Lisa: Please join us in welcoming author F.T. Lukens today, on the tour for her new novel, The Star Host. And be sure to check out the giveaway she’s brought to share with you too—the Grand Prize, a $25 Interlude Press Web Store gift card, or the chance to win an e-copy of the book.
Hi, F.T., why don’t we start by having you introduce yourself and your book?
F.T.: Hi, everyone, this is F.T., and I’m here to talk about my debut novel The Star Host. It is a science-fiction adventure novel. The story features a bisexual main character, and it follows two teenagers, Ren and Asher, as they navigate political intrigue, Ren’s growing power, and their own relationship as they journey across planets, spaceships, and drifts.
Lisa: When did you write your first story? How old were you?
F.T.: I wrote my first short story when I was in third grade. It was a project we had to complete for language arts, and I agonized over the idea. Eventually, I wrote a story about a knight who battles a dragon to rescue a princess. Not very original, I know, but it was my first attempt at writing. After that, I began writing my own stories, and I continued to do that well through high school and college.
Lisa: Are you a plotter or pantser?
F.T.:I am such a thorough plotter it borders on ridiculous. I outline stories down to scenes. It helps to keep me going when I’m struggling with writing. With an outline, I can skip a scene and come back to it without interrupting the plot progression. That doesn’t mean, though, that I always stick to the outline I’ve created. There are times when I’m writing and the characters are reacting to a situation that doesn’t mesh well with the outline. When that happens, I adjust accordingly.
Lisa: What do you think makes your book stand out from the crowd?
F.T.: I think the The Star Host stands out because it’s a book about a bisexual teenager who goes on an adventure. I think that sometimes books which include LGBTQ characters feel forced to focus on the character’s sexuality as the plot of the novel. And while I think that stories like that are very important and necessary, I also think that sometimes it’s just fun for a reader to pick up a book and find an LGBTQ character on an adventure. And why not? Individuals should be able to find representations of themselves in all stories.
Lisa: How do you find or make time to write?
F.T.: I have to make time to write. I work a full-time job and I have three kids. Not to mention that I have hobbies that I like to indulge in. So I either write very early in the morning after I put my two oldest on the bus. Or I write very late at night after everyone else has gone to bed. Also, weekends are my serious writing days. I can crank out a few thousand words on Saturdays and Sundays.
Lisa: What do you like to read in your free time?
F.T.: I like to read science-fiction and fantasy stories when I have the time. But I also have quite a few contemporary young adult loaded on my Kindle right now. It’s usually whatever strikes my fancy when I do have a moment to read.
Lisa: Thanks for stopping by, F.T., it’s been nice getting to know you a bit better.
Blurb: Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, he must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.
He finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.
About the Author: F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.
A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college’s science-fiction club. F.T. has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels—especially anything by Douglas Adams.
Tour Dates and Stops:
3-Mar: Hearts on Fire, Happily Ever Chapter, Kirsty Loves Books, Velvet Panic
4-Mar: Full Moon Dreaming, Havan Fellows, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
7-Mar: Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Boys on the Brink Reviews
8-Mar: V’s Reads, Butterfly-O-Meter, Love Bytes
9-Mar: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Nephy Hart, KathyMac Reviews
10-Mar: Bonkers About Books, Inked Rainbow Reads, Prism Book Alliance, Attention is Arbitrary
11-Mar: A.M. Leibowitz, The Novel Approach
14-Mar: Man2ManTastic, Anna Butler Fiction
15-Mar: Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie
16-Mar: BFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook