Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Interview with Sara Creasy and Giveaway - March 29, 2011

Please welcome Sara Creasy to The Qwillery.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Sara:  I tend to get obsessed with detail. For Song of Scarabaeus I drew a plan of the pirate spaceship, the Hoi Polloi – all four decks. It was important to keep the layout correct while I was writing the book, but I enjoyed doing it in any case. I tend to draw plans and design costumes and create all kinds of details when I start a project. Recently I researched Victorian domestic servant hierarchies and duties for a new book. I love getting into the nitty gritty, even if most of it doesn’t end up in the final book.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Sara:  It’s hard to name specific writers who’ve influenced me because I’m sure anything I’ve read and enjoyed over the years has had an impact. My favorite writers include Josephine Tey, Mary Stewart and Jane Austen; SF writers Elizabeth Moon, Vonda McIntyre and John Wyndham; and non-fiction writers Stephen Jay Gould (an evolutionary biologist) and Bill Bryson.

TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?

Sara:  Definitely a plotter. I plot way too much, in fact, because a lot changes along the way and the rewriting takes ages. When I do occasionally write without plotting, just to see where it takes me, it’s a lot more fun! I should definitely do it more often.

TQ:  Describe Children of Scarabaeus in 140 characters or less.

Sara:  Edie and her bodyguard Finn uncover a destructive plot to use highly trained children to demolish, rebuild, and colonize alien planets.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the world of the Scarabaeus series?

Sara:  Because of the biological technology in the book, I had to brush up on my genetics. I extrapolated a plausible scenario whereby alien ecosystems can be changed at the genetic level, over a period of years, to make them compatible with human life. This process uses retroviruses, which are viruses that change the host cell’s DNA.

Some of the description of the jungle they encounter on the planet came from a sewing book, of all things. It was a coffee table book with machine embroidery patterns and photos. The designs were beautiful, alien, very organic. I leafed through those photos and wrote down all the words that came to mind, and used those terms in describing the jungle.

TQ:  Who is your favorite character(s) to write in the Scarabaeus series?

Sara:  Finn, because he’s sexy and rational and protective and capable. A downtrodden man who’s constantly finding ways to exert himself until he finds true freedom. I like that he’s open to trust and to love despite his past. I think he has honorable ideals. He’s definitely someone I’d want on my side.

And Cat Lancer was just plain fun to write. She’s a confident, sassy gal with a mind of her own – you’re never quite sure whose side she’s on. I had to bring her back for the sequel because she adds a spark to any scene.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what it your favorite scene or scenes in Children of Scarabaeus?

Sara:  There are several scenes where Edie and Finn interact with the children on the ship they find themselves on. I especially like the way Finn interacts with the little seven-year-old boy. I have several nieces and nephews and I imagined them in that situation. I thought about what their priorities would be, how they would talk, how they would interpret what was going on.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Scarabaeus series?

Sara:  Just the two. This story could go in all sort of directions, though, so maybe in the future I’ll return to it. I also have ideas for other stories in that same world, with new characters.

TQ:  The Scarabaeus series is Science Fiction Adventure. Would you like to write in any other genres?

Sara:  I have plans to eventually write in several genres. Who knows if that will actually happen. I feel most comfortable writing science fiction, but I’m determined to try my hand at other things. The genre I’m not too interested in is straight contemporary, because I read fiction to escape. I don’t want to read about the problems people like me are having in a world just like mine.

TQ:  What's next?

Sara:  I’m working on three very different books, and I’m not sure which I’ll finish first so I don’t know exactly what’s next. The science fiction book, working title Incursion, is lighter in tone than the Scarabaeus books, with more romance. It also has aliens in it (friendly and otherwise). I didn’t really have much interest before now in writing alien characters, but this story called for it.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery!

Sara:  Thanks so much for having me!

