Avery Rendon is weeks away from realizing her dream as a Commonwealth fighter pilot when planetary politics intervene. Reluctantly, she returns to her home planet of Asria, still hoping to break free of her controlling family and their faith. Not much has changed on Asria though, and after her almost-fiancé walks out on her, she’s not sure life can get much worse.
She’s wrong. When the Haederan Empire invades Asria, intent on rebuilding their interstellar domain, Avery becomes a target. She also becomes something else—a Commonwealth intelligence operative. It’s not long before she stumbles upon information that could change the course of the war, and suddenly she’s on the run, forced to confront her fear of death and her lingering doubts about her faith’s teachings.
Swept up in something more dangerous than politics or flying, Avery begins to wonder if her destiny lies somewhere closer to home. If those old beliefs are worth clinging to. And if she’ll live to see the end of it all.
About the Author:
Anne Wheeler grew up with her nose in a book but earned two degrees in aviation before it occurred to her she was allowed to write her own. Fascinated with space travel from an early age, speculative fiction was a natural fit. When not working, moving, or writing her next novel, she can be found planning her next escape to the desert. A military spouse, she lives in Georgia with her husband, son, and herd of cats.
This week I was able to do an interview with Anne. I hope you enjoy.
Who is your writer role model? And if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
Probably C.S. Lewis. He taught me that you can combine fantasy and faith, and I’d tell him I’m truly grateful for that lesson.
What was your favorite thing about writing Asrian Skies?
Creating the very basics of the characters, then letting them run wild. It was so fun to see where they took themselves. I don’t plot, so they continually surprised me with their development and where they took the story.
What was your least favorite thing to write?
The entire first draft. I’m not a first draft person. I love filling in details and choosing just the right word for the sentence, so rushing through the plot details just to get something down on paper just isn’t much fun for me.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I work full time, with regular working hours, so writing usually comes on my lunch break or after my son goes to bed. I won’t lie–it’s pretty much like having two jobs, and it’s exhausting.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure how interesting it is, but I can’t write on anything other than my laptop. Not a phone, not a tablet, not n a notebook. I can make quick notes on my phone, but I can only type fast enough to keep up with my brain on an actual computer.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Travel and spend time with my family. Preferably doing both at the same time.
What does your family think of your writing?
I think they thought it was a pretty random hobby for me to pick up (I’d never written fiction before last summer), but they enjoy my books. I’ll take that!
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That most of finishing a novel isn’t about skill – it’s about determination.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
Two are complete. I’ll always love Asrian Skies because it was my first, but I love its sequel even more. The characters became even more vivid as I discovered more of their backstories, and my writing became less timid – I wrote exactly what I wanted to write, nothing more, nothing less.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Don’t listen to the rules. Learn them, yes, but if they don’t work for you, discard them and get your book done your way. You know what you need more than anyone else.
What do you think makes a good story?
For me, well-rounded characters. I don’t care much about worldbuilding, and even plot can fall by the wayside some as long as your characters keep me entertained and reading.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut. Clearly, that didn’t happen, so now I just write about them.