Thursday, May 1, 2014

Meet Jael Wye, author of 'Ladder to the Red Star (Once Upon a Red World)'

What was the inspiration behind this book?
The inspiration to Ladder to the Red Star is the classic tale of Jack and the beanstalk, with the motifs, characters, and storyline translated into a science fiction romance setting. Each novel in my Once Upon a Red World series retells a different fairy tale set in a Solar system three hundred years in the future. And though each book in the series can stand alone, it is also a part of overarching plot that will span several volumes.
Which character spoke to you the most during the writing process?
I always have a soft spot for the heroes in my books. Jacques, the hero of Ladder to the Red Star, is so strong and brave and so determined to hide his pain behind a dazzling smile, he just melts me. His creed, doing whatever it takes to protect the people he cares about, may be morally ambiguous but it commands respect. Add in his utter devotion to the heroine, Devi, and he becomes one of my all-time favorite characters.
What is one of your favorite scenes?
The scene between Devi and Jacques in the garden level of the space station, when the feelings between them begin to take root, is one of my favorites because of the subtle yet intense emotion it evokes. Other scenes are action packed or sexy, but this scene is a favorite because it’s a stolen moment of communion between the lovers before danger closes in on them again.
Will we see these characters again?
Jacques and Devi will play small but crucial parts in at least two more books in the Once Upon a Red World series. Their adventures in the Sol aren’t over yet!
What kind of research did you have to do?
Unlike some of the more fantastic scifi worlds featuring unobtainium and so on, I decided that the technology in my Solar system of the future would be a plausible extrapolation of scientific principles as we understand them today. To keep to the limits of plausibility, I needed to do a lot of research on space stations and the space elevator, on medical technology, and on underwater technology, like submarines and underwater habitats. Most of the tech I write about could actually be built, and may exist in reality sometime in the next few centuries.
On what other projects are you working?
Right now, I’m writing the sequel to “Ladder to the Red Star”. This one is based on the tale of Patient Griselda, and will tell the story of Devi’s estranged parents, Max and Sita as they are waylaid on their journey back home to Mars.
What draws you to science fiction as a writer?
I like to write science fiction because it gives me the opportunity to explore the fascinating possibilities technology and science will create in the future, and what that will mean for humanity—how our culture, and even our bodies might change, and how we might stay the same. And I get to write fight scenes and love scenes in space!
What do you think draws readers to science fiction?
I think much of the appeal is simply the adventure of exploring a thrilling and original imaginary world. Speculation about alien people, whether they are enemies or love interests, is also a strong draw of the genre. I certainly enjoy writing about the spectacular scenery and gadgetry on Mars, and about sexy Martians, of course.
What makes for a successful sci/fi read?
A fascinating concept and an exciting plot are essential ingredients, but what really hooks a reader into a scifi book is the characters. Magnificent alien scenery is great, but without fully realized people to inhabit it, there is no way for a reader to viscerally experience their world, or care about the dangers that may threaten it. Character is the key to any novel. Always has been, always will be.
What are some of your greatest influences in the sci/fi world?
Kim Stanley Robinson’s rock solid take on space, technology, and Mars in the near future is my greatest influence, but Ursula K. LeGuin and Larry Niven’s various ideas about how human cultures and bodies might change in alien environments also contributed a lot to my writing.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I have invented a secret method for communicating with houseplants. They’re actually more boring than you’d think.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for having me here today. I would just like to add that the Force will be with you, always.

Ladder to the Red Star
by Jael Wye



Once upon a ruined Earth 300 years in the future...

Jacques Tallinn, biotech smuggler and thief, is after the cure for a brain disorder he's suffered since childhood--a disorder inflicted by a powerful tyrant. To get the cure, Jacques will need to climb the space elevator to the new Zenith space station hovering above Earth and go undercover in the lab where it's produced.

Martian head tech Devi Chandra is immediately intrigued by her sexy new lab assistant. Though she insists on keeping things professional, she finds herself charmed by Jacques. Until he betrays her trust, kidnapping her and spiriting her off to Earth.

All Jacques needed to do was steal the biotech and get back home. But when things go wrong, he can't bring himself to leave Devi behind. Now she's injured and a simple caper has become an intergalactic cause, endangering his life and the lives of millions of others. But the hardest part? Winning back Devi's trust.

Read an excerpt:
Dev knew men, knew them in and out, from their social affectations down to their cellular structures, and she knew something was wrong with this particular man. The cold watchfulness in his eyes, the overly careful positioning of his body nagged at her, told her not to be deceived by his apparent beauty and virility.

Even with Enrique Kurtz, she thought with a slight shudder, she was a woman confronted by a man. But with James, she was a woman confronted by an enigma. And that made her all the more curious about him.

Naturally, she had looked up all his Delpin-Kurtz records the second his back was turned, but nothing in them gave her any clues to this mystery. James’s biography told of a modestly successful career and an uneventful life.

But then, there was the look on his face when he stared down at Kurtz in the lab, the raw hatred he so quickly and carefully hid. That look, his body language, the scars on his arms…put it together, and it told a completely different story. But what was it?

And how would a midlevel med tech know a way to send secret communications to her mother?

There were deep and dangerous currents running beneath the surface of this situation, and Dev was helpless not to want to test them.

She stopped a few paces away from him. Without turning, he said, “I wondered if you were coming.”

She smiled. “How could I not? We made an agreement.”

He turned toward her then, and the hungry, desperate look in his eyes, combined with the uncertain grasp of his fingers on the railing, told Dev that she was caught, like she had never been caught before.

Book links

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jael Wye grew up on the American Great Plains, went to school in the Midwest, and now lives in beautiful New England with her family and her enormous collection of houseplants. For more of Jael’s unique blend of futurism and fairy tale, don’t miss her ongoing series Once Upon A Red World.


Website --
Facebook --
Twitter -- @jaelwye

Jael will be awarding a digital copy of Ice Red to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

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