"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Publisher Spotlight: Aphrodite's Apples
Patti O'Shea's passions are writing, airplanes and traveling. Fortunately, she's been able to enjoy all three. After receiving a degree in advertising copywriting, she took a job with a major U.S. airline and now works in 757 Engineering. Besides teaching her about the planes she loves, it's given her an opportunity to travel to places like Australia, Papua New Guinea and Canada's Yukon Territory.
Writing, though, remains her primary love. Patti created her first romance when she was in junior high and has been hooked ever since. She should have figured out she was a writer years earlier, however, since her dolls had such involved lives, complete with goals, motivation and conflict.
PNR: We last spoke with you shortly after your first novel, Ravyn's Flight was published, for which you received the 2002 PEARL Award for Best New Author. You have been quite busy; can you tell readers what you have been up to?Patti O’.: Wow, I've been up to a lot! It's been nearly four years since RAVYN'S FLIGHT was released. I had three books come out: THE POWER OF TWO, which won the Desert Rose Golden Quill Award for Best SF/Futuristic; THROUGH A CRIMSON VEIL, which won the Booksellers Best Award for Paranormal Romance; and ETERNAL NIGHTS which was released in August. I've written another novel and a novella for an upcoming anthology (both paranormal romance) and I'm under contract for another paranormal.
In my personal life, I built a house--while I was on deadline! I turned the book in and spent the next week running around lighting, flooring and countertop stores, making about half a gazillion decisions. J I think the house turned out really well, though. I have pictures up at: http://www.bugalootwo.com
PNR: I believe that when readers think of futuristic novels they think of the Star Wars type of clash of political factions, the good empire against the bad sort of thing. Your debut novel, Ravyn's Flight, was a big departure from that stereotype. Here the enemy is silent but deadly, striking too quickly for the victims to detect. It is set on Jarved Nine, what appears to be an abandoned planet. All but one member each of a Colonization Team sent to explore and a Spec Ops team on maneuver are brutally murdered en masse. The survivors take refuge in the planet's only city (referred to as the Old City) which has long been abandoned. The hero and heroine are isolated and must rely on each other to find the answers to their dilemma. With its combination of horror, mystery and isolation, this was a very different story. What inspired you to depart from the typical plot of futuristic romances? Did you feel this was risky for a debut novel?
Patti O’.: To be honest, I never thought about it. I was driving home from work one day, when I saw--in my mind's eye--Ravyn huddled on the floor, and I knew something bad had happened. I started writing to find out what was going on, and once Ravyn and Damon got into my head, they didn't leave until their book was finished. I never considered what had and hadn't been done before in futuristic romance, I simply wrote the story the way my characters told it to me. It wasn't until after the book came out and people started commenting on how different it was that I stopped to think about it. So I guess it was Ravyn and Damon that inspired me to write something that wasn't the more usual futuristic romance.
to answer the question about the risk since I never thought
my story was that unusual. I believe I would have gone
ahead anyway, though, even if I had realized it. It's not
always easy, but once I gather my courage, I do take
incredible leaps of faith and trust that the universe will
PNR: Ravyn's Flight has been reissued in August at the same time the new Jarved Nine sequel, Eternal Nights, was released. Eternal Nights takes place several years after Ravyn's Flight. The Old City has been occupied, but once again the story has a twist, this time it's the element of deja vous/reincarnation which at times gives the book the feel of a prequel instead.
The publisher info states that the books are loosely tied together; I personally feel that even though the books could stand alone they are definitely intertwined. In Ravyn's Flight the hero and heroine spend much time in the Old City speculating about the events that led to its desertion. Eternal Nights enriches the reader's understanding of why the events of Ravyn's Flight occur through the flash backs. Do you feel that the two stories enrich each other?
Patti O’.: When I wrote ETERNAL NIGHTS, the one thing I wanted to do was make sure the book would stand alone. At the time I worked on the proposal, RAVYN'S FLIGHT was out of print and wasn't scheduled to go back to press, and even if it was available, I didn't want anyone to think they had to read Ravyn first. That said, the two books do enhance each other and that's deliberate.
