1) Why Romance? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
I was published first as a hard science fiction writer, that is a writer whose stories are based in extrapolations of known science or math. In fact, my first book, Primary Inversion, was marketed as literary SF when it came out in hardcover and as space adventure in paperback form. My breakthrough to the romance audience came when Melinda Helfer reviewed Primary Inversion for RT Bookclub, which at the time was still under the name Romantic Times.Primary Inversion is a science fiction retelling of Romeo and Juliette with a HEA ending, and Melissa really got what I was trying to do. After reviews for my books started to appear in RT, I received letters from romance readers saying how much they liked finding science fiction that they enjoyed, including the romantic plot lines.
So in that sense, romance found me. No one expected the large cross-over my books developed with the romance audience, especially the science fiction novels The Quantum Rose (a science fiction retelling of Beauty and the Beast), Skyfall, The Moon’s Shadow, Catch the Lightning and Alpha and the fantasy novels The Charmed Sphere, The Misted Cliffs, and my other Luna books. Truthfully, it would be presumptuous for me to claim that I write romance. I’ve never been published by a romance line or had a book that was categorized as romance rather than science fiction or fantasy. It means a great deal to me that the romance community has been so welcoming to an outsider like myself. I’m told that Skyfall is the first science fiction book from a science fiction publisher that was nominated for the RITA Award from RWA. To have my work embraced by such a community is wonderful.
2) Is there a romance author, living or dead, who inspires you particularly?
I love Mary Jo Putney’s work. Jane Ann Krentz, including her work as Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle. Jo Beverley. Judith Ivory. This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland is among my favorite time travel romances. Also Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and R. Gacia Robertson’s Knight Errant. Linnea Sinclair does a wonderful job straddling romance and science fiction with quality work in both genres. On the science fiction side, I’d say many authors, including Anne McCaffrey, Lois Bujold, and Joan D. Vinge (especially The Snow Queen). I consider Ursula Le Guin’s Forgiveness Day one of the best science fiction romances ever written.
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
Most recently I rewrote Primary Inversion for its eBook release. It just came out on Kindle, Nook, and iPub. Primary Inversion takes the Romeo and Juliet story of forbidden love and turns it around. “Juliet” is a fighter pilot and heir to the military command of one interstellar empire, while “Romeo” is the heir to emperor who leads their enemies and threatens to destroy the heroine’s people. It’s a space adventure, and it also let me rewrite the Romeo and Juliet story with the type of ending I wanted, one with an HEA.
“The Spacetime Pool” recently in eBook form. It won the Nebula Award a few years ago. It first appeared in Analog magazine, then later in the hardcover anthology Aurora in Four Voices. “The City of Cries” also recently came out as an eBook. It’s a role-reversed take on the hard-boiled detective and was originally published in the anthology Down These Dark Spaceways, edited by Mike Resnick. And I just found out that my novelette, “The Pyre of New Day” is a nominee on the Nebula ballot. For a limited time, readers can find it for free at tinyurl.com/PyreAsaro.
As for future projects, the eBook release of Lightning Strike, Book I should be out soon. It derives from my book, Catch the Lightning, which is listed as an example of the best in romantic science fiction at http://www.romanticsf.com/features/
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
It took a while for me to find a publisher. I sent out books and stories and accumulated rejections. I have always sought out input from people who know how to critique and I constantly worked to improve my writing. Eventually that all paid off. When I was unpublished, I received encouragement from publishers, but it still took many years from when I started to when my first book came out.
5) What’s your opinion about this Ebook revolution? Would you consider the indie route?I’ve started re-releasing ebooks of my stories, at least those works where the rights have reverted to me. I like having the freedom to choose my own covers and publicity descriptions. Right now, with the revolution changing every day, I’m a bit reluctant to tie up eBook rights with a publisher. At the same time, going the traditional route can give an author a lot more exposure and a wider audience. So I’m still considering my options.
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use Social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
Social media is fun and a great way to connect with readers. I particularly enjoy Facebook. Readers can find me at http://www.facebook.com/Catherine.Asaro. Interacting online does take time and energy away from writing, however. The key is to strike a balance — some days I have it and some days I don’t.
Info about the author:
Catherine Asaro is a bestselling novelist of more then twenty-five books, including near future thrillers, science fiction, and fantasy. She is also a teacher, dancer, and musician. Her novel The Quantum Rose and her novella “The Spacetime Pool” both won the coveted the Nebula® Award, and her novelette “The Pyre of New Day” is currently on the Nebula ballot for 2012. Among her many other distinctions, she is a multiple winner of the Readers Choice Award from Analog magazine and a three time recipient of the RT BOOKClub Award for “Best Science Fiction Novel.” Her most recent books are the novel, Carnelians (Baen/ Simon & Schuster), and the anthology of her short fiction titled Aurora in Four Voices is available from ISFiC Press in hardcover. All of her novel are available in audio form. “The City of Cries,” “The Spacetime Pool,” and the novel Primary Inversion recently came out in eBook form. Upcoming on eBook, she has the Lightning Strike duology, based on the novel Catch the Lightning.
Catherine has two music CD’s out and she is currently working on her thirds. Her first CD, Diamond Star, is the soundtrack for her novel of the same name, performed with the rock band, Point Valid. She appears as a vocalist at cons, clubs, and other venues in the US and abroad, including as the Guest of Honor at the Denmark and New Zealand National Science Fiction Conventions. She performs selections from her work in a multimedia project that mixes literature, dance, and music, with Greg Adams as her primary accompanist. She is also a theoretical physicist with a PhD in Chemical Physics from Harvard, and teaches part time in the physics department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
To know more, visit her at www.facebook.com/Catherine.Asaro
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below: