Open the bay doors, HAL, because a very special guest has jump her ship to visit us today! Who is this special guest? She's a force to be reckoned with, a fellow writer and cosmonaut (notice we both have space suits?), who makes blogging more about others than herself. She's a talented wordsmith of the strange and the macabre and other solid science fiction wizardry. We at the table would be fools not to grant her the highest honor that The Cosmic Laire can bestow. Having said that, welcome, and I hereby dub thee, Lady Ellie (Cosmonaut) Garratt, Knight of the Cosmic Table!
EG: *Seals airlock and removes helmet*
Wow! I'm breathing ship air aboard the Cosmic Laire. And I've been bestowed the greatest honour in the known galaxy. Thank you!
DPK: We're glad to have you! Thank you for coming. Please leave your helmet here and we'll continue this interview on the bridge.
*Heads to the bridge*
EG: The Cosmic Laire is different to what I expected. Larger. What are all these triangular dials for? Do you mind if I test a few?
*Reaches hand forward*
DPK: You know, I'm not really sure what those do. I don't think the engineer ever explained to me what those are, after we upgraded.
I wouldn't touch the red one, though - it's staring at us ...
EG: I'll resist turning the red dial, but resistance is futile. I heard that somewhere. Can't quite remember.
When we get to the bridge, can I pilot the ship?
DPK: Only after I ask a few questions. And here's the first one: who makes your space suits? Mine's starting to wear thin, and if you've seen Gravity, you'll know I don't want to be an instant ice cube.
EG: Don't talk to me about Gravity. It seems they're beaming that one to me a whole month after its release date. As for my space suit, I could tell you, but then I'd have to flush you out your own airlock.
Let's just say it wasn't made on Earth.
DPK: You make it sound like getting flushed out of my airlock is a bad thing! It's our favorite pastime around here. And not having seen Gravity is a crime. I hope they'll have showings on your ship soon!
So tell me, among your adventures, I know writing is among them. Tell us about your writing endeavors, and I'd like to know what led you to include this talent in your already impressive resume?
EG: From a young age I loved to tell stories, which was no surprise to the adults in my life - I never stopped talking. Actually, I never stop. Had you noticed?
I also devoured books. Not literally. Can you imagine eating a whole book? A novella might be manageable, but not a novel. Anyway, writing was a natural next step (or bounce, if you're on the moon).
DPK: Groovy, and right now you have two short story collections out, Passing Time and Taking time. Tell us what they're about and why we should pick up a copy right now.
EG: If you like strange, twisted, macabre fiction, you'll like Passing Time. If you're looking for darker science fiction - think post-apocalyptic, alien invasion, and strange new worlds, Taking Time is the collection for you. Of course, I'll leave it up to my readers to decide if any of my stories are based on my Earth-bound or interstellar adventures.
DPK: I like the sound of both! Should we expect another "Time" collection soon?
EG: I'm not planning another time-related collection, though I do have an alternate reality western anthology in the early planning stages.
DPK: Sweet! Do you have a novel in the works?
EG: In between space missions and engine overhauls - if you have any maintenance issues on The Cosmic Laire, I'm happy to help - I'm working on a series of novellas called The Dead Chronicles and a nine-part science fiction series called The Third Dimension.
DPK: How do you get your writing groove on?
EG: When I'm on Earth, I walk the two-mile stretch of coastline where I live or spend time with friends. I usually return to my writing den or spaceship, revitalized and full of ideas. I'm also a big fan of Pinterest and visual stimulation.
Thankfully, the interweb is available in space.
DPK: I still need to see what all the fuss is about with Pinterest. I know our "Evil Queen" Amber Argyle uses it for cover inspiration and ideas, but enough about that. I bet you're hungry after your jump. Astronaut food may not be the finest dining experience in the universe, but what's your favorite spacewalk snack?
EG: Re-hydrated doughnuts and coffee. I'm a sugar-buzz kind of gal.
DPK: Hmm ... donuts. I'm partial to crullers myself!
*Bridge doors open*
EG: Talking of food, do you have a replicator yet?
DPK: A replicator ...?
EG: I hear the waiting list spans into 2014.
DPK: Oh yeah! We had one. Some guy from the ship Red Dwarf replicated the crew's weight in toast and it sort of blew up. We're hoping to replace it with the next tax refund, if we get one ...
EG: *Stops to admire the bridge*
Wow! Your bridge is amazing! It has to be three times the size of mine. That view-screen is to die for. Any chance of swapping ships?
DPK: Thanks! We're working hard to make this place a home worthy of the latest and best that sci fi and fantasy. What you see is based off of my shelved sci-fi novel, actually. I need to crack that thing open and see what I can do with it. As for swapping ships, maybe I'll let you have this one after our next upgrade ... maybe ...
Now, before you decided to travel among the stars, where did you call home? If it's earth, which district do you herald from?
EG: I'm from the small seaside town of Exmouth, Devon - the region of Earth commonly known as The United Kingdom. I have a small apartment right on the gateway to the Jurassic Coast. We're very proud to say there have been no dinosaur attacks for ten years now.
DPK: Lucky. Our DNA specialist got eaten by one of his "resurrection" projects the other day - I told him it was a bad idea ...
Now that you are a Knight of the Cosmic table, tell us what it means to be a knight, to yourself and as a member of the writing community.
EG: It truly is an honour to be given the title of Knight of the Cosmic Table. I hope that I will live up to the responsibility such a position brings - living an honourable life, writing fast, publishing well, and most especially offering support and encouragement to my fellow space travellers and writers.
DPK: And that's what you show the universe each and every time you post, but enough with the formalities. It's time to make this offical. Here's your badge of honor to prove that you are a member of this valiant order. Place if wherever in the cosmos you'd like. Congratulations, Lady Garratt, and welcome to the Cosmic Table!
EG: *Wipes tears from eyes*
You are true friend and gentleman, David. If you ever need my help, remember I'm only a light speed away. Live long and prosper.
DPK: And you too! Tell your fellow knight Nick Wilford I said hello. I think he lives near you (or the place you visit when not in space)!
EG: *Gives Vulcan salute before entering the escape pod*
* * *
Isn't she the greatest, guys? Thanks again for stopping by The Laire, Ellie. You're welcome here anytime. I hope you guys enjoyed our interview. If you feel so inclined, check out her blog and wish her a heartfelt congratulations. A follow would be above and beyond.
That's all I have for now. See you Friday for the start of NaNoWriMo and the launch of our The Spirit of Christmas anthology!
Have you ever had astronaut food before? What would you order from a replicator? Doesn't Ellie's books sound awesome?
I'm David, and what's with all the giraffes I see on Facebook?