Guest blog by Faberge Nostromo, author of As Dreams Are Made On
I grew up in the East End of London before escaping to East Anglia. I've been a civil servant, a tea boy, sound engineer, a librarian and an IT consultant but always knew that I was a writer. I now live deep in the heart of Suffolk with my wife, son and too many guitars.
And I've dropped by to share my Top Ten with you. Imagine Julie Andrews singing 'A Few Of My Favourite Things' if you will...
1 – My Top Starship
I think we all know one don't we? That one? The one with the number NCC1701? Come on, even you non-Trekkies know that one.
Well, she's not mine. My first love was the Fireball XL5, in all her black and white TV glory:-
But much as I loved her when I was young and impressionable, my top starship is actually now my own creation – the USS Prospero, with Captain Jane Ferdinand at the helm. You can meet both of them in my next book As Dreams Are Made On. You can make up your own mind about what she (ship or captain) is like on March 7th.
2 - Top Robot/Android
No, not Data, the rather dull chap from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sorry but he does nothing for me. Dull, dull, dull... I like a real robot. I'm torn between Maria, the Maschinenmensch of Fritz Lang's 1927 silent movie 'Metropolis' and, of course, Forbidden Planet's very own Robbie the Robot. In As Dreams Are Made On I needed a very, very adaptable android. So welcome aboard the T1000 from Terminator 2. I mixed the three and, voila, I had my gender-indeterminate, ultra-configurable, factotum R.E.L. (Robotic Empath Lifeform). Every home should have one, I think.
3 - Top SF uniform
Sorry, but I have to default to the demands of my male hormones here and as much as I liked the styling of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as much as I so, so admired Mr Spock's blue shirt, pedal-pusher trousers and pixie boots there is only one SF uniform for me and that is 7 of 9's cat suit from Star Trek Voyager. Not for me, of course – purely for Captain Ferdinand to wear, you understand.
4 - Top Shakespeare Quote
Prospero's farewell, the piece that is assumed to be Shakespeare's retirement speech coming as it does in the play believed to be his last, The Tempest; it's about life, art, all human endeavour, aspirations and, yes, dreams:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
5 – Top place to write
Anywhere, anyhow, on anything really. The main thing is JFDI. My first book had huge chunks written on finger at a time on a smartphone on commuter trains in and out of London. By day I'm a mild mannered business analyst and I'd sit surrounded by suits and laptops amongst a sea of "action plans going forward", "utilising synergies" and "granularity of data" while I typed a hot scene between my transvestite burlesque dancer and his gay lover.
6 – Top thing I love about writing
Creating, dreaming, letting your imagination run wild and then finding that the characters you've created are so real that they take over and you are actually writing their story for them and they won't let you stop until they've finished.
7 - Top thing I hate about writing
Blurbs and synopses. Please, someone make an app that reads your book, analyses it and chucks out a short blurb, and a longer one and a synopsis. Frankly I usually don't have a clue what I've written about and have to read it through and often find myself going "oh, I don't remember that happening".
8 - Top thing to do to avoid having to write
I play guitar, bass and ukulele and sing – well, when I say 'sing' I'm using the word in its broadest sense. I used to be terribly shy and nervous about it but now I'm up and strumming at the drop of a hat. In fact, can I do a number for you now?
9 – Top guitar
I've been playing guitar for <coughs> years now and have had some dire pieces of firewood to deal with as well as getting the chance to play some spectacularly fine vintage instruments. I've caressed a Martin acoustic, hit power chords on a 1958 Gibson Flying V and let a Les Paul scream through a Marshall stack but my favourite guitar is the one my wife bought me, my first 'proper' guitar; a midnight blue Fender Stratocaster. It's the guitar that defines rock n roll with it's curves, contours and body horns, its pickups that wail and bite, and its neck - as sleek as silk and smooth as glass. Oh yes.
10 – Top book
Mine? Winnie the Pooh. Can't live without it, always by my side. It's full of simple wisdom and the innocence of youth and never disappoints.
So what about you? What's in your top ten, but most importantly, what's your top book? And why?
A stricken starship, a captain lost in space; a beautiful alien girl, marooned and adrift in time; the perfect robotic servant. Can he help them come together and find the space and time for love?
Her starship, Prospero, out of control and hurtling toward an uncharted world, Captain Jane Ferdinand takes to the escape pods. Finding herself alone on an island, the last thing she expects to find is love Miranda, marooned since a baby with only her father, Jacques-Pierre, and their ultra-adaptable android servant, R.E.L, spends her time exploring her father's books and dreaming of love. And on a night when a mysterious shooting star flashes across the horizon, she finally makes full use of R.E.L.'s adaptability to explore her emerging desires—desires that, with gentle guidance from Captain Ferdinand, help her discover her awakening sexuality.
But can her dreams and their love survive when R.E.L.'s gender adaptability threatens to come between them and Captain Ferdinand uncovers the secret that her father has kept from Miranda for twenty years?
"I am a woman, Miranda. Flesh and blood. The same as you."
Miranda breathed in slowly, her gaze flitting from Ferdinand's eyes to her lips.
"Yes. Yes. You are. Captain, kiss me again."
Ferdinand sought her mouth now, more eagerly, and darted her tongue inside. The kiss was full and deep, both girls probing and tussling with their tongues as Ferdinand ran her fingers through Miranda's long purple tresses. She felt Miranda put her hand on the small of her back, pushing harder, her other hand stroking her neck. She felt her body come alive to Miranda's touch as her hands explored every inch of her back and shoulders, gently sliding over her uniform, tracing her spine and muscles through the tight material, kneading and caressing in turn.
Their mouths parted, tongues teasing until Ferdinand leaned to one side and danced a series of butterfly kisses on the smooth blue skin of Miranda's neck and throat. Miranda gasped and slid her hand around from Ferdinand's back and inched toward the curve of her breast.
"Captain..." Miranda whispered.
"Jane. It's Jane," Ferdinand replied in between the pattern of kisses she was placing on Miranda's neck. Miranda inched her fingers toward Ferdinand's breast until they gently brushed the smooth lower curve. She stopped.
"Jane, should I..."
"Yes, Miranda," Ferdinand replied. She placed a hand on Miranda's and gently moved it up until Miranda's slim blue fingers covered her breast. "Let your emotions and desires tell you what to do."
Ferdinand's nipple hardened as Miranda gently explored the curve and outline of her breast through the tight silver of her uniform. Ferdinand released her hand and placed her own on Miranda's pert, firm breast, feeling her nipple already hard through the silk. She circled the tight button with her thumb and felt Miranda mirror her movements.
They kissed again, deeply, as each felt the other's soft curves and hard nipples, Miranda's fingers exploring, Ferdinand's confident and insistent. Ferdinand was wet now and wanted those smooth blue fingers to explore inside her. She knew she had to gently lead Miranda there, to teach her, guide her.
Bio: Faberge Nostromo grew up in the East End of London before escaping to East Anglia. He has been a civil servant, a tea boy, sound engineer, a librarian, and an IT consultant, but always knew that he was a writer. He now lives deep in the heart of Suffolk with his wife, son, and too many guitars.