interviews J. R. Leahy, author
of the military science fiction novels Tigra and The Obsidian Seed.
MilSciFi: "Welcome. What was your inspiration for
RJ Leahy: "The situation in the middle
east. The way in which religion has affected man's history and influenced
every aspect of our culture, including our wars, has always fascinated
me. Both Tigra and its sequel, The Obsidian Seed, examine this in depth."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any future plans for
stories set in the same universe?"
RJ Leahy: "Yes, Tigra was conceived as a trilogy."
MilSciFi: "What other upcoming works are on the
horizon for you?"
RJ Leahy: "The third installment of the Tigra
MilSciFi: "How would you describe your
experience working on the book?"
RJ Leahy: "It's always a labor of love, but
MilSciFi: "What was your favorite part, the
concept that just really gets you going?"
RJ Leahy: "The idea that none of us are
pure. As one of my characters explains, "I'm not a monster, but
in war you are often forced to do things you don't agree with, sometimes
MilSciFi: "Is this book a part of a series? Tell
us a bit about it."
RJ Leahy: "Tigra begins some four hundred years
in the future. Mankind, long divided into two political factions, the
Union and the Coalition, has been fighting a bloody galactic civil war for
a hundred years. Jeena Garza, a soldier in the Union, crashes on the distant
planet Ararat after escaping a hellish POW camp. There in the deep desert
of this almost-forgotten world, she discovers a feline-like creature and
learns that he among all his kind is not a beast, but a sentient being, the
only such creature ever discovered in over four centuries of exploration.
In order to protect him, she is forced to fight yet again, this time
against a messianic leader bent on world conquest. The result
of her decision affects not only the future of Ararat, but that of all
mankind. The Obsidian Seed takes place nine years later, with the
return of the hated Coalition."
MilSciFi: "If you had a chance to write one
story/novel just because you wanted to, and didn't have to worry about if it
would sell or not, what would it be about?"
RJ Leahy: "Oh gosh. I suppose it would
have to be the story of my great uncle, Willy. Lost at sea during the
first world war, he washed up on a Polynesian Island and lived with the natives
for almost two years before he was rescued. Through some snafu, the family
wasn't notified and one day he simply showed up un-announced at the door.
Family legend says that for years afterward, he and his friends would have all
night drunken parties at his headstone."
MilSciFi: "What is your favorite story/novel you
have ever written and why?"
RJ Leahy: "Long ago I wrote a play called
The Song. Very Minimalist. The cast consisted entirely of two
little girls in a garden, talking. It isn't until the very end that the
audience realizes it's really Lucifer and Michael, the Archangel. It
managed to offend almost everyone, but for some reason I'm still quite fond of
MilSciFi: "What are you working on next?"
RJ Leahy: "The third Tigra novel, and a young
adult tale that's a mixture of Peter Pan and Harry Potter."
MilSciFi: "Do you have a lead on your next
storyline? Care to share a hint?"
RJ Leahy: "One of the main characters dies."
MilSciFi: "What advice would you give the
aspiring military science fiction writer?"
RJ Leahy: "Don't let the military or the science
dominate the story. In the end, the only stories we really care about,
are those about people."
MilSciFi: "Who is your single-most influence in
science fiction and what impact have they had on our own work?"
RJ Leahy: "I don't think there is only
one. I've been most influenced by the writers from the "golden
age". i.e.., Asimov, Heinlein, and Silverberg to name just a few."
MilSciFi: "What is the one thing you find the
most difficult about writing military science fiction?"
RJ Leahy: "Trying to follow my own rule about
not letting the technical stuff get in the way of the story."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any awards you would like
to tell us about?"
RJ Leahy: "Not yet:) Although Tigra was
nominated for a Dream Realm award."
MilSciFi: "Is military science fiction the only
thing you write, or is there something else out there we should be looking for?
RJ Leahy: "Right now, that's all I
have published, but I am working on a young adult novel."
MilSciFi: "Do you find it difficult finding a
home for your military science fiction work? What challenges do you face?"
RJ Leahy: "Like all genre fiction, SF popularity
is cyclical, but I've been fortunate that my publisher, Zumaya is very
committed to quality fiction."
MilSciFi: "Do you have a website where our
readers can go to fine more information about your work?"
RJ Leahy: "I recommend your readers check out
well as Zumayabooks on Myspace."
MilSciFi: "Give us some details on your upcoming author appearances."
RJ Leahy: "None planned at present, although I
expect that to change before the end of the year."
MilSciFi: "Thank you."