Friday, August 10, 2012

Author Interview: Cindy Borgne

The summer sun bathes the beach in warm light as the surf plays with the shore, tossing itself forward and falling back in happy blue-green rhythm. The sherry in my glass sparkles with diamond-bright light, scattering rays in every direction.

 I see the shadow approaching over the ocean before I hear the hiss of fans. It grows larger in my vision, a massive dark shape studded with antennae and heavy weapons turrets, slamming through the tops of the waves with military disdain. I glance at my watch. Right on time.

The hand-held radio on my side table breaks squelch. The hovercraft commander’s voice is strained with tension: “Delta Sierra, this is Hotel Charlie One-Seven-One , declaring an emergency! Power system control failure. Request guidance key and immediate approach clearance!”

I press a second button on my radio, and key up again. “Hotel Charlie, buoy transponders are active. Follow sequence Twelve, Eight, Six, Four, Three through the reef. Approach is clear to the dock.”

The hovercraft begins to follow the buoy sequence, but its speed is too great; it fails the turn at Three and runs over the reef. Its shroud flies into shreds as a gout of flame bursts from the power section. A single escape pod breaks from the wreck just before the craft disintegrates and sinks. The chute blows at minimum altitude and it settles into the sand fifteen feet away.

I pour a second glass of sherry as the door opens. A slight, feminine form emerges, straightens and staggers to the vacant chair next to mine.

People, allow me to introduce this week’s special guest, Science Fiction Author Cindy Borgne, here to talk about her novel Vallar. Welcome, Cindy!

Image of Cindy Borgne

11.)    From the fan pages: What got you to want to be a writer?
I think it mostly comes from having an overactive imagination that needs an outlet. I also enjoy the end result of a long project and enjoy sharing my stories with other people.

2.) Also from the fan pages: What inspired Vallar?

The initial inspiration came from a question. "What if someone had psychic ability, but was forced to use it for war. Then what if he realized this was a horrible thing?"  In Vallar, Ian is raised to believe he's supporting his organization for a reasonable cause and then he gets a wakeup call that he is working for the wrong people and causing deaths of the innocent. Then another question came up....”Will he be able to get away and what will he have to do?” 
I also enjoy taking the reader to a different world, so that’s why it all takes place on Mars. Plus I enjoy the challenge of writing a story that takes place there and all the research one has to do. You could say I’m a geek. 

3.) Why Science Fiction? 

I like stories that are about something different or unusual, so my writing leans toward writing in that genre. Although, my stories aren't what I would call hard science fiction, they are more speculative and mainly about the characters and how they deal with the situations I get them into – the poor things. But don’t worry, I do cover the technology. I just don’t go overboard with too much info.  

4.) Do you write in any other genre? 

I have another novelette called "TransShifter" that I consider to be paranormal fantasy. It's about a shapeshifter who finds out there is more to being human than she realizes...while getting into all sort of trouble. I have also tinkered with writing a steampunk story about Native Americans. You could say I like to be different, and I'm open to other genres as long as it's about something unique.  
5.) Do I detect a strong Bradbury influence in Vallar?

I don’t know if there is a strong influence, but I’ve read a lot of Bradbury short stories. Many of them I found to be page turners. There is one scene in Vallar that sort of has the “Something Wicked This Way Comes” sort of element. Bradbury definitely was one of the greats. I think the main thing I admire about him is how many stories he produced. He’s even advised authors to produce as many stories as possible because the more you have, the greater chance of publication and success.  

6.) What other authors have influenced you over the years? 

I would say Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, Connie Willis, and Lois McMaster. I tend to prefer the scifi writers who have character driven stories.  

7.) What other projects do you have in the works? 

My first priority is finishing the Vallar Sequel, it's currently at 82K words, but still a first draft. Then I will attempt a post apocalyptic novel, as I've found that to be the hot genre right now. I also really want a sequel for TransShifter too along with that steampunk novel I mentioned. If only I didn't have a day job. 

8.) What made you decide to self-publish Vallar?

I wanted control over everything involving the book, mainly the price. I think so far it has worked out well because I've been able to participate in things like Kindle Select, which contributed to a lot of sales. Not that there haven't been frustrations and challenges (like marketing, which is difficult for most authors) But in any case, I've learned a lot about publishing and gained readers. 

Thanks again, Cindy. And now, folks, without further ado, we present: Vallar

 At sixteen, Ian Connors has only one real friend and no hope for the future. He also happens to be the secret weapon of a powerful military faction bent on conquering all humans who have colonized Mars. His job is to use his psychic ability to uncover secrets or hidden bases of other factions. Ian not only uncovers a valuable hidden mine through his visions, but also Kayla, a woman he sees himself with in the future. The only problem is she's on the enemy side. 

Ian heads out into a battle to save Kayla. Instead, he discovers the death and destruction his visions can bring when in the wrong hands. Ian vows to never let anyone use him again. His goal is to escape and live in peace, but his superiors monitor him closely and defectors are known to mysteriously disappear. Deep down, he longs to be with Kayla. Despite his age, inexperience and few allies, he refuses to give up. He must outwit a cunning admiral and save Kayla from his own people or he will remain a pawn and forever separated from those he loves.

Awesome, Cindy! Thanks again for stopping by.  Now, we have a short excerpt of Vallar. Set it up for us, if you would.

In this scene, Ian disobeys orders and goes out into a battle. It ends up being more of a battle than he expected as his own people have under estimated the enemy. Here the ship he's in has been hit by a shock wave and is about to fall off the edge of a cliff.
The vessel teetered on the edge of something. Outside, a thick mass swirled, making it impossible to see. My heart beat out of control. The hull became like a cage with narrowing walls. A crack formed on the front shield and grew in short spurts with every movement.

A few others slowly stood up. Nate’s feet barely fit on a small ledge. Another man hung onto the wall opposite of him. I looked back and forth between Nate and the cracked front port, which threatened to depressurize the vessel at any moment. 

“Nobody move,” ordered the captain.

“I’m slipping!” Nate yelled.

“The port is about to go,” I said. “Those men have to come down here.” 

Everyone argued at once.

“Nate!” I yelled over the talking. “Try to come down slowly.”

“No, don’t move. You’re going to knock us over.” 

“He’s right. We have to come down,” said a panicked voice. The man opposite Nate crawled down, but he went too fast.

“Stop!” the captain ordered.

The vessel swayed and slid, threatening to fall at any instant. The crack streaked across the window like a lightning bolt. I held my breath. The large transparent shield bowed outward and exploded. 

Clear particles flew outside and blended into the churning heap. Men screamed as the craft depressurized. 

“Somebody help him!” I yelled.

Nate’s hands slid off the wall. His arms flailed about as he tried to grab something. Two others flew into him and pushed him out the front port along with them. Nate disappeared into the churning dust.
“Nate!” I screamed as the vessel tilted and slid downward


  1. Thanks for having me, and of course, for that grand introduction.

  2. Well, what I've seen of this book, it's worth a grand intro. :-)