Monday, February 9, 2015

The Geek meets the Ninja and welcome to Susan Gourley

Get your geek on!
I'm over at the Ninja Captain's blog talking about nerdy TV shows today.

While I'm away, I have some good company for you.
I'm so pleased to welcome on my blog today the very talented Susan Gourley.

Walking the Line
Thanks, Christine, for having me on your blog. Like you, I write speculative fiction, a very broad genre category. My romances are categorized as science fiction romance, and according to the reviews on Amazon, attract fans of science fiction and romance. I’m sure many of my readers are fans of both genres, but some are one or the other. The challenge is how to satisfy those readers and give them what they want when they read my books.
So how do I walk that line? Where is the line between too much real science, or fake science, and too much romance?
Romance readers don’t want a long explanation of the physics needed for my hero and heroine to travel between solar systems and galaxies at warp speed. And it is fiction, so the ability to travel beyond light speed is perfectly acceptable without a technical explanation. For one of my novel series, The Recon Marines, I invented a fuel source that explained how ships could stay in space indefinitely. But since all the characters in the novel already understood how the fuel and space travel worked, there was no reason to explain it to readers. It was accepted as part of that world.
Science fiction readers don’t mind a love story intertwined in a futuristic adventure as long as the romance isn’t too ‘hot and steamy’ and doesn’t overwhelm the external conflict of the novel. The best relationships in science fiction novels are forged in whatever battles the protagonists are fighting.
The science fiction parts of the story lend themselves to situations where an intense relationship can develop. Other worlds are likely to have severe climates, varying lengths of days and nights, as well as medical advances, and alien enemies that can make for great plot devices. I’ve used all four of those devices to put my characters into trouble or get them out of trouble.
Mixing the protagonists reactions to the plots devices with some actual and invented science will hopefully satisfy both genre lovers. Though in this business you can’t please everybody, the right balance of romance and science will make a lot of diverse readers happy.
How much science do you like in your romances? Do you know an author who balances romance with another genre perfectly for your tastes? Do you have a favorite science fiction plot device?

The Warrior and the Governor by Susan Kelley (Book #2 in Bestselling Warrior Series)
Gaviron warrior Liam has lost everything and lives only to take revenge on the monstrous raynid creatures and will risk his life without caution. Governor Siva will take any help she can get to save her desperate colony from the merciless invading species, even a suicidal fighter like Liam. As her understanding of the grim alien warrior grows, Siva tries to give Liam a reason to live. As Liam broken heart lets in Siva and her daughter, he finds he once again has someone worth dying for. Defeating their common enemy may cost them everything.
Susan Kelley is multi-published in science fiction romance and writes high fantasy as Susan Gourley. You can find her at Susan Says or on Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. I'll have to remember to drop by Alex's blog later!

    Even though it may be challenging, I think it's a lot of fun whenever genres mix. A sci-fi/romance blend sounds especially cool. Seems like you've figured out a way to balance the two genres well, Susan!

  2. Very interesting. I hadn't considered balancing romance and science in a science fiction/romance. My first thought was too hard, but it sounds like you've nailed it.

  3. I think you can achieve a good balance with both. And even as a science fiction fan, I don't want all the science details. I don't need to know how it works, only that it does work.

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  5. Thanks again, Christine, for having me here.
    I'm trying to keep it balanced, Heather and TBM.
    You are so right, Alex. The bitty details of the science would bore most readers.

  6. Yeah, all the details can really drag it down. I just say it works and that is that lol really hot and steamy can throw some off. Balance indeed as with all life.

  7. Sci-fi romance is such an interesting genre. One of the regulars at the former Six Sentence Sunday and Horny Hump Day, Jessica Subject, has a lot of books in that genre.

    I personally prefer soft sci-fi, though I don't mind hard sci-fi if the story is interesting and not bogged down with too many scientific details.

  8. Congrats, Susan! It sounds like you've struck a great balance between the two. I don't care for overly technical science fiction as I enjoy more space opera (like Star Trek).

  9. I love science fiction but I do not want to read about all scientific details on how things work. I really don't need that to enjoy a good story. I'm trying to thing about an author that can balance romance and action well but I'll have to come back later with that.

  10. My likes are similar to Cherie's and Al's. I have some details in mine but I keep the action moving forward and try not to get bogged down in technical details.

  11. Hi, Christine & Susan.

    A romance that's not so heavy on the science, sounds good.

  12. Finding a balance between science fiction and romance for your readers would be tough. But I bet you accomplished it perfectly. :)

  13. Balance is a tricky thing. I'm more in it for the action than the romance, but I like it when it hits the feelers too. I don't read much Sci-Fi, but I think a fantasy comparison would be the Dresden Files. Harry and Susan/Harry and Murphy... No, not romance, but it's got some wonderful relationships.

  14. You're welcome, Susan. It's a pleasure having you here!

    And thank you to everyone for commenting. I like soft sci-fi best too, and that it doesn't overshadow the romance or visa versa.

  15. I think most of the comments come down on the same side as me. Not too 'hard' on the science but enough to keep it interesting and possible in the future. So thrilled with the great response and comments.

  16. Congrats to Susan. I love the cover. Wishing Susan much success!!!

  17. I haven't read any novels at least any that come to mind, but I've seen some successful S/F romance movies. Terminator comes to mind. The Abyss,
    Superman and Starman, for sure. I would think the success of those films confirms your suspicion.

  18. That's why you do so well, Sue. You've got the balance! Excellent post!

    *waves to Christine*

  19. Mixing it up with genres seems like a good idea. I don't read romance, but I do read a good story. It seems to me that these labels were created by marketing people for bookstores to know where to shelve their stock. Genres can shift and mingle and should. That's just my opinion.

  20. Balancing science and romance? Isn't that hard?
    Sounds like Susan's nailed it though.

  21. This was so interesting for me as I feel my books are a mash-up of genres and I never really know how to categorize them. Sounds like you have definitely found a niche that works for you and for your fans.
    Enjoyed your post at Alex's place, Christine!

  22. Hi, Susan and Christine!
    I do enjoy cross-genre stories because they do have that nice balance in them. Not always easy to write though ;)


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