Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release, The Silvers. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card!
Usually I have trouble identifying specific influences for my novels. I feel like most of my projects are just hodgepodges of my own experiences, my reading history, things I’ve seen people do or heard them say, etc.
But The Silvers definitely had some literary inspirations that helped me figure out what story to tell and how. So here’s a shout out to three books that helped The Silvers come into being:
Room, Emma Donaghue. I read it the day it came out in 2010, and it was so beautiful and compelling and just…gah. And it really got me thinking about what human society looks like from the perspective of someone who’s never participated in it. I didn’t want Imms’s perspective to be childlike per se, but I did want to capture his wonder and confusion when he’s brought into B’s world. The way he sometimes misses elements of home that B doesn’t think he should miss, but also finds the beauty in aspects of Earth that B has long since forgotten how to appreciate.
Dream Boy, Jim Grimsley. Jim Grimsley has a beautifully simple prose style that I admire like crazy. He can be very poetic, but his books are typically short and stark, with splashes of the most gorgeous color. Dream Boy in particular made me think a lot about the ways we often fail to protect the people we should protect—a theme that became integral to The Silvers.
Among Others, Jo Walton. The Silvers made me nervous, because while I was writing it, I was thinking about maybe someday trying to publish it. And I had no idea how I’d pitch it. Whether I needed to go back and make it more SF-ish, or strengthen the love story, or scrap the whole thing and write something else. Among Others, in addition to being an awesome read in general, reassured me that I didn’t have to try to shoehorn my book into a specific genre. AO is grounded in reality, yet with a dreamlike loveliness and elements of SF and fantasy that illuminate and enhance what’s ultimately a story about family.
I highly recommend checking these books out if you haven’t already!
About The Silvers
What humans want from the Silver Planet is water. What they find is a race of humanoids who are sentient, but as emotionless and serene as the plants and placid lakes they tend.
B, captain of the mission, doesn’t believe that the “Silvers” are intelligent, and lets his crew experiment on them. But then he bonds with Imms, who seems different from the others—interested in learning, intrigued by human feelings. And B realizes that capturing, studying, and killing this planet’s natives has done incalculable damage.
When a fire aboard B’s ship kills most of the crew and endangers Imms, B decides to take him back to Earth. But the simplicity of the Silver Planet doesn’t follow them. Imms learns the full spectrum of human emotions, including a love B is frightened to return, and a mistrust of the bureaucracy that wants to treat Imms like a test subject, even if they have to eliminate B to do it.
About the Author
J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take the Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All The World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
· Website: www.jarockauthor.com
· Blog: http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com
· Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarockauthor
· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39
To celebrate the release of The Silvers, J.A. Rock is giving away $15 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!