Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blitz for Brand New World by Maria Hammarblad

The workings of a confused writer mind.

Thank you Roxanne for inviting me to the blog. I appreciate the opportunity to come over and visit!

Once upon a time, in the distant past we now call the 1990’s, I read “The Road to Omaha” by Robert Ludlum. It’s a very funny book, with a very funny foreword. He talks about the writing process going wrong and the writer giggling while working on what should be a nail-biting thriller. At the time I thought it was funny, but didn’t really get it. It would take me over twenty years to really get it.

Brand New World is the first novella in a series I call Embarkment 2577. When I wrote the first page, it happened. I giggled. I set out to write a serious science fiction romance about a girl transported to the future after a horrific accident. For better and for worse, my mind ran astray. The result is a scifi romance balancing on the edge of being a spoof.  Some people really like it, and others think it’s the worst piece of crap ever written. I’m personally quite fond of it. :-D The following novellas – High Gravity, and Adam and Eve – are more serious. I guess my subconscious had settled down a bit when I got that far.

So, what happens on that first page? The heroine wakes up in a foreign environment where everything is just a little wrong.  She hears voices, and I wanted her to meet a couple of the secondary characters right away, so she’d have someone to build rapport with. My mind pulled up an image of a magnificent cat woman. Beautiful, but strange, scary, and with the temper of a feline.

I wanted to throw another wrench in the mind of my poor heroine. One that would make her absolutely certain the world in which she woke can’t be real. Enter the rock star, or rather, a hologram of one.

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of parallel dimensions. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the concept, but the main notion is that we might live many different lives at the same time, as different people. Some think every major choice every individual makes creates a new world, so there’s one for every possible outcome. Mindboggling idea, isn’t it? In this world, I’m me. In another I might be a housewife with seven children, and in yet another I might be a contract killer. Depending on who theorizes about it, the worlds are more or less similar. One popular theory is that dimensions very close to each other are more similar, and the farther you get from your own, the bigger the differences. My mind adores ideas like this.

Anyway, in my series “The Goddess’s Saga” the main character is a several thousand year old deity who modeled her appearance on a rock star. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if she was someone else in another dimension? Someone who looked like her and thought like her, but worked within a completely different set of parameters? She’d need a different name, of course…” Done, and done. If I brought Ms. Callaway over from the Goddess’s Saga I’d have to bring over her boyfriend as well: leaving her there all alone would be mean. He didn’t change as much; the drunken space rogue became a drunken pirate. 

My mind wasn’t done yet. The heroine needed a love interest. Making it a human would be much too easy on her. She would be in love with… (eyes wandering over my desk, paper clip, pen, computer, paper, computer….) aaah, the ship’s android life form. No, too easy… She can’t remember anything, because she has amnesia after dying and going to the future. Eureka!

Are you confused yet? My head is a pretty random and messy place, where all this makes perfect sense. I think it comes together pretty nicely in the book, though. Below is a brief excerpt when my heroine Alexandra first meets these strange ladies. After this encounter she’s quite convinced she’s had a mental breakdown and really sits comfortably in a padded cell dressed in a shirt with very long sleeves…

Doctor Ima pressed a paw against my forehead. Her palm was soft and lined with fine hairs.

 “Please don’t be angry with Adam, he saw no other way than to bring you along. You were quite dead you know.”

Who? What? I didn’t have time to voice any questions; the first voice I heard sounded again from further into the room. “She’s not angry with Adam. I detect quite fond feelings for him.”

This time my mouth moved when I wanted to speak, and my voice came out much stronger and steadier than I expected.  “How can I have fond feelings for someone I don’t know? Where am I? What is this place? What do you mean I was dead?” 

When this woman came into view, I was certain I hallucinated. Her cold blue eyes, scrutinizing me from a beautiful face surrounded by long dark hair, were much too familiar. It was the face of a well-known rock star, and I had seen her in concert just a few months earlier. I managed to sound accusing. “You’re Amy Lee. What are you and cat woman doing in my dream?”

The face smiled and answered in a voice just like the one on the CDs I used to play in my car. “I’m not Amy Lee. I’m Doctor Anya Benton, ship’s counsellor. How do you feel?

Brand New World
Embarkment 2577, novella 1
Maria Hammarblad

Genre: Scifi Romance

ISBN: 1456338366
ISBN-13: 978-1456338367
ASIN: B004HO630G

Number of pages: 128
Word Count: 29477

Book Trailer:

Book Description:

When Alexandra wakes up in an unknown environment, populated by a cat-like woman with a tail and a hologram of a rockstar, she knows she has to be hallucinating. Maybe she hit her head, or finally suffered that nervous breakdown. It doesn't get any better from finding out she died and was taken into the future by the elusive Adam, whom she can't remember, or from people telling her she's on a spaceship.

The last year or so is gone from her memory, and she has no choice but to try to adapt. As days go by, her new environment becomes more and more unnerving. She finds herself helpless, and completely dependent on a man who isn't even human.

"Brand New World" is the first novella in the "Embarkment 2577" series.

Author Bio:

Born in Sweden in the early 1970's, Maria showed a large interest for books at an early age. Even before she was able to read or write, she made her mom staple papers together into booklets she filled with drawings of suns and planets. She proudly declared them, "The Sun Book." They were all about the sun. She also claimed, to her mother's horror, that her being on Earth was a big mistake and that her alien family would come and bring her home at any moment. This never happened, but both the interest in space and the passion for bookmaking stayed with her.

As an adult Maria's creativity got an outlet through playing bass in a number of rock bands, and through writing technical manuals and making web pages for various companies and organizations. She did write drafts for a few novels, but the storytelling muse was mostly satisfied through role playing online on Myspace. It was here, while writing stories together with people from around the globe, she stumbled onto Mike. They started talking out of character, and she moved over to Florida to him late 2008. Today the two are married and live in the Tampa Bay area with three rescue dogs.

Besides writing and playing bass, Maria enjoys driving off-road, archery, and Tameshigiri.

Upcoming releases

Flashback, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing June 2013
Operation Earth, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing August 2013
Borealis XII, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing November 2013

Fun Facts

Favorite color:              Blue
Favorite food:               Chicken with cashew nuts
Doesn't eat:                  Mammals
Favorite TV Show:        Star Trek TNG and Leverage
Favorite animal:            Border Collie
Quotes:            "Full Speed Ahead" and "Caffeine is good for you"

Find Maria on the web




Twitter:                        @mariahammarblad


Publisher's website:


Hammarblad said...

Thank you for having me, Roxanne! I love your new avatar. :-)