I have a confession to make: My first love was science fiction.
Before Dorothy L. Sayers and Josephine Tey entered my life, my heart belonged to Isaac (Asimov), Robert (Heinlein), and Theodore (Sturgeon). Other worlds, a grand vision of the universe, the furthest possibilities of humanity—what’s not to adore? Had someone peered into a crystal ball and told me that I would one day be a novelist, I would automatically have assumed that the genre would be sci-fi.
I started writing crime fiction in 1987: Mary Russell and her partnership with Sherlock Holmes, Kate Martinelli and her more contemporary world of the San Francisco Police Department, and three stand-alone suspense novels. A Grave Talent won the Edgar award, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice won hearts and minds around the globe, and this year, 2004, saw publication of the fourteenth Laurie R. King title and a niche on the New York Times list.
But before Russell and Martinelli came into my life, I had Dian and Judith and Robin.
Califia’s Daughters had its beginnings ’way back in the summer of 1984, when I’d finished my Master’s thesis but couldn’t stop the words from flowing. It was a story of the near future, when the human race had walked a little farther down the paths to catastrophe we can see around us every day. The characters came, as strong and vigorous as any writer could ask for, but the ideas gave me difficulties, and before long, the pressures of family life shoved the project onto a shelf. There it remained for some years, while the kids grew and went to school and I laboriously taught myself to write; finally, I could no longer bear not knowing what happened to Dian and the rest of her world.
The novelist’s task is to explore the What if? In the case of Califia’s Daughters, that includes, What would happen, if women were simply handed the reins? What if the world were shaped in a way that forced men to stand back and assume the passive role? And what would then happen if one strong woman—strong in herself and in society’s expectations—discovered that she was also vulnerable?
To view the Califia’s Daughters book page click here.