I’m hosting an interview today with Ed Hoornaert, author of science-fiction novel “The Triumph of Tompa Lee”. My questions are bolded, Mr. Hoornaert’s responses are in regular font.
What’s the hardest part of being an author?
Knowing when I’ve got it right—that is, whether the book that readers read has the same impact as the story I intended to tell. After nine books I’m getting better at this, but I doubt I’ll ever master it to my satisfaction.
Can you give us a short synopsis of The Triumph of Tompa Lee?
Tompa Lee—orphan, anti-social loner, and homeless street meat—has clawed her way to the stars. On planet Zee Shode, the natives proclaim her a goddess, and she finds the galaxy’s greatest treasures: love from a man, and friendship with an old alien.
But everything is threatened when a bounty hunter kidnaps her fiancé and her best friend. Aided only by the voice of her dead, sarcastic mother, can Tompa outsmart the hunter, or must she sacrifice her own life to save her loved ones?
What inspired you to write this book?
Tompa Lee, my heroine, is an underdog with lots of ability and a massive chip on her shoulder. One reviewer likened her to Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I love that comparison. Love underdogs, too—probably because during childhood, I felt like one. We lived in bad sections of crime-ridden neighborhoods. One apartment was across the street from an auto junkyard; another, across a narrow alley from a steel mill. I daydreamed about being tough and triumphant, like Lisbeth or Tompa. Instead, I write books. Sigh.
But on paper, I’m a tiger!
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
It varies. When I’m on a roll, such as during NaNoWriMo, I write four to twelve hours a day. Other days I don’t write at all, and feel guilty about it. It’s difficult for me to ‘feel’ my story if I don’t write regularly.
Name your top five favorite books.
That’s hard, because my favorites change all the time. In no particular order, here are some of my tried-and-true loves, which I’ve read anywhere between five and twenty-five times:
- Dune, by Frank Herbert
- Emphyrio, by Jack Vance
- The Unknown Ajax, by Georgette Heyer
- Don’t Forget to Smile, by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
- Emma, by Jane Austen
What are you working on now?
I’m writing a sequel to my science fiction romance novella, The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station, which MuseItUp Publishing is releasing later in October. I’m trying something new: taking the emotional arc of The African Queen and transforming it into a science fiction romance. I analyzed the movie for the stages and turning points in Charlie and Rosie’s relationship and set out to create a similar progression. I doubt readers will recognize my source, though, because I’m borrowing—or stealing, if you prefer—only the emotional skeleton, not characters or events.
About the Book
Author: Edward Hoornaert
Genre: Science Fiction
Tompa Lee—orphan, anti-social loner, and homeless street meat—has clawed her way up to the stars. There, on planet Zee Shode, she finds the galaxy’s greatest treasures: friendship and love.
Happily ever after? Not if the Galactic Trading Council has its way. The Council rules by divide and conquer, and Tompa commits the unforgivable crime of forging an alliance between humans, Shons, and Klicks.
The Council hires Lily Kilsing, earth’s most feared bounty hunter, to deal with her. Kilsing lures Tompa to a deserted alien city by kidnapping her fiancé and her best friend.
Aided only by the voices of dead people, can Tompa outsmart the huntress, or will she be forced to sacrifice her own life to save her loved ones—and the future of the Shon race?
Edward Hoornaert is not only a romance writer, he’s also a certifiable Harlequin Hero; he inspired N.Y. Times bestselling author Vicki Lewis Thompson to write her favorite Harlequin Desire, “Mr. Valentine”, which was dedicated to him. In the past, he wrote contemporary romances for Silhouette Books, but these days he writes science fiction adventures–usually with elements of romance.
Fresh out of university, he taught at a one room school accessible only by floatplane. Students came to school on a school boat. His next teaching job was a step up—a two-room, log-cabin school. In addition to novelist and teacher, he has been a technical writer, salesman, janitor, and symphonic oboist.
After having 30 different addresses in his first 28 years, his rolling stone slowed in the mountains of British Columbia and stopped in Tucson, Arizona. His high school sweetheart has been his wife for more years than he has fingers and toes to count. Ed and Judi have four children, a dog, and a cat which (unlike some famous authors’ cats) is of absolutely no help in writing.