Monday, June 02, 2014

Guest - Diane Burton

Good morning! We've got one of our favorite authors visiting today. Among other things, Diane writes science fiction romance -- one of my favorite genres! So help yourself to one of our orange-pecan muffins and a lovely cup of tea. Enjoy!

Going to Mars

I have always been proud of the efforts of NASA in space exploration. But for years I felt they are too slow in exploring beyond our moon. I know, I know, small steps. But, sheesh. I remember how fast NASA moved after Sputnik scared the heck out of all of us back in the 50s. We entered a Space Race with Russia to get an American in space. Once we did that, in less than a decade we put a man on the moon. And then where did we go?

Because there haven’t been significant advances in space exploration (something to get excited about) since 1969, I’m intrigued by Mars One, the Dutch organization that plans to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. A lot of other people are, too. When they opened for applicants, over 78,000 signed up within two weeks. I wasn’t one of them. Why? It’s a one-way trip. Even though there are no upper age requirements, I couldn’t leave my family. Too many exciting times to spend with them.

But what if I had no family and was in good health? Would I apply? In a flash. According to the timeline, or roadmap, on the Mars One website, there will be much preparation and training for those who qualify. That should weed out a lot of applicants. One such training would be for a team to live together in a remote outpost. (I assume something similar to a bio-dome.) If you can’t live with your team in the desert (or the arctic) for several months, how could you get along forever on Mars?

Last December, the members of The Roses of Prose blog posted an anthology of Holiday stories, An Unexpected Holiday. When this was first suggested, I panicked. I don’t write short stories. I think the shortest book I’ve ever written is over 80k words. Usually, my books run over 100k. So how could I write a 7,000 word story? Well, I may be an old dog, but I can learn new tricks. LOL My story was the only sci-fi romance, Christmas in Space. It was so much fun that I decided to expand it into a novella for this Christmas. I used a lot of the information about Mars One as I wrote about space explorers in the late 22nd Century on their one-way trip to establish a colony on an Earth-like planet. Watch for it this December.

In author interviews, I’m often asked how I do research for my novels. I always answer that I wish I could do it first-hand on a starship and/or on an alien planet. Until I do, I rely on the internet and search for what is happening now with space exploration. On a side note, I have to admit I visited the Very Large Array near Socorro, NM and the UFO Museum in Roswell. The first was informative, the latter was fun. Sure wish I’d had my picture taken with the aliens. LOL

In my research online, I always get ideas for more stories. Or ideas to use in my WIP. If we have the resources to put a man on the moon, we can do anything. So I’ll continue to write science fiction romances, adventures that are out of this world.

My newest sci-fi romance The Chameleon makes the assumption that humankind has explored and established settlements far beyond their home planets, that FTL (faster than light, aka warp drive, hyperdrive) travel is not only possible but commonplace. Wouldn’t it be great to live in that world?

The Chameleon

Legally Blond meets Mata Hari

Socialite Jileena Winslott has perfected the image of the spoiled, rich, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s a smart, savvy aide to her father in social situations where she is his eyes and ears. She yearns to be her true self and run the family business. When her father sends her on a covert mission to the Outer Rim, she has the chance to prove herself. Big problem. He insists she take along a fake fiancé—the man she’s secretly loved for years.

Security Officer Laning Servary has better things to do than babysit a spoiled rich girl on a tour of the Frontier. If he refuses, he can kiss his career good-by. Then Jileena’s father sweetens the pot. If Laning keeps her safe, his family will receive the land they share-crop. He can’t refuse.

In the close quarters of her ship, Laning and Jileena discover they aren’t who they seem. Pirates, weather, and her recklessness threaten to derail the mission. As Laning and Jileena revise their impressions of each other, they’ll have to make hard choices about their goals. Can their budding love survive?

Excerpt from The Chameleon

Jileena had her hand on the knob when her father said, “You should inform Nellis that you have a family emergency and will be unable to finish your internship in accounting.”

For five secs, she stood rooted to the floor. Her heart tripped madly and her lungs struggled for air. Surprise Number Three. He knew.

As she turned to face him, she fluttered her hand and affected smiling confusion. “Why, Daddy, whatever are you talking about?”

His deep rumble of laughter rolled around the room. “Very good. That wide-eyed look almost convinced me.” Then his expression changed. “Did you imagine I would not know what goes on in my own company? A strange intern manages to work in almost every department, and you think I don’t know about it?”
She clasped the door handle with both hands behind her back. How did he know? Where did I slip up? Who told him?

“Now, Daddy—”

“Don’t you ‘now, Daddy’ me. I told you I know everything you do. Those so-called vacations you’ve taken? Did you think I wouldn’t find out you were working in our satellite plants?”

She clenched her teeth. She had no secrets left. He knew everything. Crazik. Well, almost everything.
“If you wanted to work in the company, all you had to do was ask. You didn’t have to disguise yourself. I saw you earlier. Wherever did you get those horrible clothes?”

She returned to the visitor’s chair. All bluff and bravado gone. “If I’d asked to work in the business, you might have said no.”

“I might have agreed.”

“I couldn’t take that chance. Besides, I can just imagine the newswave headlines. Baby Winslott plays working girl. Supervisors would pat me on the head and give me meaningless busy work. I wanted to learn the business from the ground floor.”

“You have done that.” His look of admiration warmed her heart. “When I saw you heading for a sanitary with a bucket and mop, I wanted to stop you.”

“I’m glad you didn’t. It’s surprising what one learns as a janitor.” She grinned. “Who blabbed?”

“Actually, no one. As convincing as you are at parties as a vacuous twit, you were even better in the role of temporary worker. You managed to deceive every supervisor you worked for. When they sang praises about the industrious intern, they gave no indication they knew Leeva Warren was you.”

Jileena allowed herself a moment of satisfaction before standing. “Good.”

“Baby? I’m depending on you to get those mining rights. This is your chance to show me what you’re made of. Do not fail.”

The Chameleon buy links:

About Diane
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website:
Thanks, Lynda, for inviting me to visit.

Connect with Diane Burton online
Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

-- Lynda Again
    Diane always gives us a terrific article full of things to think about. And her book, The Chameleon, sounds pretty good too. If you enjoyed her visit, feel free to let her know.

Contact me:


Diane Burton said...

Lynda, thanks so much for having me here today. Always fun to visit another sci-fi writer.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks for being with us, Diane! Great post as always ;-)

Pauline B Jones said...

Hi, Diana! Fun post! (Lynda, you find all the fun people!) Love the tagline! And yes, we should be beyond Mars by now!

Melissa Keir said...

I don't think I'd go to Mars and live on the outpost. I'd miss the shopping too much. :) Maybe when they get internet! Shared.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Pauline.

LOL, Melissa. I hate shopping so that wouldn't faze me too much. Definitely internet service.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Well I doubt I'd want to go to Mars...hanging here on earth can be challenging enough LOL!


Diane Burton said...

Pam, LOL You're right about that!

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

While I've never had the desire to go into space myself, I do miss the excitement we all experienced when our astronauts were making regular trips. Still remember the awe we all felt watching the moon-landing. Perhaps it will happen again. Until then, we can read your books!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Lucy. I wish our kids & grandkids could feel the excitement when did when our astronauts made history.

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