Sci-Fi Thriller with Abby Smith
Welcome back, friends.
January is almost over, but we still have a few days left before we turn the calendar. This month guest blog I will interview a young writer who released her first debut sci-fi novel Mutants. Before we meet the author and ask her couple questions, I want to share my thoughts on her novel. I rarely read sci-fi books. I’ve watched movies, but it wasn’t something I was into. However, in the past year I have read couple novels such as Brightly Burning (a retelling of Jane Eyre) by Alexa Donna, A Wrinkle in Time, and Mutants. I have to say they are all interesting and fun to read.
Now, with Mutants, I got the ebook around Christmas and read it in couple weeks. I like how she brought the characters alive and their abilities. Yet, there were moments I felt awful sorry because the kids don’t deserve to be like prisoners, and have their memories wiped away. I will give this book five stars. She did a good job with the characters and conflicts. I wanted to know more and can’t wait to read the next book.
And now let’s welcome Abby Smith.
Hello, Abby. Can you tell us about yourself?
Abby: “I live in Arizona and hope to stay here for a long time. My favorite thing about Arizona is the breathtaking sunsets. Besides writing, I also love to draw and play my piano or guitar. I’m a Christian and hope to use writing to honor God. I also have a German Shepherd puppy who is always running circles around me!”
That’s cool. I know a close friend of mine used to live in Arizona. Hahaha, nice your puppy running around with you. We have two Fox terriers always racing around the kitchen floor. They have high energy. And they always want to play and have fun with the owner.
How old were you when you started writing?
Abby: “I started writing when I was about nine years old. I wrote this little series about magic wolves—although, the books were about five pages and remained unfinished. I didn’t really start taking writing seriously until 2019—when I wrote the first draft of Mutants.”
Nice. That’s how I started when I began writing. Short stories are a great way to grow and find your style. It is okay if some are unfinished. You’re not the only one with that similar situation. And that is great you complete your draft of Mutants in 2019!
When was your first story you ever wrote long before you wrote Mutants?
Abby: “The first completed story I wrote was about this girl who tried to take care of her aunt’s sick pony. But because all my stories had an unnatural element, my nine-year-old self decided to throw in a ghost who haunted the stables. It was definitely a strange story, and I’m glad anyone else will never read it.”
Ah, I understand the feeling. Some stories are ready to share to the world and some aren’t.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Abby: “I love to draw and play musical instruments. I also enjoy playing video games. My favorites are The Last of Us, Uncharted, and Days Gone.”
I read Mutants; I noticed the chord of the story is about family, risking their lives in a dangerous world, friendship, and loss. Can you tell us why you want to write about those things?
Abby: “I love writing about family themes because I feel like often, teen books rarely touch on those topics—especially sci-fi books. Family is so important to me, and I wanted to portray that even when our families make mistakes, they still love us and want to protect us. I also wanted to touch on the fact that family doesn’t have to be who you’re related to—our closest friends often feel like part of our family. Loss was hard for me to write about—having experienced nothing like what happened to Alexa and her friends—but I felt like it was still important to write about how to deal with loss in a healthy way. (More of that in book 2).”
You know what is funny; I have a similar situation as yours. In my manuscript, I have characters dealing with those things too. Yes, I can understand there are some things such as loss can be hard to write. And yes, I agree. There are ways to cope with loss in a healthy way.
What inspired you to create these series? You mention on Instagram story that you had a dream that inspired you to write this? How did it begin?
Abby: “I did in fact have a dream about the first chapter in Mutants. It was a nightmare about being dissected alive; it terrified me. My inspiration for the series probably came from a mix of superhero movies I’d watched, and the post-apocalyptic worlds of books I had read around that time.”
What is your most struggle in writing sci-fi novels?
Abby: “I’d say my biggest struggle with writing sci-fi books is keeping it believable. There are so many aspects of the genre that seem impossible, but making sure the story is not too outlandish is a big part of creating a successful sci-fi world. I also struggle with romance scenes—since romance isn’t something I particularly enjoy in books.”
I believe you. It's challenging to do something you rarely write...like romance. I don’t write romance stories either, but I don’t mind do some. It depends how much you want to add and such. From what I read, you did a good job adding chemistry between Jason and Alexa.
Who is your favorite character? And were any characters you had difficulty creating?
Abby: “My favorite character in Mutants is Benny, or Jason. I love Benny’s sass, but Jason is also just so much fun to write about. Dr. Clarkson was probably the hardest to write. I wanted to create a villain who was undeniably evil, but also had moments that showcased his humanity.”
I understand. I hope Alexa’s grandfather gets redemption and realizes what he has done was wrong and hopefully he will do the right thing.
Are there more of Mutants stories to come?
Abby: “Yes! Book 2 is on the way—hopefully arriving on Amazon in September. There will be some new faces too.”
What is your advice on writing sci-fi?
Abby: “There’s no limit to what you can do with sci-fi. Discover what makes your story unique, then highlight it. But don’t forget to explain why the things in your story could be possible—your readers will remember that long after they finish the book.”
Thank you for joining us. I had a pleasant time listening to you sharing your writing journey with us.
Abby: “Thank you for putting together this interview. It was a lot of fun.”