Author of the Series: Oceanstone Initiative
Released: December 27, 2019 – Publisher: Covey Publishing
Cover Designer” Covey Publishing
One doctor, one alien lover, one botanist, and one engineer on a desperate mission to save earth from human destruction.
Sakota saved Astraeus and her friends from certain death, but in doing so, she gained the attention of the Oreck, who will stop at nothing to destroy everything in their path.
With their ship severely damaged, Sakota and her crew land on a nearby planet and seek sanctuary while they make repairs to return home. But nothing on this perfect planet is as it appears, and Sakota soon learns they’ve traded one danger for another.
Hunted and targeted, will Sakota be able to carry out her mission, or will everyone she cares about be destroyed?
Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family?
I’m an author in the Utah area. I’ve been married for 17 years, and we have two children. I’m a U.S. Army veteran, and I also write romance novels under a pen name. I’ve traveled a lot and lived in England, Germany, and South Carolina, and we enjoy traveling and going to Disneyland as a family.
What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?
I’m heavily into Poi balls. Not the night club/rave kind, the Maori kind. When I was a child, I was in a South Sea Island group, and I fell in love with the Maori culture through learning the dances and poi. Whenever I mention poi balls, I get a bunch of mixed reactions, which is always fun. Maori is such a beautiful culture, with some very beautiful traditions.
What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?
Emma Watson for Dr. Sakota Thorell, definitely, and a younger actor similar to Jason Momoa for Astraeus. Sakota goes through an incredible journey in these books, from an orphan in a dystopian London to a capable physician in space, to a warrior. I love Emma’s acting chops and she’d carry the role incredibly well. I visualized a younger Jason Momoa when writing Astraeus; I’d love to see an unknown actor be cast in the role, someone with a strong emotional range.
How did you choose your genre, as a writer?
That’s a great question. Initially, I wrote romance novels. I’ve published seven contemporary romance novels under a pen name, but my first love has always been sci-fi. I grew up watching Star Trek, Star Wars and reading Orson Scott Card, Jean M. Auel, Robert Heinlein, all the greats. I still write romance, but I got to a point where I wanted to write a YA series that my daughters could read. I find sci-fi fascinating, exploring the what-if’s and reshaping the world through the concept of an altered reality. I also love everything to do with astronomy, so that helps.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
I really love reading horror and thrillers. I am a huge Stephen King fan, and I’d love to have a go someday at writing horror.
If you could change something about one of your books already released, what would it be?
Gah! Sacrilege! You know, books go through so much editing. They do. And as an author, even if you have a book where you want it as a finished product, years down the line you may think of something that might have been perfect in your story at the time, only to come up with an idea after it’s been put out. This is always a taboo subject for authors because is a story ever truly over? I strive to sign with publishers who do excellent covers and stellar editing, and so far I haven’t been disappointed in that area.
Any new projects on the horizon?
Yes, I am working on the third book in the Oceanstone Initiative series, and I have two books on submission (a YA novel and a romance novel). There are many WIPs on the back burner, so stay tuned to my social media for upcoming releases.
What was the hardest/most unusual/interesting part of the story to research?
I spent a lot of time at the planetarium, which I love doing anyway. I am fascinated by the concept of what’s out there in the universe, and exoplanets, in particular. There’s so much universe to explore, and I really enjoyed delving into that part of the story. The second book, Retaliation, explores an alien planet, and I liked expanding the book’s universe as I wrote it.
When were you first published how did you celebrate? If this is your first book, how do you plan on celebrating?
Due to being a mom, my time is limited. I’ve had book signings over the years, online book launches, and little meals out at Red Lobster and the Olive Garden when I got a particularly great contract or had some success, but the first time I got published it was more a private affair than anything. Just being published was reward enough!
How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?
My characters are all fictional. That said, I had the amazing opportunity to meet some very diverse, wonderful people when I served in the Army. None of the characters are based on actual people, but from time to time I like to sprinkle little character traits and quirks of people I’ve met. I enjoy picking unusual, significant names for my characters. Names are powerful, and they should mean something to both me as the author and the character themselves. Astraeus comes from the Titan God of the dusk and stars.
What are two (or more) of your all-time favorite books in any genre?
The Stand by Stephen King, and Intensity by Dean Koontz.
Tell us about what you write (short stories, novellas, novels, non-fiction)?
I write novels, novellas, stage plays, and screenplays.
What inspired this particular story?
Years of build-up from being a sci-fi nerd, and I wanted to write a story my children could read.
What inspired the title of your book?
I chose the name Oceanstone Initiative series because Sakota works for the Oceanstone Corporation, which plays a pivotal role throughout the books. The first book, Astraeus, is named after the hero. Retaliation, the second book, is significant to what they go through in the novel.
How did your interest in writing originate?
I was always interested in books, from the time I could read. Reading them, writing them. I wrote my first story when I was eight, and writing has remained a part of who I am throughout my life, no matter what job I had in my earlier years. I love the art of creating stories. It’s a special sort of magic, and when you read a book, you can feel that magic from the author seep into you. It’s very unique.
Tell us about your journey from aspiring writer to a debut author.
It included a lot of bumps along the way. I started writing my first romance novel when I was pregnant with my second child. I didn’t think anything of it at the time; an idea lurched in the back of my brain for a while for a story, and I got to the point where I just figured I’d write it out and get it out of my system, only it continued until it was an actual book. When I realized I’d written a full-length novel six months later, I didn’t know what to do with it. The rough draft was awful (as most rough drafts are), and the book went through a lot of rewrites and modifications before it was accepted for publication. I was so excited to get my first contract. It felt like all my passion for writing finally coming to fruition. I’ll never forget the feeling. Little did I know, I had my work cut out for me for years to come with marketing and writing more books, but nothing can quite equal the first book and the feeling of being an actual author. To this day, I’m profoundly grateful for my editor, Ann, who I’ve worked with for many years now. Editors work special magic and help a book go from tolerable to readable. I’m thankful beyond words for the hard work that went on behind the scenes of my publisher. I couldn’t have done it without them.
What’s your favorite part of the writing life?
Creating. I love creating new stories and that feeling when the characters really come alive and take over the manuscript. It’s magical.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Write away, right away, and never, ever give up. Accept that rewrites and rejections will happen, and be prepared to put the work in. Believe in the beauty of your dreams.
What do you do for fun, besides writing?
As a family, we love Disneyland. We love going hiking, doing fun things together like trampoline parks, zoos, and aquariums. Basically, I get a high off life. It’s fun. I like being out in the sunshine, and I am a big theater nerd.
What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?
The dreaded, retched, detested, insidious, problematic, sinister, evil blurb. Blurbs are my kryptonite (the blurb is the back cover text you read when you consider a book). Condensing an entire novel into two saleable paragraphs is sheer barbarism, and I detest it with a fiery passion! You know that meme of Gollum saying “But we hates it!”? Yeah, that’s me with blurbs.
What book have you read that you wish you had written?
Oh my gosh. The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins is a jewel among authors, and we don’t deserve her. Seriously, that whole trilogy is so amazing, and she is a master at weaving together a story that will bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses (to quote Snape). I love J.K. Rowling and Stephen King as well. But Suzanne Collins had me at that first sentence.
If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
Motherhood. I “heart” my family in the nerdiest way possible, and I’m so grateful I get to be a mom. It rocks.
What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I was in the military for six years. And I loved it. Still do, always will.
What is your favorite quote?
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander Time; for that is the stuff that Life is made of.” -Benjamin Franklin
If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be?
A boat, a tool kit, and food. C’mon, the sand is like etch-a-sketch. I can write and draw in the sand, but basic survival is essential, guys.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Oh yes. I have three full novels that need WORK, which I plan to tackle sometime in the next year. I’ve always got pots-a-brewin on the stove.
If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I’d love to spend time with Aro-Ne, Head healer of the Chuleron Nine levitating gardens from book 2. Aro-Ne is an alien, and very sage-like. I’d love to spend a day in the levitating gardens and learn all I could from her.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. Family is who we choose, and also, take care of the Earth. It’s that simple.
How much of the book is realistic?
Hmm. About 45% of it is based on actual facts scientifically. It’s sci-fi, and I created a lot of the technology (the ANDi machine, and much of the alien technology/weaponry in book 2). I’d say marginally 50/50.
What do you like best about your hero?
He supports his heroine’s choices. He’s impossibly strong, but he’s more of a beta male and fine with it. I loved writing Astraeus. He has nothing to prove to anyone, and he has the biggest heart.
What do you like best about your heroine?
Sakota is altruistic. She believes in helping people and doing the right thing, and her heart is always in the right place. I would honestly love to be her friend in real life.
If you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
STEPHEN KING. Because reasons!
What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
I really enjoyed being an author at FanX (Utah Comic Con). I’ll be going again this fall. There is nothing like meeting readers face to face and interacting with all the cosplayers.
What’s next for you?
To write away, right away! I have books lined up to the yin-yang. I want to finish a screenplay I’ve written and possibly submit it in a year or so.
What do you use to envision your characters? Do you have a storyboard, pictures, mental images, etc?
I like to cast them with actors in my head. I have to be able to see them before I write them.
Do you need supreme quiet when you write or do you prefer music and/or background noise?
I’ve worked in both silence and with lots of noise, but I’ve found I’m most productive the less distracted I am. I’ll listen to a playlist of the book I’m writing while doing chores, but when I write, it’s better if it’s quiet so I can hear myself think.
Willow the Series! That is all.
What would you most like to say to your readers?
Thank you. Thank you for reading my books and listening to the audiobooks and cheering me on. It gives me life!
Where Can We Purchase Retaliation?
Best place you’ve visited:
Lavender fields in Kent, England
Place you’d like to visit:
Elderflower and Rose Lemonade
Oxford comma, yes or no?
Pen or pencil?
Coffee or tea?
What does your desk look like?
What is your writing vice or must-haves (e.g. for me it’s post-its, red pen, and coffee)?
Laptop and dog
Plotter or pantser?
Mac or PC?
Jamie Fraser (Outlander) or Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades)?
You have a time travel machine. Where and when?
The Future. 2150
Are you earth, wind, fire or water?
Where Can We Find You, Haley?
About The Author
Haley has been an award-winning novelist since 2015. She has written ten novels in total, and her romance novels are traditionally published under a pseudonym. She served for most of her young adulthood in the U.S. military, and she is an alumni of Columbia College, a theater nerd, and a nature enthusiast. She resides in the United States, and when she’s not writing novels and screenplays, she enjoys spending quality time with her family. Haley served 5 years in the Army, and was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany at the 26th ASG Headquarters. She worked as an executive admin specialist under the battalion commander, in addition to her soldierly duties. She enjoys Broadway musicals and karaoke, and occasionally gets roped into singing at weddings and events.