Good morning and welcome to Day 2 of my “Something Slightly Different” week. I’m pleased to welcome Doris Martin as my guest. Doris and I have become friends these last few months, and it’s always a pleasure to welcome her here.This morning, Doris is going to tell us about her latest novelette, The Grace Seekers.
Hi, Susanne. Thank you for inviting me to drop by today. Hello, everyone! Susanne has been kind enough to allow me a spot on her blog to talk about my novelette, which I published recently on Smashwords.
The Grace Seekers is speculative fiction and is a quick summer read at 15,000 words (about 55 pages in Epub edition). It started out as a short story and ended up running far past the short story limit where it evolved into a novelette.
S.M.- Why is it termed speculative SF?
D.M.-The story is speculative SF because it poses the question of ‘what if?’ In this case, the what-if involves a system-wide mistake generated when some technological artifacts’ real purpose is misconstrued. These still-functioning artifacts happen to be mysterious buildings shrouded in secrecy. They’re called Temples of Shra’jarhan. They were left behind by a long vanished, advanced race.
S.M.- What is the story about?
D.M.-The main character, Tran, is a refugee from a vicious drought in the plains where she’d lived a simple existence as a farm-herder. She has journeyed to a space port city with her surviving brother in search of a better life. She’s trapped by a wily merchant, and then unwittingly caught up in an off-worlder’s destructive plans. The mad off-worlder wants her to destroy one of the strange temples where people are being changed through an entity possession process.
Tran seeks the truth behind the mysterious temples. When her young brother is injured, she must find the courage to save him, because it might mean sacrificing herself. But first, she has to find a way past the vigilant temple guard on post. He’s the key to her ultimate success or failure. Tran soon learns that what she chooses to believe can either condemn her planet to a devastating battle—or she can help save it.
S.M.- How did this story affect you? Is there a message in the story?
D.M.-My own beliefs were challenged while working upon the story, but there were places I dared not tread. Regarding the story’s message: The Grace Seekers could be viewed as a cautionary tale about encountering artifacts left behind by advanced beings.
S.M.- What’s your story’s blurb?
D.M.- Here’s the book’s back cover blurb. It’s more detailed than the brief intro blurb allowed for the Smashword book listings:
What if an ancient discovery’s true purpose was misinterpreted?
Survival’s the only thing on Tran’s mind.She’s a simple plains-dweller driven to a space port city by a relentless drought. She arrives with the only family member left to her—a younger brother. Out of options to protect and feed him, Tran tosses caution aside.
They both fall prey to a devious merchant. He’s plotting with an off-worlder and wants Tran to perform the impossible before he’ll release them—- she must sabotage an ancient temple. Several exist and they’re puzzling legacies from a long-dead race that once dominated her planet.
All anyone knows is that entering one changed a person forever. Tran doesn’t trust these frightening mysteries, but her injured brother’s life is waning. She’s forced to seek help from a dreaded, unlikely source—a temple guardian. Then she discovers startling truths about the temples. Her world’s future depends upon her.
S.M.- Where can a reader find your book?
D.M.-The Grace Seekers is currently available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and is available at Barnes & Noble’s Nook Books. It will appear soon in iBooks and other ebook venues. It can also be found on Goodreads.com:
(Available formats: epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt)
S.M.- Do you have other books?
D.M.-I have a science fiction romance novel coming out. This book has been a long time coming after the first publisher it was contracted to folded. Fiery Seas Publishing will release, A Navigator’s Tale: The Arcane Map of West, later this year.
Many thanks, Susanne, for having me here today and letting me chat about The Grace Seekers.
You’re most welcome, Doris. Drop by anytime.
When she writes, she most often chooses to compose stories in a sci-fi fantasy vein—combined with generous dashes of adventure and romance.
She has worked in a science career for longer than she cares to divulge. She believes that there is an art to Science, and a science to Art.