Pippa Jay talks about tortured heroes and her new sci-fi release, ‘Gethyon’Posted: June 26, 2013
(Note from Cass: As I’m drafting this I’m two-thirds of the way through one of Pippa’s other books, Keir. This lady’s got GAME, my friends!)
I love tortured heroes and heroines. All of mine are tormented in some way, whether mentally or physically, and if I can torture them a little a lot more, then all the better. They carry scars inside and out. Burdens of guilt and regret, for things they could have changed, and those they couldn’t. They not only have to face the fears and terrors from their past, but accept that the people who come into their lives and attempt to win their hearts can see beyond that damage to the soul inside.
As well as loving to write them, I love to read them. So I thought I’d share two of those who helped to shape my own young hero, Gethyon.
The first is a certain farm boy from the desert planet Tatooine. I saw Star Wars: A New Hope televised when I was just eight, and instantly developed a crush, as well as switching from writing fantasy to sci-fi. Poor Luke, orphaned and stuck on a world he describes as ‘if there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from’, desperate to join the rebellion and fight with his friends. A bit bratty? Well, maybe. But in quick succession he loses his home and the only family he’s known to the Empire, gets called short by the princess he wants to rescue, sees his mentor killed, gets sent to a mud-hole of a planet to train and finds out he has to face Vader to complete it. On top of that he learns the second most evil entity in the universe is Daddy! It just gets worse as he finds out his princess is actually his sister, and the Emperor is perfectly willing to sacrifice all Luke’s friends to turn him to the Dark Side. And even as good triumphs, Luke must say goodbye to his father forever. Wow!
The second is Ged from A Wizard of Earthsea, a fantasy story by Ursula Le Guin. This was my assigned English read at school, aged ten, and I’ve reread it so many times since I’ve had to replace the paperback twice! Ged, or Sparrowhawk, also begins as a brat. He’s had a hard start, motherless and used as a slave by his father. He’s arrogant, sullen, and has no friends, but he has a glimmer of power and his witch aunt sets him on the road to mastery. When he saves his entire village from marauding warriors, he’s sent to the Wizard school on Roke. But in his pride and in spite, he unleashes a shadow creature that is bound to him, and could do the greatest evil through him should he become possessed. So, scarred and humbled by his ordeal, Ged seeks out to put it right, almost losing himself in the process.
Both these young heroes had such a huge influence on my reading and my writing, and still remain two of my most memorable. So I can’t deny there isn’t a trace of them in my own tortured heroes, like Gethyon.
To celebrate the release of Gethyon, I’m giving away a pretty piece of crystal, available internationally. To enter, use the rafflecopter form and tell me in the comments who’s your favourite hero, tortured or otherwise.
A YA Science Fiction Novel
Released by Champagne Books 3rd June 2013
His father died. His mother abandoned him. In the depths of space, darkness seeks him.
Abandoned by his mother after his father’s death, Gethyon Rees feels at odds with his world and longs to travel the stars. But discovering he has the power to do so leaves him scarred for life. Worse, it alerts the Siah-dhu—a dark entity that seeks his kind for their special abilities—to his existence, and sets a bounty hunter on his trail.
When those same alien powers lead Gethyon to commit a terrible act, they also aid his escape. Marooned on the sea-world of Ulto Marinos, Gethyon and his twin sister must work off their debt to the Seagrafter captain who rescued them while Gethyon puzzles over their transportation. How has he done this? And what more is he capable of?
Before he can learn any answers, the Wardens arrive to arrest him for his crime. Can his powers save him now? And where will he end up next?
A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. Between torturing her characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 20 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head. Her works have won a SFR Galaxy Award, and finalled in the Readers Favorite Award Contest and the Gulf Coast RWA Chapter Silken Sands Self-Published Star Award.