Cate: Please welcome Aurora Lightbourne. Aurora, will you please share a short bio with us?
Aurora: Hi, thanks for having me here, Cate!
I am a Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer, creator of the Space Trippers series. I currently live in the Midwest with my Husband and our furry children. I have been writing stories since I first learned how to hold a pencil, most of them being fantasy or Sci-Fi/ Fantasy mixes.
Cate: Tell us about Space Trippers Book 3 and where it's available.
Aurora: This year we released Space Trippers Book 3: A Frosty Farewell. This is the third book in the Space Trippers adventure series.
In book 3 the ship is in need of water, so, using the map Valesque found on Capecea, the crew sets off to icy Glidz, the nearest water trade planet. Meanwhile, Valesque has unlocked some disturbing secret files on one of the upper crewmen. Long hidden secrets that could change the entire life of one person onboard.
With their record in the area so far, will our heroes be able to get the water they need from the temperamental Water Princess?
And if they do, will they be going home with one less crewmate?
Book 3 has been released to Ebook, it will be coming to paperback later this year. The first 2 books in the series are currently available as a single volume paperback through any book store in town or online, as well as in ebook form.
For instance they are all available at places like Barnes & Noble.
Cate: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Aurora: I'd love to, this is from Space Trippers Book 3: A Frosty Farewell, Chapter Five: What Price Water? We get to see a little different side to Tim in this book, a glimmer of a serious side.
Merena slowly surfaced from the thick stone upon being discovered. Easing into the room, she continued to stand apart from the group, casually watching the goings on with hidden gratification.
Valesque gazed at her suspiciously. "Where have you been all this time?" she inquired.
"I went to find help." the green girl returned blandly, with an open, guileless expression.
Lola found this statement quite intriguing. "That's funny. You must have really good eyesight." she observed with a genuine spark of interest in her high-pitched voice. "You left for help a good five minutes before the officers arrived. That is amazing." she remarked appreciatively. Lola wished she had such extraordinary ways to sense trouble and look for help before things even happened.
"I don't know what you are talking about. I was there the whole time." Merena defended.
"You were?” the confused android scratched her puffy blue hair as she thought back. "That is strange, because as soon as Valesque and Sanic disappeared into the spring, I turned to see if you wanted to play a game while we waited...but you were not there." she sulked, remembering how she spent the rest of the time wandering the area looking for the missing alien until the guards came to arrest her.
Before anyone could comment on this captivating account, Tim interrupted.
"What? You guys went swimming in the Princess' miracle spring?" he exclaimed to Merena's delight.
Smiling happily, she waited for the reprimand to come. Surely, after this he would no longer be friends with the trade breaking Engineer.
"Honestly, I expected more from you, Gorgeous." he shook his head sadly. "And especially from you Sanic. Next time you are going to have to do better than just a dip in the public fountain. I mean, come on. Where is your imagination? That is child's play. You won't get any points for something that dull. Why did you even bother getting arrested?” the impetuous Pilot admonished in all sincerity.
Merena's hopeful countenance fell, what did it take to get him to dislike that Virrilian?
"It was not like we planned on getting arrested. We thought Merena and Lola were going to stand watch." Valesque grumbled.
"Well... it is a good thing I told them not to believe anything the pink haired one said. Because that little escapade would not have looked at all impressive on your record. So, let's get you guys out of there, and maybe you can do better next time." he consoled them auspiciously.
"Just like that? You mean that is all they...I mean we can get them out so soon?" Merena questioned in disbelief.
"Yep, thankfully the little Princess’s guards are very easily persuaded." Tim smiled. "She is not going to press any charges, and I doubt Fazar will be mentioning anything." he said with a side-glance at the short man beside him, for a silent confirmation. "So I think your record is still crystal clear, Sanic."
“An excessive zeal for adventure is secret of stay young.” Fazar remarked in veiled agreement.
"Right, she must be very fond of you." Valesque acknowledged dryly, while habitually ignoring the Commander's inserted axiom. "So how are you doing at getting us water?"
"Close, getting close." the inexperienced negotiator replied. "It is a little difficult since there is nothing to barter with. But if I work on it just a little longer I am sure I can get the water, so you can be on your way." he assured them confidently.
"Our way?" Sanic echoed, not liking his phrasing. "It doesn't sound like you intend to go with us." he noted unhappily.
"No it doesn't." the Virrilian agreed crossing her arms and giving the Pilot a probing look.
Tim shrugged. "Well...actually Princess Allyci has asked me to stay...and I am seriously considering her offer." he admitted openly with a straightforward nod at Valesque, as if she should know the reason why.
"Well, that would explain your outfit." she retorted with a disgusted sneer on her blood red lips.
It had instantly struck her, when she first turned and saw him standing outside the cell, that the Pilot was no longer wearing his customary grey flight suit but was instead dressed in regal blue. From his loose, half-buttoned shirt to his straight, slim fit slacks and silver buckled loafers, he was completely clad in blue. She was going to mention his new wardrobe earlier but she figured she was not one to talk, seeing as she was sporting a castle motif sweater and pant suit of her own.
"Yeah, do you like it?" he smiled, turning around so they could get a good look. "This is the official garb for a Royal Prince." he intoned proudly. "And see this?" he asked as he gently lifted the small teardrop gem that hung from the thin silver necklace he wore. "This is a crystallized water drop, it is a part of the water Princess' crown."
The unusual blue jewel sparkled and swirled with a life of its own as he lifted it off his chest to show them.
"It is the outward symbol of my new position...or what would be my position if I stay." he corrected, the seeming joy of his new found prestige fading from his voice as he looked down at the encircling chain.
“Uneasy lie the head that wear the crown.” the Commander beside him intoned with an absent air as if he meant it in no particular way.
Noting some apprehension in his tone, Sanic was tempted to ask, "Are you sure you want to stay?"
"Yes, are you really going to give up everything for her?" Merena jealously inquired as she slid through the dense metal bars and snuggled up to his side enticingly. "The townspeople say she is very spoiled."
"She also has some kind of strange power over the spring." Sanic added earnestly. "When Valesque and I went down to investigate we saw the huge stone lid moving by some unseen force. And the villagers all claim the Princess has control over the spring due to her willfulness, but if another girl comes along with a stronger influence, Allyci will be unseated and then where will you be?" he logicized.
"And she is not very nice either." Lola blurted, remembering how Amea had complained about her treatment after being usurped by Allyci.
Tim shook his head refusing to listen. "I don't want to hear any of this. I just came down here to get you out. So just leave the trading to me, and go back and wait for awhile." he snapped pettishly as he swung open the cell door and motioned for them to leave.
The Pilot opened the outer gate as well, leading them back down the hall to the castle's lower level exit.
As they approached the outermost door, Sanic caught up to the unusually silent Lieutenant.
"Um...I do not mean to tell you what to do, Sir." he started boldly, addressing his friend with the proper respect due his rank for the first time since they met. "But...you do realize that if you stay here, there will be no way for you to return home, ever.” the Etherian emphasized with concern.
Glancing back at the younger man with an amused half-smile Tim remarked simply. "That would be to your advantage then, wouldn't it? Actually you should be glad I am staying." he reminded. "Speaking of which, you two seem to be getting closer...you are even wearing twinkie outfits now." the ill-humored Pilot observed.
Sanic flushed slightly at the mention of this, not wanting to go into all of the circumstances behind that event. Unable to think of another argument to dissuade the Pilot from his decision, the troubled Operations Commander left the building, wondering why Tim would all of a sudden want to be left behind.
The Princess was cute, but she could not hold that much attraction.
When the rest of the group passed by, Tim waylaid the Engineer for a brief, private talk.
"You are pretty quiet about everything, Gorgeous." he commented in a strangely passive voice. "I figured you would have the most to say. Possibly even be glad that I am going to be out of your hair from now on." he laughed ineffectively, the morose air permeating his attempt at cheerfulness.
