July 13, 2010

Way Back When...

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to watch the stars and wonder what was out there. Once upon a long, long time ago. *cackle*

I cut my teeth on science fiction. At the ripe old age of six, I was fascinated by Star Trek. I think my older half-brother started watching it but I couldn't get enough. About six weeks after the series concluded its original run, man walked on the moon.

In my nine year old mind, I saw the moonwalk--the entire space race--as just the beginning of a world like Star Trek. I dreamed of the day I could go where no man, or woman, had gone before.

Over the years, I read voraciously. Anything sci-fi, I inhaled the words off the page. Frank Herbert, Michael Moorcock, Andre Norton, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein... Outer space, inner space, futuristic worlds. I read it. I saw Star Wars in the theater ten times.

So when I began writing, my family was mystified why I didn't write science fiction. Truth is, I was afraid I couldn't come up with a realistic world.

World building is a bitch. Not to say contemporary or paranormal doesn't have world building. If you set a book in Memphis, you want the reader to see Beale Street, feel the humidity, smell the sweet smells of barbecue mixed with the slightly rancid odor of the mighty Mississippi and hear the strains of the Delta blues.

But with my contemporary and paranormal stories, I had the advantage of using the real world as a backdrop. Things everyone is familiar with like the sky is blue and the grass is green. The social and political structure doesn't need a lot of description or explanation.

With science fiction, suddenly the sky can be green and the water purple. Alien races have to have a structure from the basic family unit to their economy to their politics. Making them the same as those on contemporary Earth can turn off the reader. Sci-fi readers want to escape from the ho-hum world we live in, not see it mirrored on other worlds. Not without a damn good reason.

So with a lack of good science fiction ideas from my muse, I avoided my favorite genre. Until last year. In a chat about a year or so ago, Brandy Walker of B Renae Reads mentioned she'd like to see something with angels and vampires.

The muse jumped in. "Hmmm..." *frowns* "Vamps and angels... Hummmm... Interesting..."

Well, at first I didn't really have time to do anything with it so I batted that baby into the back of my head. However, a few months later a bunch of talk was going around about space opera stories. Like Firefly (BTW, the most awesome sci-fi show of our time! Talk about world building!).

Vamps, angels, space opera... Vamps, angels and space opera, oh, my...

The result was ANGEL MOON. Vamps and angels in space, at war and in love. *cackle*

Le blurb:

Terra offers sanctuary to both Angellum and Virkola. Unknown to the humans, a truce exists there. To Terrans, the two species exist as myths. One is a frail, winged creature from religious texts. The other, a demon of the night, living off blood. Both are far from the truth…

Sorin thought sanctuary was the answer to their problems. Terra with its plentiful creatures, full of fresh blood and off limits to the millennia-long war with the Angellum—who wouldn’t think it paradise? Except paradise comes at a high price. Claiming a bounty on a renegade angel hasn’t ended up the way he planned at all.

Teo loves his ship, his life in space, but he loves Sorin more. The plan seemed sound, but the bounty is a fraud and now the price is on him and Sorin. He’ll make the best of the rest of his life with Sorin, even if it’s only for a few weeks.

But when hope appears from an unexpected source, both men grab chance by her wings.
Well, I can't just create one story out of this new world, now can I? Why bother doing all that world building for just one novella? So the plan is three novellas!

Book two, SHROUDED ANGEL, is in the middle of edits. No release date yet but I'm hoping for a quick one.

The blurb for SHROUDED ANGEL:

Because of the Angellum, Patrea has spent his life afraid of loss. When darkness descends on the ship in the form of a strange angel, Patrea feels he can’t stay on the Avere. But departing would mean leaving behind the only light in his life, his bunkmate Hadreal. He needs to find the courage to tell Hadreal how he feels.

Hadreal has always felt more than friendship for his younger bunkmate but bitter past experience keeps him from acting on his feelings. When a new danger brings them closer, he decides it might be time to live again. But now his chance at happiness may end before he’s able to sample it.

