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Reblog: Author Interview with Lori’s Reading Corner

You can find the original post here:

http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com/2020/01/interview-virtual-tour-stellar-fusion-by-e-l-strife.html

Is there anything in your book you’d go back and change?

Since I first published Stellar Fusion, I have changed the beginning of the book. Originally, I was told to avoid prologues. But after publication, the book just felt like it was missing something, a hint of context for where the series falls in the Universal War Novels—which will be three series in total when it’s finished. I went in and added a single page and tweaked the first few paragraphs of chapter 1. It reads better and sets the scene the way I want it to now.

What inspired your book?

I am a lucid dreamer that regularly gets migraines, so I was trying out dream journaling to help me sleep calmer. After awhile I noticed they were getting interesting and I was having fun writing them down. As a child, I used to lie in bed on Saturday mornings (my only free time) and just make up stories in my mind. I had no idea what they looked like on paper until I tried out this therapy tactic of dream journaling. One night I had a particularly interesting dream and it sparked the idea of Stellar Fusion.

Do you write as you go, or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?

A book usually starts with an idea of a character’s struggle, a twist, or an emotion I want to capture. I usually make a rough outline of what has to happen where and when. Then I just free write. Often I start out with a concept but have to change it a few times before the end of the book to make all of the pieces fit together just right.

How long did it take you to write your book?

Stellar Fusion took me about five years. It was on and off writing in the beginning, whenever ideas (and time) came into my life. I also struggled a lot with the notion I was falling into the “crazy writer with unrealistic dreams” category so doubt came in to play. But when we were isolated in North Dakota for a winter, I had plenty of time and little else better to do. I finished the novel, and here it is!

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

Top favorite author, hands down, has to be Pierce Brown. But I also love Kerry Nietz’s work, Lois Lowry, and J. R. R. Tolkien.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Someone once told me to remember, every time I encounter someone impatient, rude, mean, or otherwise negative, that I do not know what is going on in their life. A car passing me on the shoulder might startle me, but I remind myself now that they might have someone in the car that’s hurt. Or someone’s in the hospital and they just got the call. I don’t know for sure. But this little piece of advice has made me much more patient and understanding as well as helped open a portal in my mind to the possibilities of what is going on in other people’s lives. It’s much easier to write now because I’m always studying people.

How do you react to a bad review? 

Readers are entitled to their opinions. I read the review and search for anything that could be a legitimate concern. I want to ensure my books are enjoyable for my readers, so I care about what my fans think. But at the same time, I know it’s important to let most of the negativity go. Unless someone has something factually incorrect, I don’t really want to dwell too long. I’m too busy working on new books!

Which authors have influenced you most – how? 

J. R. R. Tolkien definitely got me interested in creating languages. Pierce Brown has some amazing description and such complexity to his stories that a reader’s brain really has a lot to chew on. Kerry Nietz plays with cyberpunk/biopunk concepts and works them into character development with ease. Lois Lowry has a gentleness to her voice even through tense moments that I wish I could emulate.

What is your favorite scene in your book?

I loved writing all of them, and each is essential. But there’s one scene where Atana, the female lead, connects with a child named Kios, and it changes her. It’s essential foreshadowing for the future of the Infinite Spark Series but is also a tender moment that eases the main mood of the book, slows it down, and reminds us as readers that even the broken can be beautiful.

What books do you love that don’t get a lot of hype?  

I really enjoy biopunk and speculative fiction. When I found Kerry Nietz’s A Star Curiously Singing, it didn’t have a lot of reviews, but it sounded interesting. I ended up reading it in one sitting then rereading it like a week later.

What makes your novel stand out from the crowd?

Stellar Fusion has a balance of everything: blood-quests and finding family, magic and science, and extreme order and power versus the powerless. It features a unified government (Universal Protectors) for a futuristic Earth where there are no countries, no separate militaries, and everyone is registered in one system like Social Security, what I called Human Cataloging. I also introduce alien languages that I build heavily upon in later books.

Do your characters really talk to you? 

No, my characters don’t talk to me. I’m usually hanging out around them in their environments like a reporter, jotting down notes as they chat and interact. Sometimes I put myself in the position of a particular character so I can attempt to understand the best reaction or move for them or their counterpart. I have, oddly though, dreamt one of them was looking at me, and it was clear it was me as the writer, not me as a character. But I think it was just my mind subconsciously working on the character’s appearance. Most of my good ideas come to me at night. I keep a notepad handy.

