Interview with sci-fi novelist Keira Michelle Telford

Today’s guest is science fiction novelist Keira Michelle Telford who is touring her novel SILVER: Entropy with Virtual Book Tour Cafe.
Keira will be giving away 2 signed paperbacks during her tour. So if you’d like to be entered to win, leave your e-mail address with your comment below. You can also visit her other tour stops and leave comments for more chances to win.

Bio:
Keira Michelle Telford was born and
raised in the UK. She spent the early part of her childhood in Worcestershire,
before the family moved to Wales where she lived for most of her teenage years.
In 2006, she moved to Canada. She currently resides in beautiful British
Columbia, where she lives with her husband and 10 guinea pigs.

Welcome, Keira. Please
tell us about your current release.
SILVER:
Acheron
is the first book (a 40,000 word novella) in a 10-book series featuring
the character of Ella ‘Silver’ Cross. Set more than 300 years in the future, the
Silver Series takes place in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world where humans
are a species on the brink of extinction. No longer at the top of the food
chain, humans are preyed upon by the Chimera—genetic mutants that outnumber
humankind 25:1.
And
Silver is a Hunter—the best in the city. At least, she used to be…
Dishonorably
discharged from the Hunter Division and banished for crimes she did not commit,
Silver struggles to come to terms with her new prison-like surroundings: a
segregated area of the city called the Fringe District, populated by murderers,
thieves and rapists.
Starving,
and desperate for money, she reluctantly accepts the Police Division’s
invitation to enroll in a covert Bounty Hunter program: an initiative devised
to infiltrate the criminal underworld of the Fringers, and to force the very
worst warrant dodging law-breakers to meet their fate—death.
Unfortunately,
Silver doesn’t realize that the Police Division is about to up the ante. They
need more than little snippets of information and arrests—they need someone to
pull the trigger.
They
need an executioner.
What
inspired you to write this book?
In
one way or another, I’ve been writing these books for over a decade. Of course,
the series has changed heaps since I first conceived it. Those who’ve been
following my guest posts on this tour will know that it was originally set in
space. Yup. I almost wrote a space opera. I guess what originally inspired me
to write these books were the characters themselves. I’ve ‘known’ Silver since
I was about 13 or 14. She wasn’t called that then, but she looked the same. Her
name changed about three times as I tested her out in various different
situations and universes. The other characters came later, as different social
interactions started to click on the page.

Excerpt: 
Who knew the Police Division had safe houses
tucked away all over the Fringe District?
Silver didn’t.
Luka takes more than a little pride in showing
off one of his Division’s best kept secrets, and also hopes that something
about this experience will perk up her mood.
Punching his key code into a concealed pad
behind a disused electrical box, he swipes his wrist across a hidden tag plate
and beams a grin back at her over his shoulder.
“Hunter’s have got their toys, we’ve got ours.”
The entry system seems to like his credentials,
and an inconspicuous cellar door clicks and pops on the inside as the locking
mechanism swiftly retracts behind it. Lifting the lid on the place, Luka ushers
Silver hastily down a steel step ladder into the bunker beneath.
He’s right on her tail, and the door
automatically reseals itself behind them—locking them in.
“What is this place?” Silver wonders.
“Nothing, so far as any civilians know. To them,
there’s nothing down here but dirt. To us, it’s a covert safe house. It’s not
finished yet, mind you.”
He’s not wrong.
The floor is a mixture of concrete and loose
wooden planks. The walls are bare drywall, waiting to be painted, and there
aren’t any doors. Silver can see three rooms: a kitchen, bathroom and a small
living and sleeping area.
“I could totally live here.”
“Not without company.” Luka nods to the CCTV
monitoring system, wired in to every room. “It’s not hooked up in here yet, but
it soon will be.”
Silver’s still stuck on one tiny detail. “A safe
house for what? You’re planning on starting a witness protection program for
all of your little snitches?”
Luka shrugs. “Once it’s fully operational, the
safe house network should help us keep our assets alive just long enough to get
what we need from them.”
Silver, who is unquestionably the Police
Division’s best asset, develops furrows in her brow at his nonchalant disregard
for the lives of the people they’re buying.
“And how long do you expect that to be,
typically? I’m just wondering if I should cancel my gym membership.”
Her sarcasm alerts him to the taste of his own
toes, but it’s too late to take it back properly. “You don’t count.”
“No? Why not?”
“You’re not like them.”
Covered in the blood of a man she just
slaughtered, Silver would beg to differ.
“After what I did today, I reckon the only
things left separating me from them are oral hygiene and clean undies.”
“Come on, Silver, it was self-defense.”
“The first shot, maybe. The second and third
were questionable. The one that blew his face off? That one was pure anger.”

What
exciting story are you working on next?
I’m
currently writing SILVER: Quietus (the fifth book in the series, working title)
and editing SILVER: A New Age Dawns (the fourth book). A New Age Dawns is due
for a digital release later this summer, and will be available in paperback by
the fall.
When
did you first consider yourself a writer?
As
soon as I was old enough to know what it meant to be devoted to ‘words that
stay’.
Do
you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like?
  If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
On
a good week, I can spend about 50 hours writing. At that pace, and if I were
being paid hourly, I’d be raking in 40 hours of overtime every month. How
awesome would that be? Then, there are those weeks where my pen barely touches
the page. I hate those weeks.
I
write mostly at night, between the hours of 9pm and 3am. Due to my night owl
tendencies, I’m a virtual zombie before 10am. Eventually, I’ll meander
downstairs, take some allergy medication and a vitamin D pill (‘cause I’m too
pale for sunlight), and pour myself a glass of Diet Dr. Pepper (the first one
of many throughout the day). I’ll feed the (guinea) pigs and fire up my laptop.
From then on, it’s just me, my button chair, and Silver.
What
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I
can listen to the same song on repeat for about twelve hours straight while I’m
working. I’m pretty sure that counts as a quirk. Either that, or it’s just
another one of my weird OCD compulsions. Lately, it’s been a Delain song called
‘We Are The Others’. Before that, I was slightly obssessed with Nightwish’s
Imaginaerum album. ‘Scaretale’ was my song of choice for at least a month.
As
a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A
writer. I never wanted a pony; I wanted a Parker fountain pen and an endless
supply of paper. Plus, being a writer is the only thing saving me from changing
my name to Walter. Last name: Mitty. Over the years, I’ve thought it would be
neat to be a lot of things… all of which I loved for about fifteen minutes,
then got bored. I’ve started (and, in several cases, not finished) so many
different post-secondary degrees and courses that I’ve lost count. I’ve toyed
with careers such as: evolutionary biologist, archaeologist, forensic
anthropologist, canine behaviourist, paleontologist… and so on. Then, I
realized that I don’t have to choose—I can be all of these things. Or rather
more precisely: I can make my characters be all of these things, so that I
don’t have to 🙂
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
I
think it’s possible that Ella ‘Silver’ Cross might be a post-apocalyptic, more
hardcore version of Xena: Warrior Princess. She’s a total badass, she’s willing
to die for what she believes in, she’s not short of her own personal demons,
and she’s got that whole ambiguously bisexual thing going on. (Okay, sometimes
not so ambiguous). Xena might have more leather, but Silver’s got more metal.
(Rifles, sub-machine guns, bazookas, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers to
be precise). And there is one more thing they have in common: ultimately, her
courage will change the world.

Thanks, Keira. Readers, remember to leave an e-mail with your comment if you’d like a chance at 1 of the 2 signed books being given away during this tour!

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