"Why should I care what you do?" she sniffed curtly, not appreciating the insinuation that his choice was somehow her fault.
Tim paused with a hurt look showing in his clear blue eyes.
"That's glacial, Gorgeous." he finally replied, completely subdued. "...I am afraid I have been thinking." he continued with a down turned face.
"Well, that is a shocker." Valesque returned with nervous sarcasm, uncomfortable in the atmosphere surrounding this 'serious' talk.
The Pilot glanced up at her through the lock of blonde hair that fell over his right eye, a faint, understanding smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"If all the things you said are true, then maybe this is the best place for me. Somewhere far away, with no opportunity to return and fall back under Gorbok's control, right?" he said. Then an amused smile spread over his face as he raised his head and raked back the hair from his eyes, yet not with the same roguish effect that move usually had. "Besides, how can I miss the chance to be a handsome Prince?" he winked, seeming to snap back to his usual self.
Except...he was not happy, he was not cheerful, he was not flirty. It was horrible.
He had that constant wretched look of despair showing in his eyes, no matter how upbeat he tried to act about his intent to stay. An almost pleading look, as if he wanted her to say something to stop him.
Valesque made herself look away, she did not want to feel sorry for him again. Getting rid of him would be the best thing for her. “...your decisions are really none of my concern." was all she could manage to say as she waved him off, pushing past him to follow the others out of the subterraneous corridor.
Cate: Very cool. What inspired you to write about the theme?
Aurora: I did not start out with the intention of writing a Sci-Fi book, nor with the intent of starting a series. But when the characters came to me and got fleshed out, this was the story they were involved in, and this was the world they came from, and their story is longer than one or two books so I am writing a series.
Cate: How do you develop your plots and characters?
Aurora: It usually starts with a character. One will pop into my head, usually attached to a phrase or comment I overhear, or an experience or idea that surfaced. Once I start getting to know the character, what they look like, how they dress, what they like, what they do for a job, I learn what kind of place they live in, space, another world, a tree, steampunk Victorian times etc, and the story just unfolds from there.
Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Aurora: Sometimes yes. There are times when I will dream of them and have to write down a good conversation or observation to include in the book. There are also times when they nag me, like Valesque, if it has been a while since I wrote and the last thing I wrote left her in a room with Tim she will start to prick me.
“Look,” she'll say, “could you please at least finish this scene? If I have to be stuck here with him for much longer...someone will have to die.” she seethes, with a pointed scowl at the obnoxious Pilot behind her.
Cate: What's next for you?
Aurora: This year I am working on Space Trippers Book 4: Will Work For Parts, as well as two unrelated standalone books.
Cate: Any other published works?
Aurora: Right now I just have the first 3 Space Trippers books out, but I am working on other stories as well.
Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Aurora: Fun, entertaining, funny.
Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Aurora: Getting what you see in your head translated into text and put on paper and doing it justice is the hardest part. To me, it is rewarding to get a project finished and be able to share my story with others.
Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Aurora: Most of the comments I get are along the lines of 'I usually don't like that kind of book (Sci-Fi) but I couldn't put it down, I just had to see what happened next!' I get comments like that a lot, most people seem leery of Sci-Fi, but once they try Space Trippers they find out it doesn't hurt.
Cate: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Aurora: My two favorite authors are Jane Austen and Douglas Adams. Both had fairly casual styles, and a lot of wit and humor.
I am currently between books, I have a couple I am looking at that I may try, but I need to get some writing done first.
Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
Aurora: I am on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Linkedin. You can contact me and get the links through my website: http://alightbourne.netau.net/
You can also read more about Space Trippers and the characters, get my Online Book Tour Schedule and join in my game from links on my website.
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Aurora: Would you like to play a game with me?
You can be in a drawing for a $25 Visa Gift Card by playing a crossword with me during my Online Book Tour! You can get the details here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=114666428547534
Cate: Readers, Aurora is giving away an autographed book and a custom 'character' book-thong to a random commenter at the end of her tour... so start commenting. Aurora will draw the winner’s name June 14th, notify the winner and post the winner’s name on her website.