Monday, October 10, 2011

Iron Admiral Author Greta van der Rol - Interview & Giveaway

Hello! Visiting today is Greta van der Rol, author of numerous novels including the sci-fi novels The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy and The Iron Admiral: Deception. She was kind enough to send me an e-copy of the first of these and then answer some of my questions. She has also volunteered an e-copy for one lucky commenter! So let's give her a warm welcome and see what she has to say.

How did you get into science-fiction?

I like science. I like gazing up at the night sky and wondering what's out there? How did it form? Are all those little specks out there giant fusion furnaces? (The ones that aren't planets, or other galaxies.) I had my own telescope and read books on astronomy and cosmology. I'm not good at maths, though, so I studied history and kept science as a pastime. But into science fiction? Into it enough to write the stuff? I think that was Star Wars. I loved the spaceships and the planet-hopping and the aliens and the action and adventure. I decided that's the sort of thing I wanted to write – but with better science. And a bit more sex.

Which of your characters is your favorite to write?

I assume you mean in the Iron Admiral books. Saahren. I know all his back story, of course – more than you'll learn in the books. I wanted to write a book about a very powerful military figure. The problem with that is high-ranking people seldom get to go on adventures – which is why he is ex-Admiral Saahren in book 1. In book 2, he's Grand Admiral Saahren and the problems he encounters with his beloved are very different. The decisions he makes can affect many lives, not just his and hers. So getting into his head, understanding a driven, powerful man who had never had time for love in his life was interesting.

Why did you decide to make your hero be someone that the heroine is determined to hate?

Conflict. If she'd fallen into his arms, it would have been a much less interesting book. But that's an almost flippant answer. One driving theme, if you like, in this book is that truth is relative, not absolute; truth depends upon the point of view of the teller of the tale – and the audience's perceptions. This is particularly true of war and politics. History will be manipulated in the telling to suit a purpose. So Allysha has been told her father was killed in a war crime. It suits her for many reasons to believe that version of events and she clings to it. The Iron Admiral books are her story, too, as she comes to terms with her own prejudices and learns reality comes in shades of gray.

What were the hardest scenes for you to write? And the easiest?

The easiest – and the most fun – were the sex scenes. The most difficult in Conspiracy was getting the final denouement right with all those players and Saahren himself going through a whole gamut of emotion. That's true of Deception as well.

Did you have more fun writing from Allysha or Saahren’s point of view?

Writing Saahren's reaction to women was endlessly entertaining. In some respects, Allysha probably needed a good kick in the tail. To tell you the truth, over the years some of the chapters were swapped from his POV to hers and vice versa. That gave me, the author, a heap of depth.

Who are some of your favorite sci-fi authors?

I'm a fan of most of the Grand Master – Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Jules Verne, HG Wells, John Wyndham, Heinlein. More recently I've enjoyed books by Jack McDevitt, Elizabeth Moon, Anne McCaffrey. I like Timothy Zahn's extended Star Wars novels, too.

Can you give us a hint as to what your heroes are up to now?

Book 2, Deception, is available now. If I were to tell you any more, I'd have to kill you. Sorry.

Now, for some random silly questions:

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Wars every time. I watched the original Star Trek series (yes, I'm that old) and lost interest when we started doing time travel and encountering Roman Gods and things out there in the firmament. And that whole business of half human/half some-other-alien-species was a bit too much for me to take.

Coffee or tea?

Tea. I like a good coffee (latte or flat white) but only one a day.

Night owl or early bird?

Early bird. I was born at about 7am so I never had a choice.

About the Author:

Greta van der Rol loves writing science fiction with a large dollop of good old, healthy romance. She lives not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoys photography and cooking when she isn't bent over the computer. She has a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping her in her writing endeavours.

You'll find The Iron Admiral: Deception on

And now, for the giveaway! Greta is offering an e-copy of The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy to one random commenter. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment with the name of your favorite sci-fi author and your e-mail address. For one extra entry, spread the word and leave a link. This giveaway ends on Oct. 20 at 11:59 PDT. Good luck!

                           Lieder Madchen


  1. My favorite Sci/Fi author is Linnea Sinclair, love her Dock 5 series.

    I tweeted the interview and giveaway:!/crazymidwestgal/status/123452148737511427

    junegirl63 (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. I enjoy Linnea Sinclair, too. I loved 'Games of Command' and 'Finders Keepers'. I'm told my style is similar to hers. Thanks for spreading the word :)

  3. My favourite would be HG Wells ^^
    I love both star trek and star wars ;)


    witchvela at web dot de