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Ann Christy, fellow adult coloring enthusiast is here today to talk to us about her work. From Silo 49 to PePr Inc, and so many brilliant stories between, I’ve been a fan for a while, and now I have the pleasure of sharing her work and her mind with you! Remember, at the end of the post, there is, as always, a giveaway. So read on, get to know Ann, and win cool stuff!
P.K. Tyler – Your Silo 49 series was written with the permission of Hugh Howey. What was it like to take on a project like this and ask for permission to use someone else’s universe?
Ann Christy – Since I wasn’t a writer then, it was sort of easy to ask. I had no idea previous to that moment that I wanted to write fiction at all. I was a scientist and naval officer and that’s just what I was. Then I found myself gritting my teeth and shouting, “No, no and double damn no,” at Hugh’s book (this was before Shift was even complete). I wanted to tell it with someone who wasn’t evil somewhere in the loop. Luckily for me, he was awesome about it and told me to go for it. All the rest is history. Though, I’ll be honest, once I did realize what a huge deal it was, I couldn’t believe I’d done it. Knowing what I know now, there’s no way I would have asked!
PKT – What science fiction devices do the Silo 49 books use? Is it a hard science and technology read, or something a little more abstract like alternate universes?
AC – Since I went into this with the goal of adhering to canon (even though Dust wasn’t actually out yet), I didn’t go away from his tech too far. That said, much of the tech was glossed over some in the original and I have some familiarity with nano-tech. That let me play with the tech more, which was super enjoyable. I still say it’s a more human story.
I played with nano-tech again in my Between Life and Death series, which is sort of the zombie apocalypse, but not really. It’s driven by medical nanites and they aren’t true zombies, but they’re more horrible for it. I like how people review that it’s the most realistic depiction of the zpoc that they’ve read. I hope I give people shivers when they read about medical nanite advances. Truly.
So yes, I do like tech and put it in my books, but I never make my books about the tech. Deep characters and really visceral experiences are what I’m after. So, it’s the people that get the focus
PKT – You have another series Between Life and Death that has medical and technological features. How much research did you do before writing this book about medical technology?
AC – Loads and loads. Since I’ve been reading reports on nano-level science and research for years, I had a big catalog in my head already. That said, I did a great deal of research so that I could have a foundation to stretch into fiction territory. It’s that seed that matters…the seed of reality that we can twist until it’s super scary.
PKT – You are one of the amazing authors in the Dark Beyond The Stars Anthology Series. Can you tell us about your story and more about the project?
AC – In the first one, I wrote Lulu Ad Infinitum, which is a short story (but none of my shorts are very short) set in my most troublesome world. I can’t get the book, Lulu 394, right to save my life. I’m very picky though, so I have only myself to blame for that. Writing a side story with Lulu really did help me though. I gave Lulu a second nudge by making her the “orphan character” of a novelist in my Perfect Partners, Incorporated series. The novella Posthumous, has her in there. But that one makes everyone cry, so best not to go there.
In A Planet Too Far, I stepped way outside my box and wrote a story called The Mergans. While I tend to be hopeful in my books, this story reflects a different tone. There is still hope, but it’s a skewed and terrible hope. Again, this one is actually set in the Lulu universe, though there is no mention of her or that in the story. It takes place long after the two initial “Seed” ships have been sent to replicate and find new worlds. In time, Earth develops better propulsion, but what they find on some seeded planets are cultures that are horrifying and unacceptable. Their response is the Peace Force, who interfere when such a planet is found.
But there’s more underneath the story than just some pew-pew invasions with very cool battle suits. So far, only one reader has written to me about that underlying twist. They loved the hidden twist, and hated that they loved it. I wonder how many others will see it.
PKT – How important do you think scientific accuracy is to writing science fiction?
AC – As I answered in another question…the seed is of utmost importance. After that seed is there, anything is game. Techno-magical is fine, but too much magic in that takes away some of that “oh, I wish I could be alive when…” feeling. And that feeling is important to me as a reader, so I try to cradle it in the stories I write for others.
PKT – The blurb from Strikers seems like the book might have some steampunk elements. Would that be an accurate description for readers looking for their next great read?
AC – Oh, no way. Not even close. Strikers is pure dystopian…with action/adventure, some romance (no freaking triangles!), true friend-love, loyalty, narrow escapes, evil governments, bio-weapons, horse chases, jumps from high places….hmm. Okay, it’s not pure dystopian, but it is! I promise!
Strikers: Eastlands is coming out in May 2016 and it is a work of love for me. And yes, I do even worse things to those characters in this one. Way worse. Go look at the character cards on my Facebook or web page (http://www.annchristy.com) and see for yourself.
PKT – Often in Science Fiction books we read the term ‘after the fall’ for readers that are new to the genre, what is ‘the fall’ and why does it feature in so many science fiction novels?
