Tag Archives: Nel Bently Series

Interview with Author V.S. Holmes

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’ve always been a storyteller and a story-finder. Growing up in the woods without other kids drove me to constantly search for other’s stories, other’s lives, specifically through fiction and imagination. This progressed naturally into writing and my day job as an archaeologist. It was in university that, after years of research, I first decided to take the plunge and write professionally. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Travelers, the first in my Stars Edge: Nel Bently Books, began as a dual POV between an archaeologist and one of the people whose life she was studying from 13,000 years before. I realized pretty quickly that the latter was not my story to tell, so I flipped it forward and explored what would happen if some of those people were abducted and returned thousands of years later. I also wanted to debunk the racist ideas behind “ancient aliens” theories while still combining science fiction and archaeology. On a larger scale, all of Nel’s stories explore the ideas about how where we come from impacts where we’re going, and decolonizing archaeology and science. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Heretics is the fourth in Nel’s series of adventures, and with this one Nel returns to Earth in an attempt to save her planet from killer sound waves. She’s suddenly straddling the line between coming home and being a fish out of water. It’s the place that made her, but now she no longer fits in the space she left. A lot of my work focuses on how we differ from others’ expectations–and often our own. This is a theme that’s very dear to me as a queer person. On a more intimate level, I hope readers can learn with Nel as she finds the root of her anger, and navigates her complicated relationship with Lin. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Sci-fi and fantasy were the first places I saw characters like me, so I naturally gravitated toward that when I started writing my own work. Speculative fiction for me has always been a place of solace and hope. When we’re creating worlds from the ground up, we’re able to envision a world we want, or a world we’re afraid of ours becoming. Because of this, I can create worlds where I see more people like myself, and fight the battles I can’t fight in our own world.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Oh this is tough! I’d imagine most of them would have some pretty damning comments to make about what I put them through. Ultimately, though, I’d love to have a nice long chat with Phil–Philos, one of the sentient computers rooted in a man’s head held in stasis. I think it would be fascinating to discuss the science and ethics behind becoming a computer. As a trans and disabled person, conversations around body modification, cyborgization, and transhumanism are really fascinating.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Twitter has, hands-down, been the best site for me. Though it does suffer from some of the same algorithmic issues as other social sites, it’s still easier to curate than many others. Through Twitter I’ve found not just an incredible community of fellow SFF authors, but one of the most welcoming places for queer and disabled people, especially since I don’t have access to those communities, or the freedom of being fully out, where we live.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

There’s a lot of writing advice out there, but the process is going to be different for every author, and honestly every project. I think it’s important to try a lot of different things and find what works best for you and what you’re currently working on. One of the pieces I wish I’d realized earlier is finding out who you are as a writer, as a creator, and then doing it on purpose. And not being afraid of that changing. 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

So many projects! I’m currently drafting Fugitives, the fifth of Nel’s books (there will be a total of six) and outlining/drafting my next fantasy series. It takes place within my Blood of Titans world, but follows some new and side characters. 

I’m also working on a complicated, queer, gothic fantasy that might just be the darkest, sexiest, most raw thing I’ve written to date. Regardless, it’s a bit different from most of my other work and I’m enjoying stretching my creative muscles!

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About V. S. HOLMES

V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the BLOOD OF TITANS series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary’s Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015 and a Literary Titan Gold in 2020. Travelers is also included in the Peregrine Moon Lander mission as part of the Writers on the Moon Time Capsule. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.

As a disabled and non-binary human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds. When not writing, they work as a contract archaeologist throughout the northeastern U.S. They live in a Tiny House with their spouse, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and own too many books for such a small abode.

LINKS:

Site: www.vsholmes.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VS_Holmes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorvsholmes/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vs_holmes/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/vs-holmes

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/v-s-holmes

Drifters (Nel Bently #2) by V.S. Holmes Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Archeologist and adventurer Nel Bently faces a fight for survival after she is tied to a murder in author V.S. Holmes highly beloved sequel, “Drifters”, the second in the Nel Bently series. 

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The Synopsis

The only person on Earth she trusts … is in space

Archaeologist Nel Bently left Chile in the wake of murder, vandalism and UFO sightings. No sooner has the school semester started when cops are at her door. Accused of a murder she’s not certain is her fault, Nel has no choice but to go on the run. She starts a game of connect-the-dots across New England, following her gut and clues left by her elusive alien-benefactor-turned-almost-girlfriend.

Running from the law isn’t easy with her field pack and a handful of scorned exes to depend on. Between starvation, untraceable texts, and a harrowing journey through the wilderness, Nel is forced to question everything about the science she loves and the people she trusted.

Second book in the thrilling archaeological science fiction series: The Nel Bently Books.

Don’t miss more of the Nel Universe in “Disciples” from the Beamed Up anthology! 

The Review

A fantastic elevation of the first book, this sequel really delves into Nel as a hero as she must fight for her very survival. Still reeling from the loss of a beloved friend and uncertain whom she can truly trust, Nel is thrust into a situation that forces her to quickly learn to trust and lean on others. 

Leaving behind some of the more detailed looks into archeology in this novel and instead of adopting a more X-Files style of storytelling, the author does a great job of building suspense and character growth into this narrative. The action of course jumps off right from the beginning chapters, and readers are given a more personal glimpse into Nel’s mindset and character growth in this sequel. The dialogue between Nel and a figure from her past as she fights for survival becomes some of the more intimate but engaging moments in the narrative, framing the events of the previous novel and the narrative moving forward in a much deeper and more connected light than ever before. 

The Verdict

A memorable, thrilling, and heart-pounding read, author V.S. Holmes’s “Drifters” is a must-read sci-fi adventure. The exploration of Nel’s character and how she deals with the pressures set before her make for an interesting character study, while the twists and turns lead readers to an exciting finale that sets up the next adventure in the series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this explosive sequel today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the REFORGED series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary’s Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.

When not writing, they work as a contract archaeologist throughout the northeastern U.S. They live in a Tiny House with their spouse, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and own too many books for such a small abode. As a disabled and queer human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds.

https://vsholmes.com/index.html

Travelers (Nel Bently #1) by V.S. Holmes Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young archeologist must contend with angry militants in Chile, a dangerous benefactor to her dig and a growing mystery that could define her career and change history as we know it in author V.S. Holmes’ “Travelers”, the first in the Nel Bently series.

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The Synopsis

No One Fights Dirtier Than an Archaeologist

Archaeologist Nel Bently has her own crew, her own research, and a private patron to fund her passion for dirt. With her trowel barely into the dry earth of Chile’s coast, however, Nel learns she and her crew are being watched.

Los Pobladores, known to Nel only as vandals and looters, take issue with any archaeologist brave or stubborn enough to set boots on their land. Nel is both and far from willing to give up the site that will make her career. She must keep her crew, her friends, and her life’s work safe, but with a benefactor playing chess with their lives, and angry militants who may actually have a point, Nel is ready to fight dirty.

X-FILES meets LARA CROFT in this snarky sci-fi about where we came from, and where we’re going

The Review

A fantastic, short yet powerful sci-fi adventure, Travelers was an amazing start to this series. The author has crafted a beautiful tapestry of archeology and history, science-fiction drama and LGBTQ+ driven characters, and did so in a way that felt cohesive and engaging all at once. 

The story and characters did a great job of drawing the reader in immediately, from Nel’s relationship early on with her archeology friend Mikey to Nel’s journey as the site’s discoveries lead to some shocking twists and turns. What really stands out was the author’s way of incorporating real archeology techniques and methodology into the narrative, giving both the characters and their work within the novel a more realistic approach. 

Another thing that really was great to see was a strong, female-driven narrative and protagonist as well as a powerful LGBTQ+ sci-fi hero. Nel’s hold-no-bars approach to the challenges in this novel made her a true standout, and the emotional highs and lows she underwent helped to showcase just how much her character grew overall throughout the narrative, making this one of the more engaging sci-fi series with a LGBTQ+ protagonist. 

The Verdict

A memorable, entertaining and investing read, author V.S. Holmes’ “Travelers” is a must-read start to an incredible sci-fi saga. With emotional and action-packed twists and turns and an ending that leaves open some great story possibilities for future books, the author has crafted a masterful narrative and memorable characters that many readers will be able to identify with. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the REFORGED series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary’s Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.

When not writing, they work as a contract archaeologist throughout the northeastern U.S. They live in a Tiny House with their spouse, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and own too many books for such a small abode. As a disabled and queer human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds.

https://vsholmes.com/index.html