Thursday 1 November 2012

Guest Interview: Sherrie Cronin

As a special treat to all my regular readers (I'm looking at you too spam-bots) I am pleased to welcome a guest author to the blog - fellow SF writer Sherrie Cronin.

Sherrie is the author of x0 and y1, and is a geophysicist with 28 years of experience in the Texas oil industry. She is married, with three children, and entered the world of writing with a short story she sold to Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. She has since published two novels of what will be a six novel series, and is hoping to release the third novel in the series in 2013.

Her debut novel x0 follows the story of Lola, a Texan geophysicist, and Somadina, a young Igbo woman living in Nigeria, in the oil-rich Niger Delta. The two women, on two separate continents, must connect somehow, for Somadina needs Lola's help to rescue her sister from a dangerous conspiracy. x0, a secret organisation that serves to assist people with extraordinary powers of the mind, must step in to intervene in a drama that threatens to alter a nation's future. What ensues is an international science fiction thriller with what one reviewer described as a 'great climax'.

y1 focuses on the story of Zane, who 'doesn't believe in magic, and he's gotten a whole degree in neuroscience just to try to figure out how he can possibly alter his appearance the way that he does'. The novel is set in the South Seas this time and involves an unsavoury pharmaceuticals company, an accusation of murder and a mystery to solve before Zane becomes a murder victim himself.

Sherrie has kindly agreed to be interviewed for this blog:

"Your novels clearly benefit from a lot of research, from life among the Igbo of Nigeria, to the South Seas and corporate intrigue in a pharmaceuticals company. Do you get your story ideas first and then set out to research them, or is it your research that gives birth to the stories?"
A little of both. For example I knew that y1 was going to be about the South Pacific and the pharmaceutical industry, so I started research on both .... and discovered that Samoa had been home to a series of ill-fated boot camps for troubled teens.  I had no idea, but out of that research came a new subplot  that tied in nicely with my main plot about medicating teenagers.

"On top of the research, your novels are intricately plotted with multiple characters. A lot of thought and time must go into that. I'm guessing you're an organised and disciplined writer. With three children, a family life and a successful career in the oil industry, how do you go about making time to write?"
Well, the children are grown and that does make all the difference. I pretty much started writing again once the youngest left for college. And I'm 20% retired. My employer lets me work 4 days a week.  So it's write 3, work 4. Oh and I have a fully retired husband who loves to cook. That also is a big plus.

"Your next novel, z2, looks to be due out in January 2013. After Nigeria and the South Seas, which cultural setting do you plan on jetting your readers to next?"
This one will be my North American novel ... but of course it is about a corner of North America few of us from the US know well. A lot of the story takes place where Belize, Guatemala and Mexico all come together.

"You mention in your bio that your muse insisted upon a six book series. Does this still stand, or has your muse come up with more demands since? And if not, do you have plans for another, different series one day?"
My muse and I have a firm agreement in place that this is a collection of six and only six novels.  Actually, the third one, z2. is now written and being edited, and the remaining three are pretty well planned out.  I have an idea for another very different kind of series down the road, but who knows. First I want to take some time in between and work on short fiction for awhile.

Many thanks to Sherrie Cronin for being my guest for the day. x0 and y1 are available to download as ebooks from Amazon and Amazon UK.

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