A big welcome to authors Michelle Moore and S. Reesa Herberth. Michelle and Reesa are the authors of the Ylendrian Empire series, including The Balance of Silence and their latest novel, The Slipstream Con, available from Samhain Publishing.
Michelle and Reesa are here to chat with you, answer your questions and they are generously running a contest on this blog. Everyone who leaves a comment here or on their own blog, will be entered to win a gift certificate. They will also offer a second gift certificate if the comments exceed 50 commenters.
I know you’ll all enjoy this witty and fun interview.
Reesa: We met online years ago, when we were both doing chatroom-based roleplaying. We started writing character arcs together there, and even after they closed down the chat website, we kept writing for and with each other. A few years ago, we discovered that there were actually publishing houses that were interested in the kind of stories we wanted to tell.
Michelle: What Reesa didn’t say is we met because I was following a story arc she was working on with another talented writer friend of ours (Connor Wright) and I was so caught up in it that I sent them fan email! With our love of the same kinds of characters and stories, it was pretty much a given that we’d end up writing together. From there it was a matter of finding who out there was publishing the types of books we loved to write. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Question: What was one of the most surprising things you learned about each other in creating your book(s)?
Reesa: Well, I think we’ve both learned that for us, editing is like masturbation. We should do it alone, and wash our hands when we’re done. (I get a little cranky when we’re editing. I don’t care if our editor rips apart our deathless prose, I just hate having to read the comments with someone. It feels like exposing my failures to the world.)
Michelle: I’m not quite sure how I can top the masturbation comment! But really, we’ve been writing together for so long, I think we’re hard to surprise anymore. But what I love is the fact that we can pick up each other’s thoughts almost effortlessly. This means that we can work on several projects at once, and pass them back and forth mid-chapter, mid-paragraph or even mid-sentence and not lose continuity. It’s very freeing!
Question: Have you ever been abducted by aliens?
Reesa: Not that I know of, but that’s how they get you, isn’t it?
Michelle: Aliens is such a loaded word. They really prefer “Beings of Alternate Localities”. At least that’s what I was told at Machu Picchu. Then again, that could’ve been altitude sickness…
Question: If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?
Reesa: I’m going to assume someone else already wished for world peace, an end to hunger, and the disabling of comments on YouTube. Three selfish wishes would include independent wealth, a ’67 GTO converted to run on either electricity or unicorn burps, and a second season of Firefly.
Michelle: A 3 bedroom flat in Montmartre, Paris for six months out of the year and a 10 bedroom villa on St. John, USVI for the other six months.
Question: What’s the one question you wish interviewers would NOT ask?
Reesa: I’m a great big blabbermouth who only thinks to filter after I’ve already said something I shouldn’t have, so I’m pretty much game for anything. I do always stumble over “boxers or briefs?” because clearly the answer is “boxer briefs.”
Michelle: I’m still so incredibly excited that people WANT to interview us that I can’t think of anything I don’t want asked. And as poor, innocent questioners have found, I’m capable of going on ad nauseam about our characters, so maybe it’s more a matter of questions interviewers find that they wish they hadn’t asked US!
Question: Tell us a bit about your latest release.
Reesa: Well, if you like a good caper, if you love a little adventure with your romance, or, for that matter, a little romance with your science fiction, we’ve got something for you. Con artists, bounty hunters, conspiracies, and an unlikely love that might just be one of the only “sweet” ménage stories out there.
We want you to get in on the fun! Drop us a comment, here or on the latest entry on our blog, and tell us what caper you’d pull, if you thought you could get away with it. (And there were no repercussions.) Everyone who comments will be entered to win a gift certificate, and if we get more than fifty commenters, we’ll give out two gift certificates. The winner will be announced on our blog, and emailed directly, so be sure to include contact information in your comment.
Here’s our blurb, and an excerpt to get you in the caper mood:
Is love the biggest con of them all?
For three years, Kellen Frey has led bounty hunters Tal and Vanya on a merry chase, evading capture with flair and style. Now, just when they finally have their pet project—and object of their mutual fantasies—cornered, the elusive con artist turns the tables and gives himself up. A sudden attack of conscience, perhaps? Tal and Vanya know better.
Their suspicions are confirmed when a crime lord comes dangerously close to killing them all, and the rapidly sickening thief is forced to confess the truth—he’s been accidentally dosed with a highly illegal form of nanotechnology.
