Today is an interview with the Science Fiction author Candice Coates. She writes in more genres than just Scifi, appealing to readers in young adult and adult audiences. Let’s learn all about her in this Q&A, shall we?
Before we begin though, she has a dilemma that only you can solve: Which of her two science fiction novels should she publish first? That’s right, she has two ready and written! Cast your vote HERE on her website for which one you want to read first.
The books are:
Genre: Science Fantasy, Comedic Action Adventure
Audience: YA, NA (New Adult), Adult
Book Flap: Ever since the bizarre death of her grandmother, Maeve Grandie has made it her sole purpose to be reliable, even if that means living a dreadfully predictable life. The only sense of adventure Maeve experiences is in her dreams. The only problem is her peculiar hereditary condition that gives her rashes on her hands and arms, turning the veins of her arms a screaming azurite blue, not only gives her weird dreams but causes her to sleepwalk as well.
But what would happen if those dreams that carry her into a bizarre land where people can cause their arms to ignite with blue flames and tear open the sky with their bare hands is not really a dream at all?
What if the dream world, Maeve finds herself suddenly trapped in, is actually a true world of wonder but one she is somehow destroying just by being there?
Senior Warden Vincent Jasper of Trident finds himself facing that very real and immeasurable danger when a young woman in the ugly pink nightgown interferes with an arrest right before disappearing through an Unzoned Door in the Universe causing the very threads of the Cluster and Realms to ripple and stretch, putting it and the lives of all who live within it in grave danger. Not only is the woman unknown but she keeps opening Doors and is somehow hiding right underneath his nose.
Can Jasper and his team along with the rest of Trident, apprehend this villainous threat clad in garish pink flannel and ruffles? Or will they find out that she is not the threat at all but the weapon of someone else, all before their side of the universe collapses?
Genre: Speculative Science Fiction, Suspense Thriller, Time Travel
Audience: NA (New Adult), Adult
Book Flap: Most important rules of time surveillance; never disrupt your host timeline and never step into the future. Decorated Surveillance Specialist Vivian Leona of 6037 has broken both.
Losing her husband, John Joseph Spruce, in the Nexus of time past, Vivian mistakenly pulls the wrong man into the future, a man recorded by history as having died on that very day in 1837. The consequences for keeping him alive in the future could prove far worse than Vivian bargains for, especially in the American South’s New Golden Age, 4037, where any overt emotion or cause of such, like racism, is seen as a deadly contingent—‘conditions’ cured only by euthanasia.
Slave foreman and bounty hunter ‘Tucker’ John Josephus Spruce of 1837 is called ‘The Animal’ by those he hunts, and a ‘necessary evil’ by those who enlist his skills, but are his ‘talents’ enough to keep him alive when he steps into a deadly snare set twenty-two hundred years in the future where he is now pawn and prey?
Will Tucker John’s instincts lead him towards retribution for his abduction, or will they make Vivian his only ally while setting him on an unexpected hunt for the one not only out for his blood, but the very woman’s he’s purposed to destroy?
And now for the interview!
Welcome to the blog, Candice! It’s lovely to have you here with us. Start by telling us a little about yourself: Where did you grow up, and did it influence you to become an author?
Thanks for having me! I am really excited to be here. So, I grew up in rural Ohio for the first nine years of my life. We lived on five acres of farm land fenced in by 100 acres of corn and cattle. Living in such a remote area, being surrounded by nature allowed my mind to really wander creatively. That natural silence in comparison to the noise of suburbia acted as the perfect song for me to create, to see adventure and wonder in the simplest of things. Starting my development there and then moving into the ‘rush’ of suburban life gave me a greater appreciation for imagination, but also enabled me to truly enjoy the uniqueness of my surroundings. I learned to watch. I learned to listen. I learned to dream.
You are a very creative person, Candice. I’ve driven through Ohio and it really is an open, beautiful landscape that inspires creativity! So tell us, what message do you seek to spread through your books?
Each story that I create I believe has its own unique message, but an underlining thread that all of them have is that by faith you can overcome, that humility makes you a champion even if you are a reluctant one.
Faith and humility, both very important lessons.
We all know there are ups and downs to any career. For you, what have been some of the ups and downs of being an author?
Geesh, well, that is kind of hard to say. I don’t want to be overly philosophical with my answer, but the truth is I am learning to truly see things as lessons and opportunities to grow. If I were to say anything was an up or a down it would be learning that I can’t force the hands of time, nor can I force my story(s) to move according to my own whim.
A less ‘deep’ answer for ups and downs would be the whole world of social media and algorithms. Finding your audience is hard enough but then comes social media (which can be a great aid) and the dreaded algorithms and you may find yourself and your work shuffled out of a revolving door and missed completely by those who would actually love to hear what you have to say, read what you’ve created.
It’s hard at times not to get a little discouraged when it seems like the only way to share your art is to spend more money. That is a definite downer.
Agreed, it can be hard to reach the readers that you know would love what you write. One piece of advice I’d give is find out where your audience spends most of their time, and then focus your efforts there.
