Miranda Kate - Fascinating Dark Sci-Fi Fantasy Collection
Miranda started out life wanting to be a film director, but when directing people didn't work, she turned to words instead, finding them much easier to deal with – most days. Miranda has been featured in several Flash Fiction anthologies and ezines, and published several books, including three collections, four novels, and a novella. She writes across genres, which include Horror, Science Fiction Fantasy, Time Travel and Paranormal Fantasy, often mixing them together – the one constant being that they are all dark. Under the pen name, M K Boers, she writes psychological thrillers. Miranda Kate, spent her early childhood in Surrey, in the south of England, and her teens and early adulthood moving round the UK, but currently resides in the Netherlands. As our Author of the Day, she tells us about her book, Slipping Through.
Please give us a short introduction to what Slipping Through is about.
Slipping Through was originally a dark sci-fi fantasy collection containing my novella The Game, the first part of The Jester two-book series, but after releasing that separately, I didn't want the two remaining dark sci-fi fantasy stories to go to waste, so I approached a few author friends to ask if they wanted to collaborate on a new collection, which I published under the same title.
This collection is a sort of The Twilight Zone meets Death from Terry Pratchett Discworld series, meets Tales of the Unexpected. There's science fiction fantasy, paranormal stories, concepts of the afterlife and dimension jumping all mixed together, most of them with a dark twist, some edging on horror. An eclectic mix of stories that cross genre boundaries, and would appeal to a lot of readers.
Tell us a bit about the other authors involved:
Michael Wombat is quite a prolific writer with over twenty books published – a mixture of novels and collections. I've been involved in a collaboration with him before on an incredible dystopian anthology called Human 76, but only as an editor. He also used my face on the covers of his two-part framed anthology: Madame Monvoisin Madame Monvoisin's Emporium of Extraordinary Adventures, Volume 1 & 2, but this is the first time we've been in the same publication together. He’s written some great tales for this collection.
Victoria Pearson and I first came together when writing for Once Upon A Time: A Collection of Unexpected Fairytale which was released back in 2012. She has a three book series of twisted fairytales and sinister stories - her particular fortè - and has provided one of my favourite stories for this collection called, Terms and Conditions.
K. R. Smith writes short dark stories, and has often written for a weekly writing challenge I host, called Mid-week Flash. He's written a dark short story for this collection, and also piece that is a sort of mirror reflection of one of my own stories in this collection.
Why did you title this book "Slipping Through"
This title originally came from The Game, to denote when the main character passed from one time parallel to another. And although the novella is no longer in this collection several of the new stories are about passing into other dimensions, either via time travelling or other planes of existence.
Which of the stories in this collection is your personal favorite and why?
I love Terms and Conditions by Victoria Pearson the most. I love the concept she comes up with for hell. That it could be a waiting room of sorts with so much off kilter, and also the reason behind why the main character ended up there. It’s definitely a tale that stays with you.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I’m an editor and proofreader currently in the midst of becoming professionally accredited. I also enjoy cover design and have worked with several authors helping them develop eye-catching covers. I’m also a pretty skilled cat mum!
What did you have the most fun with when putting this book together?
I really enjoyed the diverse concepts in all the stories. I’ve always loved out-of-the-box concepts whether they are about outer space, other dimensions relating to time or relating to before and after death. It helped me look at ways I can push the boundaries in my storytelling.
Interesting cover. Please tell us more about how it came about.
The object on the front cover relates to the opening story, Sea Shell. It’s actually a photograph taken by Michael Wombat, of a large shell-like sculpture called Mary’s Shell, on Cleveleys Beach, in Lancashire, England. I felt it worked to convey the out-of-this-world feel in many of the tales in this collection. With its placement in the tideline of the beach it makes it slightly out of place and other worldly.
Readers say this reminds them of the work of Stephen King. Are you a fan?
I consider myself one of Stephen King’s Constant Readers and have been since my teens, way back in the 1980s. I find his writing hugely inspirational. He also crosses genres, though he is best known for his horror, and often trips over into other worlds and dimensions. In fact, his novel, The Talisman, inspired my own concept of ‘Slipping Through’ into other times.
Do you plan out all your stories before you start writing, or do some of them just "happen" as you write?
I am very much a pantser when I write (meaning I fly by the seat of my pants!). I have a very loose plan: a story thread, a few scenes, a couple of characters. I use picture prompts a lot when writing short stories. They often spark an image or a film-like scene in my head, and I just start writing. Sometimes I hear a piece of dialogue in my head and let it take me wherever it goes.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
Often! When I was writing my novel Pool of Players, which is the sequel to The Game, it was very difficult because there’s a lot of time jumping back and forth between different time parallels, especially near the end, and when trying to keep it as close to believable as possible I had a rough plan of how it was going to go. And then the characters, during a dialogue sequence decided to change it completely! I had to then sit and work out a completely different, relatively believable plan It made my head hurt, but it turned out really well in the end.
When starting on a new story, what is the first thing you do?
I have to get the story thread in my head. I usually ask myself, where are we going with this? I have to have a direction and usually a twist of some sort to keep it compelling – or end on a twist.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I don’t really have habits, unless procrastinating is one of them! I have to really make myself sit down and write – give myself some sort of deadline, otherwise I can just goof off and find anything else to do including housework. It’s why I set up my Mid-Week Flash writing challenge, to get myself to write something every week and post it for others to join in. That deadline and pressure helped me produce regular pieces and discover bigger storylines and characters (like my Tricky’s Tales series).
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on the third book my Tricky’s Tales series, this book is called Blood River, and I plan to release it in the Spring. This is the final one in this particular storyline. It’s my first attempt at a series, and it takes a lot of work keeping everything consistent but I’m enjoying it as Tricky is a very funny character.
It’s a dark paranormal fantasy series set a few hundred years from now in a post-apocalyptic world. After a massive shift of the tectonic plates decimated the world and its population, life on the remaining landmass has returned to simple living, with money, rulers and religion no longer tolerated.
The main character, Tricky is a new age witch, of sorts, who is adept at working with energy and time as well as communicating with trees. After one of her gemstones is stolen she is lured into uncovering a network of people who killed her mother and plan on taking over the landmass.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My website: www.mirandakateboersauthor.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaKateAuthor And I am also on BlueSky Social: https://bsky.app/profile/purplequeenpub.bsky.social
The Twilight Zone meets Quantum Leap meets The Outer Limits meets Sliders Ever wonder what happens after death? What other dimensions might await you? Or what it might be like coming face to face with yourself? Slip through into sci-fi fantasy adventures mixed with paranormal stories, concepts of the afterlife and dimension jumping, seasoned with a dark twist.