Please tell us a bit about yourself:
Hi, I’m Judy Griffith Gill, born and raised on Canada’s wilderness, Pacific coast. I lived there until I graduated high school, then moved to Vancouver. Subsequently, suffering (I think), my fith or tenth broken heart, I joined the Canadian Army to take nurses training. All too soon, an unexpected boy named Bob—definitely not battery operated—healed my heart and we ended up married. We still are and have just celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary. We raised our family in different parts of Canada, as well as a couple of locations in Germany. Since I needed a career more portable than even nursing, I became a Rrrrr-omance Rrrrr-Writer! And sold the first book I wrote to the first house to see it—Women’s Weekly Library in the UK. Well, what can I say? They were desperate in those days. Time passed. I wrote. I raised kids. I packed. I unpacked. I packed and unpacked and repeated as needed. I sold to houses in London and New York. My romance novels began to take on a bit of woo-woo and other strange stuff and I recognized myself, a bit late in life, as a budding Robert A. Heinlein. Well, a wannabe, anyway. Since we spend half of each year aboard our little cabin cruiser, moseying along BC’s coast, I still happily practice my portable profession wherever Bob takes me. We have two beautiful, successful daughters, two lovely sons-in-law, and three totally charming grandchildren.
Tell us about LIFELINE:
LIFELINE is Book 2 in the Chronicles of Storn. It’s the story of Joe Storn, disgraced captain in the All Earth Space Fleet. He breaks the law, crashes his space shuttle onto Luna’s crust, wakes up twenty years later naked, on an autopsy slab, and desperately needing to take a leak. Thrown in the brig for breaking both law and ship, he gladly goes along when his friends effect a jail-break. They sneak him off to a lab in a distant asteroid where perfects the nanotechnology that had allowed him and his crew to withstand those previously unheard-of twenty years in cryostasis. Meanwhile, an old, dear friend who owns the lab, tweaks her “Windrive”, that slides ships into, through, and past space-folds across the Milky Way shortening travel time by many magnitudes. Joe is then tasked with taking Windrive far out in space to seek and retrofit ships already in search of new homes. That takes him one hundred fifty years, most of it spent in freeze. When he returns to Luna, he expects to be slammed into the brig again, but instead, he’s treated as a hero and given an admiralty he doesn’t want…and put in charge of another, more urgent expedition. Earth is in deep trouble. Humanity might not make it. It’s Joe Storn’s duty to provide his species and all the others of Earth with a lifeline, even if it takes a thousand years... And even if the expedition ends up, well, not quite exactly where they intended. Oops! But that’s the story of Joe’s life.
What inspired you to write this particular story?:
LIFELINE is prequel-as-sequel to, REFUGE, Book 1 in The Chronicles of Storn. That book is now up on Wattpad for free reading when I remember to add a chapter or two. It was published in 2013 and enough people wanted to know what led to it, that I had to write the prequel. That, as my work often does, went on too long, and became two separate novels. Now LIFELINE, which launched in November 2015, is gathering friends for Joe and his companions, the next sequel, Book 3 in the Chronicles, DIRTSIDERS, about to launch.
Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?:
None of the above takes precedence. Joe Storn sort of happened at the end of REFUGE, when he appeared as a character bearing the name of the planet Storn, where that novel is set. He was something of an accident, but one I couldn’t ignore. I liked him and his concern over his slightly receding hairline too much, and he was so thrilled to find other humans, I simply had to let him and his companions tell their unlikely story.
Any tips for aspiring authors?:
I always have tips for aspiring authors. 1.) Love writing. 2.) Love reading. 3.) Know your grammar. 4.) Don’t trust spell-checkers. 5.) Enjoy yourself while writing. Laugh and have fun with your characters. 6.) Study printed novels for dialogue formatting if you don’t already know it. 7.) Don’t listen to those who insist the above are not important, because “that’s why there are editors.” If you want an editor to take you seriously, write it right unless your name is Frank McCourt. Or as right as you can. And most important, remember, rules are made to be broken, but know when you’re breaking them and why. NEVER GIVE UP.
If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change? Why/why not?:
I think I’d have Adolf Hitler’s mama be barren. Why? Because I’ve visited the Bergen Belsen and Dachau memorials in Germany and because I’ve just watched Schindler’s List. That’s all the reason I need. Hitler was bad. He was evil. He was so charismatic he drew in good people who were frustrated, hurting, and afraid, and he led them right into disaster taking the world along for the ride. I was born into that world. It still needs fixing.
What super-power would you choose?:
Teleportation. Especially if we have to run from a storm at sea.
Which fictional universe would you like to live in and why?:
The one where Heinlein’s Lazarus Long lives. Why? Because I’d love to be rejuvenated whenever I want and Lazarus is my hero. Well, apart from some of his… proclivities regarding females of his own blood.
Which fictional mode of transport would you like to own, and why?:
Time machine. Because then I could go back, look, and know, and go forward to sip at a hundred million futures.
Coffee, tea or wine?:
Wine. Red. Dry. Plentiful.
What is your favourite book?: It’s a toss-up between Atlas Shrugged and Anne of Green Gables.
Favourite genre and why?:
I really don’t have one. I read everything but horror. That, I avoid because I think it’s boring.
Green, sometimes. Other times, blue. Or red. Never yellow.
Upcoming news and plans for the future?:
As I mentioned above, DIRTSIDERS, Book 3 in the Chronicles of Storn is due out almost immediately. It’s the story of Joe Storn and the rest of the troop he gathers on the new planet they’ve reached. There, they discover a horrendous endemic virus. This causes most people to fall into immediate sexual thrall. If not stopped and put back into cryostasis, they copulate until either they die of starvation and exposure (no pun intended), or are killed by vicious avians the size of hang-gliders. The ruling body, which is composed of the Committee of Captains after they strip Joe of the admiralty he’d never wanted anyway, decrees that no one leaves the protected area between the ships. Joe doesn’t buy into that one! He hasn’t traveled so far just to hide out. His aim is explore, settle, and populate the planet as ordered. He and his Dirtsider Troop, all immune to the virus, set out to do just that. They learn that seasons on Storn are each an Earth-year long, and not only is summer hard to take, winter will likely kill them. They must find shelter. This leads them into the caverns that honeycomb the planet’s surface. There, they will eventually meet up with the characters from REFUGE, who will join them in their adventures in Book 4 in the Chronicles of Storn. That book, CAVERNS, will bring the chronicles to a close. I hope.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
Thank you for taking the time to listen and giving me the opportunity to do what I love best—talk about writing.
Captain Josia A. Storn needs a lifeline.
The scientists want to study him. Space Fleet wants to court martial him. Half the Lunar colonists want to turn him over to Earth security forces as a peace offering and the other half want to use him to start a war with Earth.
And in the middle of the maelstrom, Storn has to locate his crew, escape his cell, and lead a fleet of ships into the unknown.
He'd refuse but for one thing. He is the lifeline for the human race. Prepared or not, briefed or not, he has no option but to go... and succeed.
LIFELINE is Amazon exclusive until the 18th February: http://amzn.to/
After the 18th it will be is available at other online retailers.
Find Judy at her website: www.judyggill.com