Today I’ll be interviewing Zeta Lordes for the Blog World Tour — SciFi Edition. Zeta writes both science fiction and fantasy (like me!), but with a nice dash of romance on top for all you romance lovers out there.
Thanks for being here, Zeta! Let’s dive right into the questions.
My first question is one I love asking other writers–what is your favorite genre to read?
Specifying a favorite genre is tough for me. I could probably be defined as a thriller junkie. If it contains strong elements of suspense or charismatic/mysterious characters, I don’t much care what the genre is. I love fast-paced, layered plotting that engages and challenges my imagination. Carolyn Wheat, in her book How To Write Killer Fiction, describes it as the Roller Coaster of Suspense. Throw in some sexual tension or romance and I’m hooked. I’m also a series reader, so if an author hooks me with their characters, I’m a lifelong fan.
I’ve definitely enjoyed thrillers before myself. That Roller Coaster keeps the pages turning! Now, I know you write both scifi and fantasy, but what’s your favorite genre to write? And why?
Speculative Fiction is definitely a favorite with a lot of the elements of mystery and suspense novels. I love the freedom of writing Spec Fiction—imagining settings and problems beyond our tiny planet and its struggles. Not surprisingly I include a lot of those same human struggles in my story universes, but I love offering fantastical escapism from reality as we know it. And I adore having an entire universe to play in.
Speculative Fiction is a wide umbrella–it encompasses many genres. How do you define it for your writing?
You’re right, Spec Fiction is a diverse catch-all for story settings outside reality as we currently know it. The story world (and often the characters) are products of the writer’s creative imagination. I lean mostly towards Science Fiction in that my settings are often different universes, but I also include a lot of paranormal aspects. Basically I try to mix the familiar with unfamiliar to create a unique experience for both myself and my readers. Speculative Fiction allows me to pull together these different elements.
That sounds awesome! I love how writing allows us to explore all sorts of different settings in which our characters come to life (and, in some cases, die.) What would you say are the easiest and most difficult aspects of writing Spec Fic for you?
Both could probably be summed up in three words: Fantasy World Building!
It’s time-consuming, and attention to details (to avoid conflicts and make your world real) is critically important. In many ways, it’s just the other side of the research coin that many writers deal with, but instead of this-world history and facts, you deal more with creative logic. And instead of accuracy, you deal more with descriptive believability.
The fun and easy part is the freedom to create worlds that are custom designed to impact your story and characters in new and interesting ways. A world of females who keep men as slaves? A galactic peacekeeping agency out of control? A universe where vampires are the most hated and reviled criminal elements? The possibilities and fun ideas are endless.
Haha, yes, I have the same delight (and problem) with my own world-building! It’s so much fun to create new worlds and cultures, but at the same time, a lot of work to make everything consistent and believable.
*glances at clock* We have time for one more question, and since genres has been the main theme of this interview, I’d like to ask one more related question. Do you ever write other genres?
I do enjoy writing short stories and often switch to much less speculative settings though I still include elements of suspense and mystery—just set more in the familiar world we know. I prefer heavier, nuanced plots, so I seldom attempt narrower relationship-type stories. While I appreciate the emotional impact of Romance or Coming-Of-Age type stories, I’m not particularly good at writing them. I also enjoy writing short crime fiction. But ultimately I’m not going to stray too far from my first love of spec-fic.
I’ve also delved into other genres in my short stories. They can be fun to dabble in, but I’ll agree that I usually prefer to stick to my favorite genres.
Thank you so much for being here today, Zeta!
Zeta Lordes is an author of Science Fiction and Paranormal Fantasy flavored with plenty of suspense and romance. When she’s not writing, she’s often playing with photo projects, including book covers for herself and other author friends. She lives alone in a rambling house littered with three generations of passed down books and three cats—who have their own litter.
She’s just started reaching out on social media. You can follow her on her website.