Exclusive Sci Fi Interview: Three Characters, Two Worlds, One Witty Conversation

A whimsical character interview between Cappa and Dela from The Z-Tech Chronicles, and Britta Silverstar from the Lost Colonies series.

Author logo (Silver knight helmet with spikes), "Ryan Southwick" "Science fiction, Urban Fantasy, and Soul-Stirring Adventure

March was a hard month for our family. My father, 77, passed a few weeks ago from cancer, who I'll miss every day for the rest of my life. An interesting side-effect from shared trauma is that it can bring estranged family members together. Through this process, I feel closer with my younger brother now than I ever have. I doubt that would have happened if we hadn't needed to rally to help my dad during his illness. Miss you, Dad! ❤️

My father wasn't a big science fiction fan. He preferred thrillers and mysteries, but–bless him–he read my books anyway, and was proud beyond measure that his son had actually published a novel. ("Never mind the cancer patients he treated or the life-saving software he helped create; my boy wrote a book!" 😄 ) I can't say that I keep writing for him, but I do write because of him. He made a point to enjoy life by not fretting when things went wrong–sometimes to the exclusion of what mattered. But, in the end, he was happy, and had the uncanny ability to make everyone around him happy, too.

That is the legacy I wish to carry: happiness for myself through the writing process, and bringing joy to others via uplifting, fanciful tales.

While New Denver (Timeless Keeper Saga Book 2) is in beta hands, I've received the first few sketches from the cover artist, José del Nido, who as usual has brought the characters and world to life through his brilliant illustrations. We're still a few weeks away from cover reveal, but I already can't wait to share it with you. I'm also hard at work on a prequel to Enigma (Lost Colonies Book 1), launching later this year, currently titled Project Xerces. More on this soon! The plan is to make this novella (?) free for subscribers. Still no word on a new release date for Angels Adrift (The Z-Tech Chronicles Book 5). However, the publisher has pushed off new submissions to make room for existing commitments, so hopefully we won't have long to wait.

Lastly, a special treat! I had so much fun with the last character interview that I wrote another. Please find below a whimsical dialogue between Cappa and Dela from The Z-Tech Chronicles and Britta from the upcoming Lost Colonies series. 😁

In this newsletter:

  • Crossover Character Interview: Cappa and Dela x Britta
  • Free Books, Sales, and Events
  • Currently Reading
  • Other Authors You Might Like

Crossover Character Interview

Cappa and Dela from The Z-Tech Chronicles interview Britta Silverstar from the Lost Colonies

The fun part about writing (and reading) fiction is watching characters with very different goals and motivations interact. If done well, conflict arises naturally through the course of conversation, often humorously, and is just as quickly resolved.

One thing is for sure, however: no matter how much planning I do, my characters' conversations always surprise me. This interview is no exception. Hope you enjoy!


CAPPA: Miss Silverstar, welcome! May we call you Britta?

BRITTA: I, um, guess that depends on who you are. Where am I? How did I get here?

CAPPA: Sorry. Where are my manners? I’m Cappa, and my (*cough*) friend here is Fedelma Madigan.

DELA: Dela! My name is Dela, you stuck-up walking pile of j—

CAPPA: Enough! (mumbles) For crying out loud, I told Mark that having you here would be a mistake. (louder) As for the rest… don’t worry about it. Once we return you to your universe, you won’t remember a thing.

DELA: Count yourself lucky. If sticking an ice pick in my brain would help me forget Cappa, I’d be pulling a Hellraiser right now.

BRITTA: An… ice pick?

CAPPA: Never mind. Shock of shocks, Dela has once again devolved a perfectly civil conversation into juvenile drivel.

BRITTA: Not to nitpick, but you started it by baiting her. Where is this animosity between you two coming from?

DELA: Easy. She’s a snobbish, know-it-all prude, and I—

CAPPA: A prude? Being asexual does not make me a prude!

DELA: Notice how she didn’t deny the other two. The defense rests, Your Brittaness.

BRITTA: First you attack Cappa’s character, and now you attack mine by insinuating I’m some sort of princess—which I am not, by the way.

DELA: Oh, look whose panties are suddenly riding up into the Great Divide. So you’re a rich girl, huh?

BRITTA: Why does that matter so much to you?

CAPPA: An excellent point! And completely outside the reason we brought you here, which is to learn more about you. Now, Miss Silverstar—

BRITTA: Britta is fine. Or Ambassador, if you insist on using an honorific.

DELA: Ambassador? You’re like sixteen! Granted, that’s still older than Cappa…

CAPPA: Shush, or I swear I’ll gag you with your own dirty sock!

BRITTA: Is she serious? You look closer to my age.

CAPPA: I’m… younger than I appear.

DELA: She’s ten. And a brat.

CAPPA: Shut! Up! Honestly, Zima and her itchy trigger finger were easier to deal with than your caustic tongue. Now, Ambassador, my crude companion has a point. How old are you? And how did you earn such a prestigious title?

BRITTA: I’m thirty-six, or twenty-eight in Earth Standard Years. As for how I earned—

DELA: Whoa, whoa! Back up there, princess. Earth Standard Years? Where exactly are you from?

BRITTA: Let’s stick with “Ambassador,” please. I’m from Nova Veritas on Galileo, although I thought that would have been obvious. This must be Entropia, right?

DELA: Bzzzt, try again.

BRITTA: Fortunus? It can’t be Vice. You aren’t wearing armor or carrying weapons.

DELA: Oh, Vice sounds awesome! Tell me more.

CAPPA: You’re on Earth. Standard, I suppose.

