I want to thank Victoria Aveline for participating in One Book More’s Author Spotlight! Victoria is the author of the fabulous The Clecanian Series, a sci-fi romance series that includes Choosing Theo and the upcoming novel Freeing Luka. I’m excited to show you the cover for Freeing Luka, as it is new! Don’t you just love it? The colors, the beautiful markings, the cuffs! I’m already sold!
Getting to Know Victoria Aveline
Q: I read in your bio that you love traveling. Where is your favorite place to visit and why?
VICTORIA AVELINE: That’s such a difficult question! I think travelling is all about the experiences you have in any given place. Because of that, I don’t like to travel to the same places over and over. When my husband and I are lucky enough to be able to go somewhere, we go somewhere new! Of the countries I’ve been to, I would say Norway was probably the most obscenely beautiful place I’ve ever seen in real life. Greece is gorgeous as well and had the most genuinely nice people I’ve ever met. Also, I shouldn’t forget to mention New Zealand because, you know, Hobbits.
Q: What books/Which authors have most influenced your life?
VA: Well I’m sure this answer is true of many people, but to this day I remain a Harry Potter fanatic. The Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket are also some favorites. The messages concerning sadness, depression, and loss found in those books really resonated with me and helped me when I was younger.
In the world of romance, Kresley Cole is probably my favorite author. The way she’s able to make dark and twisted heroes lovable has always been impressive to me and something I think about a lot when dreaming up my heroes.
Other favorites of mine are Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, and Douglas Adams.
Q: What led you to write in the sci-fi romance genre? (One of my favorite genres!)
VA: I wanted to create a new world and sci-fi gave me the opportunity to do that. As I’ve written these books, I’ve come to realize that my educational background seems to be a big source of inspiration for me. I have a B.A. in Archaeological Studies with a minor in Anthropology. Trying to work out how another species may have evolved physically and culturally has been such an interesting exercise. Many of the customs of the Clecanians were actually inspired by different cultures that have existed here on Earth at one time or another as well as habits of various animal species.
As far as the romantic aspect goes, I think sci-fi romance is just fantasy with a dash of logic thrown in. Sci-fi romance is the perfect genre for those of us who want to read a fantasy that we could imagine potentially happening. Space is infinite and we have explored so little of it. Who’s to say there aren’t hunky aliens floating around out there right now.
Victoria Aveline has always enjoyed immersing herself in a good romance. Alpha males are her weakness but, while possessive dominating heroes have always been titillating, she craved something more. So she decided to create a world in which devastatingly sexy men could be aggressive and domineering but still bow down before the matriarchy.
Victoria lives with her husband, dog, and about sixty thousand badass honey-making ladies. When not writing or fantasizing about future characters, she enjoys traveling, reading, and sipping overpriced hipster cocktails.
Q: Recently, I included Theo in a post about characters I would like to be stranded with. Of the characters in Choosing Theo or one of your upcoming books, who would you choose to be stranded with? Why?
VA: Well, that depends on if I was Theo’s mate or not. Wink wink. Theo is a great option. He is smart and strong but I think Rhaego would be my choice. He may be a 7-foot-tall alien with horns and fangs, but he’s sooo sweet. As the books progress, more of Rhaego’s background will be revealed and let’s just say that being stranded in a harsh environment is not something new to Rhaego. He’d do a great job of keeping everyone around him safe and taken care of. The fact that he is also a great piece of eye-candy shouldn’t be overlooked either.
About the Series
Q: What inspired you to write The Clecanian Series?
VA: Since I was young, I’ve always thought up stories in my head. As I grew older those stories morphed into romances. I remember stumbling across a historical romance novel while roaming around my town library and thinking, “Woah, people write these down?!” I’ve read so many author interviews where authors talk about how they’ve been writing
forever and how they have a hundred unfinished manuscripts laying around. Well that is absolutely not me. Unfortunately, I’ve always thought of myself as a bad writer. It wasn’t until indie publishing became popular that I decided to take a stab at it.
What prompted me to write Choosing Theo, specifically, is that I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted in any other book. I love sci-fi romance but I was getting very bored of women being kidnapped and taken to barbaric male dominated societies. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with those books. I love an alien in a loincloth, but I also felt that not all alien societies would behave that way.
Being kidnapped by aliens is only the start of Jade’s problems. Thankfully, her rescuers, an alien race known as the Clecanians, are willing to protect her, but she has to stay on their planet for one year and respect the rules of their culture–including choosing a husband. Jade refuses at first but decides to play along until she can find a way back to Earth.
Theo, a scarred mercenary who prefers a life of solitude, is stunned when Jade selects him as her husband. After years of being passed over, he never imagined he would be chosen and neither did anyone else. Only one explanation makes sense…the curvy enticing female must be a spy, and Theo’s determined to break her cover using any means necessary.
As Jade and Theo are forced to spend time together, their chemistry becomes undeniable. But neither can afford to bring love into the equation, especially since Jade seems determined to go home. After all, she can’t possibly stay here, right?
Q: I love that you write about strong and sexy alpha males who also, as you say, “bow down before the matriarchy.” What inspired you to create this unique dynamic?
VA: It’s funny that you say that because in my mind, it isn’t a very unique dynamic. As I mentioned before, I like to think through how an alien species may have evolved. It seems that so many people feel that matriarchal society equals weak men and that just isn’t true. Take the animal kingdom for example. Lions, bonobos, and hyenas are all
matriarchal but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who thinks of a male lion as weak. Why can’t the same be true of any species?
Q: What other messages do you hope to convey in your writing?
VA: In my writing I never want to create environments where the alien and human women are pinned against each other. I’ve read too many sci-fi romances where the females of the species are looked at as lesser than because of some quality or another. There are always going to be some people of all genders, who are unlikeable, but I hate when the alien
female gender as a whole is viewed as “bad” and the human women come in to save the day.
Q: Will we see Jade, Theo, or any of the other characters from Choosing Theo in upcoming books in The Clecanian Series?
VA: Absolutely you will! Theo and Jade will not have another book to themselves, but most if not all of the characters you were introduced to in Choosing Theo will make cameos in other books.
Q: Can you tell us anything about your upcoming books?
VA: My next book, Freeing Luka will be out sometime in June. The book will follow Theo’s missing brother Luka, and an abducted human woman named Alice. The book starts out a little dark as you can see from the cover, but lightens and becomes very sweet by the end.
Q: How can readers learn more about you and your writings (i.e., website, Twitter, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.)?
Thanks so much, Victoria, for your wonderful answers. I love her fresh take on sci-fi romance, and find it interesting that she used her expertise in anthropology and archaeology to create such a defined and interesting fictional society.
Be sure to grab a copy of Choosing Theo, and keep an eye out for Freeing Luka!