Welcome to J.A Rock joining us today here @ Love Bytes 🙂
Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release, The Silvers. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card!
One of the things I wanted to explore with The Silvers is what it means to be human. That sounds…really vague and obvious, since pretty much all writing explores what it means to be human. But in this case, I wanted to make more literal use of that theme.
It was important to me that Imms, the alien character in The Silvers, be…well, alien. Yes, Silvers look vaguely human, and yes, they share some qualities with humans. But I wanted Imms’s thought process to be different from humans’. His POV sometimes suggests innocence—he has a sort of childlike wonder, and the fact that Silvers apparently can’t experience negative emotions makes Imms seem even more naive—but I don’t really think of him as “pure.” He has a lot of agency. He’s molded by the humans, and by his time on earth, but he maintains his own desires, and figures out how to get the things he wants even in a world he doesn’t fully understand.
The base points I used for getting into Imms’s head were the Silvers’ affinity for numbers—in the beginning, when Imms is confused or overwhelmed, he resorts to counting. He seeks out things that are quantifiable, provable. I also considered how he interacts with language. Imms has to deal, not only with foreign beings, concepts, and words, but with the fact that his spectrum of emotions is different from B’s. So his alien perspective blends with his efforts to learn English, and results in a very Silver/human hybrid way of expressing himself. The closest he can come to hate is a lack of desire, so he begins to refer to hate as “not-wanting.” Silvers have sex only to reproduce, so he thinks of human sex as “sex-for-fun.”
Imms’s POV was a lot of fun, and it was really interesting to think about humans from another species’ point of view. What are the things that distinguish us as a species? The way we vacillate between kindness and cruelty? Our frequent inability to say what we really mean? The fact that we value unconditional love yet frequently fail to provide it? Imms sees that a lot of what humans do is motivated by those emotions Silvers supposedly can’t experience—anger, fear, jealousy, shame. Yet for all that, Imms finds things to love and admire about humans too.
About The Silvers
What humans want from the Silver Planet is water. What they find is a race of humanoids who are sentient, but as emotionless and serene as the plants and placid lakes they tend.
B, captain of the mission, doesn’t believe that the “Silvers” are intelligent, and lets his crew experiment on them. But then he bonds with Imms, who seems different from the others—interested in learning, intrigued by human feelings. And B realizes that capturing, studying, and killing this planet’s natives has done incalculable damage.
When a fire aboard B’s ship kills most of the crew and endangers Imms, B decides to take him back to Earth. But the simplicity of the Silver Planet doesn’t follow them. Imms learns the full spectrum of human emotions, including a love B is frightened to return, and a mistrust of the bureaucracy that wants to treat Imms like a test subject, even if they have to eliminate B to do it.
J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take the Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All The World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
- Website: www.jarockauthor.com
- Blog: http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarockauthor
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39
To celebrate the release of The Silvers, J.A. Rock is giving away $15 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!