If Kellen can’t get his hands on another dose, he’s finished. The problem is, the only thief who’s ever broken in to Slipstream Labs is his ex-girlfriend, and she’s allergic to bounty hunters. As he does his best to play both sides, he struggles with his growing desire to be more than a prisoner to Tal and Vanya. Without trust, they won’t survive long. The clock is ticking as they race to uncover a conspiracy that spans the Ylendrian Empire.
This book contains an anti-hero with no qualms about redecorating your spaceship, a heroine capable of killing you with her hair stick, and another hero who would like nothing more than to shag them both without the inconvenience of a conscience.
Reesa: I love all three of the main characters, but there’s no denying that Kellen is my favorite. I don’t need a bad boy with a heart of gold, and I’m not sure that he’d fall into that category anyway, but I love the way he keeps Tal and Vanya on their toes. Tal especially, but that’s because Vanya is the one who keeps Kellen guessing. The excerpt below is a great example of Kellen in captivity, if not fully domesticated just yet. Poor Tal.
The smell of freshly brewed coffee led Tal down a drowsy path to wakefulness, and he rolled over, slipping an arm around Vanya’s waist and burying his face in her hair.
“You made coffee. You are the most beautiful, amazing woman in the universe.”
She snuffled in her sleep, pushing his hand away as she hid her face in her pillow. “G’way. S’your turn to make it.” She didn’t so much kick him as shove him out of bed with her feet, but he got the message and rolled over to reach for a pair of sleeping pants that he was sure he’d dropped there. Regretfully leaving their warm bed, he staggered towards the door and let himself out, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he went.
The coffee had just finished brewing when he got to the kitchen, and he poured himself a mug, fishing around in the cooler for cream. Coffee in hand, he turned around and stopped cold.
There were two plates set out on the table, and a note between them.
Just turn on the warmer for a few minutes. It should reheat well.—KF
Tal looked, because breakfast was breakfast and the damage was done. Scrambled eggs and pancakes in the shape of hearts. Hearts.
A few short, stomping steps took him from the galley to Frey’s cell. He didn’t expect to find him there. The man had obviously gotten himself out, why would he go back? Frey in the cell, however, wasn’t as unexpected as the bars now painted across the glass wall.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” Tal stepped closer, peering between the gray stripes.
Their prisoner-cum-chef had found the bag rescued from the ship, because Tal knew that Vanya didn’t own a pair of shorts in that eye-popping green-and-purple-paisley pattern, and they sure as hell weren’t his. Some sort of soft, clingy fabric fit his ass perfectly where he was curled up on the bunk. Tal gave himself a hard mental shake, forcing his eyes to the keypad.
To his credit, Frey recovered after an initial start and jerk, rolling over with a sleepy smile. “Morning.”
“Morning my ass. What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Kellen sat up, bare feet swinging to the floor as he stretched and yawned. “I know you might have missed the obvious, but I was sleeping,” he said patiently. He scratched his bare chest and stretched again. “Is there a problem with breakfast? Should I have made waffles instead?”
“Waf— No!” Tal could count on one hand the times he’d been left speechless. This joined the list. Unclenching his fingers, he took a deep breath. “Put some clothes on.”
“That seems rather a waste. I was planning on going back to sleep since you don’t need me to cook anything else.”
“Put some fucking clothes on now,” he said through gritted teeth, eyes going everywhere but to Frey, Vanya’s suggestion drifting uncomfortably around in the back of his head.
The heavy sigh tweaked his irritation level up another two notches, and Tal scanned the floor, finding the duffel under the bunk. Shoving past Kellen, he grabbed the bag, reaching in blindly. “Get dressed.” He dropped the first things he found into Kellen’s lap. “I’m going to get Vanya. Have those on when I get back.” He turned around at the door. “Do not leave this room or I swear I won’t be responsible for what happens.”
“So, stronger coffee next time.” Frey’s voice floated down the hall after him, but Tal kept walking.
Michelle Moore and S. Reesa Herberth are the authors of the Ylendrian Empire series, including The Balance of Silence and their latest novel, The Slipstream Con, available from Samhain Publishing. They live and write in the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia, and are hard at work on the next book in the series, Peripheral People. They can be found online at http://www.michelleandreesawrite.com