Interview with Paige Daniels, Author of the Non-Compliance Trilogy

It’s time for anoth­er inter­view! Today I wel­come a mighty girl: engi­neer, writer and blog­ger Paige Daniels.


Paige Daniels is the pen name of Tina Closs­er. By day she works as an Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer and Mom mush­ing her kids from gym­nas­tics and vio­lin prac­tice. After the kids go to bed, she rocks out with her head­phones turned to eleven and cranks out books. She is an über sci­ence geek. If she wasn’t mar­ried to the most ter­rif­ic guy in the world, she would be a groupie for Adam Bald­win.

Con­nect with her on Twit­ter, Face­book, Goodreads, or stalk her blog.

Now, onto the main course!

Q: Paige (Tina), you are an engi­neer with degrees in physics and engi­neer­ing. How did you come to love the tech field? What inspired you to choose this career? If it’s no secret, what exact­ly do you do and work on? What do you do [plan to do] to inspire oth­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly girls, to go for STEM?

I know it sounds sil­ly, but I real­ly think it stemmed from my par­ents’ love of sci­ence fic­tion. We were always watch­ing Star Trek or some crazy sci-fi movie. I was total­ly obsessed with being an astro­naut or nun.

When I was in school there was not a lot of career plan­ning all I knew is I liked sci­ence so I went into physics. I got about a semes­ter from grad­u­at­ing with my physics degree and decid­ed maybe engi­neer­ing would be a bet­ter path. So I just fell into it.

I work for a Navy lab as the STEM coor­di­na­tor, which is basi­cal­ly a liai­son between our lab and local schools.

Right now I’ve start­ed a mak­er­space for kids 12 — 16, to show stu­dents that tech­nol­o­gy and sci­ence can be fun and quite beau­ti­ful at times. I do activ­i­ties with my local chap­ter of Soci­ety of Women Engi­neers to inspire girls to dis­cov­er engi­neer­ing.

Q: Now, onto your writ­ing part of life. What are your favorite gen­res to work in? What gen­res, if dif­fer­ent from what you write in now, do you plan to tap into in the future? What are your favorite themes to write about and why? 

I love sci­ence fic­tion, but I’ll pret­ty much read any genre. Right now I don’t have any plans to write in any oth­er gen­res, but maybe a polit­i­cal thriller would be fun. I like to write about fam­i­ly and I don’t just mean the tra­di­tion­al mom, dad, and kids. To me a fam­i­ly can be so much more. I like to explore the inter­ac­tion of the dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Also, like to write about the under­dog.

Q: When did you start writ­ing? What was the main dri­ve? Inspi­ra­tion? What fan­doms do you belong to? 

I’m kind of a late bloomer. It wasn’t until my thir­ties. But ever since I was a kid I was always read­ing an imag­in­ing dif­fer­ent twists to sto­ries or TV show, what I would’ve done bet­ter.

The won­der gift of bore­dom is what got me writ­ing. I hate this sto­ry idea bur­row­ing its way through my brain and it wouldn’t leave me alone. Con­cur­rent­ly, I just fin­ished my master’s degree and I was in a habit of sit­ting at my com­put­er writ­ing. So I thought I’d give it a try and if I hat­ed it I’d stop.

I have to say I’m pret­ty picky about what I read / watch. I’m not say­ing that I have the best taste just that it’s hard for me to get into stuff. I guess my biggest fan­doms are: Star Trek: TNG, Chuck, and Fire­fly. I could watch those shows on repeat and nev­er get sick of them.

Q: Do you like exper­i­ment­ing with fic­tion? How do you describe your writ­ing style?

I’m pret­ty con­ser­v­a­tive, but I’m also new to this writ­ing thing. I’d like to explore some oth­er themes.

Very sparse, I don’t like delv­ing into details much. I like a lot of punchy action.

Q: What fuels your writ­ing? Beer? Cof­fee? Wine? Warm socks? Where and when do you like to write? What is your cre­ative process? Do you write elab­o­rate out­lines or are you are pantser?

Beer, def­i­nite­ly beer.

Usu­al­ly after the kids go to bed, in front of the TV.

I think of an idea in the car while jam­ming to tunes and I think for a long time on it, prob­a­bly too long. Then I start out­lin­ing and research­ing and out­lin­ing again. Then I start the actu­al writ­ing, then repeat the process.

Q: What is your favorite scene to write? Romance? Action? What kind of scenes do you find hard to write, if any? Why? What aspect of your writ­ing do you feel is strongest, and what needs the most improve­ment?

I like to write romance scenes and I like to write scenes with lots of snap­py dia­log, I find dia­log the eas­i­est to write. The hard­est is action. I have to con­stant­ly proof them to make sure what I wrote was phys­i­cal­ly pos­si­ble or if there were con­ti­nu­ity errors. There have been many times when I wrote fight scene and I total­ly for­got I hand­cuffed the char­ac­ters in the first para­graph only to have them duk­ing it out in the third para­graph.

