Today I am interviewing Norma Hinkens, award-winning author of the new sci-fi, dystopian thriller novel, Girl of Fire, first book in The Expulsion Project trilogy.
◊ ◊ ◊
DJ: Hey Norma! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Norma Hinkens: I grew up in County Donegal in Ireland, land of legends and storytelling. From a young age, I loved writing stories and I was always the kid who got called upon to tell scary stories at sleepovers. Life and career got in the way and I set aside my writing until my kids became teenagers and the hankering to do something creative took over. I live in California now, but I spend a lot of time in Idaho, and I love to travel whenever I have the opportunity.
DJ: What is Girl of Fire about?
Norma: Girl of Fire is a sci-fi dystopian thriller story about outsiders searching for their true origin in a malevolent galactic underworld featuring space pirates and self-actualizing software taking over planets. Trattora is the adopted daughter of the Chieftain on a primitive frontier planet. Velkan is an indentured serf who has never known a day of freedom. Together they flee a terrifying invasion by Galactic Pirates, and are thrown together on a ramshackle mining vessel that harbors several dark secrets. Fate and chemistry combine when the pair’s matching birth bracelets lead them to a shocking discovery about their true lineage. Trattora and Velkan plunge headlong into a frantic race against time and space to take down the genocidal self-actualizing software threatening their home planet. But first they must navigate the seedy Galactic underworld and a host of malevolent characters. If you are a Firefly or Dark Matter fan, or in Divergent withdrawal, this is the book mashup for you!
DJ: What were some of your influences for Girl of Fire and The Expulsion Project trilogy?
Norma: I went into withdrawal after Firefly ended and immediately began dreaming up the plot for Girl of Fire. Around the same time I read Unwind by Neal Shusterman, and also started reading up on Artificial Intelligence. Somehow everything ended up coming together within a couple of months in a dystopian story set in space!
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers will sympathize with them?
Norma: Trattora is a girl with a lot of fire in her belly and a strong desire to right wrongs and injustices. She has always struggled with a sense of not belonging anywhere, and longs to find her birth parents and discover her true identity. She is unafraid to take on the seedy Galactic underworld and the insidious characters she encounters, and grows to become a fearless leader fully prepared to do whatever it takes to liberate her birth planet.
DJ: What is the world of The Expulsion Project trilogy like?
Norma: Girl of Fire is set in a dangerous Galactic world controlled by the Syndicate, headquartered on a large, wealthy planet called Aristozonex. Trattora, the main protagonist grew up on a primitive frontier planet in the Netherscape called Cwelt—a rough approximation of Celtic Ireland in space! The Netherscape is outside the jurisdiction of the Syndicate and is constantly under threat of attack by Maulers (Galactic pirates) seeking to expand their territory and reach, and also take over the trade routes and hijack ships.
DJ: So, you have sci-fi; an invasion by Galactic Pirates; and talk of chemistry and self-actualizing software… You must have come up with some pretty cool tech for Girl of Fire, then?!
Norma: Very cool, and that was one of the fun parts about writing this novel. I have LevCabs (levitation cabs) that transport passengers around Aristozonex, recycle drones that monitor trash, heliodrones that handle deliveries, CoMMonitors to monitor children, CyberSyncs that are worn on the wrist and handle everything from communication to financial transactions, not to mention Molten Mocha, Elektra Chai and Propulsion Espresso refreshments. I could go on and on!
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Girl of Fire?
Norma: I loved everything about this story and it flowed pretty quickly because it was such a fun project. Inventing gadgets was definitely a blast, as was creating the cast of insidious characters to populate the unsavory Galactic underworld.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Norma: The twists and turns for sure. It is a fast-paced adventure which is how I like to write. The cast of characters should prove to be pretty entertaining too.
DJ: What is your goal in writing The Expulsion Project trilogy? Girl of Fire is only the first book of the series, but is there a particular message or meaning or theme you are hoping to get across when readers finish it?
Norma: Sacrifice is a huge theme in Girl of Fire, from the outset when Trattora’s father gives her up in order to save her, to the sacrifices her people are willing to make to protect their chieftain.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Girl of Fire that you can share with us?
Norma: Velkan lets out a snort. “Some of the primitive planets in the Netherscape live in mortal dread of encountering a half-breed species. They probably thought you had some kind of power in your hair.” He leans closer until I can feel his breath on my cheek. “Do you, Girl of Fire ?”
DJ: Now that Girl of Fire is released, what is next for you?
Norma: I will begin working on Girl of Stone: Book Two in January, and I’m also rereleasing my Undergrounders Series next year and plan to submit a standalone book to the Kindle Scout program.In addition, I’m participating in two boxed sets, so 2017 is gearing up to be a very busy year for me!
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Norma-Hinkens/e/B0197EN8W6
Author Newsletter: http://normahinkens.com/vip-reader-club/
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Girl of Fire that we haven’t talked about yet?
Norma: If you’re wondering if you would enjoy the book, I would say Girl of Fire is perfect for light science fiction fans and young adults who enjoy a thread of sweet romance and a heavy dose of adventure. If you are a Firefly or Dark Matter fan, or in Divergent withdrawal, this is the book mashup for you!
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
Norma: You are very welcome and thank you for the opportunity.
◊ ◊ ◊
*** Girl of Fire is published by Dunecadia Publishing and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
◊ ◊ ◊
ORIGIN. DESTINY. FATE. How far would you go to unravel the truth?
Trattora is the adopted daughter of the Chieftain on a primitive frontier planet. Velkan is an indentured serf who has never known a day of freedom. Forced to flee an invasion by Galactic Pirates, they find themselves thrown together on a ramshackle mining vessel that harbors more than one dark secret. Fate and chemistry combine when the pair’s matching birth bracelets lead them to a shocking discovery about their true lineage. Stakes rise when they uncover the classified Expulsion Project, and the devastating sacrifice their birth families made to spare their lives. Determined to save them from liquidation, Trattora and Velkan plunge headlong into a race against time and space to take down the genocidal self-actualizing software that now controls large swathes of their home planet. But will they navigate the treacherous dealings of the seedy Galactic underworld in time to rescue the families who loved them enough to let them go?
Girl of Fire is the first novel in The Expulsion Project, a sci-fi, dystopian thriller trilogy with a whisper of romance, a heavy dose of adventure, and action galore. If you are a Firefly or Dark Matter fan, or in Divergent withdrawal, this is the book mashup for you!
Travel junkie, legend lover, idea wrangler, Norma Hinkens grew up among rich storytelling traditions in her native Ireland, land of make-believe and the original little green man. A globetrotter at heart, she settled in California and began scribbling down the yarns that have been brewing in her head for years. In her spare time she retreats to rural Idaho to hike, bike and boat, but mostly to eavesdrop on mountain men and prepare for the apocalypse. If you like dystopian sagas, gritty heroines, and twists you won’t see coming, then you’ll love her turbo-paced thrill-rides! Join her VIP Reader Club for hot new releases, stellar giveaways, exclusive content, behind the scenes and more. Copy and paste this link into your browser: http://normahinkens.com/vip-reader-club/