Before I hand over the reins to M. Pax, I have a couple of announcements. First, I set a goal to write 25,000 words this month. So far I’m at 5274. Usually I don’t announce my word count, but in an effort to stay on track (mostly) I’ve decided to share the word count each week. Feel free to ask me to help keep me motivated and honest.

Second, I’m releasing my novella, Claudia Must Die, on December 8th. If you would like an advance review copy, please let me know either in the comments or email me: tbmarkinson@gmail.com. For more details about Claudia, click here.

Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, please welcome my guest. Recently I read The Rifters by M. Pax and I really enjoyed it. In fact I was so excited I emailed Pax and asked her to appear on my blog and she was kind enough to agree.

Hey TB, thanks for asking me to visit. I’m so thrilled you enjoyed reading The Rifters. I loved writing it.

What inspires my series?

A sprinkle of this and pinch of that… I take my ingredients from a variety of sources to create something different, using commonalities found in well-loved movies, television shows, and books. The elements then marinate until I think up the big story by which to frame the smaller stories.

BookBar BWz

The Backworlds came out of a love for Firefly, Stargate, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Tanya Huff’s Confederate Novels, Dune, and my undying curiosity about space. What’s out there?

I can’t board a spaceship and explore the galaxy, but I can write stories about characters who live out there. I like narratives about ordinary people conquering impossible odds in their lives. I love humor, discovery, and adventure. I love twists in the story where a book becomes a roller coaster ride. I don’t want to know how a book is going to end or where an author is taking me at the start of a story. I want to see the story and world unfold as the characters interact and move around. That’s what I love, so that’s what I write.

The Backworlds series takes place far in our future. Humans are bioengineered to survive on planets instead of terraforming planets to suit humans. To me, it makes more sense. Backworlders are farther from original humans than Foreworlders (Fo’wo’s). I like the underdog, so the story is told from a down-on-his-luck young man forging a new life for himself on the edge of colonized space.

There is a bigger story arc to the series, so the books build on one another. Currently, I’m working on Precipice, Backworlds Book 6. There are at least six more books in the series. However, if I find a new and exciting big arc before then, the series will go on.

BookBar2 Riftersa

The Rifters came about from a number of sources. First, is where I live. I live in a town plunked in the middle of wilderness in Oregon surrounded by fantastic landscapes forged by volcanoes, old dried up seas, and other cool things. My backyard is carved out of lava from an eruption 6,000 years ago. How could I not be inspired?

The second source is, I love campy sci-fi movies, especially ones with ridiculous creatures (any other Sharknado or Gamera fans?). I have a secret desire to write those bad movies for the SyFy Channel. The Rifters series allows me to use the creatures I’ve invented and make them less cheesy, because they come through a rift in a volcano. That makes way more sense than just existing or science gone wrong, right? (Feel free to laugh.) For instance, in the first two books I have a possessed ghost and volcanic killer ash bees.

The Backworlds has a lot of male fans, and I wanted to bring in elements to appeal to my fan base. Thus, the addition of Earl Blacke as one of the main characters of the series, an actual real life outlaw from the 1880’s. I’ll let you read the book and discover which one. I wouldn’t want to spoil your fun.

The western frontier and galactic frontier have a lot in common: raw, gritty, people living by rules that promote their survival. The Earl character and placing the town of Settler near where I live let me bring those elements into The Rifters.

There will be a total of approximately 8 Rifters books. If I come up with great material, it’ll go longer.

You can expect new books in both series in 2015.

The first Backworlds is free in ebook. Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords /

iTunes / Barnes & NobleGooglePlay / Other

It’s also available in print and audiobook LINKS

The Rifters is free until the end of the year in ebook. Available from: Amazon / AmazonUK /  B&N / Smashwords /Googleplay / iTunes / Other

The Initiate, Rifters Book 2 is available for preorder for 99 cents. It releases October 20th and the special ends that day. Ebook available from: Amazon / AmazonUK / iTunes / B&N Googleplay

Both are also available in print.



Pax is author of the space adventure series The Backworlds, the urban fantasy series The Rifters, plus other novels and short stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers as a star guide, has a cat with a crush on Mr. Spock, and is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. Learn more at mpaxauthor.com.

And now for some blogging fun!


It’s the opening day of the 2014 Joust and Realms Faire. The trumpets are blaring, the crowds are cheering, the hooves of the horses hammer like drums. Huzzah! Visit this site for more details!



About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
This entry was posted in Authors, Guest Posts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. restlessjo says:

    Sounds fascinating, TBM 🙂 What am I doing here? Attempting some sort of ‘catch up’ but there are an impossible number of temptations in the Reader that I haven’t visited for ages. Be well and good luck with the word count and the newbie.

  2. Okay, I’m sold! AND the book is free. What else might one ask for? Thanks for sharing information about your series–love the Western frontier/edge of space parallel.

    And TBM, I’m trying to get my ass back in the saddle. I did manage to post something a month ago, but have been busy teaching workshops, looking at self-hosting my blog and writing my memoir (yes, I’ve been doing that), but I will make an effort to get something new out this week, including photos of our new home. Sorry to have been absent of late.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • TBM says:

      I’ve been struggling to keep up with everything as well so I totally understand. And yippie about the memoir news! You know I’m super excited to read it!

  3. Hilary says:

    5K is a lot… don’t make yourself crazy!

  4. Thanks for introducing us to Pax and her books. Nice job on your word count! So, how many words have you written since you posted this? 🙂

  5. This series looks really good, especially after seeing the movie Interstellar yesterday. I’m in a sci-fi mood now :).

  6. Six more books? Wow! I am impressed, Mary.
    TBM, be happy to do a shout-out for you in December when the book is released.

    • TBM says:

      I’m amazed that she has an idea of how many books for each series. She really has them planned.

      And I would love a shout-out in December. Thanks so much!

  7. I can do a mini interview with you for Dec. 17 if you’re interested for your new book. Thanks for having me on today. Hope you stop by the faire for some fun. And woot on that word count!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by today! And I would love to do an interview. I’ve been enjoying the faire today and look forward to more fun the rest of the week.

  8. KjM says:

    The Backworlds series is a lot of fun to read for I am a great science fiction fan, and a fan of great science fiction.

    A back yard carved from lava? Yes, I can see how that works be inspiring.

  9. spunkonastick says:

    Creatures coming through a rift in a volcano – well, you certainly have enough volcanoes to choose from in Oregon!

  10. 8 Rifters books – that’s awesome news! I’m on #2 and look forward to having lots more to read. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Interview: How Killjoys will scratch that Firefly urge

  12. cheriereich says:

    Makes sense to me! 🙂 Congrats, Mary!

  13. Congrats on the great word count, and on the new (ANOTHER new!) soon-to-be release. I loved “Marionette,” but it looks like I have some catching up to do.

    Same for with Mary’s books. I have “The Rifters,” but haven’t read it, yet. She didn’t mention another of her books, one which I really enjoyed: “The Renaissance of Hettie Locklear.” I reckon that means there won’t be a sequel to that one, huh? Oh well. So many books, so little time.

    You guys are both prolific… and talented… writers. Good for you!

    • Actually, I will get to finishing Hetty’s series, Susan. I might tackel #2 in the coming year.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Susan. The word count hasn’t been as good this week, but I’m still getting words down each day. They do add up. Sometimes slowly and other times at super speed. It’s hard to predict.

      I recently downloaded one of your books and I hope to read it soon.

  14. I love that M. Pax compares her writing process to cooking: what a great analogy!

  15. Fantastic word count, TB! Write, write, write! 🙂 Mary’s Rifters books are so wonderfully unique and fun. I can’t wait for the next one!

  16. Congrats on the 5K plus writing you have done so far! Yeah! 🙂 Also, so exciting about your upcoming release.

    Loved hearing from MPax! I always enjoy hearing where authors get their inspiration. I don’t have an ereader- but look at those prices! Wow! Love the faire she has going on!

  17. Sherri says:

    I think you need to start giving me a push again TB, as I will you if you want…I’m in a rut…again. But did 2,500 a few days ago, nothing since. How are you doing today? I’m a bit overwhelmed with stuff at the moment and playing permanent catch up and not getting anything else done. I said I was going to take some time off in November but here I still am. Also computer problems threatening. I lost a dear friend at the weekend, he was like a dad to me in many ways and it’s taken me down a bit. So too much, think I’m going to have to wind down here for a bit. Wanted you to know in case I disappear. But I hate the thought of leaving my blog for too long, but it’s all I’m doing at the moment and I have so much else to get on with. Oh why am I pouring all this out to you, when you have so much else to do. You know I’m in your corner….keep up that writing and I’ll find a way to do the same. Thanks for introducing M Pax.

    • TBM says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. My thoughts are with you. And you are always free to tell me what’s going on. That’s one of the best parts of blogging–the support during the good and bad. So many wonderful and kind bloggers have helped me through difficult times. I won’t push you right away about writing since I’m a big believer in taking time when you need it and it sounds like you do need it. Your blogging buddies will completely understand if you step away for a bit. Take care.

  18. I love it that you share your word count and progress. It’s inspiring and motivating for other writers.

    • TBM says:

      I might continue with it since it does help keep me focused and it’s nice to let people know and if I’m struggling a few kind words might be the trick I need to get going again.

  19. Pingback: Broken Lances. Dented Aromor. 2014 Joust Day 2. #giveaway #grogz | M. Pax

  20. Congrats to M.Pax and congrats to you on progress in NaNo. There’s actually a little word count ticker I used to keep on my blog and, yes, it DEFINITELY kept me motivated!

    • TBM says:

      I’ve thought about using the word count ticker, but haven’t decided yet for sure. I keep track the old-fashioned way for now–jotting it down in my diary.

  21. Your words are mounting up! Good luck with your novella release.

    Great to see M.Pax here and learn how she comes up with those stories.

  22. Nick Wilford says:

    I’ve read the first book of The Rifters, it was definitely an engaging and fun read. Nice to hear there’s more coming, I just need to keep up! Good luck with your challenge, TB!

  23. Kourtney Heintz says:

    Announcing word count goals is a great way to stay on track! 🙂 I’m rooting for you.

  24. Firefly and Star Trek inspire my writing as well — how could they not? Thoroughly enjoyed Claudia, TB!

  25. Interesting info. I love campy sci-fi. And one day I’d like to visit Oregon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s