Author Interview Number Sixty – Laurel A Rockefeller revisited – Sci-fi/Historical


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I’d like to welcome back author Laurel A. Rockefeller

Please recap briefly about your books. What has changed since you last visited? Tell us your news! A lot has happened since we last spoke thirteen months ago.  For one, it has now been two years since I released the first edition of The Great Succession Crisis (“GSC”) which I have since taken out of print in favour of the extended edition from January, 2013.

Also when last we spoke, I had just released the QR interactive editions on both GSC and its sequel, The Ghosts of the Past (“Ghosts”).

Today, those are still the only two Peers of Beinan Series novels, but in 2014 I added to the series two novellas (The Poisoned Ground and Good-bye A672E92 Quintus), another companion book (The Lost Tales), and the flash fiction story, “The First King.”

In March, I started a new series of short biographies for the entire family called “The Legendary Women of World History” (LWWH).  LWWH came about when I discovered that over 95% of Americans cannot name even ten women from history – including contemporary British royals.

LWWH aims to inspire and educate with the true stories of women who have made a difference, offering positive role models to girls and young women especially. I researched, wrote, and published book one “Boudicca:  Britain’s Queen of the Iceni” in March.  Book two “Catherine de Valois” came out in June, just as audio production on Boudicca with gifted UK actor Richard Mann commenced.  I am pleased to announce to everyone that by the first week of September, “Boudicca” will be live on audible, itunes, and listed with its kindle edition on Amazon websites worldwide.

Finally, Yahoo discontinued Yahoo Voices in July.  Across the last five years I wrote around 160 articles for YV.  Across July, I transferred the best of that content to my new blog, where I also have some really nice posts designed to guide independent authors through ACX.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? I think this is starting to change over the last few months.  A year ago I believed that traditional published authors had a credibility edge.  It is interesting that Fifty Shades of Grey has helped independent authors by showing that traditional published books can be poorly written and very poorly edited.  Traditional published works no longer have this edge.

What they do seem to have over independent authors is access to marketing resources.  Traditional publishers have their own little cliques, a network that they work with, that is more difficult for independent authors to access.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Sometimes.  Most of what I read is non-fiction as part of my research for my books.  So if I find a great independent non-fiction writer writing on a subject I’m researching, I absolutely will look at the work.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Commenting on reviews rarely works in the author’s favour – not that I was not tempted when a UK reviewer gave Boudicca only three stars simply because the book (which is typically found under juvenile fiction or non-fiction) is short.  Yes, that bothered me because I think it was not fair to pick on a children’s or young adult book for being focused on the needs of that demographic.

I didn’t post a comment however because the point of reviews is to offer honest opinions, opinions I am bound to disagree with sometimes.  Readers too can see through critical reviews or fewer stars, deciding for themselves if they think the review’s remarks are appropriate or biased.

How helpful reviews are really depends on the review.  Ultimately, it’s a matter of trusting the process and trusting your readers to recognize quality

When buying a book do you read the reviews? Always.

Looking back what do you wish you’d known when you started writing? Ask questions before you sign a contract or agreement of any type and don’t agree to anything until you fully understand everything.  There is a lot of fine print and dizzying legal jargon in these things that most of us have difficulty understanding in full.  But if you don’t read and fully understand it all – or you just forget some of the finer points—it can really get you.

Do you have any unpublished novels under the bed/in a folder anywhere which you thought were awesome at the time, but now will never see the light of day? As a teenager I wrote a lot of fan fiction.  When I found those again on a visit back to Nebraska to my mother’s house, I promptly destroyed all of them, along with my diaries from my teen years.

What I have kept are most of my poems dating back to the 1980s & 1990s.  I also have both my student screenplay called “Daughter of Starlight” (based on my Dungeon’s and Dragons character – the last time I really wrote fantasy) and my student one act play, “HuangDi Eve” which was written before I took any Chinese history classes or studied Chinese language at the University of Nebraska.  Both I hope will never see the light of day – but I might trust a close friend to flip through.

