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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Guest Blogger: Crystal Jordan

I have a guest blogger today, Crystal Jordan.

The first time I "met" Crystal was when she asked me to be part of a workshop on Science Fiction Romance at Romance Divas. That was in 2007, I think. Fast forward. We reconnected on Twitter, became friends. She's funny, smart, insightful, and I'm lucky enough to count Crystal as one of my best book writing buddies.

For a more formal intro: Crystal Jordan writes award-winning erotic paranormal and futuristic romance for a variety of publishers including Kensington Aphrodesia, Harlequin Spice, Samhain, and Ellora's Cave. Her latest release, Untamed from Aphrodesia, was released today! To read excerpts and find out more, visit Crystal's website.

And now here's Crystal:

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I love writing futuristic romance. Or, more specifically, futuristic erotic romance, which is how all my published futuristic work would be categorized. I’ve written both distant future with colonized planets and spaceships as well as near future post apocalyptic with some technology gained and some lost. I can’t say I have a definite preference, since they’re both a ton of fun to write!

My first experience with distant future romance was my novella “In Ice” in the anthology Sexy Beast V (which is followed by Carnal Desires in the same setting). The idea came from a lot of different places, but the two I have to give most of the credit to are Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series and Robin D. Owens’s Celta series. (By the way, if you haven’t read these series, run, do not walk, to go buy them.) What I loved about these series was the concept of going so far into the future that you’d actually gone back to something reminiscent of an older Earth time period. For McCaffery, it’s medieval Europe…with dragons. For Owens, it’s a little Three Musketeers meets Celtic mythology. Both are phenomenal.

What I did in “In Ice” was go back to a cross between Inuit people and warring Scottish clans. With shape-shifting bears. Why? Because I like shape-shifters, and it seemed like an interesting twist I hadn’t read before. I got the idea for this world a long time ago, but it wasn’t until the shape-shifters came into the mix that it all gelled for me.

Then I tried my hand at post apocalypse with my new release Untamed. Everyone should try it at least once, right? Right?? Okay, maybe it’s just me. I have to say, it was totally worth it. I might even have liked it better than the distant future book (which I loved). I get most of my post apocalyptic inspiration from movies rather than books, and I have no idea why. But films like The Day After Tomorrow, Judgment Day, Children of Men, Road Warrior, and Blade Runner have sucked me in and made me wonder what would happen if war or famine or Mother Nature or technology made the world radically different from how it is now, and yet…people are still here, being people.

With Untamed, I went with the idea that biological warfare brought out the primal, beastly nature in humans and created—you guessed it—shape-shifters. Predator shape-shifters to be exact. So the world is half clean, new nanotechnology, and half gritty bombed out post-urban-warfare. Plus, inside every person lurks a dangerous animal just waiting to be unleashed. I had way too much fun with this story, let me tell you.

So, the thing I think I love best about writing futuristic romance (of any subgenre) is that the possibilities are pretty endless. If you can imagine the world would be one way in the future, then it could be. But then…it could be something totally different. You can really let your imagination run wild.