Chat With an Author

A Long Weekend with Linnea Sinclair: Interview and Giveaway

Linnea Sinclair is THE author in the growing genre that is Science Fiction Romance. After reading so many glowing reviews of her work across the blogosphere, we took the plunge and simultaneously dug into Gabriel’s Ghost…and we loved it!

After obsessively reading through Linnea’s backlist, a kindly extraterrestrial gifted us with an ARC for her upcoming new release, Shades of Dark…and Ana and I decided it was time to get this marvelous author to speak with us and share her words of wisdom!

And so, without further ado, we present to you our Chat with the marvelous Linnea Sinclair!

The Book Smugglers: First and foremost, thanks for taking the time to “chat” with us!

Linnea: The pleasure is all mine! Just bear with me as I have a brand new ergonomic keyboard—rather bizarre looking and it’s taking a bit of getting used to.

The Book Smugglers: Shades of Dark is your new book, set to hit the stores in July, and the sequel to Gabriel’s Ghost – the first sequel to any of your stories! Why did you decide to keep writing Sully and Chaz (not that we are complaining of course)?

Linnea: Shades of Dark, which was originally titled Chasidah’s Choice, was written several years ago right after I finished Gabriel’s Ghost. I’d always intended for Sully and Chaz’s story to continue but it wasn’t until after Bantam bought the book and Gabriel’s won the RITA that there was any interest in the continuation of the story. I’d long ago envisioned doing what I called The Dock Five Series (Dock Five being that delightfully disreputable space station in Gabriel’s Ghost) and I hope to be able to at least do part of that with my 2009 release, Hope’s Folly, which will continue with the Gabriel’s universe though not through the eyes of Chaz Bergren.

I think there’s a lot going on in Chaz’s backyard, so to speak, and I know there are more exciting stories to tell. Shades peels back the layers on several familiar characters and introduces some new characters and, as usual for a Linnea Sinclair adventure, every situation and problem is not wrapped up all nice and pretty. (Real life doesn’t happen that way so why should books?) I always enjoy having reasons to go and see what my old friends are up to.

The Book Smugglers: The name of the book is rather appropriate too: it is, in our opinion your darkest story to date. Up until now, we could consider your stories pure fun, and entertaining. But Shades of Dark deals with some disturbing aspects of Sully’s personality and it ends in a rather dark place; even though Sully and Chaz are still together, there are still much to be discussed between then, especially about Sully’s actions in the end. Why did you decide to take things in that direction?

Linnea: My editor, Anne Groell, helped with the name. As I said, it was originally and for years Chasidah’s Choice but Anne didn’t like that when it came time to finalize the cover and she asked for alternates. Shades of Dark was just one of several ideas I simply threw out there, freewriting, if you will. It worked for Anne and the more I thought about it, it worked for me and the book. Which, at that point, wasn’t even halfway written. That’s not unusual for me, though. Very often I have a title before the book is at the halfway point, and in the case of The Down Home Zombie Blues, I had the title within the first few paragraphs.

The book has some dark elements but I’d always known that. Gabriel’s does, too and since this is the continuation, there’s a natural progression of the story and of the tone. Sully—without getting into spoilers—has a lot to learn and karmically has to deal with the consequences of his decisions.

Sully is perpetually caught between doing the right thing for the wrong reasons and the wrong thing for the right reasons. He really is an extremely good person at heart but he gets his fanny caught in bear traps with increasing frequency. And the stakes simply become larger. Shades of Dark is one example of that. To “lighten” the outcome or reduce the impact of the decisions Sully makes would, to me, not to true to the character or the story. And I think ultimately the savvy reader would have sensed that.

The essence of a novel is conflict ::bows to noted SF author Jacqueline Lichtenberg:: and character growth is spurred by conflict. Sully has bucketfuls of conflict. He’s growing. He’s an extraordinary person and to lighten his load and stunt his growth would be short-changing him and his potential. It would also do a disservice to Chaz. She’s a guiding light here and her purpose in his life—beyond the love and romance aspect—is to act as his balance. That’s seen most clearly in the scene just after Sully confronts and interviews Gregor, and Chaz is there. Again, I won’t get into spoilers because the book’s not out but for reviewers and bloggers who’ve read it, you likely know the scene I mean. Chaz learns and realizes—even more than she did on Marker—just who and what Sully is. And that the good comes with the bad and vice-versa. She also has very hard decisions. That’s why that scene is pivotal and why the book takes the tone it does.

