Today we feature Kimberly K. Comeau and her science fiction novel Moons' Kiss. Kimberly was twelve when she began writing, fifteen when she published her first story, and eighteen when she won her first literary contest. Since then, she’s published short fiction, poetry and nonfiction, served as director of an online writers’ workshop, and co-founded PC Quill, a critique group comprised of award-winning writers. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with a musician husband and two fiercely protective cats.
What role do you believe speculative fiction plays in society?
I view SF as the precursor of things-to-come, the imaginative arm of science. It takes the impossible, combines it with known facts, and extrapolates possibilities. I think, too, that it warns us of what can go wrong if we blindly persist down certain avenues of action. It makes us consider angles of thought we may not have considered before, and causes us to ponder right and wrong and how blurred each of those boundaries can be. I think it also prepares us for the day we make contact with an alien race.
Why do you write in this genre?
Science fiction allows me full rein to pursue ‘what if’ questions to unexpected conclusions. After all, every social issue includes what I call ‘the human factor,’ which is man’s impulse to rebel, to choose the illogical course of action, to believe that he knows better than his peers, leaders and Nature. Humans also exhibit a stubborn optimism about history. Just because a social experiment failed once doesn’t mean it won’t work on the second attempt. Or the third. Add science, technology and aliens into the mix and the opportunities for disaster and incredible advances multiply exponentially. How can I not write in this genre? There’s just too much fun to be had.
How did you come up with the idea for Moons' Kiss?
News reports of the 1978 Jim Jones Massacre in Guyana sparked a lifelong curiosity about religious cults. Then in 1997, 39 members of Heaven’s Gate made news when they committed suicide as comet Hale-Bopp streaked across the sky, believing their souls would join with a spaceship that trailed the comet. That started me wondering, “What if they’re right?” That wonder led to a second what if that became the basis for the story behind Moons’ Kiss. Unfortunately, I can’t say more than that without disclosing spoilers.
What was your biggest challenge in writing it?
The research for the character of Kayarra. And the funny part is, he’s the human! In chapter one, Kayarra is nearly killed, so I faced massive medical research on head injuries, trepanation, burns, and wound care. In addition, he suffers from psychogenic amnesia as a result of things he witnessed before he fell (jumped?) from a cliff. All this research was completed pre-Internet, so I didn’t have the ready resources available today. After I finished the book edits, I asked a nurse to read the novel, and I made minor changes based upon her questions and recommendations.
What are you working on now?
*Laughs* Way too many things, is the honest answer. Marketing Moons’ Kiss and a novella co-written with Jon Kohl entitled Fallout, released the first of January by Books To Go Now, has taken priority over most activities. After all, my novels are two tiny grains in a mountainous sand dune of books and getting them noticed is a daunting task.
My next release is an SF novel entitled Rainbow Gold, which suggests how the harvesting of animals can go horribly awry when an alien species is involved.
The sequel to Moons’ Kiss, entitled The Children’s War, is three-quarters finished in draft, but completion is on hold until Rainbow Gold’s release.
About Moons' Kiss
They found him in the South Ofrann Desert, where everything evil lived.
Manerra, heir to the tribes of Yatra, intends to abdicate--until his rescue of a man-thing from cannibals pits brother against brother and tribe against tribe. Prevented by decree from harming the creature, Manerra pledges to drive it away . . . and adds another layer of guilt to his already troubled mind.
Rebuffing all counsel, Aya, the nation’s ruler, takes steps to prevent bloodshed in future meetings between his people and the foreigners, and by so doing, hands his enemies the means to secure his downfall. As political maneuvering and violence escalate, there’s one wildcard that no one’s considered: the “demon” Kayarra. Who is he, what is he, and what do his people want?
“What I got in this 408 page novel more than made up for the time it took to read. Ms. Comeau’s tale slowly drew me in and by the end I found myself comparing it to another sci-fi book, Stranger In A Strange Land by a master of the genre, Robert Heinlein. (Coincidentally Heinlein was listed by the author as one of her literary influences along with other sci-fi greats like Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov and C.J. Cherryh.) This is a classic “fish out of water” story that I really enjoyed as the author took the time to create a world and characters so complex and real that you cared about them and wanted to learn more about them as a you continued to read.” - Review by Tavin Gamache, The Indie Bookshelf, September 15, 2012