Author Archives: Misa

In the zone

I have a desk. It’s upstairs, in the corner of my bedroom. At least, I think that’s where it is – there’s an awful lot of clothing piled on top. I’ve done the writer equivalent of buying an exercise machine only to use it as a clothes horse. Ahem.

So my place to write is… on the sofa. Laptop sits on my lap. Headphones get plugged in my ears. And, when I resist the temptation to tend my virtual kingdom or chat away on Twitter for long enough, I write. I don’t think where matters so much as doing. as long as I manage to switch off from the chaos around me (and with five kids, there’s a lot of chaos!), then I can get in the zone and write.

The Zone tends to have an almost mythical status. “How do you do that?” I get asked. Usually because those people know about the kids. And the husband. I’ve enough distractions before the Internet. My answer is to know what I’m going to write. I tend to rehearse scenes in my head before writing them down. I find that if I do that, then once I get to writing them, the words just flow. One scene segues into another and before I know it, I’ve 1K and change.

Secondly, I can’t write in silence. Probably because I’m so used to noise. I filter the quiet out the same way I do the kids playing on the Wii – I listen to music. What depends on the scene I’m writing and the overall feel I’m going for. Novel-in-progress Cassiopeia has a playlist that’s made up of several tracks from the Doctor Who soundtrack. Archangel‘s is a lot of Eighties music.

And then there’s God Is An Astronaut – Best. Sci Fi. Writing Music. Ever. Here, I’ll leave you with , so you can hear for yourself. You’re welcome. 😀

The Best Advice

I can give to aspiring authors is the same that inspires me to keep writing, keep submitting, keep pushing. It doesn’t come from another author. It comes from an actor. THE actor whose words first nudged me into sending a manuscript into the ether and continues to inspire and encourage me in the most amazing way. A man I had the utmost pleasure of meeting at the start of June, and who is incredible in every which way (yes, I know I’m fangirling. Hush.)

 

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Misa Buckley is a sci fi geek who escapes the crazy of raising five children by creating imaginary characters who experience adventure, romance and really hot sex on their way to a happily-ever-after. You can keep up to date with Misa’s latest news by following her on Twitter or at her website.

Splash!

I didn’t have to think about what creature I’d want to shapeshift into – I saw the movie Splash! when it was released in 1984, and as something of a water baby, what more perfect thing is there than a mermaid?

Especially one that looks like Madison.

Splash

The Eddings Effect

Just before my 13th birthday my parents moved house, which involved me changing schools. The new school was bigger than my previous and had two advantages – the first being it was mixed sex, and the second being the student-run library. I signed up to be a library almost immediately. I got a shiny badge and access to a roomful of books. If heaven’s not like that, then I don’t want in.

pawnprophecyMy librarian duties meant spending my lunch hour tidying and organising books, after which I could do whatever. I usually sat down in a corner with my packed lunch and a Sweet Valley High story. I could polish off both in about half an hour. I read everything in that library, but what I loved more than anything else was The Belgariad series by David Eddings.

Many, many years on and I still love the fantastic world Eddings created. Somewhere in my house is the book he wrote about doing that, which contains advice to aspiring authors. I bought it because I wanted to write something as epic, with princesses and knights and dragons. The first fiction I wrote, at about 15 was about a princess. I never finished that novel, never mind a stack of them.

Though I’m perfectly happy being a science fiction author now, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am had I not read The Belgariad and its sequel series The Mallorean. That desire to write something as epic, as in the vein of Tolkien only with less death, is the bedrock of who I am as an author.

Purveyor of Smut

I’m supposed to be writing about my favourite love/sex scene, but how can I possibly chose just one? (Not least because my memory is terribly unreliable and I can’t actually think of one in particular…) So rather than talk about an actual scene, I’m going to talk about my favourite writer of smut.

As Lauren Gallagher, Lori Witt writes heterosexual, bisexual, and lesbian romance and erotica. Her books range from the downright filthy (Between Brothers and The Princess and the Porn Star) to erotic romance that wrings your heart as much as it gets your engine revving (the sublime All the King’s Horses is a favourite of mine for this)

Then, as L.A. Witt, she writes gay romance and erotica, including the hot (in all senses of the word) Market Garden series with Aleksandr Voinov.

All genres of her books involve actual plots, and characters that engrave themselves on your heart. Her sex scenes go from subtle teases of the senses to flat-out, expletive-ridden explosions. Some times in the same damn book. And then there’s the way she toys with your emotions…

In short, Lori is my go-to-author when I want romance with hot sex scenes that touches more than just down there. If that’s the kind of thing you like, her website is here.

SFR: Putting the Sexy into Sci Fi

Why do I write Science Fiction Romance? Well, I have loved sci fi since I was a little girl – Doctor Who, Star Trek, Space 1999 – I watched anything and everything that had stars and spaceships. Of course, I also loved Star Wars and being taken to see A New Hope at the theatre is one of my earliest memories. And probably responsible for my liking romance amongst the stars.

I mean, how can one watch Star Wars and not be aware of Han and Leia’s romance? It was truly a case of two hearts on a collision course, warp factor 10 with all shields down (sorry). The perfect backdrop to an epic tale of good winning over evil.

Science fiction is about humanity discovering space, with its new worlds and endless possibilities. In doing so, it’s about people being people and all that entails, be it warring with species it doesn’t understand, overcoming hardships and misunderstandings, fighting for something better and, because they are human and have feelings, falling in love.

But science fiction doesn’t just have to be in space – it can be Earth-bound, set in a future where the aliens have come to us (Men In Black and The War of the Worlds), or where a more advanced humanity sends someone back to the past (Terminator)

I wrote the latter as the plot to my latest release TIN CAT. Protagonist Hunter Grey is sent to capture a criminal bent on reshaping history. But time travel affects the body, so his is modified to cope with the stresses, as well as having adaptations to help him track his prey. He is, in short, cybernetic – and this is one of the areas that makes sci fi so much fun to play with.