RAVYN'S FLIGHT is told completely from Ravyn, Damon, Alex and Stacey's points of view and that means the reader can't know anything that they don't know. ETERNAL NIGHTS, though, allowed me to pass along some more of the information I had about the Old City, the alien society that built it and what had happened to them. And because of Kendall's spontaneous regressions to her past life spent in the city, it gave me a chance to explore what it was like living in that society--at least a little bit.
Kendall and Wyatt are also different people than Ravyn and Damon, and because of that, they pay attention to different aspects of the city. For example, Kendall is very interested in the gemstones, particularly the ones embedded in the temple walls. While the stones play a role in RAVYN'S FLIGHT as well, neither Ravyn nor Damon spend the amount of time thinking about them that Kendall does.
PNR: In Eternal Nights, there is a fair amount of tension between the hero and the heroine. She considers him her best friend and past experience has taught her that romantic involvement results in loss. Wyatt however is not only aware of his past life but also Kendall's. She is completely unaware of their past history as star-crossed lovers; what dilemma does this present for him?
Patti O’.: Poor Wyatt. He's always had to keep quiet around other people about reincarnation and what he knew about one of his past lives, but he thought once he found Zolianna in this time, he'd at last have someone to share with. Kendall, though, is not only blissfully ignorant of their connection, she actually recoils from the idea of soul mates.
Wyatt was in a damned if he does, damned if he doesn't situation. If he tells Kendall what he knows, she'd pull away from him fast and hard, but he's also aware that if she somehow finds out on her own, he's toast. He decided to keep quiet and deal with Kendall's anger if and when it came.
PNR: Readers and reviewers have complimented your expert world-building; what are the challenges you face in making it believable for the reader? How much is research vs. imagination?
Patti O’.: That's a tough question to answer because so much of the information I get about what the world is like comes straight from the characters themselves. Yes, I admit it, I talk with imaginary people. J For example, in the paranormal romance I just finished, Ryne (the heroine) came in and told me hours worth of information about her people and their society. She wouldn't even share her name with me until she got through the facts about her world.
It's difficult to quantify the amount of research I do for the worlds because I've done so much reading in my life with no purpose other than the topic interested me. As an example, I had a background in nanotechnology and quantum brain nanotechnology from reading I'd done years before I wrote THE POWER OF TWO. The quantum brain stuff was a major part of my hero and heroine's world, and I did refresh my memory and research specific details that I needed as I wrote the book, but I'd done the majority of my study long before this story was even a glimmer in my mind.
My biggest challenge in world building is a tug of war between what the reader needs to know and what the characters would notice. The hero and heroine live in their world, they're not going to think about things they see every day unless they have a specific reason for it, and since I'm in their points of view, it can limit what I'm able to show the reader.
On the other hand, some of this information is important for the reader to know. If it's a situation where the hero and/or heroine are discovering something new to them--like Wyatt and Kendall inside the pyramid in ETERNAL NIGHTS--then it's relatively easy. I had a tougher time when Mika entered the demon world in THROUGH A CRIMSON VEIL because that's her home.
PNR: What are your plans for Jarved Nine, will we be seeing more stories set in this world?
Patti O’.: There might be more books set on J9. I'm working on a proposal for three more stories featuring various members of Wyatt's team from ETERNAL NIGHTS--his chief warrant officer, Flare; the team medic, Gravedigger; and Zach, a member of the team who wasn't mentioned by name in EN.
PNR: You have written in the paranormal genre with your book, Through a Crimson Veil, but your niche seems to be futuristic/sci-fi romance. What is it about this genre that captures your imagination? Is there a genre you haven't written but would like to try?
