Twistin’ Matilda finds Jacquotte and her crew of misfits struggling to keep the ship while savage creatures threaten to break into the universe. What were some ideas that informed this novel’s development?
As planet-bound as we are, there’s always the idea that there is more out than we don’t understand. Even as we find a solution to one question, a ton of other questions spring forth from the answer. There is so much that we don’t understand. As a species, we’ve wondered at what lies in the darkness, what dangers lurk underground, in the skies above, and what slips beneath us under the waves. The wellspring of stories lies at the heart of these mysteries, as we struggle for explanations to that which we don’t know… yet.
Ancient sailors told stories of monsters attacking their ships at sea, of beautiful islands that glint with riches but are, in truth, traps with no escape. Populating these fanciful yarns are pirates and privateers, mutinous crews, ancient shipwrecks, and lost colonies. These tall tales are rife with other wondrous, mad things and they captured my imagination. They lead to a large part of what ‘other space’ is. I imagine the crew of the Matilda as they sail on the teetering edge of the world.
Space is the last great frontier and we’ve only stepped off the front porch.
What were some challenges you felt were important to Jacquotte’s character development in the story?
At the tender age of fourteen, Captain Jacquotte Delahaye was left with no choice but to take control of the Matilda and her life. From that point on, she decided where it goes, what it does, and who the ship flies for. All of that comes to an end when an old friend needed her help. She makes the rash decision to break him free from a prison ship and nothing, but trouble has been after them since. Now the haven she worked so hard to create is under constant threat and she has to make choices on the fly. All without knowing what the repercussions of those decisions will be.
Can she keep a handle on it all? Do the traumas from her past play a role in her choices? As the group splinters apart, how does she handle the separation? Do her coping mechanisms fail and spiral into more problems? Can she bring the family she made back together? Should she?
I don’t know about you, but that’s what I wanted to find out!
What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?
From a writer’s aspect, I wanted to build up my processes and this book did not disappoint. Writing this book was a wild ride. My invisible muse whispered secrets into my ear and the story fell out of my fingers! I completed my first draft in a mere twenty days and it still is the most fun I’ve had writing.
It was a blast! It was intoxicating! I couldn’t wait to jump on the next one! Of course, I still had to work on the rewrite, but I was pumped!
The Matilda was very much an ensemble piece. By the end of it, the crew worked well together even as the Matilda fell through into ‘other space’. Derain knew everyone except for Anton and Anton knew everyone except for Derain. Anton has got to be wondering what Derain brings to the table and vice versa. On top of that, Galena is a wild card, and now the ship is brimming with others like her.
One of the things I wanted to learn about was how do individual crewmembers work with each other. Can they work together? Can they work with the other genorgs?
This is book two in your Matilda series. What can readers expect in book three?
The future looks dark for Jacquie and the crew of the Matilda. The mysterious Consortium ship, M33, found a lead and is getting closer to catching them. The past raised its ugly head and tore a rift in the crew. With all that happening, Luli Qing has disappeared, and no one knows why or even where to start looking. It seems like the only thing holding them together is finding and rescuing her.
With more places to visit as Consortium space expands, other questions pop up to the surface. Who covets the memories of the deep spacers and why? What nefarious plans does Mr. Leon have for the genorgs and for the Matilda? And what is going on with Lieutenant Galena Chadov?
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Twistin’ Matilda is book two of the Matilda Series by Jon Gray Lang, a science fiction story filled with mystery and action. In this instance of the series we continue to follow the Matilda crew’s adventures as they travel through different systems of the universe, dealing with many dangers and uncertainty. Trying to run away, the crew of the Matilda finds itself stuck in an unknown system and their problems start to mount: their supplies are running low, they don’t know in which galaxy they are or which way they should go, something seriously wrong seems to be going on with one of the members, Galena, and they might not even be able to help her or save her.
It was interesting getting to follow the dynamics between the different members of the crew of the Matilda. In this world there are cyborgs, natural-borns and genorgs, each of them are perceived differently given how they came to be, and are responsible for different tasks among the crew. We see these differences throughout the book, getting to understand better how the interactions between people work in this science fiction world. Multiple things happen throughout the story, new problems keep appearing and the characters have to constantly deal with them and fight off many dangers. These things make for a gripping and riveting storyline, where the suspense keeps the reader wanting to find out more, expectant to what’s next to come.
