Book & Author Details:

Across the Wire by Stella Telleria
Publication date: November 2013
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction

When Mia Mitchell, a hardcore but lonely former Marine, steps into an alley to pull some thugs off an unlucky foreigner, she walks into a fight she expects. What she doesn’t see coming is the foreigner making her a job offer any sane person would refuse. So, she takes it. She thinks she’s headed for some third-world country; instead she’s mysteriously transported to an Earth-like parallel world. That’s a mad left-hook.
Mia discovers a matriarchal dystopia where freedom doesn’t exist and fighting for it means execution. Lethal force bends all to the law; women fear for their families and un-wed men suffer slavery. Mia’s job is to train an underground syndicate of male freedom-fighters for a violent revolution. However, the guys don’t want a pair of X chromosomes showing them the way.
Eben, an escaped slave, is encouraged by Mia to become a leader among the men. But when he turns his quiet determination on her, it spells F.U.B.A.R. for cynical Mia. Their unexpected connection threatens more than her exit strategy; it threatens the power struggle festering with in the syndicate.
Haunted by nightmares and post-traumatic stress, unsure who to trust or how to get home, Mia struggles to stay alive as she realizes all is not what it seems.

All my life I’ve dreamed of stories or have had my nose buried in one. I live in Edmonton, Canada with my husband and my weird sense of humor.

I love old war movies, dystopian fiction, and any story with action, a good plot, and characters I'd get into a fight at the pub for. Not that I'm a brawler or anything. Unless you think that out-of-print book or vintage piece at the thrift shop is going home with you instead of me. Then, my friend, the gloves are off.

Author links:


I continued putting books and figurines back on the shelves. The sound of broken ceramics and ambient street traffic filled the room.
“I’ve buried three husbands,” she added.
I placed another framed picture of a different wedding on a shelf. A young Mrs. Bateman smiled in the picture. I wondered how she had survived such sadness and how so much pain could find its way to certain people’s door steps. I scratched at my left wrist but forced myself to stop. I understood why she lived alone now.
The two most insignificant words, words I’d heard a million times, came out of my mouth. “I’m sorry.”
She nodded. “Most people think it’s a joke I’ve buried three husbands.” Her voice was hard.
The glass of the picture caught a glint of sunlight. “It’s not,” I said, and heard an ambulance off in the distance through her open window.
“I don’t know why some think it is.” Her eyes seemed unfocused. “It’s not easy watching the ones you love die.”
She was hurt, she’d lost things she’d loved, and maybe she’d lost confidence in her independence. I could understand those things.
“Maybe it’s some people’s way of dealing with it,” I said. The siren became louder—getting closer.
Mrs. Bateman sat staring at me. “Of dealing with what?”
I went back to placing a bunch of unbroken records on the shelf. “That fortune holds no favorites. That everyone dies.”
A fragment of a figurine stood out of the wreckage on the floor. A decorative ceramic mask smashed roughly in half. It was white with sparkles painted on the lips and a tear glittering on its cheek. It lay there with its broken side to the floor and a wave of déjà vu hit me in the gut. The broken figurines and records became gravel. The mask became Sergeant Kosher’s head, what was left of it. The sparkled mouth became blood that caught the light. The tear was some other bodily fluid that seeped out of his remaining eye because there’d been no time for tears. His brain was scattered around his head like a halo. Kosher, the patron saint of car bombs. He never saw that IED; he never knew what was coming. It’d made me feel better about it somehow.
“The worst isn’t what people say,” I said.
“What’s worse?” Mrs. Bateman’s voice was hushed as if we were in church.
“That there’s nothing you could’ve done or will do to make their deaths worth it. Nothing that’ll explain why you survived and they didn’t.”

Author Interview

 1. Describe your book to us twitter-style (140 characters or less).
A former Marine finds herself on a parallel world where she must train a group of ex-slaves to defy a dictator’s stranglehold on the country. Wow, that was tough.

