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Women of Sci-Fi: H.D. Carlton

H. D. Carlton grew up in a small town in Ohio and continues to suffer by the hands of Mother Nature cursing the area with all four seasons in the span of a week. By day, she does boring adult stuff, by night, she’s putting her imagination into words as her cat climbs all over her. She published a few poems back in her days, but now she’s devoted to turning poetry into a story. A story that preferably features wicked worlds with the worst kind of villains that don’t talk about themselves in third person.

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Talking with Sci-Fi Author H.D. Carlton

Tell us about your upcoming novel!

Untainted is the second book in The Zero Saga. The heroine, Zero, is faced with difficult decisions on not only how to save someone important to her, but all of humanity. She learns that in order to have a fighting chance against a superior race, gaining allies is important. This leads Zero to territories outside of Earth, where she must fight to the death in order to make these connections. 

How does this one differ from your first novel?

Hollow centered heavily around Area 51 and Earth itself, while Untainted takes you outside of Earth. It gives you a stronger dose of science fiction .

What did you hope to accomplish with this story? Were you aiming to write an entertaining story or trying to work in social commentary of some sort?

Entertainment is a goal, but life lessons are key. The main thing I always try to shine light on is humanity itself. How raw and gritty it is to be a human being. I try to make it clear that we’re all human, no matter what we look like or where we come from. It’s the inside that makes us all different. Emotions are such a powerful force in humans and it’s fascinating how we can all be faced with the same problem but think and act completely different. I love the little nuances in each of us that make us all unique.

Was it any easier writing the second book than it was the first one? If so, what do you think made the biggest difference?

Absolutely not… but also yes. This book definitely took a lot more out of me emotionally and mentally. I would look at Hollow and think “How the hell did I even put this together?” I constantly put pressure on myself that I needed to write Untainted better and faster. But, my actual writing process was smoother. With Hollow, my writing was chaotic. There was no rhyme or reason to anything, and it made editing and piecing everything together a nightmare. This time around, I plotted and worked things out in my head better before writing. Hollow was all trial and error, and with Untainted, I felt like I had a better grasp on my writing process.

What books and/or films have shaped your view of science fiction and how have they stood the test of time as you’ve gotten older and gained more experience in the genre?

Two films come to mind. The first is an older TV series called Farscape. This was the show that really introduced me to science fiction. It taught me how diverse and creative science fiction is. How the possibilities are literally endless. And then the remake of War of the Worlds. The violence, the concept, and the plot sucked me in. It showed me the scary side of aliens and the impact something like that would have on society. All science fiction will always stand the test of time in my opinion. There’s never going to be one right way to do science fiction, and I think it’ll take a very long time before films or books start becoming outdated.

What have been either your biggest challenges or your most positive experiences in writing your science fiction novel?

My biggest challenge and most positive experience are one and the same—the possibilities in science fiction. I struggled with making everything too human-like. Too simple, nothing crazy. It’s like I’d forget that science fiction allows you to do almost anything you want. There’s no limitation. So, when I’d finally break free from that crutch, I was able to have so much fun with the alien technology and the aliens themselves. Though it can be hard to explain some of the technology and make it sound like it could exist.

In recent years we are seeing the genre make huge strides in featuring diverse characters and situations in books and films, but we could do better because we can always do better. What would you like to see be something that gets more attention?

Characters with disabilities or debilitating conditions. My day job deals heavily with people who struggle with very hard medical situations. I see every day how millions of people’s lives are a constant struggle because of their own body fighting against them. I’d love to see them represented more and showcase the strength they have just to live a happy life.

What are some of your favorite books by women authors that you’ve discovered lately?

Caraval by Stephanie Garber and The Final Formula by Becca Andre. The extensive thought and imagery in these two books are absolutely astounding.

This last one is a bit of a softball, but it’s one of my favorite questions to ask: What is the weirdest thing you’ve researched during the course of writing one of your stories? Would it put you on an FBI watchlist?

“Do crocodiles enjoy the taste of human flesh?” And I definitely think that’d land me on a list. Honestly, I was more concerned about my Area 51 research setting off some red flags with the government more than how to kill people…

And, just for a bit of fun:  Answer this question WRONG.

What’s the movie The Thing about?

The Thing is about a group of cavemen who set out to hunt for food when they happen upon a cave. When they explore the cave, they find a mysterious box with a big red button in it that says “press me.” The cavemen embark on a quest to figure out what the Thing does, where it came from and what will happen if the button is pressed. 


Thousands of Hollows are turning into Untainted soldiers. The human population is steadily decreasing. Hollows haunt the streets and paint them in blood.

Ronan is one of them.

The world is falling apart around Zero Alvarado. Her focus is split in several different directions. Ronan needs saved from himself. The people need saved from the Waters. The Revelance needs an advantage over the Zolarian’s.

When a hopeful ally presents itself, Zero seizes the opportunity. Layna, a renowned scientist, has the power to give the Revelance the advantage they so desperately need. Her journey sends her to territories outside of Earth, where fighting to the death is the only way to gain the mysterious woman’s attention.

If there’s one thing Zero has learned, it’s that friends can disguise themselves under terrifying masks. And so to give humans a real chance of winning the war, she must do what she has always done before: bite or be bitten.

Check out UNTAINTED on Amazon now:


H.D. is giving away one (1) physical copy of Untainted to US residents.
(Must be 18+ years of age to enter.)
Giveaway ends 11/16/2019.

Just comment below to enter!

You can find HD Carlton at the links below:

Published inInterviews
©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
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