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June 4th, 2010
Setting the Stage: World Building in Sci-Fi Romance

My special guest today is friend and fellow sci-fi fan, Kaye Manro. Forbidden Love is Kaye’s debut book, and it’s doing really well. If you’ve been following Kaye’s Forbidden Love tour, you’ll know she’s discussed some really interesting topics. This is her last tour stop, and she’s talking about world building. Over to Kaye…

Forbidden Love by Kaye ManroThank you for inviting me to be your guest today, Shelley!

World building is such an interesting subject, and I’d like to talk about just how I created my science fiction environment in my short erotic SFR Forbidden Love.

While world building is important in all genres of fiction, it is doubly true for science fiction. The process involves detailed back-story that may never end up on the written page!
In science fiction, as well as science fiction romance, (SFR) authors tend to spend a lot of time on world building. In the created worlds especially those involving space travel the process usually starts with designing the star and solar system in which the planet resides.
Here’s an example from my own world building experience. When I created the premise for the Forbidden series (book one is Forbidden Love, which recently released at Red Rose Publishing) I wanted an astounding species with touches of reptilian DNA. For that, I needed the proper environment for them to exist. Their planet needed to be atmospherically disruptive and wild, a little like Venus but able to sustain life. While in opposition, I wanted the species to be an ancient and peaceful but advanced culture, capable of traveling across galaxies by way of hyper-jumps through invented event horizons.

I had a vague idea of what I should call this world, and those red-orange colors kept popping into my mind. I created the name for the planet by combining words like orange and ascorbic because it reminded me of vitality and virility. I melded the two words and Asconage was born.

As I pondered, what Asconage might be like, visions of its solar system came to mind. Asconage is a desert-like world, and I needed to create an extremely arid environment. This planet, painted in russet, ginger, and mauve with an indigo-purple and hued red nighttime sky, orbits two suns, one near and one far. The binary system makes intense heat possible without causing a total planetary meltdown. This is the main reason why T’Kon’s species developed along the evolutionary path it did. I hope this gives you an idea of how everything ties together.

I wanted T’Kon’s race, though extremely technologically and physically advanced, to have archaic beliefs and laws governing the people that preserve the purity of their species. In Forbidden Love, that’s exactly why T’Kon has a hard time coping with his attraction to Maya, the heroine. She is from a human species on an Earth-like world known as Terrain. T’Kon is an explorer and scans Maya’s world for possible contact when his spacecraft crashes into the Terrain surface.

Truly, Forbidden Love came alive only after I had spent time developing the foundation for which I based this story and that is world building. Here is how the story actually unfolded–

Forbidden Love is a futuristic sci-fi erotic romance. Yes, there is space travel at FTL (faster than light). But there is also lots of sexy sensual exploring between the hero T’Kon and the heroine Maya, who hail from different galaxies and evolutionary paths. Rules on T’Kon’s planet forbid interspecies mating. But when he crashes his spacecraft on Maya’s world close to her desert home, what else is he to do but let this lovely alien tend his, umm, injuries?

Here is a little taste of Forbidden Love:

Something cool and clammy grazed her arm, causing a shiver. He sat on the edge of her exam table, his face no longer tinged with the pale blueness she observed earlier; rather, a deep russet color washed him.

Maya stared at the alien awake and alive, his lean muscles tensing as he stretched. Slanted sliver blue-flecked eyes peered at her holding a puzzled look, a haunting icy glare.

“I—I’m Dr. Maya Belle,” she cleared her throat. “I found you hurt in the desert near here so I brought you to my lab—my home.” She squinted and sucked in a mouthful of air. “Who are you? It’s a foregone conclusion you’re not from this world. Where do you come from?” She tilted her head. “Do you understand me?”

Suddenly his thoughts tumbled into hers.

“I am on a peaceful mission. My cloaked spacecraft malfunctioned and crashed into your planet’s surface. You do know where it is.” She sensed his uneasy pause and then, “You will take me there.” It sounded too much like a commanded to her.

Yeah right, she thought and immediately tried to recant the notion. But it was too late. His icy gaze narrowed on her. Clawed fingers grasped a firm hold around her wrist. He emphasized one word. “Now.”

Bio for Kaye

As a romance author, I lean toward the adventuresome in my writing. I love science fiction and all the enticing quantum theories surrounding it. Where characters rush through outer space at Faster than Light speed, or teleport into another time, and even slipstream into an alternate reality. I like creating love scenes too with strong heroes, and captivating heroines. It just seemed natural to combine all these elements together in my stories and write (SFR) Science Fiction Romance.

Forbidden Love Buy Page ~ Kaye’s Website ~ Kaye’s Blog ~

13 comments to “Setting the Stage: World Building in Sci-Fi Romance”

  1. I haven’t written a sci fi as yet, and find that world building would be so much fun, as there is a lot to work with. Enjoyed your post Kaye.

    Waving at Shelly. :)

  2. Hey Shelly and Kaye
    I read FL and totally enjoyed the atmosphere you created as much as I did the characters. Loved the names you came up with too. Great book and great interview : )

  3. It’s great to be visiting Shelley’s blog today!

    Suzanne, it is alot of fun but it’s also a lot of work researching technologies and creating a cohesive universe. Thanks for stopping by Suzanne.

    April, thanks for fantastic mini review on FL. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.

  4. Thanks for the excerpt Kaye- I do like to read SFR and your book sounds very interesting! :grin:

  5. Loved the excerpt! The book sounds very entertaining, thanks for sharing part of it with us.

  6. Hi Kaye and Shelley I’ve been following Kaye through the web universe on her blog-tour and had to drop in to comment on the final stop.

    Great article on worldbuilding. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing SFR so much. (As I like to say, the sky is not the limit.)

    Congrats again on your release and on a fun, fast and furious blog tour. I’m glad to see your wonderful story gaining so many fans.

  7. I hadn’t thought about world building before this. Great insight.

  8. Hey Kaye,
    This was a lovely blog tour and I’ve got your awesome book on my TBB list…it looks like a fantastic read.

    Looking forward to finding out more about your upcoming projects. :mrgreen:

  9. Maria, thanks for stopping by. It’s always good to meet fellow SFR readers.

    Mary, it was my pleasure to share an FL excerpt with you. I’m glad you liked it.

    Laurie, I so appreciate you being there for me throughout the tour. We SFR girls love our world building and I agree the sky will never be the limit.

    Mary P, I’m so glad I was able to share some insights with you on world building through this post.

    Anna, thanks for following my tour and I do hope you enjoy reading FL. I’ve loved your comments along the way. I will keep you posted on my new projects.

  10. The way you came up with the name of your planet is interesting, Kaye. I still haven’t had a chance to read your book yet, but you can bet I will once I get rid of these edits!

  11. Shelley– it was interesting to me as well. But I do watch and read a ton of SF. Couple that with my way out imagination and I come up with strange stuff!

    Thank you agian for having me as a guest on your blog.

    And thanks to all who stopped by. It’s been a fun tour and I’m glad do bring it to a close with my friend Shelley.

    Ending Note: For those who are interested in writing in the SFR genre, there is a lexicon of SF terms I used for creating Forbidden Love on my website. And I plan to keep adding to it as I go along.

    Thanks everyone!

  12. I don’t write SF so hadn’t considered world building before and this was so interesting. :grin:

  13. Great book and interview…
    I really enjoyed this…