Blog Interview #5 with Author Marcha Fox

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I had the pleasure of meeting Marcha Fox during a Facebook event spotlighting various artists. As well as making a friend, I won a prize package containing a book she wrote detailing the uses and history of Astrology, a personal analysis, and an autographed copy of her book – A Dark of Endless Days. As you’ll be able to tell from the interview, she’s a pleasant, intelligent lady who’s become one of my favorite authors. Read on as I pick apart the labyrinthine mind of Marcha Fox.

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INTERVIEW

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Hi Marcha.  I’m stoked you agreed to be my guest today. You’re about to release the fourth book of your Star Trails Tetralogy. Have you changed course any from Book one to Book four or are you where you should be in telling the story?

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The story has unfolded in a very natural manner with numerous surprises, even for me. I feel as if it’s where it should be. None of it has been contrived or forced, it just flowed and evolved. I could have ended it with “Beyond the Hidden Sky” with Creena getting home to her family but I knew there was more to the story than that. My characters, especially the teen-age protagonists, have evolved and matured through their troubles and challenges yet they still bicker with each other because they’re so different in how they see the world, make decisions, set priorities, and so forth. People really don’t change much at the core as they get older so it’s not unusual that they would still be at odds with one another, yet they are learning the hard way that they need to respect the other’s view. Their viewpoints are complementary and as they get into the 4th and final volume of the Star Trails Tetralogy they are beginning to finally learn how to work together.

I have to say that I don’t feel as if I created my stories, it’s more like they’re already set and revealed as I write. There have been times when I have felt as if the muses were dictating it to me rather than me making it up. Furthermore, my characters have a mind of their own. They seem to just take action and I write down what they do or think. I figure if they surprise me then it should make for good suspense for readers! Right now I’m working on volume four which is entitled “Refractions of Frozen Time” and some of my characters have gotten themselves into such a mess the I really don’t know how I’ll get them out of it. I’m relying on their ingenuity to tell me, not the other way around.

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You’re probably the most educated author I know. What kind of comments have you received from your peers and colleagues about being an author?

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LOL! That’s really funny to me because I don’t consider myself all that educated. My favorite books out there are frequently written by folks with M.D.’s and PhD’s so my B.S. in physics seems minimal for what I’m trying to accomplish. Nowadays my peers are other authors with my career at NASA like a distant lifetime. Those I’m still in touch with on Facebook, LinkedIn and such think it’s cool that I’m following my dream. I don’t think they’re surprised since it was no secret that is what I intended to do when I retired. I’ve always loved to write and more than once when I was in the workforce that ability beat out competitors. When I was at NASA a former boss even called me “The Mistress of Bullsh*t” because I could put just about anything in writing in convincing form. There were times I was even told that my writing was too clear, which probably isn’t surprising coming from a government agency.

I’ve always been a person who does what I say I’m going to do. When I went back to college to get a physics degree at age 35 with six kids at home I made up my mind I was going to do it and I did. When I decided it was time to retire, I had fortunately already made sure I had various things in place so I could and I did. When I said I was going to publish my science fiction novels I don’t think anyone ever doubted that I would do that as well.

Some people tend to be jealous of what I accomplish but all I can say is that I have worked hard and relentlessly pursued my goals. Nothing has ever been handed to me. To get back to your comment about being educated, getting a physics degree was far from easy but what I lack in brains or intelligence I make up for in determination and perseverance. Before I went back to school fulltime I took an astronomy class where the professor said that anyone who really wanted to badly enough could get a degree in physics so I decided to put him to the test. He was right and on graduation day I reminded him of what he said, which of course he couldn’t remember, and he was amazed that he had inspired me like that. So if I could do it, I think anyone could, if he or she really wanted it badly enough.

Speaking of education, I think it’s important that any young people who read my books learn something along the way but hopefully painlessly. One of the reasons I wanted appropriate background as a science fiction writer was so what I wrote would be accurate. For those who are really interested in science I have an entire section on my website for readers, parents and/or educators which includes potential topics for discussion based on each book and even broken down into chapters. You can find it here: http://www.kallioperisingpress.com/notetoeducators.htm

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Your books, and personal life reflect your love of Astrology. What drew your interest into the field?

