Today please welcome author Branwen O’Shea to the blog! She is a YA author I have featured a couple of times over at Andi’s Book Reviews. Today she’s here at CandrelsCCC to let us get to know her a little bit better in an author interview. You can also read an excerpt from her YA science fiction/fantasy The Chasm. Ask her more questions in the comments section. Follow the tour for more after you download your own copy. Best of luck in the giveaway!
They thought the biggest problem they faced was each other.
After Bleu, Rana, and their new friends narrowly prevent war between the star beings and humans, they hope the upcoming negotiation will secure the peace. Newly emerged from their subterranean haven, the Northern Haven humans are clearly not suited to Earth’s ice age, and require assistance from the enlightened star beings to survive long term on the Surface. But Commander Savas doesn’t trust the suspiciously kind star beings and their unexplainable abilities. When both sides reluctantly negotiate a joint mission to find the other Havens, Bleu must somehow cooperate with the manipulative commander to keep his friends safe.
As their team confronts unexpected dangers, Bleu and his teammates begin to suspect the star beings don’t know as much about the Surface as they claimed, while Rana is torn between remaining true to her nonviolent ways or becoming more human to survive. When an unnatural predator attacks, even the nearly all-knowing Kalakanya can’t explain it. Now the team must pull together or their new discovery will pull them apart, limb by limb.
Read an excerpt:
Neviah gaze narrowed. “You do know you’re doing a good job, right?” He snorted. “So far, we’ve managed not to kill each other.” “Considering Savas tried to nuke them a few weeks ago, that’s a huge accomplishment.” He laughed, but she was right. It was amazing they hadn’t yet attacked each other. “Okay, let’s hope we can all continue to stay alive.” He turned to leave, then spun back. “Listen, if the choco doesn’t work to keep you awake while piloting, call back to me, and I’ll come entertain you. All right?” Her smile was radiant. “Entertain me? Hmm. That sounds good. A whole lot better than stressing about flying across an ocean that hasn’t been crossed in centuries. Perhaps I should just give the choco back to Savas now?” “Noooo. Choco is too amazing to lose.” “Oh, so now we’re sharing it, eh?” She poked him with her stylus. “You want some of my choco?” “Only a fool would say no to that.” “Hmm. To the choco or to sharing it with me?” She lifted an eyebrow expectantly. He shrugged and looked away, too riffled by her mood to answer properly. Her persistent flirting embarrassed him, and she always interpreted that to mean he liked her back. “I need to help pack up.” He left before she saw him blushing. Ugh.
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Read more from Branwen O’Shea:
The Chasm (includes an excerpt)
Describe your book in one sentence or fewer than 25 words.
The humans of Northern Haven reluctantly ally with the mysterious star beings, hoping to gain help finding survivors of the new ice age, but instead they discover a fierce threat that sheds doubt on their new allies.
Who would be your dream narrator for the audiobook version?
Brendan Fraiser. I love how he can make people’s voices sound so unique and do animals and nonhumans as well. Since I have so many animals able to telepathically communicate with the star beings, this would be an important skill.
What was the inspiration behind this book?
This entire series came to me in a set of really powerful dreams where the star being, Rana, introduced herself and told me a story of humanity’s future. It was so fascinating to me that I started writing the next morning. I never planned on being a novelist, and it took me ten years to finish the first book, but now I’m on a roll.
What was one of your favorite scenes?
One of my favorite scenes in The Chasm is between a peace-loving star being teen, Kahali, and the gun-loving human, Commander Savas. Despite being on the expedition team together, Commander Savas deeply distrusts star beings, especially Kahali because his psychic powers have at that point been a tad unpredictable due to trauma Savas caused to him in the first book. In my favorite scene, the two of them are together and attacked by (redacted due to being a spoiler). They must rely on each other, and some very emotional character developments occur between them but not in the expected direction.
What do you hope people will get out of your book?
I hope that with all the character conflict, adventure, and new world-building, this second book will be a great escape. But additionally, my characters grapple a lot with the human tendency to protect themselves with weapons and threats and the star being challenge that humans must learn to deal with danger in other nonviolent ways. Writing both sides of this conflict (the book has three human and two star being points of view) has really affected the way I think about our natural tendencies and when violence is or isn’t necessary. I hope it may encourage the reader to explore their own beliefs about what humans are capable of, and not feel judged because whatever side they are on they have characters that agree with them.
How do you make yourself stand out in this genre?
While technically a sci-fi novel, I think my books tend to be unique in that in addition to science they also use some of the spiritual, energetic, and healing processes that our science is just starting to explore and document. I have been fascinated my entire life with this intersection of science and the paranormal, and my books also walk that line.
What’s your favorite part about writing?
My favorite part of writing is the initial draft. Since Rana gave me the entire story in a set of dreams, I know the major points the characters achieve, but have no idea how they reach each point. While I write, its like I’m recording a movie in my head, and its really fun to see what the characters do and say next.
What are some things readers may be surprised to learn about you?
Like Rana, I’ve been known to communicate with animals. Like Kahali, I’ve experienced trauma. Like Bleu, I have been forced into situations where I must get people who hate each other to cooperate. Like Commander Savas, I want humanity to survive climate change. Like Atsushi, I often wonder where I fit within society. And while I don’t read the threads of time like Kalakanya, lol, I often see where situations are headed way before most others do.
As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.
Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her published works include Silence of the Song Trees, The Calling, The Cords That Bind, and The Chasm.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/branwenoshea
Branwen OShea will be awarding $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway