Hi guys, we have Wendy Rathborn popping in today with her upcoming release The Android and the Thief, we have a brilliant guest post and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
The Android and the Thief
Will love set them free—or seal their fate?
In the 67th century, Trev, a master thief and computer hacker, and Khim, a vat-grown human android, reluctantly share a cell in a floating space prison called Steering Star. Trev is there as part of an arrangement that might finally free him from his father’s control. Khim, formerly a combat android, snaps when he is sold into the pleasure trade and murders the man who sexually assaults him. At first they are at odds, but despite secrets and their dark pasts, they form a pact—first to survive the prison, and then to escape it.
But independence remains elusive, and falling in love comes with its own challenges. Trev’s father, Dante, a powerful underworld figure with sweeping influence throughout the galaxy, maintains control over their lives that seems stronger than any prison security system, and he seeks to keep them apart. Trev and Khim must plan another, more complex escape, and this time make sure they are well beyond the law as well as Dante’s reach.
A Bit About the Writing Process for “The Android and the Thief”
by Wendy Rathborn
Facing a blank page as an author is both wondrous and terrifying at the same time. Anything can happen. Normally, I am a pantser and write straight into the dark with a few notes jotted and doing research on the fly.
For “The Android and the Thief” I did more prep work than normal. I had a burning urge to write a novel in a specific time-span before going on the road in the spring of 2016 for my business. But I had zero ideas.
I came up with a fun solution. I wrote a list of all my favorite things I love to read in a book, especially in a m/m romance. Some of the things that were on the list that made it into the book include: far future setting, strong fighter, leadership, charisma, sense of wonder, super smart, bleak transition from human to other, depression, crushed faith, haunted by secrets no one can understand, trust issues, betrayed.
From there I began to type short paragraphs of who my characters could be. Trev immediately came to me as a young guy locked into a life of crime because of the family he was born into. He thinks he has a brilliant plan to get out from under his father’s reach, but it backfires spectacularly.
Khim was a mystery to me except I knew he had some “metal” parts. I was thinking his hand was fake, but how/why? I remembered I had written about vat-grown humans who are born as adults and implanted with fake childhood memories in my novel “Letters to an Android”. Some are created to serve only as soldiers, programmed to be the best killers using any method at hand. And that was when I knew what Khim was and how he came to be.
Nine pages of notes later, I had enough to start to write the book. Both characters grew as I wrote, eventually becoming three-dimensional in my mind and taking control of their story. I had pivotal moments in my notes of things I wanted to happen in various settings, but the hows and whys of their actions, their relationship, and who Trev and Khim are came from them. As they developed, they spoke to me.
Seriously, I do hear my characters’ voices in my head when I write. I am not insane. I’m simply a storyteller. Telling myself stories in my head is how I navigate this jungle of a day to day world and stay sane.
When I finished the book I was almost panting from the exertion. What a wild ride the writing was! Many authors do not like writing and only love “having written”, but I really enjoy the process. In between projects, I am more listless. Writing is like a drug for me. “The Android and the Thief” was such a fun book to write.
With the encouragement of my beta reader, I decided in late May of 2016 to submit the book to Dreamspinner. Four weeks later it was accepted.
I hope readers enjoy Trev and Khim as much as I did writing their story.
The flier had brought him to a large city, a floating city that overlooked a world like a blue jewel. Khim had never seen anything like it and knew none of the names for where he was—city, planet, or even system. He only saw that the city was huge. Set down in the middle of it, he was told to hurry from the door of the flier to a side door of a tall silver building topped with three dark spires that pointed to the stars.
Once inside, he had expected to go up. Instead the people who ordered him to follow them took him downward into the underbelly of the city where, through hard, rocky walls, he could hear the chugging and churning of unseen alien machinery, probably part of the vast engine that kept the huge city afloat in the clouds.
His journey ended in a dark room with no windows and only one door, the walls lined with pipes and grills. A single fan chattered from the ceiling. Along the far wall he could see, through the dimness, a row of five cages with vertical gold bars. Two were occupied. Three were not.
His handlers led him to one cage. Inside he saw a single cot, a toilet, and a sink. They opened the cage door and pushed him inside.
Immediately he turned, though his body was sluggish, and without thinking tried to push his way out, but the barred door slammed against his side. One of the men yelled at him. “Step back!”
His body obeyed as his left foot slid along the smooth flooring of his prison so that the door could close all the way. His mind reeled.
“You’ll have food brought to you three times a day,” one of the handlers said.
Nothing else was said. They turned and left.
Khim stood looking toward the shadowed entrance imploringly, as if that action alone might bring them back. He felt as if he hadn’t taken a breath since he’d been drawn off the stage, bought and sold, and placed into the flier.
Now he filled his lungs. The place smelled of old dampness, gritty and sharp and sad.
He blinked quickly against a sudden warmth. Swallowed hard. He never cried. Not even when the blood of battles sprayed through the air and ran thick into his eyes.
But now. This.
Wendy Rathbone has been writing for years, but since 2012 her focus is mostly on m/m romance. She writes all genres but seems to prefer fantasy and sci fi. She is also an award-winning poet. She lives in Yucca Valley, California, USA.