Friday, August 30, 2013

The Sensor Series by Susan Illene‏

Instead of making the traditional post high school move and attending college, Susan joined the U.S. Army. She spent her eighteenth birthday in the gas experience she is sure is best left for criminals. For eleven years she served first as a human resources specialist and later as an Arabic linguist (mostly in Airborne units). Though all her duty assignments were stateside, she did make two deployments to Iraq where her language skills were put to regular use.

After leaving the service in 2009, Susan returned to school to study history with a focus on the Middle East. She no longer finds many opportunities to test her fighting abilities in real life, unless her husband is demanding she cook him a real meal, but she's found a new outlet in writing urban fantasy heroines who can.


Melena Sanders faced her fair share of danger with insurgents and terrorists when she served in the U.S. Army, but now she is about to go up against a new threat. Her best friend, Aniya, has disappeared while on a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska—a supernatural haven. Most humans have no idea darker races lurk amongst them. Mel knows better. If she wants to get her friend back, she’s going to have to go in alone—but not unarmed.

Melena has a few special skills the Army didn’t provide, but the odds are still against her. She’s got to come up with a plan fast that doesn’t involve her, or her friend, dying. But danger likes to play it rough. A war for power is about to rise in Fairbanks and if she wants to get Aniya back, she’s going to have to step right into the middle of it.

Melena Sanders has managed to avoid all things inhuman for most of her life, but after coming to Fairbanks, Alaska to rescue her best friend from supernaturals she hasn’t been allowed to leave. That is, until her long-time nemesis comes to collect a favor she owes him. Lucas might be half angel, but he’s all bad as far as she’s concerned.

Paying him back might get her out of town for a while, but her new destination will be anything but enjoyable. Mel’s got to help the nephilim take care of a demon possession outbreak in Juneau. Although something like this hasn’t happened for thousands of years, Lucas is certain Melena’s rare abilities are the key to solving the problem.

With violence in the capital city growing, she’s going to have to figure out how to stop it fast before the trouble spreads to other places. Not only that, but working closely with Lucas is changing the dynamics of their hate-hate relationship—worrying her even more than the demons. Getting back to her captivity in Fairbanks never looked so good.


Q) What inspired you to write this story? 
I wanted to write a book/series with a female veteran as the heroine. Though I have discovered some books more recently, at the time I hadn’t been able to find any military women as leads in urban fantasy. With my own experiences in the U.S. Army, I felt I could do the story justice. At the same time, I didn’t want a stone-cold heroine who could be mistaken for a robot like Hollywood often portrays them. That isn’t how we are in the real world and I wanted to show all the dimensions a female combat vet might have and how she could use her skills against supernatural forces (which was the fun part). It took some trial and error to find the right plot and setting, but once I got the idea down it flowed out really well while writing.

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
The rough draft took me about six months. I played with the manuscript for another year before deciding to finally publish it.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Exploring all the possibilities. It’s especially fun with fantasy because there are fewer limits.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
Times where I know what needs to happen in the story, but the right words won’t come to me. It drives me nuts when it happens. One way to get out of the funk is to listen to music and zone out for awhile. That often helps.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
To be honest, I don’t think famous people have it any better than normal people. Not to mention they are watched much more closely by the public. I’m happy just being myself J

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
Ha, ha. I’d have to admit there’s a small jar of minced garlic that’s been in there for a couple of years now. It still looks fine…

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
More books in the Sensor Series for the near future and beyond that I’d like to write some sci-fi and contemporary romance novels.

1 comment:

Susan Illene said...

Thanks for the fun interview and hosting me today!