Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Guest Blogger ~ Laura Baumbach

New Characters to New Worlds—even new or *improved* body parts!
Writing in the sci-fi genre

That’s what you can achieve when you write sci-fi.
Hello. My name is Laura Baumbach. I’m an author and publisher of M/M erotic romance. I write for several publishers including MLR Press, Aspen Mountain Press, Samhain, Changeling, LooseId, Torquere, and Forbidden Publications. I written in several different sub-genres such as paranormal-vampires, werewolves and ghosts, suspense, contemporary, crime drama, thrillers and my current fixation - science fiction.
This month I'm spending all my time that isn't taken up by my family or my business writing my latest novel GENETIC SNARE. This one is the second in my sci-fi DETAILS series. The first on was the 2007 EPPIE finalist DETAILS OF THE HUNT.
This series came about when I took a challenge off the Sci-Fi Channel's website to write a story using the theme of pirate treasure and outer space. I thought it would be fun to change around the traditional story and make the pirate the treasure. I realize there are modern day pirates, and will probably be pirates in the future, but when I think about them I imagine the swashbuckling, cunning buccaneers of the 18th century.
But then came the challenge of how to incorporate an 18th century earth pirate into a futuristic space tale. Obviously, I needed to add time travel elements to my story, remembering that anything I did couldn't affect the time line continuum in the process of telling my story.
I didn't want the travel to be a common occurrence either. I wanted the talent to be restricted to an ethical few. So I created a race of warriors that had the ability to time jump. These beings, six to seven foot tall, gray skinned, muscle bound, slightly reptilian looking, fierce warriors, would have learned over time to keep the source of their talent secret, and to use the ability for the benefit of not only themselves but other races. Thus was born my time traveling alien bounty hunters, the Oracan.
The Oracan accept petitions for hunts from anyone, anywhere in the universe. The one requirement is that the hunt must have some type of altruistic goal, a benefit for more than just personal gain. They procure anything from inanimate objects to people. Those Oracans that choose to become Hunter have a high moral code to go with their extreme physical skill and warrior upbringing. Think navy seals/secret agents on massive growth hormones and steroids. *lol*
My Oracan hero is named Talos. Mr. Tall, Gray and Stoic. High moral fiber, strict rules of conduct and an attitude that comes from knowing he can take any male in the room on and win without even trying. I mean, Oracan cultural ritual practices eating the hearts of their fallen enemies. Tough guys personified. And this one learned to speak English from watching ancient Earth gangster films from the 1930's an 40's. When he calls a woman a 'dame' he's not referring to any type of British title. *g*
Once I had my 'big guy' I had to create my 'small guy'. This is a dynamic I love to write. It may not be your thing, but it is definitely mine. I like the physical contrasts, making imbalance of power dynamic. I like showing that my 'little guy' can be just as tough and manly as the 'big guy', and in some cases like in MEXICAN HEAT, even more stoic or scrappy than his partner.
Aidan Maymon was born out of this dynamic. I wanted my pirate to be young in keeping with the short life expectancies in the 18th century, cunning and quick-witted as he would need to be to survive the times and be captain of a buccaneer ship, and brave enough to stand up to the worse of the immoral criminals that made up a fair share of the seafaring men. Quick with his sword and a creative curse, Aidan has a core of fair play and goodness wrapped in a survivor's thick, clever, conniving hide. And he's an excellent pickpocket. *g*
And the marvelous, wondrous thing about writing sci-fi is that you have the flexibility to combine two such radically unique characters in one story and still make it work. As long the author creates a believable world and sticks to their own rules through the novel or series, anything they can imagine is possible. Which s how I ended up with an 18th century pirate pairing with a 6th century alien bounty hunter for adventure and love.
I'm continuing the adventures of Talos and Aidan in the series with GENETIC SNARE. I have a total of seven books planned, one per year. Originally it was written as a two-hour buddy flick movie script for a TV pilot with an additional six episodes. The script won a couple of minor awards but never went anywhere. The cost of producing a sci-fi movie was a big stumbling block.
But I love the characters and didn't want them to go to waste. So I moved that buddy flick relationship over the line to lovers and rewrote the story a bit to develop that relationship into a M/M erotic romance. Since that was were I was inclined to take it when I wrote the mainstream version, it wasn't a difficult task. The end result earned DETAILS OF THE HUNT a nod as a 2007 EPPIE finalist for best GLBT novel.
No where but in sci-fi do I find the freedom to be as unorthodox as my imagination can be. And trust me, my imagination can run a lot of wild places, some of them maybe even in my upcoming December release (hopefully) GENETIC SNARE!
Pirates, aliens, bounty hunters, mating rituals, combats rituals, murder, mayhem and LOTS of steamy, and uniquely alien-endowed lovemaking in this one. My muse was looking for an unrestrained run.


lindseye said...

I loved Details of The Hunt though I had to read the description a few times before I bought the book. I found the interplay between the "young pup" and the alien fun and the development of the relationship believable. Once you accept the world then the cross over between 18th century and 26th century is forgotten. I have been waiting for the sequel (and the 5 more to follow) and it is only the distraction of so many other good books that keeps me from pestering Laura to find out when it will release. You are lucky JL Langley and Sierra Dafoe have books coming out this month.

Laura said...

Thanks, lindseye! What a sweet thing to say. I'm pleased you enjoyed Talso and Aidan enough to come back for more. Thank you!

Kayelle Allen said...

I have a thing for big heroes who love shorter heroes. Can't explain that - it's just one of those kinks, I guess. When I saw the cover of your first book it made me think one was just farther away than the other, until one of my friends told me that there really was a big difference in size. Then I saw the cover to this book and went ahead got the first one. Can't wait to get started. I have a huge TBR pile, but yours is really close to the top. Gotta finish one series I've been reading and then yours is next. Maybe it will work out I can read one and then the two right after.

Neat twist on the pirate treasure! I love the way you think. ^_^

Laura said...

Thanks, Kayelle. I do live the big guy/little guy dynamic. Neither one weak, just a physical difference in the power structure of the relationship. Thanks for the kind words. I hope you like the series! You put out some goos sci-fi of your own.

Ken said...

Actually, modern-day pirates are very dull in comparison. Thank goodness for the past glory days and interesting stories of the future!

I love contrasts and opposites myself, so having two characters on opposing ends of the spectrum is quite appealing! I think it would have made an excellent television series, but costs are always a factor... and that pesky habit of film and television producers to shy away from taking risks with new projects.

I wouldn't give up entirely. Perhaps further down the road after the novel series is finished... :)

Jeanne said...

I love series so I'm always looking forward to the next book and the next and...:~D

Laura said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Ken. I keep plugging away on the screenplays and the series I have going --all 4 of them. *g*

Laura said...

Thanks, Jeanne. I love series too, I can't let my characters go silently into the night. I have to keep revisiting them again and again.

Josh Lanyon said...

DETAILS OF THE HUNT is absolutely one of my favorites.

Sorry I missed your day at the Sweet Flag, Laura. As you know (having heard me whine long enough) I am floating in the seventh ring of Computer Hell right now...

Laura said...

Josh! You ARE still alive. *g* Poor dear. Computer death, the passing of our most constant companion is such an ugly thing. Let's hope the brain transplant works!