2. What made you decide that dual POV was the right way to tell this story?
I told this story in duelling POVs because I really felt this story couldn’t be voiced from just a woman’s perspective or a man’s. It needed both. Mia and Eben bring their biases to the table in their own captivating ways. One is a woman from Earth, the other a man from Gaia. What I found fascinating as the story progressed was that while these two people were opposites in so many ways they also had so much in common.

3. A lot of people say that a world run by women would be a better run world, why did you decide to make Gaia so crooked under the rule of women?
That’s a great question, and one I’ve argued with fellow writers and beta readers. I believe women are capable of all the great and terrible things men are—that we are equals. I was especially horrified when a beta reader implied that a particularly heinous crime was exclusive to the male gender/biology. I was outraged by this sort of illogical and judgmental view of men when for years irrational conclusions have been made of women.
While some may think that the matriarchal dystopia in my novel is a nod to feminism, I’d say there is much more at play. It is my hope when the reader learns of the twists in this parallel world, it makes them consider things a little differently.

4. Did you struggle with writing Eben’s (male) POV at all? How did you overcome any obstacles?
Writing Eben was a challenge for me, but not because he’s a male POV. What I struggled with was making him dysfunctional enough. In the first drafts, I felt he was much too normal and that someone with his background would be much more damaged. Through multiple revisions I really tried to layer his character into this sort of tortured, exploited, and lonely person. Well, at least I hope I did. LOL! Eben’s character went through the biggest evolution as I worked on this novel.

5. There is a unique style in the world of Gaia, where did you come up with all the elements that define it?
The unique style of the world of Gaia is a combination of Asian and Middle Eastern architecture and clothing with a lot of tech layered over a law of the jungle approach to life. The Middle Eastern, Asian themes came from the idea that the culture would be a Goddess worshiping society. There are scores of ancient Goddesses in these areas of the world so I thought it appropriate that these influences be present. To rule the way they do, I envisioned the women being these fierce sort of Amazons whose technology is less disruptive to the environment than ours is. Nature is their Goddess, and it takes different forms (names) for different characters.

6. Did you have more fun writing Mia or Eben’s perspective?
Ugh, that’s like picking a favourite child! There were aspects I really loved about writing from either character’s perspective.
I really felt a kinship with Mia. She was so interesting to share with readers. She really has a life of her own and at times she would not obey me. She’s so stubborn! LOL! Eben, on the other hand, grew so much during this novel. It was great to see him find himself and for once in his life make decisions for himself and suffer the repercussions of it. His experience of freedom is so different than what I would know from my personal one, so it was really eye opening writing from Eben’s POV. 

7. What part of writing Across the Wire was the most fun for you as an author?

I loved writing the dialog. I love dialog. I really hope the audience can read the conversations, and without the aid of any dialog tags, know who is saying what.

8. Are any elements or characters in your book based on real life? Or is it all entirely fictional?
All of the battles Mia speaks of in the chapter The Crucible actually happened in Iraq. The rest is pure fiction, but all writers draw from their own experiences and from people they know. I think each character has a split personality of mine in them. Poor souls. Mwah hahahahahahaaa!

9. How many books do you plan on writing for this series?
It’s my plan to make Across the Wire a three book series.

10. Do you remember the moment when you came up with the concept for Across The Wire? If so, describe it for us!
I don’t remember the exact moment I thought of the concept; after all, I have made up stories running through my head all the time. What I do remember is the moment I realized I had to write it down. As time passed, the story became bigger and longer and more complex and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I decided to start writing it out if only to get it out of my head, but the story continued growing and I discovered my passion for writing.

11. What are you reading right now?
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I like to toss some literary fiction into the mix every so often. I love genre fiction though. Who am I kidding? I’ll read cereal boxes. I’ll read anything! LOL!

12. Do you have a writing room or routine?
I do have a writing room. I call it my library and I love it. I used to travel a lot for my job and I used to write all night in hotel rooms and airports. Now I prefer silence when I write. I choose to sit on my couch or chair with my feet propped on an ottoman with my laptop, well, in my lap. So comfy. I cannot write fiction at a desk for some reason.

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