This is a thrilling space adventure that will be very much enjoyed by the lovers of science fiction. There are lots of things to learn about the world that Jon Gray Lang created, like how the government of this universe operates, known as the Consortium, the trouble of dealing with pirates during the space ship’s travels, and the birth of a revolution against the Consortium, that surely will be dealt with in more detail in the next book.
The plot is deeply intriguing and moves quickly, but I would have enjoyed a bit more exploration of each character. Nevertheless, the story was still very enjoyable and I’m eager to find out what’s going to happen in the next book of the series. Twistin’ Matilda fans of high intensity action will have plenty to enjoy in this kinetic space adventure.
Pages: 314 | ASIN: B07Z9N2BZY
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The Matilda follows a ragtag space crew that must fight off a government and an alien invasion in a dangerous galaxy set against them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
For as long as I can remember, I have been enthralled by the worlds created for science fiction. From the beginnings with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, into the dark corners of H.P. Lovecraft’s mind, twisting through the philosophical questions of Phillip K. Dick, and into the cultural phenomena of Star Wars and Star Trek. Peppered throughout is my love of the crazy genre films from the 1980s, the cyberpunk cities of the 1990s, humans struggling to survive space travel in the aughts through to the colorful Marvel movies of the new millennium.
The Matilda is more like a love letter from me to science fiction in general. In fact, so is the whole Matilda Series and it is sprinkled with concepts that kept me attracted to the genre. I had the initial idea for the story locked in my head for close to a decade and it was going to be a television show. But it kept getting shoved to the side by other projects. Jacquie and the crew kept riding me to tell their story. Now, here we are and there is still more story to tell!
I enjoyed the creativity and depth with which you created your characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
One of the aspects of storytelling that has always appealed to me is the group dynamic of the ensemble. I am fascinated with how individuals work separately from their group but rely on it at the same time. I wanted my characters to be very human with all the merits and flaws that we carry around. I mean, the crew of the Matilda doesn’t always get along. But seeing the great lengths Jacquie goes to keep her people together and getting to connect with them as they worked together was amazing.
I wanted to show that they can learn from their mistakes and that colors how they handle future situations. But I also wanted to understand how those coping mechanisms can cause problems when they decide to not take those lessons to heart.
To be honest, behind the setting of an unjust universe, alien invasion, and all that, the heart of the story is more about the family we stumble into and the pasts that follow us in. Is that connection enough to keep people together when everything wants to tear them apart?
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I have always been fascinated by the people who exist on the fringes of society, the ones who do the work that isn’t entirely legal. I wanted to touch on the power of the individual or group of individuals versus the society that governs them. How does that color their perception of the world they live in?
I wanted to explore the power of love through friendship and how those bonds can form, bend, and break. Along with that is the capacity for perseverance and having the courage to carry on against all odds. Also, how vulnerability plays in that field but doesn’t necessarily make a person weak. I believe that it can prepare a person to be stronger in the face of adversity.
Lastly, I wanted to touch on the idea of what makes a person human. Is it the environment that raises us? Is it because we’re just born that way? What if an entity is made not born? What if a being has been technologically altered so much that they ‘resemble’ a human? Would they be considered human?
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
It’s been a crazy ride and I’ve been going full tilt for a while now. Twistin’ Matilda and Black Matilda, the second and third books in the series, are currently out and about on Amazon.
I recently finished my latest draft of the fourth one. It is currently in the hands of my editors. I’m sitting on the sidelines with bated breath as I await their corrections so I can get it done. Secret Matilda is set to be released in late 2021.
On top of that, the fifth and final book in the series is halfway through its first draft. The plan is for it to be released in 2022. Once that is completed, I have a compilation of short stories that take place in The Matilda Series universe set to be written. The future looks busy and bright!
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The Rise of The OMEGA Empress is a unique and entertaining continuation of your riveting science fiction series. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that was different from book one?
After the completion of the first book (Echoes for Celia)? I decided to combine the genre with space Adventure taking it to the limit as much as possible. After having a talk with an Author of Ancient Mysteries. Thought to explore the universe full of freedom, equality, calm, and no problem with colours or sexuality.
I really enjoyed all the unique and intriguing characters in your story. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Some times one wonder what would have happened or will happen if part of our past was so different or we had proper plans set in motions for the future? Personalities I created for the Protagonist were my driving force and were mentoring me throughout the creation of the novel during one incident involving one character as I had to combine past with the present? I had to experience drops of tears falling. Enough to say excitements of the next series will surpass anything I tried hard to add in this short novella. I was writing the book with the character called Ardan as an Alien? Without giving too much away? most of his unique features and personalities were developed honouring Leonard Nimoy, AKA Spock. (illustrations of Protagonist and rest of the cast now visible on tweeter, website and other social links).
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I left enough tips and clues for lovers of cosmology and stars to wander about if this fiction can become fact one day. Word OMEGA has explained what it actually is, but I deliberately didn’t go to one chapter detail as I thought it wouldn’t be fair, although few more pages would have been fun. For those who are quick or especially into archaeology? They may notice a character resembling the name given to the fossil of a 3.2 million-year-old woman, which up to a few years ago considered to be the mother of mankind. Although I tried not to create a sweet love story like the first book? I equally showed a better side of the relationship after some sacrifices were made and some hard decision had to be executed by the ruling Empress. Hope to ascertain if this was an absolute law on Earth?. There would not be any hate or disrespect between couples.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
When I published the first book, I quickly went on to this book, however as for the 3rd book, I have not named it yet, but all I can mention. Adding Alpha twins who want to rule with a fist is terrible enough. Now you are someone who born on Earth now in another Galaxy. How would you help all Earthling as their cousins / friendly Aliens without creating worldwide panic? Likely as a student of nature and Educated Astronomer. I am working on theories that can make sense, even though the story supposed to be fictional. The following book likely to be 70 to 80K words. My 3rd book should be available by August. Currently, my two publish novellas are priced as 2 for 1.
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Claimed by Seraphym is the story of Samantha, Abby’s little sister that was rescued from Earth three years ago. Samantha, Sam for short, has reached the age of eighteen. She is now considered old enough by Raiden standards to be mated with a warrior. Misguided, the doctor Astin from Nicolai’s ship the Qadira, thought that Sam wanted to be matted to him, and other people in Raiden felt this was a great choice for all involved. However, no one consulted Sam. When Astin tried to force himself on Sam she ran and begged the protection of a Leviathan named Seraphym that knew her sister Abby. Right away Seraphym knew something was different about Sam, just like he had known something was different about Abby. He was instantly connected to her and agreed to take him home with him to prevent her from being forced to mate a Raiden Warrior. Seraphym and Sam were forbidden to mate, but the bond mate between them could not be denied. What this brings out in Sam shocks Seraphym and the Raiden, changing their world forever.
I love the world that Denna Holm has created, each book has built on the last and the story and characters carry through. Some of the story lines have trickled across all three books and it helps keep the continuity going. While I have loved the characters of Abby and Aaliyah in the prior books, Sam’s story really drew me in as having relevance to a lot of issues we face here on Earth today. It deals with topics of racism, a woman’s right to choose, and political manipulation. It talks about the struggles of a society adapting and changing with the times. Just because something has been a certain way for “as long we remember” does not make it right. Sam is the perfect character to bring this all out. She is strong, caring, and willing to build bridges to help people grow and see the world for how it is now.
Sam’s growth internally and physically is immense. From the start she wants nothing more than the freedom to choose her own mate and path, and by the end she is helping different societies learn to live together. There are so many new characters in this novel I cannot begin to explain, but they all merge in a positive way. Often books use a lot of negative situations to bring about change, this however used less violent methods and lots of introspection on all the characters parts to enact change. I found the book positive and hopeful, sending a good message for fantasy readers.
Claimed by Seraphym is a suspenseful yet contemplative science fiction romance novel that brilliantly builds on the previous books and delivers something uniquely engaging in this story.
Pages: 353 | ASIN: B08YP4Q7XG
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The Rise of the Omega Empress is the exciting first installment of the tale of Celia and Avalyn, twin sisters with a unique part of their DNA that has marked them forever. Celia is held by a psycho who was promised one of the twins aeons ago. However, there is more going on than a hostage negotiation. Celia and Avalyn will be thrown into a war with the mysterious and foreboding Alpha Twins. They must be careful who to trust and which steps to take. This richly-imagined science fiction novel will take the reader on many twists and turns with the sisters as they reach their full potential.