The Book Smugglers: It took you 34 days to write Gabriel’s Ghost; how long did it take you to write Shades of Dark?

Linnea: Different times, different world. I wrote GG in 2000 and at that time was only small press published with no serious contractual pressures. I was younger, thinner and definitely not menopausal. As some of you know, 2007 was a year in which I was hit by a car and a few months later my father died. It was an eventful and stressful year and, as we’re still caring for my elderly mother, things have not substantially un-stressed. And the car accident and resulting shoulder and arm injuries are why I just today bought one of those wacky ergonomic keyboards and likely will buy that No-Stress mouse. Suffice it to say I’ve lost feeling from my right ear to my right wrist, and the good days are becoming less, and the painful days more.

Oh, and did I add the arthritis deforming my hands?

I’m a trip, no? And you all wonder (well, no, you don’t) why you all always find me at the bar at writer cons, sucking down gin and tonics. With two limes, please. It’s the Vitamin C.

At any rate, SHADES took me a lot longer to write. I just checked my document files and it looks as if I began really writing it (not just playing with plot lines or world building) around late July 2007 and sent the final manuscript to my editor just before the Christmas holidays in December 2007. Keep in mind at that time ZOMBIE was hitting the shelves so I was also hip deep in promo on that book at that time.

Nope, not thirty four days. I doubt I’ll ever see that luxury again. But I remember it and it was exhilarating.

The Book Smugglers: The next book in this same universe is called Hope’s Folly and the protagonist is Philip, Chaz’s ex-husband. Can you tell us a bit more about the book? Will Chaz and Sully make an appearance or do you intend to carry on with their story in a fourth book *big, pleading eyes* ?

Linnea: Hope’s Folly is still in progress but as of right now, I don’t see Chaz and Sully having a huge physical presence in the book though their presence is very much felt. The semi-official back cover/promo blurb is:


It’s an impossible mission on a derelict ship called HOPE’S FOLLY. A man who feels he can’t love. A woman who believes she’s unlovable. And an enemy who will stop at nothing to crush them both.

Admiral Philip Guthrie is in an unprecedented position: on the wrong end of the law, leading a rag-tag band of rebels against the oppressive Imperial forces. Or would be, if he can reach his command ship—the intriguingly named Hope’s Folly—alive. Not much can rattle Philip’s legendary cool—but the woman who helps him foil an assassination attempt on Kirro Station will. She’s the daughter of his best friend and first commander—a man who died while under Philip’s command, and whose death is on Philip’s conscience.

Rya Bennton has been in love with Philip Guthrie since she was a girl. But can her childhood fantasies survive an encounter with the hardened man, and newly-minted rebel leader, who it seems has just become her new commanding officer? And will she still be willing follow him through the jaw of hell once she learns the truth about her father’s death?

I absolutely fell in love with Philip while writing Shades. Moreso than Sully? Umm, can’t, shouldn’t answer that. They’re two different kinds of heroes. Sully grips my heart. Philip makes me melt. Philip, like Admiral “Mack” Makarian in An Accidental Goddess and Theo in Zombie Blues, is a good-guy kind of hero. One I think it substantially lacking in paranormal and SF romances. The tortured hellion, the reformed rake, we have dozens of those in romance. But the “Boy Scout” who’s kept his nose clean and been honourable and upright, and yet had his heart trashed, we don’t have a plethora of those. I wasn’t sure I’d write another one after Mack but then came Theo and now here’s Philip. That’s not to say these good boys aren’t capable of kicking serious ass or being nastily devious when need be. It’s that their basic influences are different than the usual Alpha Bad Boys (which I also love).

