Monday, 19 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Gail R. Delaney

Author J. Morgan (JMO) of the Love Bites steps in to interview Gail. Take it away JMO.


For those who don't know me, my name is sometimes J. Morgan. The other times, I'm not sure what it is, but that is irrelevant because today, I have the pleasure of interviewing one of the spiffiest Sci Fi authors in the universe. To celebrate the occasion, I've stretched the already thin Desert Breeze Budget to rent a TARDIS. That's right, I'm all Dr. Whoed up and ready to make—or is that rewrite—history. So settle in as, I snag one Gail Delaney from the time stream and make her spill some Phoenix sized secrets.

Jmo: Gail, welcome to the DBP TARDIS. By the way, don't touch the flashy thingie. I'm not exactly sure what it does.

Gail: (glancing over). Oh, that's the Trans-Dimensional Oscilator Regulation Valve. Don't worry, nothing will happen if you hit it. Well, nothing other than giving us a bit of a rough ride. What? Did you forget I write Doctor Who fanfiction? * wink *

Jmo: (Shooting her a dirty look) Remember nobody likes a smarty bootie. Now, before we get into the thick of your fabulous Phoenix series, can you let our readers in on what first ignited your passion for Science Fiction? Was it a movie, television show or book?

Gail: Well, it's ironic that you opted to interview me here in the TARDIS, because Doctor Who played a bit part in developing my love of science fiction. I watched US runs of Doctor Who on PBS when I was a kid every Sunday afternoon. Tom Baker was, as they say 'My Doctor' (Well, until Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant came along). I also watched syndicated runs of Star Trek when I was in elementary school, and ST: TNG came out when I was in junior high - I think. I also grew up in the age of Star Wars. I loved it all.

In later years, I loved Stargate SG-1, Farscape, Firefly... and these days, Fringe. I'm currently watching all 10 seasons of X-Files. ☺

Jmo: As a writer and reader of the genre, what do you thinks brings so many readers to Sci Fi? And, I said don't touch that. Do you want to negate reality or something? Geez!

Gail: Relax! I was just releasing the Mercury Vapor vent system. You don't want a TARDIS with a case of the vapors. Trust me on this.

Anyway, I personally love 'smart' science fiction. Don't just set a book on a space ship or a far planet, and try to convince me it's science fiction. Make sure it's intelligently thought out. Now, that doesn't mean you need to explain to me the viability of a cold fusion thrust drive versus a carbon dioxide based combustion drive, but make me believe what you're saying. Beyond that, we are in an age of dramatic advancements. Every year, something new hits the market. It's not really that far fetched that -- if not us -- then our children and grandchildren will explore space. It's fascinating.

Jmo: I guess I better get to Phoenix before you make us lose the security deposit on this thing.

When you started on the first Phoenix book, did you have a clear vision of how the series would play out? Or, did the series evolve as you started working on it?

Gail: Absolutely the series evolved as I wrote it. There are elements of the final resolution that I honestly hadn't even considered when I began book one. I would write something, and say out loud "Oh! I get it now!" I had certain things I knew would be part of the series -- certain developments and revelations -- but, some of those things I believed to be true in the beginning ended up being proved wrong in the end.

(Hovers hand over Core Flux Relay Initiator just to watch Jmo squirm)

Jmo: As a fan of the series, I've got to ask this. I know I have my favorite characters as a reader, but do you have a character that really gets your mojo going when it comes to writing him or her?

Gail: Michael Tanner... no doubt, no question, no hesitation. When I developed the concept of the series, Michael Tanner was a character just like anyone else: Nick Tanner, Beverly, Victor... any of them. But, as I wrote, I learned that Michael was not only the glue -- but he was and is the driving force -- of the entire series. Without him, the whole of it would fall apart. We all want our characters to grow through the course of a book, but Michael does so much more than that. He becomes.

Jmo: Michael is my fav, too, and of course Jackie. I have to admit something, I read Revolution when it came out from that other company and read the newly updated version. How did the intervening years change the scope of what had gone on before and what readers are seeing now in the series?

