Hi guys and girls

Hope you are all ok
My return to blogging is to start with an interview with the fabulous Shirley Golden, author of Skyjacked

Her sci-fi/fantasy novel, Skyjacked, was published by Urbane Publications in May, 2016.
Separated from his son, only a galaxy stands between him and home …
The year is 2154, and Corvus Ranger, space pilot and captain of the Soliton, embarks on a penal run to Jupiter’s prison moon, Europa.  It should be another routine drop, but a motley band of escaped convicts have other ideas.  When Soliton is hijacked, Corvus is forced to set a new destination, one which is far from Earth and his son.
Unable to fight – or smooth talk – his way to freedom, Corvus finds himself tied to the plans of the escapees, including their leader Isidore and a gifted young boy who seems to possess strange abilities.
Desperate to return to Earth and the son he left behind, Corvus is thrown into the ultimate adventure, a star-strewn odyssey where the greatest enemy in the universe may very well be himself.

Shirley Golden spent ten years working in factories, where making up stories in her head saved her from terminal boredom.  She returned to education in her late twenties, gained a degree in psychology, and worked in research for a few years before deciding to dedicate herself to writing fiction full time.
Many of her stories have found homes in the pages or websites of various magazines and anthologies; some have found their way on to competition long and short lists.  She won the Exeter Writers Short Story Competition in 2013.  She loves flash-fiction and is one of the editors for the Flash Flood Journal, created by Calum Kerr, to celebrate National Flash-Fiction Day.
She is door person and arbitrator to two wannabe tigers, and can sometimes be found on Twitter when she should be writing.  She likes to bake jumbo chocolate and pecan cookies and goes for long bike rides to burn off the calories.

Have you written from a young age?
I was never considered a particularly academic child, and spent many hours daydreaming!  However, I loved poetry and remember learning Matilda – who told lies by Hilaire Belloc off by heart.  I did attempt to write a few poems over the years, but never wrote prose until my late twenties.

What started you off writing? 
My first major attempt at writing was after reading a few fantasy novels in my late twenties – it inspired me to write the first half of an extremely bad novel.  Then in my late thirties, I had the opportunity to focus on writing, and I completed a novel set in Roman Britain.  Since then, I’ve written over a hundred short stories, over a hundred flash-fictions, and six other novels. 

What authors influenced you?
As a teenager, I loved Daphne du Maurier, and even now would like to write something with gothic overtones.  Later, I discovered Anne Rice and fell in love with her vampire characters.  Fantasy authors, John Marco and Sophia McDougall create striking worlds, and I love Neil Gaiman for his leaps and bounds of imagination.  I was blown away when I first read Raymond Carver’s short stories.  The sparse language that says so much, and how quickly he draws in the reader, has left a lasting impression on me.

What inspired you to write Skyjacked?
That is such a hard question to answer, but I think it began with Corvus’ voice in my head!  I wanted to explore the idea of taking a range of characters and forcing them into a claustrophobic situation to see what developed.  And over the years, I’ve been inspired by sci-fi TV shows and films – from Blake’s 7, Farscape and Firefly to The Terminator and the Alien franchise.

What is your favourite part of the novel?
I think when they all get high on the planet, Lupi 9; I enjoyed writing the humour in those scenes.  I also like the interaction between Corvus and Warren – they’re so different on one hand, with Warren preferring to conform, and Corvus wanting to rebel, and yet they are similar in that they like to plan for all eventualities and have control issues.  Also, the moment Isidore gets taken, I love, because it is a turning point for Corvus.

Are there any characters that you would like to include more, and who is your favourite?
The character I wanted to expand on was Isidore because she’s an enigmatic figure, and I have a lot of backstory that isn’t revealed.  I had fun writing Corvus, but he could be irritating at times!  I have a big soft spot for Bryce, who was originally written as one of the viewpoint characters, but in the end I decided to stick to Corvus and Janelle, alternating between their two viewpoints, as it kept things easier to manage.

As it is part of a series, what are the plans for future novels?
I’ve written a first draft for the next book, but due to a variety of reason, I have no plans to take it further at the moment.  I’m working on some short stories currently.

If you could go anywhere, fantasy or real life, where would you go and why?
It’d have to be Sunnydale!  ’Cause who wouldn’t want to meet the ‘Scooby Gang’.

Food – cheese
Animal – cats
Colour – purple
Film – The Big Lebowski, or LA Confidential, or Wonder Boys, or Ex Machina.
Book – The Passion by Jeanette Winterson, or The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter, or Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, or Wool by Hugh Howey – sorry can’t decide on one for films or books!

Hope you all enjoyed this interview and, as always, here are the links:

Shirley Golden Website
Urbane Publications Link
Amazon - Skyjacked


Happy reading all :)