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Interview: author of “Break Out” Nina Croft

Submitted by on July 5, 2011 – 12:00 pm9 Comments

The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, man has fled to the stars, and there, they have finally discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, it’s exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class had evolved—the Collective—super rich and immortal, they rule the universe. 

Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, has never been able to resist either a gorgeous woman or an impossible job. So when beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico finds he can’t refuse.

Q: Where did the inspiration for Break Out stem from?

I’ve always loved space operas ever since falling in love with Han Solo at an impressionable age. Recently, I’ve been watching Joss Whedon’s Firefly and loving it. They were the main inspiration for Break Out, which is primarily a space opera, though there are a few other genres mixed in there as well.

Q: Do you have a favorite character-who did you enjoy writing the most…or the least?

Rico, or Ricardo Sanchez, the hero of Break Out is probably my favourite character so far. Rico is a space pirate and a vampire. He’s absolutely gorgeous and sexy as hell and he was an absolute blast to write.

Q: As fans of the book, we were wondering if you had any mental images of your characters and who you saw as your characters?

I often spend ages before I start, sifting through the internet for pictures of my characters so I can fix them in my mind. But for Rico and Skylar, the hero and heroine of Break Out, I didn’t need to do that as I could see them both clearly right from the start. Rico is Spanish and he’s gorgeous. So close your eyes and picture the most stunning, tall, dark handsome Mediterranean type you can imagine.

Q: Was there a particular scene or part of the book that was more challenging to write, if so can you explain?

I find writing fight scenes challenging. Probably because I haven’t been in that many fights myself (and haven’t been able to persuade myself to get out there and do some actual research). And there’s a good bit of fighting that goes on in Break Out – space ship fights, hand to hand, as well as a lot of laser pistols blasting everywhere.
I find fight scenes a little like love scenes to write – you have to keep stopping to check your characters aren’t actually doing the physically impossible.

Q: You have a really unique marriage of Science Fiction and paranormal elements in your story, what research if any have you done to get the details right?

I try to avoid writing things that need a lot of research as I end up getting caught up in it and going off at tangents. For Break Out I spent a lot of time looking a space sites – there are some really cool interactive ones, that take you into space and show you what things like black holes look like. I’ve always been fascinated by space, so it was great.
I don’t even try to get into technical stuff like how engines work and so on, as I’m pretty much a technophobe and don’t really understand how technology works today never mind in the future. With those aspects I try to give a flavour of what the changes might be, without going into too many details.
I don’t find the paranormal aspects need much research, maybe because I’ve read so much about them over the tears that I now just have to decide on the rules for my particular world.

Q: Who has had the biggest influence on you and your writing? (Was there a teacher or relative that encouraged you or something else?)

My mother probably. She never encouraged me to write, but she did to read. I’ll always remember her with a book in her hand. And I think a love of reading is what makes people want to write initially (then it becomes one of those habits you just can’t break!)

Q: So, what’s next on your “to-do” list? We know you are busy promoting your new book but are there any new works in progress we can be anticipating?;)

I have a full length novel coming out with Entangled in October – Bittersweet Blood a paranormal romance with another really sexy vampire.
And I’ve just finished writing book 2 in the Blood Hunter series and will be working on editing that. Rico and Skylar are there again, but each book in the series will be a stand alone romance and focus on a different member of the crew of El Cazador. The hero of book 2 is Jon, the prisoner they freed in Break Out, and Jon is a … no that would be telling.

Q: With the Summer season in full force many people will be traveling and reading, (this is a great book for that BTW) will you get a chance to catch up on some reading, and what book/books are on your “to- be- read” pile?

I’ve found the last year I’ve been reading less and writing more. I’m hoping to get some sort of balance with that as I love reading and tend to get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t get my regular fix. As to what I want to read I have a huge list but here’s some of them…
I just read Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I would love to read the rest of the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series (and there’s a lot of it). I’m also up to Book 4 in J.D. Robb’s ‘in death series’ and plan on reading the rest of those as soon as possible..

Q: You have some really amazing characters of your own, but who are some of your favorite characters of fiction? Heroes, heroines, villains…?

I loved Daemon Sadi from Anne Bishop’s Black jewel trilogy – he was so deliciously bad. Henry de Tamble from The Time Traveler’s Wife, all of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, and most recently, Jericho Barrons from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series.
I love kick ass heroines – Anita Blake and Mercy Thompson are two that come instantly to mind.

Q: For many people shoes, TV or specific genres of books are their guilty pleasures, what is yours?

I used to absolutely love shoes – the higher the better. But I live on a mountain now, if I stepped outside in heels, I’d probably break my neck – I stick to riding boots and flip flops these days.
But I’ve always thought of reading as my really bad habit – not because I believe it to be intrinsically evil or anything, but just because it always takes precedence over things that other people might think more important – like house work!

Q: Is there one thing you would like people to know about you or your books that somehow never comes up? Perhaps, how did you get to be so awesomely cool?;-)

I actually started writing my first novel back in my twenties when I worked as a volunteer in Africa. We lived in a village on the banks of Lake Kariba in Zambia. We had no electricity, no TV, no internet and a very limited supply of books (my lovely mother would send me a book parcel every so often). I did have a laptop (a very big one – we’re going back a few years here) and I started writing as a way of entertaining myself. That book became my very first rejection many years later.

Dolls: Thank you so much for answering our questions! We are super thrilled to have you on Paperback Dolls. Best of Luck to you!

Thank you for having me!

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina shares the farm with a husband, three dogs, four cats, a horse, two goats and a handful of chickens. It’s a perfect place to indulge her two great passions, reading and writing.

Nina’s writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction. .

Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
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  • Danielle says:

    Great interview Nina! Break Out sounds like a fun read!:)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Diane says:

    I always enjoy a good vampire story though haven't read a futuristic one yet!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Eowyn says:

    Thanks for the interview. I can imagine a dreamy Han Solo vampire out there. I will have to add this book to my list.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Nina Croft says:

    Thanks Danielle!
    Diane – if you haven't tried it yet you have to give it a go!
    Hope you enjoy, Eowyn.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Day says:

    I agree with the above comments… this sounds really fun and interesting!

    Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and happy release to you!

    Best of luck!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Noa says:

    Hans Solo *Sigh*

    Thank you so much for the interview – the book sounds intriguing ;)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Mona Leigh says:

    I'd never thought of putting space and vampires together, but you've made it work! Thanks.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Mona Leigh says:

    I'd never thought of putting space and vampires together, but you've made it work! Thanks.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Beverly says:

    Just finished this one – LOVED it! Can't wait for more from Nina. Nice interview – thanks for sharing. Stop by The Wormhole – I have reviewed Break Out and am participating in the blog tour!

    Reply to this comment »