I hear you have two writing projects: Warden and Nexus Gate. Can you tell us a bit about each of them?
The biggest thing about both is that they are my first and second successful attempts at a summer session of NaNoWriMo. Warden was my first and I wrote it in completion in 96 days. I had reached novel status well before the 30 day time limit but wrote ‘The End’ of my first draft on day 96.
Nexus Gate took a little longer but was finished I believe within 106 days.
Both tales are vastly different and will have totally different audiences I believe, unless you are a diehard science fiction reader who just enjoys a great adventure.
Warden is very comedic, light-hearted, with lots of twist and turns that will keep you guessing but smiling along the way, even when you are following the nefarious ways of the villains. Anyone from a middle aged Teen to a seasoned adult could read and love this book and be excited for more to come in the other two books in the series.
Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal is just as gripping but is definitely not a comedy. The book touches on the very sensitive subject of colorism and race even through the sands of time. It calls into question how two very different people born five thousand years apart meet by accident in the middle of time and are forced to deal with a society that is actually hostile to both of their views. It also shows what could happen to the best and worst of society when life and death is left in the very palm of their hands. Will they, can they, change for the better?
This book is definitely a science fiction drama, suspense-thriller. If you love drama, if you love to have your heart pounding, and interact with characters that will make you want to fight them or fight for them, this is definitely a book for you.
Warden’s book blurb and comedic humor caught my attention! What inspired you to write this book?
This book, like many that I have on file, is inspired by dreams that I have had. The scene in the teaser chapters where Maeve is watching her best friend get ready for her space cruise, happened pretty much that way in my dream. I would say the skeletal structure of the story is from my dreaming at night but the rest that makes the story truly breath comes with the dedicated touch of editing and revisions and the willingness to rewrite when a Beta Reader suggests it.
Which characters do you relate to most?
I’d have to say I relate to all of my characters in some degree, but in vastly different ways. I am certainly not as extreme as they are but in the end, like most of them, I want to do the right thing, I want justice, and I want to live peacefully.
When do you plan to publish each novel?
I would LOVE to have the winner published this coming Fall or Winter 2017. There is still much promotion work left to be done as well as final revisions which take time and care. I am new at indie publication so I don’t want to leap too soon and drown. I want to get in the water at a steady pace and swim properly, although the urge is always there to just do a cannon ball and hope for the best. Still, I believe in discipline and delayed gratification in order to reap the most fruitful results.
Very wise of you, Candice! Steady is the best way to go.
Every writer has their favorite authors. Name some of the authors and books that have played a role in your life and in your writing career?
I’ve mentioned most often Octavia E. Butler and Frank Peretti. The Oath, by Frank Peretti was the book that really began my reading addiction even though I was writing long before that… kind of weird to write and not read, but that is how it happened. Octavia E. Butler was just a brilliant writer of Science Fiction. Her characters are dynamic and the worlds she created were very believable.
I would also have to add in Tamara Leigh. She has turned many of her best-sellers in to Clean Read Romances with Christian faith holding them together. Tamara Leigh is probably the first Romance author (Regina Scott as well) that I have had the pleasure of reading where I didn’t roll my eyes because of the tale. No offense to other romance writers, but I find that sometimes the stories just aren’t relatable or they are simply unhealthy.
I want to take science fiction to another level. I want to give you heart-pounding suspense. I want to write Romance that makes readers think, this could totally be my life!
These three authors together have influenced my writing in that I want to be able to convince you, like Octavia, drive you, like Frank, and touch your heart, like Tamara.
And now for a fun question: If you could live the life of any character (Legolas, Harry Potter, Arthur…anyone!), who would it be and why?
You know what, even when I look at my own characters my first thought is I would like to visit your life but I wouldn’t want to have it. Writing puts us in a place where we are not only wearing our character’s shoes but we actually become them for a season. Reading a well-written character does the same in my opinion, and that is certainly enough for me.
I know what you mean, but a chance to live the life of an elf in Middle Earth does tempt me! 🙂 Thank you for joining us today, Candice! We’ll be sure and keep an eye out for when Warden and Nexus Gate release.
Bio: Candice Coates is a fiction writer, jumping from genres ranging from Speculative Science Fiction and Fantasy to Comedic Clean Read Romance and Drama, all with touches of her Christian faith. She is a lover of Ireland, tea, and just about anything with pistachios. When not writing she is creating visual art with pen or paint, or she is creating new designs for her handmade polymer clay jewelry line, Shizen Brook. To read more of her work you can find her at her author site,candicecoates.wordpress.com or icameforthesoup.com. You can also find out more about her and how to stay connected by going to www.about.me/candicecoates
Help Candice decide which of her books she should publish first: Cast your vote on the poll HERE!
MORE NEWS: This coming Monday (March 20) I will be a guest over at the Indie e-Con Event! I will try and reblog it here, so that you can easily hop on over to the post. Guess what my topic will be? It’s pretty cool: How To Create A Villain!
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