USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author S.M. Schmitz

Sci-fi Romances and Mythic Fantasies with a little bit of heart and a whole lot of snark

Character Interview with Zoe from my upcoming SFR

Soon, I will be releasing the first book in a new science-fiction romance series, The Cambria Code.

Book 1, Peyton's Myth, should be releasing next week, so the protagonist, Zoe, has been kind enough to sit down to talk to me about her initial reactions regarding the new visitors to Earth.

SMS: Hi Zoe, thank you so much for being here with me today and answering a few questions about what it was like to live in the city where honest-to-God aliens landed!

Zoe: No problem. It got me out of having to go to work. Again.

SMS: You know your boss is probably going to read this, right?

Zoe: Yeah, can you delete that part?

SMS: I don't think we're exactly revealing national secrets here, Zoe. So why did you remain skeptical for so long that these aliens were actually aliens?

Zoe: The whole thing was so lame. And who travels across the universe and lands at an airport?

SMS: That was awfully considerate of them.

Zoe: I know, right? 

SMS: Although that may have had something to do with the fact that there was simply more space to land there.

Zoe: Shut up.

SMS: They could have done the corn field thing.

Zoe: That would have made a better news story, honestly. You should work on your creativity.

SMS: Shut up.

Zoe: Now I'm starting to see where I got my attitude problem.

SMS: Mia was really excited about the visitors though, and we both know she's not stupid. What did you think made her convinced it was real from the beginning?

Zoe: She's never been as cynical as me. Of course, we're also talking about a woman who believes in ghosts, which is another reason I couldn't take her seriously at first.

SMS: Huh. I didn't know that about her. I may have to write that into a later book...

Zoe: Don't tell her I told you, especially if you do something really crazy and make actual ghosts appear. And seriously, aliens are crazy enough. Don't get all ridiculous on us.

SMS: Fair enough. How would you like to see this series end?

Zoe: Um... you've already screwed that up. Like... completely.

SMS: Right... sorry. Anything else you'd like to share with readers about your journey?

Zoe: You're probably going to hate me sometimes, and that's ok. I still think I deserve it. But life is about growth and change, so I hope everyone will stick with me. I'm not perfect and I never will be, but sometimes, wanting to do the right thing is the best we can offer.

SMS: That's pretty profound advice, Zoe. Thank you. And good luck.

Zoe: You're the one writing the rest of my story. Do you have any idea how nervous it makes me that you're wishing me luck?

To read more about Zoe and her experiences with an alien race, look for Peyton's Myth: Book 1 of The Cambria Code series, which will release next week on Amazon. You can sign up for my newsletter here to get a free copy of Resurrected, my first science-fiction romance, and receive notifications on my new releases as well as promotions.


Excerpt from Peyton's Myth


Chapter 1


Zoe dropped her purse on the desk in her office cubicle and peeked over the divider into the cubicle next to hers. Mia, her friend and coworker, was already logged on and staring intently at her computer monitor. Zoe looked around quickly to make sure their boss wasn’t around to notice she was late.

“Hey, I brought kolaches,” Zoe whispered.

Mia didn’t look away from her monitor. Zoe wasn’t even sure she’d heard her, so she clutched the small bag and walked around the divider to put a sausage kolache on Mia’s desk. Mia still didn’t look up at her.

“You’re welcome,” Zoe snapped.

Mia finally glanced at her. “What?”

Zoe raised an eyebrow at her and pointed to the pastry on her desk. Mia glanced at it too then went back to reading whatever was on her computer monitor.

“Thanks,” Mia mumbled.

“For God’s sake, get off Facebook and at least pretend to work like the rest of us.”

Mia shook her head. “Not on Facebook.”

Zoe finally walked behind her friend’s chair to see what had her so riveted. Zoe only got through the first paragraph of the news story when she stopped reading and laughed.

“It’s a hoax, Mia. You can be so gullible.”

Mia spun around and glared at Zoe. “It’s on every news site, but there’s so much traffic, I can’t get the live streams to play. Let’s go to the break room and watch it on TV.”

Zoe tossed the rest of the kolaches on the desk and threw her hands in the air. “There’s nothing to watch! Space ships don’t suddenly appear in the sky, and aliens aren’t invading. If there were anything out there, our telescopes would have picked it up long before it was close enough to land. And besides, this whole thing is ridiculous. There’s no such thing as aliens.”

Mia scooped up her sausage kolache and ignored her friend. “I’m going to the break room.”

Zoe stared at the maroon fabric covering Mia’s back for a few seconds before her curiosity as to how many other coworkers had been conned triumphed over her indignation that people were being conned in the first place. She grabbed her bag of kolaches again and followed Mia into the break room. She had to wiggle through the crowd that had gathered around the television to reach Mia’s side.

“Ok, I’ll admit,” Zoe said, “this is still better than working.”

“I heard that,” her boss responded. Zoe turned around and smiled at him then handed him the bag of breakfast pastries to apologize.

Zoe turned her attention to the newscaster on the screen who talked about the spacecraft that would be entering the Earth’s atmosphere soon. It had slowed considerably over the past hour, which made experts think the spacecraft was manned.

“Who the hell are these experts?” Zoe asked.

The entire room hushed her.

Zoe crossed her arms defiantly and scowled at the television.

The cameraman zoomed in on a small, bright object in the pale blue morning sky. Mia shot Zoe an I-told-you-so look, but Zoe rolled her eyes and whispered, “Airplanes reflect sunlight, too, Mia.”

“You’re just being stubborn,” Mia whispered back.

“I’m being realistic,” Zoe insisted.

The room hushed her again.

“The spacecraft is in our atmosphere now, and we should have an idea where it’s heading within minutes,” the reporter said, looking far too serious about the most elaborate hoax the media had ever pulled, although Zoe had to hand it to her: she was a good actress.

“Area 51,” Zoe told the TV.

Everyone in the room groaned.

Zoe just shrugged.

Her boss tapped her on the shoulder and handed her the bag of kolaches. “Here, eat these. It’ll keep you from talking.”

Zoe scowled at him, too, but took her kolaches back.

The cameraman zoomed in on the mysterious object in the sky, but it was reflecting too much sunlight. Zoe wanted to make another offhand comment about it just being a weather balloon or something, but she had a mouthful of cheese and sausage kolache.

The reporter announced they were cutting away to an affiliate in Cambria because if the “spacecraft” stayed on its current trajectory, it would land outside of the city.

Zoe lived and worked in Cambria.

She choked on the mouthful of kolache and Mia patted her on the back without looking away from the screen.

When Zoe stopped coughing, she chastised her friend. “You’re not supposed to do that if someone’s choking. It can only lodge the food farther down their esophagus.”

“You are such a dork.”

You’re the dork who thinks a UFO is about to land outside the city.”

“Shhhh,” the room hissed at her again.

A familiar news anchor appeared on screen, his normally handsome face looking ashen and shaken. He announced news crews were on their way to the most likely site for the UFO to land – except he didn’t call it a UFO. He insisted on calling it a spacecraft, which still made Zoe want to laugh.

“Well, how considerate of our alien invaders,” Zoe said. “They’re heading to the airport.”

She got kicked out of the break room for that.

Zoe wondered if her boss would even notice if she went home. She walked back to her cubicle and grabbed her purse, but as she glanced out of the window of her seventh floor office, she noticed the congestion on the streets below, the people who had stopped in the middle of the street to watch the sky – or more accurately, the strange object descending in the sky toward the Cambria International Airport.

Zoe dropped her purse and caught an elevator so she could go stand in the streets to watch the UFO, too. It was almost nine in the morning now, and as she watched the huge, not-at-all-disc-shaped-spaceship loom larger, she felt someone tug on her elbow. Zoe jumped and jerked around to see Mia’s face pointed toward the sky, one hand shielding her eyes from the bright sun.

“Still think it’s a hoax?” Mia asked.

Zoe studied the odd shape of the… whatever it was… and nodded. “It looks like an oversized stealth bomber. How can you not think it’s a hoax?”

“Because who would spend that kind of money just to laugh at the world after freaking us all out?”

Zoe shrugged and eyed the dark metal shape as its nose dipped toward the airport.

“Just wait. The financial aspect of this is coming. Maybe they’ll charge to see what’s on board, like a pay-per-view unveiling. And then they’ll sell t-shirts and coffee mugs on eBay that claim, ‘I wasn’t fooled,’ even though I’m apparently the only one who wouldn’t be lying.”

Mia smiled and shook her head as they both watched the oversized-stealth-bomber disappear behind the skyscrapers.

“Zoe, you’re the only one who’s going to be saying ‘I was wrong.’ And for once, I’ll finally get to be right about something.”

Zoe extended her hand and smiled back at her friend. “It’s a bet then. And when I win, you’re buying the kolaches for a week.”

Mia snorted and looked back in the direction where the spacecraft had landed.

“Let’s just hope we’re both still alive to enjoy those kolaches, no matter who’s buying them.”

© S.M. Schmitz, 2016. All Rights Reserved.


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