Hey, good morning and welcome! Glad you’re dropping in on us today.
My next interview is a woman who has taken on a huge challenge: writing good military science fiction!
Rayner Ye is a Sci-Fi author from Oxford, UK–home of Lewis Carol, C.S Lewis, J.R.Tolkien, Philip Pullman, and many more writers of magical worlds. She has a BSc in Environmental Biology, an MA in Linguistics, CELTA, and Trinty Diploma in TESOL. Before becoming a mother and writer, Rayner taught English as a foreign language in Oxford, Jakarta, Huizhou, Shantou, and Incheon. She also taught yoga in Bali and Science and Biology in Shanghai.
Much of her inspiration comes from her experiences living and working in East Asia, pagan mysticism, esoteric yoga, having a vivid imagination, a love for science and biology, and a fascination with things scientists have yet to explain. Rayner’s interested in invisible energy which scientists are only just starting to delve into in quantum physics. There is so much which scientists do not know. Although Rayner’s very spiritual, she also has a keen scientific mind and is fascinated in biology, geology, and the idea of life on other worlds. These include dream worlds, physical worlds which don’t rely on liquid water, and those with water and life in Goldilocks Zones.
I’m excited to have another sci-fi author visiting, so let’s jump into it now!!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was five, my nan asked me what I wanted to be, and I said an orphan. She smirked and asked what an orphan does. I said, “Write books.” That was a family joke. It took another thirty-three years until I followed my writing dream.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
From science lectures on The Science Festival, Scientific articles, other sci-fi books, and through the cosmic portal which connects me to the universe.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
2k/day while kids are at school, though, during home-school, I’d rise at 5am to write, then write again after home-school at 2pm to 6pm. It chops and changes a lot, but I like to try my best to fit an hour of yoga and meditation into my day.
How do books get published?
I self-publish on KDP Select (Amazon.) I do it all, and I don’t pay an editor, because, at the moment, I cannot afford it. I have lots of editing software, though, and I am careful to edit thoroughly, several times.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote and illustrated a fairy story at twenty-two, after I graduated and travelled around New Zealand for five months alone. I met lots of hippies and went to excellent festivals along the way.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Play with my kids, read to my kids, play the guitar, do yoga and meditation, walk, and sing.
What does your family think of your writing?
They cannot even be bothered to read it, to be honest. My husband said my first book gave him a headache (English isn’t his first language, and he doesn’t like magic,) but he enjoyed my techno-thriller book, YuFu’s Run 1. My sister was sweet, though, and for my 40th birthday, she got my birthday cake made as my first book, then little vegan cakes (for me to eat) as the other books in my first series.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I can draw fantasy maps too!
How many books have you written?
Which is your favourite?
All of them, though I think my most successful book is a techno-thriller space opera called YuFu’s Run 1. It is a male saturated genre, though. To make money, I’m going to start a pen name and write sci-fi reverse harem (for women.) It makes my skin crawl a bit, because it is romantic and erotic. That’s never been my thing, but writers can shape-shift, so I’ll give it a go.
I’ve heard many stories where writers have earned a lot of money writing these, and money is something I need more than fulfilling my ego. I’m wondering about a catchy pen name which says space and romance. Maybe Star Rose, or something else silly like that. I will never stop writing in my Plan8 Alliance, though, but I’m going to take a break from it and try this other genre, see if I can actually make some money for a change.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Follow your heart and intuition. There’s lots of advice, which I learned when I was part of thenextbigwriter.com, over a three-year period. I learned a lot through trial, error, and criticism.
Do you like to create books for adults?
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Yes, I am now for a different genre which might actually make me some money.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I did, but I’ve learned this is wrong if I want to be financially successful.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Randall Krzystan. He is a thriller writer, and we used to beta read each other’s books. He inspired me to write about spies in my space fantasy and space opera. Also, I’ve met a couple of nice space opera writers on Instagram, and we’ve helped each other out with promoting our books. I chat with M. D. Cooper sometimes on messenger. She’s a very successful Space Opera author, and she puts all of her success down to Facebook ads. She’s the author of ‘Help, My Facebook Ads Suck!’ I will definitely pay for Mark Dawson’s Lifetime course on Ads to market my Space Opera.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
A body of work with connections between books. One of my chief characters from my first series is the main character in YuFu’s Run.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Nothing. I don’t have any regrets. I know where I went wrong (too many themes) in my first two series, but I am glad I wrote them. I know more than ever, now, how important tropes are, even in a sub-genre as broad as space opera.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It didn’t. My process changed after eight books. Mind you, my books are only 40-50k each. I am going to make my space opera books longer from now on. 70k might be better.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
My Dragon Dictate Software! I love it! I can get 2k down while on a half an hour walk. Of course, it takes another hour or more to edit it. But I like it a lot. I must be honest, though, Grammarly and ProWritingAid were more essential.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I have several, but at the moment it’s an American Indian Eagle Man.
Thanks so much! I’ll drop your links below so your new fans can find you!