I missed posting my Author Notes yesterday, but here they are on Tuesday! Today I’m writing about ALIEN HEAT, my popular science fiction futuristic romance. I got the idea for this novel when I came across a cover story in the magazine U.S. News and World Report. The feature was on global warming. I theorized: what if this warming was due to villainous extraterrestrial factors, not just because of manmade conditions like automobile exhaust? Then I researched the 1994 crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy into Jupiter. I proposed that this could happen to the planet Venus, with the force of impact sending fragments of Venus out into space which then eventually collided with Earth. In addition to a dramatic climate change, there’d have to be significant damage to civilization. With that kind of trauma, cultures and countries usually become divided, so now I had the “primitive” villagers clashing with the more technologically advanced people of the territory now known as Canusa. Throw in colonizing Venusian flowers and you have ALIEN HEAT!
AN ALIEN INVASION
A cataclysmic bombardment by meteorites drastically alter Earth's atmosphere... and bring strange alien plants that have a mind of their own. Because of “mutant” powers, only Glyneth recognizes the threat these Venusian flowers pose not just to humans, but to Earth itself.
AN HONORABLE DILEMMA
Major Lucas Jefferson reluctantly abducts Glyneth as a breeder for his country. But "Lady Bulldog" teaches him that might is not always right. Can he learn from this villager to fulfill the ancient prophecy of uniting the old ways with the new?
In addition, since this novel is a romance, a major focus must be on a relationship between a couple... human or otherwise, while the science fiction portion explores the effects of science on some aspect of humanity. In ALIEN HEAT, the romantic conflict is between “uncivilized” villager Glyneth and Major Lucas Jefferson, an “Outsider” from a technologically advanced culture. The science fiction portion deals with the invasion by heat-producing plants intent on turning Earth into another Venus.
Wings ePress was delighted to read, and then publish ALIEN HEAT. Here’s what one editor says about it: “A good example of [crossing genres] is ALIEN HEAT by Susanne Marie Knight which is a Futuristic/SF book. It has appeal to both audiences because of the way Susanne has woven her story using a mix of both genres.”
High praise indeed! ALIEN HEAT has been a best-seller at Wings ePress and on Fictionwise.com. Its beautiful cover was also nominated for the 2005 Quasar Award!
I love this cover as well. I’d like to share with you the process that created this fantastic piece of art. On the cover art form to describe want I wanted, I wrote: Because my novel deals with heat, I envision the cover colors being in yellows and oranges--colors that give off heat. I picture a blazing sun beating down on parched earth.
I included these pictures to get talented artist mpMann a feel for what I had in mind.
I also wrote: I’d love to have an image of the alien plant on the cover, but as I don’t have a picture of this Venusian flower (!) I realize this might be impossible. Below is a passage that describes the plant, plus an attached picture of a glass oval with bubbles suspended in it.
She reached down and plucked one. Its willowy stalk stood tall--about a foot high--and hard, almost like bamboo. Completely covering the stalk was a type of white “fur,” warm to the touch. Inside the gauzy white flower petals, she saw a clear oval, jelly-like mass, with tiny bubbles suspended within it. As she watched, bubble by bubble floated up to the top to be released into the air.
All women love these flowers... but the feeling's *not* mutual.
Here is the lovely... and eerie result!
What happens when an “uncivilized” villager matches wits with a handsome warrior... AND strange, heat-producing plants intent on turning Earth into another Venus?
ALIEN HEAT was also featured at the 2006 Booklovers Conference in Wiesbaden, Germany!
Now for a quick example from real life that I used in ALIEN HEAT. The secondary character, Lieutenant Will Flagg, was inspired by a boy I knew in seventh grade. Thinking of him, I generated this passage: "There were two things Will Flagg hated above all else. The first was to be called 'short.' The second was to be a disappointment to someone he thought highly of. Unfortunately, the latter was just about to happen."
For plenty of ALIEN HEAT (!) I hope you read this out-of-this-world science fiction romance and enjoy Glyneth and Lucas’ story.
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!