Giveaway & talking to Diane Dooley about pirates, geekery, haggis & more.

I have a very special treat today. Author Diane Dooley is here to celebrate her newest release, Mako’s Bounty. She’ll be giving away a copy via comments below. We will select a winner on ApriI 1st (no joke) so spread the word!

CHARLIE  Hi Diane! Thanks for visiting SGLSF. I know you are celebrating the release of Mako’s Bounty –  your story about a space pirate, a bounty hunter, and a one night stand. What’s not to love!

Space pirates have a special spot in the hearts of many of us SFR readers. What is your favorite thing about them? And how do you think your space pirate lives up to, or perhaps down to, the pirate tradition?

DIANE  My favorite thing is that devil-may-care attitude. Space pirates live dangerous lives, requiring the ability to live life in the moment. After all, there’s no knowing when they’ll be captured and subjected to a futuristic gibbet. My particular space pirate does not regard himself as one. His mortal enemy, Ravenscorp, the mining company that controls the lives of millions, has dubbed him a pirate, but Vin regards himself as a freedom fighter. That social conscience of his actually makes him a pretty terrible space pirate. He’s more interested in justice than loot.

CHARLIE  Crazy question, but I have to ask, when you named your bounty hunter heroine were you thinking of sharks, the meaning of the name (child of truth), or just picking a name to match her ancestry?  It is just about the best heroine name I’ve seen in recent memory.

DIANE  All three. I take a lot of time and trouble naming my characters. I had an image of a bounty hunter as single-minded and tenacious as a hungry shark. Being the mother of two young boys obsessed with nature documentaries, I know more about sharks than a soccer mom probably should. I nicknamed my bounty hunter Mako, then decided she was the only child of a single mom of Irish ancestry. The father she never knew, I decided, was of Japanese ancestry. Looking up the name, I discovered it’s very lovely and symbolic meaning. I was sold! Then I went looking for a Japanese name that could easily be shortened to Mako. When I came across ‘Makiko’ I knew it was the one. I love the way ‘Makiko Dolan’ rolls off my tongue. I love the image of a beautiful and dangerous woman/shark. I love her ferocious nickname. I’m glad it resonated with you, too!

CHARLIE  The world of this book sounds like a dangerous place. Can you tell us your favorite thing about the world? Would you like to live there? Or advise against putting it on my list of possible vacation spots?

DIANE  My favorite thing about the world is how, through evolution, those born and raised in space are evolving into a different species of human. I spent many hours thinking about what the bodily changes would be and for what evolutionary reason. Yeah, call me a geek – it’s true. I, personally, wouldn’t like to live there, though I’d definitely visit. There are some fascinating places to go and things to see, but I’d only put it on your list of possible vacation spots if you were an extremely adventurous traveller.

CHARLIE  Well, I’m sold on Mako’s Bounty.  Time to tell us more about yourself.  After reading your bio, I’m dieing to know:

Have you ever eaten Haggis?

DIANE  Oh, yes. Twice. The first time I loved it. The haggis was fragrant and flavorful, had been finely minced and was served with steaming sides of tatties (potatoes) and neeps (turnips). It was, quite frankly, delicious. The second time I had it the plate was piled with large chunks of identifiable offal. I couldn’t eat it and have never touched haggis since. It tastes much better when you’re not looking at a hunk of lung.

CHARLIE  Have you ever seen the Loch Ness Monster?

DIANE  No, never seen old Nessie. I’ve been to Loch Ness several times and looked for her while I was there. I even swam there once. It’s very cold and deep and, even though I’m not superstitious, I was a little freaked out. Loch Ness is a beautiful and mysterious place. The Highlands of Scotland I would put on a list of anyone’s possible vacation spots. But do pack for changeable weather!

CHARLIE  What is the one thing sure to please your geeky side?

DIANE  I have many geeky sides and many geeky interests. I married a geek and one of our favorite pastimes (in fact, this is what passes for date night in our relationship) is to sit up late with a few adult beverages and, using Youtube, see how many songs we can name on a certain topic. The fun of pulling obscure songs by even more obscure bands out of my memory goes straight to the music geek side of me. Just last week I thrashed my husband in a contest to name the most songs about venereal disease. I’m still gloating (and humming Poison Ivy by The Lambrettas.)

CHARLIE  Would you rather have a time machine or a transporter?

DIANE  In my younger days I would have gone for the time machine. I studied history at university. It would have been amazing to go back in time to famous events and meet infamous people. These days, though, as a busy mom I would most definitely go for the transporter. Being able to whizz back and forth between multiple destinations would be such a great timesaver. And a moneysaver, too, considering the cost of plane tickets these days.

CHARLIE  Star Trek or Star Wars?

DIANE  Ooh, ah, do I have to choose? I love them both, but If you twisted my arm I’d have to say Star Wars. I actually enjoyed Firefly and Battlestar Galactica (reboot) better than both of them, though. I’m a sucker for great sci fi with well-rounded female characters, probably due to a terrible dearth of them in my younger days. We’ve come a long way, baby.

CHARLIE  Last but not least, where can we find you and your books on the web?

DIANE  You can purchase Mako’s Bounty from Decadent Publishing, Amazon, and all the usual online retailers. You can learn more about my previous and forthcoming publications on my blog or Facebook. You can also track me down on Twitter.

I’d love to give away a pdf copy of Mako’s Bounty to a reader of this blog. The blurb is below and an excerpt is here. If you would like to enter the giveaway just answer this question in comments: what is YOUR favorite geeky pastime?

Thank you so much for hosting me, Charlie

For nine long months, at the behest of the evil Ravenscorp, Mako Dolan has been hunting the space pirate they call The Saint. Now she’s finally lured her prey to a one night stand with a mysterious woman—herself. But Vin Sainte is not at all what she expected. Far from being a ruthless space pirate, his main occupation seems to be rescuing nuns, adopting orphans and praying like a champ.

For nine long months Vin Sainte has been fleeing the bounty hunter from one temporary refuge to the next. Now he’s got Mako exactly where he wants her: weak from gravity sickness and ripe for conversion. Problem is he didn’t expect a foul-mouthed, hard-as-nails bounty hunter to be such a devoted daughter. His head on a platter is Ravenscorp’s price for her mother’s freedom.

They have less than twenty four hours. One will win; one will lose. Mako might be a fearsome predator, but Vin has the Lord on his side. Who will win the bounty?