Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Welcome Vijaya Schartz today


 You have big cats on your romantic sci-fi covers. What's the story about cats in space?
 I love cats, big, small, friendly and feral. The fact that they ended on my book covers was only a matter of time. One of my publishers, Desert Breeze, caught up on that detail early on, and their big cat covers for my Chronicles of Kassouk futuristic series won a few awards... Of course, the books won other awards as well for the writing. But my big cats won awards of their own. The hero's companion in Red Leopard won an award for the best animal character of 2010

 Then, in the Borealis novellas series, I have cats on a space station. Black Dragon had a spoiled white Angora named Marshmallow. In the new BOREALIS novella coming out in September 2013 from Desert Breeze, AKIRA'S CHOICE, my heroine is a female Samurai bounty hunter with a cheetah trained to retrieve fugitives.

 Most of your heroines kick butt, even medieval ladies. Is that on purpose?
 Of course it is. I do not believe in feeble women. I'm a martial artist myself, and I believe skill and intelligence can overcome brute strength anytime. My heroines are smart, not easily intimidated, and physically fit. Whether they wield a sword, or fire a phase gun, they can hold their own. Some are tall, others, like me in real life, are short and tiny, but still instill fear in their enemies.

 I remember as a black belt, serving as an attacker for another student taking the test. I said, "Why choose me? I'm tiny. A bigger opponent will make you look better on the test." My friend, who was taking the test, had a little smile and said, "But you are meaner and a lot more dangerous on the mat than any other black belt in the dojo." I laughed. Then I learned the new students were calling me The Dragon Lady.

 So, yep, my heroines do kick butt.

You write romance in Medieval and Futuristic settings. How do you reconcile them? Is there a downfall to writing in such opposite genres?
 I've never been good at keeping between the lines. I switch genres. Right now, I'm alternating between medieval novels and futuristic novels, sustaining series in both genres for two different publishers. Of course, my historical novels have a grain of fantasy, as they are based on authentic post-Arthurian legends. And my futuristic characters often have abilities attributed to the paranormal. Everyone knows some aliens can read minds, right?

 In the end, what counts is the story, the characters, the love and the attraction, their external and internal conflicts. These themes are universal, whether in the middle ages or in the future. Only the circumstances, the setting, and the external conflicts are different.

 The only trick is to switch from the more formal language of medieval times to the casual voice of the futuristic story. Thank goodness, my publishers have good editors who catch me when I let it slip. One said, very politely in the margin of my futuristic manuscript "You might want to use a contraction here, to sound more natural." Yep. She was right, and I'm glad she caught it.

 The other downfall to writing in two opposite genres is that my readers tend to like one genre or the other but rarely both. So, although I write everything under the same name, I have to maintain separate promotion tracks, separate blogs, some for medieval stories, and others for futuristic romance.

What are you working on right now? What can we expect from you in the near future?
 On September 1st, 2013, AKIRA'S CHOICE, the 9th novella in the BOREALIS series from Desert Breeze, is coming out. I'm currently finishing CHATELAINE OF FOREZ, Book 5 in the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy romance series. Next year, the last novel in the Chronicles of Kassouk futuristic series is scheduled for November 1st, 2014, and another novel in the Curse of the Lost Isle series will follow. After that, maybe another BOREALIS novella, and I can guarantee you there will be another cat in there, too.

Any place the readers can meet you in person in the near future?
 This weekend, I'm at the ROMANCE NOVEL CONVENTION in Las Vegas at the Golden Nugget.
Next spring I have a lot of appearances.:
The Chocolate Affaire in Glendale AZ February 7-9, 2014,
The TUCSON FESTIVAL OF BOOKS March 15-16, 2014,
The Desert Dreams Writers Conference in Tempe AZ, April 4-6, 2014,
ROMANTIC TIMES CONVENTION in New Orleans May 14-18 2014, where I will participate in sci-fi panels and contribute in Linnea Sinclair's Galactic Bar and Grille event for readers.
May 30 to June 1st 2014, I'll be in Chandler AZ for the AZ DREAMIN Romance Readers Convention,
And June 6-8, 2014, I'll be at Phoenix COMICON.

Where to find the books:
 You can find Vijaya's paperbacks at Amazon and B&N and her eBooks in all formats at all major retailers. Below are the links to her pages at Amazon and B&N:

Follow Vijaya on FB and twitter:

Visit Vijaya's website:

Vijaya Schartz - Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

Lady of Luxembourg
Curse of the Lost Isle Book Four
Buy at Amazon

978 AD - Melusine the Fae, immortal and cursed Lady of Luxembourg, managed to hide her Pagan nature from mortals for many years. She fiercely protects her handsome Count, Sigefroi, but in their princely bliss, neither of them seems to age, and a few suspicious bishops take notice. Then an ondine wreaks havoc during a battle, luring enemy soldiers into the river.

Betrayed, Sigefroi reflects on his many sins from the depths of a rat infested dungeon. Under torture, will he reveal her deadly secret? And when her beloved turns into a devout Christian, can Melusine salvage her happiness? Can love truly redeem her curse, or will she burn at the stake?

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