BRITTA: Riiiiight. And I suppose you’re Uu’nok disguised as humans? (laughs) Did Crystal put you up to this? Oh, I’m going to get her so bad…

CAPPA: Sure, let’s go with that. Um, zooming out a bit… Can you tell us what year it is? In Earth Standard, if possible.

BRITTA: Well, it’s 12 A.C., so Earth Standard would be… 12,121 A.D. Huh. That’s a lot of ones and twos, isn’t it? We won’t see this pattern again for another hundred thousand years!

CAPPA: Wow, that’s… there’s a lot to unpack there. But we don’t have much time, so let’s focus on—

DELA: Oh my God! Ten thousand years in the future! W-what sort of weapons do you have? Do you zip around the galaxy in huge spaceships? Has hyperdrive been invented yet? Teleportation? What do your toilets look like? Are you all genetically enhanced supersoldiers? Do you shower, or just kind of zap the dirt away? What—

CAPPA: Muzzle it, carrot top! Give the woman a chance to speak.

BRITTA: Ah, I get it now. This is supposed to be Earth, pre-Exodus. Fine, I’ll play along. Galileo doesn’t have any weapons because, unlike Vice, we value life above all else. Our ancestors—the original colonists—worked hard to seed every organism on our once-lifeless planet. We’re pacifists who can’t imagine destroying life for any reason, human or otherwise. Yes, we have spaceships. Our scientists have just recently perfected fold technology, which has enabled us to begin reconnecting with other colonies. No teleportation, although fold technology isn’t far off the mark. Our toilets are, well… toilets. I’d show you a picture, but eww. Showers are just running water mixed with a standard cleaning agent; no zapping involved. As for supersoldiers…

DELA: Yeah? For the love of comic books, don’t hold back!

BRITTA: I guess you could say anyone with a ’ware is technically “enhanced,” although probably not in the way you mean.

CAPPA: A ’ware? What’s that?

BRITTA: Short for WetWare. It’s this black bracer-looking thing around my left forearm. It integrates with my organs, providing perfect health and optimal biological conditions. No mood swings. No colds. No cancer. No mental illness.

DELA: No crimson tides?

BRITTA: (laughs) No, thank the stars! I can’t even imagine.

DELA: Lucky you. Yeah, I’ll take two. Where do I sign up?

BRITTA: Well, if you were born on Galileo, you’d have one implanted by default as a child. Everybody has one. The health benefits are just too great.

CAPPA: And if you aren’t from Galileo?

BRITTA: We’re still in the process of rolling them out to the other colonies. Reception has been fantastic, as you can imagine, but we can only manufacture them so quickly.

CAPPA: I detect a hint of capitalist pride in there.

BRITTA: I suppose you might. ’wares were invented and are produced by my family’s company, Silverstar Corp, as was fold technology.

DELA: Like I said, she’s a princess. It hurts being this right. Daddy probably bought her that Ambassador title to go with her luxury yacht. Or spaceship. Whatever.

BRITTA: He did not!

DELA: (fake sneezes) Sorry, I’m allergic to spoiled princesses who pretend they aren’t. Or worse, who can’t actually smell the crap they’re shoveling.

BRITTA: How dare you? I worked my tail off for this appointment! Building the Lost Colonies Alliance—ushering a new era for humanity!—is all I’ve ever wanted. If I honestly believed someone else could do the job better, I’d hand it to them in a nanosecond. (looks around the empty room) Do you hear that, Crystal? You can’t bait me. I got this job on my own! I earned it!

CAPPA: Okaaay, let’s take it down a notch. This, er, Lost Colonies Alliance thing sounds important to you. Tell us more about it, and about your role.

BRITTA: Why, so Dela can insult that, too? Thanks, but I’m done with this stupid game.

CAPPA: Look, I’m sorry for the redhead. If she opens her mouth with one more inflammatory remark, I’ll stuff it with her own sock, as promised. Deal?

BRITTA: It’s worth agreeing to on the off chance you’re telling the truth.

DELA: So much for your “pacifist” spiel. See? A hypocritical, spoiled princess, just like I—Hey, get off me! What are you… No! Get it away! No! Mmph mmmrmm…

CAPPA: There! Shall we continue?

BRITTA: (giggles) With pleasure. The Lost Colonies Alliance is a commitment between the colonies to create a brighter, joint future.

CAPPA: “Lost Colonies” seems like a strange moniker for civilizations who’ve already found each other.

BRITTA: Yes, there was some debate on the matter. While we obviously want to focus on our future, it’s imperative that we as a species never forget our tragic past, nor the enemies who forced us from our native planet.

CAPPA: That “Exodus” you mentioned?

BRITTA: Exactly. The Uu’nok took our home. We haven’t seen them for ten thousand years. Some believe their violent ways led to their own destruction, and that they’re no longer a threat. Others think it’s only a matter of time before they catch up to us.

CAPPA: And what do you believe?

BRITTA: That we need to be prepared for their return, but live as if they won’t. If we put all our efforts into becoming powerful enough to defeat the Uu’nok, then we’re no different from them.

DELA: Mmm mmhrmmph!

CAPPA: Don’t worry, my dear. Theirs is an alternate universe. The Uu’nok may not even exist here.

DELA: Mmmmph!

CAPPA: Hush. Britta, our time is almost up. Thank you so much for joining us! Any parting words?

BRITTA: Sure. Tell Crystal that payback is coming. Big time.

CAPPA: Righty-ho. Toodles!

BRITTA: (disappears in an electric flash)

CAPPA: Well, that could have gone worse. What do you think?

DELA: Mmrmmph mmrm!

CAPPA: You know, I like you better like this. Maybe we should consider that sock a permanent addition.

DELA: Mmph mmm!

CAPPA: Kidding! Sort of. Come on, let’s go feed the troops before Mark gets cranky.

– END –

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