Sara's Books

Song of the Scarabaeus
Scarabaeus 1
(April 27, 2010)
Trained since childhood in advanced biocyph seed technology by the all-powerful Crib empire, Edie's mission is to terraform alien worlds while her masters bleed the outlawed Fringe populations dry. When renegade mercenaries kidnap Edie, she's not entirely sure it's a bad thing . . . until they leash her to a bodyguard, Finn—a former freedom fighter-turned-slave, beaten down but never broken. If Edie strays from Finn's side, he dies. If she doesn't cooperate, the pirates will kill them both.

But Edie's abilities far surpass anything her enemies imagine. And now, with Finn as her only ally as the merciless Crib closes in, she'll have to prove it or die on the site of her only failure . . . a world called Scarabaeus.

Children of Scarabaeus
Scarabaeus 2
(March 29, 2011)
The crib is everywhere . . .

Edie Sha'nim believes she and her bodyguard lover, Finn, could find refuge from the tyranny of the Crib empire by fleeing to the Fringe worlds. But Edie's extraordinary cypherteck ability to manipulate the ecology of evolving planets makes her far too valuable for the empire to lose. Recaptured and forced to cooperate—or else she will watch Finn die—Edie is shocked to discover the Crib's new breed of cypherteck: children. She cannot stand by while the oppressors enslave the innocent, nor can she resist the lure of Scarabaeus, the first world she tried to save, when researchers discover what appears to be an evolving intelligence.

But escape—for Edie, for Finn, and for the exploited young—will require the ultimate sacrifice . . . and a shocking act of rebellion.

About Sara

Sara Creasy grew up in the UK and moved to Australia as a teenager. Her biology degree led to work as a text book editor for 10 years, both in-house and freelance. She was associate editor of Aurealis, Australia’s SF&F magazine, from 2001 to 2004. Her first novel, Song of Scarabaeus, was published in 2010 by Harper Voyager and was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award. Children of Scarabaeus came out in March 2011. Sara lived in Arizona for five years before moving back to Australia in late 201. She now lives in Melbourne with her husband and baby daughter.

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of Children of Scarabaeus (Scarabaeus 2).
How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:  What is your favorite or least favorite insect?  Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. My least favorite insect is a fly.


  2. My least favourite insect is definitely a spider. urgh. I loved Sara's Song of Scarabaeus and can't wait to read Children!

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

  3. Great interview! It certainly sparked my interest in the book. *curious*

    My least favorite insect? Well, I don't like any insects, but for the sake of an answer I'd say it's mosquito. I'm allergic to their bites. Ugh.

  4. I hate ants...they ANNOY me!, lol

    +1 follower



  5. I love Praying Mantis around our home. Our back yard is filled with egg cases and everyday we wait for the new army of mantis to hatch.


    terilhack at gmail dot com

  6. Mean ants. I hate those. The fire ants and then the stinky ants can ruin an afternoon here.
    I cannot wait to read this book. The first was amazing.

    +1 comment

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  7. my least favorite insect is a spider and I don't think that there's a favorte insect out there for me *g*
    greetings, Ina

    GFC follower
    inale87 at gmx dot at

  8. I find all insects very fascinating. I used to collect & study them when I was younger, which my mother wasn't too thrilled about (since I would bring them into the house). In particular I like butterflies for their colorful beauty, but I've also always been especially interested in spiders.

    +1 GFC Follower
    +1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/ClockworkRevery/status/52776430249054208

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  9. Congratulations on your latest release, Sara!

    My least favorite insect would be spiders. I try not to kill them, but sweep them outdoors.

    +1 follower

  10. I really have this love/hate relationship with spiders. I think they're gorgeous and fascinating, but they scare the crap out of me.
    I also find Praying Mantis really intriguing too.
    I hate mosquitos, I'm allergic so they become huge boils!
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  11. Though not really an insect, I loathe spiders! Argh, the way they move, the way they look, they really creep me out!
    As for insects pur sang, I hate ants and wasps. The latter especially cause I'm afraid of getting stung mainly because I'm allergic to ants (hence my loathing) and thus I guess that allergy counts for wasps as well, since I got them from my mother. Hurray for heredity!

