ELECTRA SHEPHERD is the pseudonym of an award-winning, best-selling author. She enjoys reading, travelling, and extreme Lego.
You write funny, sexy, sci-fi romance, tell us what gave you the idea.
I believe it came from my childhood obsession with Star Wars. I mean, everyone, at some point, fancies C3PO and R2D2 and makes up romances involving them, right? Er…you mean you didn’t? I believe that in the future, everyone will be writing erotic science fiction romantic comedy. There’s even a name for the genre: Eromscicom. Sort of rolls off the tongue.
So what kind of heroine falls in love with a blue robot?
LOVE MACHINE is set in the near future, and my heroine, Cally, grew up with robots living in her house. They were invented by her genius father to take care of the family’s every need. But Cally, unlike the rest of her family, isn’t a genius. She likes to party, she likes a good time, she likes men. She’s actually a little wary of the house robots…until Blue comes up with a very interesting proposition.
And what about the hero? What has he got going for him if he’s a machine? Can he be programmed, and how important is his colour?
He has vibrating hands, a perfect physique, and a brain the size of a planet. What’s not to like? These days, Blue can’t be programmed. He’s started to think for himself. He’s keen to understand and experience human emotion, and he knows that Cally is the one to teach it to him. All of the house robots are bright colours—Blue, Red, Green—and they were made that way by their creator, Cally’s father Victor Morgenstern, in order to avoid looking too human, and falling into the “uncanny valley”. This sounds a little odd and possibly rude, but it is in fact part of robotic theory.
On a personal level I’ve always found blue quite a sexy colour, so I thought it would be a good name, and skin tone, for my hero. It’s sexier than Puce.
Is your book set in the real world or one you’ve created such as Pratchett’s Discworld?
It’s in the real world, in a near future which I have entirely made up myself, but which obviously still contains all the cool things like internet shopping and Haribo.
I’m a great fan of Star Trek, and my daughters loved Dr Who. What is your favourite Sci Fi show or film?
I loved the new Battlestar Galactica and how it really explored the lines between Cylon and human. But I’m also a big fan of Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’m dying to see Michael Fassbender’s robot David in Prometheus. If you’re a sci-fi fan, you can take the ‘Who’s the Sexiest Robot’ poll on my website: http://electrashepherd.wordpress.com/whos-the-sexiest-robot/
Do you write on a computer, iPad or something even more high-tech?
I write on a laptop but I’m in the process of inventing a device that transfers words directly from my brain onto the screen via the medium of 80s power ballads.
Would you say your work was more futuristic than steampunk?
Definitely more futuristic. If Blue were steampunk, he’d emit a strange whirring sound and have brass cogs scattered over his anatomy. Whereas in truth, he has an MP3 player in his chest, a USB hub in the back of his neck, and a permanent wifi connection.
If the aliens landed which book would you suggest they read first?
The Lord of the Rings. Mostly because I think it would be cool if the aliens all adopted mullets, spoke Elvish and engaged in week-long Dungeons and Dragons marathons.
How do you relax when you’re not writing?
Ms. Pac Man.
So what next? Which world or creature do you hope to explore next?
My follow-up novel, MR ROBOTO, will be about a computer genius who finds herself caught (literally) between a sex machine and a real man. And the third book in the trilogy, SHE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE, is about a failed businessman who falls in lust with a disembodied alien. I’ll write them just as soon as I get the 80s power ballad machine up to full functionality.
LOVE MACHINE is an erotic science fiction comedy novella, published by Ellora's Cave. Good-time girl Cally Morgenstern has never paid much attention to the robots her father built to take care of her family. That is, until one night when her vibrator runs out of batteries. And hey, if you’ve got a six-foot hunky robot offering to relieve your sexual frustration, you’re not going to say no, right? Even if he is sort of, well definitely…blue?
Cally quickly realises that Blue isn’t your average robot. He’s rapidly acquiring a personality, for one thing. And an avid interest in human sexuality, particularly with regards to Cally. Her family don’t approve, but that’s never stopped Cally before. She’s eager to teach Blue all she knows about sexual pleasure, even if they have to build him a few necessary parts in the process. And even if Blue’s explorations of human feelings touch her own, very human, heart.
Thank you for sparing the time from your busy techie schedule to talk to us today. We wish you every success with the book.
To find out more about Electra visit her website:
You can follow her on Twitter as @electrashepherd
Download LOVE MACHINE on Amazon here:
Interviews on the RNA Blog are for RNA members, although we do occasionally take guests. If you are interested in an interview, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org