Sometimes it takes a brush with death to make life worth living…
The muse is a fickle enough creature without forcing stories out of nothing. However, when an idea strikes, you have to go there. And I'll always be grateful to Brandy for uttering those fateful words. "Vamps and angels."

The as yet untitled book three is plotted, just waiting for time to write it.

Tell me about your favorite sci-fi memories for a chance to win a copy of the ebook ANGEL MOON. Or just comment! *cackle* I'm easy.

Thanks for stopping by!

For more on Shayla Kersten or her books, see her website at http://www.shaylakersten.com.


  1. Hi Shayla :)

    You know this one for me, Star Trek as well :) I have always been fascinated with everything supernatural, paranormal or extraordinary. It seems to quench the thirst of my overactive imagination and provide an escape from the norm and mundane. Congrats on the book, it sounds amazing, as we’ve come to expect of you.

  2. Hi Shayla!
    I loved Star Trek and the new Star Trek Next Generation, all the Star Gates, etc. It is fun to create whole new worlds and go where no man has gone before!

  3. One of my favourite comfort-food books is 'Catspaw', by Joan D. Vinge. It's 'soft' sci-fi, and centered more around issues of the dependence of society on technology, and how outsiders find their way. It probably set me up for loving m/m romance, because I completely fell in love with that damaged, beautiful character. I wanted to *be* him.
    I have no real urge to write sci-fi, but I love to read it.

  4. Oooh nice twist, Shayla! I remember when you were first working on this I thought it sounded right up my alley. ^_^

    I've been watching and reading the same books. Vernor Vinge and Catspaw was one of my faves too. I also loved the Foundation trilogy by Asimov, and all the Gordon R. Dickson Dorsai books. His short story "Warrior" probably had the one of the biggest impacts on my desire to write.

  5. Hi Shayla
    I love Star Trek, too, but the first movie I ever remember seeing was Star Wars, and I was hooked on sci-fi for life! The second movie I remember seeing? Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Great movie, but I'm still afraid of bugs entering my brain through my ears :)

  6. Hiya, Rasha! I remember your answers about scifi from a contest a while back! Thank you for the compliment! HUGS!!

  7. Hiya, Myla! How could I forget Stargate! LOL My love of the relationship between Jack and Daniel got me started writing gay romances! *cackle* Oh, my, the things I imagined Jack doing to Daniel! LOL

  8. Hiya, Jennifer! Catspaw sounds interesting. I might have to pick it up! I love writing contemporary rom sus but occasionally, as with Angel/Vamp series, an idea strikes that I have to write!

  9. Hiya, Kayelle! Thank you so much for letting my play over here today! HUGS!

    Unfortunately, I spent most of the day in Little Rock helping my mother with my sick grandmother. Granny just got out of hospital and we needed to make sure she had everything she needed. Then I had to work on edits when I got home. I'm just now getting around to commenting! LOL

  10. OMG! KC! I'm so with you on the bug in the ear! I can't watch that scene in Wrath of Kahn! LOL I was so addicted to Star Wars it was pathetic! I loved taking my niece to Episode One when she was 10. She was head over heels with the movie. Actually, I think she was head over heels with Amidala. (I knew Niece was gay even back then! *cackle*) We stayed up all night afterward watching the original trilogy on VCR. She thought it was so cool that there were more Star Wars movies!

  11. Thank you, everyone for stopping by! I'll announce the winner in the comments in the morning at 6AM. Time for others to still get a chance!

    Ya'll have a fabulous night!


  12. Good morning, all! The winner of the ebook copy of ANGEL MOON is...drum roll please...

    KC Burn!

    KC, let me know your choice of format by emailing me at shaylakersten@yahoo.com.

    Thanks to everyone who commented! Have a fabulous day!

  13. When I first started writing SciFi, people ITRW (in the real world) actually said they didn't know women even read that genre. *_* Hello...? Folks online were going "Yay! More SciFi!" LOL

    Thanks for being here, Shayla. Always a pleasure to have you on board.


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