Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Book Blitz/Interview:Brand New World by Maria Hammarblad
Little Blurb about yourself:
Maria Hammarblad is a Swedish export to Florida who today lives in the Tampa Bay area with her husband Mike and their rescue dogs. Most known for writing science fiction romance, she also writes screenplays and contemporary romance. Maria’s biggest interest besides writing is playing bass.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I can’t point to a specific moment – I’ve always had an urge to create books. I wanted to write before I could even read, and toddler Maria made books filled with crude drawings of suns. I’ve met many inspiring people since then, of course, but I don’t know what awoke the initial fascination.
2. How long did it take you to write Brand New World?
Brand New World is a novella, and I wrote the first version very quickly. It might have taken a couple of weeks. I recently made a complete re-write, because I wasn’t completely happy with it, and the re-write also took a couple of weeks. It’s the first novella in a series called Embarkment 2577, and I’m working on the second edition of the sequels now. The second book, High Gravity, is almost ready, and the third, Adam and Eve, should be done before the year is over.
3. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?
I usually have a pretty good idea of what will happen before I start to write, so the storyline itself doesn’t change too much. I still make several rewrites and go through the material many times. By the time it’s edited and done, I’m usually so tired of it I don’t want to see it for a couple of years, hahaha!
4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?
Fiction and the letter K – I always want to see if there might be something by Stephen King or Dean Koontz I haven’t read. I’m less fond of King’s books than I used to be, but I still like them. I love the way Koontz writes children and dogs. It’s the main reason I like his books.
5. How many books in a month do you tend to read?
That’s a difficult question… When I’m working on a writing project I’m too engulfed to care about the world around me. Everything that takes time away from the project is annoying and I don’t even want to go to my daytime job. Needless to say, not much reading takes place. In the periods in between, I can plow through two books in a day. Somewhere between zero and thirty.
6. In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?
In all the books I’ve read… Oh gosh, that’s a lot of books. The first one that comes to mind is Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, because he was my childhood hero. Adult me likes so many I don’t think I can pick just one.
7. State 5 random facts about yourself.
1. At one point in time, I wanted to be a truck driver, but my dad said no. I still think I would have made a great truck driver…
2. I have wide and weird feet and don’t like to wear shoes, because almost all shoes make them hurt. (Super random, hahaha!)
3. I love ice cream and have poor self-control around ice cream. It shows on my waist, LOL.
4. I don’t like phones. Or, rather, I like the physical gadget telephone, I just don’t like using them.
5. My favourite colour is blue.
8. Your favorite Genre?
Science fiction. Anything space.
9. What are you currently reading?
Lilac Hill by Christy Elkins. It’s quite spooky!
10. What is the best book you've read?
It’s so hard to pick just one, but I really like “Entering the Circle” by Olga Kharitidi. I also love Parallel, by Christy Elkins.
11. Any new projects coming up?
I just finished work on a complete re-write of “Brand New World” – it is a sci fi romance novella, the first in a series I call Embarkment 2577. It’s about a girl who wakes up in a foreign environment, surrounded by people so surreal she thinks they must be figments of her imagination. Turns out they are real, and she’s on a spaceship in the year 2577. Unfortunately, she has amnesia and has no idea how she ended up there. I first published the Embarkment novellas in 2010, but I was never completely happy with them, and I wanted to make them better. The re-write of the second book “High Gravity” is almost ready, and the third “Adam and Eve” should be done before the year is over.
I’m also working on a 2013 release with Desert Breeze Publishing. It’s called “Flashback” and is a contemporary romance/suspense. It’s scheduled for June so there’s still a lot of waiting-time left, but I’m excited about this book. Can I share the blurb?
Steve Petersen is a Very Troubled Man. Sole survivor of a Taliban POW camp he often thinks that only parts of him returned; his sanity appears to have been left behind. He seeks solace in alcohol and drugs, but nothing helps block the images from his mind for more than minutes at a time, and he is trapped in horrifying flashbacks.
He is more than surprised when he wakes up in a bright and merry bedroom that turns out to belong to the widow Anna, a woman he has rudimentary memories of meeting. Knowing he should leave isn’t the same thing as doing it, and before he knows what’s happening, he finds himself pulled into a world with real life problems, such as folding laundry, and what’s for dinner.