    Also, good interview, as always! I've never heard of the autor, but it sure looks good to me :)

    +1 Follower


  12. Uh, not really a bug girl! But when I was younger I liked fire-flies, lady bugs and rolly pollies! And butterflies too! Basically rhe nice pretty ones!!

    +1 Follower
    2 total


  13. Least favorite insect? Mosquitoes, yuck, they make summer awful. Funny thing, I actually like bugs, like dragonflies, but I used to be so scared of butterflies as a kid!

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower
    +1 Tweet http://twitter.com/#!/Neku234/status/52881129140781056

  14. My favorite insect is a ladybug, and my least favorite insect is this thing we always called a potato bug, I'm not sure what anyone else calls them. They're hideous things with a large head and they're really creepy.

    I can't wait to read Children of Scarabaeus, I loved the first book and can't wait to see what happens next with Edie and Finn.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  15. Really!? Can I just say ALL. Hmmmm... the worst are bloodsuckers in all sizes. Vampires GOOD, bugs BAD! LOL

    I am indeed a follower :)

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  16. I would say ladybugs are my favorite insect. I have always felt like they bring me luck. I know it seems cheesy, but I have believed it since I was little.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    Stephanie- thegirlonfire
    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  17. I think my least favorite is the milli/centipede. So gross, so fast.

    I'm a gfc follower.


  18. my least favorite is a mosquito.

    +1 GFC follower


  19. I have severe arachnophobia so I would have to say that spiders are my least favorite insect. They scare me to death.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    Rachel Leigh
    TheOneRing111 at gmail dot com

  20. My least favorite insect is a fly as well. Yuck!


  21. Hi Sara.
    Great interview. I see Song of Scarabaeus make it to finalist at DA BWAHA,so I curious to read your book ^_^

    My least favorite insect is cockroach, oh I hate it so much, and then they hard to kill too :P

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweet about this : http://twitter.com/#!/r3n87/status/53379716366876672

    Thanks for the giveaway


  22. Hi Sara.

    My least favorite insect is cockroach, oh I hate it so much,
    They feed on human and pet food, and can leave an offensive odor and
    they are among the hardiest insects on the planet.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweet about this : http://twitter.com/#!/rheasiwi/status/53387201223991296

  23. My least favorite insects are either millipedes or centipedes (I get them confused, but honestly they both terrify me and cause me to freak out...all those legs! :shudder: )/

    Sara I look forward to more of your writing! And yes when Finn interacted with the kids it was adorable (it was also a weird parallel to when Edie was a kid and received attention from the Crib employee--my how things went differently!).


  24. SPIDERS!!! :( Also, worms and - ugh - flies / mosquitos seriously get on my nerves. Oh, who am I kidding, I hate all insects.


  25. Your books sound awesome Sara, can't wait to read. Thanks Qwillery/Sara for the chance to win.

    My fav is a butterfly, myleast fav would have to be a roach I think.

    gfc follower - pams00

    pams00 @ aol.com

  26. I loved Song of Scarabaeus, and am looking forward to the sequel immensely.

    My least favorite insect isn't really an insect, but it's small and it creeps around, and it's disgusting and it totally creeps me out.

    Yups, I'm talking about the woodlouse. I have a very deep and distinct dislike for them. It isn't really rational, but the things just give me the shivers.

  27. I hate spider...I kinda have a phobia about them!

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  28. Ugh I hate insects, but maybe my least favourite are mantis ugh.. and my favourite ones are fireflies and butterflies, at least they look nice :-)

    +1 I'm an old and loyal follower
    +1 tweeted: http://twitter.com/Stella_ExLibris/status/54878801863258113
    +1 commented

    Thank you!

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  29. my least favorite insect is a spider-crab because they're nasty.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower


  30. Laura Jan Oda, funny you should mention the woodlouse. Another name for this critter is the slater, and I based my "slaters" in Song of Scarabaeus on woodlice.