How have you progressed as a writer since you started? If you asked me to write another story like “The Great Succession Crisis” I honestly do not think I would be able to do it.  GSC was written when I still held onto young adult romantic notions of happily ever after and the perfect, archetypal knight in shining armour.  When I wrote its sequel, Ghosts of the Past, I had to access memories of a very dark time in my life.  The writing process literally gave me nightmares the entire time I wrote that book as I confronted memories of unspeakable violence that I had long repressed from my childhood.  I witnessed the murders of five or six other little girls sometime before the age of five along with the violence personally directed at me.  Though the memories allowed me to create the dark, supernatural villains that readers really love about the book, I think going there in my mind took away some of my innocence and maybe some of my optimism regarding the intentions of other people towards me.

That said, I noticed my romantic heart still feels hope—the things that King Prasutagus says to Boudicca, the way that they love each other before his early death (no spoilers; you will just have to read and/or listen to the audio edition of “Boudicca” yourself) reflect what part of me still believes is ahead of me in my life.  I believe in love, in the magic of true love’s kiss – even though I’ve never been honourably kissed in my life.

What aspect of writing do you least enjoy? Why might this be? I would rather write than promote, actually.  I don’t like messing with contracts, legalese, and so forth and look forward to the day when I can just write then hand off the rest of the process to an agent and/or marketing firm.  I’ve located a PR firm I really like in London and cannot wait for the day when I can delegate all the PR and marketing to them.  I write; they promote!  Problem solved!

What are your views on authors offering free books? Funny you ask that because all SIX active Peers of Beinan Series books are free on Smashwords through 31st August, 2014 with just one – the flash fiction story “The First King” permanently free.

To a lot of people this sounds nuts – why give away my hallmark series in full? Well let’s be clear:  this is a two week free book promotion exclusively on Smashwords.  On September 1st, everything goes back to regular prices.

The promotion is just that:  a promotion designed to celebrate reaching the two year mark as a self-published author.  It’s also all about back to school and my support of schools and school libraries.  Literacy is important.  With nearly all my titles age appropriate for the entire family, this is my way of helping families get their children and teens reading.  So download all six books on Smashwords at, then check out my other books on my author profiles on Amazon ( and Smashwords (

In other words, it really does matter whether free is permafree or if it’s a promotional offer.  The reason why The First King is free is because it is flash fiction and because it offers readers a no-strings-attached introduction to the Peers of Beinan Universe.

The First King is also set right in the middle of the novella Good-bye A672E92 Quintus (written later and structured to accommodate The First King as a separate title), so I’m hoping that readers downloading the story will enjoy it enough to want to read what happens before and after the action.

Do you have a favourite movie? Since my sight is limited, I prefer to watch movie adaptations to help me decide if I want to commit my limited visual resources to reading a book.  I actually aspire to bring Good-bye A672E92 Quintus to youtube as a short film if the people I’m interested in hiring for the film are interested and have the technical abilities to handle the futuristic, science fiction elements to the story.  So keep watching! I may pop up on the dying planet in a cameo!

As for existing films, I really enjoy a short film starring Richard Mann called “Shot in the Forest” (  More commercially, I love a lot of biography films like “The Iron Lady,” “Lady Jane,” “Luther,” and the classic “That Hamilton Woman” starring Vivian Leigh and husband Laurence Oliver.  I also love musicals and film adaptations of Broadway shows like Les Misérables, Chicago, Mamma Mia, Moulin Rouge, Holiday Inn, A Star Is Born (Judy Garland), and so forth.

If your book was produced as a film who would you like to see play the lead? Richard Mann, of course!

Seriously, sometime in June I stumbled upon a black/white photo of Mr. Mann from a professional website for actors.  To my shock, Mr. Mann looked EXACTLY what I’d pictured in my head for Lord Knight Elendir of house Ten-Ar from the Peers of Beinan Series.  Completely uncanny resemblance!  So to me, Mr. Mann is the only person who can play that character.

If Good-Bye A672E92 Quintus is produced, as I very much desire, I also want to cast Mr. Mann as the lead, Lord Malvyn.

Of course it is also my desire to continue to work with Mr. Mann on more audio books.  I actually wrote some of Catherine de Valois with Mr. Mann’s voice and abilities in mind.  For example, knowing now that he fronts the tribute band “Rolling Stones Now” as Mick gave me the confidence to put music into Catherine’s story; she sings “Veni, Veni Emmanuel” one Christmas morning. Hearing him sing that is likely to be amazing if the videos from RSN concerts are any indicator..

