Pet Trade, Pets in Space 3, and Excerpt Reading
Carol Van Natta's Video Podcast #5
This is my author podcast number 5, about Pet Trade, my latest book, news about Pets in Space 3 (there will be one), and I read an excerpt from Pet Trade. The cat was on strike and did not make an appearance.
Astute readers will note the number above and deduce there are previous videos:
Podcast #1 ~ Podcast #2 ~ Podcast #3 ~ Podcast #4
This podcast is a recorded Facebook Live session from Friday, 23 March 2018. See https://youtu.be/D4qg_vDEaZo
For those who won't watch a 15-minute of video of anyone who isn't Idris Elba or Angela Bassett (not that I blame you), here's the TL;DW (too long; didn't watch) synopsis.
My current news is the new release of Pet Trade, a novella in my Central Galactic Concordance space opera series. It's a standalone, so you don't need to have read the other books to enjoy it. You can find Pet Trade at your favorite ebook seller right now, and the paperback version will come out in April. At the end of this podcast, I read a short excerpt.
The reason I wrote Pet Trade was that I was invited to participate in an anthology called Pets in Space 2, and I jumped at the chance because, come on—it's pets!—pets in space! See, you're smiling right now, 'cause it's such a great concept.
Equally importantly, the anthology supports a charity that trains and places dogs with disabled U.S. veterans. That mission inspired my story, which involves an elite forces military veteran who is now part biometal—a cyborg—and a talented veterinarian with serious post-traumatic stress (PTSD). They're both helped by their pets, which they'll need when greedy mercenaries come to call.
By the way, for those of you who were hoping to see the podcast director, a.k.a. my cat, she was sulking because she had a bad day. She had to swallow a pill, another cat was in her favorite hiding place—the one she goes to when she doesn't want her pill—and the heater in her favorite chair gave up the ghost. I promise to bribe her with catnip for a future podcast.
Pets in Space 3 Anthology
The other big news is that there will be a Pets in Space 3 this year, and yes, I'll have a story in it.
I'm in good company: S.E. Smith—Susan—who I've actually been lucky enough to meet in person, plus Anna Hackett, who lives in Australia, so I probably won't get the chance to meet her anytime soon unless my books start selling spectacularly well. I love Anna's books, especially the Hell Squad series. People I'd like to meet in person include Lindsay Buroker, who also writes as Ruby Lionsdrake, because she's prolific in science fiction and fantasy and wicked funny. I'm a fangirl of pretty much everything she does.
The anthology is organized by Jean Walker, who writes science fiction and fantasy romance as Veronica Scott, and multi-talented, genre-hopping author Pauline Baird Jones. I've worked with both before, and find them to be lovely people. I could actually meet them someday, since we all live in the U.S.
The other authors in this year's anthology are Tiffany Roberts (of Kraken series fame), Alexis Glynn Latner (in Pets in Space 2), E. D. Walker, J.C. Hay, and Kyndra Hatch, all of whom I'm looking forward to getting to know better.
As to my story for Pets in Space 3, I'll tell you more about it next month, after I finish the outline and start writing it. On the pantser vs. plotter continuum, I'm more of a plotter.
“Pantsers” are those author who sit down to write with only a character or two, and maybe a conflict or an ending in mind, and somehow, it works. Eve Langlais, Susan Smith, and Jean Walker are pantsers, and I am in awe of their magic. “Plotters” are authors who write outlines, sometimes really detailed outlines, complete with timelines and character descriptions and whole civilizations, before they ever start the first chapter of the actual novel.
The pantser-vs.-plotter designation is more of a continuum than an either-or. As I mentioned earlier, I'm more of a plotter than a pantser, but I leave myself room for surprises and discoveries as I go along. For example, when I was writing Pet Trade, my outline said that a specific pet would help defeat the villain, but when I got there, another pet stepped up to the plate and said “pick me!”.
If you read my story, see if you can guess which pet I planned to be the instrument of the villain's comeuppance. And yes, I'm being deliberately vague so as not to give away spoilers, because my clever plan is to entice you into reading the book.
At the end of the podcast, I read an excerpt from Pet Trade. You can read the whole first chapter, instead.