I have another blog post on the way, but I wanted to get this one out quickly so you don’t miss out on a special sale. We are in the midst of a Kindle Countdown and you have the opportunity to get a Kindle version of Alien Neighbors for only 99 cents!!
I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work that went behind writing Alien Neighbors, and all by grabbing precious time to write around our beautiful family and working full-time. Even if science fiction is not normally your genre, I think you will find Alien Neighbors a fun and uplifting read.
And if you have something you are passionate about – don’t give up on it. Dreams really can come true if you keep pursuing them. Maybe not in the time frame you hoped for initially – but keep at it, and it will happen
My husband Phil and I had a wonderful time at the International Space Development Conference (hosted by the National Space Society), where we met so many amazing people from around the world who share a common love for all things space and the betterment of humanity through space exploration. We had an exhibitor table for my books and as both an engineer and an author, I am grateful I was given the opportunity to speak and share my passion for how science fiction serves to stir us to imagine the possibilities about the future. Science fiction has influenced so many to enter scientific or engineering occupations and invent what was once regarded as fantasy.
Seeing all of the young people attending from other countries because they did research projects in line with space exploration was fun and it was also exciting to see their interest in STEM. The picture at the top of this blog post is of the Space Settlement Contest Grand Prize winners. You can also check out their model entry below:
Students from around the world made posters of their projects and we attended their presentations where they explained what their project was about. The projects ranged from living in space (with well-constructed means of providing for all of the needs people living there would require), to asteroid mining, and farming in space. Their projects showed both technical savvy and creativity. The students had the opportunity to show off their soft skills while they explained their research and they all did a great job.
I had several special moments with various groups of young people. Some boys from Romania were talking among themselves as they dropped a water bottle accidentally and one of them kicked it. It went towards the direction of our exhibitor table and I could tell by the boys’ expressions that they thought I would be getting on to them about it. Instead, I came from around my table and kicked it back to them and signaled for them to kick it back. In the middle of the space conference foyer, I had a impromptu game of soccer with a group of boys and the smiles and laughter were universal – although the game ended abruptly when one of the conference officials spotted our shenanigans and shut us down 🙂
We had a raffle every day and the students who won were so excited! The prize was an artsy canvas depicting Kepler-186f, which is the planet that the aliens are from in my science fiction novel, Alien Neighbors. One of our winners gave us some cute buttons she made to remember her by – which we will always treasure.
As I walked about the conference foyer that ran along the front of all of the session rooms, I waved and smiled and got many smiles and waves in return. Many of the young people came to our exhibitor table to say hello and we made many new friends among the adult conference attendees, fellow exhibitors and presenters, and students, throughout the four days.
I am so excited that I also got to meet one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Pascal Lee, and I was very honored that he wanted a signed copy of my science fiction novel, Alien Neighbors. Not only is he an amazing planetary scientist – he is also a talented artist and even more – he is a super nice guy. Celebrities are typically swarmed by people while also prepping for their presentations which has to be stressful, yet he still paused in the midst of it all to encourage me. Isaac Arthur, the president of the National Space Society, dropped by our table to say hello and chat a bit. We had a delightful conversation about the impact of science fiction on science. We got to know a fellow author named Alastair Storm Browne who has written a really good book, Cosmic Careers. His book was perfect for this conference, since there were so many young people attending interested in space careers.
The icing on the cake for me occurred in the afternoon of the last day. I got to meet Col. Eileen M. Collins. Among her many achievements, she is the first American woman to command a space mission, as well as the first to pilot the space shuttle. She shares her life story in a terrific book called Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars (which I got signed – Yay!) She graciously accepted a signed copy of Alien Neighbors in return 🙂 She made me feel truly valued during our brief chat – something I will always remember and cherish.
While we went to the conference intending to sell my books (and we did sell some – Yay!), something even better happened. We met some incredible people and made new friends, we learned a lot about space exploration and what is currently being developed, and we were also blessed to be able to encourage many of the next generation of scientists and engineers. Special thanks to my incredible, handsome husband Phil – I couldn’t do what I do without his love and help – and to Ken Ruffin and the North Texas Chapter of the NSS for their encouragement and support – it was an experience we will never forget!
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but my Mom gave me a wonderful gift that surpasses any of the toys we couldn’t afford – she gave me the gift of a love for reading. Every night she would sit on my bed with me and my brother, and read to us from Babar the Elephant. She took us on adventures and nurtured in us a love for books.