Gail: When I wrote The Phoenix Rebellion for 'that other publisher', I wrote it all on my own. Meaning I didn't have anyone reading it as I went. I had someone I bounced ideas off, but they didn't read it in a linear fashion. I wrote the series in a blur, all 4 books in 10 months. I barely remember it now. So, when I read through the books -- I feel like I'm reading someone else's book. Having stepped back from the series for a couple years, when I came back to it, I saw more potential that I hadn't tapped into the first time around. I love that I've had the chance to add the subtle dashes of story that can potentially enhance the whole.

Jmo: End Game, effectively ends the first part of the Phoenix Rebellion but not the Phoenix series as a whole. Not to give away too much, but what can we expect in the second part of the series?

Gail: Phoenix Rising will pick up on Earth just about a year after the end of End Game. We fight the good fight, and while victory is ours, we don't come out of The Phoenix Rebellion unscathed. Phoenix Rising is the story of mankind truly rising from the ashes to rebuild our world. Many (most) of the main characters from the first series will play varying roles in the second series. The story can't continue without them. There will be characters who only made brief appearances in The Phoenix Rebellion who will now step up and continue the story. And there will be some new faces.

Jmo: Before we put the ion drive before the bridge, let's go back to End Game. This book ends the Rebellion part of Phoenix. How hard was it to tie up all the threads you laid the groundwork for in Book 1? Then, again. Are they tied up? I know this question is running on and on, but do you feel the readers will be satisfied with the ending of the series part 1? Or, will they be screaming for more? I know I will.

Gail: A lot of questions will be answered by the time End Game wraps up. The reader will come away with an understanding of things that came before, and hopefully, will see a clearer illustration of it all. But, as it often works, answers lead to more questions. No war ends at the decree of Peace. And no enemy simply disappears.

I can only hope that the readers of The Phoenix Rebellion will be anxious to read Pheonix Rising.

Jmo: Like all great Sci Fi, Phoenix has a lot of underlying themes. Did you make a conscious effort to layer those in or did they evolve as the characters did their thing inside your head?

Gail: Some of them were consciously there, and some of them grew organically from the lives of the characters. And sometimes, I thought I wanted to focus on a theme a certain way, only to learn that wasn't the way it would happen. How's that for vague and ambiguous?

Jmo: Yeah, some pretty good dodging and weaving, there. I'm well known for asking at least one crazy question. So, here it is. If you could step into any Sci Fi book or movie and live out the adventure, which one would it be? I think I know the answer—wink—but shock me.

Gail: (Looks around TARDIS) Does a tv show count? Because who wouldn't want to travel through all time and space in a little blue box that holds nothing less than a universe inside? And have you seen the library here? My toughest decision would be choosing between the Ninth Doctor, and the Tenth. I love them both for very different reasons. Yeah... don't make me pick.

Jmo: Not to sound gushy, but the world of Phoenix looks fun. Any chance of getting me warped into that reality? Before I set you back in your own time, please let our readers know where we can find out about you and your amazing books. Don't forget to let them know where they can connect with you on the Net. And, yes you can drive the TARDIS. Here, but don't touch the flashy thingi…

Great, now we're in an infinite time loop in the 70's of all time slips. For your information, my mother made me wear bell-bottoms. It sure wasn't my idea. Better give those stats, before we totally lose stability. Thanks for stopping by folks.

Gail: My website -- though keeping it up to date is a challenge -- is I won't bother with my blog or MySpace, because I'd need a TARDIS to keep that thing up to date. I can be found on Facebook by searching Gail R. Delaney (The R. is important).

And will you stop worrying so much? (Smacks BIG RED BUTTON on TARDIS coral console). See? That was easy.

< Insert TARDIS Whomp Whomp here. >


  1. Hi ladies, I enjoyed learning more about the Phoenix series. I agree-smart sci-fi fiction is the only sci-fi I can enjoy. It has to make sense to make it real. I am a huge FRINGE fan--I love the stretch of imagination based on science--probably because in reality it has gotten our civilization where it is today.

  2. I'm hooked on Battlestar Galactica - the new series. Brent and I are starting Season 4 tonight. I know a lot of people are put off by a female Starbuck, and I wasn't too hip on the idea either, but I gave the actress & writing a chance and I was not disappointed. Katee Sackhoff is fabulous as Starbuck.

    Never did watch Dr. Who. I have no idea was a TARDIS is but I know what a DRADIS is. LOL!!