From Diana: It should come as no surprise that I’m a fan of all things Stargate. I write for the novels. I watch at least an episode a day not only to keep the characters’ voices in my head, but also because even in repeat viewings, the franchise manages to make me think, encourages a sense of wonder, and 9 out of 10 times, I’m going to walk away with a smile. I’m not alone on that front, either. Meet Author JL Gribble (who also has mad editing skills — you can thank her for the technical edit on my SG-1 short story, Perceptions (published in Stargate Far Horizons). Gribble has a new novel out: Steel Victory. I’m willing to bet Stargate fans will greatly enjoy this deviously raucous romp through a modern world filled with were-creatures, mercenaries, and Victory — a fanged kickass heroine who must squelch her adopted city’s political divisiveness before the Roman Empire can break down the proverbial gates and tear her world apart.
On to our guest’s post:
In addition to writing a fantastic back-cover blurb for my debut novel, Diana Botsford was gracious enough to offer me space on her blog to write a guest post introducing my book to her readers. She added that she wasn’t sure how I would do it, but that if I managed to tie my book to Stargate somehow, that would probably be more appealing to you all.
First, a bit about the book. Steel Victory is an urban fantasy/alternate history novel that stands alone but is intended to be the first in a series. The independent city-state of Limani is beset from within by human separatists and from without by the territory-hungry Roman Empire. The city’s lone vampire and her adopted warrior-mage daughter must join forces with the other supernatural creatures of Limani to defend their city, their culture, and their very lives.
Second, a bit about my long-term relationship with Stargate fandom. I will gleefully admit that Stargate is one of my favorite examples of not just speculative fiction fandom or television, but of the genre as a whole. I greatly enjoy SG-1, I absolutely adore Atlantis (and re-watch episodes on a regular basis), and I have mixed feelings toward Universe. My collection of the media tie-in novels fights for space with my husband’s Star Wars expanded universe collection. My go-to necklace for daily wear is a silver Stargate. The cup of tea sitting next to my computer as I type this is resting on a Stargate coaster (my tea tastes better than Teyla’s). So I suppose you could say I’m a bit of a fan.
So what does the one have to do with the other?
While there is a certain element of “monster (planet)-of-the-week” style storytelling to Stargate, it never limits itself to that. One of the awesome things about science-fiction is that storytellers can explore beyond just the concept of “what if?” as it relates to aliens and spaceships and other expected tropes. So while Stargate was discovering “What if aliens left intergalactic doorways on our planet that we could use to explore different worlds?”, it was also exploring such topics as “How would different aspects of the American government and worldwide politics affect this exploration?” (political thriller) and “How have these characters’ relationships evolved over the course of working closely together for over 10 years?” (romance).
And that doesn’t even take into account the many, many subgenres that Stargate has explored, such as killer robots, time travel, alternate universes, and even “vampires” and “zombies” (albeit the killer space versions).
One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever heard was “Write what you love.” And since I absolutely love that about Stargate, I’ve brought elements of that to my own storytelling. Steel Victory is a fantasy novel. But it’s also an urban fantasy novel. Set in an alternate Earth. Featuring an epic adventure story. That also includes elements of political thriller and female coming-of-age story.
Because if Stargate can manage to never be boring over the course of 17 seasons, multiple movies, a few dozen novels, and one (so far) fantastic anthology, I can certainly aspire to not be boring over the course of one book.
And let’s just say that I haven’t ruled out time travel or alternate universes for future installments of the series.
J.L. Gribble hopes that if you like Stargate, you’ll love Steel Victory. Her husband is her favorite U.S. Air Force member after Col. Sheppard, and she hopes that he will bring her along to Atlantis if he tests positive for the Ancient gene. She has plans to effectively organize the internal peer-review process of the scientists there in preparation for the eventual declassification of the Stargate program.
By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing.
Previously, Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Steel Victory was her thesis novel for the program. This is her debut novel.
She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.