Thursday, September 11, 2014

Guest Post: Deviation, a Scifi book by A.J. Maguire

Wow - this cover is amazing!

Hey Blog readers - this is Lisa. Today I am thrilled to host writer, friend, and all around awesome person, A.J. (Aimee) Maguire. Aimee and I have been reading one another's work for crit for years now and it's been a real pleasure seeing her work get out into the world.

I had the privilege of beta reading Deviation, at an earlier phase of its development, and I'm very excited to read it now that it's complete. The story deals with issues of gender politics in a way that should be more prevalent in SF, but isn't. And yet Aimee managed to write a story that isn't a polemic against the patriarchy, but a thought provoking adventure in a unique SF world. In today's guest post, she talks a little about how she did that. 

Welcome, Aimee, and thank you for writing this guest piece for the blog.

Treading the Line

My new release Deviation just received its first review and one of the comments that the reviewer made was that the “philosophical and scientific topics” I explore in the book could have easily become a soap-box. To my relief, the reviewer expressed that there was no soap-box apparent in the book and that I had managed to convey this world without coming down on either side of things too heavy-handed. 

I admit that I was terrified I was going to press some “hot buttons” with Deviation. The world I created was very male-dominated, had women tightly subjugated and in robes – not to mention scarce – and had the potential to aggravate someone into thinking I was making some political statement. 

And who knows, maybe I’ll get a Reader out there who decides that’s just what I did and makes a big hullaballoo about it.

For right now, I’m going to rest assured that at least one reader/reviewer didn’t see it that way. I know there are some books out there whose sole intent is to make some kind of point like that, but I’m not that kind of writer.

So how does an author convey a realistic world without appearing to show their own biases, especially if they know that the subject matter is sensitive?

Well … 

I’ll tell you what I did, but it’s sort of a non-answer. 

I concentrated on the characters on the page. My story isn’t about the politics of the world I created, or the science that peppers the pages; it’s about the characters. 

Specifically, it’s about two women who are taken from their home and their desperate struggle to get back. Yes, the politics block their way sometimes (or most of the time, as it were) but the focus isn’t so much on how or why those politics got there. Rather, the focus is on the character’s reactions to being stuck. 

If you’re one of those writers who likes to make political satires or use their work as a means to expose the world as we know it, then more power to you. I have nothing against that, I just don’t write that way.
I’m talking to the other writers out there, the ones who find themselves in the nail-biting position I was in while writing Deviation. Concentrate on your characters and how they react to the world and everything should fall into place. 

Thanks, Aimee! If you have any questions for her about this, any of her other books, or anything else about Deviation, please ask away in comments.

A.J. (Aimee Jean) Maguire
A.J. Maguire is a consumer of stories. She thoroughly believes that stories are the bedrock of humanity, and that the answer to every question in life can be found in the tales that we tell. She also believes that spiders are the spawn of Satan and that her cat might just be the reincarnation of Dionysus.

If, of course, a Greek god were capable of being reincarnated.

Her writing runs the gamut between science fiction, fantasy, and (soon-to-be) historical fiction. She even has a semi-horror/ghost story in the works that she intends to release as a serialized novel during the Fall of 2014. Maguire focuses on complex female protagonists who are capable of laughter even amid tragedy, or sometimes in spite of tragedy.

Maguire is passionate about her craft and constantly working to improve. She'll probably keep telling stories long into her old age (which is still several decades off) and believes that being an author is the single greatest, most wonderful gift she has been given -- apart from her son. She looks forward to every story and hopes to release many more novels in the years to come.

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