NO ONE WAS BORN READY FOR IT—for the war on Earth, the war of three hundred years. The stars beyond seemed so distant, unreachable, a dream delayed as Earth fought over politics, cultural differences, and remnants of non-toxic land. After a long-overdue truce, the world united under common laws, electing a silent force of guardians to maintain peace and unity. Their system of justice: ‘an eye for an eye,’ as the saying goes. And it was effective. Until they arrived.
Man’s deadliest disease used to be hatred.
They came in ships blacker than the deepest wormhole to a forgotten galaxy, ships that dripped with blood from starving mouths. Ships that didn’t register on Earth’s scanners until it was far too late.
They took Earthlings from their homes, from their broken families, their suffering planet, and enslaved them, slowly torturing each until they could endure no longer. And then they came back for more.
They leave galaxies swirling in fragments and chaos—the planets molten in rage—rendering countless species extinct.
They do it without remorse.
It has been like this since almost the beginning of time.
Because they were looking for me.
I won’t be born for many long-cycles, but my kind, we surpass time. We live outside the boundaries of dimensions. We are the oldest spark, the strongest and brightest in the dark. And we thrive in the twilight, the shadows between all things.
They are an evil that spreads like blackened veins through the nebulae, siphoning life with a single touch. They feed off of us, drain our sparks without a moment’s hesitation. There will be no warning. There will be no mercy.
I tell you this now. Find those you love and hold on tight for as long as you can. Life is a struggle—a chain of choices and fate. It is too short to let go.
May the stars of my ancestors guide you and protect you.
I know my mother and father will do their best.
But it is not enough. Not without me.
I am Luna.
This is my family.
And this is the Universal War.
His dark eyes hung on hers for an intimate moment. Evan didn’t move except for one finger, which swept over his lips the way it always did when he was deep in thought.
Norah’s heart thumped hard in her chest. She scanned around her, looking for what else might have his attention, denying the notion it was her. Their banter had always been playful, lighthearted, and brief—nothing this intense.
Evan carefully set his paperwork on his desk, leaned forward, and reached for the stapler. His voice rumbled soft as distant thunder. “You have no idea.”
INTERVIEW THE AUTHOR
1. Can you tell us a few things about yourself?
I’d love to! I’m a self-published author of (currently) four novels. I’m not stopping there! But I actually prefer to be outside, rain or shine. I enjoy bodybuilding, snowboarding, hiking, four-wheeling, camping, gardening, and working on cars. I’m a hands-on sort of person. I have two Bachelor’s Degrees and am a USAFR veteran of six years.
I’ve been traveling the country with my husband for five years for his job, living out of an RV. We’ve lived in seven states and seen some beautiful country that I think often goes unnoticed. While snowed in, in the North Dakota plains for a winter, with nothing else to do, I decided to make the dream of self-publishing a reality. I’m also a lucid dreamer who loves anything fluffy, struggles with migraines, and is addicted to Twinkies and caramel macchiatos.
2. Describe the types of books you write without using genre headings e.g. you’re not allowed to just say I write fantasy!
I’m definitely a cross-genre writer. My first book series blends magic with science, is set in the future, and involves alien invasions and military themes. I include cyberpunk and biopunk elements in a lot of my writing. While battle scenes can make a story intense, motivations of characters and their relationships are just as important.
I also enjoy writing love stories: true, forbidden, holiday, triangles, military, you name it. Experimenting with concepts of family plays an important part as well.
3. Describe your why. Tell me what motivates you to write.
I write for so many reasons that it’s hard to pick the most important ones. I think a big part of writing for me is to open up and expose the struggles everyone faces beneath the masks we put on to show others “we’re okay” and we’re doing what others/society expects. I want to crush the stigmas of invisible illnesses. I want people to understand that being adopted or growing up with different concepts of guardians than the traditional doesn’t mean you’re broken.
I want scars to be beauty marks of strength.
I don’t write for the mass consumer. I write for the few, the in-between, the different, the loners, the forsaken, the ones who feel like everyone ignores them. There are good people in this world that go unnoticed because they aren’t represented in pop culture. They are still important. Everyone is.
4. Fancasting – Did you have particular actors/actresses in mind for the starring roles in your story?
I can’t say I do, mostly because I don’t really see characters, similar to those I create, in the media. Most of my inspiration comes from everyday people.
5. Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
I honestly believe there is no such thing as a bad writer, only a writer who can improve. So if you’re discouraged by lack of support or bad reviews or no sales, don’t worry. Don’t give up. It takes time and dedication to build your empire, yes—the craft classes, marketing set-up, networking etc. But you absolutely can get your stories out there and make money from them. You can build a fan base. Be patient.
Write because it means something to you. If you always keep in mind your purpose in starting this journey, you will never be disappointed. As long as you are still writing, you’re making progress.
Be realistic about your goals. Not everyone will like your work, and that’s okay. Find your audience and write your story to them.
Read popular work similar to what you’re creating. Don’t worry about accidentally plagiarizing. (It’s highly unlikely, unless you’re name-dropping.) Focus on their techniques, and experiment with your writing. You’ll be surprised by what you learn.
Your marketing platform will be the life or death of your stories. Keep in mind how many millions of books are available for download and how many thousands you’re up against in your genre/subgenre. To be seen, you have to get your book and yourself out there. Be on at least three websites/social media platforms. Data shows that people are more likely to consider you a serious writer (and real) if you’re accessible through multiple channels.
6. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
Stellar Fusion was my crash course in writing, self-publishing, and authorship. My biggest mistake was not having a marketing platform before I published. I was too shy, too nervous what others thought of my work, and too afraid to invest more money. I couldn’t afford trial and error with ads. I had imposter syndrome because it was my first book, my degrees are in research, and I was fighting against stigmas associated with self-publishing.
But I pushed through it and got involved in some writing groups, watched a ton of webinars, and took classes to improve my editing and self-publishing processes. Staying focused on the goal kept my doubts at bay. And with each new thing I tackled, I added to my skills toolbox until I realized I’d published a couple novels and people were buying them. Having a great product is necessary. But if people don’t know why they need your product, they won’t buy it.
7. Which writer’s work do you believe most resembles your work?
I admit I’ve studied Kerry Nietz and Pierce Brown, mostly for the futuristic, cyberpunk, and intensity elements of their writing. They give readers a lot to chew on. I believe it’s good to have ideals to work toward as long as we never lose sight of writing our story the best way we can.
Thank you so much for having me!