Q&A With EG Manetti
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Q&A With EG Manetti
My latest guest for this Q&A is with author of the sci-fi romance series The Twelve Systems Chronicles Series EG Manetti.
Q: So EG would you like to tell the readers of the blog and I about The Twelve Systems Chronicles and where the idea for the series came from?
A: I have always had a vivid imagination and loved sci-fi, both of which tend to generate wild dreams on a regular basis. One particularly vivid dream inspired The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1. Initially envisioned as a standalone novel, as I worked through the draft, more of the story emerged. One volume became two, and then five, and eventually ten. I had the entire story arc in a blend of draft and outline form before publishing The Cartel in December 2012. The tenth and final volume, Thorn Bearer: Thornraven, Volume 3 (Twelves Systems #10) was released on September 21, 2021.
Although the Twelve Systems universe is a product of my imagination, for world-building, I borrowed from ancient Rome, renaissance Europe, and seventeenth-century Japan, as well as modern life. The greatest challenge and most satisfying aspect of writing the series was telling an engaging and enjoyable story while crafting a society with a unique history and distinct economic, spiritual, and secular components.
The series has received four Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice Awards including ‘Best Science Fiction Romance’ series. InD’tale magazine nominated six of the ten volumes for a RONE (Reward for Novel Excellence) Award. Five of the six advanced to finalists, and Shield Bearer: Thornraven, Volume 2 (Twelve Systems #9) received the 2021 RONE for science fiction.
With characters that jump off the page, love that is forbidden yet unstoppable mixed with top-notch worlds and technology, sci-fi has never looked so good or become so addictive! ~ InD’Tale Magazine, February 2018
Q: What made you choose writing in the sci-fi genre specifically?
A: I have loved science fiction in all its forms for as long as I can recall. I remember being entranced with TV series like Time Tunnel and Lost in Space as a child and then discovering Star Trek and Doctor Who as a teenager. I still love those shows in all their various incarnations. My first stop in libraries and bookstores was always the science-fiction section. I loved Robert Heinlein’s stories, and Frank Herbert’s Dune rocked my world. I remember discovering sci-fi romance with Anne McCaffery’s Restoree and being thrilled that there was sci-fi with romance as a primary element.
As mentioned in the question about The Twelve Systems Chronicles’ origins, it wasn’t so much that I chose sci-fi, more that sci-fi chose me.
Q: Are you currently writing the next book in The Twelve Systems Chronicles, a spin off series, a new series or a standalone novel?
A: As it happens, the first volume of the Thornscore series—a follow-on to The Twelve Systems Chronicles, was released this October 3rd. In addition to Lilian and Lucius– the core protagonists of The Twelve Systems Chronicles–a dozen secondary characters play pivotal roles. Many of these characters became beloved by readers, and when the series ended, I received requests to complete their stories.
CHRYS: Thornscore, Volume 1 is a standalone sci-fi romance that provides the HEA for a popular secondary character. As with all my stories, in addition to sci-fi and romance, there is a significant amount of suspense, mayhem, and intrigue.
At the outer edge of the galaxy, on a backwater planet, to
claim their future, Chrys must confront his past, and Verity overcomes her
A hero of the battle for the Thirteenth System, for over a decade, Chrys fought for a place in one of the mighty cartels. Success is within his grasp when a mysterious bequest from his home world sends him across the galaxy. Caught between his past and his duty, Chrys takes his engineering partner with him. As the voyage unfolds, he discovers a lovely woman in the place of his battle comrade.
Verity endured over a decade of servitude for a chance at a brighter future. She has harbored a hidden crush on Chrys for years, wanting him to view her as a desirable woman and not only a battle comrade and business associate. She survived a battle with evil, and in victory, she will fight for her dreams.
When Chrys falls under suspicion of murder, it will take all their courage and wit to free him.
Q: If Hollywood were to get the rights to the series (if they haven’t yet) who would be your ideal cast to play the characters?
A: This is a tough question. When I started drafting The Twelve Systems Chronicles in 2010, Keanu Reeves would have been my choice for Lucius Mercio and Keira Knightly for Lilian. Thirteen years later, they have both aged out of the roles, and I can’t think of any younger actors that would work.
Yes, my age is showing.
Q: Who were/are your biggest supporters of your writing goal and talent?
A: First and foremost, my husband, Mike. For a decade, I wrote during my free time—after the pesky day job and other adulting responsibilities. Mike was great about my devoting all those hours to solo activity and never complained of being a writing widower. He was also great about the upfront investment in professional editing, book covers, and so forth.
After my husband, it was and is my readers. In 2015, I was struggling to pull together Transgressions: The Apprentice, Volume 3, and wondering if it was worth the effort and sacrifice when I received a social media notice—a gentleman anxious for the release date. Jason was the first reader to reach out and validate my writing, but not the last.
Every time I have been ready to give up, someone has appeared to encourage me.
Q: If you were to experiment in writing other genres, which genres would they be and why?
A: Funny you should ask. After finishing The Twelve Systems Chronicles, I needed to do something more contained and manageable. So, I dusted off an urban fantasy plot bunny I had been holding onto for a while. Setting the story in modern-day Boston streamlined the worldbuilding but did not eliminate it. Magical realms replaced invented planets, and plausible magic ‘physics’ was as challenging as believable faster-than-light-speed travel.
Elemental Fire: The Hidden Realms, Volume 1, was released in October 2022. I was worried that shifting from spaceships to magic would not resonate with readers but, to my delight, Elemental Fire received the 2022 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice Award in Paranormal/Fantasy and is a 2023 Finalist for the InD’tale RONE in Fantasy/Urban Fantasy.
Because the story includes goblins touring Salem at Halloween, the e-book version is 20% off October 20-31!
Sin Marston is a rare human who can see through glamor. With the veil with the treaty of 2010, the magical visitors, known as the Hidden, flowed into the Terran realm. With her unique talent, Sin’s services are in demand from businesses and law enforcement with Hidden problems. She also has a growing clientele of Hidden visitors wishing to avoid confrontation with the Human Protection Society and other anti-Hidden Terrans.
After thwarting a daring art heist, Sin encounters a stunning fire elemental who reveals the theft was something very different. Everything she thought she knew changes.
Radzik Cray has lived for centuries, building his magical and political power base. The appointment as the Elders’ Council Warden for the Eastern United States comes with untold wealth and power, as well as untold danger. When he meets Sin Marston, he is interested in a pleasant distraction. Instead, he discovers that Sin is not all she appears and his control over his territory is not as absolute as he thought.
Q: Do you use bits and pieces of real people to create your characters?
A: Absolutely. Those bits and pieces keep the characters unique, and those little personality quirks make characters three-dimensional. And—to be completely candid—I indulge in one of an author’s greatest pleasures: fictionally destroying those who have wronged me or those I love.