What are your plans for the future? When will we see your next book?  Tell us about it. Keep writing, of course!  I really want to do more audio editions over the next twelve months with Mr. Mann because he is so talented and conveys my literary visions skilfully.  As a low vision person, I tend to close my eyes when I listen to a book so I can really attend to the voice.  His is the voice that I most enjoy listening to of all the narrators I’ve heard.

Beyond that, I really want to travel to England in 2015 on a sort of working holiday for my writing—and of course, finally meet in person my British friends.  I also aspire to immigrate to the United Kingdom once I satisfy the requirements for doing so—hopefully very soon because I love England so much and feel this inevitable pull to be where so much history happened, history I am sure most people born and raised in the United Kingdom never learned.

Next book?  Make that BOOKS!

I have FOUR books in process right now!  Ambitious, I know!

Princess Anyu Returns (part three of the Legacy of Princess Anlei Trilogy) is still on hold, in part because I’m meticulous about my world building and need to do more research with it.  The other reason for the delay is that I’ve re-written it about eight times and is one reason for the Lost Tales volume where I offer readers material that did NOT make it into the book.  I haven’t been idle with the book; just picky about the direction the story goes and picky about the quality of my writing.

Book three of the Legendary Women of World History Series is about Empress Wu Zetian, the only woman to rule China in her own right.  I hope to finish this before the end of the year.  The prologue is already written, set in 1861 in the British Concession in Beijing.

A third series focusing on American history is in the works.  I am currently working on (tentatively titled) Charlotte’s Vote which is about the women’s suffrage movement and told through the life of Charlotte Woodward Pierce, the only signee at the Seneca Falls Convention (1848) to survive to see women cast their ballots in 1920, even though she herself was too ill to vote.

Finally, I’m working on a non-fiction book called “American Poverty: Why America’s Treatment of the Poor Undermines Its Authority as a World Power.”  This is a somewhat intentionally controversial look at poverty in America.  Controversial because for many Americans, a frank talk about poverty is taboo.  Somehow the 99% are not supposed to mind their living conditions nor want things to be better.

This book is structured in three parts. Part one is a collection of five essays, most of them written for and published by Yahoo Voices, looking at real experiences living in poverty.  In part two, I take each essay and offer analysis and suggestions for how we can make the key issue (like empathy and prejudice against the poor) better for those living in similar situations.  Finally part three looks at the larger issue of how parts one and two affect how people in other countries look at the United States and the whole question of America’s sphere of influence.  This is of course a hot-button issue and the one that really set this book into motion in early August 2014 after watching it debated on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”  So I’m jumping in feet first and really hoping to get a serious international dialogue going.  As I always say, “we can and must do better.”

I hope to release American Poverty by the end of October at the absolute latest.

Finally and more personally, I plan on playing with my cockatiels (I have a new baby bird named Arwen), watching some great BBC programs I’ve found, and getting to know my friends and colleagues across the Pond better.  I want to immigrate, earn UK citizenship, buy a nice house with a garden, and enjoy all that life has to offer—live theatre included.  And of course, I want to see Rolling Stones Now in concert. I think that would be a gas, so to speak, lots of fun!

Find Laurel here:

Amazon author page:

Smashwords author page:

Barnes & Noble:

Goodreads author page:

The Peers of Beinan Series website:

The Legendary Women of World History website:

Social Media:



facebook pages:


Featured Author: Stan Morris


Here’s a great interview with Stan Morris.

Originally posted on Magic, Dragons, and Other Fantastical Reads:


I’m Stan Morris.  I was born in Linwood, California, and was raised in Norwalk and Concord, California. In 1972, I moved to New Mexico. I met a girl at college in 1975, set out to score, succeeded, and have been married to her since 1977.  She taught elementary Special Education in Texas for five years, and then we moved to Maui. We have two grown boys, both gainfully employed, thank goodness. My wife had the career and I had the job, so I worked at a variety of those before developing a computer business in the late 1980’s. Now we are retired and living on a farm. I garden, watch sports, listen to music, read, and write. I don’t make much money at it, so occasionally I have to ask my wife for my allowance.

The books I have written include Surviving the Fog, Surviving the Fog-Kathy’s Recollections

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Sunday Surprise


Here’s an interview with my friend and fellow author Laurel A Rockefeller, she’s also visited Library of Erana so please check her out here.

Originally posted on creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator):

And it’s a guest! Remember I said about the Author of the Month? Well, here she is! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Laurel A. Rockfeller! :D

Where do you live and write from?

