Our final interview this week is with Eliza Green, author of the Compulsion Reads endorsed Becoming Human.
How did you get into writing Sci-Fi/Fantasy?
It was experimental. I didn’t dream of being a writer and I wasn’t even sure if I could write. What I really wanted to do was try it. I had an idea floating around in my head that seemed interesting enough to get it down on paper. That was in 2009.
Which is the first aspect of a story you usually plan? The plot, the setting, or the characters?
When I think of new ideas, I see the plot first. I think the plot is the most important, then you pick the characters (or the characters emerge naturally) who would best tell that story.
If you had to say that your stories were Sci-Fi/Fantasy crossed with something, what would it be?
Probably Sci-Fi/Thriller or Sci-Fi/Adventure.
What, or who, would you say is your greatest influence in your writing?
I was most impressed with Hugh Howey’s self-publishing success, which shows that it can be done in spite of the negativity surrounding self-publishing in general. I read his book, Wool, at a time when multiple traditional publishers/agents had rejected my work and I decided to go it alone. I felt excited and daunted at the same time. Wool was garnering attention across the globe. The fact that his book was self-published really stuck with me, motivated me to put my best work forward and see what happened.
More role models are needed to change the publishing landscape. There are already paradigm shifts happening, where traditional publishing is now looking at indie authors to see how they can emulate some of their successes. Forget the hype surrounding traditional versus self. In the end, it comes down to what readers want. Writers need to believe in themselves more. Obstacles are good. They make us work harder. I like being the underdog and I’m happy to prove the industry wrong.
How did you come up with the idea for the book you’ve listed here?
BECOMING HUMAN started out as a short story when I threw 10k words down on paper. I asked my partner to read it (a bigger sci fi nut than me) and he liked it. So I developed the story from there. It took me 4 years to write it. As soon as I finished BECOMING HUMAN, ALTERED REALITY, the second part of the trilogy developed legs. It’s like a chain reaction. As soon as you finish one book, you think of the next.
What was your proudest moment in the creation of this book?
I’m proud of both covers. I think they look great. I used the same cover designer for both, and it was refreshing to work on something visual after having laboured over the words for so long.
Have there been any points that had you doubting yourself? How did you get past them?
When you first publish, you wait nervously for the first reviews to come in. You doubt yourself as a writer and wonder if you can learn anything more. When I completed ALTERED REALITY (Book 2), I was able to eliminate any silly mistakes I had made with the first book before handing it over to my editor. I made the easy decision to rewrite BECOMING HUMAN after I finished Book 2, because my writing style had moved on.
When I published ALTERED REALITY, the pressure to deliver was even greater because I now had readers lined up for the next book. You carry those same doubts in your mind, but maybe the only way to get over them is to keep on writing. I spent a lot of time “stalking” Book 1, but now I’m happier to get on with the writing.
What is your favourite aspect of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres?
Ideas can be so much more out there than in regular fiction. You have permission to delve as far into your mind as you like.
What is the element you like the least about the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres?
I prefer stories that are more down to earth. Personally, I don’t read many Science Fiction or Fantasy stories because they are too farfetched and I struggle to remember too many odd names and places.
Discounting ‘because I’d have made a lot of money’ (if that is the case,) which Sci-Fi or Fantasy book/tv series/film do you wish you’d written, and why?
One of my favourite shows is True Blood. It is a remarkable idea that (I think people forget) was originally penned by writer, Charlaine Harris. The books and characters are as vibrant as the show is and her imagination is amazing.
Eliza Green lives in Dublin, Ireland with her partner, who is an even nuttier science fiction fan than she is. She has worked in many industries from fashion, to sport to finance but when she discovered writing several years ago, it surprised her how much she loved it.
Eliza writes down-to-earth science fiction, which has stemmed from her lifelong obsession with sci-fi stories. Of special interest is the not-so-distant future; gaining that glimpse into what life could be like if we carried on as we are. Dystopian future, overcrowding and pollution – the theme of the Exilon 5 trilogy.
Two Worlds. Two Species. One Terrifying Secret.
In 2163, a polluted and overcrowded Earth forces humans to search for a new home. But the exoplanet they target, Exilon 5, is occupied. Having already begun a massive relocation programme, Bill Taggart is sent to monitor the Indigenes, the race that lives there. He is a man on the edge. He believes the Indigenes killed his wife, but he doesn’t know why. His surveillance focuses on the Indigene Stephen, who has risked his life to surface during the daytime.
Stephen has every reason to despise the humans and their attempts to colonise his planet. To protect his species from further harm, he must go against his very nature and become human. But one woman holds a secret that threatens Bill’s and Stephen’s plans, an untruth that could rip apart the lives of those on both worlds.