Please join me in welcoming a peach of a lady, Rochelle Weber. In reading her bio, I had no idea she was an ex-Navy veteran. Let's hear it for all the veterans and what they give to this country. Moving on, below is a short interview with Rochelle, a chance to get to know her better:
1. What is your favorite book?
I don’t really have favorite books; I have favorite authors. They include Robert A. Heinlein, J.K. Rowling, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Tom Clancy’s early work, and in that vein MuseItUp Publishing’s Cyrus Keith, John Grisham, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, David Weber’s Honor Harrington series (no relation), your Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries (and Acey and Tink say hi to Tugger), Elle Druskin’s Liberty Heights series, Gail Roughton’s books, Mary Janice Davidson’s Undead and… series, and M. S. Spencer.
2. How old were you when you were first published?
I guess that depends on what you mean by published. When I was twenty-five I had a story published in my secretarial school’s newsletter. The following year I had articles published in some small newspapers. I had a column in a local weekly newspaper in 1977-78, and a front-page story in another local weekly in 1983. In 1988 an essay I wrote was published in the Columbia College award-winning student anthology, Hair Trigger. I was thirty-seven. My first fiction piece wasn’t published until 2004 when Inara Press bought Rock Bound as a serial, but they folded halfway through the story. I was fifty-three by then. Red Rose picked it up in 2006 and I’m one of the people who asked for and got my rights back from there.
3. What made you become interested in life on the moon? What prompted you to write about it?
I’ve been a science fiction fan since 1972 or so when my then-husband brought a book home from his submarine by Robert A. Heinlein. I didn’t really get up the nerve to write science fiction until I reached my fifties, started attending science fiction conventions, and joined Mensa. That’s when I decided maybe I could cross genres and put a romance in outer space. The Moon is the most familiar object out there, so I decided to put my colony there. Rock Bound, my first book, sort of started out as fan fiction based on Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but when I realized I might have a chance to publish it as an e-book, I rewrote it and changed it up to make it less recognizable as Heinlein’s Luna colony and make it more mine. As Heinlein once said, I “filed off the serial numbers.”
4. What writing style do you most abhor?
I don’t really abhor any writing style, but horror gives me nightmares when it’s done well. I’m not fond of BDSM or too much erotica, either. Too many flames just bore me. And historical fiction has to be done right. Do your homework. Don’t throw in twenty-first century idiom when you’re writing a Regency romance. I guess in short, I like good writing without too much sex that doesn’t scare me or squick me out.
5. When and how do you write? (typewriter, Mac, in a café, for four hours each morning, etc?)
I use a Windows laptop with a wireless mouse and keyboard propped up to eye level on a business desk. On workdays my routine is to get up, have some orange juice, walk several laps on each floor of the building in which I live, write for an hour or two, write a book review or blog article or go into my e-mail. Once I’m into e-mail, I’m “sucked into the vortex.” I might get into Facebook or Twitter, but I don’t post as much as I should. Around three or four I get off the computer and read, usually something for review. Right now I’m taking a break and reading a book I missed in the Dresden Files. Later tonight, I’ll listen to an Audible edition of a book from the Undead and… series by Mary Janice Davidson. I have a couple of books waiting in my Kindle for review.
6. What is your greatest fear when you first turn in a manuscript?
Rejection, of course. That the editors will find it mediocre.
7. In what era do you wish you’d been born?
I’m fairly happy with this era, although I really expected flying cars, cures for cancer and the common cold, and Moon colonies by now. ;-(
8. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“And I’m like…” as opposed to “I said.” I also curse in Gallactican. “Oh, frak! Felgerkarb!”
9. Which talent would you most like to have?
I write, I sing fairly well, I crochet, sew, embroider and knit. I dance pretty well for a white chick. I cook okay and bake well. I could maybe read a bit faster.
10. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Aside from my two daughters? Getting published by Lea Schizas at MuseItUp Publishing, Inc. and being able to call people like you my colleagues.
11. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Wow, again so many. Woodrow Wilson Smith aka Lazarus Long, Professor Dumbledore, Harry Dresden.
12. How would you like to die?
In my sleep when I’m well past a hundred. The thing is, as long and my kids and grandkids and great-etcs. are around, as long as I can think of a new book to write, play a trivia game, solve a crossword puzzle, sing or dance, I don’t wanna miss anything. If I’m still having fun, I don’t wanna go. If I stop having fun…well then, pull the plug and reel in the wires, guys, because to quote the Eagles, I’m “Already Gone.”
The cover art for my second book, Rock Crazy, just came in eighth at the Preditors and Editors 2012 Reader’s Poll. Here’s a taste.
