Interview with Christina Engela

What do you write about?
I write sci-fi with a twist of humor, wit, action, adventure, fantasy, and horror. Usually some of my characters are gay or transgender - but then, so am I, and I've seen too few LGBT characters in leading roles in the books I read to be happy with that.

For that reason, I think at least some of my books fill that gap in the market. My target market is not just Sci-fi/fantasy/horror – but LGBT-inclusive, affirming Sci-Fi/fantasy/horror!

If you'd like more detail about my writing, subjects and target audience, please read this article: http://www.christinaengela.net/target-market-who-is-christina-engelas/
When did you first start writing?
From as soon as I was old enough to hold a wax crayon! I started writing stories as a young child, inspired by my father who was a writer. I started writing stories before I even knew how to write, to form letters, and I copied the shapes I saw and made up my own stories, drawing them into the shapes I made with old pens and crayons on sheets of scrap typing paper given to me by my mother. Dad and I made up stories together at bed-time about "Mr. Mann" and "the Three Jolly Yum-yums" – and from the start I knew I wanted to be a writer!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and grew up in a city called Port Elizabeth on the south east coast of what some people call a 'shit-hole country' at the furthest tip of the African continent. It's something of a tourist destination, and its mascot is a jack-ass penguin, which should give you some idea. PE, as it's generally called, is also called 'the windy city' - although Cape Town is the place where birds (and sometimes pedestrians) fly backwards.

I wouldn't say living here has influenced my writing to any degree - although it certainly has negatively affected my efforts to get published, represented or marketed locally. I did gain a lot of useful military experience having been conscripted straight out of high-school as a teenager, which provided me with a lot of good story material and background info that comes in useful when writing. Also, being stuck here without hope of relocating means that a lot of international online services (including audio-book contracts, PayPal and others) do not apply, do not work, or simply don't exist for me in practice, or are simply too expensive due to the forex rate - making my life as a writer much harder than it really has to be.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am an indie, self-publishing author born and living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Due to the difficulties I’ve experienced in finding a local traditional publisher (since around 1991), I’ve been publishing overseas, mostly via the USA and online since 2005 – with a brief absence between 2014-2016, when I was with a small press.

In 2016, the small press experienced a bit of an identity crisis and decided to shed all their writers who didn't write in their words "pure horror", and so I found myself floating free again. Rather than lament, I immediately jumped back into the indie scene again, putting everything I'd learned from my experience to good use.
What's the story behind your latest book?
In 2016 when Donald Trump rode a wave of hatred and race-identity nationalism that broke in the Oval Office, the incidence of reported hate crimes in the US immediately sky-rocketed. Even bigots in other countries (including here in South Africa) immediately saw this as validation of their hatred of minorities such as people of color, non-Christian religions, and LGBT, and began to act it out - emboldened by the statements "Trump's our president now" and ironically, "make America great again".

"Prodigal Sun" and "High Steaks" (and their next two sequels, which I'm currently working on) take the colony Deanna and its characters down a similar path of shock and awe, darkness and despair as a group of domestic terrorists stage a fascist coup and takeover of Deanna.

