I 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.
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.
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.
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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