Thursday, November 6, 2014
Interview and Giveaway with Leonie Rogers
Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.
Hi everyone! My name’s Leonie Rogers, and I’m an Australian author who loves to write and read fantasy and science fiction in particular, but I also dabble in poetry as well. I write and blog under my own name. I originally came from Western Australia, and I’ve spent many years living in the remote Pilbara Region of WA, but now reside in the Upper Hunter, NSW. I’m rather fond of cats and dogs and we have two of each.
Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
Frontier Resistance is Book 2 in the Frontier Series. It follows the ongoing adventures of Shanna, her friends and their starcats, as they try to protect their world from the invading Garsal. Starcats are huge (100kg) glow-in-the-dark cats, who help to protect their human friends from the dangers of Frontier. They also like to sleep on the bed!
Are you a mom?
I am! My husband and I have two children, who are now young adults. They’re both studying at university, and this year has been our first as ‘empty nesters.’ It’s very quiet when they’re both away. No-one’s playing the drumkit or the marimba or singing enthusiastically in the bathroom!
If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?
It has certainly been a juggle! I’ve always liked writing, but up until I injured myself skiing a few years ago, I’d never had enough time to write as much as I wanted to. The Frontier Series has been written during two HSCs (final year twelve exams in Australia), two university entrance periods, one of which involved travelling to audition at a variety of Conservatorium’s of Music, and the normal ups and downs of being the parent of teenagers. Fortunately our eldest has been one of my chief test readers - I value her opinion highly, and she’s never been backward in saying “Hey Mum, that last chapter really sucks!” or other equally tactful things. It’s really important to have someone who reads your stuff and comments freely, not worrying about hurting your feelings…
Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?
I have incorporated cyclones, map reading and navigation, abseiling, and living with cats into my books. One of our current cats wriggled his way into Frontier Resistance, but I changed his sex in order to protect his identity. The characters aren’t based on people I know, but I’m sure that various traits from people I’ve encountered have snuck in subliminally!
Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?
I’d like readers, and particularly girls, to read about Shanna and realise that they are more than just the sum of their body parts. At this time in western society, there’s a lot of pressure for girls to conform to a narrow ideal of physical beauty - and to value that above anything else. Shanna’s a girl who’s valued for her skills and her competence, not her appearance. She’s resourceful, but still has to cope with all the normal doubts and fears that any teenager deals with. Frontier has a completely egalitarian society - gender plays no role in what you can do, just your talents, skills and hard work.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I met my husband in the volunteer fire brigade in WA, I’ve been a Vertical Rescue Team Leader and Instructor, and once walked about 600km with eight camels and several other people.
If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?
This book is part two of the Frontier Series. The first book is called Frontier Incursion, and the third book Frontier Defiant. So, without spoilers - this is tricky - there will be some hard choices ahead for Shanna, and there will be sadness. It’s war, and there will be casualties and chaos, and hopefully some surprises, right at the end.
What book are you reading now?
This morning I finished John Scalzi’s ‘Old Man’s War.’ I really love the concept and the neat clean style of his writing.
What is in your to read pile?
Possibly an easier question to answer is “What isn’t in your to read pile?” It’s a family joke that I can’t walk past a bookstore with out walking in. And now I have a Kindle, and there’s this ‘1 click purchase’ button that makes it way too easy to buy books.
The top of my to-read pile looks something like this: Terry Pratchett’s ‘Long Earth’ series, absolutely anything I haven’t read by Brandon Sanderson and everything I’ve already read by him, (I’m a chronic re-reader), the second book in Patty Jansen’s ‘Ambassador’ series and the rest of Juliet Marillier’s Shadowfell series. I could go on, and on, and on, so I should stop now.
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Hague Publishing
Word Count: 133,000
Cover Artist: Emma Llewelyn
The much awaited sequel to Frontier Incursion.
The Garsal have landed and Frontier has changed forever. Now Shanna and her friends must master their new gifts that will enable them to seek out the alien invaders before they enslave her world.