The story will be told across several parts four books, and the expected reckoning will come, justice will be done, and Ramalama will shine again - although Deanna and those living on it, will be forever changed.
Published 2019-07-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Panic! Horror In Space #3: Dust
Series: Panic! Horror In Space. Price: $2.99 $2.09 USD. (30% off!) Words: 28,910. Language: English. Published: March 24, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Horror » General
A ghost ship missing for more than 60 years shows up out of the black at a remote starbase. Stuart Flane, the captain of a starship with a reputation for handling paranormal activity is drawn in unwillingly to investigate.
Best Served Cold
Price: $2.99 $2.09 USD. (30% off!) Words: 60,120. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Transgressional fiction
Having just survived the Big Nuke twenty years before, a recovering Earth just beginning to reap the rewards of interplanetary colonization was suddenly attacked by an alien race that didn't communicate, didn't negotiate – and seemed absolutely intent on taking the entire solar system for itself.
Space Sucks Too!
Series: Space Sucks!. Price: $2.99 $2.09 USD. (30% off!) Words: 21,930. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
In Space Sucks Too! you will meet little green men, an alien in a human suit turns up at a radio station for a midnight talk show, a couple of vampires make out in a bar, the long-awaited alien invasion finally happens - and the inventor of the matter transmitter has an out-of-body experience!
When Darkness Calls
Price: $2.99 $2.09 USD. (30% off!) Words: 27,270. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Sometimes the most unlikely of people find themselves under attack by supernatural entities - and usually no-one will believe them. If they say anything, they risk becoming the butt-end of countless jokes about the paranormal. Worse still, some will place the blame for their predicament squarely on the victims themselves! In the case of Tracey, it was her closest friend.
The Next Room
Price: $2.99 $2.09 USD. (30% off!) Words: 24,750. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Outwardly, Andy Niksn appeared to be the successful, respected, somewhat over-paid Captain of a commercial space liner. Trouble was, he felt trapped in a relationship with Mandy Fringle and on top of that, Jim had died recently, leaving Andy in the darkest place he'd ever been - and he didn't mean space! He wished he could just wake up to a different reality! As it turned out, someone heard him.
Duck Blind
Price: $2.99 $2.09 USD. (30% off!) Words: 22,470. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Things aren't always as they seem. Neither was Charlie Branson. In an atmosphere where cos-playing and roleplaying redefined 'normal', telling fact and fantasy apart became more complicated than expected. For those who preferred the pleasant escape from the harsh realities of life outside, like Charlie, wishing it could all just be real became something almost like a prayer.
The Jug Of Death
Price: Free! Words: 4,280. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Unfortunately for Stuart Flane – Captain of the Terran starship Mercury - and his intrepid crew, their latest assignment did not go without a hitch ...but then, the thing was called ‘the Jug of Death‘, and obviously with good reason.
Escape From Paradise
Price: Free! Words: 4,180. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Newly promoted, Captain Joe Lofflin ("Demonspawn" - book 2 in the Galaxii Series) and his crew are on shore leave recuperating from their harrowing experiences while marooned in deep space - and their chance encounter with the alien derelict vessel and its sole homicidal resident, the Akx. Meanwhile, the Terran colony of Tremaine plays host to them, and it does so far too efficiently:
A Nine In Time
Price: Free! Words: 2,830. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
“A Nine In Time” provides a glimpse into the life and background of one of the main characters of the Quantum Series – Johnathan Scrooby, a Time Agent working for that super-secret clandestine organization, the Time Saving Agency. "A Nine In Time" overlaps “Prodigal Sun”, the fifth book in the series! Get it now, FREE!
Overkill
Price: Free! Words: 15,710. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Who is the mysterious Mykl d'Angelo? Where did he come from? Why was so much of his past before joining the Space Fleet locked away behind secret protocols? “Overkill” provides a glimpse into the life and background of one of the main characters of the Galaxii Series and contains over 15000 words worth of new material not seen in any of the novels!
A Badfeller's Tale
Price: Free! Words: 2,580. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
“A Badfeller’s Tale” provides a glimpse into the life and background of one of the main characters of the Quantum Series – Gary Beck, a.k.a. ‘Beck the Badfeller’ - legendary bounty hunter and the colony Deanna's most famous son!
Broken Promises
Price: Free! Words: 3,310. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
“Broken Promises” is set just two decades after the Big Nuke, on the eve of the Gimp War, when Earth faced the threat of alien conquest by a horde of invading Ruminarii. Set about a century before “Blachart”, book 1 in the Galaxii Series, "Broken Promises" frames the background for the entire series.
Going Quantum
Price: Free! Words: 3,430. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
"Going Quantum" is a preview and introduction to the Quantum Series, featuring one of the main characters, former CIA agent Cindy-Mei Winter. The last night of Mei's journey to Deanna aboard the S.S. Duval, contains over 3000 words of completely new, original material.
Mercury Rising
