Author Name: F.T. Lukens
Book Name: The Star Host
Series: Broken Moon
Release Date: March 3, 2016
Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, he must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.
He finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.
Pages or Words: 258 pages
Categories: Fiction, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Once at the hangar, Ren broke away from the two guards and entered the lancer, walking up the stairs, irritation a heavy feeling in his chest.
“Reporting for work,” Ren said, his tone heavily laced with annoyance.
Janus popped up from a console she had been working under, goggles on her face, gray hair sticking up everywhere. “You!” she snapped. “I told you not to come back.”
Ren rolled his eyes. “It’s not my choice. I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here.”
“Where are your guards? I told the dumb one not to bring you back, Abiathar’s orders be damned. I don’t want your kind working on these ships.”
She poked a finger hard into Ren’s chest and he staggered back, and rubbed his hand over the spot.
“What the stars do you mean by my kind?”
Her eyes grew comically large behind the goggles. “You don’t know?” She laughed, bordering on hysterical. “You’re more dangerous than I thought. You can’t try to control it if you don’t even know what you are.”
Ren frowned. His tolerance for the cryptic nonsense everyone had spouted since he arrived was gone. He took a step toward the hull and Janus stiffened.
“Don’t,” she barked.
“Don’t what? Touch it? What will happen, huh?”
Her face paled and her chest heaved with panicked breaths. “You don’t know what you’re capable of.”
Ren laughed. “I’m capable of nothing. I’m a duster, planet-born with very limited experience with tech. You have no reason to be frightened of me.”
He moved closer to the hull, hand outstretched, fingers splayed.
She whimpered. “Please, don’t.”
Ren slammed his hand against the hull, his fingertips leaving greasy marks on the shiny surface. As he predicted, nothing happened.
He turned back to Janus. “See? Nothing–”
His word tangled in his throat, cut off, because suddenly, Ren was consumed with power, rushing from his toes to his fingertips. A blue tint clouded his vision, and his body suffused with golden warmth. And then he was floating amongst the wires, connected to the ship, to the energy source, to everything. The lancer pulsed under his skin, tangling in his veins, its systems integrated with his senses.
It was freeing and frightening.
His consciousness raced along the circuits and he could fix it. He could fix everything. He found the tangle of wires in the artificial gravity system and bypassed it. He found the broken circuits in the air recyclers and with a pulse of power, refurbished them. He saw the static in the com system, a physical entity, and he cleared it away with a brush of his metaphysical hand.
The longer Ren floated through the ship, the less connected he was to his physical body. And if he thought about it, he didn’t need his body. Why would he need his body? He was free here. He moved around with ease, the wires and the systems his route, and the more he pushed, the more he felt the other ships too. They were nearby, on the edge of his perception, and he could go to those, he could jump to the other ones and repair them too.
Buy the book:
Hi F.T., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi, everyone. This is F.T. and I’m excited to share with you my science-fiction young adult novel, The Star Host. It is an adventure story that follows Ren and Asher as they attempt to save themselves, their friends, and navigate their growing relationship. The novel features a bisexual main character and a diverse cast.
Q: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes my imagination is triggered by a song lyric. Or sometimes one of my kids will say something and that sparks a line of dialogue or an idea to pursue. I love moments like that, and thinking through a plot or developing a character. I always carry a notebook with me, just in case, so I can write down things I experience that might end up in a story.
Q: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A: I honestly believe that anyone who writes a story, not matter if they are published, is a writer. So I guess, I’ve always considered myself a writer. Since that first short story when I was in third grade, and across the many fandoms I’ve participated in. I’m a writer.
Q: Do your characters become like real people to you?
A: Well, at the end of the writing process, the characters are fully fleshed out. As their writer, I know all the details about them, their backstories, their hopes and dreams, how they would react in a certain situation. So yes, I do think they become real people. And that’s the trick, isn’t it? Having them become real people to readers, and having those readers care about them. That’s the goal, ultimately. To make the characters that live in your head as alive on the page.
Q: If you weren’t a writer, what else would you like to have done?
A: Unfortunately, I’m not a full-time writer. So I do have a day job. If I wasn’t working that job, I’d love to be a literature professor. I actually went back to college and got a second BA degree in English Literature with the goal to pursue my Master’s. I did get that second degree, but since then I’ve gotten sidetracked along the way. However, furthering my education could be something I do in the future.
Q: What do you want your tombstone to say?
A: I have a favorite quote from a poem. It’s actually the foreword in The Star Host.
“Though my soul met set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”
- Sarah Williams “An Astronomer to his Pupil.”
Meet and follow the author:
F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.
A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college’s science-fiction club. F.T. has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels—especially anything by Douglas Adams.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27830154-the-star-host
Publisher: Duet Books, the Young Adult imprint of Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer
Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press Web Store gift card (grand prize) + 5 winners of The Star Host eBook
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