Friday 1 July 2016

Q & A with Lance Erlick

Regina Shen #1
by Lance Erlick

Abrupt climate change melted ice caps and flooded coasts. Regina Shen is an outcast condemned to live on the seaward side of barrier walls. A hurricane threatens to destroy Regina’s world, tearing her from sister, mom, and home.

The World Federation’s notorious Department of Antiquities polices barrier walls and suppresses knowledge from the past. Regina thrives on salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books from before the Federation. With photographic memory, she defies Antiquities by reading books not available in the Federation. Antiquities claims Regina has unique DNA that could single-handedly stop human extinction. It's too bad she doesn't trust them enough to barter fairly, let alone with her life.

As the storm worsens, Antiquities and their allies doggedly pursue Regina. Does she have the resilience to survive the storm and avoid capture while hunting for family? 

Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 15th 2015 by Finlee Augare Books

Find the Regina Shen series on Goodreads

Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Smashwords

Read It & Reap: November 13, 2016

Lance Erlick likes to explore intriguing worlds with mostly strong female characters you can relate to, as they are thrust into extraordinary situations. He writes character-driven, action-packed, science fiction thrillers full of twists and turns.

He is the author of the Rebel series. In those stories, Annabelle Scott is forced to become a warrior to enforce laws she believes are wrong. This year Lance released the Regina Shen series. This series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to the Great Collapse and a new society under the World Federation. As an outcast, Regina must fight to stay free and help her family. Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.

Q & A with Lance Erlick

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters. 
As an outcast, Regina Shen has grown up in the swamps on the seaward side of barrier walls built to keep her and others like her out. She lives with her often-absent mother and younger sister. She has a beloved teacher who has picked up on Regina’s eidetic memory, an ability to quickly absorb illegal print books from before the Federation. When Regina isn’t in school or watching her sister, she’s diving salvage from sunken cities for anything to barter for survival. Already, she recovered a well-preserved hunter’s crossbow that she has become adept with. She is the quintessential survivor, but now faces a hurricane that threatens to destroy her entire world and agents who are chasing her.

Chief among the agents is Inspector Joanne Demarco, who was born an outcast and has fought her way to the top of the feared Department of Antiquities. Her job is to destroy all artifacts from before the Federation and keep the peace. Then she discovers that Regina’s DNA could prevent a worldwide fertility collapse and the extinction of humankind. Demarco is an opportunist who seeks to use Regina for personal gain, but she’s not the only one.

2. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
The cover designer for the Regina Shen series is Donna Harriman Murillo. She has a large portfolio of young adult and fantasy covers and has done a great job coming up with a set for the Regina Shen series. She has also updated the covers for the Rebel series, which are now listed on Goodreads.

As part of the cover design process, I provide her with a long synopsis of the book, a description of the characters, and some of the major themes of the story. From that, she comes up with a draft cover that presents her idea of a cover. We go back and forth until we are both satisfied with the presentation. Then we wrap it up. She has been great to work with.

3. Describe your ideal writing spot.
Creative writing for me happens in two parts. The idea part grabs me when I’m doing anything but writing. Sometimes when I’m driving; often in the middle of the night I wake up with ideas or entire scenes, which I scribble in the dark on a pad by my bed. The actual drafting of the story I do on a laptop.

I wrote my very first book on a pad of paper and when it came time to edit I decided to move on to another project rather than investing in typing it up. From there, I decided never to do that again. So now, I write on a laptop in a room where I can control the distractions.

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
The best advice I’ve received was to write what I was passionate about instead of trying to write what might be popular today. When I’ve run into roadblocks and hurdles, such as writing from the opposite gender, I’ve stepped back and asked myself whether this is really the story I want to write. If the answer is yes, I dive in.

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I first got the bug to write when I was eleven. I’ve jumped in and stepped back at various times, but always come back to this passion. If it wasn’t writing, I’ve always been fascinated by science and history. I actually started college in physics, but that didn’t last. Today, I wish I’d given it a bit more time, but at that time I switched into political science and continued my fascination with history.

6. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
There’s no substitute for reading a book in paper for me. However, when I get tired of sitting, which happens with all of my writing, I enjoy being able to read an ebook while pacing for a change. Also, I’m out of space for print books and hate to part with them. That hasn’t been a problem with ebooks.

7. If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
A time-slip would be great, where I could step out of the time stream for a bit of relaxation or as time to read or finish a project. Then I could re-enter the time stream where I left off. It would be great to have an extra eight hours in a day. Unfortunately, I’m guessing if I had this, so would everyone else and that wouldn’t help.

8. What book are you reading now?
The Rise of Rome by Anthony Everitt. I just started it so I don’t have an opinion yet, but the topic of Rome fascinates me, particularly the Republic.

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