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Back in the early 80s I was writing a novel entitled “Phaethon’s Ashes” which was about an asteroid collision with Earth. If you really want the truth, I actually went back to school so I would be qualified to write good science fiction. The NASA career was more of a sidetrack to where I really wanted to be, even though I was well aware I needed the experience. After all, they say “write what you know.” So, back to your question, in this book the hero was, of course, a physicist and he had this ex-wife who I wanted to make as annoying as possible so I made her obsessed with astrology. At the time I didn’t believe in it myself. But, to develop this character I needed to learn something about it. Boy, was I surprised when I discovered that it worked!

I have always loved esoteric subjects and anything mysterious. It fascinated me because in spite of all the reasons scientists said it was nothing but bunk and superstition it nonetheless worked. There have been many highly educated individuals who got converted to astrology in that same way, seeing that it works. I tend to maintain a pretty open mind on things and look for evidence to support either side of any issue. Anyway, at a certain point a few years before I retired I wanted to learn more about it. I had previously, too, but didn’t know where to go to learn more. The books I bought were too far over my head and it seemed few had all the basics.

Around 2006 I was lucky enough to find the International Academy of Astrology (IAA) which taught astrology classes online. I went through their professional program which is pretty close to earning a bachelor’s degree, and graduated in 2012. I taught for IAA for a while and have had my website valkyrieastrology.com since 2006 where I post the information that I would have wanted to find when I was trying to learn about it. It’s also my means to connect with and serve clients who span the globe. It’s pretty humbling that they find me not only from with the USA but also from such faraway places as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore Turkey and Ireland, to name a few. I eventually took the bulk of the information on the website and compiled it into my e-book, “Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology” when I found out a few instructors were using my website for reference material.

Whatever the mechanism for astrology may be, I don’t doubt it’s buried somewhere in the working of quantum physics. I love the book “Biocentrism” by Robert Lanza, M.D. because he points out the importance of consciousness and its influence on the corporeal world. In the world of quantum entanglement my personal theory is that the position of the planets when we’re born (which is represented by a person’s natal chart) also represents a form of entanglement with our consciousness. Then as those energies change with the ongoing motions of the planets it has an influence. I believe in past lives and that we plan our existing gig in mortality and there would be no better way to orchestrate a life plan than through cosmic energies that nudge, push or shove you in a certain direction.

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Do you use Astrology to make career choices, solve/assist romantic issues, and plan book releases?

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I definitely do that for others as a matter of course. My careers are definitely reflected in my natal chart which indicates they’ll be unusual and that I’ll need to be emotionally satisfied by them. I can’t get into something if I don’t care, which is one reason I had to retire. It was no longer fun and I couldn’t do the job the way it needed to be done when my heart wasn’t in it. As far as choosing them, that happened before I was into astrology enough for it to help but it did confirm my choices and inclinations.

Since learning it, however, I do use it for just about everything, or at least do now. There were a few times when I ignored it and discovered later that the reason things didn’t work out was an astrological timing issue, such as when I signed a contract to sell my town home. I try to find favorable times for book releases but there are some periods when that’s almost impossible so you go with the best of what’s available at the time. Finding the perfect day is pretty near impossible. One of the main keys to success actually lies in your birth chart itself. In one of the astrological research journals I subscribe to they had an article on J.K. Rowling and it was clear from her chart that she would be a tremendous success.

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Star Trek, Firefly, Red Dwarf, Babylon5, or Star Wars – which is best and why?

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I grew up with the original Star Trek in the 1960s, really loved the old TV show “Lost in Space” and of course was totally enamored with Star Wars, which is probably what really got me going since that is where my original premise came from: What if a teenage girl got fired off a starcruiser in an escape pod while her family was emigrating to another planet? I enjoyed the Star Trek movies and also liked the Alien movies with Sigourney Weaver. I love the humor of Red Dwarf, but I’m really not that familiar with Firefly or Babylon5 to say much about them.

I don’t feel I’m in a position to say which is best because we all have our own reasons for resonating with a certain show and its characters but for me my favorite is undoubtedly Star Wars, the original three. The subsequent ones didn’t have the charm of the originals, at least for me.

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Any plans to branch out into another genre in the future?

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My next work is probably going to be nonfiction. I’ve been wanting to write a book for quite a while that ties in science, religion and astrology. I’m especially fascinated with the possibility that quantum physics will ultimately redeem astrology as a valid science. Dark matter and dark energy have possibilities as well, though they are still largely theories. Nonetheless, they have components that could also fit in there somewhere.