When I was in elementary school I couldn’t wait to get my report card because if I got all As and Bs, I could count on Mom taking me to Kmart to pick out a Nancy Drew mystery. Evenings were spent in the living room with my family. We each had our “spot” and mine was the green chair next to the lamp. I would sit cuddled up and reading while my Mom, Dad, and brother watched T.V.
When bedtime arrived – I would say my good nights, and I couldn’t wait to get to bed. Hiding under my blanket with my flashlight, I was transported to other worlds. My stack of library books were a free ticket to wondrous adventures. I would keep half an ear listening for Mom’s footsteps, so I could shut off my flashlight before she saw me. Looking back, I am quite sure she knew I was reading and smiled as she checked on me while I did my best imitation of being asleep.
I remember when my Mom took me to the library and got me a library card – I thought I was in heaven. She would drop me off at the library in our community and I would lose myself there for hours. When I came outside of its doors at our agreed upon time for Mom to bring me back home, I would be carrying a huge stack of books that I could barely see over, threatening to topple out of my arms as I made my way to the waiting car. Which is why TODAY IS SO SPECIAL!!!
There is something absolutely magical about seeing a book you have written made available in your local library
If you would like a copy in your local library – be sure and request it from your local librarian. Alien Neighbors is in the IngramSpark catalogue and they can order it from there for your library. Happy Reading!!
Ever wonder what a novel’s journey looks like? How does the author get inspiration and what is their process? Check out ALIEN NEIGHBORS’ journey to find out:
The Wow! Signal and strange audio transmissions heard by NASA astronauts further inspired the thought, “What if aliens do exist?”
I had a lot of fun envisioning Lanjo, the alien that befriends my main character, Tom Whitaker. A graphic artist did this rendition after I described to him what Lanjo looks like. The expression on his face (a grimace) is the alien equivalent of a smile. If you look closely, you’ll see the extra digit on each hand and the friendship bracelet he receives from Tom’s daughter as part of the story.
Flowchart of events in novel (Spoilers are hidden)
Book Launch Buzz – Generating Excitement for ALIEN NEIGHBORS entrance into the world.
Now that ALIEN NEIGHBORS has been launched into the world, one would think the journey is over. But that is not the case. Writing a book is HARD, but marketing it is even harder. It’s tough being an author but as arduous as it is to write a book – finding your audience so that you can realize your dream of writing a story that leaves a positive impact on the world is even harder. Please take a look and see if ALIEN NEIGHBORS might be for you or share it with someone who may be interested. Every time I hear someone tell me that it is a fun read that has given them a brief respite from their troubles and they found the story inspiring – it makes the years of hard work worthwhile!
ALIEN NEIGHBORS is available at these fine book sellers:
Global Distribution: IngramSparks: ISBN 978-1956891010
A Portion of Sales Goes to Charity: In most African countries, children must pay to go to school. Nancy’s friend Donatien Gilga Ndacyayisaba is a priest in Rwanda who has five orphans under his care. Donatien’s parish is very poor and it is extremely difficult for them to raise the school fees for the children. Fifty cents of the sale of each book will be donated to help these precious children continue their education.
Having worked on my science fiction novel for about five years (more if you count when I first conceived it, but put it aside after three chapters to focus on motherhood) and to come to this moment of time when it will be officially launched for the world to enjoy, can only be described as amazing and marvelous – amazing I managed to get to this point and marvelous because I got to this point. All of the hard work has come to fruition and I am about to launch Alien Neighbors into the world!
Publishing a book is a long and arduous process. After you finish the writing, the next phase begins – preparing to market your book. Reviews are so important to selling books and NetGalley is a platform that many traditional and indie publishers use to garner reviews. The idea is that ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) are made available to registered members for free in exchange for honest reviews. As you can well imagine, this can be a scary process viewed with some trepidation by the author. I am so excited to share we got our first review. Somehow, getting this review from a complete stranger, has brought me a wonderful sense of affirmation and joy.
Tomorrow is the Official Launch Day – the culmination of my dream to publish a science fiction novel that began as just an idea after reading an article in 2000. I am going to share parts of that journey in future blog posts, but in the mean time, my Book Launch Buzz video will give you a general idea of the story behind Alien Neighbors and what it means to me.