Good morning, Ladies and Gents! Welcome aboard Flight 74 heading for the Red Planet, Mars. Please strap on your seat belts because this promises to be one wild ride. We've got free books galore, three fun giveaways, author interviews, and more. Let's get this adventure started!
About the Book
17-year-old Philadelphia has been imprisoned most of her life because of her Christian beliefs. When her father is sent to Mars against his will to work on a mysterious science project and a benevolent official allows her to accompany him, Philadelphia knows she must keep her head down or be sent back to prison on Earth. But when she stumbles into the wrong hallway and accidentally learns too much, Philadelphia is faced with a question she doesn’t want to answer: the choice between returning to Earth—or destroying it.
Aubrey is such a generous gal. She's not only offering Red Rain for free this week, but if you sign up for her newsletter, you can also get the prequel short story for free! What are you waiting for?
Hey all! Today, Aubrey Hansen, author of Red Rain is joining me for an interview!
Welcome, Aubrey! Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi gang! My name is Aubrey Hansen, and I’m a twenty-something, caffeine-fueled, pink-haired writer. I’d like to say I spend most of my time writing, but in reality I spend most of my time with my publishing company, Penoaks Publishing, and only manage to squeeze time for my own projects just barely. I’m also a screenwriter, producer, and dog trainer. Basically, if I’m not writing, assume I’m working with animals. I’ve got six of them myself—plus a husband. We live in the Kansas City area.
When did you first know you wanted to become an author? Was there a defining moment?
I’ve always been “making up stories” in my head and either reliving them in daydreams or acting them out with whatever toys my brother and I currently had dumped out on the living room floor. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I realized you could write these dreams down and call them a “book.” I was a member of the LEGO message boards at the time (because LEGO!) and there was a very popular fanfiction thread. I asked “Why not?” and decided to try my hand at it. Everyone loved it and responded with overwhelming praise. It was their encouragement that inspired me to keep writing, and that was the moment I realized I was an author.
(Gabriellyn) That's awesome! I had started a fan-fic on LEGO at one point too!
Have you always loved to tell stories?
Yes! You should have heard the elaborate adventures my brother and I came up with using LEGO, Hotwheels, Lincoln Logs... I also got a lot of childhood enjoyment out of “rewriting” the books and movies I’d read/watched recently; I would daydream about continuing adventures or alternate endings, usually involving myself jumping into the fantasy world!
(Gabriellyn) Hah! I myself have added onto stories many many times, or re-worked certain parts, usually with about 2x the drama and selfless heroism! ;)
What made you choose to write Science Fiction? Was it a book, a TV show, a movie?
I’ve always loved the glitter and wonder of sci-fi. My first fanfiction was sci-fi, so I guess that sealed my fate!
When did the idea of Red Rain first begin to formulate?
It wasn’t that long after I realized I could write that I came up with the idea for Red Rain. I dreamed up the first scene—which to this day has remained almost exactly like I imagined it—while observing a “bus barn” while at the park. It took awhile for me to connect that first scene with the rest of the plot, however.
(Gabriellyn) That's great, most scenes I imagine end up being sacrificed on the altars of practicality and story flow.
What led you to choose the name, Philadelphia?
Several of the characters in Red Rain are named after the seven churches in Revelation. Their character arcs are loosely based off of the implied sins and strengths of the churches, too.
(Gabriellyn) Well, now I know I need to take a peek into Revelation before reading Red Rain!
If you could meet one of the characters in Red Rain who would it be?
Ephesus... <3 But I’m married and he’s claimed (or is he?), so I guess there’s no point in that...
Who do you think you are most like in Red Rain?
Philadelphia is a reflection of my younger self, even though I never intended her to be. But I’ve come to realize that pieces of myself will always reincarnate in my characters whether I want them to or not.
(Gabriellyn) Well, I believe that the most connectable characters are the ones with a bit of their creator in them!
What do you do when you are facing writers block? Eat pudding, take a walk, BBC dramas? What gets your brain moving again?
All of those things sound great! But watching movies, especially in the theater, does the trick. There’s something about the emotional and epic theater experience that reminds me, One day it will be your name in the credits.
(Gabriellyn) Yes! Seeing a movie in the theater is quite a different and awesome experience.
Where do you like to write? Coffee shop, bedroom, desk? What is your ideal spot to work?
I do my best writing at my desk in my office, with appropriate music playing. Minimal distractions is always the key to my success! Coffee shops are great for people-watching and gathering inspiration, but not for focusing.
(Gabriellyn) Everything is more epic with a soundtrack! ;)
What's next for you?Besides the sequel to Red Rain, I will have a little Christmas present for my readers out in time for this holiday season—a collection of Christmas-themed short stories featuring the characters from Peter’s Angel. I’m also working on a homemade frappe recipe book to be released this summer, and will be filming my first feature film in October.
(Gabriellyn) That is so great! You must be so excited!
Well, alas, that's all the questions I had today! But thank you so much for joining me, Aubrey, I have had a blast! Good luck with writing and filming! God bless!
Now for a sneak peek of Red Rain!
Dr. Nic turned to me again, voice strangely calm. “I expect you will refrain from any further snooping. You have been far too inquisitive for having been here less than 48 hours.”
At first I couldn’t think of anything to say. My breath rose in my throat, and my volume rose with it. “I was just asking about my brother! He’s my brother! And you took him away!”
“I took him away?” His mustache twitched.
“You’re the one that requested him, weren’t you? You didn’t give him a choice! You didn’t give my father a choice, either.” I took two more steps backwards.
“No,” he said without regret. “I’m also the one that called for you.”
“The commander didn’t want to let you come. Said it was against ‘regulations.’ But I didn’t think it was right to leave a young girl in the hands of strangers. Your brother was an adult,” he cut off my excuses before I could think them, “you’re a minor. And you have nobody. I didn’t think that was right.”
I backed away. He advanced and narrowed the gap. “If you don’t want to be here, I could… send you back to Earth.” The threat was calm, flat like a sheet of razor-sharp ice.
I sucked in several gasps. “I’m… sorry. I’m sorry.”
He was smiling again, but it wasn’t an encouraging smile. I didn’t feel like he was forgiving me for my disrespectfulness—I felt like he was accepting my surrender.
“It’s all right,” he said, and he sounded reasonably truthful about it. “Just stay out of my way.” His smile deepened, eyes glittering. “Just keep your head down, Philadelphia, and no one will know the difference.”
I turned and ran for the dorms.