Today I’m excited to welcome Claudia and Morgan to the blog to discuss their new book Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator (out now)! I got interested in Gladiator as soon as I saw a review that mentioned most of the characters are bisexual in addition to the awesome sounding sci-fi set up. I can’t resist a book that shows bisexuality is normal and legitimate!
Claudia, Could Accala hold her own against your character Susan Ivanova from Babylon 5?
Accala has her combat discus and lots of hand-to-hand combat training so as much as I adore Ivanova and believe her to be one of the toughest most competent characters I have ever portrayed I would have to vote for Accala in a hand-to-hand or edged weapon fight if (and this is a big if):
If it came down to PPG versus an ion pistol from the Wolf’s Empire universe, I’d say Ivanova would take Accala. Ivanova would also have the upper hand if it were a test of skills in a White Star or keeping cool under a large form battle, due to age and experience but I sure as heck would think that ANY confrontations between those two would make sparks fly! They are both prototype Alpha kick ass ladies to say the least.
Babylon 5 had a big story arc. Have you tried to do something similar with Wolf’s Empire?
Absolutely. The historical Rome is vast and complex so expanding that out to a galactic empire filled with warring families, cultures, and alien beings was a big job. Over the top of that we laid out a detailed story arc that takes the main character and her allies on a challenging and exciting journey as they struggle to save the empire from external attack and destruction from within.
Susan Ivanova was bi-sexual and had a difficult time with relationships. Are you exploring this aspect of Accala in Wolf’s Empire?
Don’t we ALL have difficulty with relationships? :)
Yes, even though Accala is mature she begins the first book in her teens so there are feelings that are new for her when she comes into contact with certain individuals. We have explored her sexuality with even less of a fuss as it was in Babylon 5 and Ivanova, i.e.: people were taken aback when she was revealed to have feelings for a woman whereas now Morgan and I just presumed that in a futuristic Roman arena, there would not be traditional aspects of sexuality and that being bisexual or homosexual would simply be so normal and taken for granted that we would not have to point it out or make a fuss about it. Accala experiences love and lust with both sexes in Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator. Her confusion between the comfort of a loving physical relationship, falling “in” love and having sex for the sake of release or just pleasure is the same conundrum we are all faced with at a certain age, only wisdom and more experience can change that and as I mentioned earlier, she is quite young…..she is exploring right now. …but she does have the capacity to love deeply despite life dealing her some terrible blows at a very early age.
What do you feel are the important qualities of a science fiction heroine?
Fallibility and angst, there has to be a learning curve and some insecurities in a character for you to care about her, no one is perfect…perfect is boring. Physical and mental strength is obviously key as well.
Will there be more Wolf’s Empire books?
Heck ya! If the fans want them then we have plans to take Accala as far as she can go.
How much is your main character Accala like your character Susan Ivanova?
They are both incredibly resilient, both emotionally and physically, which is why imagining a fight between them is difficult, especially since they are both stubborn and dislike losing!
They have a lot in common such as their inner strength, whether guided by the memories of people who have passed or a higher being, they both rely on a spiritual-inner life to give them strength in times and to talk to throughout trials.
They are both kick ass, fabulous, strong women who I find joy in bringing to life at first with JMS, the creator of Babylon 5, and now with my writing partner, Morgan Grant Buchanan.
Courtesy of Tor, I also have a giveaway for you all! If you are now as excited about Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator as I am, don’t miss out :D. This giveaway is open to US/CAN addresses, the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, and I’ll be checking entries so be sure everything is correct.
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