Veronica Scott for AMAZING STORIES: Welcome to my periodic series of author profiles. Today I’ve chosen Honey Phillips, a prolific and skilled author of numerous science fiction romance books with concepts ranging from cyborgs on Mars to “seven brides for seven alien brothers” to her Treasured by the Alien series featuring babies and children as part of the plot mix. And that’s only scratching the surface of her backlist! I was excited to ask her a few questions.
VS for ASM.: What was the first scifi romance book you ever read and what did you like about it?
HP: I’m pretty sure it was an Andre Norton, possibly Judgement on Janus. To be fair, it was more science fiction with romantic elements but it hit all the notes I still love today – a mysterious world, an acceptance of those who are different, and two people finding love. From there, I went on to Anne McCaffrey and others, but I will always be grateful I discovered Andre Norton.
ASM.: I think many of us came to science fiction via one Andre Norton novel or another. My first was Catseye, which of course had no romance of any type but opened my eyes to the vast possibilities of the galactic space civilization. And then Anne McCaffrey wrote so many classics… What was the first scifi romance book you wrote?
HP: Anna and the Alien, which I actually wrote in 2011, but didn’t decide to publish until 2018! It became the start of a series that is now up to 17 books, with the 18th releasing in July.
Anna Elliott wanted to get away, but an alien spaceship was not on the itinerary. Can a girl and her alien find happiness on a deserted planet at the far end of the galaxy?
ASM.: Which of your SFR books is the bestselling?
HP: Mama and the Alien Warrior. It’s the first book in the Treasured by the Alien series and it was originally published in 2019.
Can a weary alien warrior and an abducted single mom save each other?
ASM.: I think that one was quite ground breaking and I’m not surprised how well it’s sold. The book is very memorable for sure. How do you go about world building? Do you do elaborate planning, keep a big file, use post its, wing it – what method works for you?
HP: To a large extent it depends on the story. Sometimes the world just springs into my head, although more details tend to emerge as I write. Other times, there are things I feel I need to know before I begin. For example, for the Cyborgs on Mars series, I researched ideas for terraforming and colonizing Mars. If the book involves a spaceship, I almost always sketch out the interior layout. But once I’ve done the initial work, I rarely refer back to it – I just let it evolve as I write.
ASM.: I love your Cyborgs on Mars series, with the Old West vibe. Which character in your books is either most like you or who you’d like to be and why?
HP: Even though my heroines vary quite a lot, I think there’s a little bit of me in all of them. I suppose I identify most closely with the bookish, scientist types like Faith in Faith and the Fighter or Victoria in Without a Stitch.
ASM.: What was your most recent book and what was the story spark or inspiration for that story?
HP: My most recent new series was Seven Brides for Seven Alien Brothers. The inspiration was the classic musical, but I mixed it up with alien heroes and all of my favorite tropes. It was a little challenging to write because I structured it with overlapping timelines, but so much fun! I love mixing things together to create something new.
ASM.: I remember being somewhat skeptical about the concept and the fun covers at first I will admit but was happy to be proven wrong. You were right on, or ahead of, the trends. The series certainly has found a happy spot with readers and it’s been interesting to watch it expand. Your own favorite tropes? Least favorite tropes?
HP: I have a lot of favorite tropes! I like wounded heroes, found family, grumpy/sunshine, only one bed, language barriers, cabin romance, and of course, road trips – especially the survival kind. I’m not fond of cheating or love triangles. I don’t like bullies, and while I don’t mind enemies to lovers, my heroes can never be mean to the heroine for very long. And even with the tropes I don’t usually like, there is always an author who can win me over!
ASM.: Do you also write other genres? How does writing a book in that genre compare to writing an SFR?
HP: I have also been writing cozy monster romance lately and I’m enjoying it a lot! I like the fact that I can still give them different types of hero, but I also get to show them them interacting with our everyday world. The monster romances overlap in many ways with SFR with the mixture of fantastic and realistic, and that’s probably why I enjoy writing them so much.
ASM.: I agree that the whole “monster romance” trope has done a good job of blurring the boundaries with SFR and probably brought quite a few new readers into each genre, which is always a good thing. What’s next for you?
HP: I’ll be releasing the next book in the Treasured series in June before returning to the Alien Abduction universe after that. I have several different ideas for this fall – including a return to the Seven Brides for Seven Alien Brothers world and a brand new series – but I’ll have to see which one bubbles to the top first!
ASM.: We’ll be waiting eagerly for whichever concept makes it to the top of the to be written stack. What’s on your To Be Read List?
HP: Magic Claims by Ilona Andrews is coming out in June and I’m really looking forward to it.
ASM.: Give us your short author bio and where you can be found on social media.
USA Today bestselling author Honey Phillips writes steamy science fiction stories about hot alien warriors and the human women they can’t resist. From abductions to invasions, the ride might be rough, but the end always satisfies.
Honey wrote and illustrated her first book at the tender age of five. Her writing has improved since then. Her drawing skills, unfortunately, have not. She loves writing, reading, traveling, cooking, and drinking champagne – not necessarily in that order.
GILMAT (SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN ALIEN BROTHERS BOOK 7) by Honey Phillips
Can love bloom between a bookish human and a giant alien?
Gilmat was bred for a very specific set of skills – skills which never developed. Even after finding a new home with his brothers-in-arms, the knowledge of his failure haunts him. He certainly doesn’t deserve the gift of a tiny, fragile female – but he will fight to his last breath to keep her.
When Julie wakes up surrounded by flowers in the. middle of a blizzard she’s convinced she’s dreaming – but the huge green male holding her so carefully is very real. For the first time in her life more than her intellectual curiosity is aroused, even though her gentle giant is as much plant as man.
When outside forces threaten their newfound paradise, will Gilmat’s skills finally blossom in time to save Julie – and the rest of his family?
LINKS TO OTHER PROFILES IN SFR INTERVIEWS (listed alphabetically by authors’ first names):