Whiskey is no longer his first priority, and not being alone in his waking nightmare is a relief. That is, until Anna disappears. Steve finds himself forced to return to Afghanistan, a place where he’ll have to face both external enemies and himself.
I was a real asset in a stressful situation: I slept through the computer coming back online. I woke from Adam stroking my hair and saying my name. It felt good. “Mmm, hi.”
“It’s a shame to wake you, but we need to go.”
“This is a very comfortable floor. You go save the day, and come back to get me when you’re done.”
He laughed softly. “I’ll find you a chair on the bridge that’s even more comfortable.”
“You’re not getting me coffee?”
“I wish I could. Here, put this on.”
He held out a peculiar visor to me. It resembled some futuristic scuba gear. “What? We’re going swimming?”
The man was the epitome of patience. When I didn’t take the visor, he put it on me. “We need to go to the bridge now, and you will need air on the way there.”
Wearing the breathing device was awkward, and the air had a peculiar taste. I could breathe though, so I didn’t complain.
He paused just inside the door to the corridor. “Stay right behind me, just in case. Are you ready?”
As ready as I’d ever be.
I squeezed my eyes shut when he opened the door to the corridor. No harm in delaying whatever horrors might await for a second or two, right? When I opened them again, Adam crouched next to three motionless bodies. “Are they… Are they dead?”
“They’ll be fine, but they’ll have wonderful headaches when they wake up. Come on.”
My plan didn’t seem all that great anymore. What about people who might be sick, or pregnant, or something. Would they die?
“Alex, I pumped in a mix of sevoflurane and nitrous oxide. They’ll be out for a while, but they’ll be fine.” His words woke me from my paralysis.
Strewn with bodies, the beautiful corridors turned into a nightmare. I kept trying to peek over my shoulder to see if a monster might be sneaking up on us, but the visor wouldn’t turn that far.
There was an unconscious Logg in the lift. I shifted my weight from foot to foot, unwilling to go in, and Adam pulled the furry body out.
“Do you think the others made it to the bridge before…?” My mental image of everyone falling to their deaths, put to sleep during the long climb was too horrendous.
He took my hand and led me into the elevator. “I think they picked up masks just like yours, and I think they’re waiting for us.”
Waiting? How could they be? We only had to climb eight floors, and they needed to go thirty-three. Oh no… “You didn’t let me sleep, did you?”
“Just for a little while.”
Great. The entire rescue operation stalled because I needed a nap.
Adam squeezed my fingers. “No matter what happens, it’ll be a long day.”
The top floor was almost empty. It would make sense to empty the ship from there down, and only a few stocky, furry bodies hindered our way. I stepped over one, hoping it wouldn’t wake up to grab my ankles.
Born in Sweden in the early 1970's, Maria showed a large interest for books at an early age. Even before she was able to read or write, she made her mom staple papers together into booklets she filled with drawings of suns and planets. She proudly declared them, "The Sun Book." They were all about the sun. She also claimed, to her mother's horror, that her being on Earth was a big mistake and that her alien family would come and bring her home at any moment. This never happened, but both the interest in space and the passion for bookmaking stayed with her.
As an adult Maria's creativity got an outlet through playing bass in a number of rock bands, and through writing technical manuals and making web pages for various companies and organizations. She did write drafts for a few novels, but the storytelling muse was mostly satisfied through role playing online on Myspace. It was here, while writing stories together with people from around the globe, she stumbled onto Mike. They started talking out of character, and she moved over to Florida to him late 2008. Today the two are married and live in the Tampa Bay area with three rescue dogs.
Besides writing and playing bass, Maria enjoys driving off-road, archery, and Tameshigiri.
Flashback, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing June 2013
Operation Earth, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing August 2013
Borealis XII, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing November 2013
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Chicken with cashew nuts
Doesn't eat: Mammals
Favorite TV Show: Star Trek TNG and Leverage
Favorite animal: Border Collie
Quotes: "Full Speed Ahead" and "Caffeine is good for you"
Where you can find author Maria Hammarblad:
Book Trailer on YouTube
Other: I have a free read, Courage and Retribution, available on