Science Fiction Romance by Heidi Ruby Miller
I didn’t realize I was writing Science Fiction Romance when I started Ambasadora as my thesis novel for Seton Hill's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program. It took several critique sessions with a mixed grouping of genre writers before I appreciated the relationships in my novel were integral to my plot and my world.
That was 2006, and though SF Romance was around at the time, I had never heard of it. Then two things happened: one of my critique partners, Rachael Pruitt, suggested I read Heart of Gold by Sharon Shinn in the same semester that Catherine Asaro was the author keynote for the WPF program. I looked at my work differently from then on.
Gone were the days of writing for men. (Though it should be of telling interest to note that one of my critique partners and all three of my thesis readers were men, so in essence, the majority of my audience at that time were still male….)
I played up the emotional intensity and elevated the sensuality of the book, especially between the main protagonists, Sean and Sara. It proved to be an easy enhancement considering the society is essentially based on sex, as all societies really are. My Ambasadora-verse society is divided into an Upper and Lower Caste with sub-divisions among the Uppers. Add to that the concept of multiple partners and I couldn't help but write about how sexual relationships had a direct impact on my world. Then I went about finding other books like mine, and it was more difficult than I anticipated.
But thanks to wonderful online communities like SFR Brigade and SF Romance groups on Goodreads, I'm finding more to read within the genre. Recently, I've come to enjoy Jacquelyn Franks' The Three Worlds series which begins with Seduce Me in Dreams; Sara Creasy's Scarabaeus series; and I just started reading Pauline Baird Jones' Girl Gone Nova, which won the 2011 EPIC Award.
I wonder if what draws me to SF Romance is the idea that love can transcend time and space, being as much a constant as the speed of light. That's really what the Ambasadora-verse is based on—how love and desire rule everything else, including government, religion, and science.
About the Author
Heidi Ruby Miller writes stories where the relationship is as important as the adventure. She loves science fiction, Chanel, action movies, and high-heeled shoes and teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University. Heidi co-edited the writing guide Many Genres, One Craft based on Seton Hill's MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. The first book in her Ambasadora series was her thesis novel for the WPF program. You can find Heidi at http://heidirubymiller.blogspot.com and @heidirubymiller and on Facebook and Goodreads or interacting in person and online as a member of the following organizations: Authors Guild, Pennwriters, Broad Universe, SFR Brigade, SFPA, and EPIC.
About Many Genres, One Craft
Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction (Headline Books, 2011)is an amazing anthology of instructional articles for fiction writers looking for advice on how to improve their writing and better navigate the mass market for genre novels.
MGOC is available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes & Noble!
NEXT UP: Camp NaNoWriMo and continuing the current chain story!