Patti O’.: What I like so much about futuristic romance is that I can create a society and situations that will impact my hero and heroine the most. I'm a character-driven author and I like to put the leads in situations that force them to deal with their issues whether they want to or not. I couldn't do quantum brain nanotechnology very easily in a contemporary romance, yet that was a fascinating dynamic between Jake and Cai in THE POWER OF TWO. Both of them were loners, basically withdrawn from the world, but they couldn't get away from each other, not with neural implants connecting them. How would these two deal with the fact that they were emotionally intimate for years, but had never met in person? How would that play into their relationship when they did find themselves face to face? How would they reconcile the outer face the other showed to the world with the inner person they knew so well? It's things like this that fascinate me as a writer.
The genre I'd like to try writing is romantic suspense, although not a traditional kind of RS. I'd like to write something more like the slightly over-the-top James Bond movie-type suspense.
PNR: In your opinion, what is it about the futuristic/sci-fi genre that seems to cross the traditional male/female reader boundaries? Do readers expect more or less romantic elements in this genre?
Patti O’.: I think the fact that these books are set in the future or on other worlds allows freedom from the traditional male/female roles. Look at how far we've come in the past thirty years in gender expectations and another thirty years in the future, it all might be moot. That said, however, I've been reading some very interesting studies lately about how male and female brains are wired differently so I think there's always going to be intriguing contrasts between the sexes.
I think those who pick up an SF Romance realize there's going to be more story going on than simply the romance, but I've had readers say I have too much romance in my books and other readers say I don't have enough romance. Since I've never figured out what kind of balance people are looking for, I've decided the only thing I can do is tell the story and not worry about it.
PNR: You have contributed titles to two very popular series, 2176 series and the Crimson City series, which had to be very exciting. How did you become involved in these projects? Do you have anything similar in the works?
Patti O’.: It's kind of a long story, but I'll try to be brief. The way I understand it, Susan Grant was talking to an editorial assistant at Dorchester and Leah mentioned RAVYN'S FLIGHT and told Sue she had to read it. She even put a copy of the galley in the mail for Sue. Later, when Sue was looking for people with a certain voice for 2176, she thought of me and asked if I was interested. I was and I turned in a proposal to the editor handling the project. He bought THE POWER OF TWO and I became part of the 2176 series.
This chain of events also led to Crimson City because the same editor was handling this series as well. He liked what I'd done in 2176 and asked me to submit a proposal. Again, I did and my demon children became the third book in the series.
I'm not involved in another multi-author series, but the proposal I'm putting together for Jarved Nine would have one large plot arc across all three books, yet each book would be able to stand alone--that's the way 2176 and Crimson City were put together. That's the theory anyway. I'm finding that setting this up is more difficult than I expected. I have a basic premise, though, it's just making it work in each individual book.
PNR: Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on; what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Patti O’.: I recently turned in a novella for a Crimson City anthology. The heroine is Mika's cousin, Kimi, and the hero is Mika's demon half brother, Nicodemus. Both were mentioned in THROUGH A CRIMSON VEIL, but we never actually met them. I was intrigued by these two, though, from the start and I'm glad I had the opportunity to tell their story. The anthology, SHARDS OF CRIMSON, is scheduled to be released January 2, 2007.
Two weeks after I turned in the novella, I turned in a novel for Tor tentatively titled IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. This is a paranormal romance I've been dying to write for a long time and I'm thrilled I was able to do it! The blurb I use is:
When a troubleshooter for a society of magic users rescues a private investigator from a dark spell, she finds more than an ally as she faces down her former mentor In the Midnight Hour.
The heroine is Ryne Frasier who is my most kick-butt heroine ever and the hero, Deke Summers, is the one in need of rescue. I don't have a release date yet for this book, but I think it will be out in the latter half of 2007.
I'm contracted for a second paranormal romance for Tor; this one will have Ryne's sister as the heroine. I also have a couple of proposals I'm working on right now--one futuristic, one not.
PNR: Thank you, Patti, for taking time out to speak with us. Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?