The Rise of the Omega Empress is a unique tale with its own intriguing mythology, science and physics that really makes the book feel original. The author has cleverly manipulated the laws of physics and science and adds his own spin so as to create rich and detailed worlds that feel fantastic yet believable. The addition of diverse and inspired characters also makes the story much more gripping, especially when our protagonists are placed in precarious situations. I appreciated the diversity of the characters, which are a wide range of ethnicities and sexual orientations. This gives the story a wonderful dimension that I was not expecting but greatly appreciated. Another noteworthy aspect of Rise of the Omega Empress is how it showcases the perseverance of life, even aboard an alien spaceship or at war. Life goes on and people have to find the good and positive things even in horrible situations as these characters do.
This space adventure is infused with creativity at every turn. There is so much to explore in this novel, and so much going on, I would have appreciated a bit more length to explore some of the more compelling aspects of the story that otherwise feel rushed.
The Rise of the Omega Empress is an action-packed romantic adventure novel that offers an imaginative perspective on alien life. This book is a light but entertaining read that will appeal to science fiction fans or anyone looking for a story with an innovative plot and alluring characters.
Pages: 154 | ASIN: B08WRTXWKG
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Song Of Blue follows a child soldier trying to survive a brutal far future reality where an ageless king rules thousands of planets. Blu joins the king’s army in an attempt to escape his harsh life and is sent to quell a rebellion off world, where he learns that he has just traded in one gang life for another. Blu is forced to pick a side in a world with no easy choices.
Author J.A. Ebonlight’s uniquely gritty writing style captivated me from the start of this thrilling science fiction novel. This is a fascinating literary hybrid with a storyline I would normally find in contemporary urban fantasy, but set in the far future where humans inhabit thousands of worlds. I detected tones throughout this entertaining story that reminded me of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein, or another great sicfi writer John Scalzi, with unique views on humanity and deep commentary or society in a compelling and introspective story.
Blu is an intriguing and contemplative character, a bit of a trope, but grounded and endearing enough for me to be fully invested in his character throughout the story. Song of Blue is an ambitious story, edging into the epic science fiction genre with its particular world building, but remaining accessible with its simple but engaging language and dialogue. Author J.A. Ebonlight does a fantastic job of ensuring his characters feel as real as possible, which is important in a far future science fiction story involving aliens, and I appreciated the how easy flowing the dialogue was.
Song of Blue is a riveting space opera that will satisfy any science fiction fan looking for a space marine story that reaches far enough out of the genre to feel new. J.A. Ebonlight provides readers with a unique perspective in a story that is dark, imaginative and thought-provoking.
Pages: 209 | ASIN: B08W1ZHB82
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In The Martian Hermitage by Blair Wylie the earth continues to deteriorate as natural calamities wipe out the last vestiges of civilization. Mars is a dry, infertile and hostile place but it has more resources than the moon. The people in the Moon base are stranded, and are preparing to evacuate and head to Mars. But Mars had been visited before by a noble race who rescued and studied a Christian roman centurion. More heroes will be needed since the benevolent alien race is fleeing an evil alien race.
Blair Wylie’s intellectually invigorating science fiction books always seem to have something new in each. This is a story filled with wonderfully detailed observations and a mixture of thrilling events, drama and action. I am beyond impressed with this book. The characters are consistently intriguing, ensuring that readers are engaged throughout a story that has great pace and depth.
In this piece of literature the story revolves around a diverse group of human beings who will do everything and anything in order to survive in an extremely dangerous world that is full of violence and hostility. This world is threatened by aliens who want to invade it. There are people in the Moon base who are secretly plotting to leave the moon and go to Mars. But Mars is not as it seems. This developments brings a unique twist that sets an enigmatic and contemplative tone throughout this adventurous novel.
The author convincingly writes futuristic science fiction that feels fanciful yet still grounded. I think the key to Blair Wylie’s engaging writing style is the ability to create characters that feel grounded and are easy to empathize with, if not relate to, and this drives us forward through some wild plot twists.
The Martian Hermitage delivers fantastic science fiction, world building, and engaging enigmas in a unique way that I’ve come to expect in Blair Wylie’s novels. Fans of Blair’s earlier works will find his writing finely honed to deliver more of what they love, in a story that is as cerebral as it is entertaining.
Pages: 262 | ISBN: 978-1-784660-95-8
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