Back in April of this year, I introduced you to “Hero” by Belinda Crawford. This was the first of her “Hero Rebellion” series, and Belinda just released the second installment of the series “Riven”. So I am thankful that I was able to steal some of her time for this interview, especially since promoting a new book takes up a lot of time.
So, without further ado, I’m handing you over to Belinda. (Oh, and don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the upcoming Book Spotlight for “Riven”).
Introducing Belinda Crawford
Belinda Crawford is a horse-mad geek who loves rock music, hates pink and is occasionally driven nuts by the need to organise. She grew up riding fat, stubborn little ponies and questionably sane horses, and only discovered the delights of reading after her mum bought her a horse magazine.
Riven is Belinda’s second book. She’s currently writing the third, and final, instalment in The Hero Rebellion, with plans to write many more adventures in the world of Jørn.
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
I’m a sucker for Country music, I like my steak medium-rare and am totally hanging out for season 4 of RWBY, not to mention Mass Effect: Andromeda. When I’m not geeking out, I’m training horses and writing books, although not at the same time. That would be awkward.
I also make a wicked triple chocolate marshmallow ice cream and awesome pancakes, sometimes as the same time because, yum.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
Riven is the second book in The Hero Rebellion trilogy and it features explosions, disasters, aliens, chases and weaponized chocolate. That last one is my favorite part of the book. Totally awesome.
If that’s not enough to tickle your tastebuds, The Hero Rebellion is a sci-fi series for young adults that follows the story of a young telepath called Hero as she tries to get a life. Riven takes place a year after the first book.
After foiling a centuries-old conspiracy in book 1, Hero has just about everything she wants, except her best friend is keeping secrets and Fink, her 600kg, genetically engineered companion is constantly angry. To top it all off, there’s something wrong with Hero’s brain, like blackouts and nosebleeds wrong.
Who is your intended readership?
Me, aged 13! Seriously though, I wrote the series for younger teenage readers who like movies such as Star Wars that are full of action and adventure. It’s also for kids who like computers, horses and the idea of running around a futuristic city in secret.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been a storyteller. As a (mostly) only child with a vivid imagination, I’d entertain myself making up stories that I played out with teddy bears and Barbies.anything Later, in high school, I discovered text-based roleplaying, which is effectively collaborative storytelling and discovered that I loved writing.
But still, it wasn’t until my aunt told me she thought I should write a book, because I’d read so many of them, that the idea took hold. Up until then, I’d never thought of writing as anything more than a hobby. It took a few more years, several false starts and a change in career but eventually I decided to give the writing thing a serious go, and now here I am.
Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
Tamora Pierce is a huge favorite of mine and has been since I was a kid, I’m also a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series, which does a phenomenal job of bringing to life a complex fantasy world. Another book I also recommend to people, and is great inspiration for me, is Path of the Fury by David Weber. The opening chapter is a brilliant example of how to write an action scene, it’s gritty, heart wrenching and just plain awesome.
What advice would you give beginning writers?
Keeping writing stuff! From my own experience and that of the authors I’ve talked to, I’ve found that writers learn by doing. You can take courses, get a PhD and read a thousand books, but the only way you’re going to improve is to write. Write bad stuff, write good stuff but most importantly, have fun.
I honed my skills writing Star Trek fan fiction and had a blast while doing it. Along the way I learned a lot and discovered the kinds of things I’m passionate about writing.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?
My family owns a small Arabian horse stud in High Country, Victoria, and when I’m not writing I’m usually outside working with the horses.
Currently I’m getting started in endurance riding, which is the equine equivalent of a marathon. There’s a lot of training involved, not just to get the horse fit but to get them used to the things they’ll encounter during a ride, like plastic bags and ride-on mowers.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
Right now, I’m working on the third and final book in The Hero Rebellion and I’m really excited about the end of Hero’s story (HINT: it involves an explosion, a viral outbreak and a sunset). The story picks up roughly a year after the events of Riven. I won’t give away any spoilers but I will tell you that we’re going to find out more about Jørn and the beings that live on the surface as well as find out what really happened to Hero’s uncle, Paris.
After The Hero Rebellion, I’ll be starting another Jørn series. There’ll be AIs and funky mind powers like in The Hero Rebellion, but this time there’ll also be spaceships and creepy alien shipwrecks. It’ll be a little bit different from the first series, but just as much fun.
The Hero Rebellion
Centuries ago, humans colonised Jørn, a lonely planet on the far side of the galaxy. Arriving in five great colony ships, they quickly settled the surface only to discover, after a few short years, that the planet was killing them. The culprit, a native spore, carried on every wind to every corner of the globe.
Genetic engineering, blending DNA from Earth and Jørn species, saved their crops and livestock, but for humans there was no cure. Instead they took to the skies, turning their colony ships into cities that floated above the spore’s reach.
Hero Regan is special, and not in a way she likes. She hears voices, voices in her head that other people can’t. Surrounded by butlers, bodyguards and tutors, insulated from the outside world, her only solace is Fink, a six-hundred-kilogram, genetically engineered ruc-pard. They share lives, thoughts, triple-chocolate marshmallow ice-cream and the burning desire for freedom.
Their chance comes when Hero is allowed to attend school in Cumulus City. Here, along with making unexpected friends, Hero discovers she is an unwitting part of a master plan set into motion by the first colonists, a plan she must either help or foil if she’s ever to attain the freedom she craves.
#2 : Riven
Hero Regan is a telepath, the first in a new subspecies of human engineered to save the world, but that was before she blew up a chunk of Cumulus City. Now the world doesn’t need her, which is just how she likes it.
Hero has just about everything she wants: independence, friendship and a shot at her fondest dream—to explore the surface of the alien planet she calls home. Life would be perfect except her best friend is keeping secrets, Fink—her six hundred kilogram, genetically engineered companion—is constantly angry, and there’s something wrong with Hero’s brain. Like, really, really wrong.
It all wouldn’t be so bad, except Hero has secrets to keep too—the kind that may just be unforgivable—and the Librarian once again needs her help to save the world, whether she wants to or not.
With past actions coming back to haunt her, old friendships falling apart and new, confusing ones coming together, Hero has to find answers because, this time, the world really is going to change.