Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kicking Ashe by Pauline Baird Jones: Character Interview & Excerpt

With hearts and lives on the line, a kiss may be all they have time for...

Time has dumped Ashe on a dying planet and she needs to figure out why before she ceases to exist. Or gets vivisected by some Keltinarian scientists. Or worse.

Vidor Shan might help—since someone somewhere is trying to hose him, too—if she can convince him to trust her. Probably shouldn’t have told him that only someone he trusts can betray him. Also wouldn’t mind if he kissed her on the mouth.

Vid would love to kiss the girl, but his brother is lost, he’s got hostile aliens on his tail, and the stench of betrayal all around him. Can he trust the woman who told him to trust no one?
Then a time quake hurls them to a nasty somewhere and some when...

Hi, my name is Ashe, star of Kicking Ashe (which was SO the wrong title by the way. I totally kicked back) and I’m here to answer questions— 

With my help.  

Yeah, I sort of, well, actually not so sort of, host a nanite named Lurch. He’s really old and thinks he knows everything. 

I don’t think. I do. 

Should never have let you watch Star Wars. Welcome to my head. Anyway, a little about me, because that’s why they are here. 

I’m a time tracker—which means I sort out wrong time for the Time Council. I’m a Garradian, though I’ve got a lot of species mixed into my bloodline, including a little Earth DNA thanks to my not-so-great, great-great-great-a-lot more greats—not to mention more than a little creepy—grandma. 

I thought she was quite charming and yes, a bit creepy by choice. 

Can we talk about this later? In middle of interview here. 

Perhaps if you answered the questions then, instead of slamming your ancestors. 

Fine. Let’s take a shot at some questions…. 

Where do you dream of traveling to and why? 

Well, having just had my tush kicked all over the universe, I’d kind of like to go home. I could use a hug from my mother.  

And I believe she’d like her caftan back.  

She gave it to me.

She lent it to you. 

You don’t have to play the scene back for me. I’ll return her caftan, if I can just remember which time I left it in….

Who is your favorite author?

I am fond of Gallifius Galfron’s Discussions of Time Theory— 

She likes romance novels, particularly those of Earth authors from 18th-22nd centuries. A particular favorite is Linnea Sinclair, who writes about aliens and romance. 

And you have a particular addiction to time travel novels. (Ashe clears her throat.) Moving on to the next question….
Tell us about your family. 

My family! Do you have that much time? I mean I do, because I travel through it but— 

Which tells them nothing about your family. 

Aren’t your bytes in a twist today. Fine, I come from a prominent family in Garradian history. We number many Leaders in our lineage and we’re known for being devious and Machiavellian. (whispers) I got that right, didn’t I, Lurch? Devious and Machiavellian? 

Indeed you did. You have perfectly captured your family.  

Then why do I feel, I don’t know, insulted?  

I have no idea. 

Right. (clears throat.) I believe there are a few more questions requiring my attention.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

Moment? Oh my. The life of a time tracker is fraught with scary moments and minutes and hours and sometimes even eons, but I think the scariest was in that hallway with the (shudders) huge bugs.

The bugs beat the time tsunami, the bomb and the vortex? 

Hmmm, that was bad, but those bugs were seriously huge. You know I hate bugs. 

I am unable to not know it.

What are you passionate about these days?

Oh (Ashe face softens and she smiles.) Vid, definitely Vid. He’s so cute.

 Simply adorable.

 (Ashe leans forward to whisper) Lurch has some unresolved issues with Vid. There was this thing in another time line, which technically never happened, but Lurch can’t forget it because of some time anomalies. He’s getting counseling to deal with it.

 I am not getting counseling because I do not need it.

Can I eat some chocolate or something for you?
You could move on to the next question.
 Moving on…

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
 It’s a family mantra to never apologize. Right after the mantra to: keep your enemies close enough to shoot.

I must have imagined you apologizing to me not long after we got your tush kicked into the unknown.

That would be why it got added to the list.

Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it? 

