My award-winning science fiction romance, JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD, had a bit of an unusual start. I’d always wanted to write in that genre, but at the time, I was busy with Regencies, paranormals, and mysteries. My current project was THE MAGIC TOKEN, a Regency, and I was at the library doing research. I honestly don’t remember what triggered it, but in the middle of looking for books on the English countryside, the phrase JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD popped up in my mind. I stopped what I was doing, pondered those words, and then wrote them down in my notepad. “What a cool title! I thought. The rest, as they say, is history!
After I finished THE MAGIC TOKEN, I began brainstorming, and then researching for JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD. Janus, the two-headed Roman god had to play a part in the novel and, since this was to be a science fiction, I needed a setting, preferably in the future. A clash of cultures soon followed with the heroine, Sophia, from the backwaters planet Earth butting heads with one of the leaders of the Galactic Core Coalition, JorVaal 5 Lanquist.
Seeking a cure for her ill brother, Sophia McLaren must leave Earth to journey into the unknown to Xaspaar, in the center of the Milk Way Galaxy. She finds dangerous intrigue... plus a love transcending the vast expanse of space. But can she persuade JorVaal 5 that love can be forever?
JorVaal 5 Lanquist has a galactic catastrophe on his hands¾plus a headstrong female from the despised planet Earth. Will he be able to set aside age-old prejudices and admit he’s actually feeling an ancient emotion called love?
As I previously wrote for my Author Notes on ALIEN HEAT, world-building in science fiction stories can be very difficult. And for JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD, I had some heavy duty research ahead of me. The planet Xaspaar, in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, is a distance of over 30,000 light years from Earth. With today’s technology, by the time a spaceship arrives, roughly three million years would have passed. Obviously this is not an option! To keep the science in science fiction, an author must follow the natural laws of the universe in order for the novel to be believable. So I used wormholes or black holes--tunnels in space with gravitational fields so intense that nothing can escape, not even light--as a plausible method to cut through the stellar highway. I bought two of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s works to help me with these concepts. Not easy reading!
What happens when the Human leader at Milky Way’s core must deal with a headstrong female from the despised planet Earth?
JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD has had a home from the beginning at Awe-Struck Books (Mundania Press) where it won the prestigious Preditor’s and Editor’s Award for Best Science Fiction.
Also, my novel was selected as a finalist in the prestigious EPIC Awards (now EPIC eBook Award) for Best Fantasy/Paranormal/Science Fiction Romance.
In addition, JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD was a Golden Rose Award Finalist for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy, on the #1 Best-Seller list for Fictionwise.com, and earned the highest review rating from the Romantic Times Magazine.
Here’s a snippet from real life. As Sophia does, I used to wear a Yankees’ baseball cap as a kid. For awhile, the Bronx Bombers’ hat was rarely off my head. Sophia has another reason for wearing her cap. The first section, below, is where Sophia learns from Fredd, a genetically altered Human, that long hair is forbidden on planet Xaspaar. The second section shows how she tries to hide her long hair. The third section reveals that the jig is up!
Fredd turned back to the console. “As you wish, lass. We have fifteen of yer Terran days remaining to the trip so I suggest you study the viewer to learn the ways of Core civilization. It will go easier on you if you do.”
“Yes, thank you, Fredd. That’s a great idea.”
“You might find some of the information disagreeable. Fer example, you must cut the flowing cascade of yer rich, dark hair.”
“I must?” Sophia fingered a lock and curled it around her finger. “And why is that?” At times Fredd spoke so poetically.
“No one, male or female, wears hair below the base of the neck on Xaspaar. Long hair represents the barbarous past -- a symbol of more sensuous, less disciplined times. If you refuse to cut yer hair, once we land, you must expect confinement with other criminal violators.”
Oh great, she was a criminal now? And over what, the length of her hair? Incredible.
Fredd spread his hands. “My regrets, Sophia.”
“Don’t worry about it. Maybe I’ll just stay inside the ship.”
She furiously cleaned out the water bottle and slammed it down. Just what kind of society equated someone’s hairdo with theft or murder? Or perhaps those activities were tolerated?
“Well, it seems I have a great deal of viewing to do. See you later, Fredd.”
Sophia stood and smoothed down the stiff fabric of her cabin suit. She was comfortably warm, but for her neck. Newly bare, her skin produced goose bumps in the cool pressurized air.
She fingered a wisp of hair coiled by her ear. No, she hadn’t cut it, certainly not! Instead, her long, barbarous hair was neatly wound into a bun atop her head. Also, to further hide the offending tresses, she’d pulled on a Yankees’ sports cap. Maybe not très chic, but it would have to do. Imagine having a law against long hair! Still, a law was a law, and she couldn’t stay inside the ship as she’d quipped earlier. Plus, she wouldn’t be much help to Mart from inside a GCC jail.
JorVaal pulled her away, which caused Sophia to lose her balance and stumble on the jagged rock. When the brim of her Yankees’ cap hit the stone, it flew off her head, landing at her feet.
JorVaal reached down to fetch it. “My apologies, Sophia, for this mishap. You are so slight, I miscalculated the force...”
His gaze met hers. For one long second, she was suspended in time -- lost in his magnetic presence.
JorVaal’s brows then lowered, meeting at the bridge of his hawk sharp nose. Extreme displeasure radiated from him.
She dusted the seat of her pants. Why was he annoyed? She was the one who fell. Shaking her head, she stopped short. A long tendril of hair had escaped from her makeshift bun.
Oh, good heavens! He knows. I hope this doesn’t mean I have to cut my hair.
Also available is JANUS IS A TWO-FACED MOON--taking place six years later and follows a different couple, Blade and Christopher--however Sophia and JorVaal do play a role.
I hope you enjoy Sophia and JorVaal’s story.
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!