I'm pleased to introduce Gail Delaney. And am glad she could stop in and share about her newest release:
Janus -- Book One in her Phoenix Rising Series. This line on the cover of her book defines it well: Out Of The Ashes Humanity Will Arise.
Gail R. Delaney has been actively writing 'for publication' since 1996. The first novel she ever wrote is still sitting on her computer, waiting for the major rewrite that will make it acceptable. She says she has learned a great deal since writing that book, and it shows when she looks back at that rough draft.
Gail has had several novels published in the genres of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and futuristic romance. Her novels have received several nominations and awards since she was first published in 2005. By far, writing futuristic sci fi is her favorite genre.
Gail and her family recently moved from the cold and blustry east coast to Southern California, and is loving every moment of sunshine she can soak in -- without risking a sun burn.
I love that I can return to the future world I created in The Phoenix Rebellion series. I loved the characters, the stories, the possibilities of those four books, and now I can live the adventure right along with the reader as I learn what happens next!
Does your book have a special theme? Can you share what inspired you to write this story and theme?
The title of the book -- Janus -- comes from the name of a Roman God who was represented as having two faces. Two sides to a coin. Beginnings and Endings. The one thread running through this book is the duplicity of people, but not always in a deceptive or negative way. Everyone has two faces, your true face and the face you show the world. It's when those two faces become almost one that you are being most truthful. And some people do hide behind the mask of deceit.
Janus is book #1 in the 'Phoenix Rising' Series. Do your upcoming books continue the saga of the main characters in The Phoenix Rebellion?
Yes... and no. The thing I love about the Phoenix books is that they are written with a cast of characters, rather than each book focusing solely on two people with everyone being secondary. While each book does have a focus couple, everyone else is part of their lives and have their own ongoing stories.
The main characters from The Phoenix Rebellion books are all here in this series: Nick Tanner, Caitlin Montgomery Tanner, Michael Tanner, Jace and Lilly Quinn... etc... are all here, but their stories aren't the main focus anymore. They are in the lives of the people taking the foreground. John Smith, the main man in Janus, was a non-main but far from secondary character in 2 of the 4 Phoenix Rebellion books. And Jenifer had two scenes in the whole series. Now, their story will be told.
Do you get ideas for your stories from places you visit, or do you visit places to flesh out your stories?
Oh, wouldn't that be fun since this is sci fi? I'd love to visit Aretu on the other side of the galaxy! Sadly... that's not going to happen. But, the world is shrinking so things happen all over the planet. I wish I could visit them all, but I've visited a few.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in writing?
Time! I work a full time day job, I run a company, I have a husband, a college student, a middle schooler, my in laws and three dogs all wanting time. J Oh, and a business partner/bff, too. J
Tell us what you love to do in your spare time?
* blink blink * What is this "spare time" you speak of?
J I don't really have spare time, but when I make time, I love going to Disneyland with the family. It's only about an hour away, and makes for a nice Saturday trip. We go so often we can just take our time and do what we want without feeling like we have to fit it all in. My husband grew up going to Disneyworld a lot, and after we married and when we lived on the East Coast, we went just about every year. Now, in Cali, it's our 'thing' still.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
I would have to say both John Smith and Jenifer equally, because they are both so different and yet so the same. In ways neither have come to realize yet. That's why I love writing series -- I don't have to wrap up the stories with a pretty bow at the end of the book.
If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Probably a mix of rockabilly and swing. J I'm a little funky, a little off center, and I can't sit still when I hear it. I can't dance worth beans, but that doesn’t mean I'm not dancing in my head.
Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
Generally speaking, I would say no. I see my characters as very independent, individual people so to infuse myself into them would be to take away from who they are supposed to be. But, I can't say I "never" have. One book in particular -- not this new release, but a contemporary I released about a year and a half ago -- I would say I enjoyed imagining myself in the heroine's place. The book was Something Better, and perhaps it was because the heroine was a sci fi romance novelist (I always swore I'd never write a book with a novelist as a heroine, and yet... I did) that I allowed myself to step more into her shoes.
Maybe because the hero of this particular book was 'modeled' after a man I consider to be one of the most attractive, appealing men in television right now -- Joshua Jackson. So, it wasn't a hardship by any means to let myself imagine myself in Andi Parker's shoes for a bit and maybe let her say or do things I could imagine doing in the same situation.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don't ever be so conceited or sure of yourself you believe yourself to be above advice and guidance.
That is good advice. We all want to learn more about the craft of writing, but it is important to keep a healthy character as well. Who wants to work with an arrogant know it all? And yet, Gail has been very kind to me... LOL
Gail, thanks so much for coming to visit. Janus sounds like an interesting book.
It's been a year since Humanity rose up against their alien oppressors and took back Earth from the Sorracchi. The war left Earth devastated, crippled, but not beaten. Under the leadership of President Nick Tanner and in collaboration with their new Areth and Umani allies, the Earth seeks stable ground again.
John Smith of the Areth was a soldier before his queen asked him to serve as ambassador to Earth, and he is out of his element. Restricted in his position from carrying a weapon, he has no way of defensing himself or his adopted son when the Xenos -- a group of Humans wishing to purge the Earth of all alien influence -- decide they want him dead.
Jenifer is a soldier for hire, and answers to no one but her own common sense. She first refused the "job" of serving as John's bodyguard, but a glimpse at the heart of the man convinces her to accept the responsibility.
John has two faces: a soldier and an ambassador of peace. Jenifer has two faces: the steel-skinned warrior and the forgotten person she once was. Too many people hide behind masks, and it's those hiding who want John dead.
Enjoy this Excerpt
"Jenifer--" John began behind her.
She shot up a hand for silence, pointed at Sergeant Manning and ordered him into the room with a jerk of her hand. The soldiers passed, single file, as Manning stepped through the door. With a final glare at the crowded hallway, Jenifer kicked closed the door, gripped Manning's wrist and flipped him around to slam his chest into the wall with his arm up his back, and yanked his pulse weapon from his hip holster -- all before Manning could protest.
"Do you have any other weapons on you?" she demanded.
She shoved his arm up his back. "It's an easy question, Sergeant."
He came just shy of squealing like a girl. "No!"
Panic rolled off him, maybe even downright fear, and for just a moment Jenifer felt a fraction of compassion for the poor kid. What the hell would he do if he ever had to face a real danger? What would he do facing down a mob of Xenos? Or Sorracchi? Geez, he had probably been a pimple-faced pubescent kid when the Sorracchi first attacked. Then again, maybe some good, old-fashioned jolt of fear might do the kid some good.
She took a step back and held the procured pulse weapon out toward John. He took it, giving her a curious look, his brow arched.
She stared back. "What?"
He smirked and chuckled, checking the weapon. "Nothin'."
Jenifer arched an eyebrow.
John laughed outright and held up his hands in a sign of surrender, still holding the weapon. "Nothin', I swear." He glanced toward Manning. "You've frightened the boy, Jenifer."
"May I turn around, ma'am?" Manning mumbled, his cheek against the wall.
Jenifer slammed her body against his back, making him grunt. In barely a whisper, she spoke against his bright red ear. "Tell Montgomery sixteen-thirty in the hanger. Got it?"
"Yes, ma'am," he choked.
The kid scurried out of the room like the devil was on his heels, the door rattling in its frame in his departure. Jenifer groaned and snatched the pulse weapon from John's hand and opened the door.
"Hey! Forget something?"
She gave the kid credit. He managed to turn and catch the weapon. Then he was gone.
"Damn kid," she mumbled, shutting the door again. "He'd be dead in a real fight."
John walked to the old plaster hearth built into the wall perpendicular to the windows facing the street and turned to lean his hips against the wall with his hands shoved in his pockets, his feet out in front of him set apart. The way his shoulders slumped and he hung his head made Jenifer pause before crossing the room to him. After a few quiet moments, he drew in a long breath through his nose and raised his head as he released it.
"So, what happened?" he asked not much louder than a whisper.
Watch the trailer for Janus
Find Gail online
http://www.GailDelaney.com for general writing information
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorGailRDelaney for my facebook page about my writing in general
http://www.facebook.com/PhoenixGailRDelaney is dedicated to my Phoenix Universe and all the series involved.