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Carol Van Natta
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message 1: by Anna (last edited May 03, 2015 07:27PM) (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Greetings Space Opera Fans!

I love it when authors agree to let themselves be interviewed by our Space Opera Fans community! It just soooooo enhances the reading experience to be able to know a little bit about the story behind the story.

The first author to answer our Awesome Author Interview is Carol Van Natta, author of Overload FluxOverload Flux, one of our May Group Reads.

Carol Van Natta Overload Flux by Carol Van Natta

Thank you Carol! And without further ado, here's the goodies, the stuff inquiring minds want to know!

Be epic!

Anna Erishkigal
SOF Borg Queen


Hi, it's me, Carol Van Natta, author of Overload Flux (A Central Galactic Concordance Novel) . At Anna's invitation, here are the answers to her questions.

1. What books have most influenced your life?

When I was 9 or 10 one summer, I discovered my parents' collection of Ace Doubles, which were two science fiction/fantasy books back-to-back. I burned through them like a wildfire, and it set my lifelong love of science fiction. I like mystery, action-adventure, romance, paranormal, and fantasy, too. Yeah, I've cheated here and talked about genres instead of books, because we'd be here all day if I start listing titles. I will admit to being a rabid fan of the original Star Trek.

2. How do you develop your plots and characters?

For me, plots and characters both come out of the central questions that inspire me to write that particular book or series in the first place. Overload Flux has two questions: Luka Foxe's question is, "What do you do if the very talent that makes you successful is also killing you?", and Mairwen Morganthur's question is, "How do you live in the everyday human world if you think you're not human?". The bigger question I'm dealing with in the next books (Overload Flux is only the first of my plan to take over the worldthe Central Galactic Concordance series) is, "How do we as a species deal with our next evolutionary step?"

3. Tell us about your Space Opera Fans book?

Overload Flux is space opera, but it's also part romance, part action-adventure, and part mystery. Someone is stealing the vaccine for a galaxy-wide pandemic. Forensic investigator Luka Foxe and security specialist Mairwen Morganthur fight corrupt pharma corporations, murderous mercenaries, sabotage, and deadly space battles, and must trust each other with dark secrets if they hope to survive.

4. We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonist(s)? Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?

Luka Foxe is basically a nerd at heart, and a lover of puzzles. Only after a reviewer pointed it out did I realize that Sherlock Holmes had been lurking in my subconscious, shaping Luka's character. Luka is a little more socialized, but he needs help controlling the secret mental talent that makes him so good at forensic investigation. Mairwen Morganthur is just trying to get by, after successfully escaping from a horrific past. She has secrets galore, and doesn't know how to live in the ordinary civilized world, though she wants to.

5. A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

To avoid spoilers, I'll just say that the best villains, in my opinion, are the ones who have good reasons for the bad things they do. Pure evil, the violent thug, megalomaniac, serial killer, etc. is common in fiction but rare in real life. Not that we read fiction to get real life, but I think it should reflect it. The villains I like and remember are the ones you could make a case for, or understand why they do what they do.

6. What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?

One of the joys of writing SF is the chance to imagine what we'll be able to do in the future. The Central Galactic Concordance universe is made possible by faster-than-light travel, readily available energy to power it, and the assumption that once we go exploring, we'll find earth-like worlds to colonize. In the case of the CGC, that's 500+ and counting. In a way, it's like the westward expansion that colonized the North American continent, or the settling of Australia.

7. Sci-fi fans love techno-porn! What real-life science (or pseudo-science) did you research for your book?

Neuroscience, to come up with the scientific parameters of mental talents like telepathy, telekinesis, etc. Physics, so the exciting space battle didn't cause real-life scientists to make rude noises. Astrophysics, to build solar systems. Cutting-edge theoretical physics to set the rules for faster-than-light travel. Materials science to form the basis of all the fun new toys people have play with.

8. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Keeping Luka and Mairwen balanced in terms of taking action, their growth trajectories, and their usefulness to each other.

9. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

The epilogue was my favorite chapter to write. Not because it was the end of the book (score!), but because it sets up the bigger themes in the coming series.

10. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

Because this is my first solo novel, lessons learned are legion; here are six.
(1) I need an outline.
(2) I don't have to stick to the outline.
(3) Don't throw anything away (scenes, characters, names, settings, etc.) away until the book is done; instead, put it in a safe place, because it may come in handy.
(4) Good beta readers will make your book better.
(5) Professional editors are a gift from the author gods.
(6) I love illustrated covers enough to pay the higher price and wait longer to get them.

Overload Flux by Carol Van Natta

11. Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

I don't like "messages" in books, because it smacks of being forced to read something because it's "good for you." I'm kind of contrary that way. I hope readers enjoy my novel, and that it's time well spent.

12. What are your future project(s)?

I'm so glad you asked. ;-) The next novel in the series is Minder Rising, which will be out the end of this month. It's set in a different part of the galaxy, and has new characters and new challenges.
A millenium into the future, the Central Galactic Concordance’s ubiquitous Citizen Protection Service tests all citizens for minder talents, and recruits the best of them for service to maintain peace and stability. However, the CPS has other missions. Injured covert agent Lièrén Sòng, bartender Imara Sesay, and her prodigy minder talent son are in for the fight of their lives when corrupt members of the CPS want to take everything from them — their happiness, their freedom, their very existence…

After that comes Pico's Crush, which will involve Overload Flux leads as supporting characters. Book 4 in the series will introduce more new characters and sets the stage for the event hinted at in the end of Overload Flux.

13. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

I haven't always been an author, and it's not all I do now. I've been a swing-shift guard, secretary, actor, voiceover talent, singing telegram performer, non-profit director, business continuity specialist, corporate trainer, and technical writer, and I still do some of those things so I can pay the rent and afford premium cat food for the furry creatures that condescend to let me live in their castle.

14. What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?


Except when I'm in the throes of editing, I'm pretty good about showing up on Facebook regularly, and I love to respond to people who post comments on my blog or reply to my newsletter.

15. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to the Space Opera Fans community members?

I hope you enjoy reading Overload Flux, and I'd love to hear what you think about it.

SOF Interview granted 2013/05/03

message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) ********************************************************************

And don't forget to join the book discussion thread HERE:


message 3: by Pauline (new)

Pauline (paulinebairdjones) | 5 comments A fun interview! Enjoyed getting to know you better. :-)

message 4: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 339 comments Nice interview!

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