Author name: Michèle Laframboise
Figure 1 My first novel
What first prompted you to publish your work? The desire to right wrongs, imagine other futures. Often, a gut reaction to a very bad novel led me to create endearing characters that are not stereotypical heroes. For instance, in my Jules-Verne series, the entire narrative POW is from a very shy Martian woman with brittle bones, which gave her a peculiar voice.
How did you become involved in book bundles? Would you recommend it? Bundles allow us to discover new writers: buying for our favourite writers in the lot, then discovering new ones in the same genre. Bundles are a way to mutually enhance our reader’s platforms, doing amiable coo-petition. It is important that the bundle has a shared specific theme that will appeal to readers, and prompt them to try the authors they don’t know, because of the subject.
Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?
Figure 2 Getting stuck in a plot loop
I had had my heavy-plotter period, outlining, erasing, outlining again, rewriting, and still getting me in a stuck in a corner!
My first novel took 12 years to complete this way. My last novel was longer, but took me about two months. Now I’m a pantser for most of my works, but I usually have a good idea of what’s cooking ahead, like when you walk in the dark with a flashlight, seeing a few steps ahead. Some times I do not even write my scenes in order. If I’m stuck, I manage to back up and find a way out.
Figure 3 Finding a way out
What does writing bring to your life? First: I love sciences. I graduated in two fields and did research. Alas, the “publish or perish” saying is true, especially for a shy woman.
Academia spat me out like an alien body.
As a “failed” scientist, I discovered I could tell stories and share my enthusiasm for sciences and nature, and also, invent other types of societies.
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? Do not spend months polishing a text. Perfection can never be attained. Stop worrying.
Do your best, correct a few typos or get someone to read the text over, and move on to the next story.
Beware of the tiny, high perched signing tables (yes, I fell from those!)
Figure 4 Those high tables are dangerous!
Sort these into order of importance: Awesome world-building / Great characters / Good plot
(very far after the three first)
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?
Figure 5 Researching for my SF novels
As an ex-scientist, I used to spend far too long researching a novel. Now I do it on the fly, because science changes fast. The specialised research I did 20 years ago for my first novel is totally outdated today. When a new publisher took up the story, I had to redo the research and make some change in the plot.
Ecological space lifts (there’s one described in my SF series)
Black holes and membranes
What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Get a copy editor, and a first reader.
What’s the worst advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? You must absolutely get an agent to get published.
Tell us about your latest piece? Ice Monarch follows a lonely cyber-butterfly as he drifts over a planet scarred by climatic changes. A former scientist transplanted into an immortal body, he serves powerful masters from former fossil energy companies. He has to live with the consequences and sacrifices of his past choices, while survivors scrape a miserable existence from the earth. He may get a chance to redeem his past mistakes. But can he? It has been prompted by my long-standing involvement in ecological sciences, and I imagined what a distant future could look like.
What’s your next writing adventure? I am writing the first in a series of steampunk-dystopian SF novels. And I am taking narrative risks, so it can go both ways. My two first readers liked it.
What is the last book you’ve read? The Murderbot Chronicles, by Martha Wells. Just for the title character’s voice!
Are indie/self published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? There were a lot of quality issues in 2010, when electronic books were rare. Now there are millions, and the first wave of get-rich-quick hopefuls have left the field. The quality level is getting better and better, as many writers looking at bad contracts from trad-publishers choose to go indie.
Four of my publishers have gone down in the last five years. I created my own publishing company, Echofictions (dot) com, to get my backlist available for my readers, and to control the publishing process. I love to do the graphical design of my covers.
Figure 6 My table at the last Ad Astra convention in Toronto (pic by the author)
Echofictions specializes in fun and sweet (sometimes bitter-sweet!) stories in multiple genres, from short form to novel-length. Most of my stories have been previously published in pro/semi-pro magazines, so the professional editing/revision steps have been done. The quality is not in question, the challenge is getting the public to discover my brand of satiric and (generally) upbeat SF&F stories.
A science-fiction lover since childhood, Michèle Laframboise sprinkles coffee grounds on her tomato plants to help them achieve consciousness. Beside gardening, Michèle has published 18 novels and more than 45 short-stories, earning some reticent recognition among the literati. You may taste her fiction in magazines like Solaris, Galaxies, Fiction River, Compelling Science Fiction, Abyss&Apex.
Figure 7 A fun picture of me in a first contact situation!
(credits: Gilles Gagnon)
A face pic with my steampunk goggles!
(Credits: Sylvie-Anne Jeanson)
Michele’s story features here:
Worlds on the brink of apocalypse, or already there.
Nature’s wrath and dominion over humanity, and humanity’s folly incarnate.
Dark magic, terrifying tech, greed, ravaged environments, rare courage and grim hope in lost cities and fallen worlds.
Brave new worlds or last best hopes — Dare you glimpse the future?