Philip, who is long used to being in command, is going to get seriously emotionally broadsided in Hope’s Folly. That’s the really fun part. I think the bad boys are used to looking for someone trying to pull the rug out from under them. The good guys, they’re so naive and unsuspecting. It’s just a joy to spend time with Philip and Rya. Theirs is a May-December romance, by the way.

For those not interested in the romance aspect, Folly is going to be an intense action-packed novel of the good guys trying to do right in spite of impossible odds. You have an underfunded rag-tag space fleet trying to come to grips with an impending major invasion. “Flying by the seat of your pants” will be the norm here. There will also be lots of tense, interpersonal “workplace” politics and some unsuspected treachery. I think the book will work well on both the romance and SF levels.

And, oh, there’s a cat in Hope’s Folly. I made the cat a male but he’s based on my cat, Fat Tammy the Slut, who was a whopping 20+ pounder with an equally as large attitude. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge (kicking serious ass as she did so) at the age of twenty-three a few years ago. She was quite a feline.

The Book Smugglers: After our review of Gabriel’s Ghost, you mentioned that in your first version, you killed Ren! Are there any other characters that you have granted a reprieve?

Linnea: To date, no, but quite a few have surprised me by their appearance in the book or by a role larger than I thought they’d have. Philip (Gabriel’s Ghost) Guthrie is the first that comes to mind in that. I had no clue Chaz had an ex-husband (minor spoiler to those who’ve not read GG) nor the larger role he’d play. And Kip’s role and reaction to Jorie in The Down Home Zombie Blues was larger than I’d anticipated.

Games of Command I’ve been writing or messing around with for so many years that it was more of a matter of just letting the characters out on the playing field. Speaking of dark, the original “book 2” which comprised the latter part of GOC had a very dark element. That was nixed by my agent and my editor.

The Book Smugglers: You have been a journalist and a Private Detective, but now are a bestselling, groundbreaking author in the fast growing science fiction romance genre. What made you change career paths and decide to become a writer?

Linnea: Wow, thanks for the bestselling! I don’t know if I’m quite there yet but we’re trying. Groundbreaking, well, that requires a nod to authors Susan Grant, Robin D. Owens, Jacqueline Lichtenberg and a few others.

I never really changed career paths. I’ve always written and much of what comprises my stories is the same as the Trek fan fic I wrote almost thirty years ago. I hammered out my first completed novel—Wintertide—when I was in my late 20s, and used a standard non-electric typewriter. But before that I wrote several “action adventure space opera romance” novels and novellas—none finished—but one became Finders Keepers (RITA award finalist). I wrote stories all through high school. The earliest story I remember writing was Le Petite Chat, about a little girl and her cat on a tropical island. I wrote it when I was about four.

The Book Smugglers: We have read, reviewed and loved Gabriel’s Ghost, Shades of Dark, An Accidental Goddess and The Down Home Zombie Blues here at The Book Smugglers. Part of the reason are the wonderful strong heroes and heroines you create. If you had to pick one character, who is your ‘favorite’? (yes we are eeeevil like that!)

Linnea: Very eeevil. For guys it would be a toss up between Sully, Kel-Paten and Philip Guthrie. For gals it would be Sass, no question. We won’t go into why. Oh best overall favourite would be Tank the Furzel. Daq cat made me say so.

The Book Smugglers: What is your usual writing process like? Can you describe a day at work for us?

Linnea: My days at works lately have been anything but normal. We just built a summer cottage on a golf course in Ohio, which is where I’m sitting now. My usual abode is in Naples, FL. My general productive writing day (haven’t had many of those lately) would start around 10AM, going through emails and attending to the business end of writing, because at that part of the day the husband is home and if he’s home I can’t do the creative part of writing (because it’s hard to concentrate on character and such when the husband is asking, Honey, where’s my green golf shirt?). Once he leaves, if there’s no pressing business (and don’t think for a minute that an author doesn’t have a goodly amount of business), I’ll go over the previous days’ work and try to pick up where I left off or play with some advance plotting. My very best times to write are at night, from about 10pm to 3am. But life—and the husband—don’t always permit that.