Katie McGowan is bi-polar, and she’s run the gamut of medications. Everyone is telling her she should go to the Moon and have microchip surgery, but she’s afraid she’ll become an automaton. In a last-ditch, tough love effort to force her to get the chip, her husband, Scott takes her to the Moon and divorces her when she decks him. Then she discovers she’s pregnant. She can’t have the surgery or take her meds until after the baby’s born.
Scott is elated when he hears he’s going to be a father and naturally assumes Katie will take him back. He always intended to take her back as soon she had the surgery. He has no clue how badly he hurt her, how thoroughly he’s broken her trust—or that he may not get her back at all.
This takes place later in Katie’s pregnancy when she’s been off her meds awhile. In its most severe form, bi-polar disorder includes hallucinations. This is the psychotic break that puts Katie in the hospital for the duration of her pregnancy.
July 28, 2066—Twenty-Five Weeks
Katie’s happiness didn’t last long. She was euphoric for about three days, then the clouds descended again, and she became extremely irritable. She finally broke her promise to the Johnsruds and went off on a customer in the restaurant. To make matters worse, the customer was right. Katie had misunderstood his order and brought him the wrong thing. When he asked her to take it back, she snapped. The tantrum she threw was similar to the one she had thrown at the holo theater, complete with obscenities and pummeling the man’s shoulder. Jake bounded out of the kitchen and got his arms around Katie, restraining her as he carried her, screaming, back to the air-lock. He cycled through with her, and took her to her room. By that time, Katie was sobbing and apologizing, and talking about suicide.
“I’m sorrrrreeeee!” Katie sobbed. “I’m so sorrrrreeeee! It doesn’t matter. The baby’ll be better off without me. The baby’ll be better off if we’re both dead, because she can get it from me. I’m sorrrrreeeee, Baby! Tell Scott—tell him—”
Annie heard the commotion and met them in the hallway, along with Bobby.
“Well, that’s it. We can’t take care of her anymore,” Jake said. “I’d better get back out there and see if I can placate the guy.”
“OK. Bobby, let’s get her into her room, and I’ll call the doc,” Annie agreed. She activated her communicator. “Dr. Watkins’ Office.”
“Dr. Watkins’ office,” a woman’s voice answered.
“Hi, Andrea, it’s Annie Johnsrud. I’m afraid our problem child needs help.”
“Oh, dear,” Andrea said. “How bad is she?”
“I think it’s time to admit her.”
“Can you get her over here?” Andrea asked.
“Yes. We’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“OK. I’ll tell Jim and he’ll meet you in the ER.”
* * * *
Annie called a taxi, and they half-dragged Katie who was now struggling and screaming again, toward the airlock. Annie had her arms around Katie’s torso, her hands under the girl’s breasts, and above her distended abdomen, and Bobby grabbed Katie’s legs. They carried her into the airlock and it began cycling.
This is wrong! The Voice screamed inside Katie’s head. Katie, you have to pull yourself together!
“But I can’t,” she replied. “I can’t stop it. I can’t help it.”
“What can’t you stop?” Annie asked.
Well you should be able to.
“But I can’t.”
“I know.” She struggled harder as they climbed into the taxi.
You can’t act this way.
“I can’t stop!”
They’re gonna lock you up.
“I don’t wanna be locked up!”
And throw away the key.
“I’m sorrrrreeeee!” Katie wailed. “Stop! Please stop! Stop arguing!”
“Katie, no one is arguing with you. We’re sorry, too, but it’s for the baby.”
“The baby!” Katie moaned.
Mommy, don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!
“I won’t kill you. I just want the pain to end. I just wanna kill me!”
Don’t kill me, Mommy!
“Daddy’ll take care of you. He’ll save you.”
Mommy, don’t kill me. I’m here, Mommy! Don’t hurt me!
“Be good for Daddy. Tell him—Tell him I love him.”
“NO! I won’t hurt you! I just want it to stop!”
“Katie!” a voice said. It was a woman.
“Katie!” Annie called her again. “Who won’t you hurt?”
“The baby!” Katie sobbed. “I won’t hurt her! She thinks—She thinks I wanna hurt her!”
She heard a hiss and they lifted her out of the taxi.
You have to stop it! It was The Voice.
“I won’t hurt you. Tell Daddy—”
I can’t tell Daddy if you kill us!
“I love you.”
Then don’t hurt me, Mommy.
“That should do it.” The voice sounded vaguely familiar.
“Thanks.” It sounded like Annie.
The words sounded as though they were coming from far off. Katie didn’t think she wanted to go “there,” wherever it was. She tried to flail, but she was weak. She couldn’t move. The baby and Katie both sobbed, but Katie lost consciousness as they carried her into the hospital.
Visit Rochelle Weber at Museitup Publishing for a bit more about her and her book, Rock Crazy. Being bi-polar on the moon has never been so interesting!