Perhaps stereotypically, I am a wandering artist. I was born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA where I received my bachelor of arts from the University of Nebraska in stage/film writing via integrated studies, psychology, and history. From there I’ve wandered all over United States. I presently and very temporarily live in western Pennsylvania which I hope to leave in coming months.

By 2016, I plan to immigrate to the United Kingdom and southern England in particular. I write dramatized history and recognize the benefit to my writing that comes from walking the places where my histories actually happened.

I need each of you to help me make that happen.

I will most certainly welcome…

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Amazon now Allows Pre-orders to Authors


News on Amazon preorders

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:

kdplogoA month ago, I published Mad Water, the third book in my epic fantasy series Pearseus. I had announced the imminent publication on social media and to my friends. A lot of them asked me if they could pre-order the book.

“I’m afraid Amazon doesn’t support pre-orders,” I had to explain, to my dismay.

Which is why I am so excited to announce that it now does! I came across the good news the other day, and knew I had to share with you.

According to the Amazon website, you can now make your new books available for pre-order in Kindle Stores worldwide. Setting a pre-order allows customers to order your book as early as 90 days before your book’s release date. When you make your book available for pre-order, customers can order the book anytime leading up to the release date you set and it will be delivered to…

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Book Review – The Gates of Hell – C.J Cherryh and Janet Morris – Fantasy/Historical


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 The Gates of Hell – C.J Cherryh and Janet Morris

4 stars.

I picked this up in print, intrigued, as I loved Rogues in Hell and I am trying to get through all the Heroes in Hell books.  Gates of Hell is the second of the series – and a novel not an anthology. It is a lot of fun. 

Where else would one find Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Machiavelli and a whole host of characters from ancient times, medieval times and modern times trying to escape together from Hell, armed with tanks, ancient weapons, Uzis and cavalry? The ancient and modern seamlessly woven together as if it was perfectly natural to consider Julius Caesar riding a Jeep.

For me it was a game of spot the ancient hero and the historical figure.  There are many egos among the players and of course, being Hell, not all goes to plan and that plan itself has more twists and turns than the every changing river of Hell.  Apparently there is a way out of Hell if only one can find it. Or so the rumour is. A rumour in hell? That will not end well. 

There was humour, adventure, great characters, rogues and heroes and a wonderfully crafted universe. Each character has his or her own agenda – Julius believes Alexander and Achilles are part of him, Hatshepsut the female Pharoah wants a kingdom, Alexander wants, among other things his dead lover and the others – well that would be telling.  This is a complex story with alliances and betrayal at every turn.  They have their memories, their prejudices and their affiliations. Lies abound.

In places perhaps it was too convoluted – and keeping track of what everyone was doing makes the brain flip, but that too is fun. Such an adventure is not for the faint hearted or those who want an easy, simple read.  The ending leads to a cliff-hanger – and thus on to the next in the series.

If you can get your hands on this, which is out of print but can be sourced, I’d recommend it for fans of fantasy, adventure and historical fiction. 

Donny Swords Interviews Janet Morris


Great interview from Janet Morris!

Originally posted on sacredbander:

Interviews from the Void: Janet Morris

Interviews from the Void: Janet Morris

Greetings, Donny here:

This interview is a dream come true for me. Janet Morris is here to answer some questions from the Void. Janet has been an author since the early 70’s and has inspired many authors with her prolific prose since her first series, “Silistra.” She is infamous for her contributions to “Thieves World” has written novels that live and breathe better than humans do, spanning across genres with a masterful skill unparalleled by most, and unlike any. Her recent novel “Outpassage” is receiving avid MorrisSacredBand-001praise, while her “Sacred Band of Stepsons” series continues to prove that well-told tales of heroes, deities, love, war and steel do not have to be tired attempts to copy greats like Robert E. Howard, rather she takes off where he left off……

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Take the field and fight alongside ghost and men of might…


I love this book!