When it’s crunch time, and it always comes to that, then I just barricade myself in my office and warn the husband to enter at his own peril. I’ll basically write non-stop for several days. The last four or six chapters of Games of Command were written in about three days straight, no sleep. Just caffeine. Honest. That’s the way it often goes.

I need to get back into some kind of writing routine but since early 2007, life has been throwing curveballs at me.

The Book Smugglers: You’ve mentioned that you subscribe to certain writing techniques, in particular Dwight V Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer and to Jack Bickham. How much of an impact do these techniques have on your writing? Would you recommend any certain techniques/teachings to new/aspiring writers?

Linnea: Swain’s Techniques had a huge impact on my writing. It made me focus on the engine of the novel, the reason people read. Swain says “readers read to experience tension” which is another way of saying what Jacqueline Lichtenberg does, “Conflict is the essence of story.” Swain also teaches “it’s the author’s job to manipulate the emotions of the reader.”

When you combine all those, you get a strong sense of the impact of your words, your characters, your plot, you setting. I’d never quite considered that element before—I’d always enjoyed reading and very much enjoyed creating stories for my own amusement but I’d never sat down and really focused on WHY certain scenes of my stories, or of those I read, really grabbed me.

That defined it and when I defined it, I knew I could utilize it. It’s like suddenly realizing the reason the coffee is nicely sweet is because someone added spoonfuls of sugar. So when you want sweet, you add sugar. Deceptively simple but if you’d never known WHY before, the concept can be elusive.

I recommend Swain in all the classes and workshops I teach, both online and at national conventions. From Swain, go to Bickham, Browne & King (Self Editing For Fiction Writers) and Dixon. I have a nice list of helpful books on my website in Writing Tips.

The Book Smugglers: Could you share with us the story of how your first novel got published?

Linnea: There are actually two stories: the story of my first small press sale and the story of my getting an agent who would then sell my books to a major NY publisher. The first happened strictly through submitting to small press houses that indicated they were open to submissions. Nothing glamorous in the recounting. I subbed Wintertide to several—I don’t even remember who anymore, and LTDBooks of Canada contacted me with an offer about two weeks later.

The NY story is better. I’d been small press published for about four years and was sitting in the bar (fancy that) at a Romantic Times BOOKlover’s Convention with Robin D. Owens. Robin asked who my agent was, I said I didn’t have one, Robin whipped out her cell phone and left a message for her agent (Deidre Knight) to look at my stuff. I sent my stuff to Deidre when I got home, Deidre loved it but wasn’t acquiring BUT recommended an agent friend who was (Kristin Nelson). I sent it to Kristin with Deidre’s recommendation, Kristin read it, offered a contract and about four months later we had an offer and contract from Bantam. That was nothing short of miraculous.

The Book Smugglers: Katie(babs) (Ramblings on Romance) in a recent post brought to our attention an article from the Boston Globe about how writers suffer the pressure to publish at least one book per year. Do you feel this kind of pressure from your publishers? If so, how do you respond to that?

Linnea: The pressure in commercial genre fiction, especially romance, is to produce at LEAST three books a year if not more. Most authors I know, including Susan Grant and Robin Owens, are churning out three or more. And Susan flies 747s trans-Pacific for a major airline.

My first two contracts with Bantam were three book contracts. My agent and I bumped this last contract down to two books because quite honestly my health is suffering. I feel terribly guilty about doing only two, yes.

There is a real pressure to keep the pipeline filled, to keep your name out in front of fans. It’s part of the job. Part of it, yes, is competition. If you don’t have a book to fill that slot, the publisher will find someone who does. But it’s not so much that the publisher will drop you, as you fear fans will forget you. You have to keep the “buzz” going.

Eons ago I used to dream of basking in the glory of the day your book is release. The reality is that the days my books are released I’m usually up to my patootie in writing and late on deadline, and am barely aware that my next book is now on the shelves.

The Book Smugglers: As Science Fiction Romance is a genre still in its early stages (but is gaining more and more of a readership each day), could you share some of your influences as to why you chose to write in this genre?

Linnea: My biggest influence—no secret, that—is CJ Cherryh. While Cherryh doesn’t pen romance per se, she does pen phenomenal alien cultures and action adventure and space opera and there is, at times, a strong relationship subplot (Bren Cameron and Jago in her Foreigner series). Why I chose to write SFR is that for as much as I adore Cherryh’s SF—and I do, hands down—I missed the relationship parts. I love an HEA. I require an HEA and I found myself writing the “missing scenes” of SF books I read.

So then I decided to just go ahead and write the whole damned book.

The Book Smugglers: What are you reading right now? (And edits/revisions don’t count!)

Linnea: Let’s see, today it was a list of things I needed from Home Depot, including a lamp finial. My past two weeks, since we closed on the cottage, has been a series of lists from light bulbs to finials to curtain rods to towels to wine. Can’t forget the wine. I do have two of Marianne de Pierres books here with me in Ohio but by the time night rolls around, I’ve been too exhausted to read. My TBR pile also holds Sherrilyn Kenyon, Bonnie Vanak and Laurie R King. But I have to finish writing Hope’s Folly first.

I did have the pleasure of reading Susan Grant’s Moonstruck in its final phase as a beta reader for her, and it’s one helluva terrific book. I also beta-read Lisa Shearin’s Magic Lost series and that’s another set of books I can fully recommend.

One of the downsides of being an author is that reading for pleasure is a busman’s holiday—you just don’t get that much of a chance to do so. The upside is that you get to beta-read for some of the best in the business. That’s the real fun part.

Daq cat just sat down in front of the computer monitor. It’s time for mommy to get some sleep, he says…

Winner of the prestigious national book award, the RITA, science fiction romance author Linnea Sinclair has become a name synonymous for high-action, emotionally intense, character-driven novels. Reviewers note that Sinclair’s novels “have the wow-factor in spades,” earning her accolades from both the science fiction and romance communities. Sinclair’s current releases are GAMES OF COMMAND (PEARL Award winner and RITA finalist) and THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES (PEARL Award Honorable Mention), with SHADES OF DARK on the shelves in late July 2008.

A former news reporter and retired private detective, Sinclair resides in Naples, Florida (winters) and Columbus, Ohio (summers) along with her husband, Robert Bernadino, and their two thoroughly spoiled cats. Readers can find her perched on the third barstool from the left in her Intergalactic Bar and Grille at

The Book Smugglers would like to thank Linnea for taking the time to chat with us!

And in closing of our Long Weekend with Linnea Sinclair, we have ONE copy of Shades of Dark to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment by Saturday midnight! We will announce the lucky winners on Sunday. Good Luck!

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  • Kristie (J)
    June 28, 2008 at 3:17 am

    What a great interview!!
    Linnea – if you are answering more questions – do you have any plans in the future to write and further tales about the hero/heroine of Games of Command?
    And another question if it’s OK
    Do you see SciFi Romance taking off as a genre? I’ve been reading it’s predecessor – Futuristics for years and loving them. But then they seemed to almost disappear for a while. You could still find them, but not they way you used to be able to. But I don’t know if it’s just me being optimistic, but they seem to be coming back again.

  • Heather
    June 28, 2008 at 5:39 am

    I agree, that was a fun, informative interview. Thanks to all involved who made it possible.

    I’d like to comment on Kristie’s, uh, comment. I think one reason SciFi Romance is on the radar again is attributable in large part to the efforts of authors Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant, and Rowena Cherry, among others. Their promotional work on behalf of the genre has been nothing short of amazing over the past several years. Then there are the fans, who have stuck with it through thick and thin.

    I also think there’s a distinct flavor spicing the current crop of science fiction romances—darker, grittier, and with a greater emphasis on external plot & worldbuilding. Futuristics have their appeal, but like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, they’ve undergone a metamorphosis.

    I must admit surprise, Linnea, upon hearing that your agent and editor nixed darker elements for GOC. Imho, SFR readers want darker and more intense stories. They don’t all have to be that way, but the response has been pretty consistent about what *is* available (Eve Kenin’s DRIVEN is a good example of that. Especially since reading it kept me up way past bedtime last night).

    >For those not interested in the romance aspect, Folly is going to be an intense action-packed novel of the good guys trying to do right in spite of impossible odds.

    If anyone can convert those readers into enjoying the romance aspect, you can.

    Finally, I just want to applaud the telling of a “Boy Scout” hero—it’s a refreshing change and I like to see how authors layer these characters. I agree that “good guy hero” does *not* equal bland.

  • Patty Vasquez
    June 28, 2008 at 6:52 am

    I agree with Heather. While I adore Sully, and my heart breaks for the challenges he and Chaz have to deal with, it is refreshing to have a hero to go through a book with who doesn’t require so much emotional energy. It’s exhausting to read several books in a row with a dark, tortured hero. Last summer I read a book with a “Boy Scout” hero and I passed the book on to my mom with the comment that she would really like the hero in the book because he was totally a good guy- not dark in any way. I liked that character so much, I ultimately named a puppy after him. I couldn’t get my family to agree to Kel-Paten or Sully! LOL Interestingly, my mom’s favorite book of Linnea’s is Down Home Zombie Blues. She enjoyed the fun of the story and again, good-guy Theo. I’m looking forward to both Shades and Hope’s Folly- I can’t say enough about Linnea’s books!

  • Carolyn Jean
    June 28, 2008 at 6:55 am

    This was just a wonderful interview! Thanks, Linnea, for all your thoughtful answers and helpful insights into the business of writing. I loved Gabriel’s Ghost (as well as Games!) and I can’t wait to read Shades!

    What’s more, I don’t think people will forget about you if you **only** write two books a year! You have given us some truly memorable books.

  • Katie(babs)
    June 28, 2008 at 8:38 am

    I have to admit I couldn’t stand Philip in GG because I thought of him as the evil ex. But in Shades of Dark, I really enjoyed Philip and how he fought beside both Chaz and Sully. He became a worthy hero in my eyes. 😀
    Sorry, Sully is still my number one man, even over Philip.

  • Linnea Sinclair
    June 28, 2008 at 8:51 am

    **do you have any plans in the future to write and further tales about the hero/heroine of Games of Command?
    Bantam hasn’t expressed any interest in a sequel. I’ve offered to write one, they said that wasn’t topping their list of things they want me to do.

    **Do you see SciFi Romance taking off as a genre? I’ve been reading it’s predecessor – Futuristics for years and loving them. But then they seemed to almost disappear for a while. You could still find them, but not they way you used to be able to. But I don’t know if it’s just me being optimistic, but they seem to be coming back again.

    There is a difference IMHO and IMHE between futuristics and SFR. Some readers like both, some like only one or the other. I PREFER SFR for the most part because some of the futuristics I’ve read didn’t satisfy me in terms of the grittiness of the female protagonist or in the depth of world building. But that’s me. Some romance readers find SFR to kick-butt or too tech-y. I think it’s great there are flavors for everyone.

    Given all that, though, it’s hard to say if it’s taking off again or if SFR is a new breed now getting some attention. Heather commented on that and I concur.

    I think much of the acceptance (and it is that) of SFR is due to movies like Matrix and shows like Firefly and the new Battlestar Galactica. Women are cast in more powerful roles than they were in the SF and action shows of the 1980s or earlier. I grew up watching the ORIGINAL Star Trek and remember the ORIGINAL Lost In Space, where women–for the most part–were decorative.

    Because we’re a society influenced by the visual media, the emergence of strong female main characters in movies and TV has lent itself–IMHO–to the interest in characters like Chaz Bergren, Admiral Brit Bandar and Sirantha Jax. Reader don’t find those characters unusual because they’re already seen them on TV.


  • Katie(babs)
    June 28, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I cannot believe Bantam wouldn’t want a sequel! Have they no taste??

  • Donna
    June 28, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Can’t wait for Shades, Linnea! I adore your writing and you inspire me beyond words.


  • Thea
    June 28, 2008 at 9:39 am

    A big thank you again to Linnea for chatting with us, and for everyone stopping by 🙂

    Re: SF Romance as a genre–you know, I had no idea before about how important genre ‘branding’ (so to speak) is. I feel that many SF/Horror/Fantasy books (and movies and tv shows) do have romantic elements–heck, Captain Kirk got the girl in practically every episode! Extending this prospect to a more prominant romantic storyline, seems like a natural progression. IMO of course!

