Interview: Nadine Ducca and Serving Time



SERVING TIME front coverI am hap­py to fea­ture an inter­view here with Nadine Duc­ca. She has just released her debut nov­el, the first in a series, called Serv­ing Time.  It sounds like a win­ner and I’ve added it to my “to read” list. You should too. You can also try your luck at win­ning a free copy of Serv­ing Time over at Goodreads. I hope I win it. Too bad there’s no way to enter the con­test more than once. 😉

Goodreads Give­away!!!!

Oth­er places you can find serv­ing time on Kin­dle and in print:

Every­one, please wel­come Nadine, indie author extra­or­di­naire! 

Nadine, thank you for join­ing me and giv­ing me the chance to take part in your efforts to pro­mote Serv­ing Time. As an indie author I appre­ci­ate the need for expo­sure. It sounds as if Serv­ing Time is going to be quite a sto­ry, one that I am def­i­nite­ly inter­est­ed in read­ing.

1. Give us a brief expla­na­tion of what Serv­ing Time is about.

When inter­plan­e­tary pilot and smug­gler Tris­tan Cross final­ly decides to do good for a change, the entire uni­verse seems bent on stop­ping him.

Serv­ing Time is a sci-fan­ta­sy pur­suit across the solar sys­tem as Tris­tan and his broth­er Eneld try to give the cru­el mega­com­pa­ny Star­Corp the slip and start a new anony­mous life on Earth. Dur­ing their voy­age, they’ll dis­cov­er that someone—or something—else is after them…and there are much larg­er threats out there than Star­Corp…

Here is the offi­cial book descrip­tion:

Life and death have been indus­tri­al­ized. The Forge, the birth­place of every soul, is a rum­bling fac­to­ry owned by the god­dess Time, man­aged by Lucifer, and pow­ered by the labor of demons and imps. In this dystopi­an world, a rene­gade inter­plan­e­tary pilot run­ning from his past doesn’t stand a chance.

Han­dling Nep­tun­ian meth and dodg­ing secu­ri­ty can­nons are all in a day’s work for Tris­tan Cross—not that he’s one to com­plain. Work­ing for the smug­gling com­pa­ny Star­Corp is an improve­ment over what he used to do for a liv­ing.

How­ev­er, when Star­Corp gives Tris­tan a one-way tick­et into the brainwashed—and dis­turbing­ly suicidal—Loyal League, he decides to run from the com­pa­ny and start a new life in the only safe haven he knows: Earth. With the help of his broth­er, Tris­tan embarks on the most haz­ardous jour­ney of his life, one that will place him at Time’s mer­cy. Lit­tle does he know the demons run­ning the uni­verse are crav­ing a feast, and his own soul is the next item on the menu.

2. What was the inspi­ra­tion for Serv­ing Time? How long did it take for Serv­ing Time to ger­mi­nate into a full fledged tellable tale?

Serv­ing Time start­ed out as a short about 15 years ago. When I was a teen, I spent much of my free time jot­ting down short sto­ries. In fact, I have two full-length nov­els from when I was around 15 or 16, but I’m too embar­rassed to even begin edit­ing them!

The sto­ry that even­tu­al­ly evolved into Serv­ing Time was about two broth­ers who made a liv­ing loot­ing derelict space ships. In the short, they quick­ly end­ed up on the system’s “Most Want­ed” list, and decid­ed to flee to Earth, where they knew the space author­i­ties wouldn’t be able to find them.

As a teen, I shelved the sto­ry when the broth­ers met Verin, a dis­con­cert­ing man who offered to help them escape to Earth, but who seemed to have a very dif­fer­ent agen­da in mind. Sev­er­al years went by, and the short sto­ry gath­ered some dust—but wasn’t for­got­ten.

When I fin­ished uni­ver­si­ty, I was ter­ri­bly frus­trat­ed with myself. I had had enough of doing what I was sup­posed to do. It was time to start doing what I want­ed to do! That was when I promised my char­ac­ters (who were giv­ing me for­lorn looks as they stood by and wait­ed) that I would tell their sto­ry.

The process of trans­form­ing the short into a 120,000 word nov­el took about three years, main­ly because at first I had no idea what I was doing. I had to learn the­craft. In June of 2011, I enrolled in a cre­ative writ­ing course, and in Novem­ber of the same year I joined Cri­tique Cir­cle, an online cri­tique group.

I was final­ly doing what I had always want­ed!

Then came the long hours of pound­ing at the key­board. And the changes—oh, so many changes!

Over time, names changed. The main char­ac­ters’ goals changed. The plot twist­ed itself into a knot. Some char­ac­ters slipped into obscu­ri­ty while oth­ers rose to the occa­sion and sur­prised me with their ver­sa­til­i­ty. Creepy crawlies grad­u­al­ly popped up in sev­er­al chap­ters. The plot evolved, and fan­ta­sy demand­ed a cen­tral role. I end­ed up wel­com­ing it into my sto­ry, and what a great deci­sion that was!

