I met Rita Kruger, a new multi-genre reader and writer, at a new South African Indie Writers’ group.
I was excited to find her enthusiastic about sci-fi/fantasy too. I had to interview her about her own work and her new series Angela’s Epistles. Here’s how it went…
Tell us about your love affair with science fiction. How did it start? Why did you decide to write in that genre?
The more I thought about Angela and her circumstances, the more it made sense that she would live in the future, and therefore science-fiction became the mode of her series. And of course, we all know that in the future people can travel to other planets.
I love learning new things and the research for this series excited me!
Angela’s Epistles is your debut novella in a 4-part series about a new bounty hunter in far-off Uranus. What inspired the story?
Most of my stories are inspired by characters. Angela was going to learn to grow in character, although she started rather strong in physical abilities due to the Intergalactic Bureau of Investigation training. I wanted to put her in a setting that would excite me, and allow her to have mountains to climb. Plus, her mother made it impossible to be anything on Planet Earth.
Why Uranus, and not Mars or Venus, or Europa?
In fact, books later in the series will have Angela visit other planets, too. She is a bounty hunter looking for the worst of the worst. But Uranus seemed like the place to be. When I looked at the pictures, it seemed to speak to the darkness that Angela will find on the new planet.
Angela seems to go through a steep learning curve in the series. Tell us more about her, and her biggest challenges in the first two books.
Angela has a famous mother, Margaret Wright. Margaret is the first Human invited to sit on one of the six seats of the Intergalactic High Court. So, obviously, whenever people hear Angela’s name, and realize whose daughter she is, they immediately think of Margaret’s success. And no matter how hard Angela tries, she can never measure up to her mother.
After her twenty-eight birthday (a total flop), she takes stock of where she is, and how trapped she felt. Then she decides to do something radical.
It is here that the hard part (and the fun part) starts. Angela learns to be a person, a lover, a daughter, a friend and a team leader. And soon she is less Margaret’s daughter, and more La Loba.
Every writer, I think, is a little envious of their characters in some way. What’s yours for Angela?
I envy her youth, impulsiveness and go-get attitude. She makes being impulsive look good, and usually it works in her favour. Most of my impulse moves turn out to be more than I can afford, or more effort than I initially thought they’d be.
And sometimes they are just bad, period.
Angela’s best friend and love is Bren. Tell us about Bren. Is she a bounty hunter too?
Bren has the most boring job in the universe, but she loves it because she has a lot of time to read at work, and she never comes home tired. She is emotionally much stronger and mature than Angela. Bren always wanted to be an artist, but her parents said they don’t make money, and are promiscuous. So, they insisted she study a boring business degree, which she hated.
What did you enjoy most about writing this series?
All the things I learn about what life would be like in 2053. How cities will change. Transport. Travel to other planets.
You also write flash-fiction and have a story coming out in a new anthology. Congratulations! Tell us a bit about your flash-fiction.
The flash-fiction piece, Ashes to Ashes, is about a woman trying to cope with divorce. It is a rather deeply emotional piece, showing all the places in which divorce touches and changes us.
So, it’s time to talk about your future! What are planning for your readers?
I just finished the first draft of Angela’s #6! Hoorah!
In April I will write #2 of a Paranormal Romance. This is the second book I wrote, and has been hanging around waiting for me to get back to it. I hope to release all three in the trilogy by the end of 2019. I’m sure readers will love Doris as much as Angela.
I also have two completed first drafts of an epic fantasy series, Voices of the Apocalypse. This is a seven book series based loosely on the Bowls of Wrath in the Book of Revelations. I’m about a quarter into the third book of this series. They do require a lot of research. For these I do almost two full months of research before I even begin planning or writing.
Rita Kruger lives in Vereeniging, South Africa. She is a wife, granddaughter, daughter, mother, and grandmother. Most of childhood happened within the pages of books. Stories conspired to carry her away from the world she knew. The places and people books introduced her to were much more exciting than her boring existence.
Currently married to her personal MacGyver, she surrounds herself with what enriches her body, mind and soul. Family. Friends. Nature. Great food. Good wine. Mountains of books. She writes novels challenging major themes of her life in the genres of fantasy and gothic horror, which she loves.