Extra, Extra, Read all about it……………………..
Since allowing me this interview, the great recluse AC Flory has written more. Her EPIC work Innerscape is being published episode by episode on Amazon. The first four of five episodes are currently online and here is a link to Episode one for all you selective readers. This is sci-fi writing at it’s best and perhaps a prediction of life as it may become.
Welcome to an Interview with A.C.Flory
Author of : Vokhtah
‘Vokhtah is not a gentle planet. Ravaged by twin suns, it tests all living things in the battle for survival, but none more so than the iVokh.
Intelligent, and clever with their hands, the iVokh [literally meaning ‘small Vokh’] live in eyries under the protection of their huge, winged cousins, the Vokh. However when the Vokh battle each other, the first casualties are always the small creatures who serve them.The only place on the whole planet where iVokh can truly be safe is in the Settlement, an eyrie ruled by the Guild of Healers rather than a Vokh. Yet even there, change is coming, and not for the better. Thanks to the healers’ obsession with abominations, even the Settlement may soon become a battle ground.As one of the few healers not terrified of abominations, the Blue is determined to save the Guild from itself. It leaves the safety of the Settlement with a caravan of Traders, intent on manipulating the Vokh into dealing with the abomination themselves. However life, and iVokh politics, are never simple.
Aided by just one reluctant ally, the Blue struggles to survive in a savage landscape where even the elements are vicious. If it dies without completing its mission, the Settlement could well die with it. Yet what can two, frail iVokh do in a world where the predators are all starving, and iVokh are very much on the menu?
Time is running out, for both the Blue and the Settlement.’
What made you decide to write this book?
Back in 2004, a fellow writing buddy talked me into participating in a Nanowrimo [National Novel Writing Month]. Basically a lot of people interested in writing get together and challenge each other to write a 50,000 word novel during November. The only criterion is that you must write something ‘new’. Two days before the start of that Nano I was thinking about psychopaths and wondering what went on inside their heads. That lead to wondering what a whole world of psychopaths would be like. Could they even survive?
The more I thought about it, the more I realised that you would need a pretty extraordinary set of circumstances for a society of psychopaths to survive. And the rest, as they say is history, although Vokhtah is nothing like that first Nano draft!
Where did the title come from?
Hmm.. That’s rather a long story. If anyone is interested I put quite a detailed explanation in the back of the book, along with a Vokh to English dictionary. For now though I’ll just say that I tried to create a language that was true to the biology of my aliens, who are called Vokh. In their language, Vokhtah translates as ‘all Vokh’ and implies that they are the world. Did I mention they are arrogant? Of course as a writer, I also tried to come up with sounds that would not be too hard for humans to say!
Do you always write in this genre?
Yes, science fiction is my great love. I don’t always write about aliens though!
If you ruled the World what would be the first thing you’d banish? ( You’re not allowed to say nosey interviewers).
I’m glad you said ‘first’, but even that is hard as everything is so interconnected. I hate huntsman spiders but if I banished them I’d probably upset a million other things that depend on them for something. Hmmm… Okay, if I could wave a magic wand the first thing I’d banish is our present form of representational democracy – i.e. no more politicians who suck up to us before the election and shaft us afterward. We would still have to have people running things but their names would be drawn out of a hat – like jurors being called up for jury duty. The important thing is that none of them would want to be there, so although they’d make a hash of things, it would be a well intentioned mess. And let’s face it, Joe Bloggs on the street would probably do a better job than the politicians we have now.
What was your inspiration to write and when did you start?
I started writing fiction back in 2001 but I’d spent the previous ten years writing user manuals for off the shelf software. I was confident I could write, but I didn’t think I was either creative or imaginative enough to write the kind of fiction I loved to read. Then I went through a bad patch in my life and began writing as a release. It was pretty horrendous stuff, but the ideas did begin to flow and I surprised myself a bit. Nonetheless it took another ten years before I was game to call myself a novelist.
What was your destination to publishing? ie are you self published.
Yes, I’m Indie and proud! Like most writers I began by dreaming of a rich publishing contract, and my name on a million book covers. I soon realised that modern publishing was no longer about books but about shareholder profits. Books had become products on a factory conveyor belt. Standardization was the key. Unfortunately that meant anything non-standard was unacceptable. My story was not your standard science fiction so it became obvious I would have to self-publish. The one thing I was not expecting was that I would enjoy being an indie. I honestly believe that some of the best and brightest ideas are coming out of the indie camp these days. And there is a vitality to indies that I find really exciting.
Share with the readers one little known fact about yourself.
I love to dance. Sadly these days the only dancing I do is the odd pirouette around the kitchen when no-one’s looking.
Do you have a website to share?
I do indeed. My blog is Meeka’s Mind and you can find me athttp://acflory.wordpress.com
Any links to the book/books
Vokhtah is only available on Amazon for now. The link ishttp://tinyurl.com/acuw4gb.
Please feel free to share an excerpt.
‘The Seven came in fast, dropping down out of the sky before the sleeping to’pak even knew it was under attack. Grasping the predator’s long, armoured tail with both hands, the Vokh flipped the beast onto its back with a quick heave, and then stood back to admire the result.The to’pak were formidable predators – when they were on their feet – but once they were on their backs they were helpless, anchored to the ground by the sheer weight of the massive bone plates that protected their heads and upper bodies. Given enough time this to’pak would eventually rock itself upright, but for now, its six stubby legs were just waving in the air.
Rising up into the air, the Seven took aim and dove again. At the very last moment, it dropped its legs and allowed momentum to carry it across the to’pak’s broad, lightly scaled belly. Blood appeared wherever its clawed toes made contact, while the deadly scythes on its heels opened up deep gashes that exposed the entrails.
Too stupid to know it was already dead, the to’pak roared in rage and pain, redoubling its efforts to get back on its feet. As it thrashed, coil after coil of bluey purple intestine spilled from its belly.
Grabbing the dying beast by the tail once more, the Seven dragged it off to one side so it could reach the egg-filled hollow where the creature had been sleeping. Twelve large, round eggs lay in the shallow nest, their shells glistening a wet pink in the soft orange light of Takhti.
The Seven picked up one of the eggs and held it up to the light, grunting in satisfaction when it saw only a tiny spot of darkness floating in the yolk. The Small One loved fresh laid to’pak eggs. Perhaps it should take one or two back to the eyrie as a peace offering.
Or perhaps not. A Voice was duty bound to serve its master whether it approved of its master’s choices or not. Let the Small One sulk for a while. In time it would realise the value of Needlepoint.’
Thanks for giving me a forum to wax lyrical about my obsessions.
Thank you for taking the time to share with us and I wish you the very best of luck with the book which I know is excellent and exciting from having had the pleasure of reading it myself.