Monday, November 28, 2016

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Sofia Diana Gabel, Author

Sofia Diana Gabel, Author
Sofia Diana Gabel, a multi-genre author, brings us her science fiction RAMTALAN TRILOGY series with relatable teenage protagonists and villains with their own agendas. She likes to place ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, and also embeds messages along the way. She believes that setting is important and can actually serve as a character.

Gabel enjoys time out of doors and hiking; she also appreciates time with her daughters and grandson. She is currently working on two novels--an adult SciFi and a contemporary thriller.

Check out the excerpt following her interview.

Q: You write in multiple genres. Let’s start with science fiction and your trilogy, A RAMTALAN TRILOGY: TWO BROTHERS. What drew you to science fiction? Do you enjoy reading it? Do you find it’s a satisfying genre in which to tell your stories?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I think I got started reading science fiction from my dad. He loved it and I guess I saw his enjoyment and wondered what it was all about. I started with Asimov and went on from there up to the contemporaries now. Sadly, I don’t get to read as much as I’d like and always seem to have a stack of ‘to be read’ books piled up! For my science fiction Ramtalan Trilogy series, this genre is the only way to tell the story. I love to blend in different elements as well, such as thriller, romance and adventure.

Q: In A RAMTALAN TRIOLOGY what draws us to your protagonists? Why will readers engage with them?

Sofia Diana Gabel: My protagonists are teenagers. I’ve been a single mother to three daughters for most of their lives, and had three teenagers at one time for many years. It just seemed natural to write about teenagers, with a science fiction/alien twist. Readers will feel the turmoil of the teenage years and how teens make mistakes because they don’t know any better, but in the case of the Dachel brothers, the stakes are very high, especially when they do make mistakes or misjudgments. We all remember what it’s like to be a teenager, right?

Q: What about villains? Is the concept of villains versus heroes relevant in A RAMTALAN TRILOGY? What makes an effective, compelling villain?

Sofia Diana Gabel: Yes, the villains are critical to the story arc. A villain has to have their own agenda for doing the things they do, which sometimes places others in danger. But a villain also has to have a ‘human’ element to them, a part that keeps them from being completely off the rails. My villains are definitely driven to achieve their goal, yet they also have something deep down that readers can relate to.

Q: In your science fiction and paranormal stories, how do you create credibility and/or believability? Does it matter to your readers?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I think a good story must be at least somewhat credible or believable, even if the reader has to ‘suspend disbelief’’ so they can get taken away by the story. In paranormal, supernatural things occur, which aren’t normally considered believable, but to enjoy the story, a reader has to accept that it’s normal. Hopefully I’ve created that in my stories. I like to put ordinary, relatable people in extraordinary situations in such a way that the reader believes it could happen.

Q: Do you write only to entertain your readers or do you embed a few messages in your stories along the way?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I usually have some sort of message in the stories. In the RAMTALAN TRILOGY, there are elements of bullying and later in the story it comes out why the bully is like he is.

Q: Do you prefer writing in one genre over another? Or do you like different features from each one?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I actually enjoy all of the genres I write in, but right now I’m thoroughly enjoying science fiction, having just finished another science fiction novel. Historical fiction has always been a love of mine, too.

Q: You have degrees in environmental science and archaeology. Does your education help you in your writing?

Sofia Diana Gabel: Yes! I wrote an environmental thriller where I used my knowledge of biology and wildlife to create a somewhat, tongue-in-cheek, scenario about global devastation. I am currently writing an archaeology-based thriller as well. I think education always manages to bleed through on the pages in one form or another!

Q: Were you able to exploit the settings to help tell your stories? Do you find setting to be an effective plot-creator or contributor? Why?

Sofia Diana Gabel: Setting can be very important and become a character itself. The settings in the RAMTALAN TRILOGY are important because each setting has something to say about the story or characters. A science fiction novella I wrote, The Clean Slate Accord, takes place completely in an isolated bunker, which plays off how the protagonist has isolated herself while governing the world.

Q: What’s next?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I am currently working on two novels: one an adult science fiction and the other a contemporary thriller. I’m also editing my latest YA science fiction novel.

Q:  Tell us about Sofia Diana Gabel. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Sofia Diana Gabel: I’m in love with the outdoors. When I can, I love to hike or be around nature in some way. And of course I love to read. Baking is a fun time for me, when I get the chance. Then again, I also like quiet days at home with my three hairless Sphynx cats or spending time with my daughters and grandson.

About Sofia Diana Gabel

Sofia Diana Gabel is a multi-genre fiction writer who was born in Sydney, Australia, but is now living in the United States with her family. With degrees in environmental science and archaeology, she enjoys being out in nature when she's not glued to her desk writing or researching a new story idea. Writing is a true passion of hers, born from a love of the written word that can transport the reader to different places or worlds and deliver them back to reality, safe and sound.

Book One follows 17-year-old Argus and Tai Dachel as they transition from sheltered homeschoolers to mainstream high school students, where they begin to discover they are not the ordinary teenagers they thought they were. As their extraordinary abilities begin to emerge and they learn the truth about themselves, their lives take twists and turns they never could have imagined. They struggle to find balance and normalcy while keeping the secret they must guard at all costs.
The boys want nothing more than to fit in with their friends, but that becomes more and more tricky. Eventually an AURA (Astronomical Urgent Recovery Administration) agent begins to suspect the truth and the situation escalates. Not only are their lives in danger, but their friends, especially Argus's girlfriend Lola, are beginning to realize the brothers are not what they seem.
In the second book in the Trilogy, Argus finds himself mixed up in the battle between a hostile faction of Invaders and the peaceful Ramtalans he’s come to know as his friends. After hearing disturbing news about his father, and with Tai being held captive, Argus has to come to grips with the truth about who he really is. Not only is AURA hot on his tail, but his relationship with Lola is in jeopardy. As his special abilities increase and become stronger, he risks exposure and capture. He must find some way to protect everyone around him, but winning seems impossible. 

The third and final book in the Ramtalan Trilogy brings Argus and Tai Dachel to a critical juncture in their lives, and the lives of every human on Earth.


This was going to be a good day with no trouble. Argus had said that over and over again all morning, but now that he was standing at the school attendance office counter, right under an irritating flickering fluorescent light, he had his doubts. He gripped the pen and filled in his information on the enrollment form:

Name: Argus Dachel
Age: 17
Previous school: Home schooled

His stomach fluttered and he wiped a trace of sweat off his forehead. What was he doing? There was no way this could be a good day. He didn’t belong here. High school was where normal kids went and he and Tai, his twin brother, weren’t exactly normal. They had special abilities that they weren’t allowed to use in public, and some sort of rare blood disease that kept them away from other kids. How much weirder could they get?

This was their senior year and their guardian, Aunt Celeste, said they should go to a public high school to be around other kids. She seemed a bit hesitant, like she wasn’t quite sure about it, but in the end said it was for the best. How? How was going to a school filled with regular kids for the best? Aunt Celeste said other kids didn’t have super strength or the ability to dissolve and reappear, so what was the point in being around normal teens? He’d spent most of his life secluded away in their house in the middle of nowhere. And that’s how he liked it. He had freedom at home to do what he wanted, without restrictions like he had now. Now it was all, no using your abilities at school, no getting hurt or cut, no telling anyone about anything. Secrets. And that sucked.


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Twitter: @sofiadianagabel

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