I wish there were only one. My family has hundreds of mantras recorded over centuries of Machiavellian interaction, but let’s see, my current top one would be: Don’t get caught without a weapon. I added it right before don’t get shot cause they kind of go together.

 Mine is: the impossible just takes longer

 Which might explain how we ended up looking down the barrel of that time tsunami?

 I don’t believe a tsunami has a barrel.

 (Ashe’s mouth curves in a sly smile.) I think I’m going to find Vid and kiss him on the mouth.

 But it could have a barrel in a metaphorical sense. Now that I consider it, it is a most apt description. Truly.

 That’s a good try, but I still want to kiss him. (Ashe begins to edge toward door) If you’ll excuse me?

I believe they said you could answer eight questions.

Leave them wanting more would be another family mantra.

 You need to provide an excerpt from our adventure in getting your tush kicked—

It’s so close it would have bitten you if you had a body part to get bitten. Thank you very much for giving me—okay, us—a chance to chat with you. But now I really do have to go. Vid gets restless when I’m gone too long. It’s post-traumatic time travel stress thing.

Unfortunately I must take my leave with her. Thank you for hosting us. It was pleasant to get away—I mean out for a while.

Ashe followed him around the crash debris field, then along the parallel street. Dust puffed into the air each time his boots made contact with the cracked surface. Her boots probably did, too, but she wasn’t looking at her boots.
You are not looking at his boots either.
She had been, but apparently that didn’t count. Though there was no safe place anywhere, it was still unnerving to walk down the street with meteorites punching steadily through the clouds. The whistle of the incoming meteorites blended into a keening wind sound, like a winter mirska, howling through dead streets and broken windows—but failing to lift even a particle of dust—though their walking did disturb the dust. Creepy-plus. The sky was intermittently lit by the meteorites, though that light failed to pierce the murk close to the ground. Did that mean night approached? How to tell with the heavy cloud cover and the total lack of atmospheric data? Was it an effect of time out of synch?
Lots of questions. Zero answers. That didn't stop her from worrying at the edges of all of them, since she had nothing to distract her except pretending it was Shan’s boots she watched as they walked. Like the buildings, weeds had attempted a comeback here in the street, but had withered into spidery lines creeping out of the cracks like hands waiting to grab them. The wind sound paused, which was creepier-plus, only to be broken by the rumble of thunder. Maybe it was just a bad weather day, but Ashe had a feeling this was as good as it got.
Shan stopped in front of the sagging entrance to the building they’d hammered and now wanted to enter. She stared into the gray rectangle, saw what might have been the remains of a door hanging off one side. Make that needed to enter. No way she wanted to go in there.

Pauline Baird Jones reads across genres, so it shouldn’t have surprised when her writing went cross genre. Thankfully she does not need to understand cross genre-ing to do it, though she does concede it is a bit whacky for a confirmed hermit to write about crossing space and time.

She began her writing career penning romantic suspense (because fictional murder doesn’t get you strip searched) but she had a secret longing to ramp up the spills, chills and daring do.

She wrote The Key, sure it was an action and adventure romance—and it was—but someone pointed out it was also science fiction romance. Wait a minute. Could it be that she’d been mixing fiction into her science since high school? (Oops, sorry science teachers!) Hmm, why not go where she hasn’t gone before? So she did.

The Key was the first in her Project Enterprise series, which will conclude with #6,Kicking Ashe.


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Debby said...

Great character interview. They are so much fun to read.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Debby said...

I would love to travel through space but I am not so sure about time. If you change something, it could have far reaching consequences. I would love to just see what is out there.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Pauline B Jones said...

Laurie, Thanks so much for having my characters visit the blog today! They both loved it and Lurch wants to stay. He slipped me note. (grin)

Debby, yes, time travel is fraught with danger, as Ashe found out. Its fun to fictionally mess with it, but would not want to really do it. LOL!

ChristyJan said...

