Carol Van Natta is the author of the SF-Action-Romance novel OVERLOAD FLUX (Galactic Concordance Book) an SF humor novel HOORAY FOR HOLOPTICON. This month her book is featured as part of the Goodreads Space Opera Fans group, so this is a great time to learn more about her, give her book a try, and join in on some discussion.
Welcome Carol Van Natta!
RK: What drew you to SF/SFR as a genre?
CAROL: The science fiction part is easy – I’ve been reading it since I was nine, when my parents figured to shut me up one summer by handing me science fiction to read. The joke was on them, though, because instead of complaining that I had nothing to read, I started complaining that I had no science fiction to read. Romance came a little later, when my high school friends and I were sharing books. I love the endless possibilities of science fiction, and the humanity of romance.
RK: Do you have a set writing routine?
CAROL: No, but it’s not for lack of trying. Sometimes my schedule gets out of hand with, well, life, and my writing routine becomes decidedly chaotic. I’ve been known to take my laptop into the waiting area of the veterinary hospital or car repair shop, and make plot notes on my cell phone. When I have the luxury of routine, I write very early in the morning, before I open emails, visit Facebook, and take care of the business side of things, then write more in the afternoon.
RK: How did the Central Galactic Concordance ‘world’ come about? What’s coming in the series?
CAROL: My inspiration almost always springs from questions. The Central Galactic Concordance series is an exploration of how humankind responds to evolutionary change of humans. I made some assumptions, such as that we’d have faster-than-light travel, that we know how to terraform, and that interstellar communication is effective. The first novel, Overload Flux, asks what happens when your secrets are killing you, and the second, Minder Rising, asks what happens when you discover everything you believed is wrong. My plan for galactic domination the series is to weave those book-level questions into a larger, overarching story arc that, if I’m calculating correctly, will take about nine books to complete. Sorry to be so vague, but you wouldn’t want spoilers, would you?
RK: How do weave different genres (SF, adventure, romance) into one story?
CAROL: My muse’s home base is in science fiction, but it makes regular visits to romance, action, paranormal, urban fantasy, steampunk, and romantic suspense. It just seems natural to me to weave multiple elements together into a story. I’m a voracious reader, and I love the blended-genre stories, so that’s what I write.
RK: How do you balance writing with other life and career obligations?
CAROL: Both well and poorly, depending on the week. I like to eat regularly, sleep indoors, and buy premium catfood, so I have a day job, and a family, and cats, and the usual other distractions. Sometimes it all comes together perfectly, and occasionally, it explodes like a supernova and I have to gather up the scattered pieces. Mostly, I make punctuated progress on the things I want to do.
AND A FEW FUN QUESTIONS….
RK: If you had a choice to spend a week 100 years in the future or 100 years in the past, which would you choose and why?
CAROL: The future, of course! I really want to know what happens next: Will we figure out how to get to Mars and back without killing ourselves? Can we mine the asteroid belt for useful metals? Will we figure out cold fusion, or its equivalent? What is dark matter, really? Can we mass-produce graphene and make cool stuff with it? Can we invent general vaccines for viral pathogens? Do any of the gas giant moons in our solar system have proto-life? Can we please, please, please have self-driving cars?
RK: Which disaster are you most prepared for: an alien invasion force from another world or the rise of destructive self-aware machines? Any advice for others?
CAROL: Either one. One of my day-job hats is as a business continuity specialist, the person who helps organization make plans to continue operations in the event of a disaster. It means I’ve given some thought to preparing for and mitigating potential problems in advance. Even simple things, like having a weather radio, or having a plan for your pets, or agreeing in advance where your family will meet if you can’t go home, can go a long way to helping you survive whatever hazard comes your way – alien invasion, rise of the machines, or a zombie apocalypse.