Interview with Roxanne Bland, author of ‘The Moreva of Astoreth’
Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.
Her latest book is the science fiction novel, The Moreva of Astoreth.
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About the Book:
Title: THE MOREVA OF ASTORETH
Author: Roxanne Bland
Publisher: Blackrose Press
Genre: Science Fiction
Moreva Tehi, scientist, healer, priestess of the Goddess of Love and three-quarters god, is a bigot. She hates the hakoi who are the Temple’s slaves. When she misses an important ritual because the enslaved hakoi are participants, her grandmother, the Goddess Astoreth, punishes her by exiling her for a year from her beloved southern desert home to the far north village of Mjor in the Syren Perritory, (where the hakoi are free) to steward Astoreth’s landing beacon. But Astoreth forbids her from taking with her scientific research on red fever, a devastating scourge that afflicts the hakoi. She does so, anyway.
The first Mjoran she meets is Laerd Teger, the hakoi chief of the village, who appears to hate her. She also meets Hyme, the hakoi village healer, and much to Moreva Tehi’s surprise, they form a fast friendship. This friendship forces her to set upon a spiritual journey to confront her bigotry. While doing so, she falls in love with Laerd Teger, who returns her love. She eventually has a revelation about the meaning of love, and rids herself of her bigotry. And she develops a cure for red fever, and is the first healer to do so.
But there is a price for her love for Laerd Teger, and that is her certain execution by the Goddess Astoreth upon her return home because she has broken her sacred vows. But then, through Laerd Teger, she learns a terrible secret about her gods, that they are not gods at all, but aliens, and rather than being part god, she is part alien. Her world destroyed, she turns on Laerd Teger for showing her the truth. They eventually reconcile. But there is still the problem about her love for Laerd Teger. Astoreth will know what she has done and will execute her. She formulates a plan, involving the erasure of her memory, in which she will bargain for her life by giving Astoreth the formula for red fever. Astoreth agrees. For breaking her vows and disobeying a direct order not to take her red fever research to Mjor, Astoreth strips her of her morevic status and exiles her again to Mjor. Back in Mjor, she recovers her memory and sends the red fever formula to Astoreth. Now freed from the constraints of being a Moreva, Tehi and Teger embark on a new life together.
For More Information
- The Moreva of Astoreth is available at Amazon.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Roxanne! Can you tell us where you are from?
I was born in Ohio, but my family moved to Washington, D.C. when I was a young girl. That was a lifetime ago. So I consider myself a Washingtonian these days.
Q: How did you come up with your title?
Well, the book focuses on Moreva Tehi, and is written from her point of view. So, to my mind, it was only fitting that the title reflect her.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
The front cover features Moreva Tehi, who is a medium shade of blue-violet (one of my favorite colors) with a mane of long, curly white hair. She is standing before a tree with a flowered vine snaking around it. She’s dressed in a cranberry military-style uniform. On the back is an ancient walled village, with a huge, ultra-modern tower off to the side. Before the village doors sits an alien-looking airship. I worked collaboratively with BookStylings, a graphic arts company in England to design the cover.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
Other than it’s a great read? Well…if you love science fiction, and you love romance but thought the twain would never meet, then this is the book for you.
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
One of the messages concerns bigotry. I’ve always thought that sometimes, what we hate in another person or people is but a reflection of what we hate in ourselves. The problem, though, is that hate can eventually destroy us. If we can identify the source of that hate, we can work hard to turn our hate into self-love, and in turn, love for others that we used to hate.
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
All of them! Really, if I had to pick one, it would be the one where she finds out what she really is. I would say it was also the hardest one to write. I really had to put myself in her shoes for that one so the scene read as if it were plausible.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
I’m not sure I felt I had to write this book as much as the book demanded to be written. That might not make much sense, but I was in the middle of another project when the idea for The Moreva of Astoreth came knocking at my brain, and wouldn’t leave me get on with my other project until I wrote it.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
I don’t know that it’s a dark secret, but I’ve always wanted to be an actor. To me, in a way it’s similar to being a writer—shaking off your persona to become the person you’re portraying.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Morocco, I think. So exotic, so much history. The beaches are supposed to be superb, and the Atlas Mountains beautiful. And, having the experience of sampling Moroccan cuisine, I can tell you the food is wonderful.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Oh, definitely a night owl. If I’m not careful, I’ll find myself up all night and sleeping during the day. Since the rest of the world is largely on a daytime schedule, this night/day flip is not conducive to getting things done—that is, other than writing.
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
Not that I know of. It’s too bad, really. I think it’d be fun—entertaining each other for hours with our stories.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Goodness, yes. I was always flying off to new worlds, especially when I should have been paying attention to something or someone else. And I’m still a dreamer. Except now, being a writer, I don’t get into trouble for it.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
I love rollercoasters, so I’d like to ride every rollercoaster in the world.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
To all you aspiring authors—don’t give up! Practice writing, hone your craft. Put out the best product you can. As for publishing, remember that there are so many options to get published these days other than the traditional route—like small press and indie (independent author).