On the plateau the Council under Tamazine (the Senior Councillor) allies with the Starlyne race. Only united do the Scouts, their starcats, and the Starlyne have any chance of surviving, but Tamazine's distrust of the alliance creates a fatal weakness.
Below, the Garsal plot. They need a new pool of human slaves to expand their empire, but first, they must locate the humans already on Frontier and subdue them. Time is running out for both invader and settler, and the outcome hangs in the balance.
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/tvymDYRwj6Y
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As Shanna entered the common room for breakfast, yawning and rubbing one eye, Arad hurried over to her looking worried. There was no one else in the room as she’d woken early, and she smiled at him as he approached.
“Have you seen Nosey this morning?” he asked. Shanna shook her head and lifted a querying eyebrow at the Scout.
“What do you mean? Have you lost her?” It was an odd question – no one ever lost a starcat.
“Not exactly,” Arad looked slightly embarrassed. “She was on my bed as normal when I went to sleep, but she wasn’t there when I woke up. Actually, would you send Storm or Twister to search the place for her, please? I’ve looked everywhere I can think of.” Shanna took pity on Arad, and called Twister to her.
“Twister, find Nosey!” Twister blinked his tidemarks once, and immediately shot out of the common room door and vanished up the corridor. “Well, there’s one answer, Arad. You couldn’t find her in here, because she isn’t in here.”
“But where on earth would she have gone without me?” asked Arad in a puzzled tone. “If she needs to go out in the night, she always wakes me.” He smiled ruefully. “And everyone else as well.” Shanna shared a companionable grimace with him. The whole group had experienced Nosey’s boisterous rousing of her companion.
Storm hummed quietly at them and looked pointedly at the door, and the two of them followed him as he took the path his brother had taken, but at a more sedate pace. For ten minutes, Storm wound them through the maze of underground corridors of the Starlyne habitat. After more than four weeks, Shanna could now usually recognise where she was, but this time Storm led them into a completely new area of the complex. Abruptly, Twister was with them again. He hummed quietly, and winked his tidemarks at his brother in a pattern that Shanna had learned to recognise as quiet amusement. Intrigued she shared a look with Arad as the two of them followed the two cats. Two more corners and through a sliding door, and then the corridor sloped upwards and exited into a tiny sheltered valley hemmed about by sheer rock walls. In the midst of the open space was Nosey surrounded by ten tiny Starlynes, the eleven of them gambolling and playing, rolling over and over each other. The pudgy little starcat was bouncing and leaping, and tapping the tiny Starlynes as she leapt up and over them. Would you call them children? wondered Shanna.
Arad watched with his mouth open, eyes wide as his starcat and the Starlyne younglings played. They were exuberant and both Shanna and Arad could feel the enjoyment wafting in waves off the group. An adult Starlyne glided up to them as they stood there, watching the merriment. “She arrived as the younglings did this morning. They think she’s wonderful.” The tone of the creature’s voice was fond.
“She’s rather naughty, actually,” said Arad, firmly, “She shouldn’t have wandered off like that.” His eyes continued to reflect the enjoyment so obviously being had by the small group gambolling together despite his stern tone, as Nosey swarmed up a small tree and then launched herself over the little Starlynes, bouncing on her paws behind them as they turned to chase her down.
About the Author:
Originally from Western Australia, Leonie now lives in NSW in the Upper Hunter. She is the author of “Frontier Incursion” (YA Speculative Fiction) published in October 2012 by Hague Publishing, and also works part time as a physiotherapist. She dabbles in poetry, and has had a short story published in Antipodean SF.
Frontier Resistance, part two of the Frontier Trilogy was published on the 3rd of October 2014, and she has also finished the first draft of the concluding book. They’re full of glow-in-the-dark cats who like to sleep on the bed, alien invaders, and a planet out to kill the unwary.
She has a past life as a volunteer firefighter and State Emergency Service member, and once trekked almost six hundred kilometres with eight camels and several other human beings. She is married with two late teen kids, two dogs and two cats, one of whom frequently handicaps her ability to use a laptop computer.
Wordpress blog: www.leonierogers.wordpress.com