The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome author Astrid Amara today on the Song of the Navigator blog tour. Enjoy Astrid’s guest post, and also be sure to check out the great giveaways she’s offering.
Hi there! So glad to be part of The Novel Approach Reviews today, talking about Song of the Navigator. Lisa asked me to talk about where the idea of the novel came from, and influences that impacted the story.
It all stems from my deep love of hurt/comfort as a trope in romances. It’s my (not so) secret guilty pleasure. But it’s hard to strike a balance using guilt and traumatic experience in stories in a way that stays realistic to how a person would actually react after something hurtful, remains compelling and interesting to read, and isn’t so dark that I can’t get over it.
I wrote a short story years ago about a man who was in hiding because he had this ability to teleport, and once discovered he was forced to live inside a giant spaceship engine to fuel its movements. It wasn’t a very good short story, but I liked the idea of a machine moving because of a person’s enhanced abilities, and the concept for this story was born.
Back in 2010, Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, and I all travelled together to the annual Yaoi-con convention in California like we always did, and while on that trip, we brainstormed a new shared world anthology idea. We’d just completed Hell Cop and wanted to do something similar, but in the science fiction genre rather than fantasy. I was also reading about Stockholm Syndrome at the time and came up with the idea of a man who was responsible for tremendous amounts of intergalactic trade being captured and forced to use his abilities for pirates and terrorists.
My idea blossomed from a short novella to a full length novel on its own. At the same time, Ginn and Nicole got pulled in different directions with other writing projects, and the idea of the shared world anthology got scrapped. Instead, we later worked together (and with Josh Lanyon) on the Irregulars anthology.
I really enjoyed writing this book, because I got to work with character types that I rarely write about, and it was a lot of fun coming up with how a carbon dioxide world would look and function.
It was also interesting to take some of the issues we struggle with in modern day and project them into the future. I’d like to believe that things like homophobia or racism would be dead in the 22nd century, but I’m not sure that it will be the case, and I wanted to experiment with what kind of format these challenges would take in a universe with multiple human settlements.
Lastly, I wanted the story to have a fall-from-grace theme to it, which, now that I think about it, a lot of my stories have. Tover Duke as a character is on a pedestal for most of his life, and he knows it. So when he’s knocked down, the experience he has in redefining who he is and what his place is in the world is, is what ultimately defines what makes him good. I’m a big fan of characters that change through the course of the story, and I hope I’ve succeeded in showing that here.
So please pick up a copy and let me know what you think – I love hearing from readers, whether your like it, despise it, or find it very useful for falling to sleep at night. Keep me posted.
AND I have a few gifties to give away as a thank you for stopping by! Comment below, and you will be in the running for one of two prizes. One person will get a Song of the Navigator fridge magnet that’s surprisingly more tasteful than I originally thought it would look like. And one person will get an electronic copy of my fantasy novel The Devil Lancer in any digital format you so desire. So make sure to comment below.
And if you don’t win, don’t give up! I’ll be promoting Song of the Navigator all this week, so stop by my website to learn where I’ll be next and what other goodies you can win!
Thanks Lisa for letting me swing by. 🙂
Tover Duke’s rare ability to move anything instantly across light-years of space makes him a powerful, valuable asset to the Harmony Corporation, and a rock star among the people of the colonies. His life is luxurious. Safe. Routine.
He has his pick of casual hookups passing through Dadelus-Kaku Station. His one brush with danger of any kind—the only bright spot in his otherwise boring life—is Cruz Arcadio, a dark-haired, hard-bodied engineer whose physical prowess hints he’s something much more.
When a terrorist abducts Tover, hurling him into a world of torture, exploitation and betrayal, it’s with shattering disbelief that he realizes his kidnapper is none other than Cruz. As Tover struggles to find the courage to escape his bondage, he begins to understand the only way to free his body, his mind—and his heart—is to trust the one man who showed him that everything about his once-perfect life was a lie.
About the Author: Astrid Amara lives in Bellingham, Washington. She’s a former Peace Corps Volunteer, an advocate for animal rights, and a bureaucrat by day. After work she can usually be found writing, riding horses, hiking, or else sleeping. Her novel The Archer’s Heart was a finalist for the 2008 Lambda Literary Award.