Just knowing author Gloria Weber has brought an added dose of whimsy to THIS writer’s life. Not only does she write spec fiction, but she’s also an out there advocate of all things SUPERHERO. She makes loving comics and reading manga COOL! Thank you for that, darlin’!
Gloria joins the blog today to unveil her latest UNMASKING LEMON’S THESIS. Read on and enjoy!
Welcome to Trowbridge City. It’s home to superheroes, maniacal villains, and everyday citizens. The stories here aren’t about good versus evil, but about hard choices, prejudices, and experiences complicated by superpowers.
Lemon “Em” Law is a super genius and she’s also the daughter of Trowbridge’s most infamous super villain, Yellow Fellow. After being fired, bullied by her professor, and dumped all in the same day there’s only one thing she can do! And that’s work on her thesis. Truth is, the last thing Em wants to be is evil. Unfortunately that thesis of hers is so revolutionary it could be dangerous. Is she ready to learn the secrets behind the masks?
“Now, take a guess. What has a national average of 52 percent, but in Trowbridge is an extremely high rate of 98 percent?” He asked while looking at Em.
He was baiting her. Still, she raised her hand.
“Yes, Miss Law,” he said her last name with as much sarcasm as he could muster. He always did.
Em was so over him and his childish antics that she didn’t bother rolling her eyes; she just answered. “That refers to the amount of children of super villains that turn to crime themselves.”
“Correct, as always.” He took a moment to sneer and give her a look of displeasure before continuing. “There are studies going on at the moment and the most promising of those attributes the cause to high concentration of villain groupies in Trowbridge. Of course, everyone here knows of Miss Nelly Law, right?”
The low blow made Em shut her eyes and take a deep breath in. Yeah, everyone knew about her mom. Her mom had earned her fame for two reasons. Number one was surviving being pushed off a roof by Yellow Fellow, Trowbridge’s most infamous super villain, and, number two, giving birth to Lemon, Yellow Fellow’s daughter.
Em opened her eyes in time to see Professor King point at someone behind her.
“Isn’t she in a wheelchair now? Wasn’t it a murder attempt?” The female student’s voice seemed uncomfortable and a little sympathetic.
“Correct your classmate, Miss Law.” He smiled now with joy and malice as he came to a stop before Lemon.
“My mother is indeed in a wheelchair,” Em said as her fingers curled around her pen, knuckles turning just as white as her ex-boss’s had been earlier today.
“Not that part,” he goaded.
Em took another deep breath while closing her eyes. She knew he would make her say the answer so it was better to get it over with.
“It wasn’t attempted murder. It was attempted abortion of me,” she said as loud as she could muster.
Gloria Weber lives in Ohio with her husband, son, daughter, and many pets. She has been writing for publication since March 2006. Over a dozen of her short stories have been published in ‘zines and anthologies. During the not-writing-times, she can be found doing not-fun-at-all-adult/mom/wife stuff, yoga, running very slowly (because that’s as fast as she can go), or cooking/baking. No matter what she is doing, she is a geek. There’s no turning that off.
Science fiction writer Jim Cronin takes up the the reins as we enter week two of the blogothon. Citing a preference for 50’s and 60’s era Sci Fi movies, classical music and my favorite martian as creative influences, I can’t help but applaud this wildly inventive author. Word to the wise, though: keep an eye on your DNA! Hi, Jim!
His home world is dead; the victim of a supernova, but this does not stop Karm from attempting to save the Brin, his extinct species. Rescued by an alien race from a derelict spacecraft as a vial of DNA, then cloned, Karm must travel back in time, convince a small team of co-conspirators to join him in his quest, and outmaneuver a power hungry monarch and his fanatic brother, leader of The Faith, both absolutely committed to opposing him.
All of Karm’s plans rest on the untested and controversial cloning theories of the young geneticist Dr. Jontar Rocker, and the abilities of his bodyguard, personal assistant, and surrogate niece, Maripa. Will their combined efforts be enough to overcome the power of the monarchy and the planet’s most influential religion? Will Karm’s secrets destroy the trust of his companions and ruin his campaign to save the Brin?
