Monday, 28 November 2011

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Michelle Levigne

STEPH: I don't know much about "That Syncing Feeling." What's it about?

MICHELLE: It's a tie-in to my full-length novel SF romance, "Blue Fire." Nureen, the heroine of "Syncing" is childhood military brat friend with Rhianni, the heroine of "Blue," and even shows up several times.

Nureen is a hot-shot pilot, out having a snit-fit in a scout craft, because she's stuck patrolling dead space instead of being in on the action, supporting Rhianni. She gets a distress call, and ends up falling through a vortex into another dimension -- the Borealis universe -- with a shapeshifting creature named Tessur. On the Borealis, she runs into Tedrin Creed. He's been there 5 years, after falling through a similar space anomaly. Problem: Nureed knows who Creed is, her grandfather's best friend, a war hero, who is presumed dead after a massive space battle 50 years ago. Naturally, she doesn't believe he is who he says. Creed has bigger problems: they only have so much time to get to the space anomaly and get home before it closes. Maybe permanently.

STEPH: How did you become involved in writing for the Borealis Science Fiction Series?

MICHELLE: Gail asked for more victims -- err -- intrepid writers willing to try to play in her playground. I got my start writing fan fiction, playing in someone else's playground, and it sounded like it might be fun!

STEPH: What inspired your story?

MICHELLE: I wanted to give Nureen an adventure. I had to figure out how to get from the "Blue Fire" universe to the Borealis universe. Answer: Space anomaly. Then I thought about all the trouble you can get in if it's not only distance, but time that's messed with. Then I had this shapeshifting critter I created for a bunch of Star Trek stories years ago, that I wanted to take out of retirement. And I wanted to have some fun.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

MICHELLE: Maybe 1 week for the first draft, then maybe 2 days each for each revision. When you're having fun, the stories just flow.

STEPH: How did you come up with the title "That Syncing Feeling?"

MICHELLE: Tessur, the shapeshifter, refers to the space anomaly/vortex as the Sync -- as in "synchronizing" as well as "sinking." And I wanted to get a little silly -- play on words, "Sinking Feeling."

STEPH: Have you read other Borealis stories?

MICHELLE: Yes! Fun. I read them for research before I got started. Big shoes to fill!

STEPH: Did you grow up with a passion for Science Fiction?

MICHELLE: I think so -- I can remember playing Star Trek on the elementary playground. The climbing tower was our spaceship. We slid down the poles for our "transporter." I always got to play Spock because I was the only one who could do the Vulcan salute.

There's always been SF around. I loved it when they started publishing the Star Trek novels. Then the original Star Wars came out when I was in high schoo. I can remember going to the SAME theater to see Star Wars for my 16th and 17th birthdays.

STEPH: What's your writing space like?

MICHELLE: Right now it's a mess. Lots of bookshelves at one end of the room. computer desk and worktable at the other end of the room. Papers everywhere, notebooks on the floor, where I'm organizing/sorting/ridding notes for upcoming books. Don't even look in my closet, where it's always a jumble of promo materials and packing boxes and projects I haven't finished yet. But it's all MY mess, and it's a comfortable place with a big chair that's good for sitting and typing for a looooong time. I have my music to shut out the rest of the world, a window that looks out on the back yard with a creek and trees and bluejays and deer walking through.

STEPH: How long have you been writing?

MICHELLE: Feels like forever! I can remember scribbling stories in junior high, daydreaming and rewriting TV shows that didn't satisfy me, or continuing the storyline of movies and books that really caught my attention. I started seriously writing books, actually FINISHING them, in 10th grade. So yeah ... forever!

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