Donna Maree Hanson.
'Rayessa and the Space Pirates' is a YA SF romance published by Escape Publishing here in Australia but available world wide.
Rae is 16-years-old and she's lived the last few years along with just the mentally-damaged giant Gris for company. When Alwin Anton, an auditor from AllEarth Corp arrives, he not only stirs up Rae's life and reveals the truth of who she is, but he stirs things in Rae as well.
It's a rollicking good read - if you love your SF pulpy and fun, this is a great book for you.
I interviewed Donna - a strange thing to be doing to a good friend.
Tell us about Rayessa and the Space Pirates.
Rayessa and the Space Pirates is about 16 year old Rae Stroder, who has been living on derelict outpost inside a hollow asteroid. She’s been living with Gris, who is a bit brain damaged from the pirate attack that supposedly killed her father. They eat hard tack and beans mostly and their clothes are made from metal plating, insulation and the remains of other material.
Rayessa is a dreamer and spends her time watching vid movies, with fantastic plots and beautiful heroes and heroines. sort of like Bollywood in space. She hasn’t been to school as far as she can remember and she mostly reads checklists to get things done.
In comes Alwin Anton, super clean and smart auditor and her life turns upside down. He’s handsome for sure but he wants to take Rae back to Earth to be tried for embezzlement. Rae doesn’t even know what that word means. This is where the fun begins. Space pirates attack and Rae is off on an adventure that has more ups and downs that a roller coaster.
Who is your favourite pirate?
Gee that’s hard. I mean none of them are nice. Let me go check.(searches manuscript). I think one of the pirate woman is okay. Case, is her name. She has a twitchy face but does something nice for Rae. I also like coming up with their names. Space Pirates have weird handles like Cleaver the Curry Eater.
Who is your favourite SF heroine?
Ohh now you are ripping of the bandaid off. Tedra from Warrior’s Woman by Joanna Lindsay. OMG. Awesome book Awesome hero and Tedra takes no shit. (NICOLE - Donna and I share a mutual love of his book).
Who is your favourite SF hero?
Aside from some of my own fictional heroes in my unpublished words, I’d say Challen from Warrior’s Woman. He’s a bit of a fantasy for me. All that warrior if you know what I mean. I have a few movie and tv ones too, but I’ll stick to Challen.
Why did you write this as YA?
I don’t think I did that intentionally. It was just how the story came out. I stuck my head into Rae’s world and that’s what I got. I don’t often write in first person either so it is her story truly in that respect. I hope people like it. It’s a fun adventure!
Here is a short excerpt from when Rae meets Alwin Anton for the first time.
‘Phew. That still smells strong.’ I sniffed and looked down. The smeared remains of an aging turd were hanging off my boot.
‘Crap. What next?’ I angled my foot and scrapped what I could off onto the verge grating. Time was running out. So I gave up trying to clean my boot and headed for the airlock to meet Alwin Anton, representative of AllEarth Corp, before he stumbled into something he shouldn’t, all the while repeating my father’s first rule, ‘Act Stupid’. I was doing a good job so far and I wasn’t even trying.
The hatch began to open and then halted with a grating crunch. Surprised, I looked up. The darn thing was frozen. With Mr Anton trapped on the other side, I rummaged through a service bin looking for the WD2040. After tossing bits of equipment casually over my shoulder, I put my hand on the aerosol can. I aimed and squeezed it into the frozen seal.
I was greeted by the shush of air when the two atmospheres interacted. My ears felt heavy for a moment while they adjusted to the change in pressure.
I looked up from examining my boot, nose still hitched in a sniff when Mr Anton hove into view. He was a head taller than me, with lightly-tanned skin. Athletic looking, his dark eyes glittered as they looked me up and down. With his short black hair, straight nose and white teeth, he’d pass for a movie star. If the expression on his face was anything to go by, he was surprised. He stared for a moment and then his face creased and he staggered backwards. ‘Good god. What is that stink?’ he blurted out in what the vids would call a private-school accent.
‘Sorry, slight malfunction,’ I replied with a nervous shrug. ‘We’re having it fixed right away. Now if you’ll follow me I’ll take you round to the control room.’
‘Who are you?’ He crossed the threshold.
I swung round and felt my face heat and my underarms itch with sweat. I didn’t have to act stupid in the way my Dad instructed, since it obviously came naturally. ‘Oh? Yes, sorry. I’m Rae Stroder. Captain Stroder’s daughter.’
‘And where is your…Captain?’ His dark eyes were narrowed under trim dark eyebrows. He seemed to be looking everywhere at once. ‘Avoiding me I suppose. They always do.’
Rayessa and the Space Pirates is available direct from the publisher and at all the major electronic bookstores.
Donna Maree Hanson is an Australian writer of fantasy, science fiction, horror, paranormal romance and romance. As well as over 20 short stories published in various genres, she had a small press publishing house, been an editor, slush reader and science fiction convention runner. She works for the Australian Government undertaking audits of other government departments and their programs. She lives in Queanbeyan, near Canberra, with her youngest son, her ginger tom cat and her partner.
If YOU were asked your favourite SF heroine/hero, who would it be? My heroine would probably be Princess Leia and hero - Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly.