Today’s special guest is sci-fi romance author S. J. Pajonas to chat with me about “Suri’s Sure Thing” (The Kimura Sisters Series, #1), part of Pets in Space 6.
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, Capricorn, Japanophile, and USA Today Best-Selling author. She loves summer, downtempo beats, yoga pants, foxes, owls, dogs, sushi, pasta, and black tea. She lives outside NYC with her husband, two great kids, and her dog who always wants to play. When it comes to her work, she writes about everyday women and uncommon worlds.
Welcome, S. J. Please tell us about your current release.
“Suri’s Sure Thing” is a part of this year’s Pets in Space 6 anthology. It’s a sci-fi romance, and it’s the first in a new series. In the Kimura Sisters Series, follow each of the Kimura sisters and their paired pets as they fix past mistakes, learn independence from their overbearing father, and find love along the way.
What inspired you to write this story?
When I was asked to write for Pets in Space, I immediately thought of the world I built in the Nogiku Series where animals and people pair up with the aid of an animal translation chip. I thought this would be a fun way to introduce new readers to the universe I had already built. I have always included animals in my stories, and I was looking forward to writing about them again. Then I watched Bridgerton, and I was inspired by the large family and how every one of the siblings had their own story. That gave me a great idea! I would create a large family with plenty of sisters to write about. Each story would be about one sister finding love and would also be about their family. I started with the oldest sister, Suri, and I plan to write about Myra, Tilli, Winta, Demi, and Rosa too. I’ve already begun writing on Myra’s story!
Excerpt from “Suri’s Sure Thing”:
I press my mini-tablet to my chest and look in the mirror. I would give anything to return to the table and have Erik be there instead of Leo. I’d rather talk about the latest manga publications and the newest hot restaurant in town with Erik than spend another moment talking to Leo. And if something about Leo is dodgy, then I want nothing to do with him. I have enough problems as it is.
Right now, I miss Erik’s smile and his calmness. I miss being near him. Leo is not who I’m in love with anymore.
Oh no. I press my eyes closed.
I’m in love with Erik.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am now working on the next book of the Kimura Sisters Series, Myra’s Big Mistake, and I’m also working on Book 2 of the Amagi Series. I hope to have them both published in 2022.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Like most authors, I have been writing stories since I was young. I wanted to be a screenwriter, though, because I grew up loving movies and film. I wrote dozens of screenplays in high school and college before deciding against a career in film, and instead, I chose a career in web development. It was after spending a decade as a web developer that I decided I wanted to get back to writing, but this time, I would write novels instead. I’m glad none of my screenplays will ever see the light of day!
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?
I am a stay-at-home mom first, an author second, and a web developer third. My days are divided between taking care of my kids and family, and then writing or building websites. It’s hard to juggle all of these tasks, but I’m getting things done as well as I can!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I cannot plot ahead of time, and I can only work on one project at once. I have friends who can plot several books and then write them all at the same time. They are amazing! This is not me, though. Unfortunately, this makes me a slow author, but I have learned over the last 8 years that I need to work with what I’ve got!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh, I wanted to be an astronaut so badly. Back then, though, astronauts were only pulled from pools of military candidates, and I didn’t want to join the military. But now I write science fiction! It’s close enough!
About Pets in Space 6
Pets in Space® is back for a new year of adventures!
Join the incredible authors in this year’s Pets in Space 6 for another out-of-this-world adventure. This award-winning, USA TODAY Bestselling anthology is packed full of your favorite Pets in Space®. Featuring 11 original, never-before-released stories from some of today’s bestselling Science Fiction Romance and Fantasy authors, Pets in Space 6 continues their vital support of Hero-Dogs.org, the non-profit charity that improves quality of life for veterans of the U.S. military and first-responders with disabilities. Don’t miss out on this limited-edition anthology before it’s too late!