I've had Pauline's book on my wish list for a while now and after reading this fun interview with Ashe I'm really looking forward to reading this time traveling adventure.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to time travel to Ancient Egypt and the late 1890's of our own world's time.
Enjoyed your Blogspot.
Thanks for the contest.

Sherri A. Dub said...

I was the last comment, above. It wouldn't post my name for some reason.
Sherri A. Dub

Heidi Ruby Miller said...

First of all, great excerpt!

Second of all, heck yeah I'd want to be able to travel through space and time!! Just need to think about where and when...

Great interview, Ashe and Pauline.

Pauline B Jones said...

Oh, thank you so much for stopping by! You picked a good time, Sherri (though my favorite places to time travel have decent plumbing. LOL!)

Thanks for the kind words, ChristyJan! :-)

Tiffany K said...

I loved reading this character interview. Don't see authors do them much, maybe I am looking in the wrong place, but I loved yours.

What I liked even more was the excerpt though, thank you for sharing all that you did.

I would love to be able to travel through space and time to go back and see people that are no longer here, or to see how people I know now were like when they were younger.

As much as I would have liked saying to change the past I didn't because I wouldn't want to change something and then mess up the present.

Pauline B Jones said...

thanks, Heidi! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt and the interview. Lurch kind of stole the show in the book. I think he's tired of being the inside man. LOL!

Pauline B Jones said...

Thanks, Tiffany! I had a choice to talk about me or my characters and thought to myself, well who is more interesting. LOL!

I'll have to admit I'd worry about changing the future, too, though I'm happy to stomp through fictional time and cause all kinds of mayhem. (grin)

Many thanks for stopping by. I so appreciate Laurie hosting me!

Greta said...

That was a lot of fun. I like Lurch. Does his name come from the Addams Family?

Pauline B Jones said...

thanks, Greta! It does, in a back door way. His first host had the nickname Morticia because she was creepy. (grin)

Sarah Elizabeth said...

I would love to be able to travel through time, just so I could go back and do little things that I forgot to do - like posting birthday cards!

intensev5 said...

I would love to travel in time. I would love to go back and see my dad. He passed away when I was 4 years old.

Pauline B Jones said...

You make a good point, Sarah Elizabeth! I covet Hermione's time turner. Seriously, that would be so cool!

Intensev5 - that is an awesome wish! I wrote Out of Time as a way to pretend I"d traveled back to meet my grandfather. He died when my mom was five.

Gale Nelson said...

I think it would be awesome!!!1

Pauline B Jones said...

:-D Many thanks for stopping by to read the interview, Gale!

Suz Reads said...

I would like to be able to travel by space and time because it would be nice to go back in the past to experience certain times (like the 1970's) and go to the future!

Anonymous said...

Yes i would like to travel space and go back in time it would be neat :)

Pauline B Jones said...

:-) Many thanks for stopping by, Regina and Suz. I would like to as well, though I want to do it in great comfort and style. (grin)

Joy said...

Yes, to relive and change the past.
magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

geektasticdisappointment said...

Yup. I'd love to travel back in time. There are some things I'd like to either experience again (good food, good movies, good times), or change, consequences be screwed.

Caitlin said...

Oh definitely! I love history and it would be so cool to get to experience some of it firsthand!

Pauline B Jones said...

I think those who would travel in time are winning. LOL! Many thanks to all of you who stopped by to comment. I really appreciate. :-)

oriana said...

great interview!
i like her picture too!

i would like to travel to know ancient times, like in Rome or Egypt or meet john lennon or salvador Dali.
crazy idea!

Maegan Morin said...

To be completely honest I dont think that I would want to travel through space and time. Im happy right where I am right now :D

Pauline B Jones said...

Thanks all, for the kind and interesting comments. :-)

Helen said...

yes it would be great to see where you came from and experience history

Naomi Sturgis said...

I would love to- it would be amazing to visit other places and see things that are impossible to see now!

Pauline B Jones said...

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and congrats to Tiffany K!

Pauline B Jones said...

Many thanks to, Laurie for the awesome feature and to everyone who stopped by to comment! Cheers!