I’m so excited to have fellow #2020debuts and writer friend Sara Bond on the blog today! We’ve bonded over our love of MLS soccer, Firefly, and our former ties to academia. Sara’s debut Gravity’s Heir hits the shelves on FEB 6th and I can’t wait for people to read it. I was fortunate to get my hands on an ARC and can honestly say I haven’t felt my heart race like that while reading in a long time. Here’s a link to my Goodreads review: http://bit.ly/31bdePy.
I hope you enjoy getting to know more about this talented author and her exciting debut!
Thanks so much for taking part, Sara, and congratulations on your release!
AK: Tell us a little about yourself.
SB: I am a completely unabashed nerd in so many ways (to my children’s unironic delight). I love and read everything, and I’m constantly wanting to learn more about nearly every subject I encounter. That’s probably why in college I went on to have two majors and four minors, and those are only the ones I took the time to declare. I then went on to study political theory in grad school, only to be poached from the politics department to the philosophy school. When I realized I’d have to start my studies over again from scratch, I realized the degree didn’t’ matter to me as much as the writing did. So, I left my PhD, went to work in politics, and started freelance writing. My path was circuitous, and derailed by raising a young family, but now I finally feel like I’m where I belong: I’m writing about the same questions and fascinations that have driven me my whole life—what makes a people? Why do people believe what they believe? What drives people to make the decisions they do?—but I’m exploring them through fiction instead of through data.
AK: What’s the premise of your book?
SB: Gravity’s Heir is about Lena Lomasky, the great-granddaughter of the scientist who developed artificial gravity. She’s been cast out from her family after a terrible accident and is taking any transport job she can with her newly found family and crew. She takes a politically risky job, but it turns out far more dangerous when she discovers she’s smuggling plans for a gravity bomb, developed by the very father who threw her out. As a war erupts around her and she finds herself and her crew the targets of everyone who wants those plans, Lena has to make a decision. Does she risk her crew and go crawling home to her father in the hopes that he can help her and possibly end the war, or does she leverage the plans and risk her family’s legacy to possibly save the only people who matter to her?
AK: What inspired you to write it?
SB: I’m a huge Browncoat. That means I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon’s short-lived space opera television show Firefly. I wanted to read more stories like his ensemble western space opera, and ultimately tried to write something like it. However, as a modern Southerner, I have little nostalgia for the Civil War. I tied my own story to a model of World War I, studied some quantum mechanics, and built a world and story from there. I really wanted it to be a deeply human story about trauma, loss, legacy, and war, packaged as a fast-paced family drama in space. It’s (hopefully) what I think space opera should always be: deeper themes packaged in high octane action that will keep you turning the pages.
AK: What are you most looking forward to this debut year? And conversely, what are you most nervous about?
SB: Some things I was looking forward to have already happened: I got to hold my book in my hands, got to see someone’s face light up when they read it (and conversely get really angry when characters they liked got hurt). I’ve found an entire community of other debut authors, and I’m so so excited to celebrate their successes throughout our careers. I’m in this for the long haul, and I’m so glad to have made friends who I can stand beside for years to come as we tell our stories.
I’m still nervous that people will hate my book and think it disgraceful that I got it published, because I clearly don’t deserve any of this. And I’m sure someone will. I’m learning that not every book is for every reader, and there will surely be someone out there who hates my book. I just hope they don’t tell me about it!
AK: What authors do you admire and/or have influenced your development as a writer? Please feel free to add specific books, we love recommendations!
SB: I adore Alice Hoffman. She writes such beautiful and raw stories that are both magical and grounded in daily life. I love her characters, but also her very subtle way of building story around you. It’s almost like you don’t realize what’s happening before you’re so immersed in the plot you can’t even think of putting the book down. I love the brilliant women of sci-fi and fantasy: Jacqueline Carey, NK Jemisin, Cat Valente, Seanan Maguire, Rachel Caine, Ann Aguire, Patricia Briggs, Mary Robinette Kowal. I read books by these women, and I am utterly transported. There’s room for the men, too: Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings, Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora books. And Steven Brust—I’m pretty sure I own almost everything he’s written.
And I don’t want to write only science fiction and fantasy. I love romance, lit fic, contemporary and historical fiction. I live for Walker Percy and Faulkner’s takes on southern identity, Christopher Moore’s and Chuck Pahlaniuk’s irreverent comic lit, and Victoria Holt’s romance (the classics don’t die). Amazon’s algorithms have no idea where to put my reading habits. Basically, if you’re a brilliant writer, then I’m your next biggest fan. It’s a quality that I think is valuable as a writer: the ability to read and absolutely fall in love with anything that’s well-written. I’m a reader first; I only hope to write stories half as brilliant as the stories I already love.
AK: What are you working on now?
SB: I’m about 50,000 words into an urban fantasy about a fairy princess turned bartender in Atlanta who has to track down a serial killer and avoid her Queen mother’s court politics. And I’ve also outlined a contemporary fantasy about a group of army wives who start their own coven; it’s sort of Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons meets The Craft. I’m excited about both projects and can’t stop bouncing between them.
AK: What are some of your favourite recent reads?
SB: I’ve been on a huge kick of reading 2019 and 2020 debut authors. My best friend in the world Sarah Sover wrote Double Crossing the Bridge (a humorous fantasy about a troll heist, August 2019), and she’s introduced me to some incredible authors. Titanshade by Dan Stout, which is a brilliant noir murder mystery that is both familiar and utterly alien. It is a story that can only take place in the world he’s created and is a testament to sci-fi breathing new life into classic tropes. It’s otherworldly and raw, and yet so familiar. The Impossible Contract by K.A. Doore is an immersive fantasy set in a desert world haunted by the spirits of the dead. And then there’s The Ten Thousand Doors of January, one of the most achingly beautiful books I’ve ever read. It’s a pure fairy tale, and I recommend it to EVERYONE. Oh! And The Jane Austen Society! Natalie Jenner wrote such a warm and Austen-esque tale with a cast of characters I just fell in love with. Can you tell I’ve done a lot of reading over the winter holidays?
Paperback – February 6th
Ebook – February 13th
“Legacy is nothing but history, if it doesn’t have a future.”
When her father threw her out, sacrificing his only living daughter for the good of his shipping conglomerate, Lena Lomasky swore she could make it on her own. But now she’s broke and desperate, and pride won’t fuel her spaceship. Her latest job is simple: carry a datastick of state secrets home to her father. The same man who cut her off without a cent. Whatever. She can do this. Pass the whiskey.
An ill-timed royal assassination ignites a war and Lena’s crew is blamed. When she thinks to use her cache of state secrets to save them, Lena discovers she’s actually smuggling the only known plans for her father’s invention: a gravity bomb that can vaporize entire cities.
Lena must decide: continue on and hope her father can design a defense to save millions of lives, or leverage the plans to save the only people who really matter.
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Website and blog: https://www.saratbond.com