Today on Shelf Full of Books, I have Resa Nelson with a Guest Post for her stop on her Blog Tour.
The Common Thread that Ties My Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Mystery Novels Together
By Resa Nelson
I write in different genres. I have a 4-book series about a female blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers in a world modeled on the Viking era. I have a standalone mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. And then there’s my newest novel, which is about a woman who makes exact copies of herself because she thinks it’s her only hope to escape a killer who’s hot on her heels.
But there’s one common thread that ties all my novels together regardless of genre: my books are about women who are strong and smart and courageous. The main character in every novel I’ve written so far has been a woman. Throughout the novel, she faces many difficulties and challenges, but she thinks and uses her wits to keep moving forward. When necessary, she fights to protect herself and others. And even though she gets scared, she gathers her courage and forges ahead.
Why do I write about women? Because when I was a little girl I loved books like Little Women and A Wrinkle in Time, whose heroes are girls. Whenever I read a novel, I feel as
Don’t get me wrong – I love all kinds of books, and in most of them the main character is a man. These days, especially in fantasy and science fiction, it’s becoming more common to find a book where a girl or a woman is the main character. So things have been changing.
What I also do is strive for gender balance in each book I write. Although a woman is always the main character, there is always at least one heroic man who plays an important role in the story. If my novel has a male villain, it will also have a female villain. I think the culture of the United States places a lot of pressure on men and women when it comes to what’s expected of them. Even though some progress has been made during the past several decades, men are still expected to work and support a family. But women are expected to run a household, take care of their children, and work to add to the family income. A growing trend is that women are becoming the main breadwinner, resulting in even greater pressure. When I create villains, I like to explore how these pressures placed on people by society can end up bending and breaking people. In every novel I explore the reasons why its villain decided to take a dark path. It’s another thing that my books have in common.
My fans tell me that they typically read one of my books in a day or two. They describe them as page-turners and tell me that they don’t want to put my books down. Because there’s usually some kind of mystery in all my books, I’m happy to hear that! Again, the last thing I ever want to do is bore my readers. I’d much rather keep them up at night, promising themselves, “Just one more chapter before I go to sleep.”
That’s something I thought about constantly while writing my newest novel, All Of Us Were Sophie. Even though it has a science fiction premise (that it’s possible to make exact copies of yourself with your personality and life experiences intact), my goal was to make it a true murder mystery.
One whose hero is a woman who’s strong and smart and courageous.
What if the only way you could save your own life was to kill yourself?
Someone is trying to kill Sophie Rippetoe, and she has no place to hide. But Sophie has a unique option. Her husband designed and built a duplicator machine to make exact copies of complicated and sophisticated machine parts. She knows how the duplicator works.
Will it work for people? No one knows.
There’s just one problem: the duplication process destroys the original. The only thing Sophie knows for sure is that trying to make copies of herself will end up killing her.
Sophie isn’t sure who’s trying to kill her or why – but she has her suspicions and has gathered some evidence. Before she takes the leap of faith to use the duplicator on herself, she creates a trail of clues, hopeful that at least one of the Sophies she creates will figure it out in time to save herself.
Mundania Press (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)
About the Author:
Resa Nelson’s first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series, which also includes The Iron Maiden (Book 2), The Stone of Darkness (Book 3), and The Dragon’s Egg (Book 4).
Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."
She has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Resa lives in Massachusetts.
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Blog tour schedule: http://www.resanelson.com/all-of-us-were-sophie-blog-tou/