By Theresa Kay
Publication Date: September 18th, 2015
We came in peace. Lie.
We had no role in the Collapse. Lie.
I have always been honest. Lie.
I never lied to her. Truth.
Reunited with her brother, and surrounded by Flint, Peter and her new-found grandfather, Jax Mitchell has still never felt more alone. The choice to follow Rym back to the city to find answers and see Lir is an easy one, but their reunion is cut short and Jax is forced to leave Lir behind. She finds herself traveling with some unexpected companions and heading back toward a place she’d hoped to never see again.
After being imprisoned—and tortured—on the orders of his uncle, Lir hasn’t seen daylight or linked to anyone in weeks. After a lifetime of connection, the pain and loneliness is almost too much to bear. Elated that Jax actually came, Lir finds renewed hope and strength to continue fighting his uncle’s influence over the E’rikon, even when things look hopeless and Lir’s been branded a traitor by the very people he’s trying to save.
While Jax and Lir fight separate battles, their missions have more in common than they realize. It’s a race against time to stop men driven only by greed and power. But the people they trust the most might be the very people working against them—and “family” doesn’t mean what it used to. Will they recognize their friends from their enemies in time to save the people they love or will they lose each other in the process?
Thirty years ago, civilization collapsed. Few survived.
Ten years ago, the aliens arrived…and stayed.
One year ago, I killed two men and went a little crazy.
Today, the aliens took my brother and I will do anything to get him back.
In seventeen-year-old Jax Mitchell’s world, humans are nearly extinct and alien settlers have arrived.
Until recently, the E’rikon have remained segregated in their city and ignored the few humans who have tried to engage them… but now they have taken Jax’s brother. To rescue him, she forms an uneasy alliance with a teenage E’rikon left stranded in the woods. She agrees to guide him to the city if he sneaks her past the human-proof barrier. Too bad it’s not that simple.
Jax, who cannot stand to be touched, finds that she’s drawn to the alien boy with bright green hair and jewel-like scales on his back. And he’s equally affected by her, the courageous redhead with haunted eyes. But she doesn’t know the alien’s true motives and he has no idea that she is much more than she seems.
With the aliens and the humans at odds, the connection forming between the two teens has consequences. What started off as a rescue mission sets a chain of events in motion which threatens not only the remaining humans and the growing alien society, but Earth itself.
What 5 things should readers know about you?
1- I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was very young, but never had the nerve to actually try publishing anything until I got my first Kindle and started chatting with indie authors.
2- I’m much more comfortable talking about books than almost anything else, especially if the conversation is about books other than ones I wrote. I read almost every genre and I’m great at book recommendations.
3- I’m an introvert and pretty shy. Plus, I’m awful at making small talk with people I don’t know, so if you ever meet me in person and I don’t say much, that’s why.
4- I’m a total geeky fangirl who uses words like “ship” and “OTP” in real life conversation. Once I’m introduced to a new fandom I binge watch/read everything I can get my hands on in that world.
5- I’m awful with visual creativity. I can’t draw or sculpt or even pick out paint colors for my house. Unless we’re talking stick figures, I can only make pretty pictures with words.
- Earliest literary influence?
I think the first author I read who I think has an influence on my work now is Stephen King. I started reading his books when I was eleven. It probably explains why most of my work has darker elements to it and why, and, in my writing group, I’m known as the one who is meanest to her characters.
- When and why did you begin writing?
It started out in second grade when we had to write a story. I ended up with a six-page story (wideruled notebook paper, front and back) and most of the others in my class had only a couple paragraphs.
- How did you come up with the title for Fractured Suns?
I wanted the titles within the series to go together well, so all the titles in the Broken Skies series reflect the progression of Jax’s perception of herself: Broken, fractured, and then shattered.
- Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The Broken Skies series has strong themes of redemption, forgiveness, and believing in yourself. I think it’s important for the readers to grasp that, although Jax thinks she’s broken and almost everyone tends to treat her that way, she’s actually one of the strongest characters in the series because of how she has gradually begun to overcome her past and move forward despite the many setbacks she faces.
- If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Fractured Suns?
There’s one thing I’d like to change about Fractured Suns (and that other people would LOVE for me to change), but it’s not something that I actually would change. That particular event is a key turning point for Jax and it absolutely had to happen. I know. It sucks. I really am sorry for that chapter. If you’d like to chat with some people who suffered those same feels, you can join the Facebook discussion group.
- How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
For the Broken Skies series, the names are pretty important especially the E’rikon ones since their name have specific significance. The E’rikon are all named with the same prefix as their father and often go by nicknames that exclude that prefix (i.e. Stellan, Steliro “Lir”, and Stella). Rym’s full name is actually Virym since he is the son of Vitrad. This custom is one of the reasons Jastren is so insistent on calling Jax by her full name even though the prefix is from her mother. The prefixes are also important within the E’rikon hierarchy as the “higher ups” have personal guards who are designated as such by adding the prefix of the person they serve to the E’rikon word (loosely translated) for solider, askari. Members of Vitrad’s personal guard are called the Vi’askari.
(This is totally random “behind the scenes” author stuff that has no relevance to the plot, but if you pay really close attention in Fractured Suns, you’ll pick up on an interesting relationship based on the connection between two names)
That said, I used a random name generator to come up with Steliro. It wasn’t until Broken Skies was nearly complete that I came up with the E’rikon naming convention.
- Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
This one’s a no brainer for me: The Rebel Writers. They’re not only my writing group, they’re some of my very best friends and I couldn’t have done any of this without them.
- What does your writing process look like?
I’m a pantster, so I don’t outline. I typically start out with an idea for a character and form the story around them. Before I start writing, I have a general idea of where the story will end up and a few of the steps along the way and I just go from there.
- Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Dialogue. Half of the time I want to tell my characters to be quiet and just do something. When I was writing the last scene in Fractured Suns, I was messaging with my crit partner and I said something along the lines of : I just want them to shut up and get on the ship and 400 words later… THEY’RE STILL TALKING!
- What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Marketing, no question about it. I’m an awful salesperson.
- What advice can you give aspiring authors?
The one thing that really helped motivate me and get me writing was giving myself permission to write garbage. Basically that means putting away my expectations, telling my inner editor to hush, and just writing– even if it’s no good at the time. I think one of the things most writers need to keep in mind is that you can’t edit what isn’t written. Tell the story first and then worry about going back and fixing the holes. You’ll be surprised at the things that will flow onto the page when you stop expecting perfection and just let yourself write.
- Do you have a favorite conference to attend? What is it?
Utopia (formerly UtopYA). UtopYA 2014 was my very first writing conference and my first chance to meet some of the other Rebel Writers in person. In 2015, all the Rebels came along with some of our superfans and we’re really looking forward to attending next year as well.
- Full-time writer or do you have a day job?
Day job. I’m a paralegal at a divorce firm. It can be quite interesting at times.
- What’s your favorite dinosaur?
Velociraptor. Jurassic Park was one of my absolute favorite books as a kid. I probably read it at least twenty times.
- If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world, which would you choose?
British. I’m a bit of an anglophile thanks to BBC and Doctor Who. In fact, most of my works have some sort of Doctor Who easter egg.
- Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?
As long as the bug isn’t on me, they don’t really bother me. Case in point: I took this pic of an awesome looking spider hanging out on my mailbox. I might not check the mail for a while, but I’m not going to go out of my way to get rid of him.
- Do you have any tattoos?
I have a blue butterfly on my shoulder that I got on my eighteenth birthday and a Broken Skies/book themed one on the back of my neck that I got this past summer (you can’t see it in the picture, but under the open book is the phrase “Not wind. Words” which is from a scene in Broken Skies).
- How can readers find you?
The only person she knows who had a subscription to Writer’s Digest at eleven and was always excited to write research papers, Theresa has been putting words to paper since a young age. Living in the mountains of central Virginia with her husband and two kids, she works as a paralegal by day, binges on Netflix at night and finds bits of time in between reading almost everything she can get her hands on and laundry to craft stories that tend to feature broken characters in sci-fi or paranormal worlds, with a touch of romance thrown in for good measure.
She’s constantly lost in one fictional universe or another and is a self-proclaimed “fangirl” who loves being sucked in to new books or TV shows. Theresa originally wanted to write horror novels as an ode to her childhood passion for Stephen King novels, but between her internal Muse’s ramblings and the constant praise for her sci-fi pieces from her writer’s group – The Rebel Writers – she knew she should stick with what was working.
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Disclaimer: The cover, synopsis, and additional tour information for the book blitz were provided by Xpresso Book Tours.