A visit with Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me as your guest today!

StarCruiseOutbreak-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500Tell us about your current series.

I’m writing a series set on an interstellar cruise liner. So many possibilities for stories! So far there’s been Star Cruise: Marooned, which was kind of a standalone and now Meg and Red from that novel have moved onto the larger cruise ship as crew, and are secondary characters in Star Cruise: Outbreak. I plan to write many more adventures with this cast of characters and in fact have a short story entitled Star Cruise: Rescue coming out soon in an anthology.

What inspired your latest book?

I’ve always been fascinated by epidemics and the measures that the medical profession must take in order to deal with an outbreak. My Dad had cholera as a kid and I believe was the only person in the entire state of New York that year to have it, and eventually the epidemiologist  tracked the source to an apple he’d eaten, from a tree near an infected water source. Hearing my father talk about this incident inspired me to read books on epidemiology, with fascinating stories of doctors locating Patient Zero, or the first person to come down with the disease in question, and trying to figure out where that person acquired the illness, among other things. I thought having everyone trapped on a cruise liner would heighten the suspense!

What is your next project and when will it be released?

I just released Hostage to the Stars, a science fiction romance, about a futuristic Special Forces soldier going on a mission to rescue a hostage and then as they attempt to escape, he discovers an even more dangerous situation with aliens. Like my other SFR books, it’s set in my Sectors universe of the far future.

What is your typical day like?

Jake on chair by desk The cats want to be fed so Jake starts trying to get me up around 4:30 AM. He’s very sweet, stubborn and persistent. He purrs, he snuggles, he chases my toes, he doesn’t give up.  I used to get up at that hour for the old day job, so he’s spoiled. I have breakfast and then I usually spend the time till 7AM doing social media, e mail and a bit of blogging. I watch the first half hour of the Today Show, for the news, and then I launch into serious creative writing. I’m a fulltime author now, so basically I write all day, with breaks of varying length after every 40 minutes, to get out of my chair and move around doing housework, playing with the cats…go out and do errands, pry myself off the social media sites (go on Facebook or twitter for five minutes and an hour later I’m still there!), answer e mail…I take a long walk midmorning if the weather permits. In the evening after dinner I try to get in one more session of writing but I’m a morning person when it comes to maximum creativity. I usually watch some TV or a movie, or read a good book, and then off to bed between 10 and 11PM.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

I LOVE self-publishing. I enjoy the control over my books, my schedule, release dates, prices, the cover art…I have a team of independent professionals that I go to for editing, copy editing, covers and formatting.

What is your favorite dessert/food?

There’s this wonderful chocolate mousse layer cake at the local grocery store which I must avoid at all costs!

Tell us about your hero.  Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.

Jake Dilon is head of security for the ship and his strength is his desire to protect everyone at all times. He’s a former Special Forces soldier. His weakness is the flip side of that – he can’t stand it when there’s nothing he can do, as with this outbreak.

Tell us about your heroine.  Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.

Dr. Emily Shane is the new ship’s doctor and her strength is her ability to stay calm and cool in any situation. Her weakness is the way she tries to keep everyone at arm’s length on the personal level, due to her traumatic experiences during her military service, on the front lines.

Tell us a little about your latest book.

Here’s the story for Star Cruise: Outbreak:

She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?

Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.

Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.

However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target.  If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…

What’s next for you?

I’m working on another science fiction romance standalone novel set in the Sectors, but I’ve got a couple of plots for STAR CRUISE stories percolating.

Star Cruise: Outbreak excerpt:

The little girl’s father greeted them at the entrance to the cabin. “Dr. Shane, I’m glad you’re here. We’ve been waiting an hour for one of your staff to make a house call. My wife is under the weather with this stomach bug.”

“Your daughter’s showing signs as well,” Emily said, moving past him and heading toward the master bedroom. “I’d like to give them both a dose of Galamialate. How are you doing?”

“I’m fine. My stomach’s impervious to anything,” he said, rubbing his ample belly. “Considering we ate all the same foods, too bad my kids didn’t inherit my guts. Is this contagious from person to person?”

“A norovirus is normally only transmitted through touch or contamination of surfaces,” Emily answered. “If I may have some privacy to examine your wife.” She slid the portal closed and crossed to the bed. Mrs. Enzell smiled weakly and tried to sit up as Emily approached. Indicating for the stricken passenger to lie back and relax, she began her scan. “Symptoms started right after lunch?”

“Yes. I’ve been in the bathroom most of the afternoon.” Mrs. Enzell rubbed her stomach gingerly. “Can’t even keep water down. Lords of Space bless Meg for taking the kids for me. Can I have some of that medicine you were talking about?”

Emily finished her rapid exam. “Of course. I need to give a dose to your daughter. She’s complaining of an upset stomach now. I should give the boys and your husband some to ward off the virus.” She administered the dose. “This probably isn’t the cruise you expected when you won the contest.”

“No,” Mrs. Enzell admitted. “Although it’s been an incredible experience right up until this virus hit like a rogue comet.” She rubbed her eyes, seeming about ready to cry.

Emily patted her arm. “As soon as the meds kick in, you’ll be frolicking on the beach again, I promise. We’re only four days out from Harilon so there will be plenty of time left to have the fun you were promised. Now try to rest and be sure to drink a lot of fluids as soon as the nausea eases. The ship can provide soups and teas. I don’t need you in sickbay with dehydration.”

“I’m not much of a frolicker. I wade and swim a little bit.” Mrs. Enzell sank against the pillows with a heartfelt sigh, closing her eyes.

Emily dimmed the lights and rejoined the others in the outer room, realizing with a quick glance that Meg had departed. “Your wife should be fine by tomorrow,” she said to Mr. Enzell. “Is Syl in bed?”

“Yes, Meg helped me get her settled before she left.” The father led the way into the closest bedroom, which Syl had all to herself apparently. The room was cluttered with toys and dolls. The little girl was curled up in bed with a bedraggled, stuffed animal, so much loved that Emily couldn’t tell what sort of creature it was supposed to be.

She sat on the edge of the bed and pretended to scan the toy pet first, which made Syl giggle faintly. “He’s fine. Now let me examine you.” As she’d expected, the child was in the throes of a gastrointestinal upset, although the handheld scanner couldn’t identify the virus any more than Maeve had been able to. Emily spoke to Mr. Enzell in a low voice. “Let me give Syl her meds, and then I can provide you and your sons with a dose each as well, to ward off symptoms.”

“I’d rather wait until we’re actually sick,” Mr. Enzell said. “I don’t much like taking meds.”

Surprised, Emily decided not to argue, given the fact norovirus wasn’t normally life threatening, just highly unpleasant. He’d change his mind fast enough if the symptoms hit. She tended to the girl, examined the boys to be thorough, although neither was showing any symptoms. Then after a few pleasantries and thanks from Mr. Enzell, she and Jake were on their way to the beach deck to resume their evening plans.

“I should check in with sickbay,” she said as she crossed the sand toward the dinner Maeve had supplied.

“Go ahead, I don’t mind.” Jake ushered her to her chair. “I heard what you said about always being on duty.”

“New cases keep occurring, as with Syl and her mother.” Emily surprised herself by offering an apology of sorts. “I want to keep a handle on things, and I’m not used to working with this staff yet.”

“No problem, I totally get it.” Jake poured them each a drink and set out the food while she called her office.

“Everything under control?” he asked as she dropped her AI into her pocket. “You’re frowning.”

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Author Bio:

Veronica Scott square photoBest Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Veronica writes novels set in the far future, often involving a disaster to kick the action off, as well as a fantasy romance series set in ancient Egypt.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!

Played Star Trek Enterprise Crew Member in the audiobook of Harlan Ellison’s “City On the Edge of Forever” (2016)

Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Scott/e/B006CUCJ92/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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