Today, I'd like to welcome A. B. Keuser to the blog. She's been a writing/blogging friend for a long time--I can't even remember when/where we first met, but I'm thrilled to tell you she released her first novel Windthrow. Check out the book blurb, Q & A with A.B., and links to her novel and social media sites.
Ash Larkwood has run her private freight business long enough to know there is only one hard and fast rule in the galaxy: stay as far away from the heartless, war-like xy as possible. When she reluctantly takes Rand Fife on as a passenger it seems breaking that rule is inevitable. He’s gorgeous, paying her a ridiculous fare, and yet things are not the proverbial piece of pie she hoped. When a xy destroyer sets upon them demanding she hand him over and a pair of the skeletal aliens sneak aboard her ship, she knows it’s time for some answers. A pretty face is no excuse for the bucket of lies he’s tossing on her.
What is unique about your novel?
In Windthrow, I've created a multicultural cast that dismisses erroneous stereotypes and allows for diverse heroes. An Asian woman owning her own freight company, the ruler of a galactic-wide empire who is not a white man, and a black woman owning and running the system’s largest mine while her husband keeps house, are not out of place in the worlds between these pages.
My non-human antagonists are super awesome (and awesomely gross) aliens who’s skeletal bodies are made of a metallic keratin and whose neural pathways run throughout all their cells (they have no actual brain).
Also, fun things with trees and a dragon festival.
Tell us about your main character.
Ash Larkwood is an entrepreneur fighting an uphill battle in an industry dominated by men. She’s adventure seeker who longs for the freedom space gives her but loves and misses her family and home planet. Independent, creative and tough, she’s built a network of friends to keep her sane. Her taste in men can be horrible, her taste for drinks leans toward the sweet. I’ve always imagined her actor stand-in as Fan Bing Bing.
How did you start writing?
Boredom. I know it’s not a very fun answer, but I needed something to occupy my time and keep my fingers warm in a freezing office. My first book was written very quickly –130,000 words in the space of a month – and extremely poorly. But that atrocious first novel made me realize how much I love telling stories, and now I’ve got a dozen complete drafts under my belt, and I couldn’t be happier.
Why do you write Science Fiction?
I’ve always loved SF. My dad and I watched two things when I was little, Westerns and Star Trek the original series. I think there’s something completely wonderful about the freedom science fiction gives you with plot, setting, and even genre. I almost feel like it should be a category that other genres can fall into. I love playing with those options.
I lean toward space-bound SF because I love the fact that space is its own tertiary antagonist. There’s a whole lot that can go wrong in the void and you always have to be mindful of that.
I deeply want society to advance because I love what I see in the innovations of science and love the idea of what could be. I also love exploring the things that can't be fixed by technological advance. The deeply ingrained human flaws that last the test of time…in all their ugly and disgusting glory
What’s your method of writing? Plotter? Pantser? Does your character build the story? Etc.
My writing method changes around quite a bit. I’m mostly a plotter, but the first draft of this novel was completely pansted. Over the course of 20 days in August of 2010, I tapped out the 70,000-words that would eventually become Windthrow (at that point the file was titled “SF”). And then, it was revised, and revised again, and sent to crit partners, and revised again, and again… and here we are almost 4 years later and at about 110k-words. (That four years is why I usually plot my books out in advance)
What’s your favorite childhood book?
The first books I remember loving in elementary school were Anne of Green Gables and The Wizard of Oz. Both were well worn tomes in the Milner Crest library, and I’m sure I helped crack their spines further. Later, I got lost in the Goosebumps books, The Horror at Camp Jellyjam was one of my favorites. But by middle school, I was already on the Thriller bandwagon and devouring Clive Cussler novels.
Amazon Print: http://www.amazon.com/
Windthrow-A-B-Keuser/dp/ 149973154X/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8& qid=1404149555&sr=8-6& keywords=a+b+keuser
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/
Windthrow-B-Keuser-ebook/dp/ B00LEQ1UNA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8& qid=1404149555&sr=8-3& keywords=a+b+keuser