JC Hay

Author of the Series: Pets In Space

Pets in Space 4

Release date: 08 Oct, 2019 – Publisher: Cats, Dogs and Otherworldly Creatures

Editors: Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones – Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde


Grab your copy of Pets in Space® 4 today! For a limited time, Pets in Space® 4 brings together today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors to help Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that helps our service veterans and first responders. Journey to far off worlds with Anna Hackett’s House of Roan or board Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr for another amazing Interstellar cruise. From S.E. Smith’s Lords of Kassis, Tiffany Roberts’ The Infinite City, to Pauline Baird Jones’ Project Enterprise series, you’ll find the perfect story along with a few unusual pets. Thirteen incredible stories by thirteen of today’s bestselling authors. Don’t miss out on this limited time offer and help a great charity!


Hey JC! Welcome to the Spotlight! Let’s start with an easy one. What is the first book that made you cry?

This is a hard one, because there’s so many, and I’ve cried at books since I was young. On a guess, I’d have to say it’s Charlotte’s Web. I cried over that book so many times, and even gave up pork (at least until I remembered how much I enjoy bacon).


I have to admit I cried with that one too! Okay, so tell me what was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Without a doubt, it was joining RWA and going to my first Nationals. It was the first time I felt like I’d found a community of people who believed in their craft and wanted to share their knowledge. The people I met embodied the idea of “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and I left inspired to always be worthy of their acceptance.


Conferences are the best! I love RWA! What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I’m always researching; talking to people about their careers, watching documentaries, reading essays and papers from both scientists and futurists alike. With science-fiction romance, I’m always trying to balance the realism with the needs of the story. (And honestly, having to find a workaround for one of the issues with male arousal in microgravity has led me to some creative solutions).


Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Most recently? Damon Suede’s Verbalize. Reading it, and hearing him talk about it (he was a presenter at last year’s Emerald City Writers Conference) was a paradigm changing moment. It gave me a way to look at how each of my characters would approach any given event in a scene, and changed the way I write (and especially the way I re-write) almost completely.


Okay, I have to pick that up, it sounds like an interesting approach. What was your hardest scene to write?

In general? It’s the black moment and, to a lesser extent, the lead-in to it. I spend three-quarters of a book falling in love with these characters, only to know that I have to hurt them while they continue to make the same mistakes that have plagued them. Plus it has to hit just right, or it won’t feel like a believable choice. It sometimes takes me as long to write through the black moment as the preceding rest of the book. It’s that important, and for me, that difficult.


That’s awesome. I hate doing that too, because they become family members don’t they? What is your favorite childhood book?

I think it’s probably obvious, but certainly this is Charlotte’s Web. From the friendship, to the heartbreak of loss, and its idea of creating the you that you need to be, I revisit it still, and love it every time.


Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

Next week sees the release of Pets in Space 4, which I think is a great sampler of some of the top talent in science fiction romance. With 13 original stories, from New York Times, USA TODAY and Award-winning Bestselling authors (including me), it’s a great chance to see what’s happening across the breadth of our genre. That’s even more true, when you remember it’s a piece that contributes a portion of its first month’s sales to the charity Hero-Dogs.org, which trains and places service dogs with first responders. My story, Heart of the Spider’s Web, takes a look at the other side of the coin from my law-abiding, law-enforcing Rangers. The smugglers and ruffians on board The Sentinel are a lot more rough-and-tumble, which made them great fun to spend time with. Giving them a voice in the TriSystems universe added some needed grey to the black-white view, and it was easy to fall in love not just with the hero and heroine, but all the crew.

Rayan and Sheri were also fun for me, because I got to tie in a lot of my love for the old series Firefly and Farscape. They’re big personalities, and their snarky demeanors come together with some of my favorite dialog I’ve written.


That’s fantastic! Have you considered writing in another genre?

All the time! I’d love to write a big sweeping fantasy romance epic, or a Regency/Edwardian romance set entirely downstairs. Or… Or… But I also love my science fiction romances and I’m happy to be contributing to a genre that I adore.


Speed Dating…

(answer in ONE or  TWO words)

Would you prefer living in the city or country?

I need access to the city.


What color best describes your personality?



What are you most passionate about? BESIDES family!

Equality, Dogs, Ocean Preservation


What do you consider your best attribute?

Loyalty – Once I’ve let you in, I’ll fight for you.


What’s your favorite beverage?



What song best sums you up?

Birdhouse in Your Soul (by They Might Be Giants)


What does your desk look like right now? Clean or messy?

Organized Chaos


Are you a night owl or an early bird?

Early bird


What book are you reading at the moment?

No Man of Woman Born, by Ana Mardoll


What would you take with you to a desert island?

(three items)

Satellite phone, GPS, and extra Water. 😉, Alternatively, my kindle, a solar charger, and rum.


If you could invite anyone, dead or alive, to dinner, who would it be?

Dorothy Parker, the conversation would be amazing


What would be your ideal holiday destination?

Someplace with Ocean, Beach, and enough chill to justify a fire.


What time in history would you have liked to be born in?

Now’s pretty amazing, actually.


If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?

Jeff Bridges


DIY or call an expert?

Expert, definitely.


What is your favorite fruit?

Avocado. Or tomato.


What is your favorite thing to learn about in your free time?



What is your favorite time of day?



Are you a pantser or a plotter?



Music or Silence?



Give Us An Excerpt:

(From Heart of the Spider’s Web, in Pets in Space 4):

The knock at the door turned Sheri’s breath into a gasp of surprise. She barely had time to sit up before the door opened and Rayan Barr moved to fill the open space.

“Showtime, Dockrat. You ready?” Rayan Barr’s voice was as heavy as his physique, and his build surprised her every time she saw him. The gym facilities on the ship had to be amazing to keep his musculature so well defined despite the oft-fluctuating gravity of space travel. Where most people lost mass on extended trips, Barr never seemed to have that problem.

Sheri scoffed. “Couldn’t you find a shirt in your size?” If she was honest, the black pseudocotton stretched across his ample shoulders looked pretty fine. She wouldn’t say it out loud, though. The man had an ego to match his size.

“Just doing my part to make the ship visually appealing.” He grinned and shrugged in a way that hinted he knew exactly how tight his shirt was and how the gesture would translate.

She swallowed, rolling her eyes elaborately to show how unimpressive the entire display was despite her suddenly dry mouth. “Are you leading me somewhere? Or are you my new replacement door?”

“I don’t know. The latter might be fun.”

“I agree,” she said. “I like throwing knives at my door.”

A red-black shape moved across the floor, deceptively quick for its size. The goanna clambered up onto the reclamation unit and lapped at the few droplets clinging to the edge of the bowl. He puffed his chest up, proud of the accomplishment, and let out a shrill, trilling call.

Sheri responded in kind, mimicking the sound as well as she was able. The lizard shifted to focus on her as he had every time she’d seen him in Nobu Station’s dockyards. He blinked his four eyes in alternating pairs, head tilted to watch her as he trilled again.

She answered once more, and Barr strode into the room to retrieve the goanna. “That’s enough out of you, Darcy.” The meter and a half lizard climbed to his shoulder and pushed the top of his flat head into Barr’s cheek. He reached up and stroked the lizard’s throat gently.

“That’s a shame,” Sheri said. “You just ended the most intelligent conversation I’ve had since I arrived.”

Barr snorted. “Oh yeah, the crew’s going to love you. C’mon, let’s go.”


Where Do We By:

Pets In Space 4

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USA Today bestselling author JC Hay writes sweeping romances set against high-tech worlds of tomorrow. Whether it’s near-future cyberpunk, or the far-flung colonies of an abandoned Earth, he tries to bring a happily ever after to the heroic hearts that populate his fantastic futures. After all, cool gadgets don’t matter if you’ve got no one to share them with. You can learn more about JC Hay, and the worlds of the Three Systems by visiting his website.

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