Thank you for having me!

This was fun!

Blog

Reblog: 5 Things You Should Know About Stellar Fusion

This post was originally featured on Literarily Speaking. You can view it here:

http://literarilyspeaking.blogspot.com/2020/01/5-things-you-should-know-about-stellar.html

  1. Stellar Fusion is a blend of science and magic with cyberpunk, apocalyptic and alien elements. It features a military organization that protects all people of Earth, post the Three Hundred Year War. There are no countries, only topographical zones. It follows a female lead and her assigned crew as they do recon on a mysterious ship that appears in orbit, lands massive pillars on the surface of Earth, and steals people in green flashes of light. It’s full of futuristic twists on the classic tale of invasion.
  2. This book is great for fans of science fiction fantasy with military themes, space battles, empires, romantic moments, moral conflicts, alien languages, and symbolism. There’s a lot of foreshadowing and little pieces that will come out to play later in the series. It’s all about balance: good vs. evil, violence vs. tenderness, guts vs. power, history vs. hope, rule vs. desire, and many more.
  3. Book one dabbles a lot in what we call lucid dreaming and brings to life the semi-conscious realm of “Ether.” Ether is where secrets come out of hiding, friends are made, and characters can even be killed. Think of entire species with Freddy Krueger’s dream-walking capability. It’s a major component of the plot, so be prepared to phase in and out of the “waking realm.”
  4. Stellar Fusion is the first book in the Infinite Spark Series, the middle series of the Universal War novels. I started with Infinite Spark because I thought it might be the most interesting to readers. Three books, of the seven planned, are published. While books are written in the other two series (Abaddon’s Edge-series one, Spectral Renegades-series three), I’m focusing a single series at a time. There are details in Infinite Spark that are found in the other series.
  5. This is my first fiction novel. I come from a background of research papers and would absolutely love feedback/reviews to know how my storytelling and creative style are received by readers.

I had a lot of fun writing Stellar Fusion. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Thanks for having me!

SFF FLEET

Character Post: Sgt. Jameson Bennett on the “Universal Protectors” & Futuristic Earth

I had so much fun writing this from the perspective of one of my main characters, Sgt. Jameson Bennett. The thirdbook of the Infinite Spark series is primarily about his character, but this post starts back before the first novel, Stellar Fusion. I hope you enjoy it!

See the original post here: Character Guest Post: Sergeant Jameson Bennett of E.L. Strife’s STELLAR FUSION

Welcome to Earth, 2901, where all humans, no matter of demographics, are equally valued members of society. The Three Hundred Year War, World War Five, nearly destroyed civilization. We crawled from the rubble and toxic land, leaving behind our prejudices, concerned only with survival.

Earth’s continents are no longer divided into countries, only topographical zones. There are no governments or kingdoms ruled by the few. Every vote is equal, every voice heard. There is peace.

But peace has a price.

The Three Hundred Year War created many orphans like those on my team, including myself. It continues to do so as people are exposed to the toxins in our natural resources. We have relocated most of our villages and are rebuilding our cities. But farms need clean acreage we struggle to find. The average lifespan fell in the early years after the war but continues to improve as we find better ways to manage what limited land remains.

Us orphans are taken in as children and trained to be shepherds of Earth’s single force of law: the Universal Protectors. UP is an organization that formed in the ashes of war. It is our duty to protect the people of this healing planet. The instigators of the war do not wish it to end. Their rebel forces, known as the Kronos Clan, must be stopped.

UP protects what is most precious: the life-spark—the beat of a heart.

Our system of discipline is simple. An individual will be punished in a manner relating to how they harm others. If an individual darkens an innocent’s spark—kills another person—then they are executed.

Few escape our Human Cataloging system. Every human is registered at birth and receives a tracking device that relays the location and basic functions of the owner. As expected, some do not agree with the H.Co. procedures, preferring freedom instead of safety and order.

It is human nature to want love, acceptance, and comfort. For some, power is their driving force, like Krage, the leader of Kronos. He’s as bloodthirsty as they come, using women and children as body shields when confronted by us. He likes his crews to poison their bullets. We’ve lost a lot of good soldiers to him.