Patti O’.: My website is updated as I have news and information, usually a few times a month. The URL is: http://www.pattioshea.com and I'm almost always reachable via email. That address is: email@example.com I also blog pretty much every day and I reply to comments: http://pattioshea.blogspot.com
Featured in this issue:Futuristic/Sci-Fi Romance Aphrodite's Apples Press
Rowena Cherry Colby Hodge H.S. Kinn, Aphrodite's Apples Patti O'Shea Michelle M. Pillow Linnea Sinclair Angela Verdenius Saje Williams
Patti O'Shea Blog
Available Now Buy it now! Love Spell
August 1, 2006
Paperback Read the Reviews! Jarved 9: Book 2
ETERNAL NIGHTS - Capt. Kendall Thomas has been plagued by dreams of blood, dreams so horrifying they leave her trembling in the night. Kendall has good reason to be afraid. She's discovered thieves are stealing artifacts from the alien city on Jarved Nine, and the smugglers will do anything to protect their lucrative sideline—even commit murder.
The last man Kendall wanted to endanger was her best friend Wyatt Montgomery, but the stubborn Special Ops captain followed her when she went to gather evidence, and the smugglers trapped them both in the city's ancient pyramid. Now by day, they're chased through labyrinthine tunnels, deeper and deeper into the heart of the temple. But in the cloak of darkness, they can no longer deny the powerful force drawing them together, the passionate dreams that leave them aching with need, the touch of skin on skin that makes them long for—ETERNAL NIGHTS.Buy it now! Love Spell
September 27, 2005
Paperback Read the Reviews! Crimson City: Book 3
Mika herself seeks freedom. She's come to Crimson City looking for the key. But that key's keeper is a killer, an outsider, a mercenary with a poisoned past. To her kind, he has meant only death. No matter that Conor McCabe's pale green eyes hold a hint of lust, the glint of a bond never to be broken; the path ahead lies in shadow. In a city like this, death can come by fire or fang, by claw or kiss. And the moment of truth must come...Buy it now! Love Spell
November 2, 2004
Paperback (reprint) Read the Reviews! 2176 Series: Book 4
THE POWER OF TWO - Five women. One goal: Freedom.
The UCE: In the 21st and 22nd Centuries, the United States changed and grew. Now the United Colonies of Earth dominate the globe. But a mysterious voice is broadcasting treason, inciting revolution and referring to the "ideals of 1776"— and to an enigmatic figure named Banzai Maguire.
To find Banzai, the UCE assigns Cai. She's the "anchor," the techie half of a Quandem: a pair of elite operatives intended for just such covert action. Neural implants allow her to sit back in a control chair and feed information to her partner, the dark-souled Jacob Tucker. He's as rigid as he is deadly...or handsome. But this time, it can't be business as usual. This time, Cai needs Jake to trust her completely. Whether he likes it or not, she can't sit back while he fights the bad guys. Wherever this mission takes her, Cai is gonna be the one kicking a little tail.Buy it Soon! Love Spell
November 1, 2002
reissued in August 2006 Jarved 9: Book 1
RAVYN'S FLIGHT - Ravyn Verdier is on a mission to test the habitability of Jarved Nine. Damon Brody is sent to rescue her when the rest of her team is mysteriously killed. Trapped on a planet that harbors an unimaginable evil, they have only each other.
An abandoned city holds the key to their survival, but what they find behind its ancient walls defies all their preconceived notions and tests the limits of the bond that has formed between them. To succeed, they will have to cast aside their doubts and listen to their hearts. For only when they are linked body and soul—when they realize love is their greatest weapon—will they be able to defeat the force bent on destroying all life.Coming Soon! Buy it Soon! Love Spell
A Crimson City
Dark Awakening - Kimi Noguchi is working as an intern for an advertising agency in Crimson City and she's discovered that she's a kijo or witch. She thinks having talent is cool, but her magic attracts the attention of a power-hungry Bak-Faru demon and she's forced to call on another demon, Nicodemus, for help.
Nic made a promise to stay away from Kimi for her own good, but now that she's summoned him, all bets are off. She's his vishtau mate, a bond held in reverence by all demons, and he's not about to let this opportunity pass him by. Nic plans to protect, woo and win his woman.Also featuring: Liz Maverick Carolyn Jewel Jade Lee
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