Saturday, 11 May 2013

Guest Post Diane Burton - Why I write Sci-Fi Rom

Pippa, thanks so much for having me here today. My pleasure Diane!

I’m often asked by family and friends why I write science fiction romance. The simple answer is I love it. When I saw Star Wars for the first time back in 1977, I was hooked. Adventure, action, romance. What a combo. And they flew spaceships, went to alien planets and it all seemed real. That movie was my first venture into the world of science fiction. I had never seen the original Star Trek, never read sci-fi books and thought those science fiction movies of the 50’s were cheesy. Though I’m trying to catch up, I still feel inadequate when people talk about “classic” science fiction. As a result, I waded through Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series and just discovered David Weber and Andre Norton. On the other hand, books by Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant and Jayne Castle have been at the top of my sci-fi romance list for a long time.
The appeal of space adventure, for me, is imaging a future where we survive and thrive. I’m not crazy about dystopian books or movies, yet I loved the Matrix series. Perhaps it was the promise of hope for mankind at the end. The same promise we get at the end of a good romance novel. That life will go on.
So I write what I like to read, what I enjoy in my favorite movies. Adventure and romance. In my books, they just happen to take place in space.
Creating a world that is different from our own yet similar enough for the reader to relate to is a challenge. A fun challenge. Gene Roddenberry, when pitching the concept of his TV series Star Trek, referred to it as “wagon train to the stars”. At the time, the most popular TV programs were Westerns so that should have been an analogy the network producers could relate to. I like the concept of space being a new frontier. Like the explorers of long ago, we can set off into the unknown—if only in our imagination. And like those old Westerns, good always triumphs over evil and the hero always gets the girl. How escapist is that?
But isn’t that what we want to believe in? That good will triumph? That the bad guys will “get what’s coming to them”? It would be very depressing otherwise. There’s enough to be depressed about in real life. So in sci-fi romance, we set off for the stars. We don’t know where we’re going. We don’t know what we’ll find when we get there. We don’t know who or what we’ll encounter along the way. Friends, enemies or the one who will turn our universe upside down? All we know is that an adventure and a romance await.

Blurb for Switched Resolution

Actions have consequences as Space Fleet Captain Marcus Viator and NASA reject Scott Cherella discover when they switch places. Does the reserved Marcus have what it takes to imitate his smart-aleck twin? Despite help from his love Veronese, Scott’s already been outed by two of Marcus’ best friends.

When rebels steal the ship with part of the crew aboard, Scott has to rescue them and retrieve the Freedom. The stakes increase when he discovers the rebels are heading for Earth. They know he’s a fraud and they want Marcus. The safety of the Alliance of Planets depends on Scott and his allies.

Switched Resolution, which wraps up the Switched series, takes the reader from Earth—where Marcus adjusts to a pregnant Jessie—to the starship Freedom commandeered by rebels, to the chase ship with Scott and Veronese aboard.

Excerpt from Switched Resolution:

With duffle bags slung over shoulders, banging against hips and each other, Scott Cherella and Veronese Qilana raced through the Malawea Spaceport terminal. His ship was gone. Stolen. Not just by the rebels incarcerated on board but by three of his own crew.
“I still can’t believe Drakus and Usolde took the Freedom.” Neese panted from running.
Scott was surprised at how many people either milled around or strolled down the terminal’s main corridor in the middle of the night. He and Neese attracted attention. Maybe Serenians didn’t run through public buildings. Too damn bad. This was an emergency.
“Those two have a lot to answer for,” he said.
Once they got to the hangar—or whatever Serenians called the area where various flight vehicles landed and took off—he let her lead the way. He’d only been through there once, yesterday, after arriving aboard a shuttle from Space Station Alpha where the Freedom had docked. Where it should still be docked.
“This way.” Neese darted down a narrow passageway. “I want to know about the other man. Both Drakus and Usolde mentioned a he who tricked them. Any ideas?”
“You know the crew better than I do. Well, longer anyway.” He had only been aboard the Freedom for three weeks, ever since he switched places with his twin. And, holy shit, what a time it had been. Sabotage, capture, rescue, ecstasy, betrayal.
Yeah, he wanted to know the other guy’s identity, too. A member of the Freedom’s crew had not only masterminded the recent sabotage but also the release of war criminals and the theft of Scott’s ship. How the hell had they gotten it out of spacedock? There had to be controls. Clearance requirements. On top of that, he wondered why the Freedom. The rebels needed a ship to escape. Surely, other ships were easier to take out from under Space Fleet Security than an Alliance battle cruiser. Or maybe that had been the point. A way of thumbing their noses at The Powers That Be.
“Wait.” He snagged the strap of Neese’s bag. They’d gotten to the end of a long hall. She turned to him, questions in her Lake Michigan blue eyes. God, he loved seeing them without the silver lenses she had worn to pass as Serenian. He couldn’t wait for her short hair to grow out. Like wearing camouflage lenses, she’d dyed her hair black to look like a Serenian. He bet if left to nature, her hair would be a deep auburn like Jessie’s. With waves, too, once it was long enough. Or maybe it would curl cutely around her face.
Nah. Neese was many things—striking, intelligent, strong-willed—but never cute.
Edging her into the corner, he dropped his duffle and pulled her into his arms. “I gotta do this before we meet up with the others.”
She opened her mouth in surprise as his came down. He hoped the kiss he planted on her made her remember what they’d been doing two hours earlier. Finally alone and no longer worried about non-fraternization rules, they’d made love in a proper bed. It had been perfect. Perfect until she beat him to the punch and proposed. If the damn computer hadn’t interrupted with urgent messages, he would have made sure she understood there were some things a guy just had to do on his own.
Independent little cuss.
She broke off the kiss, her eyes huge. “We—We shouldn’t do this. Someone might—”
“Relax, Neese. Nobody’s around.”
“There could be.” When she scooted past him, her bag swung out and caught him in the side. Uttering a quick apology, she opened the door to a spacious hangar. “Chief Luqett and Mr. Glaxpher said they’d be waiting for us in Area 72.” She pointed overhead.
Up in the rafters, large white lettering designated areas. Naturally, he couldn’t read them. He didn’t think his link, which she’d programmed to translate Serenian symbols, would be able to “read” that far away.
“Where are we now?” he asked softly as he followed her.
“Area 51.”
That stopped him. “You have got to be joking.”
She turned to him and shook her head. “I do not understand.”
“Area 51. Aliens. Roswell, New Mexico.”
“Oh, that fiasco when the Cardijian ship crashed. We need to hurry.”
“You mean that was real?” He started grinning. “Hot damn.”

Switched Resolution is available:
            for Kindle:
            for all ebook formats:


Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing science fiction romance. Besides the Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, which begins a series about strong women on the frontier of space. 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.

Diane can be found around the Internet at:


  1. Thanks for sharing Diane! Star Wars is also the reason I switched from writing fantasy to science fiction. :)

  2. Diane, I love Linnea Sinclair's books, too. I actually met her at a convention once, and she exuded confidence and high energy in person. As far as I'm concerned, though, Jayne Castle (under all her pen names) is my writing idol. I want a dust bunny!

  3. Pippa, thanks for having me today. Star Wars is great, but I can't wait for Star Trek Into Darkness!

    Allie, I'm on Linnea's fan loop. Very graciously lady. Oh, yes, I want a dust bunny, too. LOL

  4. Hi Diane! I write SFR for much the same reasons. And yes, I can't wait to see Star Trek Into Darkness as well. All the best with your new release!



I always love to hear your thoughts.