THE ZOASTRA AFFAIR by Victoria Pinder
A science fiction romance
A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.
The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies. Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace’s body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life.
I’m going to have to steal someone else’s body to get out of here.
“Ariel, are you listening?”
Ariel Transcender stared dumbfounded at the mother superior of her prison, a/k/a Aulnale School for Orphans. “Yes, mistress.”
She had no idea what happened, though she pasted a fake simpering smile of appreciation on her face. Ms. Rochelle walked away.
A few minutes later, Ariel looked out the window again, tuning out Rochelle’s mind numbing lecture on what was proper behavior when near a man. The boarding home on this planet gave the stupidest lectures of the galaxy. Her lips curled into a sneer. Women were not excited to be bound to men.
Could I do this to someone else? Do I have any other choice?
Lenchena, the teenage girl who’d stolen her adult body and taken off on Ariel’s ship, needed to be found. And Ariel refused to listen to the daily drivel about always listening to a man.
~Buy it on Amazon.
AN INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA
-What made you want to write?
This is hard as I’m so deep in last minute edits for Chaperoning Paris due out April 30th that I’m just swirling with thoughts. But I wrote the Zoastra Affair because my first love in any storytelling was science fiction. My dad took me to conventions. I was quizzed on Asimov. But I secretly as a teenager read romance. Part of me always wanted to read a romance that had a real science fiction setting. Not a Mars needs women story. I wanted to write about a crew on a mission to save Earth. But I still need love and romance.
-What draws you to romance?
Romance is my escape. Today at work someone who is not my boss but is older than me so believes she is tried to manipulate to get me into trouble. I stayed quiet, spoke my peace, and moved on. I refuse to let negative energy like that into my life. And what I love about romance is that there is a happy ever after. And it takes me out of my funk and brings me on an adventure. So I write contemporaries and science fiction versions of romance. Science Fiction has a fascinating what will the future be like question. And coming up with aliens was just fun.
-Name a fun fact you learned researching this project.
Science fiction as a base usually uses some mythology behind it. I’m Catholic as a religion which is fine. But I wanted another older religion to be part of the symbols and story arch for the future. I learned about the Zoastranian religion, which was monotheistic. King Dranius of Persia spread the one whole one supreme God concept. In Catholic school I learned about Judaism, but I hadn’t known there were others. Honestly I love learning ancient belief systems. This became symbols and in the story arc important, and easy to use. Finding an old one system kept me out of writing religion based mythos for my own sci fi.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Cross, Peter, Grace and Ariel would all be rather funny with alcohol in their systems. Cross would clam up and be the strong silent drunk. Peter would be charming and funny. (He’s based on Prince Charming anyhow.) Grace would be more of a fire cracker. And Ariel she’d be giggly. It would be funny to see.
-For aspiring writers, any tips?
Never give up and learn the craft. A few years ago I wrote my first novel then went to RWA Nationals. Seemed like the logical step to meet editors and agents who were going to love my story. Never happened. And I’m stubborn. I collected over 300 rejections and still get them to this day. But on the journey I learned how to write. I also learned self publishing isn’t always the best option and found partnerships with legitimate publishers. You learn. Also never get jealous. A friend of mine is having Steve Correl play him in an upcoming movie. How cool is that? Davidi wrote his book and amazing things happen. I choose romance because I need to write uplifting.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Non fiction, memoirs or a story where I am so depressed from writing that I want to jump off a bridge. Life is too amazing for that. Now in romance, I love reading about cowboys. They are so fun. And open ranges, riding a horse, stuff like that. But I know nothing about it. So until I book my ticket to Wyoming or some other western state, it will be hard to incorporate those details. But that’s not a never. It’s a I need some life experience to ground the story.
Okay I’m going back into edit mode for my contemporary. Sean and Gigi’s story was written SO long ago.
Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.
During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.
When she woke up to what she wanted, the dream of writing became so obvious. She dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Contemporary romances are just fun to write. She’s always thinking whose getting hurt and whose story is next on the list to fall in love. Victoria’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused through her many phases, and she’s motivated to write many stories.
Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA, and in Savvy Authors.
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Let’s thank Victoria for an awesome interview!
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