Definitely a pantser. I’ve tried plotting, but it just seemed so…confining. This is to say that I know what I WANT to happen, that is, the plot points, but how I get there is another story, so to speak. Really, I prefer to just write and see how things turn out. Sometimes my characters surprise me in a pleasant way, and sometimes not. Sometimes a character I expected to survive doesn’t, and one I expected to die, lives. In any event, it’s always fun not knowing what’s going to happen next.
Where did you get the inspiration for The Moreva of Astoreth?
Actually, the inspiration for this book happened thirty, thirty-five years ago. While in college, a friend and I collaborated on a story. I don’t remember the details—too long ago for my poor old brain—but the basic storyline stuck with me. Then, years later, I read Zecharia Sitchin’s Earth Chronicles series. And I thought, what if I figured out some way to meld the two? I did, and the result, of course, is The Moreva of Astoreth.
Is this book part of a series?
No, though some of my readers have said they’d like to see more of the world I’ve created. So sometime in the future, when I’ve finished my current projects, I may revisit my world and write another story. Maybe with different characters. Maybe a prequel, maybe a sequel. We’ll just have to see.
What is your daily page count or word count record?
I don’t keep track of that, mainly because I’m just not that organized! But I will say that with my current work in progress, I wrote the first five chapters in two days. Haven’t been able to do that since.
Please tell us a little about your book.
It’s about a sheltered priestess of the Goddess of Love, who is also a bigot. When she misses an important ritual because the people she despises participated, her punishment is to be exiled for a year from her beloved desert home to a volatile, far northern region of the planet to tend the spaceship landing beacon and to act as the spiritual leader for the military garrison stationed there. Thrust from a cloistered existence into a wider, more dangerous world, she has to learn to overcome her own shortcomings in order to survive. That’s the short version, anyway. It also involves romance, political intrigue, the importance of persevering in the face of seeming defeat, and a few other topics.
Who is your favorite author of all time?
That would be Edgar Allan Poe. I simply love the flow of his words. And his works, even after a century and a half or so, and even after reading his stories over and over, still manage to evoke a visceral reaction of horror in me. I even love his poetry, and I’m not much into that literary form.
What are you working on at the moment?
The sequel to my first book, The Underground. In it, three of our heroes—a werewolf, a mage, and a vampire—had cast a spell in the first book that had gone horribly wrong for them. Meanwhile, our fourth hero, a fugitive alien with whom the werewolf is in love, has returned to Earth with her enemies on her tail. So now our heroes not only have to figure out how to undo the effects of the spell, but also to stop an impending invasion of Earth.
Title: The Moreva of Astoreth
Author: Roxanne Bland
Genre: Science Fiction
In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful goddess who is temporarily exiled from Temple life in her beloved desert home to a volatile far northern corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.
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