    Heather: I also think there’s a distinct flavor spicing the current crop of science fiction romances—darker, grittier, and with a greater emphasis on external plot & worldbuilding.
    Oh yes, I agree. And SHADES is a fine example of this. And I like it!

    Katie–nice avi 😉

    Linnea 🙂 Just have to say…I love C.J. Cherryh too–Cyteen is one of my faves.

    As to female characters in the genre, I am loving the stronger female characters that are showing up the boys–in both books, and in movies/shows. Characters like Chaz (or Starbuck, or Pres. Rosalin, or Six for that matter) are a welcome change from the arm candy roles they used to have.

  • M.
    June 28, 2008 at 9:58 am

    ‘GG was written in 34 days…’
    That makes it sound like maybe it was the product of NaNoWriMo?

    I am exhausted at the thought of pressure to produce ‘…at least 3 books per year’. No only is that tiring for the poor author, but as a reader, I’m finding it very difficult to keep up with everyone. Would be kind of nice if everyone could calm down a little.

    And: so sorry to hear of your health difficulties. I spent time changing office chairs, keyboards, wrist guards, etc. etc. and continued having problems until my husband the chiropractor came to my place of employment and did a full analysis of the biomechanics of the whole situation, looking at height/angle of monitor, distance from screen, etc. etc., and literally from one day to the next all problems disappeared. All the components had to be integrated properly to work together.

  • Frances
    June 28, 2008 at 10:10 am


    What a wonderful interview. Thanks to both you and Linnea. I have really been looking forward to reading SD.


    Writing Science Fiction Romance
    Real Love in a Real Future

  • kmont
    June 28, 2008 at 10:28 am

    This is not for the giveaway, I’ve already got the ARC too, but just had to say what a wonderful interview that was, ladies!

    Linnea, if you’re reading the comments still, thank you for sharing your stories with us, both the fictional and real.

  • Heather
    June 28, 2008 at 10:36 am

    >Pres. Rosalin

    Oh, don’t get me started on President Rosalin because she is *hawt*!

  • Thea
    June 28, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Frances, thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed our interview! Now Ana and I have another SFR author to add to the TBR list 😉

    Kmont, ooh can’t wait to see what you think of SHADES!

    Heather–dude, I have the hugest girl crush on Rosalin. And Six…and Sharon…and Kara…and…

    Well, you get the picture! Oh BSG…I’m having serious withdrawal problems already.

  • Patty Vasquez
    June 28, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Another important factor in the emergence of the strong female character is that many women see themselves in the characters. Women are in the military or in positions of authority or decision-making. We can relate to the language of rank or dealing with competition for promotion with men as Jorie did in DHZB.

  • Linnea Sinclair
    June 28, 2008 at 11:44 am

    **Katie(babs) said…
    I cannot believe Bantam wouldn’t want a sequel! Have they no taste??

    In Bantam’s defense (and I lurve me my editor big time!), they always say “write whatever you want.” But it always sounds more to me like the exchanges one has with one’s signficant other at times: “Where do you want to go for dinner?” “Oh, I don’t know, where do you want to go?” “Whereever you want to go…”

    Yunno what I mean? So when my agent and I were doing the latest deal with Bantam and HOPE’S FOLLY was the lead book and they said, what do you want to do for the other book in the deal, and I said, well I could follow up with Sass and Kel-Paten, they said something like well, okay, sure but we’d really like another story set in the Gabriel’s Ghost universe…but you write what you want.

    I guess I’m not secure enough in my authordom to state I’M WRITINGN THIS, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT! 😉 So when they say We’d really you’d rather… I tend to rather.

    A bit also depends on how GAMES does in the RITA awards next month. The fact that it finaled is a big deal (to me). I need to see its reception at RWA National and listen to some of the reactions at the Literacy Signing and such. If I hear a lot of positives then that boosts my stand a bit more.

