Friday, July 20, 2012

How to (Make) Love (To) an Alien - My Galaxy Fest Presentation, Part 4

However, there's still the "ick factor when it comes to aliens and humans having a romantic or sexual relationship if the alien isn't humanoid in appearance. As a romance write, I have to find ways around that problem...and I think I have.

My series Runner's Moon is about a small aliens whose entire species has almost been eliminated by a race of alien slave traders. The group, now dwindled down to less than thirty individuals, manage to escape the slave traders in a lifepod, which eventually lands on Earth. That race, the Ruinos, are tall, green, and very strong. They're not little green men. They're BIG green men.

The males also have bony plates down the back of their heads, across their shoulders, down their spines, and around their legs. They have huge talons on their hands and feet, and their faces only have some humanoid features.

But what makes them unique is that they can shapeshift into the local life form. Which means - Ta Da! - they can look just like us. They're not here to conquer the world or anything. They simply want to live out the rest of their lives in relative peace. You see, they have those big claws because, on their home world, they're an agricultural species. They farm with their talons.

As for the females, they don't have talons. They have five-inch, razor sharp blades for nails. And wings. That's because they fly to the tops of the plants and trees, and use those blades to harvest the food that grows there.

Now, stop and think about it. With that simple explanation, you've stopped viewing these creatures as dangerous and life-threatening because, now, you can relate to them.

In my series, of the survivors, four Ruinos have found a human mate to share their lives with. But at some point in each book, they must mate with their loved ones in their alien form, not just in their human skin. And for a while, my books were considered highly controversial. But once the readers came to identify with and love them in their human forms, having the aliens shift back to their original persona was no longer considered squeamish.

Case in point, I'm going to read you a climactic excerpt from RUNNER'S MOON: JEBARAL, the first book in the series. No, not that kind of climax. Sorry.

With a little judicious editing, of course, let me give you a bit of the background first to this particular story.

Jebaral is a Ruinos. He works odd jobs, usually in construction. Hannah is human, and a waitress at a small diner in the small town where Jeb is working.

Jeb has found himself developing feelings for Hannah, but she currently has a boyfriend. An abusive boyfriend.

One day, he finishes a job and is ready to move on.  He goes by the diner to say goodbye to Hannah, but she's not there. A friend of hers who works there confesses that she's afraid Hannah may have been the victim of her boyfriend's temper again, so Jeb goes to check on her. He finds her, severely beaten and bloody, and decides to take her with him.

They end up in a town called Tumbril Harbor, where Jeb has another job prospect. When they get there, they get a small cabin at a little local motel, where he helps her to recover. The excerpt begins there.

To be continued tomorrow...


Dani Harper, Author said...

How wonderfully original -- what a refreshingly new take on human-alien fiction. LOVE IT!

Linda Mooney said...

Thanks, Dani!