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Interview with Notch Publishing

Back in February, I was contacted by Notch Publishing to do a short interview. I really enjoy introspecting my journey and what got me here, and the interview got me thinking about my early influences. I'm re-publishing the bulk of the interview below, but you can also view the original here. Note: I bought a new copy of Shadow Castle after writing this and read it to my daughter. She loves it.


1. An important book you remember from your childhood and why?

There are a lot of books I remember from my youth, but the one I read first was the Bible. Everyone said to start at the New Testament, but I thought that was crazy, you have to start at the beginning of the book! If you skip the Numbers and Leviticus, the first 20 books or so in the Bible read like a fantasy novel. That was my first foray into the world of kings, gods, armies, betrayal, war, lust, and even poetry.

Then, a few years later my mother mentioned that she really enjoyed this book called Shadow Castle when she was a little girl. I found it on her book shelf, and read it. It was then that I made the connection that the type of story that I had read in the Bible (several times by that point) was something I could get over and over and over again.

Once I stumbled upon Narnia, that was it, I was hooked. Reading and escaping into stories became one of my first loves in life.


2. what do you love the most about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is that I get to help continue the grand adventure that all tales tell. I put my own spin on it, but by and large writers are all weaving a tapestry of human expression. I know that as readers read my tales, they’ll take a little bit with them to the next story they read, and they, and their future reading experience will be all the richer for it.

I also like to think about the future; what will we achieve? What great wonders will our descendants create and see? How will the fabric of society hold together as we advance—or will fall? What if we overcome all the petty things that drive us now, what will our future hold?

That, inevitably, led me to Science Fiction, where my current writing is all centered.

The ‘verse I have created is called Aeon 14. I named it this because one of the key tenants is that it takes 14 billion years for complex life to evolve in the universe (an aeon is a billion years in astronomy, and we are in our universe’s 14th). In Aeon 14, humanity is at the leading edge of life in the Milky Way galaxy, so far, alone amongst the stars.

But not really alone. We have brought with us our sentient creations, artificial intelligences. Much of Aeon 14 is set in this world where humanity and our creations are trying to find balance.

Set against this backdrop is the struggle surrounding one ship, and more specifically a woman on this ship named Tanis, who is trying to leave her past behind, while she and the AI in her mind are slowly becoming something greater than the sum of their parts.

My first series of 4 books, The Intrepid Saga, follows Tanis on her journey to a new colony world aboard the Intrepid. The next series is entitled The Orion War and deals with the consequences surrounding some advanced technology that the scientist aboard the Intrepid devised.

The first book in the next series will be out on April 2nd, and is entitled New Canaan. It follows the establishment of the colony world, and some of the problems they run into with some of their neighbors, and leads to a conflict that will spread war across all the human worlds.

All told, the Aeon 14 universe will end up containing a couple dozen books as I plan to explore different time periods and segments of the conflicts that occur. I’m incredibly lucky in that not only is it my passion project, but it’s one that a lot of readers are really excited to get into.


3. What will your next book be about?

(He didn’t quite tell us, but this will give you an idea)

If any readers who made it this far like strong heroines, a fantastical future for humanity that is still grounded in good, hard science and a bit of sex, starships, and space battles thrown in, then this is just the kind of read for you.

Note, Shadow Castle is still available!

Recent Releases

Book Number: 

Aberrant Ascension

This novel takes place after War on A Thouand Fronts in the Orion War series, and is a crossover with Andrew Dobell's Star Magi books.

Book Number: 

A Fire Upon the Worlds

With the Jovians rushing to take Ceres, the Terrans must move to either destroy the AIs first, or perhaps work out a way to protect them.

Whichever action the Terrans take, Cara and Lyssa are rushing to collide at the world which the AIs destroyed and seized decades earlier, neither quite sure which side they are on.

Book Number: 

Scions of Humanity

The Orion War is over and new peace is spreading...

It will take centuries for the legacy of the prior conflict to fade away, conflicts spurred on by diasporas and resource restrictions that will ripple through the Perseus, Orion, and Sagittarius arms of the galaxy.

Yet in the wake of those final battles comes a reprieve, a new peace maintained by the knowledge that total war is too devastating to even contemplate, that the weapons employed--should they come into common use--would lay waste to the galaxy.

Book Number: 

Rika Destroyer

If the Nietzscheans want war…

…then Rika will bring it to their doorstep.

With the enemy embarking on a scorched earth withdrawal, Rika has few choices available. Either she spreads her Marauders out to protect the Genevian worlds, or she strikes at the enemy’s heart when they least expect it.

