Before I get on with the interview, here's a little background on Heidi for those who aren't as familiar :-)
Heidi Ruby Miller is just a girl who writes stories where the relationship is as important as the adventure. She loves science fiction, high-heeled shoes, action movies, Chanel, loud music, and of course, romance. She also teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University, where she graduated from their renowned Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program the same month she appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The writing guide Many Genres, One Craft, which she co-edited with Michael A. Arnzen, is based on the Seton Hill program and her novel Ambasadora was her thesis there.
She has had various fiction and non-fiction publications, as well as various jobs, including contract archaeologist, foreign currency exchanger at Walt Disney World, foreign language teacher, and educational marketing director for a Frank Lloyd Wright house (Taken from author website)
Now onto the interview :-)
1. This is something I always wonder about sci-fi and fantasy novels and Ambsadora especially prompted this question. Did anything in particular inspire you to write Ambasadora?
The concept of a society obsessed not only with celebrity and beauty but also with marrying into wealth and position came directly from our world. We can detail it throughout history. In some ways the voyeurism of the Ambasadora-verse is already here. No matter where we go or what we do, there is a possibility to broadcast it any time. Some of us embrace this, or at least accept it as a truism within a social media world. Eventually most people will, having been born into a transparent society.
The idea of death over sterility was because an ex-boyfriend told me that basically if I didn't want children, he didn't want to marry me. A girl tends to remember things like that.
2. There’s a lot of new terminology in Ambasadora; did creating all the new worlds, gadgets and names take a long time or did it come easily to you?
To make futuristic tech sound conceivable without slapping a clichéd or silly name on it is one of the most difficult parts of writing in an SF world. I still struggle with it and hope my readers will get the picture without those big expository paragraphs that slow down the action of the story.
3. Who is your favourite character and why?
I oscillate between Sean and Rainer. Sean because he's so lonely and has been hurt physically and emotionally in so many ways that seeing him be consumed with Sara is heart-breakingly beautiful to me. Rainer because he is powerful and dangerous and usually controls every situation until Sara trips him up.
Of course now that I'm getting Greenshift ready for release, I've been loving David a lot. He's the guy you run to when life becomes overwhelming.
4. Did you base any of the characters on people you know?
Not consciously, but my husband and I will sometimes crowd watch and decide where people would fit within the Ambasadora world.
5. With regards to relationships in Ambasadora a lot of these are polygamous, why did you decide to make this a normal part of Amabasdora’s society?
One of my undergrad degrees is in anthropology so I've studied a fair amount of societies. There are several who do or have practiced polygamy (one man with two or more wives), fewer who followed the tenets of polyandry (one woman with two or more husbands), and a scarce few who actually make group marriage work. I decided to make this last one the model for families in Ambasadora.
To me it made sense, considering we get the hint that the original worldship dwellers were a small group of refugees from Earth. As death and disease took its toll, the only way to boost population and ensure a diverse gene pool would be through multiple breeding partners. After a generation or two, this practice would become established as tradition and written as part of the History.
The fact that many citizens still tend toward monogamy is a source of problems in a society where promiscuity is encouraged. That adds another level of on-going tension.
6. There’s a very varied caste system throughout the novel, which would you choose to belong to if you were given the choice?
I'd like to be a contractor because it is so removed from who I am as a person that it would be like trying on a new personality. Granted, I don't know the difference between kung fu and karate, but I do wear a fair amount of black. I'd have to get blue contact lenses, though and hide my emotions a little more.
7. If you were to go to the V-Side what name and appearance would you give yourself?
Sometimes when I'm on XBOX Live I feel like I'm in the V-Side, especially with first person shooters. I'd make my av a female, pretty of course because who wants an ugly av when you can have any appearance you want? And, I'd go by the name h-bomb. That sounds pretty bad-ass, doesn’t it?
8. You have told me that there’s a sequel to Amabasadora, can you tell myself and my readers a little bit more about it?
Fragger is the sequel, and as the name implies, we'll get to see more of the anti-Embassy movement and meet some new players, while reuniting with veteran characters. I always write from multiple POVs because I can't seem to write much on a small scale.
Until Fragger comes out in early December 2011, fans of David and Mari will get to read about them in Greenshift, a novella coming out the first of October.
9. Random silly question time: What’s your favourite flavour ice-cream?
Ice cream is never silly—chocolate with peanut butter.
10. And finally, Who from Ambasadora would you like to have a lunch with and why?
Sean…and it wouldn’t be just for lunch. Why? Because Sara said he was sexy.
I'd like to say a big thankyou to Heidi for taking the time to answer my questions and for asking me to read Ambasadora.
You can find more info on Heidi and Ambasadora by clicking here and if you want to purchase Ambasadora here are some links for you:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon USA (Kindle)
Thanks for reading guys!