, and I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else. My mom claims I taught myself to read at age 2 by pointing at words in the newspaper and asking my father what they were. (I’m skeptical about that one.)
I began writing stories around age 6, mostly derivative of whatever I was reading, and I churned out little newspapers for my family. The first story I remember writing was about a little girl who shrank and went on an adventure in her grandmother’s strawberry patch.
3. Congratulations on your upcoming release! How long did it take you to get published?
Thank you! I wrote the first draft of GHOST PLANET in early 2008. So here we are 4.5 years later! People outside the publishing industry drop their jaws at that. But the rest of us know it’s actually a very reasonable timeframe, especially for a first novel. Well, third novel actually, but I don’t really count those twenty-year-old corpses in boxes under the bed.
4. The world-building in GHOST PLANET is fascinating. How did you come up with the concept?
The title came to me first. I knew I wanted the story to have both science fiction and romance elements (refer to question #1 J). So with title and subgenre pretty firmly in place, I started noodling on what a story called GHOST PLANET might be about. Why would it be called that? Does it have actual ghosts on it? Etc. . .
The opening hook came to me pretty quickly. I speculated about what would happen if a woman traveled to another planet to work as a scientist, and as soon as she arrived a sexy alien attached itself to her. Then came the flash of inspiration that got the rest of the story flowing: What if the HEROINE was the sexy alien?
5. I can tell you have a passion for world-building just from the blurb of GHOST PLANET. What’s the most important thing about crafting a believable world?
You ask me that like I know! J I am at heart a pantser, and by our very nature we are as surprised as anyone else when it all comes together.
But you are right. I DO have a passion for world-building. I used to think I hated that part of writing. Like it was the part you HAD to do so you could get back to writing the juicy bits. Then one day, hard at work on my new novel, I found myself layering in bits of color and texture and sound, and I thought, I live for this! It’s the part that keeps me inspired and engaged in the story. Writing twists and sex and snappy dialogue is a great rush, but you need protein to balance out your sugar intake. Or something like that.
Did I even come close to answering the question? The most important thing. Hmm. I’d say the most important thing is to FEEL yourself in your world. I read some great advice about world-building recently: Don’t build out the whole world. I loved the advice because it justified the way I work (ha!). I see my world as sort of a blueprint, or skeleton world, with certain areas on the map very rich and vibrant and fully colored in. I think that better serves your story than having a completely colored in blueprint that doesn’t go into as much depth in key areas.
6. Will there be more in the GHOST PLANET world?
Hmm, good question! My current work-in-progress is unrelated. I do have an idea for a follow-up novel I may pursue at some point. I also am planning to write a short story set during the early days of colonization of Ardagh 1 (the “ghost planet”).
7. When you aren’t writing, what’s your favorite activity?
Reading, playing with my daughter, spending time outdoors. I live in a beautiful part of the country. I love to take road trips to the coast. And I really love traveling in general. Ireland is one of my favorite spots. But there are so many I’ve yet to visit! Basically I love playtime and adventure, both between the covers of a book and in the real world.
8. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned on your publishing journey?
Just that: It’s a journey. It doesn’t do to let yourself get dragged up and down by the roller coaster of praise and criticism, rejection and request. It can be really draining and demoralizing. If I had to do this first time over (heaven forefend) I would try not to get so caught up in all that, and just view the whole process as an opportunity to learn, grow, and discover. Because really, that’s exactly what it is.
9. Do you have any fun details to share about upcoming projects?
My current book for Tor is a post-apocalyptic biopunk romance. Doesn’t that sound impressive? Honestly I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about genre explicitly – I just write a story with the elements I like, and then later someone tells me it’s X genre. Anyhow, the new book is set on an Earth where most of humanity has been wiped out by a virus, and the transgenic race that has taken over is contemplating wiping out the remaining dregs. The hero is a sexy praying mantis man, and the heroine is an archivist-turned-sleeper-agent in his custody.
I’ve also started what I *think* will be a short zombie romance. It has a completely different voice from my other work and I’m excited about it. I don’t have a great track record with shorts, though. Usually someone reads it and says, “This is interesting but I don’t think it’s finished.” Then they grow into novels. But I’m going to try!
10. What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?
Be passionate and write from the heart, but don’t take yourself (or your work) too seriously.
Don’t give up. And most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP.
Thank you for visiting us today!
Thanks so much for the fun interview! 

When psychologist Elizabeth Cole arrives on a recently colonized planet to start a new job, she doesn’t expect to find her supervisor, Murphy, so incredibly attractive. She doesn’t expect to see alien beings, native to the planet, materializing as ghosts and following the “colonist” humans around. Most of all, she doesn’t expect to learn that Elizabeth Cole in fact died in a crash en route to this planet, and that she herself a reincarnated ghost-alien, connected symbiotically to Murphy—who, bound by the “Ghost Protocol” that he himself created, is not allowed to interact with or acknowledge Elizabeth in any way.

Confused, alone, and discounted as less than human, Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence and fight the blatant discrimination of the Ghost Protocol. But as she draws closer to the truth, she begins to realize that she is only a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet. Oppressed by her ghost status and tantalized by forbidden love, Elizabeth may just be the one to upset the planetary balance….
By Sharon Lynn Fisher (WebsiteFacebookTwitter)
A Tor Mass Market
ISBN: 978-0-7653-6897-3
On Sale: October 30, 2012
Pre-order available here: IndieboundAmazonBarnes & NobleBooksAMillion,Powells

SHARON LYNN FISHER is the author of GHOST PLANET, coming from Tor Books on Oct. 30. The book -- a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist -- is a sci-fi/romance blend that offers a "fresh and fascinating take on the human-alien problem" (says author Linnea Sinclair). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is hard at work on her next novel and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. You can visit her online at SharonLynnFisher.com.

Giveaway: Comment for a chance to win a copy of Ghost Planet (US/Canada Only). Please include your e-mail address! The giveaway will be open until November 5, 2012 at midnight.


  1. Congrats on the new release! It sounds fascinating and definitely something I would want to read! Great interview...loved your journey to being published--really encouraging! Do you have any plans for a series?

  2. Good luck with Ghost Planet. I'm the chair for PNWA and think I had the honor of reading your entry last year in our contest.

  3. PC, thank you so much! I do have an idea for another book set in the same world, and am also planning to write a first-contact short, set right after colonization. For the second book I'm working on for TOR I definitely have a sequel in mind. Are you a writer as well? If so, best of luck to you! Stick with it!

  4. Darcy - Ah, that very well may be! I did enter that contest - though I'm thinking it was 2 yrs ago. Could be wrong, the brain is a little taxed right now. :) Thanks so much for the good wishes! You have reminded me I desperately need to update my PNWA profile, etc, ha!

  5. Congratulations on the release!! I can't wait to immerse myself in your world!

  6. Congratulations on the release. I hope there is more to come. ^0^ Was it difficult in writing the book, or did it flow to you naturally?