Indieview authorIndieView with S.C. Jensen, author of Tropical Punch (Bubbles...

IndieView with S.C. Jensen, author of Tropical Punch (Bubbles in Space Book 1) |


I was inspired by the old detective novels of the 30s and wanted to try a similar style in a science fiction environment. Bubbles Marlowe is my look at Raymond Chandler’s famous detective, Philip Marlowe.

SC Jensen – December 10, 2021

The back flap

HoloCity’s only cyborg detective really sucks at her job. Bubbles Marlowe is broken, recently sober and hates her life. All she wants to do is find a girl and give a message. This is supposed to be an easy show. It’s supposed to pay her the bills. It should be exactly what she needs.

Instead, the light work becomes a horrific murder. Bubbles has to resolve the case or endure the fall, and a HoloCity prison sentence may be the only serious thing from her current apartment.

But when she reveals a conspiracy that threatens the entire city, Bubbles must activate it quickly, otherwise there will be more than one person’s blood on her hands …

Regarding the book

What is the book about?

Tropical punch (Bubbles in Space No. 1) deals with a cyborg detective who wants her luck. She is broken, recently sober, and not so good at her job. When a seemingly simple case takes a strange turn, she flees the city for extra security. With a deputated police chief on her trail, a vicious mega corporation watching her every move and a mysterious drug killing her contacts, Bubbles does not know where to turn. But when the action gets a little too close to home, threatening the people who care about Bubbles, she vows to reveal the city’s dirty secrets. Even if it kills her.

When did you start writing the book?

I started planning in December 2020 and drafted it in January 2021.

How long did it take you to write this?

Start to finish, including editing and corrections, it took about two months.

Where did you get the idea from?

I was inspired by the old detective novels of the 30s and wanted to try a similar style in a science fiction environment. Bubbles Marlowe is my look at Raymond Chandler’s famous detective, Philip Marlowe.

Were there parts of the book you struggled with?

It was a challenge to write a full mystery story, which also has plot branches that will continue for the rest of the series. The later books in the series are more of a thriller style than a traditional mystery for this reason.

What comes easily?

The scenery and characters almost seem to write themselves for me! The only challenge was getting them to follow my plot, lol.

Are your characters completely fictitious or have you asked people from the real world that you know?

My characters are mostly based on different aspects of my personality, especially Bubbles. But sometimes I get inspired by other fictional characters. Hammett, an artificially intelligent pig, relied a bit on Watson’s character Sherlock Holmes. Cosmo Régale is a type of combination of the King of Goblins from The maze And Robbie Rod m The fifth element.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any writers who have influenced the way you write, and if so, how have they influenced you?

Margaret Atwood is the writer who really made me want to be a writer. She is the one who showed me the power and possibility of speculative fiction. Stylistically, I researched Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammett and Hemingway for their sparse prose and ability to reset critical details. I also very much admire Octavia a. Butler and NK Jemisin on the characters and building their world.

Do you have a target reader?

When I wrote these books, I thought I was writing for readers like me: women in their mid-30s who love science fiction, adventure stories and Noir Pulp, but wanted to see themselves in the main characters. Imperfect female characters but flexible with a sense of humor, and without the need for romance.

But it turns out to be a demographic that is very difficult to target, and although I get along with these readers when I can find them, I found a surprising subcategory of readers: adult science fiction readers with a nostalgia for pulps and those who get kicked out of a strong but flawed female leader.

Regarding writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

My process is pretty simple. Sit down, write until it’s over. When I formulate, I have a daily word count target of 3000. I take the kids to school, and sit at the computer until I finish. The only time I do not do my goal is if I am really too sick to sit at the computer. But I worked up to that pace. When I first started, my goal was 500 words a day and it was a struggle. Once it got easy, I increased it to 1000, and so on. I hope I can make 5000 a day by the end of next year!

Do you describe? If so, do you do it extensively or just chapter headings and a few sentences?

I do describe. I usually read a workbook as I describe, and first edit a rhythm sheet. Sometimes that’s all I use, and sometimes I write a short paragraph for each main plot point. This is usually where I start listing. If I get stuck, I’ll make short contours of a scene for the next few episodes to work on all the sticky sections.

Are you editing while or waiting for you to finish?

When I first started working on increasing my daily word count, I did not allow myself to edit at all. I even turned off my spelling check! It’s easier to make a bad rough draft than to write from scratch, for me. But over the years, my drafts have become cleaner, even as I have become faster. I sort a little here and there, but I do not allow myself to mess too much or I can not achieve my daily goal! I make a single transition as soon as the draft is finished and then send it to my editor.

Have you hired a professional editor?

Yes! I think it’s the best money an indie writer can spend. When I first learned how to write novels, I hired development editors to help me with the elements of the big story and the rhythm. Now I do not need the development edits, but I always use a copy editor. Ideally, I would also hire a professional magician, but because of the expense I usually rely on volunteers to stage this in the process.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what causes the fingers to tap?

Definitely! Different stories require a different soundtrack, but I can not listen to anything with words. My mind is too distracted. I love movies and characters for mood scenes, aggressive electronics for action scenes, and I listen to a lot of classical music.

On publishing

Have you submitted your work to agents?

I bought my first novel from agents and publishers. I never hired an agent, but I did get a solid publisher in the medium term.

What made you decide to go indie, whether self-published or indie? Was it a specific event or a gradual process?

I originally planned to keep my first series traditional (a dystopian science fiction trilogy), and I planned to go indie for the next books. I really wanted more creative control, and I wanted the ability to run ads with a higher return on investment. It’s hard enough to make money on a $ 3 product without having to split royalties with a publisher. So, bubbles in space have always been published in indie, this was my experimental series. Then, in early 2021, the owner of my publishing company passed away and the business fell apart. So, I will re-publish my original series also independently.

Did you do your book cover professionally or did you do it yourself?

Yes, I have a wonderful designer. I will never try to create my own covers. I do not have the skill.

Do you have a marketing plan for a book or do you just wing it?

I use a variety of paid newsletter ads, and experience Facebook and Amazon ads. But my focus is always on writing the next book. It’s hard to promote an incomplete series! Now that the first rainbow of bubbles in space (# 1-5) is over, I’ll start all over again with the following books.

Is there any advice you would like to give to other beginners considering becoming an indie writer?

Join several professional writing groups like 20BooksTo50K and Self Publishing Formula on Facebook and learn as much as you can from the successful people. There is a wealth of knowledge out there, and almost every situation you encounter has been addressed in the past.

You must

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the far north of Saskatchewan! We moved south when I was 4 years oldGod’ Grade, but I’m northern in soul.

where do you live now?

After graduating from high school, I moved to the West Coast and studied there at university. But I went back to Saskatchewan again, and dragged my poor husband here to freeze with me!

What would you like readers to know about you?

One aspect of Bubbles Marlowe’s character that is very close to my heart is that she is sober. I am also a former drinker, and her recovery is an important second story in the series. I based many of her character traits on the challenges I had in repairing relationships and re-learning who I was when I stopped drinking. So, while Bubbles in Space is a fun and fast-paced action series, it is also very much based on real human struggles.

What are you working on now?

I have a few more novels to write in the HoloCity Case Files series. This is an independent mystery series of the first cases of Bubbles Marlowe. Once they’m over, I’ll start a series of techno-thrillers set in the same world, but with a whole new cast of characters. Bubbles and her team will be back with five more book arcs, probably later in 2022.

End of interview:

Get your copy of Tropical punch M Amazon USA or Amazon UK.



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