Beth Barany - Lip-biting Mystery set in a High-End Space Station Hotel-Casino
Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives. For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books. As our Author of the Day, Beth tells us all about her book, Into the Black.
Please give is a short introduction to what Into The Black is about.
Sure, happy to.
Into The Black is a sci-fi mystery, and the first in a 4-book series I’m releasing over the next 12 months.
Here’s the book description that says it best:
She wanted to make her mark. How hard could it be?
In 2130, at Bijoux de L’Etoile, a high-end casino orbiting Earth, you can get anything you desire.
Newly-hired as an investigator, Janey McCallister wants to solve her first big case—the theft of a priceless gem.
When her case of theft escalates to murder and points to the seedy underbelly of world affairs, Janey has to rely on her new team and trust the mysterious insurance investigator, Orlando Valdez—before a killer escapes into the black.
What inspired you to write about a high-end casino that orbits Earth?
I honestly had a dream about my main character working in a space station high-end casino hotel. LOL
What probably inspired the dream and a previous story I wrote with a similar setting (still unpublished) was an announcement I read about Robert Bigelow, hotelier, and aerospace company founder, who wanted to put hotels in space. He’s still working on that inspiring dream.
Tell us more about Janey McCallister. What makes her tick?
When we meet Janey in Into The Black, we discover that she’s driven by her sense of justice and by her desire to take care of her sick mother back home on Earth. But it wasn’t always that way for her.
When she was a kid and teenager, she loved to tinker and wanted to study at a Saturn space station when she grew up.
At thirteen years old, she took apart and attempted to put back together her mom’s house cleaning robot, but an accident happened and she lost her eye. Janey was able to get the best-enhanced eye available, but she didn’t want to tinker anymore and turned her science interest away from space and to teaching.
She left home for college and enjoyed a quiet life as a high school science teacher until tragedy struck—her best friend went missing and later turned up dead. Then her mother got sick.
So Janey returned home to start a new life and took a steady decent-paying job in Space Wing, working in Investigative Services on planet and off.
When her stint in the military was up, and her mom’s illness became worse, Janey took the best paying job she could find: on the high-end hotel-casino space station above Earth as their lead investigator.
Why did you set your story in 2130?
I wanted to pick a time period far ahead enough in the future that I could make things up, yet not too far out that I needed to speculate about too many things. I thought the date was a fun stretch, yet still feasible.
This is book 1 in the Janey McCallister series. How does it tie in with the rest of the books in the series?
Each of the next books in the series will take place in the same location, after some time passes, with a murder mystery each book.
You can read each book as a stand-alone. You can also read the series in sequence to enjoy the secondary storylines.
By the end of the series, I will tie up all loose ends and have a satisfying end to the slow-burn romance that starts in Book 1.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
LOL I wish I could say “secret agent” or “spy” but that’s just for my characters in my books.
Besides being a novelist, I dabble in screenplay writing. I’m also a writing teacher and coach to beginning novelists; I speak fluent French, and am a pretty good cook.
I like gardening, traveling, and our cats. My hobbies include taking photos (cats and flowers on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bethbarany/) and walking and cardio kickboxing.
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
My first cover designer, author, and artist Elayne Griffith, found the wonderful model images on Shutterstock. We did several drafts, but then due to life circumstances, I needed to move to another designer, Nada Orlic. I knew I wanted some space imagery in the background and provided the designer with images I liked. Nada gave me multiple drafts of my cover. Then I shared them with my readers, who gave me feedback and helped me narrow down to the final choice.
Into the Black also includes a slow-burn romance. Why did you take this approach?
Since Into The Black is primarily a mystery, I didn’t want the romance to take center stage. So I decided that the romance would evolve over the four-book series and not in a typical way. I had fun creating this relationship and I hope you enjoy it too.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I generally like to write after lunch in the early afternoon. I finished writing all four books that way. When it comes to editing, I can work at any time of day except late at night, unless I’m on deadline.
On an average writing day, I’ll write or edit one to hours a day after lunch, often outside. I love working outside when I can, and during Shelter in Place, when I can’t yet go to cafes, I’ve been working a lot on our patio, out of the direct sun.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
The best place to discover more of my work is my author site here: http://author.bethbarany.com/. I can be contacted via my site, or Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram under my name @bethbarany.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I’m finalizing edits in book 2 in the Janey McCallister Mystery series, Lured By Light, now on preorder where all e-books are sold and will be out Sept. 17, 2020: https://books2read.com/luredbylight.
For an excerpt of Into The Black, go here: https://author.bethbarany.com/into-the-black/#excerpt
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