Price: Free! Words: 15,740. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
While on a routine deep-space mission to chart new territory on the frontier of unknown space, the starship Mercury stumbles across an apparent shipwreck in deep-space that poses quite a mystery for her crew - and a threat. "Mercury Rising" is a preview of "Panic! Horror In Space" - a series of sci-fi-horror misadventures in deep space by Christina Engela.
Malice!
Price: $2.75 $1.93 USD. (30% off!) Words: 22,880. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
"Malice!" is a collection of horror tales by Christina Engela.
Space Sucks!
Series: Space Sucks!. Price: $2.75 $1.10 USD. (60% off!) Words: 25,030. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Launch into space, the future and beyond! Enjoy a humorous look at life in space in this collection of five unique sci-fi tales by Christina Engela, spanning everything from adventure & suspense to comedy and back again!
Life Signs
Series: Panic! Horror In Space, Book 2. Price: $2.75 $1.93 USD. (30% off!) Words: 69,150. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
An alien marooned in a ship wrecked on the surface of her long-dead world... A shuttle recovered in deep space that turned out to be the last remnant of a ship that disappeared thirty years earlier... What was it about a mysterious cursed alien artifact that took the lives of those who touched it? Would Stuart Flane, commander of the starship Mercury, be able to sleep that night if he found out?
Static
Series: Panic! Horror In Space, Book 1. Price: $2.75 $1.10 USD. (60% off!) Words: 65,560. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
The last thing Stuart Flane, captain of the starship Mercury expected - or his crew - was a day-long running battle with the undead in the bowels of a long-lost shipwreck they'd pulled over to investigate! Their troubles didn’t end there though, because the Mercury – their only ride home – was also in trouble...
Wiggle Room
Price: Free! Words: 5,490. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Horror » Undead
Nosocomephobia – a little known word which is said to mean ‘a fear of hospitals’. Whether or not this fear is a rational or irrational one… well, that will be for the reader to decide.
The Thirteenth Ship
Price: Free! Words: 2,910. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(4.00 from 1 review)
The Hell Queen was the epitome of the deep space Corsair – and far more. For Hank MacMillan, the perils of deep space travel were a familiar occupational hazard... but when she took your ship, it stayed taken.
Death By Vampire
Price: Free! Words: 2,610. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(3.00 from 1 review)
"Death By Vampire" by Christina Engela - an interplanetary double agent brokering a trade-off of blood-diamonds in return for 100 Terran hostages gets more than he bargained for.
High Steaks
Series: Quantum, Book 6. Price: $2.75 $1.93 USD. (30% off!) Words: 63,070. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Transgressional fiction
"High Steaks" is the sixth title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela.
Prodigal Sun
Series: Quantum, Book 5. Price: $2.75 $1.93 USD. (30% off!) Words: 53,530. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Transgressional fiction
"Prodigal Sun" is the fifth title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela.
Loderunner
Series: Quantum, Book 4. Price: $2.75 $1.93 USD. (30% off!) Words: 53,380. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Transgressional fiction
"Loderunner" is the fourth title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela.
Dead Man's Hammer
Series: Quantum, Book 3. Price: $2.75 $1.93 USD. (30% off!) Words: 51,100. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Transgressional fiction
"Dead Man's Hammer" is the third title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela.
The Time Saving Agency
Series: Quantum, Book 2. Price: $2.75 $1.93 USD. (30% off!) Words: 54,880. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Transgressional fiction
"The Time Saving Agency" is the second title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela.
Black Sunrise
Series: Quantum, Book 1. Price: $2.75 $1.10 USD. (60% off!) Words: 60,090. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Transgressional fiction
"Black Sunrise" is the first title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela.
Dead Beckoning
Series: Galaxii, Book 3. Price: $2.75 $1.93 USD. (30% off!) Words: 51,990. Language: English. Published: June 12, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Meradinis! The stuff of myths and legends! The Turtle Island of the stars – home planet to the fearsome Corsairs – the terrors of the black, the monsters in Human form who killed innocents and waged a campaign of terror against the colonies for nearly a century! Then the day came when the Corsairs luck finally ran out…
Demonspawn
Series: Galaxii, Book 2. Price: $2.75 $1.93 USD. (30% off!) Words: 53,220. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
In book 2 of the Galaxii Series, a starship crew faces imminent death due to a poor decision to battle a ready foe. Just when they think they’ve found salvation in the form of a salvage ship they hope to strip for parts – things go from bad to worse.
Blachart
Series: Galaxii, Book 1. Price: $2.75 $1.10 USD. (60% off!) Words: 85,640. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Truthfully, d’Angelo found himself unsurprised that the engines had finally packed up. Weaver – like his predecessors – had been a kind of starship ‘backyard mechanic’ and at the time of the explosion, the stardrive was all but held together by bits of wire and duct tape. Weavers mistake cost him the stardrive – and Fuller and Jang their lives. “Blown up” seemed a little inadequate to describe wha