Great book! Twists in plot were well thought out & timed perfectly – just when you thought you knew where you were going, a twist comes into play…
by Clare Bruno
Mr. Cronin writes on several levels successfully: from the detailed lives of a myriad of characters to the larger economic & political powers at play in a full world, complex and dangerous. And that’s not even counting the star that’s about to go supernova!…
by Debauched Sloth
The author’s characters are varied, both in personality and trait, which makes them all interesting…. Hegira augurs well for Jim Cronin’s future books. I look forward to reading more from him…
by Tracy Black
“Come in, Latonia Base…come in Latonia Base. This is Starship Hegira, repeat, this is Hegira. Come in, Latonia.”
Static crackled from the speaker. The lieutenant, bleeding and dying from the injuries he received during the mutiny trembled feebly as he gripped the microphone. Blood soaked his crest feathers; his talons broken and jagged from the hand-to-hand combat in the spaceship’s passageways. He knew his wounds were fatal, but his duty was clear: to report back to base about the failure of the mission. His body tensed as the next wave of pain shot through him.
“Latonia Base, this is Hegira. Come in. Priority clearance Falcon, Delta. Come in Base. Damn you to hell!” the soldier shouted in desperation. “Somebody answer! Come in, Latonia!” The microphone dropped from his talons, clattering on the control panel before falling to the metal plated floor. The lieutenant slumped back into the chair, pressing a blood soaked rag to his shoulder. Staring out the view port he watched the star-filled blackness and wondered at the cruel turn fate had taken over the past few days.
HEGIRA features a character cloned from a vial of DNA. To what degree did your knowledge of Zoology play a part in the science behind the story?
While I do have some familiarity with cloning, my main goal was to pick some aspect of science which has the potential to be controversial. I wanted to deal with the schism between science and religion and bringing cloning to its full potential struck me as an interesting subject. Evolution is too familiar, but I wanted something with a similar potential.
Your self-confessed struggle with the English language (tongue in cheek) is refreshing and all too familiar. Tell us about the writing courses you took and which ones helped you most on your quest to write The Novel.
To be honest, I only had one writing course in college. That one consisted almost entirely of us writing each night whatever struck our fancy. The topic did not matter. We could write nothing but “I have nothing to say tonight” if we wanted, so long as we wrote something. The professor then would respond. His response may or may not have been anything related to what we wrote. I guess it was sort of a late ’60’s or early ’70’s sort of thing. What I have learned about writing came more from working as a teacher and paying attention to what my Language Arts partners taught and my trying to copy them whenever I required my students to write something.
Your worst rejection letter ever: what did it say?
These actually were pretty much the standard “Sorry, but this is just not the sort of story we are looking for right now.” Rejections. None of then were rude or anything, but always disappointing.
The day you got your contract: anecdote, please!
Please don’t tell my wife this, but I actually did a bit of a victory dance in the living room. I NEVER dance. It is absolutely not something I do. But for some reason I did then. If she ever hears I did a dance she may force me to take her out dancing. That would be bad. 🙂
Ed. Don’t worry friend. Your secret is safe with me!
There are a lot of science fiction films out there that have suffered darts. DUNE comes to mind (and I liked it for all its campy 80’s fashion). What’s your favorite and how did it inform your work as a science fiction writer?
I much prefer the books to their films, but Ender’s Game was pretty good. I also am a compulsive viewer of almost any 1950’s or 1960’s era sci fi movies. Of course I also thought Guardians of the Galaxy was a hoot. Ex Machina made me think and was very interesting. The new Star Trek movies are very good as well.
Currently I am almost finished with the sequel to Hegira. This will be a trilogy, I hope. The third book is only in rough outline form so far though. I also have an idea for a YA science fiction story floating around.
What’s your second favorite genre and why?
This is kind of a toss up between fantasy and historical fiction. I love Tolkein, Eddings, and Martin, but Jeff Shaara and David McCoullough are also incredible. Of course books on Physics, Evolution, and science in general are always good too.
Who and what do you read when you aren’t writing, editing and publishing?
Science Fiction, History, Historical Fiction, Science, and the occasional Stephen King or James Patterson, among others. I almost always have two or three novels going on at the same time. Does that qualify as an addiction?
Do you have a muse?
Not really. Guess I am too grounded in science for that. Unless you count all of my Marvin the Martian characters I have hanging around. But I do listen to classical music when I write.
Last words? Tell us something you want us to know.
Whether it’s writing, or some other passion you may have, never give up until you have exhausted every ounce of effort and drive you can muster to achieve it. And then go out and give it some more before you move on and try to find another dream. If you give up before you have given it your everything, you’ll always have regrets. That, and just a simple, Be Nice To Others.
Ed. I can live with that!
I worked for thirty five years as a middle school science teacher, but am now semi-retired, working part-time as an educator/performer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I have been married for thirty seven years to the love of my life, Diane. Together, we raised two incredible sons, and now have a beautiful granddaughter to spoil rotten.
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in Arlington, Virginia before moving to Denver where I attended High School and eventually college at Colorado State University, graduating with a degree in Zoology and a teacher certification. I currently live near Denver in the small town of Parker.
Short story maven and speculative fiction spécialiste Gloria Weber joins the blog today with an insightful interview as well as a tasty glimpse at what she’s getting up to. Don’t be fooled by the brevity of her bio: she uses her words with precision and packs ’em with pow! Oh, Gloria……
Gloria Weber lives in Ohio with her husband, son, daughter, and many pets. She has been writing for publication since March 2006 with over a dozen titles published. Her favorite color is purple.
Congratulations on your recent story success with Solstice Shadows short story contest. What was that like?
I didn’t enter thinking, “I’m so gonna win this thang!” Horror isn’t my go to genre. So, I was a bit nervous and did my best to forget about it! So, it was a complete surprise when I placed. And that day I was having such a bad day that it really lifted my spirits.
Both SUNLESS and ALICIA feature protagonists trapped into a silence that threatens their existence. Where does this theme come from?
Coincidence. It wasn’t intentional in the slightest. Though, I do tend to lean toward dark ideas/stories, so that could be the root cause.
You are a self described writer of speculative fiction. For you, what does that encompass?
To me speculative fiction is all about a or a set of “What if…” that changes our world. It could be an alternate societal structure or alternate history. Though, more specifically for me it is the stuff genre fiction (Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction) is made of.
Short story writing can be challenging for many of us. What draws you to this literary form?
I started in short stories. Now a days, most people jump into novels feet first. I tried that and never finished a bunch of them. The first thing I finished was a short story. It was also the first thing I had published. It’s where I can lick my wounds and feel a sense of accomplishment. It is what keeps me going.
The color purple. Why?
I was in 10th grade, months shy of having a driver’s license, before I decided I had a favorite color. I like that it is made of warm and cold. It can be delicate and bold. There isn’t a shade of it I hate, which I can’t say about other colors.
What senses are most important to you when crafting a scene? (mine is sound)
Seeing is believing. That is the one sense I never neglect in a draft. The others… Poor things. Thank goodness there are revisions.
In short story writing, we are told that every word must count. Do you know how it ends before you begin?
Most of the time, I don’t have a clue. Sometimes I might know what happens two years in these characters’ futures, but that doesn’t always equate to knowing when the story ends. That’s what happened with ALICIA. However, there are times I know how it ends, like with SUNLESS. I knew the ending and the beginning, just not the middle bits. My stories seem to stem from one point (if I’m lucky two) and I flesh out around it, until the story is whole.
Well, SUNLESS releases the 15th (though, you can pre-order now). Aside from that? I have a few things in edits. I have a few things in slush piles. I have something on the verge of being started. Nothing definite.
What and who do you read when you aren’t creating your own?
I’m not going to lie, first thing I reach for to start any reading session is a comic or graphic novel. I’ve got a few Marvel Comics subscriptions and a pull list at my not-so-local comic store. I tend to hold very little loyalty to authors, but am loyal to genres. I’m a Romance junky, especially historical. I have a Cozy Mystery love that I blame on MURDER SHE WROTE. I tend to read more Fantasy than I do Science Fiction, but I get those in there, too. As a special project, I try to keep a “classic” nearby to read when I have extra time, in order to fill in some of my “reading holes.” Currently, for that, I’m reading Ray Bradbury’s R IS FOR ROCKET and before that it was George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM. Also intended audience doesn’t bug me. I’ll just likely read an adult book as I would a Middle Grade one.
Thanks for the share Gloria. To know more about the author and her work visit her website. Now, tell us about ALICIA and SUNLESS…
Leon has decided it is better to remain silent and accused of Alicia’s murder than admit the truth. The truth, well… that’s so unbelievable it’s crazy. Not that Detective Dorndorf believes a word that comes out of Leon’s mouth. Dorndorf just wants a confession and figures dragging Leon to the last spot Alicia was seen might just pry it out of him. Will the detective’s plan work or will the truth come out?