Book Number: 

By the Empress's Command

Diana has asked the impossible, but Petra has given her life to the empress, and must obey.

Book Number: 

A Trial and the Tribulations

Following in their footsteps from Virginis, the crew of Sabrina finds themselves in a bit of a pickle...

Book Number: 

Consort of the Scorpion Empress

With Petra and Diana's relationship on the mend, the pair travels to Spica, determined to strike at the Hegemony before Uriel sends her fleets against the Scipian Empire.

Book Number: 

Return to Sol: Star Rise

The final novel in the Orion War series, Return To Sol: Star Rise sees the I2 and her crew return to where it all began...

Join in the final action to see how it's all going to end. You're not going to want to miss this epic conclusion!

Marauder's Compass

Jax and the crew of the Lightning Runner have narrowly escaped Sinclair and her DSA fleet, but their troubles are far from over.

The flight from Iydra Station has depleted their antimatter reserves. Without resupply, they’ll have limited options should they run into trouble again—which they fully intend to do. With numerous parties hunting for their ship, Jax must choose their haven carefully.

Book Number: 

Return to Kapteyn's Star

Tangel has decided the time is ripe for the ISF to strike out against the Hegemony. Given its significance, there is no better place to start than Kapteyn's Star. With the Lantzer repaired, she gives the mission to Jessica and Sera. It should be a walk in the park....

Book Number: 

The Hyperion War

The Scattered Disk Alliance has fractured, but with that has come the knowledge of who is really behind the Sol Dissolution.

Now all eyes turn to Jove as the war that will come to Sol takes hold there.

Book Number: 

Blight Upon the Stars

A 1980s inspired SF Action romp filled with adventure, intrigue, and betrayal.

Claire Johnson has ushered in a new era for her planet and thrown her own life under the spotlight of the world. The internet, cell phones, and advanced spaceship technology. Paired with the AI Annabelle, Claire works to track down new technology before it's stolen by greedy corporations and rich millionaires.

Maelstrom Reach

When refuge becomes yet another mission....

The operation aboard the Daedalus was a success, but the aftermath threatens to undo everything the Jax and his team have achieved.   

Separated from his ship, he is forced to work with Penny, the agent of a notorious black-market arms dealer. Their lifeboat has taken serious damage, and the only way they can survive the maelstrom is to journey to its center.   

Book Number: 

Rogue Planets

After near disaster at the Disknee World, the Delta team is off to a pair of rogue planets to save a world of ski resorts from vampires...or maybe it's the other way around.

The Daedalus Job

Jax Bremen is an outlaw… sort of...

Within the L, a tri-star system located inside the Aquilian Nebula, Jax makes a living trading and smuggling whatever goods pay the best. So far, he’s avoided being caught with anything too damning in his ship’s holds, but when he takes a job for Korinth, an infamous arms dealer, all that changes.

Book Number: 

War of the Rosette

Terry and Cyrus have returned to Serenity only to find the system on the brink of civil war. Now with the Perseus's AI awoken they will do whatever it takes to keep the system from falling into chaos.

Book Number: 

A Bitch of a Paradox

NOTE: This book does not take place in Aeon 14 or involve any Aeon 14 characters. It is a crossover between the Star Magi universe and the Kurtherian universe.

Book Number: 

Assault on Sedna

The Diskers have not gone quietly into the night...

Decades have passed since the failed coup on Venus, but now the separatists in the Scattered Disk have resurfaced. With a fleet far larger than any suspected, the rebels take Sedna and proclaim it the capital of a new, Free Disk Alliance.

But the Federation is not above using the full might of their military to bring errant worlds back into line. The TSS Normandy is once again dispatched to restore order--no matter the cost.

Book Number: 

Return to the Ordus

The Old Rule Must End

Since the ancient days the Serenity Ordus has been ruled by the five houses of the High Table, each controlling a moon of the Klemperer Rosette.

Terry left Serenity, searching for a new life amongst the stars, but after a taste of the greater universe, she wants to return home to a place she understands.

But the galaxy has other plans for her, and Terry's return is fraught with danger--both to herself and the Ordus.

Book Number: 

Fire in the Night Sky

In a world of music videos on television, punk rock, and roller derby, the race for space is finally on in this young adult SF adventure!

The United Federation has set a goal of sending a manned rocket to the moon; but rival countries will stop at nothing to plant their flags first—no matter the cost.

For Claire Johnson, that cost might be her life.