We have a special guest today! Valmore Daniels is here with us to talk about his new science fiction novel, Forbidden the Stars . Enjoy!
An insatiable thirst for new experiences has led him to work in several fields, including legal research, elderly care, oil & gas administration, web design, government service, human resources, and retail business management.
His enthusiasm for travel is only surpassed by his passion for telling tall tales.
Valmore’s latest book is Forbidden the Stars, a sci-fi novel set at the end of the 21st century.
Visit his website at www.ValmoreDaniels.com.
Forbidden The Stars takes place at the end of the century and concerns the decade leading up to the point where humankind enters the Interstellar Age. There are three main plotlines that intertwine. A catastrophic accident in the asteroid belt leads to the development of an element which can fuel faster-than-light travel. The first manned mission to Pluto discovers signs of alien life. And from the depths of a criminal empire on Luna, an expatriate watches all of this and makes his move to seize control of interstellar travel.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
Captain Justine Turner, NASA’s youngest female astronaut, journeys to Pluto, where she and her crew discover signs of an alien civilization.
Alex Manez, who accompanies his parents on a survey mission in the asteroid belt, is hurtled through space at near light speeds when a new element is discovered and reacts with the asteroid.
On Luna Station, a criminal mastermind, Chow Yin, intercepts communications between Pluto and Earth, and quickly makes plans to seize control of the new technology.
On Earth, Michael Sanderson has to juggle the politics of the discovery between two powerful nations, deal with the interplanetary war brewing, and at the same time spearhead the search for Alex Manez and the mysterious element that began the chain of events.
Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Every character I create borrows from some part of me, my life and experiences, or from someone I’ve known. It’s an interesting exercise to imagine average, everyday people in your life suddenly thrust into extreme circumstances, and extrapolate how they would handle that situation.
Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
My personal approach to writing a book has changed drastically with every new project. When I wrote my first novel, I flew by the seat of my pants, letting my imagination take me in whatever direction the story led me. While I had a lot of fun using this approach (and the novel will always be dear to me) the end product was less focused than it could have been. So I did some research, joined a writer’s group, and eventually adopted the outline method. While some detract from this method, citing that once you’ve completed the outline, your creativity suffers in the first draft, for me the opposite is the reality. Once I’m free from the bounds of figuring out what happens next, I can focus all my attention on characterization, character traits and quirks, conflicts, dialogue and world building.
Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
Absolutely. Most (not all) science fiction on the market today deals primarily with either near-future events, alternate realities, or far-future space opera. Forbidden The Stars is set seventy years from now in our own future as humankind is on the brink between the space age and the interstellar age.
Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
Michael Sanderson, CEO of Quantum Resources, is reconstructing the fatal accident in the asteroid belt which took the lives of two surveyors. They are trying to figure out why the asteroid completely disappeared, and speculating on the whereabout of the remains of the surveyors’ son, Alex Manez, who was also on the asteroid.
Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?
Dark, cold, silent, inhospitable.
Captain Justine Turner stood on the edge of the solar system. As captain of the Orcus 1, the historic honor fell to her.
It was another in a series of firsts for her; youngest female astronaut in NASA history; youngest person to get a captaincy of a space vessel; first human to set foot on the icy surface of Pluto.
She tried to think of something notable to say for the benefit of those on Earth who tracked their progress. Overcome with the tide of emotion, Justine could not think properly. The stale recycled air in her suit did not help clear her mind.
“Pluto,” she finally declared into her microphone. Swiveling her head to face the sun, a tiny glowing pinprick in the low horizon, she imagined she was speaking for the benefit of posterity.
“It’s been a two-hundred year journey to get here, since the dark planet’s existence was first theorized. Now, that dream is a reality. This occasion is a milestone in human history. From here, all that’s left is to conquer the stars.”
As she came over a rise, she shut her mouth tight with a clack that echoed insider her helmet. Below her, the science team and Helen gathered like acolytes around a divine statue.
Her eyes beheld a sight beyond anything she had ever imagined possible.
In a place where no human had ever before set foot, against the cold darkness of Pluto’s skyline, there was a monument the size of an aircraft hangar. The bulk of the structure resembled the nucleus of a complex atom.
Orbiting that nucleus, a number of spherical objects formed what looked like an electron cloud, hovering in the space around the monument without any visible tethers or supports.
An alien chill walked icy fingers up Justine’s spine.
Humankind was not alone in the universe…
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Valmore. We wish you much success!
Thank you for having me.
Forbidden The Stars is available at the following retailers: