Today I have the pleasure of having Sharon Lynn Fisher on the blog for an interview about her new book Ghost Planet! Ghost Planet is so awesome and I think you all should go out and read it!! Scroll down through the entire post to read an excerpt from the book!
A world in peril. A bond deeper than love.
Psychologist Elizabeth Cole prepared for the worst when she accepted a job on a newly discovered world - a world where every colonist is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. But she never expected she'd struggle with the requirement to shun these “ghosts.” She never expected to be so attracted to the charming Irishman assigned as her supervisor. And she certainly never expected to discover she died in a transport crash en route to the planet.
Reincarnated as a ghost, Elizabeth is symbiotically linked to her supervisor, Murphy - creator of the Ghost Protocol, which forbids him to acknowledge or interact with her. Confused and alone - oppressed by her ghost status and tormented by forbidden love - Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence.
But her quest for answers lands her in a tug-of-war between powerful interests, and she soon finds herself a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet…a struggle that could separate her forever from the man she loves.
1. How did you come up with the concept of Ghost Planet?
I had been mainly writing fantasy romance up to that point, and decided I wanted to try my hand at sci-fi. The title came to me first, and then I started noodling on what a story with that title would be about. I came up with the concept for the ghost-aliens, and thought it would be cool to have my heroine travel to the planet and discover she was tethered to one. Then I thought no, SHE should be the alien. That’s really what got the story going.
2. What drew you to combine science fiction and psychology?
That’s a great question. It was really a natural direction for this particular story. When I came up with the concept for the ghosts – aliens who are created in the form of dead loved ones, and symbiotically bound to the colonists – I put myself in the colonists’ shoes. I tried to imagine how I would react if I traveled to a newly discovered world, only to meet up with a deceased mother, father, or husband who was actually an alien. And what if it happened not only to me, but also to the thousands of others who had colonized the planet. Chaos, right? Depression, PTSD, suicides, even murder.
And of course that was the reason the hero -- psychologist Grayson Murphy-- was recruited to work on Ardagh 1 (the “ghost planet”), and came up with the Ghost Protocol.
3. Did you read a lot of science fiction when you were a kid?
No, I wouldn't say a lot. But one of my favorite books as an adolescent was A WRINKLE IN TIME, which, like GHOST PLANET, combines sci-fi and romance. I read that book a dozen times. I also read the Star Wars novel SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE (Alan Dean Foster) several times. That story also combines sci-fi and romance.
Beyond that I read mostly fantasy -- Piers Anthony, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien. I loved anything about ghosts, goblins, or fairies.
4. Who are your inspirations as a writer?
All of the above plus Richard Adams, Charlotte Bronte, Anthony Trollope, and Jane Austen.
5. If you lived on Ardagh 1 who would be your ghost?
Interesting question. I've been asked a few times whom I would *choose* as my ghost, but not who would actually BE my ghost.
Following my own world building rules, it would be either my dad or one of my grandparents. Loved them all dearly but I think my gran (my dad’s mom) would be the easiest (and most fun) to live with. She was an Okie, part Cherokee, who told great stories and said things like “God love your meat” while pinching my cheeks. Please don’t ask me what that means because I have no idea.
6. Who was your favorite character to write?
I find this question tough! I enjoyed writing them all, for different reasons. If I translate “favorite” to “most fun,” I think of characters that sprang fully formed from my brain and required very little revision. By that definition: the smart-ass, suicidal, physicist-turned-transport-pilot Garvey.
7. If you had to recommend one book that you think is a must read, what would it be?
I wish everyone would read WATERSHIP DOWN (Richard Adams). I think people are put off by the fact that it’s about rabbits, but that’s like saying THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH is about a church. WATERSHIP is about very human trials and emotions, plus it’s full of adventure, mystery, politics, and even romance.
8. Sum up your book in 140 characters or less.
Psychologist takes a job on an alien world. On day 1, she learns she's: Dead. Reincarnated as an alien. Tethered to a man who must shun her.
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and answering a few questions! Your book is fantastic and I can’t wait for the next one!
Wow, thank you so much, so glad you enjoyed it! And thank you very much for having me.
Excerpt from Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher!
We trotted up half a dozen steps and were passing through the glass doors when Murphy said, “We’ll be scanned by security just inside. I hate them being here, raising people’s anxiety level in a place where we want them to feel safe. But all new arrivals pass through here, and someone decided it was a good idea.”
Thinking about the illicit-substance and weapons scans in all the airports and public buildings back home, I raised my eyebrows. “What’s it for?”
“To get a sort of fingerprint on everyone,” he explained, walking through the doorframe-shaped scanner. “Just to make sure we know who’s who. They can’t do it at the transport terminal because no one has ghosts when they first arrive.”
I followed him through the scanner, and a long beep sounded somewhere off to my left as I joined him inside. Murphy’s head jerked toward the sound. His eyes moved to the glass doors we’d just come through, and slowly back to me. He glanced at the security desk on our right.
“Where is it?” Murphy called to the guard, whose fingers were flying over his keyboard. The guard’s ghost leaned against the wall behind him, little more than a shadow.
The man stopped typing and looked up. “I’m sorry, Dr. Murphy?”
“I heard the alert go off, but I don’t see her. My ghost, Simon,” Murphy added, growing impatient. “Do you see her?”
The guard blinked at him a couple times. Then he cleared his throat. “She’s standing right next to you, Dr. Murphy.”
SHARON LYNN FISHER is the author of GHOST PLANET, coming from Tor Books on Oct. 30. The book -- a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist -- is a sci-fi/romance blend that offers a "fresh and fascinating take on the human-alien problem" (says author Linnea Sinclair). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is hard at work on her next novel and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. You can visit her online at SharonLynnFisher.com.