Star Trails was written primarily for young adults but the adults who have read them enjoyed them as well. Nonetheless, I have a few ideas bouncing around in my head regarding planets and people who are in the existing story. I would like to go after those ideas for an adult SF market. I feel that when you write for young adults you need to rein in your characters to a certain level of acceptable behavior. One of my favorite sayings is “No life is ever wasted, you can always serve as a bad example” and while my characters are certainly not perfect, I don’t want them being too much in that category, either. When you write for adults anything goes. You don’t have to watch their language or behavior quite so much, though from what I’ve seen of today’s YA lit that really doesn’t seem to be much of a concern anymore. I’m old-fashioned, in that respect, however, and try to keep things above board even though there is no doubt parts of my books are in the PG-13 range.

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This may be vague, but which two Astrological Signs, on average, are great and worse together?

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Generally speaking you will be more inclined to butt heads with someone with a sign of the same modality as your own. There are Cardinal (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), Fixed (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) and Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) so the general rule is that you will have the most problems with someone in the same category, like the old adage about being too much alike.

Personally I have found this to be true. The signs on either side of your own can be annoying but with some effort you can get along. It’s often best to find someone of the same element such as Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn), Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) or Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces). Other than that, Water and Earth or Air and Fire tend to get along. Fire and Water, not so much, Fire and Earth, not so good, either, etc. I look at that metaphorically on my website here: http://www.valkyrieastrology.com/Makeover/Compatibility/elementalinteractions/figurativeelementalinteraction.htm

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Thanks for an entertaining and insightful talk, Marcha. I wish you all the luck and successes you’re capable of.

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PARTIAL LIBRARY

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 WHOBEDA’S GUIDE TO BASIC ASTROLOGYwhobedda

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SYNOPSIS

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An easy to comprehend overview of the basic principles you need to know to understand astrology and how they’re applied. Most of this information is published online at http://www.valkyrieastrology.com and is compiled here in book form for convenience rather than following the tedious path of hyperlinks. Includes sections on relationships; career selection; parenting; planetary cycles and their effects; dieting at the right time; and selecting the right time for any endeavor.

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MY REVIEW

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Everything You Want to Know About Astrology — and I Mean EVERYTHING. May 16, 2014 By  J.D.Tucker

I had the luck to win this book at an event featuring Marcha and, oh my God, it’s awesome. It’s packed to the brim with information, charts, diagrams, and explanations on everything to do with Basic Astrology. So far I’ve only checked out the chapters assigned to my own sign – Gemini – and it’s the most comprehensive, yet simple book about the subject I’ve seen.

If you’re into, or interested about the subject, start with this book. You’ll be glad you did. Five Stars only because I can’t give it a hundred.

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BUY LINK — http://www.amazon.com/Whobedas-Guide-Basic-Astrology-Marcha-ebook/dp/B005GFM9CG/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401551481&sr=1-3&keywords=marcha+fox

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BEYOND THE HIDDEN SKY     MF 1

Volume One of the Star Trails Tetralogy

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SYNOPSIS

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Teenage siblings Dirck and Creena Brightstar have never gotten along. They don’t understand each other and manage to bicker over just about everything, particularly when it comes to following the rules. Dirck has always been compliant, Creena questioning everything, something that drove him crazy on Mira III where her repeated noncompliance reports or NCRs were a major embarrassment. With the family emigrating to another planet the regimented and uncomfortable conditions in their starship cabin eventually become intolerable, driving Creena to seek some alone time. It was never her intent for it to be for more than a much-needed break so getting fired off in an escape pod was a bit more than she had in mind. With no support from starship authorities to help in the recovery her father has no choice but to find her himself. Space travel, however, is never simple. Time passes at different rates based on velocity, complicating their separation with not only the vastness of intergalactic space but time as well, triggering a series of events that will change everyone’s life forever. But was it really an accident or what her father’s nemesis, Augustus Troy, planned all along?