3. Of all of the char­ac­ters on your book, which one would you most want to befriend. Why?

I have a soft spot for Seth, the child­like own­er of the Robot Rehab in the space colony Ring­wall. He spends his days strip­ping old robots and using the parts to cre­ate new…well… Let’s be frank here: they’re abom­i­na­tions. But don’t get me wrong! They’re very cre­ative abom­i­na­tions! Every now and then, Seth adds a lit­tle something—shall we say…unusual?—to his robot­ic cre­ations, a dis­qui­et­ing habit that earned him the title of “can­ni­bal.”

He’s such a bright, chirpy and quirky char­ac­ter, and so absolute­ly obliv­i­ous to his innate creepi­ness, that you just have to love him! In my case, I’d love to spend a few days with him in the Robot Rehab and check out all the mon­sters he’s assem­bling. How­ev­er, don’t let his youth­ful appear­ance and easy­go­ing dis­po­si­tion fool you; there’s great poten­tial buried deep in that mind of his.

I love him so much…you can’t imag­ine how guilty I feel about every­thing I put him through.

Here you can see an inter­view with Seth.

Here you can catch a sneak peek into Serv­ing Time involv­ing Seth!

4. I’ve placed Serv­ing Time on my To Read list. It sounds real­ly inter­est­ing espe­cial­ly since it seems so much hap­pens in space. So, for that rea­son, I assume ST is a sci-fi tale. How did you han­dle the sci­ence in this sto­ry?

Indeed, Serv­ing Time is a soft sci­ence fic­tion tale. Although I adore sci­ence fic­tion, I’m not a big fan of hard sci-fi (my eyes tend to glaze over when­ev­er I encounter an entire para­graph of pure tech­ni­cal descrip­tion). I pre­fer char­ac­ter-dri­ven sto­ries to tech­nol­o­gy-dri­ven ones, and that’s exact­ly what Serv­ing Time is.

For the sake of cred­i­bil­i­ty, I did per­form exten­sive research regard­ing Mar­t­ian ter­rafor­ma­tion, trav­el dis­tances across the solar sys­tem, and the like—but I also left a lot of room for fan­ta­sy.

As we trav­el through the chap­ters of Serv­ing Time, we grad­u­al­ly notice that the sci­ence fic­tion world is infest­ed with an entire menagerie of unusu­al crea­tures, rang­ing from the (self-pro­claimed) demon mas­ter Robert West­brook, to the packs of demons rem­i­nisc­ing of bet­ter times, to the god­dess of Time her­self, as she strug­gles to keep every­thing togeth­er and make amends for her past mis­takes. Time is a vain crea­ture, and just admit­ting that she made a mis­take takes its toll on the entire uni­verse.

One of my all-time favorite authors is Robert Sheck­ley, whose wit­ty and humor­ous short sto­ries have cap­ti­vat­ed me for years. The col­lec­tion Untouched by Human Hands is absolute­ly mar­velous, a five-star read. While com­ment­ing on his work, Sheck­ley him­self once said: “I felt I wasn’t real­ly writ­ing sci­ence fic­tion.” Well, I can relate to that. While writ­ing Serv­ing Time, I some­times also felt I wasn’t real­ly writ­ing sci­ence fic­tion; my char­ac­ters just hap­pened to live in a cou­ple cen­turies in the future! With the uni­verse a cler­i­cal mess, it’s clear that many of the ele­ments in Serv­ing Time are pure fan­ta­sy.

5. What do read­ers have to look for­ward to in the next install­ment of Serv­ing Time?

I’m not going to reveal if Tris­tan and Eneld reach Earth safe and sound—you’ll have to read Serv­ing Time to find out! How­ev­er, I will tell you that our heroes are in for one heck of a jour­ney, and things just seem to get more and more com­pli­cat­ed as they go. The adven­ture will take an unex­pect­ed turn and con­tin­ue in book two:Making Time.

As I men­tioned in a recent blog hop, Mak­ing Time is a “sci-fi expe­di­tion into Hell.” Expect mon­sters. Dozens—no, hundreds—of them! Expect adven­ture and chal­lenges, and maybe even a tad of romance.

Mak­ing Time is almost com­plete. The plot is planned from begin­ning to end; I just need to wrap up sev­er­al of the final chap­ters.

Click here to see a WIP Blog Hop post about Mak­ing Time!

Thank you very much for the inter­view, Khaal­i­dah! Before say­ing good­bye, I’d like to invite you all to my Goodreads give­away for a chance to win a free signed copy of Serv­ing Time! Just fol­low the link to enter.

No, no. Thank you for join­ing me. It was a plea­sure and an hon­or. Good luck Nadine!




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