Today I invited award-winning SF and Paranormal Romance author Veronica Scott to take over the blog for the “Let Your Geek Flag Fly” feature where people blog about something “geeky” that’s been a formative influence on their life.
In addition to being an author, Veronica writes the “SciFi Encounters” column for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog.*
Take it away, Veronica…
Thanks for inviting me to visit your blog and talk about my Geek Girl beginnings! One of my favorite genres to write in is science fiction romance (because I believe there needs to be romance in everything), so I thought I’d talk about the three things that gave me a very early love for SF and set me on my path as an author.
The first movie I ever remember seeing in its entirety would be the classic SF film Forbidden Planet. My dad was an engineer on the Saturn man-to-the-moon rocket program and naturally he loved science fiction. One Saturday, when the movie came on late night TV, he sat down to watch it. I kept him company and by the end credits I was totally hooked. At the age of about seven, I now knew you could have different planets, you could travel in space (and look hot doing it–well, 1950’s hot), there were robots, invisible monsters could menace you, there were ancient civilizations out there…but if you were smart and brave and never gave up, you could survive and blast off in your cool flying saucer to live Happily Ever After. As a kid with a very lively imagination, I was now totally and forever hooked on science fiction. Every-day, routine story telling had lost a lot of its appeal for me.
After this, I soon found out the local TV station played the old black and white Flash Gordon serials Monday through Friday as part of a teeth-gritting children’s show. In fact, I even wrote a letter to the TV station suggesting they get rid of the awful show host and just run the serial every day. My first act as a reviewer! I was enthralled with the peril, romance and adventures that Flash and Dale got to experience. I loved the blasters, the flyers, the rocket-ships, the clothes (which tells you a lot about my taste as a child). I keep a still photo from Flash Gordon in a frame beside my writing desk to remind me of my early love. Being a little kid, I didn’t recognize the sheer cheesiness of the cheap productions. I was too caught up in the nail-biting action.
So, by now I was well and truly launched into Science Fiction make believe. I had my dolls and my horses and all my other toys enacting complicated SF-type adventures. But it wasn’t quite enough.
The real breakthrough for me as an author was when my dad handed me a novel by Andre Norton, which he thought I’d enjoy – Catseye. Enjoy was an understatement. Here were some of my favorite elements of the genre, with alien planets, ancient civilizations, and a new-to-me concept of telepathy. Plus, cats LOL. I devoured his library of Andre Norton novels and moved on to all the other classics on the shelves.
And now I was inspired by Ms. Norton to put pen to paper and write my own otherworldly stories. My latest book is Mission to Mahjundar, set on one of those far-off planets, in a future galaxy-spanning civilization, where a man and a woman face life-and-death situations and gradually fall in love over the course of their adventures. Yes, there are blasters! No cats, though, still working on getting felines into the mix…
You can find Veronica Scott on the web at:
*Full disclosure: Veronica Scott is my mom. 🙂