I have a confession to make. It’s not one I share with just anyone, but I know L.G. will understand. But—shh—please don’t tell. I’m an addict. Whew. I said it. My addiction consumes me, my time, and, worse, my money. My husband guesses but isn’t sure. In fact, he unknowingly contributes to my addictions. Oh, yes, plural. No mistake there.
I’m addicted to <deep breath> books. I have been since I was a child. When my girlfriends were buying make-up, my babysitting money went to buy books. I crave them the way an alcoholic craves booze. I devour them at night before I go to sleep. I sneak them in during the day when I should be writing my own books. At least, when my books sell, I have money to buy more.
Oh, the shame of it. Worse, I’ve lured my grandchildren into the addiction. The oldest (9) would rather read than play and often falls asleep with her Kindle on her chest. The middle one (6.75) taught himself to read before kindergarten because he felt left out. The youngest? She’s barely 18 months and must have a book before bedtime.
As bad as that addiction is, movies are worse. While books are a solitary addiction, movies involve complicity. Hubs even encourages it by going to movies with me and—gasp—buys DVDs so I can consume them over and over.
At daughter’s house, they have to read the book before watching the movie. Dear heavens, what is she teaching her children? Two addictions! The horror of it. We are a family of addicts. What have I done!
I can’t blame my parents. We would be considered poor by today’s standards. Seven children. Money for necessities only. Books were a luxury. The library was too far away to walk. One car that Dad used to for work. And the bookmobile only came to our school once a month. The bright spot, though, is Mom had a few books from her childhood, and Grandma sent books for birthdays and Christmas. My addiction grew slowly. I would hide in the only bathroom to read until somebody pounded on the door that they had to go.
So maybe I should blame my parents. If I’d had a healthy amount of books when I was young, maybe I wouldn’t crave them so much now.
Movies, too, were rare. We’d pile into the station wagon and go to the drive-in. We’d even make an enormous amount of popcorn to bring with us along with water to drink. Soda/pop was too expensive and another rare treat.
While Hubs isn’t a movie addict like me, he does like to watch them, too. In fact, on one of our first dates, he took me to the drive-in. A James Bond flick. A common theme is action/adventure. Another is science fiction. Those feed into what I write. Thank goodness for an enabling spouse.
Where do you think I got one of the ideas for my latest release, Mission to New Earth? Books and movies. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope started my fascination with sci-fi. Star Trek added to it. The endless possibilities. From Avatar, Interstellar, and Oblivion, I got the idea of putting my characters into cryosleep for the long journey to their Goldilocks planet. From authors like Jayne Castle, Veronica Scott, Linnea Sinclair, and Susan Grant, I learned I could combine sci-fi with romance. From Linda Howard, Tom Clancy (early books) and Nelson DeMille, I learned how to build tension and keep the reader turning the page. And from Janet Evanovich and Christie Craig, humor. And from many more authors, I learned about entertaining the reader.
So there you have it. My addictions are now out.
Note to readers: Real addiction is a serious problem. I hope you aren’t offended by my irreverent account.
Mission to New Earth: a novella
By Diane Burton
Genre: science fiction romance
Release date: August 31, 2016
Length: 88 pages (25k words)
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Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?
In 2172, Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four.
Three teams, including Sara Grenard and her team, prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.
From the pictures sent back by the probe of the Earth-like planet we named Serenity, our new home would look as natural as Earth itself. I wanted so badly to believe the reports that the surface would have breathable air, that we would be able to walk outside without our enviro suits, that we could live there as we lived on Earth. After two years in an enclosed environment, I was going a little stir-crazy. More than a little. Being an outdoor girl, cabin fever had hit me a lot sooner than the others. Rather, I used to be an outdoor girl.
So how did a California beach girl like me end up on Saturn’s moon, preparing to make history? It was a long story, best reserved for a starlit night in front of a campfire overlooking the dark waters of the sea, and accompanied by a cool glass of wine. With Marsh, of course. Even he didn’t know my whole story. Just like I didn’t know his.
The short version: I volunteered. Slightly longer version: my parents died in a car accident; teaching bratty kids sucked, especially when a kid eight inches taller and a hundred pounds heavier attacked me, and the principal didn’t support me. Believe me, I was ready for a change.
And what a change.
I never imagined I’d be selected. Not when over fifty thousand applied within ten hours. Or so I heard. Out of five hundred thousand applicants, the eighteen of us became the chosen teams. Oh, not as easy as that. The tests they put us through—physical, psychological, intellectual—still boggled my mind.
And I used to think teaching high school kids with more money than smarts was a challenge. Nothing prepared me for the adventure of a lifetime.
Being a pioneer.
About the Author:
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com
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Amazon author page: http://amzn.com/e/B00683MH5E
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