Originally posted on Dreaming...:



The Sacred Band [Kindle Edition]

Janet Morris, Chris Morris

When The Sacred Band begins, all mercy is lost in the fog of war, as Tempus’ Stepsons risk everything on a strange battlefield, infuriating gods and Fates:
The Sacred Band of Thebes lives on, a world away, in this mythic novel of love in war in ancient times. In 338 BCE, during the Battle of Chaeronea that results in the massacre of the Sacred Band of Thebes, the legendary Tempus and his Stepson cavalry rescue twenty-three pairs of Theban Sacred Banders, paired lovers and friends, to fight on other days. These forty-six Thebans, whose bones will never lie in the mass grave that holds their two hundred and fifty-four brothers, join with the immortalized Tempus and his Sacred Band of Stepsons, consummate ancient cavalry fighters, to make new lives in a faraway land and fight the…

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Guest Post: Top Productivity Tools All Writers Should Know About

Originally posted on Shannon A Thompson:

Shannon, here, for a quick introduction. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Robert Morris from Ninja Essays. He wanted me to see the info graph Top Writing Tools of Famous Authors, and I am beyond grateful that he showed it to me. It is amazing. Seriously. Check it out by clicking here. But – onto the next part – I asked him to write a post for you all, and he agreed, so I hope you enjoy his post, Top Productivity Tools All Writers Should Know About.

Top Productivity Tools All Writers Should Know About

For writers, the usage of the Internet can go in two directions: it can either be a great resource for the work they are producing, or it can turn into a black hole that consumes their productivity by luring them with endless distractions. An average writer spends more than 50% of…

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Untitled– Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 -August 11, 2014) R.I.P.


Robin Williams was a very talented man, he made us laugh and he made us cry. I recall watching Dead Poets Society pretty much every few weeks for several years, curled up on the sofa with my best friend Susie. I cried at that film, I cried at Bicentennial Man and I laughed at Mrs Doubtfire and the Birdcage.

Depression affects many people, including myself. It can be debilitating, it can be heartbreaking, and it can kill. Mental illness still carries a stigma but with the amount of people who suffer it shouldn’t. It is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to the great and good, those whose external lives seem blessed, and it happens to the poor and lowly.

When anyone takes their own life it is a loss to the world, and it is easy to pass judgement. Please don’t. It is impossible to know what was going on in that person’s head to bring them to such a decision. Depression can bring such a black cloud that other, perhaps more rational thought is bypassed. To loose a man such as Mr Williams is a tragedy indeed, but we must remember his legacy – his immense talent and kindness and perhaps even his death will bring depression greater recognition and thus greater understanding.

Originally posted on The Mirror Obscura:


Palm trees refused to cast shadows today.
Traffic jams on highways were forbidden.
Twelve rabbis stood upon their heads and twirled,
As city councils passed laws of humor
By which everything was to be said in jest.

Children were given special rights
To explore whatever imagination had to offer
Come what may and were let out of school
So as not to be hindered by adult ways
And controls as good Prince Robin,
Son of winter’s King Jonathan, went to rest
Proving to us all a man can truly die from laughter
And at the same time make us cry.

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Character Interview Number Twenty-Five – Dotty


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Tell Us About Yourself


Name (s) Dotty

Age: 19

I’m a mishpoche, a bit of this and that. Mama’s from New York, the daughter of an Orthodox rabbi. She was an accountant sent to help find a cooperative cattleman for a source of kosher beef to series of butcher shops Grampa owns. When my parents met they both had a love for violin music, and soon they were making music of their own. Mama wanted to marry Dad but Grampa wouldn’t have it, so instead Mama worked around by opting for common-law marriage, which Texas allows. That infuriated Grampa but he admired her cleverness in finding a way to marry without a ceremony he’d have to disown her for. My birth softened him up too, considerably, which is good as I love the old man dearly. So Mama taught me the traditions and Hebrew at home, and when I got old enough Dad let me play cowgirl. I found I loved the violin and got privately tutored in that from a young age, along with all my school subjects by tutors also. I just got my GED this year. Grampa and I love to debate matters whenever he visits.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Hashem gave me my looks. They’re definitely a mixed blessing.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? I’m a Modern Orthodox, I believe my thoughts and feelings share a close connection with Hashem, and do I all I can in any given situation to keep the connection going.

Would you kill for those you love? In a heartbeat, but only if I absolutely must. The Sages say killing a person is just as bad as killing a whole world. In fact, I’ve had to surprise at least a dozen people one at a time with my shotgun during a recent crisis. I can still see the face of every person whose brains or heart I blew out. I never ever want to be placed in that position again. I see green blood all the way to my elbows that will never come off.

