Meet Aurora Lightbourne the author of the SPACE TRIPPERS series. She grew up in Florida, close to Disney and gives credit to being Micky Mouse’s neighbour for her imagination. Practically a newly-wed(married three years), and an avid animal lover: she has cats, dogs, rabbits (plural) and a turtle who is 19 years old! It’s really amazing that Aurora has any time for writing let alone guesting on my blog!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wise044-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0982275609&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrSpace Trippers is a series consisting of twelve books, is that right?
That is the plan. It may be a little less. It depends on how each one pans out if I have to combine any or not. For now I have 12 outlined.
Are they full novels or short stories?
Well..they are bout 60-80,000 words each. So I guess they are full novels, just short ones. I do not like to read long books myself. 350 pages is my maximum for reading, so I try to keep them about that or less.
And is it necessary to read the first before beginning the second?
I would say yes. I did weave some summaries in the beginnings of the second and third books in case it had been a while since you read Book 1. But everything is set up in Book 1, every one meets and things are set in motion. You would miss a lot if you skipped it. You definitely cannot skip to Book 3, too much is said in Book 3 that you need background for. The books are all episodic, they build on one another to form the whole story.
The age is YA to adult, is that right?
Yes, I have had more adult readers than younger ones, and they loved it. But I leave it to the reader to determine exact things, like peoples ages or heights, because everyone pictures things differently and can shape those details to themselves. I only say who is older or younger, who is taller or shorter.
Also my books have no bad language, sex scenes or drug references, so they are safe for all ages.
I haven’t read a book yet, and I shall have to remedy that soon but they seem similar to Red Dwarf or Hitchhiker’s Guide and I wonder if you were a fan of either?
I did watch some Red Dwarf, it was very funny. And I think I have a book or two of it around somewhere. Hitchhikers, yes, I loved those books. Mine are not nearly that zany, he was the master of zany, but they do contain a lot of humor.
Was this where you got your idea for the series?
No, I started off with a character, Valesque. As she formed she told me where she came from, her background, her interests and, since she is a Scientific Engineer, her inventions. The story developed from there as people in her past with bad intentions came up, and her regretted invention ‘The Space Tripper’ came back to haunt her. Since she was not human having the story in space was a must, as she was too advanced to be a Fantasy race.
Did you intend Space Trippers to become a series?
At first I thought it needed at least 3 books to complete the story, but seemed to need more time to develop. It then played out like an anime series, or TV series, with twelve episodes, each book being a stop on their journey home. It paced it out quite nicely and each stop is a different environment you get to see the characters playing in. So it is fun.
Is the collection of ST completely finished?
No, I have outlines for all the books and snippets of key scenes and conversations. But I am working on ‘Book 4: Will Work For Parts’ this year, aiming for an early 2011 release.
So, you could be writing Space Trippers ten years from now!
Who knows? If people like it enough we could have more of Valesque, Tim, Sanic, Lola and Merena in another adventure.
What’s after the ST books?
I have 15 or so other stories I have started and would like to finish, some are Sci-Fi, some Fantasy and some Fiction adventure. Right now I am writing another book alongside ST 4. It is what I call a ‘steampunk fairytale’ kind of a combination between Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice in a steam powered world. It is called “Brass Hearts, a steampunk fairytale”.
Did you write the entire series and then send out to publishers?
No I wrote the first 2 and sent out while working on 3. I think publishers and agents are afraid to try an unknown author with a series, especially a sci-fi series. There have articles lately about Sci-fi being a ‘dying’ genre, I will be writing my opinions on that at a blog stop on my tour on May 3 I believe.
I ended up going with a small publisher, no advance, no marketing budget, but they believed in me and my story and got me into the Ingram catalog so my books are available for order through bookstores world wide.
This is for writers in waiting, how many rejections did you have for ST?
Haha. Well, let’s see I queried at least 25 agents? And hmm..any publisher that took Sci-Fi and unsolicited manuscripts and was turned down by all but one. But you know, if you believe in your story and really want it told you will persist and find a way to get it out there. It may not be under a glamorous ‘big brand name’ but, at least for me, it isn’t about the prestige, it is about being able to tell people a good story and giving them access to it.