I’ve been com­pli­ment­ed on my dia­logue and I’m pret­ty com­fort­able with that. I’m least com­fort­able with descrip­tions and intro­spec­tive talk.

Q: Now, let’s talk about what you write. You are work­ing on the third book of the Non-Com­pli­ance tril­o­gy, which is sched­uled for release in Jan­u­ary 2015. Tell us about the books of the series. What do you think about writ­ing series in gen­er­al?

Non-Com­pli­ance takes place in a not too dis­tant dystopic future where the gov­ern­ment has forced every­one to implant a track­ing chip or be forced to a Non-Com­pli­ant Sec­tor that are back­ward ghet­tos run by orga­nized crime. I admit the theme isn’t super orig­i­nal, but I feel the char­ac­ters are what makes this tril­o­gy spe­cial. I like writ­ing a series; for me, the hard part was sum­ming it up in three books, but I didn’t want read­ers to think the books over­stayed their wel­come. I want­ed to leave the read­ers want­i­ng more.

Non-Compliance: The Sector [Kindle Edition]
Non-Com­pli­ance: The Sec­tor [Kin­dle Edi­tion]
Non-Compliance: The Sector [Kindle Edition]
Non-Compliance: The Transition [Kindle Edition]
Non-Com­pli­ance: The Tran­si­tion [Kin­dle Edi­tion]
Non-Compliance: The Transition [Kindle Edition]

Q: Who are your main char­ac­ters of the tril­o­gy and what makes them spe­cial?

There is actu­al­ly a pret­ty full cast of char­ac­ters and I loved writ­ing them. The main char­ac­ter, Shea, was one of my main inspi­ra­tions for writ­ing the series. She’s a nerd and she’s okay with that. I didn’t feel like there were a lot of nerdy strong women char­ac­ters out there. Sure there are the Black Wid­ows that are sexy and kick butt, but what about the nerdy girls who like to pro­gram or sol­der or work on cars? I also thought it would be cool for the nerdy girl to get the guy. Although the char­ac­ters aren’t relat­ed by blood, they are a tight-knit fam­i­ly.

Q: Which path(s) have you tak­en: tra­di­tion­al pub­lish­ing, self-pub­lish­ing, or both? How was your expe­ri­ence?

I start­ed out self pub­bing the first book of the series just because, for me, it was like say­ing ‘I’m done goal met.’ Then Kris­tell Ink con­tact­ed me about pub­lish­ing the sto­ry. I’ve been pleased about the process and I’ve learned a lot I real­ly feel if I didn’t get picked up by them I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have writ­ten the sec­ond and third book. They real­ly moti­vat­ed me. I’ll prob­a­bly self-pub again, now that I have more knowl­edge in my back pock­et.

Q: What form of mar­ket­ing works best for pro­mot­ing your work(s)? What social media do you like the most? Why?

So far it seems word of mouth, like with real peo­ple, works the best.

Prob­a­bly Face­book. It seems to have the best reach, plus I can screw around there and mar­ket at the same time. I’m still learn­ing about mar­ket­ing.

Q: Tell us about the Brave New Girls project. Do you intend to con­tin­ue with sim­i­lar books in the future apart from your main projects? 

Brave New Girls is just evi­dence that you shouldn’t drink and Face­book, just kid­ding. Seri­ous­ly, I was chat­ting with Mary Fan, fel­low author about how we should write a sto­ry about robots togeth­er because we both love bots. Some­how that blos­somed into get­ting a YA anthol­o­gy togeth­er with the theme of girls in tech­nol­o­gy then we thought it would be cool to donate the pro­ceeds to Soci­ety of Women Engi­neers schol­ar­ship fund.


Q: What are you work­ing on right now? What is your next project? What read­ers should expect?

Right now I’m edit­ing Book 3 in the Non-Com­pli­ance series and my Brave New Girls short sto­ry.

I’m not sure what my next project is. I’ve been toy­ing around with this super hero­ine com­ic book action type sto­ry for a long while and a space opera.

Read­ers should expect for what­ev­er it is to take a long time. I’m a slow writer and I have lots going on.

Q: What do you do apart from writ­ing and day job?

When I have time I play vio­la, but usu­al­ly I’m pret­ty busy with kids, work, writ­ing, and robots I don’t prac­tice too much.

Q: Where can peo­ple find more about you and your work(s)?

My web­site and Brave New Girls project. Sam­ples and short sto­ries on Wattpad.

Thank you for par­tic­i­pat­ing, Paige.


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Jeno Marz
JENO MARZ is a science fiction writer from Latvia, Northern Europe, with background in electronics engineering and computer science. She is the author of two serial novels, Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements and Falaha’s Journey into Pleasure. Marz is current at work on a new SF trilogy. All her fiction is aimed at an adult audience.

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