Full disclosure: Jennette became my li’l sis around 1984. I’d call her my “sister from another mother,” but that doesn’t work as well as “brother.” But you get the idea. Anyway, I’m interviewing Jen here about Hangar 18, her latest offering.
Hangar 18 is a departure for you, leaving the Saturn Society behind for now. Tell us about it.
Hangar 18: Legacy is about a psychic Air Force officer and researcher, Adam Keller. Adam’s used to sensing the thoughts and emotions of others, so he keeps people at a distance. But when a desperate, telepathic voice demands rescue, dark thoughts of death threaten to overwhelm him. Then he meets a woman whose attraction to him—and his to her—quiets, if not silences, the voice. All he has to do is risk his heart and experience the emotions he’s long denied himself.
Skeptical programmer Lisa Stark wants nothing more than to finish the subliminal messaging software she’s worked on for over a year, a project someone wants badly enough to kill for. Then Adam discovers the voice plaguing him is an imprisoned extraterrestrial thought dead for decades. Lisa’s software is key to freeing the being and silencing the voice… if she lives to finish it.
This book has a long history. How did it start out?
LOL long history is so true! However, I don’t think you’re referring to the legends that say the wreckage from the Roswell incident were brought to Wright Field in 1947. As you know (but others probably don’t), Hangar 18 began its life in 1999, as Nothing to Hide, my first completed novel. There were no aliens, just a psychic, a skeptical programmer, and someone who wanted to kill her. And lots of first-book problems, like boring scenes with nothing more than a character thinking. Yet it sold to an epublisher, and was released as an ebook in 2002. However, this was five years before Amazon’s Kindle came out, and before ebooks were really viable—the only ebooks that were selling well were erotica, which my book was far from! After its contract ended, I let it sit, but when I decided to publish through Mythical Press, I knew I had to resurrect it. At its core, it was still a good story. So I completely rewrote it, without even looking at the original. This time, I added aliens, and put the mind-control software where one would expect to find it being developed—in the military. And no more boring scenes with people just thinking!
You work at Wright-Patterson AFB (where the real Hangar 18 is located). How prevalent are the rumors of aliens on the base? Or is it more the realm of Internet denizens in search of a good conspiracy?
LOL no one admits to believing this stuff—it’s all just for fun! There’s not even a Hangar 18 there, nor was there ever. The generally-accepted explanation for the Roswell incident was that the “spacecraft” was actually cold war surveillance equipment. Captured Soviet technology would have certainly been shipped off to the military’s Foreign Technology Division, which was indeed located at Wright Field. That I believe!
Do you think you might return to the Saturn Society after two books and a short story?
Yes! I’m working on another short story right now, and letting ideas ferment for a third novel. No ETA for that one, however.
The RWA features prominently in your blogs and your marketing. Why not tell us a little about that group?
RWA is Romance Writers of America, a professional organization for romance writers. RWA is different than other professional writers’ organizations in that writers at any point in their career are welcome, including unpublished writers. IMO, it’s hands-down one of the best places to learn craft and business, especially if you’re fortunate to have a good local chapter. This is true even if you’re not writing romance, but perhaps another genre, with some romance in it. I’m certain I would not be as far along as I am now without my friends from the Ohio Valley RWA.
I listen to a lot of music when I write. What have you been listening to lately?
I find a lot of inspiration in music! Pink Floyd has been drawing out the muse for working on my short story this past week. And I can almost always dig into something while listening to my favorite, Front Line Assembly. This may explain why I come up with so much weird stuff.
What are you working on now?
At the moment, I’m working on another Saturn Society short story, which may be included in an anthology with work from some of my OVRWA friends. I’ve also started planning and outlining a futuristic romance I’ve wanted to write for years. And I’m still getting ideas for the third Saturn Society novel, so that may be coming up within the next year!
Who are you reading?
Right now, I’m reading a contemporary young adult novel—Come Back to Me by Coleen Patrick, and on the treadmill is crime fiction—Dirty Martini by J.A. Konrath. I have a collection of short stories about some Kepler guy queued up on my Kindle for after those are done.
Thanks so much for having me, Jim!