Friday, September 16, 2016

Veronica Scott shares Trapped on Talonque & her blogging for USA Today.

Today, I have the fabulous Veronica Scott over explaining how she writes her blogs for 

Dark Matter & Killjoys.

(Turns out it's a lot of work, but I, for one, appreciate it.)
Then she'll tell us about her latest book.
Can't get better than this, can it?

Thanks for allowing me to invade your blog yet again, with my new book!
Before we get to talking about the book, I’ve been having fun this summer recapping two scifi shows for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog. I was doing ‘Killjoys’, which as now had its season 2 finale, and ‘Dark Matter’, which will conclude on September 16th. Both shows have been renewed for summer 2017.
It’s been interesting turning myself into a version of a TV show recapper. Of course I had done season 3 of ‘The 100’ as a warmup and learned you can’t just sit and watch the episode once, dash off a quick recap full of humor and insights and be done. At least I can’t.  I was fortunate enough to have access to screeners from NBC/SyFy for these two shows so what I do is watch the episode once on my laptop and just absorb the show like any viewer would. Then I watch it again, usually a day later, and take notes. Detailed notes. Endless pages of notes. Especially with ‘Killjoys’, there’s so much great dialog in any one episode that I love to capture the best bits and share them throughout the recap. But the characters on ‘Dark Matter’ have some zingers as well.
I also look for tiny moments that may be foreshadowing some bigger development, tying up loose ends from a previous episode or revealing aspects of a character. Sometimes there will be nods and shoutouts to other scifi movies and series.  Lots of visual references to “Star Wars” in some of the ‘Killjoys’ flights through asteroid fields, and in, around and through the Archive space station. I regard it as my job to try to hilite these in case the viewer misses them the first time around. I can’t catch them all!
I try to explore issues that have been raised but not yet resolved, maybe do some theorizing. What about the character of Pawter’s sister, left on Qresh in ‘Killjoys’? Of course there will be some snark from me because that’s my nature. For instance, the ‘Dark Matter’ showrunners are constantly having the character of Four watching the galactic news about his home planet Zairon and the war they’re losing. Ok, guys, we get it that Four will be going back there. No surprise!
If I’ve been lucky enough to interview one of the cast, I may add some tidbits from the interview to the episode writeup.
I write the recap from my notes and let it sit overnight. In the morning, after the show has aired, I go through it once more and then submit the draft to USAT/HEA, where my editor does her process and then the recap goes live. Wow. But I really feel responsible to bring value added to my column, if a viewer is going to invest their time reading my thoughts on the show we both love.
The biggest thing that strikes me is how different it is for me to write a science fiction romance novel, with a fairly confined list of characters, always focusing on the hero and heroine, and bring the story through an arc, finishing with the Happily Ever After, versus the way a TV show can bring characters on, drop them, bring them back, introduce plot threads that may never come to fruition, have romances that don’t have an HEA (or maybe not for more than an episode or two), kill off a main character (I still miss One on ‘Dark Matter’) and take other jaw-dropping twists and turns. I could possibly get away with some of them in a series, but not all in one novel!
I’m not recapping any programs this Fall, although I’m going to keep my eye on the three new time travel shows to see if one of them might evolve into something fun to write up in its second season. Doing the recaps is a lot of work but I’ve had so much fun along the way, no complaints from me!
Do you have a favorite science fiction TV show you wish someone would recap?

Trapped on Talonque


Veronica Scott

My latest science fiction romance novel is Trapped on Talonque, where I had a lot of fun writing a Sleeping Beauty story, but with an alien heroine and a Special Forces soldier as the ‘prince’. Here’s the plot:
Will an alien sleeping beauty awaken to save him, or destroy everyone around her?
When a Sectors Special Forces soldier and his team crash land on an alien planet, they’re taken captive and given a challenge–win at the violent ball game of sapiche and live. Lose, and they die, sending a mysterious, alien beauty to an even uglier fate. To survive, these soldiers must win the game and find a way to free the dangerous prisoner from her locked chamber.
Nate Reilly and his team are in deep trouble. Prisoners on a backward alien planet, they’re brought before an alien ‘goddess’, sleeping in her high tech seclusion. Nate is astonished when she awakes and establishes a psychic link with him. But her news is not good–he and his men must win a brutal challenge set by their captors, or they will die. She’ll give her aid, but in the end their courage and strength must win the contest.
Bithia sleeps in her chamber, as she has for thousands of years, since her own people unaccountably left her there. Viewed as a goddess by her captors, she must hide her ancient secrets to survive. But only the bravest of men may free her. Can she use her psychic powers to keep Nate and his men alive long enough to help her escape, or will her only hope of freedom die with them?

Trapped on Talonque gives you two great stories in one. It could easily be a 2 book series on its own.
The first half is being captured by a group of people who enjoy the deaths of other. (We had our Romans and coliseum and these evil souls have their games, in which the loser loses his life.)
The first half of the book is the struggle to survive the games and the cruel king and some demented women. Good crewmen lose their lives in the process.
Nate also falls in love with an ancient person who is safely tucked into stasis but can telepathically communicate with Nate. While she uses all her energy to heal Nate after a brutal beating, she remains in certain danger from the evil king who wishes dearly to torture her.
 So they plot an intricate escape that includes rescuing the woman in stasis.
This proves to be very difficult. She just wants to save Nate. She doesn’t believe she can be rescued, but Nate refuses to escape without her. Rescue is hard and escaping even harder. Every time they appear to have escaped death, more minions and priestesses of the king appear and more people die.

This is a poignant story, not just of love, but of the caring of people they meet, of the companions they lose along the way. It is well-written, beautifully tied together, despite the inherent complexity of the plot. I never once had to reread a section. Veronica Scott writes with the best of them. And while I won’t reveal the ending, trust me, she knows how to end a story. 5 stars
Author Bio:
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”


  1. Thanks for having me as your guest again! (And I must note that I wrote the blog post right before 'Dark Matter' did indeed air an episode where Four returned to Zairon.)I'm so pleased you enjoyed the book!

  2. I'm reading this right now. Definitely an intense ride, but good, so good!

  3. Liza, I definitely agree with your review. I really enjoyed Veronica's book. Veronica, I love reading your recaps. So many episodes were so confusing (helps if I don't play computer games while watching ;)). Reading your recaps helped me make sense of both shows, which I really like. Thanks for the recaps and thanks for writing such entertaining books.


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