Would you die for those you love? Hell, yes. I drew a short straw where I had to stay on board a flagship we had to blow up. We found a fighter jet which our indigenous co-prisoner could fly, but had room for only one passenger. We picked Rick since he was the least qualified of us to storm the engine room, and gave him a remote detonator. We ordered him to blow up the flagship if it got close enough to slaughter millions, and not to wait for us to escape. Rick knew I was ready to die for the greater good, so he proposed to me just before he boarded. I knew I was ready to die too, but I accepted to show him how much I loved him.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? As much as I follow Mama’s Jewish ideals of ethics and compassion toward every human being, I also follow everything my Daddy taught me about being a Texan, namely to stand tall, and everything which standing tall implies.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? Rick. My dearest, wonderful, darling, gentle, dedicated, determined, considerate and brave young man who I married day before yesterday. Despite being sixteen he has compassion, patience, understanding and education far beyond his years.

He has only one serious fault, and that he tries so hard to please others he considers himself worthless. I think that’s the reason he finally was about to suicide at the subway. That same moment I was mugged and I fell onto the tracks, spraining my ankle. He put my needs over his and jumped onto the tracks, deciding to risk suicidal odds to save me, rather than settling for certain suicide on his own.

I had some problems with him being a hero by coincidence. I accused him of being a kamikaze seeking glory in death, rather than reverence for life being his motive. Once I understood more about him I had a change of heart.

People have tried to match me with high-status men of my heritage, but I want a man who is as pleasing to me as he is pleasing to Hashem. Rick qualifies several times over.

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? Caring, feeding, and cleaning after animals while growing up on ranch was part of my daily life. I had a horse I was partial to, my favorite for various range chores. Rick and I don’t believe our local environment can support Terran livestock or pets, so we don’t have any.

Do you have a family? Tell us about them. I pretty much told you already. Mama relocated to Amarillo to live with Daddy and raise me. Daddy has more relatives than I can easily count, and has annual family reunions. Mama is an only child, and Grampa sadly enough is alone. Most of his relatives died in the Holocaust, and the others, including Grandma, had simply passed on from old age. I’m my parents’ only child. There were high hopes all around for me to choose a man soon and have his children to continue the lineage.

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? My childhood was wonderful. I remember was when I took my turns to light and bless the Sabbath candles. The flames twinkled like stars and my house was filled with warmth and love. I had fun out on the ranch and I took pride in myself doing a man’s work. I learned to accept the traditions of my people as Hashem’s recipe for joyful living. I don’t seek like the more devout to isolate myself from the world. For me to engage in tikkun olam, my duty to help repair the world, I want to be right out there where the action is.

Do you have any phobias? I hate rattlesnakes. I’m not afraid of them, but I won’t hesitate to kill them any time I get the chance. They’re a constant danger to livestock and people out on the range.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I was curious to taste and try forbidden things when I was younger. Each time the experience was nothing special and I felt instantly ashamed of doing it.

Tell Us About Your World

My husband would be only too glad to give you exhaustive detail regarding this world we have moved to as settlers. I’ll just provide you with my own personal impressions.

My first impression is of the people. Aside from having a biochemistry where potassium takes the place of sodium, they’re as human as we are. Because of said biochemical differences one of us can’t make a baby with one of them.

Some people might consider this an advantage. In fact, Rick turned down flat an offer from a chambermaid while he was bathing. Loss of virginity with no fear of any consequences whatever, in terms of purely physical risks. I even would have forgiven Rick if he had indulged… eventually. However, Rick doesn’t think that way. He grew up on Japanese space opera, adopting portions of bushido as his Torah and Talmud. He also absolutely adores me, and I absolutely adore him.

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. I don’t believe my observation would surprise anyone, but it seems to me the discovery of any form of ethical monotheism is a huge step of any civilization towards maturity.

Both Terra and this world have a diverse collection of religious belief and practice, but on both planets there seemed only one person each who made the intellectual and emotional leap.

Each of those people formed their own nation living by ideals of compassion and mercy far in advance of their neighbors. We’re kindred spirits, their people and mine, and to some extent we’ve fallen in love with each other. We have a lot we can teach each other, but Rick and I follow our own traditions, and they, theirs.

I believe the bond we formed during our adventures is now the common ground for creating a military alliance and trade relationship between Terra and this world.

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? Our arrival there was pure accident, Rick can explain more in detail. The continent we sought refuge on has their own answer to our interstate system. Their highways are perfect. They don’t use fossil fuels, so their cars are all electric.

