Welcome Veronica Scott with her fabulous new book, Star Cruise Outbreak. If you love SciFi Romance you will love Veronica. She is most definitely Kicking Ass!
A.S. ~ I loved Nebula Dream and can’t wait to read Star Cruise Outbreak. Tell us why you write about cruise liners in space? What makes the genre and these stories special?
Veronica ~ I was always fascinated by the events of the Titanic sinking, which led me to write Wreck of the Nebula Dream. For that book I had to design an interstellar cruise ship in great detail, and then of course destroy it! But as time went on, I found I still wanted to write more novels set on a cruise ship that didn’t suffer a disaster. So I’ve made the new starship Nebula Zephyr my “village” and plan to tell many stories set on board this upgraded vessel. You can have a huge cast of characters and lots of adventures on a big cruiseship. I’m always fascinated by how people react to intense, crisis situations, and of course I LOVE romance.
A.S. ~ What’s your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Veronica ~ I enjoyed writing the scenes about the actual disease outbreak – the mystery of why people are falling ill, the tension over who will survive and will a cure be found. But I also enjoyed telling the story of my hero and heroine, who both have PTSD from their experiences in the ongoing war against an aggressor alien race. Here’s the beginning of one of my favorite moments with Emily and Jake, having dinner in her quarters, when they’re still finding their way to each other’s heart.
She clinked her glass against his, and they drank the toast in companionable silence. Then she set her glass on the small table and leaned closer. “Tell me about the day we met on Fantalar.”
He was so surprised by the change of subject that at first he thought he must have heard her wrong. Distressed, he put his glass next to hers on the table and fumbled for the right words. The last thing he wanted to do was ruin the easy, relaxed mood they had going “No, really, I don’t need to talk about it. I know you don’t like people thanking you for saving their life. I was just one guy out of what? Hundreds you operated on?”
“Too many, for sure. Sectors Command kept throwing men and women into that battle zone, and the enemy kept chewing them up.” She blinked and focused on his face, her blue eyes sparkling. “I want to hear your story of the time you met the Angel of Fantalar.” She rubbed his arm gently, her touch warm and oddly soothing. “I warn you, I probably won’t remember any of it even when you do tell me. I-I recall bits and pieces, flashes of those weeks, but considering what came after, sometimes I think I’m lucky I made it home knowing my own name. But I will appreciate hearing about your perception of events.”
He still wasn’t sure she genuinely wanted him to unpack his combat experience as it related to her, but she kept her hand on his arm and nodded encouragement, so he decided to start the story. If he could tell it was distressing her too much, or triggering a flashback for either of them, he’d stop. Having made up his mind, he took one more sip of wine and said, “I was on a Team operating way behind enemy lines. We’d strike and run before the bastards knew what hit them. Played cat-and-mouse games for months, softening up the Mawreg and Betangray forces, keeping them off balance. We were one of a bunch of small groups doing the same thing.”
She nodded. “I was embedded at several forward operating bases in the Sector over the time of my deployment out there. I know.”
“We were effective. The enemy hated us, put a huge bounty on our heads.” He gave her a proud grin. “I wish I could tell you some of the things we pulled off, but it’s all classified. Can’t discuss the details.”
“No problem. I can guess. So what happened that brought you to me and my beach?”
“I don’t know if we got cocky or the enemy got smart, but there was an ambush.” He leaned against the couch and closed his eyes. He could smell the stink of the Mawreg in his nostrils, hear the explosions faintly. “I got caught in a blast, not too bad, could still shoot. My buddies got me out of there, along with Frankin and Boddie, who were injured worse than me, at least initially. We were on the run, hunted hard, calling Command for extraction. And there was another ambush. Squad was decimated. Six good operators, gone. Nothing left to bury. Jayna and her partner, Sills, got me out. We’d lagged behind, because of my leg, so we missed the primary blast.”
“Jayna was on your team?”
He nodded. “Yeah, she’s a tough customer, good to have at your six.”
“Good to know, reassuring. I’ll make a note to call her if I ever need backup and you’re not available.”
“You sure you want me to keep talking?” He searched her face, but she seemed calm.
“You haven’t got to the part where we met.”
“This is the one time I’m making the offer to go back to Fantalar, Jake, so if you want to go there with me, you need to tell me the rest of the story. Unless it’s too much remembering for you tonight?” She cupped his cheek with one soft hand. “I don’t want to force you to talk about it.”
The memories had a death grip on him now, although he could shut up if she needed him to. But she was encouraging him to continue, and he’d never told anyone the full details of his encounter with her. So he swallowed hard and continued as Emily leaned on the pillows with her elbow and watched his face.
A.S. ~ How much of you is in your characters? If none, where do they come from?
Veronica ~ I usually write tough Special Forces heroes, probably as a combination of men I met when my late husband was in the USMC, plus the influence of my admiration for exmilitary author friends I’ve made, as well as science fiction heroes such as Corporal Hicks in “Aliens” and Kyle Reese in “Terminator” (both played by the same actor!). I admire the way the real ‘operators’ are such tough, smart, indomitable guys, yet dedicated to protecting and defending. If I’m ever in a dire situation, I want someone like that as my partner. The heroines are strong women because I don’t have much patience with Too Stupid To Live characters. I’ve had more than a few tough situations in my own life – in business and in physically dangerous moments – where I had to be a KickAss Chick, so to some extent I ask myself, what would I do? And then that informs how my heroines act and react. But I’m not Dr. Shane in the current book, or Mara in Wreck of the Nebula Dream and they aren’t me – I hope they’re fully formed women on their own, with influences from me!
A.S. How do you do research for a cruise ship in space? How much do you have to know about space travel?
Veronica ~ I did a lot of research for creating the original Nebula Dream, and expanded on that a bit for the new Nebula Zephyr. I had done intense research on the Titanic, and tried to take what was cutting edge for them – like one of the first ever on-board swimming pools – and transform that into a futuristic feature. So my cruise ships have a ‘beach deck’ with a combination of holograms and real water and sand, for example. I also researched travel blogs on the cruise industry and sailing experiences, cruise line home pages, union information for staffers, job postings, news accounts, books about the logistics of sailing in big ships like aircraft carriers…..I don’t explain the working of my future scifi world, any more than we explain how an elevator works when we ride in one, you know? I was exposed to the real science of current space travel in my many years at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, and for my novels I opt to take a strictly fictional approach! No physics, all imagination!
A.S. ~ Please tell us more about Star Cruise Outbreak?
She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?
Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are
complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target. If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them …
A.S. ~ Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite Things: Cats, chocolate, reading, roses, romance of all genres, purple, long blingy earrings!
Pet Peeves: Being bored, being stuck somewhere without a book to read
Addictions: Nalini Singh novels, Project Runway, ancient Egypt, Twitter, blueberries
Kick Ass Superpower: I wish I could fly but I do have a slight touch of “the sight” (I come from a long line of Irish forebears) and occasionally have premonitions that come true. No lotto numbers tho!
Of all the cool tech in your world, what are top three you wish you had now? The blaster, definitely. The antigrav technology. The “rejuve resonator” which is a machine that can cure anything and restore person to perfect health.
A.S. ~ Thank you for stopping by, Veronica. You are most definitely a KickAss Chick! Where is the best place for readers to connect with you?
Veronica ~ You can always find me on Twitter! @vscotttheauthor https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!
Veronica recently played Crew Woman in the all star audiobook version of Harlan Ellison’s “The City on the Edge of Forever” Star Trek episode.
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