    **M. said…
    ‘GG was written in 34 days…’
    That makes it sound like maybe it was the product of NaNoWriMo?

    I am exhausted at the thought of pressure to produce ‘…at least 3 books per year’. No only is that tiring for the poor author, but as a reader, I’m finding it very difficult to keep up with everyone. Would be kind of nice if everyone could calm down a little.

    Didn’t even know what a NANOWRIMO was back then so nope, GABRIEL’S had nothing to do with that at all.

    As for writing pressure, I just did an interview with AAR’s Laurie Gold this morning on that subject. Much of the pressure for ME is my own. I WANT to write. But it’s really an individual call as to how many books an author can produce over what time period COMFORTABLY. There’s no perfect number, there’s only a number that’s perfect for YOU. We all write differently and we all have different family and career issues.

    Of course, a publisher would love an author to continually feed the pipeline, as I mentioned. It’s easier for them and marketing and such. Continuity. It makes good business sense.

    The trick is finding a balance between necessary productivity and available time.

    Most readers I talk to want more books, NOW. I think that also depends if they read predominantly one genre or multiple genres. The latter will always have more books to “feed the addiction.”

    Readers read at different paces just like writers write at different paces.

    I’m just thankful for computers, cut n paste, the Internet and emails. I can’t imagine hammering out three books a year on a TYPEWRITER. That would be exhausting. 😉

    ~Linnea, who will be on the road EARLY and all day tomorrow, heading back to FL for a month… so get your Qs in now or wait until after Tuesday. 😉

    THANK YOU ALL for your kind comments and continued support!

  • Laurie
    June 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks for a very insightful interview and follow-up comments. I’m another fan who’s read almost all of Linnea Sinclair’s books (and dispairs that no GOC sequel is in the works…yet!)

    I’m looking forward to SHADES OF DARK, and the darker elements promised in the GG sequel. I didn’t realize HOPE’S FOLLY would take place in the same universe. That’s exciting.

    As a SFR writer, I’d also like to say thanks for giving “airtime” to a great SFR novel. Like others, I believe this is an up and coming trend.

  • Kristie (J)
    June 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Linnea: well – they aren’t saying no. I don’t mind waiting for a sequel to GoC if you have lots of story ideas in the GG galaxy *g*. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you at the RITA’s. I was delighted when I saw that Games of Command was one of the nominees.

    And I agree that the heroines in todays SciFiRomance are grittier and not as helpless as their predecessors. And I love that about them too.

  • Katie(babs)
    June 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    OMG A sequel with Sass and Kel?!?!
    *gets down on knees and prays for one*
    Yes, I get excited very easily. 😀

  • Angiegirl
    June 28, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    What a great interview! Please enter me in the drawing. Meanwhile, I’ll just be over here, eyes glazed, dreaming of a sequel with Sass and Kel…

  • Heather
    June 28, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    I, too, would love to see another tale involving Kel-Paten. Also, a movie.

  • Robyn
    June 28, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Great interview. I cannot wait for Shades of Dark!

  • Kerry
    June 28, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Wonderful interview and thank you so much, Linnea, for taking the time to answer the follow up questions as well.

    I suspect I’m running too late (been out of town for a bit over 24 hours to a wedding) for this question, but how much did you have to do in the way of changes for the originally small press published books before Bantam put them into print?

    And I hope I’m not too late for the drawing (it’s Sunday afternoon now here in New Zealand) as I would really like to get my hands on Shades of Dark.

  • Donna
    June 29, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Who won the Shades ARC??????????

    (waiting breathlessly since yesterday!)


  • Ana
    June 29, 2008 at 4:13 am

    Hi Donna! Sorry, but it was Angieville – we announced it today:

    You can still win one copy over at the blog Jace Scribbles (closing date July 5th):

  • Donna
    June 29, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Ohhhh thanks! I don’t know how I missed that. Sorry!

    Congrats Angieville!


  • Gannon Carr
    June 29, 2008 at 8:51 am

    Great interview, Linnea. I met you at Celebrate Romance earlier this year and had a great time there. You are a hoot, and I look forward to reading more of your books.

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