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BUY LINK – http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Hidden-Star-Trails-Tetralogy-ebook/dp/B005JQNN2M/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401551481&sr=1-8&keywords=marcha+fox

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A DARK OF ENDLESS DAYSmf 2

Volume 2 of the Star Trails Tetralogy

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SYNOPSIS

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It’s Opposition, Cyraria’s extreme heat season, and temperatures are quickly approaching lethal range. Dirck knows the family’s survival depends on the heat exchanger he and his father are building. Before they can even afford all the components, however, his father’s arrested in a midnight raid and thrown into territorial prison as part of Augustus Troy’s devious recruiting scheme, leaving Dirck to finish the job as well as look after his mother and little brother. His friend, Win, may be able to offer some assistance but Dirck doesn’t even know if he can trust him or not until he proves his allegiance through a risky and potentially lethal chase evading local authorities.
Meanwhile Creena’s efforts to return to her homeworld to obtain help develop serious complications as well. Their short-range spacecraft lacks the ability to reach Mira III and attempts to find alternate transportation fail miserably, stranding her on a backward planet called Earth. Authorities impound their ship, separate her from her allies and send her off to parts unknown for her supposed safety. Nonetheless, the Integrator has tracked her down and abduction attempts continue, the evil purpose of which she can sense but doesn’t understand. With no other choice, she adapts to the primitive and alien lifestyle, yet when it finally comes time to leave she discovers she’s grown far more attached to this alien world than she ever thought possible.

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BUY LINK —  http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Endless-Days-Trails-Tetralogy-ebook/dp/B007X5V1TE/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401551481&sr=1-5&keywords=marcha+fox

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RANDOM REVIEW

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Format:Paperback
Marcha Fox is a great story teller, and once you begin reading her series, you will surely want to read the next book as quickly as possible. I couldn’t wait to see how the members of the Brightstar family would cope with their intriguing problems in space. Young people can identify with the children in the family, but this series is for people of all ages. Marcha does transport you to outer space, way into the future, and you will believe you are there with the Brightstar family.
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A PSILENT PLACE BELOW   MF 3
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SYNOPSIS
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The Brightstar saga continues in installment three of this fast moving Sci Fi adventure series. The story picks up where “A Dark of Endless Days” ends with Creena on her way to Mira III, Dirck and the others joining the bnolar to survive Opposition, and their father a political prisoner. Following a harrowing prison break the entire family plunges into a world of intrigue as the Integrator’s hold on the planet tightens. With the caverns located deep within enemy territory the risk of being discovered not only threatens their personal safety but assures Integrator victory if cristobalite crystals fall into enemy hands.

At long last Creena makes it home only to find her happy reunion deferred with her father now a virtual prisoner in Cira City working to oppose Integration while everyone else remains in the caverns monitoring enemy activity. Squabbling with Dirck escalates to critical levels until they realize working together is the only way they’ll ever get the family together again. Through deception coupled with a series of oversights and distractions their father is ambushed again, this time with little hope of rescue.

New characters in this volume include Delta Regional Governor, Bryl Woeyel, and Formidicae/Ignatius, captain of Creena’s rescue ship who join Win, Deven, Aggie, and Thyron in yet another suspense-laden episode. Technological challenges, political intrigue and culture clashes all come together in yet another volume of high powered young adult science fiction adventure.

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OTHER LINKS
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Recent blog on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity posted on IndieYABooks:

http://indieyabooks.com/2014/05/so-what-exactly-is-einsteins-theory-of-relativity/

Book Bubbles:

Family History Fun Factor: http://www.bublish.com/bubble/view/2553

Definitive Guide to Astrological Reports: http://www.bublish.com/bubble/view/2639

A Dark of Endless Days: http://www.bublish.com/bubble/view/2735

A Psilent Place Below: http://www.bublish.com/bubble/view/2752

Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marchafoxauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/startrailsIV

Author Homepage: http://www.kallioperisingpress.com/abouttheauthor.htm

Star Trails Main Page: http://www.kallioperisingpress.com/startrails/star_trails_tetralogy.html

For Educators: http://www.kallioperisingpress.com/notetoeducators.htm

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Marcha-Fox/e/B0074RV16O/

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marchafoxauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/startrailsIV

Book Goodies Interview: http://bookgoodies.com/interview-with-author-marcha-fox/

Amazon KINDLE Book Links

http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trails-Compendium-Definitions-Description-ebook/dp/B00HFEWWF0/

http://www.amazon.com/Family-History-Fun-Factor-Preserve-ebook/dp/B00HBZ6XTY/

http://www.amazon.com/Definitive-Guide-Astrological-Reports-Marcha-ebook/dp/B00FCCBF96/

http://www.amazon.com/Whobedas-Guide-Basic-Astrology-Marcha-ebook/dp/B005GFM9CG/

http://www.amazon.com/Asteroid-Archetypes-Primer-Marcha-Fox-ebook/dp/B007WN1J7G/

http://www.amazon.com/Lilith-Dark-Maid-Marcha-Fox-ebook/dp/B007WN25UG/

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