06-08-2011: MilSciFi.com interviews author Laurie Gailunas, contributor to the anthology, No Man's Land, book four in the Defending The Future series.
MilSciFi: "Tell us about your story. What was
the inspiration for it?"
Gailunas: "As with most stories, it had
multiple inspirations. One, there's been a great deal of discussion among my
colleagues about violence vs pacifism, and if theres such thing as a
'just' war. Another thread of inspiration was from my work as a nurse,
including a short time working at a VA hospital, and the sometimes forgotten
stories of the fine men and women who have served in the military. The final
thread came from counseling I've done, both as a nurse and through my church,
with those who have had violent encounters in their life. So many survivors of
war and other violence struggle with whether they did right or wrong."
MilSciFi: "Is it a part of a larger universe?"
Gailunas: "Not yet. It would be terrific fun
to expand on the premise of this story."
MilSciFi: "Any plans to continue with this
Gailunas: "I'd love to! I'm curious
what adventures my character, Kit, will get into next."
MilSciFi: "Each story is accompanied by a
unique icon, can you tell us something about the relevance behind your own?"
Gailunas: "Seeing as my main character, Kit,
is a medic, it was important to have a visual cue that this story had some kind
of medical connection. The symbols are inside a starburst design to show that
this is not Earth-bound medicine. I love this icon!"
MilSciFi: "How did you become involved with
the No Manís Land project?"
Gailunas: "My friend, Jeffrey Lyman, has a
story in DTF III, By Other Means.
He told me about DTF IV, lamenting that he was not eligible to submit a story
to the next anthology. I jumped right on that lament and turned it to my
advantage. I actually started this story for By
Other Means, but had learned about it too late. But I kept going
along the line of using non-conventional weapons because it was so much fun."
MilSciFi: "What were your thoughts about the
fact that this was a collection featuring all-female authors?"
Gailunas: "It made me work extra hard to make
sure I had a story the anthology could use!"
MilSciFi: "What tips would you given an
aspiring military science fiction author, female or otherwise?"
Gailunas: "You have to respect the work our
military personnel do. There are times I might disagree with a war's
objectives and strategy, but I truly admire the courage, dedication and sheer
hard work of the men and women on the ground.
Another tip would be to find some aspect of the military
experience that doesn't get written about as much. Medicine, engineering,
chaplain services--these areas can have intense drama, but have far fewer
stories than weapons and tactics stories."
MilSciFi: "Is military accuracy important to
you, or can one simply 'fake' it?"
Gailunas: "It depends on what the author is
trying to fake. A rule I use when writing SF is, 'Just make sure it's not
impossible'. The premise or datum can be improbable, but it can't be
impossible." There's a weapon I developed (made up) for this story, that
is improbable because I have no idea how such a weapon might be powered. But I
made sure the science behind what this weapon did to a body was accurate. It's
based on my nursing experience with the horrific internal damage of
MilSciFi: "Have you been involved with any
Gailunas: "Not that's in print yet."
MilSciFi: "With your growing success as an
author, do you plan to continue writing for the Defending the Future
Gailunas: "I'd love to! I've had a lot
of fun and learned so much working with Danielle and Mike."
MilSciFi: "Are there any upcoming projects
you would like to tell us about?"
Gailunas: "I'll have a story out this summer
that's an alternate history of the space program. But that's all I can say
about it right now."
MilSciFi: "And what events do you have in the
Gailunas: "Lots of writing."
MilSciFi: "How can our readers find out more
about your work?"
Gailunas: "I'm working on setting up my own
web site, but story writing keeps getting in the way. Currently I'm
at laurie-gail.livejournal.com. Come on by and say hi!"
MilSciFi: "Thank you for your time."
Gailunas: "You're welcome. Thanks for having
me. Was I supposed to bring a hostess *gift?"
Webmaster *This I believe was in regards to attending the Balticon Launch party for the books.