Today I take a trip to the blog of author peer, Seventh Star Press buddy and world-sharing creator Eric Garrison to offer up an extensive talk on Virtual Blue and other subjects. Here’s a preview:
I am thrilled to present this interview with my friend, author RJ Sullivan! RJ and I met a couple of years ago at a writer’s retreat, where we quickly discovered bizarre parallels between our writing. So much so that it led to a shared universe agreement between us where we borrow each other’s characters and events as it fits our stories.
His most recent publication was the dark and sexy Haunting Obsession, but before that was his ghostly thriller, Haunting Blue. Now, he’s coming out with a follow-up to Haunting Blue through Seventh Star Press called Virtual Blue. I’ve had the privilege of being one of his early readers as he’s written the book. It is a fantastic story, and I can’t wait to see it in print in its final form.
Virtual Blue picks up where Haunting Blue left off, finding Blue, aka Fiona Schafer, in college, the events of the previous adventure weighing heavily upon her, when a new and even more bizarre challenge confronts her and her boyfriend Chip. Though the title gives some hint at spoilers, I’ll leave that for RJ to tell.
RJ, it seems to me you’ve crossed genre lines here with Virtual Blue. Where Haunting Blue was pure ghost story, Virtual Blue is something quite different. Could you please explain how you view this blend of science fiction and dark paranormal fantasy?
Both my publishers call me a paranormal thriller author. Narrowing that down, I’ve written two ghost stories. I really had little more to say about ghosts. I looked at other paranormal tropes and demons seemed that step-up intensity that best fit Blue’s world. At the same time, in Haunting Blue I explored a punk girl’s street savvy becoming the deciding factor in a battle with a vengeful ghost. Her boyfriend, Chip, is the weak one, and he plays the dubious part of the person in need of rescue.
Having brought in demons with Rebecca Burton already in a short story (Inner Strength) and knowing I wanted to introduce Burton to Blue, I realized I could do taking Blue out of her element–the streets– and into Chip’s, in a cyber battle that gives him advantages and throws her off her game. So I put all that into a blender and came up with the demon worshippers who conjure techno-magic.
Magic and technology are often shown as contrasts, opposites, in speculative fiction. You bring the two together in a way that feels believable. What works did you look to for inspiration? Can you come up with an “A meets B” mashup that sums up your story?