Tuesday, 6 May 2014





WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING
The Young Adult Dystopian Boxed Set is out now
We asked all 11 authors some tough questions. Here is the first interview.

CARY CAFFREY – Author of The Girls From Alcyone
Sigrid and Suko are two girls from the impoverished and crime-infested streets of 24th century Earth. Sold into slavery to save their families from financial ruin, the girls are forced to live out their lives in service to the Kimura Corporation, a prestigious mercenary clan with a lineage stretching back long before the formation of the Federated Corporations.
Known only to Kimura, the two girls share startling secret—a rare genetic structure not found in tens of millions of other girls.
But when their secret becomes known, Sigrid and Suko quickly find themselves at the center of a struggle for power. Now, hunted by men who would seek to control them, Sigrid and Suko are forced to fight for their own survival, and for the freedom of the girls from Alcyone.

THE VOIGHT-KAMPFF* QUESTIONNAIRE - Cary Caffrey
*If you haven't seen Bladerunner why are you even here?

DID YOU CHOOSE TO SELF-PUBLISH OR GO THE TRADITIONAL ROUTE? WHY?
Indy-publishing all the way! Going Indy is the best (and I believe the smartest) route for any new writer in today’s market.

I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve worked in and around the entertainment industry nearly all my life. I’ve worked for publishers, and I’ve had publishers working for me. Both experiences made me want to go the independent route. It’s wonderful time to be an independently published writer.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER'S BLOCK?
When I figure it out I’ll let you know!
Seriously though, the key for me is to never let myself get bogged down, and to make sure I keep slogging along. I wage a daily war with my confidence (or lack thereof). I’m not sure if that’s writer’s block or anxiety. What came as a surprise to me is that this anxiety got worse, not better, after the success of my first novel. Perhaps that’s the pressure of added expectations (expectations I put on myself, not from readers). My readers have been great. Super-supportive. They’re my main source of inspiration to keep moving forward. Readers are my cure for writer’s block.

WHAT BOOKS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING?
Anything by Harry Harrison! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Deathworld, Homeworld or the Stainless Steel Rat.

ANY MOVIE, ANY BOOK...WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ANTAGONIST?
Do comics count? It’s a toss-up between Mr. Freeze or Clayface. Two of the most tragic villains in the history of literature!

DO YOU BUY A BOOK BY THE COVER?
Absolutely. I freely admit I’m attracted to shiny things. I’m a very visual person. I love visual arts. Painting, photography, graphic-design, I love it all. I’m constantly drawn to great cover art, and I have a particular weakness for bold covers featuring powerful, swashbuckling heroines.

HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR OWN BAD HABITS?
Always! I wouldn’t trust a writer who wasn’t willing to put the worst of themselves on the page. Someone asked me once (about writing): aren’t you worried that people will think it’s you? My answer was: if you’re not worried about that—if you’re trying to hide, or disguise yourself—you’re not doing your job.

WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU TEND TO OVERUSE?
Apparently in the first edit of TGfA I used the word ‘managed’ nine-thousand, four-hundred and fifty-seven times.

DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?
When I saw the Indy-eBook explosion I decided it was time to take the plunge and do this full time. I don’t know how people write and hold down a day-job. If I had a job I’d be a terrible employee. Or worse, a terrible writer!

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Risk everything (they can’t say “yes” if you don’t ask).

WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?
I always wished I was a better guitar player. I never got beyond ‘passable-hack,’ but I know in my heart I wanted to be a guitar hero.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LIE YOU’VE EVER TOLD?
That I’m really a woman. I can’t help it. I have clothes envy. Dresses, high heels… I would have made an awesome drag queen (if only I were taller!).

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE AUTHORITIES?
Let’s just say, spending a night in the “slammer” was a life-altering experience. It definitely made me stop and take a hard look at myself—who I was, what I was doing and where I was going.

I almost think everyone should go to jail at least once. Nothing makes you appreciate freedom more than having it taken away.

DO YOU THINK THE UNITED STATES IS SECRETLY A MIRROR UNIVERSE OF CANADA, LIKE THE STAR TREK EPISODE, WHERE THE UNITED STATES IS THE EVIL DIMENSION?

Full disclosure: I’m Canadian.

There may have been a time when the US was the evil counter-verse of Canada, but unfortunately Canada’s conservatives appear extremely eager to adopt all of the worst traits of American Tea-Party/Republicanisms. Our conservative government is currently under fire for trying to adopt such popular Republican policies as voter suppression, for-profit prisons, and they’re doing their damnedest to dismantle our public health-care system and de-fund education.

And let’s not forget oil (Keystone pipeline). The Cons want to pump as much oil as they can, as fast as they can, through the United States, even though the pipes are leaking all over the place.

If anything, it appears a giant wormhole has opened up in the space-time continuum and plunked Canada right alongside the US in that mirror universe.

HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOES?
No, but would love to! I should imagine they are quite lovely. I’m picturing a pair of shiny black pumps, perhaps with those fancy red soles you see everywhere these days.

WHY DIDN'T HURLEY LOSE ANY WEIGHT WHILE ON THE ISLAND?
What! Oh, my goodness, this is too easy. Because the dead don’t lose weight! In fact, it was Hurley’s bulk that gave away the whole ending back in season two.

BONUS QUESTION: WHY DO VILLIANS PREFER LONG HAIR CATS INSTEAD OF
HAIRLESS CATS? HAIRLESS CATS ARE MUCH MORE EVIL LOOKING. SEEMS LIKE A
MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

Ah! But you see, you’re approaching the question from the wrong angle. Villains (oh, sorry—villians) are almost always misunderstood. After all, the best villians are really heroes trapped in the wrong story. And they don’t see themselves as evil at all, so, when you think about it, the fact that they prefer fluffy kittens only makes good sense.

ABOUT THE BOOK

IF YOU GAVE ONE OF YOUR CHARACTERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, WHAT WOULD THEY SAY?
“Sorry about your face!”
Actually, that’s a line from Borderlands (something Paige says), but I really wish I’d written it for Suko. It’s definitely something she’d say, probably after laying the smack down on some unsuspecting thug.

WHERE DID YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?
That one’s easy too. I feel as though we’re already living in a crazy dystopian future. A study came out recently showing how Americans are actually already living in an oligarchy and not a democracy (https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/14). The study showed extremely specific examples of how public policy in the US is dictated, not by overwhelming public opinion, but by the whims of a very small minority of wealthy and elite corporatists. Take gun control, for instance. 88% of Americans want stricter gun laws, but even with that overwhelming support nothing’s been done. If anything, we keep moving toward more liberal gun-laws, as evidenced by what just happened in Georgia (guns in schools and bars! Yay! What could go wrong?). And how about what happened last week with the FCC? They actually killed net neutrality, paving the way for internet monopolies (say goodbye to freedom of the online press as we know it). These are just two examples of a globally unpopular policies that are turned into a laws to service a very small number of people in the upper-fringes of society.
Call it a corporatocracy, an oligarchy or plutocracy, this is not how democracy is supposed to work.
Oh, and before you label me a conspiracy theorist, remember what Noam Chomsky said (and I’m paraphrasing): It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s just good observation.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS STORY?
See above!
Actually, the idea came about completely by accident. The original draft was quite different. Sigrid Novak (the main character), was supposed to be a secondary character, but the moment she hit the page (in the original, she doesn’t appear until page 56!) I fell in love with her. I knew I had to learn absolutely everything about her. Who was this incredible woman, what drove her, and how the heck did she get the way she was? I immediately I tossed the draft I was working on and started writing Sigrid’s story.

DID YOU DO ANY SPECIFIC OR UNUSUAL RESEARCH FOR THIS BOOK?
I had to do a lot of research into martial arts. I spent a great deal of time reading about jujitsu and watching lots of videos. It was very important that the more physical acts of combat be real. I was fortunate that one of my early alpha-readers was experienced in Jujitsu, as well. She came to my rescue on a number of occasions.