AC – Fall of Man (Humankind now) is a popular topic and has been since humans started telling stories. Almost from our beginnings we’ve been telling tales of our end. It’s in our nature and it has many sources and reasons.
For some, it is their way of dealing with their own mortality – believing that the world will end before we die ensures it won’t go on without us. For others, it is a way to deal with change – apocalypse can also simply be too much change for the current system to accept. The reasons are endless, but it’s in our nature to share those tales.
In my books, there is always a fall too. I’m just an apocalyptic kind of gal. I take that to extremes in The Doomsday Chronicles with A Mother So Beautiful. ::insert evil cackle:: But in general, I follow the soft apocalypse model, meaning it doesn’t happen so fast (which I find unrealistic). In Strikers, you only get glimpses of what caused it, because really, what teen is going to dwell excessively over events 100 years in the past? The reasons for that particular fall turn out to be crucial elements of Strikers: Eastlands and Strikers: Outlands, so there are more horrifying details in those. And I like to savor those as much as the next person.
PKT – You recently tried out the Kindle Previewer with Robot Evolution. What were the results, and did you find this was a feature readers liked?
AC – I’m still not sure about that thing. I love it because it does allow folks to read the sample in a nice format, but it’s very hard to fit into a web page nicely. I do like it, I just need to find the niche it fits into.
PKT – Your website has instructions for how to make your own author swag. How has having products like magnets, charms and keyrings helped get the word out about your books?
Pshaw! It doesn’t! It’s not intended to. They are just really nice things that I like to give out. When someone wins a book, I toss in little book-charm bracelets or my ubercool book-charm bookmarks…whatever. The only people that have them are those that are already readers, so it’s a nice thing from me to them and that’s all.
That said, I’m an absolutely terrible marketer I can’t stand pushy marketing and I will unfollow an author at the speed of internet if they get pushy on me. So, I’m sure someone out there has figured out a way to monetize them or turn them into little tiny bookbubs, but I’m not that person. Heck, I even give instructions on how to make my book-charms (and my book-charms are rocking!) instead of hoarding the secret. I can’t stand that kind of thing. Selfishness annoys me.
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PKT – Swimming or Flying?
AC – Dude! Why you making me choose? Swimming…fine!
PKT – Make your own, or go out and buy it?
AC – Depends…I know my limitations.
PKT – Cats or dogs?
AC – Both! But dogs.
PKT – Who’s on your side…Peacekeeping or Special Ops?
AC – SpecOps!
PKT – Techno lounge, or unplugged by the sea?
AC – Both…again. Unplugged if you force me to choose, but only if there is a drinks service.
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About Ann Christy
Ann Christy is a retired navy commander and secret science fiction writer. She lives by the sea under the benevolent rule of her canine overlords and assorted unruly family members. The author of much dystopian and generally apocalyptic fiction, she can frequently be found running around in her pajamas and thinking up terrible situations for her characters. This causes frequent cackling and worries her friends. She likes to experiment in the kitchen and is proud to say that not a single person has died from it.
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Giveaway – just comment to win!
Ann is giving away TWO awesome prizes!
A signed copy of Strikers with Striker swag
A signed copy of Robot Evolution with fun other swag
12 thoughts on “#WomenofSciFi – Interview with Ann Christy”
Thanks for featuring me today! It was loads of fun answering your questions. ~ Ann
Awesome interview. I’ll definitely be checking out Silo 49 as well as the other books.
One of her devoted followers. Just love Ann’s writing. She never fails to kill off my favorite characters. Even when I know it’s coming, I still end up in shock. Thanks for the great interview.
haha, she does like to do that doesn’t she?? 🙂
“[Posthumous]makes everyone cry, so best not to go there.” 😂
One of the many reasons we love the work: the author doesn’t apologize for breaking your heart, but yet is still compassionate (or at least pretends to be!). She ALSO recognizes that murdering characters is like truffle oil … you can easily overwhelm the dish if you use too much, and yet the depth of flavor is lacking if you don’t use enough.
And I bet that’s the first time you’ve read about Goldilocks-zone truffle oil / character murders. 🙂 At least today.
Thank you for a great interview!
I’m glad she’s getting some more attention – her writing is so good. And luckily I have a few of her stories that I haven’t gotten to yet, an ongoing treasure-river of goodness slowly heading downstream 🙂
Ann Christy is a rambunctious interviewee – a slightly more restrained female Forbes West. I’d listen to her in a podcast, and not just to wait for the cackle!
Wonderful interview! Thank you!
I enjoyed getting a peek behind the curtain.
Thank you both PKT, and AC 🙂
You 2 are awesome.
Great interview and I am intrigued by the idea of the twist in Mergens