This week I’m delighted to welcome science fiction writer Judith Mortimore to my blog. We’re keeping our feet very firmly on planet earth for our chat as Judith has invited me to her beautiful garden in Gloucestershire.
Hi Judith. What’s your latest book called and what is it about?
‘The Canopus Conundrum’ – due out this month – is book two of the Uncharted series, light space adventures with romance. Colonel Kovis and Prefect Gloriana must solve a mystery and a crime, but their biggest challenge may be finding out each other’s secrets. I know a lot of romance readers avoid science fiction, but mine is ‘cozy’ and I promise there are no lengthy descriptions of machinery!
The book sounds amazing – and very original! Where do you do your writing?
I am fortunate to have an office with plenty of space, although to be honest a lot of it is taken up by embroidery paraphenalia. I really need to finish some projects!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block, and if you do, what’s your cure?
When I did my PhD a few years ago, I lost my fiction writing ability completely. I got it back by doing ‘Nanowrimo’ several years running until I found my stride again. I asked myself what I wanted to write – the answer was SF, and romance, so that’s what I’ve been writing and since I made that decision I haven’t had a problem with writer’s block!
What inspired you to first put pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard, and start writing novels?
I was the sort of child who made their dolls enact stories, so I guess I was ‘writing’ before I could even write. I spent most of my teens and twenties writing fan fiction, and only in later years have turned my hand to creating my own worlds. I read a lot, too.
How many unfinished novels have you got on your laptop/in your notebooks?
Far too many! Although ‘Leaving Meridiana’ (book one in the series) is the only one published so far, I have written seven books in that series with more planned, two stand-alones (one of which will probably have a sequel, if I ever have time) … and then there’s the massive fantasy novel that should probably be published as a two-parter!
You sound like a very busy person! How do you come up with names for your characters?
They tell me their names! I did start the SF series by picking the names of obscure stars, but now I just jot down names I come across that sound futuristic and appeal. If I really can’t come up with anything, I use an online name creator (there are a number of them).
I think characters do pick their own names. I know it’s taken me several false starts to find names that are the perfect fit.
If you could pick one character from your books to meet in real life, who would it be and why?
Captain Asterion – because he’d show me around his space cruiser, and I’d really love to see it! Mind you, that’s cheating a bit, since many of the other characters from my novels would be around!
I wouldn’t mind being shown round that space cruiser too! Many thanks to Judith for taking part.
J A Mortimore writes space opera/fantasy with romance. She started writing fiction at a young age and has never stopped. She wrote fanfiction for many years in a number of fandoms in the days when publishing involved stencils and a duplicator. She has been active in science fiction and media circles for longer than she cares to think about. She is retired and lives in Gloucestershire, UK with two friends, a number of cats, and far too many books and half-finished manuscripts.
Whilst her longer fiction tends to involve romances, she admits to being at the mercy of her protagonists, so how their relationship develops is different from couple to couple.
She is currently a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the British Science Fiction Association.
Judith is currently offering a free copy of the novella which introduces her Unchartered series to readers who sign up to her newsletter, (but you can unsubscribe after you get the novella). LINK: subscribepage.io/HtlH0s
Is someone out to destroy Bendos Platform? What Flight Lieutenant Zaran overheard could mean nothing – or it could mean everyone on Bendos platform is at risk, including his mother. When nobody but fun-loving Professor Phaedra will take him seriously, he must race against time to find out the truth before it’s too late.
The Canapus Conundrum https://www.amazon.co.uk/Canopus-Conundrum-Uncharted-Book-ebook/dp/B0C7RZ9HQY/