Into the Divide (The Divide Universe #1), by Sandra Bard
Blurb: Nullands: Sections of a series of planets sealed off by an energy barrier, called the Divide, filled with danger, where technology does not work.
Tarn is part of the Death Squad, a criminal given a second chance by agreeing to risk his life over and over again in the Nullands. His latest mission is the kind he usually avoids: babysit an inexperience lab tech while they hunt down the dangerous creature that escaped a research lab.
Calvin is the lab tech given the unenviable task of hunting down the creature that escaped his lab, after it killed his friend and five others. An assignment he mostly landed for refusing to sleep with his boss, he knows damn good and well he's being sent to die. What he doesn't expect is Tarn, or how far he's willing to go to survive.
Renae: OMG – that sounds great. And today I have Sandra Bard, the author of this book on my blog. Hi, Sandra. Welcome!
Sandra: Thank you so much for having me here. *waves to the audience* I'm really excited to talk about Into the Divide.
Renae: Tell me, how did you get the idea for this story? Is it set in the future, or is it an alternative reality?
Sandra: I always imagined this would be in the future. A long, long, long time when humans have found space travel and have a couple of thousand habitable worlds and space stations under their belt. During their exploration of the universe they have come across Divide worlds, worlds where there are energy barriers that close of part of the world. *points to the blurb*
Renae: So Tarn is a bad-boy criminal? **shudders** How bad is he? Will he make the heart of the reader race with his badness?
Sandra: Well, he was a bad boy, as in when he was young he did something really, really wrong. But now he's a badass. When the story opens he's been in the Death squad for close to ten years and he's sharpened his skills and become very good at what he does.
Sandra: Tough to describe Calvin. If you mean if he's very good at what he does, he is, but even he isn't sure about what he can do. And he is not someone anyone is going to dislike. He's just... untrained in the ways of the Divide. Age wise, he's not much younger than Tarn, but experience wise, he is pretty young since this is the first time he's going to cross the Divide.
Renae: Now Calvin’s mission is to capture this animal that has escaped. What sort of animal is this?
Sandra: Now, if I describe it completely, I'm going to spoil the plot. But it's dangerous, it's big and it's alien. Well, that's a given since this happens on another planet but what makes it even more dangerous is that it'd killed a couple of men before escaping from the high security lab it was kept.
Renae: What is their reaction to each other at first? Hate at first sight? Attraction at first sight?
Sandra: Well, you have a realise Tarn's been doing this close to 10 years. He's seen a lot of people die, even people who were very good at staying alive. So his first impression of Calvin is that he'd going to be a burden, someone Tarn will have to try really hard to keep alive. Calvin has heard of Tarn, so he knows what Tarn does. That is why, he is just surprised, when he sees Tarn that he is so short.
Renae: I understand that you have written a part two to the book? Tell us about it? When will it be out?
Sandra: There are other characters in this book I wanted to explore more. Izaak is one of them, he's the commander of the infamous Death Squad aka the First Fighters. His story is coming out on June 10th and it's called Divided Within. I'll be introducing a new character Vincent Hawthorne *grins* who has a past with Izaak. It also gives me a chance to see what Tarn and Calvin are doing after the end of the first book.
The next book Divide by Two is also going to be out sometime this year but we haven't set a release date yet. It's time they leave the planet but things go wrong from the beginning and they have to work together to save themselves. It's the time they get to really know each others' partners and get to work out some issue they have with each other.
I'm also working on another book, Divided Nature. This actually takes place in the past, and is about an incident that is hinted at in all the other three books. I was going to write it as a flashback but there is a whole story there with different people and it's turning out to be an entire book.
Renae: Is this book a HEA? You’re not going to leave me with a cliff hanger, are you?
Sandra: I always write happy endings, but I'm not sure if it's forever for the moment. They are together but I don't know a single relationship that hasn't gone through a rough spot or two. There will be problems and setbacks but I can safely say their relationships will survive.
Renae: Looking at your other books, you have a wide variety of Alternate Universe type stories. Do you think that they come easy to you? What is their attraction for you to write about them?
Sandra: I think I write all types. Hmm, my first book, Bound by Guilt is contemporary but I do dabble in Fantasy. Not high fantasy, but mostly urban fantasy, with magic (The Glass Prince) and vampires (The List). I have Rights of Inheritance (I'm working on the sequel for that too) which is all kings and queens and bastard sons.
I don't know if they come to be easily, I sometimes have an idea but then wind up struggling for ages to get the plotline moving. Sometimes I imagine a certain scene but then it takes me month to build up to that point.
But, there's always a story in my head.
Sandra: I'm working on so many I feel like I'm divided between so many works.
Right now, I'm working on a short story for the LT3 anthology Silver and Gold. I'm working on the sequel for Rights of Inheritance, called Rights of Prisoners. There's a sort of loose follow up to Bound by Guilt called, Exiled in Guilt. There is of course, Divided Nature from the Divide Universe. And finally, there is a 40,000 word book I'm only about half way through which I'm calling Armour about two countries at war.
And there is a short story I'm re doing which is about a magical tree.
There are some more but really, I think you get the picture.
Renae: Where can people contact you?
I'm on tumblr, http://sandrabard.tumblr.com.
I don't have a fb account and as for a website, I haven't been active in a while so I got rid of it. I will be opening a new website soon, please stay in touch until then.
Renae: Thanks for visiting today, and I can’t wait to get into this story.
Sandra: Thank you for having me. I had fun and some of the questions made me think of things I never thought of myself—like which Universe this story in set in.