DID YOU HAVE TO CONDUCT ANY EXPERIMENTS FOR THIS BOOK?
Only for the naughtier parts.

IS THERE ANY SUPER-COOL FUTURISTIC TECHNOLOGY/WEAPONRY IN YOUR TOMORROW?
What’s scifi without cool tech! TGfA features some seriously overpowered ballistic weapons. Who doesn’t want a hulking 18 mm recoilless sidearm strapped to their thigh! I mean, that is hot.

WHO SHOULD NOT READ YOUR BOOK?
Bigoted, intolerant, ideological, hateful people. These people would best be served by avoiding my book at all costs. Judging from some of the angrier responses I’ve received since publication, there are still certain people in this world who do not like to think about 'non-traditional' relationships. Apparently, even 350 years into the future, such things are still 'ew, icky gross!’

ARE ANY OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS FROM THE LGBT (LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER) COMMUNITY.
I think that falls under the category of ‘yes,’ though one of my favorite things about the book is that, at no time ever, does the subject of sexuality or gender come up. No one is ever labeled gay or lesbian, and you’ll never find any of the characters questioning or struggling with their sexuality. No one’s ever worried about what *gasp* their friends or family might think. Gender, sexuality, it’s a non-issue. And I’m just so tired of books or movies that play coy with a character’s sexuality, making readers guess “are they? aren’t they? Will they? Won’t they?” It’s just silly. Let them be out and about. And for goodness sake, let them be happy!

GIVE YOUR BOOK THE BECHDEL TEST
1. IT HAS TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO (NAMED) WOMEN IN IT: Check.
2. WHO TALK TO EACH OTHER: Definitely!
3. ABOUT SOMETHING BESIDES A MAN: Who are these ‘men’ of which you speak? This is The Girls from Alcyone.

PICK ONE OF YOUR CHARACTERS AND APPLY THE SIX DEGREES OF KEVIN BACON. GO!
I don’t know how to connect those dots, but I know that I have a six degree connection with Mr. Bacon (but doesn’t everyone). My connection is thanks to a song I wrote and a TV show featuring Rick(y) Schroder. It’s a crazy six-degree world.

WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR MAIN CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?
Easiest question on the planet! Elle Fanning (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1102577/?ref_=tt_cl_i4). She absolutely is (young) Sigrid Novak. If we start preproduction on the movie now, Elle will be the perfect age to start filming in two or three years.

YOUR MAIN CHARACTER VS BATMAN, WHO WOULD WIN?
No contest. Sigrid Novak would kick Batman’s butt. It’s not Batman’s fault. After all, Sigrid Novak has all the genetic and bionic advantages, as well as the kind of years of training that would leave Bruce Wayne envious. I believe Batman would literally never see her coming.

ON A SCALE OF 1-5 what would your book get for these actual MPAA rating descriptions
Violence: Five!
Language: I’d give it a two, but apparently TGfA is full of cussing. Let’s go with three.
Drug Use: While TGfA gets a one for recreational use, it definitely scores an eleven when it comes to pharmaceuticals. Hey, we’re talking full-on genetic recombinants here!
Sexual Content: Yes, please — I mean, five!
Non-stop Ninja action: Ooh! Definitely a five. Yes. Five
Salty language and innuendos: Check
Jungle adventure terror: Does a forest count? How about concrete jungle?
Brutal and bloody Viking combat: Sadly, no vikings. *sighs*
Comic horror, violence and grossness: What’s an adventure without a stomach churning moment or two?
Swashbuckling action: Check!
Sexy dancing: I’m happy to say, yes!
Intense sequences of bat attacks: Ooh… No. No bats.
Demented mayhem: Um, hell ya.
Scenes of dental torture: Thank goodness, no!

IF YOUR BOOK WERE RATED LIKE A ROMANCE NOVEL, WHAT WOULD THE HEAT LEVEL BE?
1) None
2) Sweet
3) Mild
4) Hot
5) Wild Ride
6) Blood Thirsty

I would very much like to think (hope) that it is both sweet & hot.