A year after the accident that put her in a wheelchair, Amber Gerald has more or less gotten used to living with her impairment. It doesn’t make a difference to running a comic book store anyway, and the customers have been the best support group she could have wished for.

When she rescues an abandoned cat, Amber has no idea that she’s interfering in the mad scheme of a time travelling bank robber. Or that the man that walks into her store dressed like Blade is about to become her bodyguard.

Between being an unwitting owner of an android cat and falling for a cybernetic bounty hunter, Amber finds her life a whole new level of weird as science fiction becomes a very real factual threat.

My Favourite Story

Tigana[Cover blurb] Tigana is the internationally celebrated epic of a beleaguered country struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the tyrant king Brandin that even the name of their once beautiful land cannot be spoken or remembered. But, years after their homeland’s devastation, a handful of men and women set in motion a dangerous crusade – to overthrow their conquerors and bring back to the world the lost brightness of an obliterated name: Tigana.

I was 13 or 14 when I first read Tigana, written by Guy Gavriel Kay, but I can still remember the effect it had on me. I wept buckets for every character caught in the tangle of love and grief, even Brandin.

Up until this book, every story had been clean-cut, good verses bad, where good would triumph. Then I read Tigana and realised, for the first time, that not every bad guy is completely evil. That changed me – how I read other characters and, I think, how I write them.

I’m a sucker for an anti-hero. Perhaps Brandin isn’t quite that, but he is a wounded character. His actions are driven by anger and loss, and one cannot read Tigana and not feel for him. He’s not the hero, but neither is he pure villain. He’s so much more complex than that, as are the rest of the characters.

Because Tigana is a story about people, and every one of them has their own story. It’s how those stories mesh that make this the book it is.

The Power of the Babe

“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great… You have no power over me.”

labyrinth-cover

Believe it or not, but I wrote that quotation from memory. It comes, as you should know (and if not, why not?!) from Labyrinth – the story of Sarah, who wishes the Goblin King take her step-brother away and then has to navigate a strange realm in order to get him back. Labyrinth is a film I first saw as a young teen and have loved ever since. I have the Collector’s Edition on DVD. And the soundtrack.

For those that haven’t seen it *glares* Sarah is a young woman living in a dream world after the death of her mother. Though her father has moved on, remarried and now has a child, she’s trapped in the past, not willing to let go. She behaves like her stepmother is something from a fairytale and is convinced that she’s not being treated fairly. Left to babysit, she takes umbrage at baby brother Toby’s constant crying and, using a cue from a story, utters the fatal words: “I wish the Goblin King would take you away. Right now.”

Jareth, the infamous King and played by a glorious camp David Bowie, does as Sarah wishes, except she’s not all that grateful and quickly realises what she’s done. But to get her brother back, she has to solve the Labyrinth and that isn’t anywhere near as easy as she thinks it’ll be – it’s a world of hidden doors, shifting walls and oubliettes ready to trap the unwary.

labrinth-ballroom

The film itself is absolutely beautiful and the Labyrinth looks like a true fairy kingdom. Or should that be goblin kingdom? Either way, the twisting paths and the richly drawn characters make it a memory that sticks with you long after the credits have rolled. The songs are just as catchy, too.

Songs? Oh yes, there are songs. From title track Underground, through Magic Dance (where I borrowed the blog title) to the haunting As The World Falls Down played during the Ballroom Scene, the songs are as much a part of the story as the plot and characters.

Labyrinth is a coming-of-age story. But unlike a certain popular trilogy, it’s not about falling in love (though there is that as well), it’s about a young woman discovering her place in the world, and in the power she has to control her own destiny. It’s also about moving on after a loss. It’s about putting away childish things but not losing that wonder. And it’s about friendships.

If you’ve never seen it, go and grab yourself a copy. But be prepared to hum the tunes for at least a week!

Bullet-Proof Kink: Unresolved Sexual Tension

TV Tropes says UST is when “two people are obviously attracted to each other, but some element of the story is keeping them apart” and it’s a comment trend in a lot of television shows. It’s also something I adore, and why I tend to get aboard many shows.

CastleTake Castle. It took four seasons for Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) to finally get on the same page, during which time the audience was subjected to different boyfriends, girlfriends, chronic misunderstandings, near-misses and a couple of near-death experiences.

It drove fans mad, but the pay-off was hugely successful, with the writers managing to avoid what’s commonly known as “the Moonlighting effect” – where the show dies once the main couple gets together. Since I’m in the UK and therefore behind, I’m not sure if they are still together, but I certainly hope so.

But after the trials and tribulations of Richard and Kate, why would anyone choose to put themselves through yet another couple in the throes of UST? Well, since this series of blog posts is about “bullet-proof kink”, it has to be obvious that UST is one thing that I personally can’t get enough of.

deathinparadiseI love the to-and-fro of a slowly building relationship, the one-step-forward and two-steps back. Even when it’s so, so frustrating, when done right, there’s always a little something to take from each interaction, each near-miss. And so I’m perfectly willing to have boarded yet another ‘ship, this time set in the glorious sunshine of the Caribbean and on the sandy beaches of the very wonderful Death In Paradise.

Will DI Richard Poole (Ben Miller) ever get over his terrible Englishness and do something about his DS, the very beautiful Camille Bordey (Sara Martins)? I certainly hope so, but after two short series, there’s not been a whole lot of progress made. And there’s another nine months or so before the third one airs.

But despite the lack of ground made, when it does air again, I’ll be sat on the sofa watching whatever happens because, at the end of the day, UST is something few television shows get wrong (and I really want them to get together!)

The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13

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