V.G. Harrison (VGH): We had the first commercial flight into space that carried people, launched tourists into space for the very first time, and had a record-breaking moment for the amount of time spent in space. These events made me think about how exciting it would be to live in space. The only thing is I would miss my creature comforts I doubt I could take with me. So, those moments inspired me to create a space station that would meet my needs to the point I wouldn’t want to leave. That alone helped me figure out the setting for the Dyson series. Besides that, there was something that Neil DeGrasse Tyson said a while ago that also stayed with me. When asked if he believed in God, his reply went something along the lines of “Knowing what I know about space and the things floating around out there, something has to be preventing us from being wiped out.” I started thinking about what those “things” could be and that’s when the Dyson Bridge series formulated.
VGH: Meridia is fun because she takes us on her journey and we get a front-row seat through her eyes. She’s a brilliant mechanical engineer who realizes she can science her way out of anything, but sometimes, it just takes common sense and sheer willpower to see things through to the end. That’s something everyone has within them and it’s not just limited to those who are the smartest, the biggest, or the strongest. In reality, she could be any of us, only her life is a lot more interesting after having survived one of the biggest space catastrophes of any dimension.
VGH: Paula Patton would be my first choice. If she’s not available, then Naomie Harris would be second.
VGH: Definitely Star Trek (all of them because I’ve seen all of them), Stargate (and all the series that spawned from that one), the Alien movies, the Predator movies (HUGE shout-out to Prey) and Star Wars. I’ve probably seen almost every movie/series that has to do with aliens visiting us and it doesn’t matter if they’re made in color or black and white. I can’t overlook some amazing anime such as Ghost in the Shell, Akira, and Neon Genesis, too. As for books, believe it or not, most of the stuff I read was either horror or urban fantasy. Hardly any science fiction. I might have read a Star Wars book or two that happened between the movies, but that’s it. I wasn’t a really big sci-fi reader.
VGH: I do a LOT of research. The more I do, the more ways I’m inspired to expand whatever series I’m working on. I can’t throw everything into a book, but that’s what a trilogy is for. Also, remembering to keep things moving along and to keep the reader engaged is a huge plus. I want my readers to be as curious as my main character, so they’ll want to stay along for the ride. I don’t want to drown readers with things like quantum mechanics and singularity theory. There are plenty of books and papers out there on that stuff. I’m not trying to recreate them. However, I love the idea of making science fun, so that’s what I try to do with my series.
VGH: I plan things one book at a time. The problem is that it might be a huge book by the time I’m finished, and I’ll need to chop it into a trilogy.
VGH: Definitely Pop Rocks! That’s assuming the candy will wait until it gets to your mouth to do the actual popping.
VGH: I’ve written urban fantasy and horror for Mocha Memoirs under my other pen name, Marcia Colette, but I didn’t have a lot of confidence or experience writing sci-fiction as V.G. Harrison. So when the call came out for the Slay anthology, I broke out of my sci-fi shell and did it. No matter what happened, at least I could say I tried. As a thick-skinned author, I hadn’t shed a tear in a long time over my craft, but I certainly shed one when I saw the acceptance email with an attached contract. I never anticipated the amount of encouragement and fun I got from writing Message in a Vessel in the Slay anthology. From that point onward, I knew I had found a home for my science fiction stories with Mocha Memoirs Press.