Posted on 12/07/2020 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing Audrey Sharpe, who writes science fiction space opera novels as well as metaphysical and visionary books.
Sharpe grew up believing in the Force and dreaming of becoming captain of the Enterprise. She’s still working out the logistics of moving objects with her mind, but writing science fiction provides a pretty good alternative.
When she’s not off exploring the galaxy with Aurora and her crew, she lives in the Sonoran Desert, where she has an excellent view of the stars.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
AUDREY: I had the rare privilege of growing up in the publishing industry.
My mom, Vicki Lewis Thompson, sold her first genre fiction romance novel when I was in grade school, and she’s made her living as a romance writer ever since.
That gave me an unusual perspective on life as a writer. I never doubted it was possible, because I’d watched her do it for decades.
I also had her in my corner as my teacher, mentor and, once my first book was written, editor.
Now that we’re both in publishing full-time, we have a blast talking story ideas and marketing, celebrating completed rough drafts and launches, and cheering each other on during each new project.
I’m grateful every day to have her as my writing buddy, and my mom. I wouldn’t have made this journey without her.
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to trade places with?
AUDREY: I would love to trade places with the main character in my Starhawke Rising series, Aurora Hawke, captain of the Starhawke.
She has the most amazing ship and crew, who are always there for each other, and for those in need. To sit in the captain’s chair and lead a mission would be a dream come true.
I also wouldn’t mind testing out her shielding and healing abilities, and to explore what it’s like to experience the world through her heightened energetic and empathic senses.
The character I’d least like to trade places with is her brilliant engineer Jonarel Clarek, a member of an alien race, the Kraed, who designed the Starhawke.
He’s one of my favorite characters, and I love writing about him. So why wouldn’t I want to trade places with him?
Because I’ve tormented him practically since page one. I never set out to make his life so hard, forcing him to deal with serious family conflicts, divided loyalties, and unrequited love.
Sometimes writing his scenes breaks my heart.
SADYE: What have been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?
AUDREY: The most surprising part was how long it took me to write my first book, The Dark of Light – three and a half years.
I never imagined when I started that it would take that long. Thankfully I’ve gotten a lot faster since then.
Book four in that same series, The Legacy of Tomorrow, is more than twice the length of my first book, but I wrote it in a year.
The most challenging part is wearing all the hats of an indie author. I’m not just writing the story, I’m coordinating with the cover designer and editor, arranging the formatting, and handling all the marketing after the books are launched.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a joy. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to retain creative control of the universe I created, and that it’s resonated with so many readers.
Which leads to the most rewarding part of writing, creating a universe that other people fall in love with as much as I have.
My characters are very real to me, to the point that I’ll often hear them talking in my head when I’m doing chores around the house or running errands.
Hearing from readers who also view them as real, who relate to them on a deeply emotional level, means a lot to me, especially when my characters’ adventures can provide solace during a difficult time or inspire someone to reach for their dreams. That’s priceless.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
AUDREY: The central themes that run through all my books are compassion and empathy.
I really emphasize that point with Aurora, who’s a powerful empath who literally feels what others are feeling. Sometimes those feelings overwhelm her, making it difficult for her to function.
But while this may seem like a weakness, in truth it’s what makes her a strong captain, a respected leader, and a loyal friend.
Aurora’s driven to make the world a better place, to help those in need because she understands their pain and suffering.
Her compassion for all living beings, all life, is the product of her own struggle to come to grips with her half-human, half-alien identity.
Her extraordinary perspective allows her to see her interconnection with those around her, as well as what sets her apart, which is why her relationships are the cornerstones of her life.
Her incredible capacity for empathy and compassion, even in the face of adversity, make her a joy to write.
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
AUDREY: I chose to write science fiction because I grew up on the genre, falling in love with Star Wars and Star Trek at a very young age. My passion for space adventures has only grown stronger with time.
But it was my personal experiences as an adult with meditation, yoga, energy healing, and hypnotherapy that altered the way I view the world and that have become key elements in my writing.
Studying the histories of human experience in those areas, exploring the science behind what we know and all that we have yet to learn, and questioning where the boundaries could be pushed back or even knocked down, led to many of the traits that are the foundation of my main characters, and how they interact with the universal energy of the cosmos.
What if we reached our full potential as humans? What would that look like? How would it change the way we relate to our bodies, minds, each other, and the world around us?
The conclusions I drew from those questions gave rise to Aurora Hawke, whose mother comes from an alien race nearly biologically identical to humans, but who have already fulfilled that potential, developing abilities that are rare or undocumented (so far) in humans.
Delving into those questions and experiences in my books has been a source of unending joy, especially when I hear from readers whose own experiences resonate with what I’ve described.
Maybe that’s why I write books with an optimistic tone. In my world, connection with the cosmos isn’t a vague concept, it’s something I feel every moment of every day.
Like Aurora, the lifeforce energy that surrounds me feeds me, giving me strength, and hope for a bright and beautiful future.
* * *
Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email us with a recommendation!
Categories: Author Interview