Monday, October 23, 2017

Blog Tour: The Stark Divide by @jscoatsworth #interview #scifi

Date Published: 10/10/17
Publisher: DSP Publications

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Some stories are epic.

The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.

Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.

From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.

Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.

Book One of Liminal Sky


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

If anything, it’s the resilience of the human spirit and the line between human and AI that will inevitably be blurred over time. But I also played with theses of religion, forgiveness and redemption in “The Stark Divide.” While I’m not particularly religious myself, I am fascinated by the role religion plays in our society, for both good and ill, and I wonder how future religious folk will see technological advances, especially those that create new kinds of life. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Mostly just finding the time. My husband Mark and I have a full-time business, and I also run a number of other endeavors. So it can be a challenge to find the time to write on a consistent basis without feeling like I’m shortchanging something else.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

Five books now. One that was never published (though that story will eventually be written and will see the light of day in some form). Of the others, “Skythane” is published, and its sequel, “Lander,” will be out next spring. This book, “The Stark Divide,” is also the first book in a trilogy, and I just finished the first draft of book two, “The Rising Tide.”
If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

The Stark Divide is full of main characters. But actors I’d really like include Jared Leto, Andrew Garfield, and Elliot Fletcher, the transgender actor from “The Fosters.”

When did you begin writing?

I wrote my first story in fifth grade, and won an award from the University of Arizona for it. It was even self-illustrated in crayon! It was kind of a Jetsons take on the future. My first book was finished in 1994, but was roundly rejected by ten publishers. 

How long did it take to complete your first book?

 That first one took about seven years from start to finish. I kept going over and over it, and in the end probably worked the thing to death. The more recent ones have ranged from 5 months to 2 years.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

Oh yes, a number of them. Early on, it was Isaac Asimov and Anne McCaffrey – I especially loved McCaffrey’s Pern series for how it combines sci fi and fantasy. And her Crystal Singer trilogy is amazing and underrated.

More recently, Sheri Tepper captured my imagination, for how she wrote books that would leave me thinking for weeks after I finished them. And Peter F. Hamilton’s sci fi worlds are a thing of wonder for me.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Starting into a new story, when the horizon is wide open, and everything is fresh and new. 

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Epic – Generations – Liminal – AI.  

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

Sure. I am in the middle of two sci fi trilogies – my Oberon Cycle (Skythane, Lander, and Ithani). It’s a gay sci fi tale with a hint of romance, which will wrap up in the spring of 2019.

And Liminal Sky (The Stark Divide, The Rising Tide, and to be named book three) is my other one, a truly epic sci fi tale that spans decades at the end of the Earth and the start of mankind’s tenure as an interstellar race.

About the Author

Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Enticed into fantasy and sci fi by his mom at the tender age of nine, he devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library. But as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the books he was reading.

He decided that it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He loves to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

Starting in 2014, Scott has published more than 15 works, including two novels and a number of novellas and short stories.

He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own lives.

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