I love to write, I love my stories and I want others to be able to read them and love them too.
I read on your blog that the one reason you became a writer was because you weren’t satisfied with how other books ended! I think I can relate to that. Do you read much? And who is your favourite author?
Yes, I was disappointed with more and more books I read. I used to read a LOT. I could finish a 300 page book in a day. I do not have the time to read now, and I also try not to read others works while writing my own, it can change my voice. My favorite authors are Jane Austen, she had a lot of wit, and Douglas Adams, he had such a vivid imagination. I also really enjoyed the Trixie Belden series, but that was more than one author sharing a pen name.
Did you base the character Valesque Rhaugh on a vampire?
Not really, I would say she is more cat-like. But if I describe her as cat-like people will picture her wrong, maybe furry or hunched forward. She resembles what people already picture vampires as looking like, so I use that to get her image in their minds. They have similar physical characteristics, pale, fanged, look a bit frightening at times. But she is not dead and has no desire to bite you for your blood.
I like the sound of Lola, a bimbo android in love. She sounds like a lot of fun to write about. But for you, who was your best character?
You can always count on Lola for comedic relief, and Tim….he comes up with inappropriate things to say at the strangest moments. My favorite to write is Valesque, she has many facets to her, most of them hidden from other people, and she has such a struggle in her as these other characters keep trying to get closer and she has to keep them at a ‘safe’ distance because of the situation they are not privy to.
Valesque and Tim can fill pages going at each other, Tim with pick-up lines and Valesque with sarcastic put-downs, I can hardly get any storyline done!
Is humour your usual genre?
Not plain humor. I do not have Douglas Adams talent for that. But I do have to include humor in all of my work, it is just me. I can’t be serious that long and such funny observations and conversations come to me as I write different scenes.
My first book is a straight romance/science fiction but since I started writing comedy romance I find it difficult to write “straight” now. Do you have that problem?
I don’t think I could write a ‘serious’ book if I tried, it just isn’t my personality. I see humor in everything, then I write about it. It is so much fun.
On your website you have games and prizes. Fans can follow you from blog to web and find clues to win prizes. How does this work?
People can join my On-line Book Tour at any time and go back to the first stops long after the posting date listed on my schedule. When they visit my stops and see my interviews or guest blogs they can leave me a question or comment and I will answer it, or just say ‘Hi’. If they leave me a comment they are entered in a drawing for an autographed copy of one of my Space Trippers books as well as a custom book-thong themed to one of the Space Trippers characters of their choice.
But they have to leave comments at my stops to be in the drawing.
There’s a crossword, too.
Yup, I thought it would be fun to play a game with my followers/friends on twitter/facebook/myspace during my tour as well.
All people have to do is ‘friend’ me on one of those networks, go to each stop on my tour, leave me a comment and add our secret phrase ‘Hey A. Let’s Play’ and their twitter ID or facebook/myspace link. I will then verify they are one of my network friends and then DM them the clue for that stop.
Sounds like fun.
It is. You can go back to the beginning of my tour at anytime and scroll down to find my posts and leave a comment even weeks after they were posted, that is the joy of an Online Tour.
Each stop has a pre-determined clue on my master sheet, so you have to visit each stop and leave me the secret message to get your clues.
Are there prizes?
Of course. Once the crossword is complete, at the end of my Online Book Tour June 1st, submit your puzzle and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $25 Visa gift card, good anywhere you can spend money.
I think I might try my luck! So, tell us where we can get hold of a copy of Space Trippers.
You can buy Space Trippers Books 1 and 2 together in one volume through any bookstore or online, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Books 1-3 are also available in ebook formats including ipad, kindle, sony etc, through ebook retailers like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. All three books will be available as separate paperbacks later this year.
Thank you Aurora Lightbourne, it’s been a pleasure. I sincerely hope you sell millions of Space Trippers.If anyone has any other questions for Aurora please get in touch.