Name and describe a food from your world. Whitefruit. Delicious in it’s own right, safe to eat but very fattening, and they press it for cooking oil. Terran women should never eat it while on a birth control shot. Our dear friends found this out the hard way. They got pregnant a month before we returned to Earth.

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? They don’t even have a term for magic, but when confronted with the unknown, like us, they tend to blink. I had to empty an entire palace quickly by threatening non-existent Terran magic upon them.

What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) Until Rick imposed otherwise, feudalism was the only form of government in all the nations of this world. Rick took over rule of the entire world by asking the local saint for help, using that power performed a Moses gambit which among other things abolished monarchy everywhere, called for elections in one Terran year, then stepped down immediately. Could you imagine an ordinary sixteen year old Terran boy doing that? Rick is a man in all the ways that count, a true mensch.

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? There’s only the one single people. The monotheists broke away from the main empire, but the main empire wants them back. They had been in constant cold war till we came along. Events triggered by our arrival began a full scale war.

Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. I know a little about the founding of this country. The first queen here confiscated the crown of her old country and forbade anyone from touching it aside from her. When she died the people revered her as a saint, and it was found the crown would kill anyone who tried to take it for the absolute power it represents. Rick explained it’s a Siege Perilous myth. He concluded he was the Galahad. He turned out to be absolutely right, but not before he gave me the scare of my life. He was clinically dead for thirty seconds the moment he touched the crown on the lady’s grave site.

What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without? Early modern with spot brilliances. We need to import our food, what’s edible here doesn’t provide all our nutritional needs.

Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some.

Aside from the founding queen, no. She personally had attained the powers of a saint after death and was posted to watch over this world. When Rick took over, he released her to the afterlife to join her husband and son. His act moved me to tears.

Within your civilisation what do you think is the most important discovery/invention?

The most important discovery this world has ever made is in finding the one God who created the universe and wants only good for the peoples He created even on worlds we have yet to encounter. The people of our adopted land don’t worship Hashem directly like we do, they invoke Him as a neutral and abstract principle, like an axiom of mathematics or physics.

Name three persons of influence/renown within your society and tell why they are influential (Could be someone like Christ/Mandela/Queen Elizabeth or a renowned figure from a non-human/fantasy world.)

The Crown Princess, after first hearing how I retook my ship from it’s captor, asked if I could be her sister. Her father adopted me into a cadet branch of his house so that I could. We’re two of a kind, her and I, and we will forever treat each other as such. Now I am really am a Jewish-American princess.

It turns out the pilot who flew Rick out of the enemy flagship was the Crown Prince. He made certain Rick was cared for and made comfortable while waiting for the rest of us to make it to safety. I’m forever grateful to him.

His father, the Emperor, is a kind and gentle old man who can be quite merciless and ruthless in the defence of his kingdom.

Because the flagship we destroyed was on a mission to lay waste to his land using nuclear weaponry, he immediately ordered as a reprisal the launch of all his submarine based missiles. The enemy detected the launch and countered with their own land-based missiles.

Only a few hours remained until this entire world would be devastated. Only then, did Rick decide to intervene…

Synopsis (aka blurb):

“Alouette’s Songcover art 1b2

Four teenagers’ lives connect irrevocably.

A lonely young sculptor first tries to escape his abusive parents through his talent, and when that avenue is closed chooses to throw himself before a subway train. His moment is interrupted by a desperate cry for help from near the lethally electrified third rail…

A college freshman from a very wealthy family has a knack for building whatever he wants and staying centered in a confusing world. His best friend is about to yank his life far off center completely by surprise…

A musical superstar holds God close, walking through life with one foot each in two very different deserts. She will find then lose her one and only true love. Regaining him will stain her pure hands with many peoples’ blood.

A girl who should still be in high school is already well on her way to a master’s degree in mathematics. Her mind holds the key to the stars… but that same mind holds unknown to her a truly terrifying other personality.

Her academic advisor and personal mentor is a professor in astrophysics. He can’t tell her he’s now received orders from the blackest agency to exist in their country’s government: her discovery must never see the light of day…

Their struggles against themselves and each other, plus uncanny coincidences, cruel choices, breathtaking valor, and agonizing sacrifices for love’s sake, will test everyone’s limits during their journey across the Milky Way and back.

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

“Alouette’s Song”

Author name

Andrew Jonathan Fine

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.


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