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Talking Books with Roxanne Bland, author of ‘The Moreva of Astoreth’

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Roxanne BlandRoxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.

Her latest book is the science fiction novel, The Moreva of Astoreth.

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About the Book:

Moreva Tehi, scientist, healer, priestess of the Goddess of Love and three-quarters god, is a bigot. She hates the hakoi who are the Temple’s slaves. When she misses an important ritual because the enslaved hakoi are participants, her grandmother, the Goddess Astoreth, punishes her by exiling her for a year from her beloved southern desert The Moreva of Astorethhome to the far north village of Mjor in the Syren Perritory, (where the hakoi are free) to steward Astoreth’s landing beacon. But Astoreth forbids her from taking with her scientific research on red fever, a devastating scourge that afflicts the hakoi. She does so, anyway.

The first Mjoran she meets is Laerd Teger, the hakoi chief of the village, who appears to hate her. She also meets Hyme, the hakoi village healer, and much to Moreva Tehi’s surprise, they form a fast friendship. This friendship forces her to set upon a spiritual journey to confront her bigotry. While doing so, she falls in love with Laerd Teger, who returns her love. She eventually has a revelation about the meaning of love, and rids herself of her bigotry. And she develops a cure for red fever, and is the first healer to do so.

But there is a price for her love for Laerd Teger, and that is her certain execution by the Goddess Astoreth upon her return home because she has broken her sacred vows. But then, through Laerd Teger, she learns a terrible secret about her gods, that they are not gods at all, but aliens, and rather than being part god, she is part alien. Her world destroyed, she turns on Laerd Teger for showing her the truth. They eventually reconcile. But there is still the problem about her love for Laerd Teger. Astoreth will know what she has done and will execute her. She formulates a plan, involving the erasure of her memory, in which she will bargain for her life by giving Astoreth the formula for red fever. Astoreth agrees. For breaking her vows and disobeying a direct order not to take her red fever research to Mjor, Astoreth strips her of her morevic status and exiles her again to Mjor. Back in Mjor, she recovers her memory and sends the red fever formula to Astoreth. Now freed from the constraints of being a Moreva, Tehi and Teger embark on a new life together.

For More Information

  • The Moreva of Astoreth is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Roxanne. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

I’m multi-published, with two books under my belt—The Underground, and now, The Moreva of Astoreth. Assuming no delays, I’ll have a third out in 2017.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I started my own publishing house, so I’m an independent author/publisher, or indie. Being the somewhat impatient type, I did it this way because I grew weary of waiting for agents and publishers to make a decision on my book. It was taking years. And the more I learned about the publishing industry, the more going the indie route seemed a viable option. Besides, one day I’d like to open my doors to other authors. So for now, I’m experimenting on myself, learning the ins and outs of publishing.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

Well, considering the contract was between me, myself and I, it didn’t take long at all! It took only a couple of months from finalizing the manuscript to designing the cover and then to publication.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I was in awe. Even though I held it in my hands, I couldn’t quite believe I’d actually done it, published my book. As for celebrating, I was taken out to dinner by family and friends. We had a great time.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I immediately started sending out review copies to interested parties, advertising on various book-related websites in the U.S. and England, and by doing giveaways on Goodreads. I did them simultaneously.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

As a writer, I believe my prose has gotten better, and I’m more willing to scrap what doesn’t work, rather than tying myself into knots trying to fit it in. I don’t throw the rejects away, though. I keep them because I might use them in another book. As an author, I’ve learned that not everyone is going to like my novels, and might even find fault with them. And that’s okay. I can’t please everyone. From those experiences, I learned not to take it personally. Instead, I use reviews—good and bad—to improve my writing skills.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

That it is as large as it is, and so varied. When I started out, I knew nothing about small, independent presses, especially those that specialize in certain genres.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

To have readers tell me how much they enjoyed my books. After all, I write to entertain. It’s also gratifying to be told they understood the message I was trying to get across.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Don’t give up on your dream. There are so many options to getting published these days. Don’t think the traditional route is the only way. Check out the smaller presses, or consider going indie, like I did.

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