Shepherds are forbidden from emotion, high levels of adrenaline, friendship. Our Command does not permit us to mate or have families. My comrades are the family I can’t talk about.
The jobs we do require our minds to be focused and unbiased. Command puts us on serum as children. It stunts our ability to feel, keeping us neutral in our opinions and strong in our fight.

I am the only one who resists. 

Command doesn’t know that my body requires a higher dose. Rio, the serum’s creator, is my Instructor and guiding shepherd. He keeps secrets for me so I may do what must be done. I am Command’s most effective guard. I am also the oldest recruit on record, signing on at seventeen.

My father was a member of the Shepherds United, the predecessor to UP. He died when I was young. My mother and little brother passed soon after in a house fire—a fire I ran through, chasing their cries for an hour without acquiring a single burn.

At eight, I knew I was different.

Not all of Earth is as wonderful as our impartial system makes it seem. I knew the locals would still find me different, so I ran, let them think I was dead like my family. Years, I was homeless. I begged, stole, fought in knock-pits, and lied to survive. All of my team grew up in similarly rough situations.

Sergeant Steven Cutter is our most calm and controlled team member. He entered the program at just five years old.

I know some of you have heard of mysterious occurrences around the planet: fire-eaters, rock-crawlers, people whose skin has taken on metallic or other inhuman tints, those who learn dozens of languages in a short time, and the increasing incidents of clairvoyance and rumored telepathy. I assure you, Universal Protectors are looking into these things. My Command has expressed their current belief is that they are mutations caused by the toxins in our resources. I disagree, but it is not my place to speak on that matter. I’m a Team Leader, not a member of Command.

We’re more concerned with the massive structure which appeared in Earth’s orbit only moments ago.  I’m receiving word it has unleashed hundreds of smaller vessels—and pillars like sky-scrapers that are landing on the planet.

They’re burrowing into the surface!

The ships are capturing people!

We have to return to base and gear up! Thank you all for attending! I recommend you hurry home, get comfy, and pick up a copy of Stellar Fusion to find out more about our new world and the threat unfolding in our galaxy.

Josie, rack up! I need you and Panton on the transport guns. Tanner and Cutter, find us a route back that avoids these alien vessels. We can’t draw attention to ourselves until Command approves us to engage!

Control has requested all available forces on Home Station. Stick to the shadows! Cloak the ship! We have minutes to pack before we punch out of Ocean Base Thirty-three. Let’s move!

Title: STELLAR FUSION
Author: E.L. Strife
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 330
Genre: Scifi/Fantasy
 

This isn’t the first invasion. This time, they’re taking everything… and everyone.

Earth, still patching itself together from the 300 Years War, is severely unprepared and outnumbered when the invasion hits. Their only hope is a small team of soldiers on a suicide mission to infiltrate the mothership and relay critical defense information home.

The last survivor of the first encounter can’t explain why she knows what she does. Sergeant Nakio Atana is the Universal Protectors’ elite assassin and holds within a spark of unimaginable power. But a daring escape from an enemy ship knocked the first fifteen years of her life into darkness, leaving her with only inexplicable apathy and technical knowledge beyond Earth’s evolution.

What she is can change their future.

Sergeant Bennett must guard her with his life.

Together, Atana and Bennett lead the team in hopes her knowledge, and his crew’s skills, will render them a soft spot in the alien armor. What they find when they reach the mothership is entirely unexpected. The truth they uncover will challenge the code they live by and their concepts of the power within.

PRAISE:
“Stellar Fusion is the work of a new aspiring writer with a penchant for exploring possibilities of future life for humankind. Good versus evil, loyalty, truth, integrity, and the power of strength, love, and hope are all masterfully interwoven into this inaugural novel by E.L. Strife. With the age-old theme of making the world a better place, Strife casts her characters in the spotlight as they embrace survival on the planet. Stellar Fusion offers readers an opportunity to look to the future and reflect on what is most important to ensure the happiness, success, and survival of the human race.”
-Amazon Customer

“Great book. Would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fast-paced sci-fi action with moments that slow to profoundly grab your heart and draw you into the characters’ lives. Looking forward to reading book 2 when it’s released.”
-Amazon Customer

Order Your Copy

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2PfzdP