“At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….
Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.
When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.
Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.
But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?
Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.”
- She’s working in a new Manuscript other than the Zodiac Series! She’s writing it for like 10 years and hopefully it will come next! I can’t wait!
- Advice for starting a Science Fiction project: I recommend building your universe first, before populating it. Alan Watts once said “We’re not born into this world, we’re born from it. I think we need to understand our world to understand its characters.”
#ZODIAC has 34 inhabited planets, so I don’t like playing favorites! But I will say that Centaurion of #HouseSagittarius rocks! And I hate it that I didn’t have the chance to ask WHY?!
- “I like a busy environment for writing, so while sometimes music works, often I actually need the TV on! LOL” -@RominaRussell
- Q: What do you love in building the world of Zodiac?
“One of my favorite parts of writing is dreaming up new worlds–I love every part of it! From determining the scientific properties of a planet, to deciding who its people are, what its technology is like, who governs them, what they believe, what they’d fight for, how they use language, what they value, and so on! (Sorry for geeking out…!!!)”
- Q: What was your favorite part about writing a sequel?
“I loved writing the sequel–much more than writing the first book! It felt like visiting a place I love + checking in w/ friends!”
I am already anticipating Wandering Star right now, I hate you and I love you at the same time! Release the book like, right now! I’m dying to read it!
“It’s one of our greatest human flaws: arrogance. We look up and dare to assume we know, when the universe is unknowable.” – Hysan
- Q: How many books are you intending to write for
#Zodiac? I’m actually expecting it to be 12 or 13 books. ❤
“I think I could write any number of books set in the
#ZODIAC galaxy, but at the moment I’ve been contracted for just 3! ;)”
Why just three?!!!!! WHYYY?!
- Q: Is there a character you do not like writing?
“There is no character I don’t like writing–whenever I get bored w/them, I can just kill them off! (JK!!! Kinda…)”
- Q: Both of your book covers are beautiful! Did you have any input when it came to cover design?
“I LOVE MY COVERS!!! The designer, Vanessa Han, is a goddess! I didn’t give input on
#ZODIAC‘s cover–b/c it’s perfect! But I did give input on an earlier draft of #WanderingStar‘s cover, and it was super cool to be part of that process!”
Yes, Both covers are freaking gorgeous!
“It’s hard being pushed into a role that defines you before you’ve had a chance to define yourself.” -Hysan
- Q: What does a typical writing day look like?
“My writing day starts w/me waking up at 5:30 am (sans alarm clock); it progresses w/me jumping on Twitter, Insta, FB then I spend the rest of the morning trying to decipher the notes I scribbled to myself, half-asleep, the night before my word count varies dramatically day to day, and it gradually peters out, until I get a second wind at nighttime!”
- Q: What was the hardest part in writing Zodiac?
“The hardest part of writing
#ZODIAC was resisting the urge to write a perfect protagonist. I knew I would be just as hated as Rho was by the Plenum for certain decisions that Rho makes! But I had to be OK w/ letting her be REAL. Like Rho, I had to trust myself!”
- Q: Was writing something you always loved doing?
“I fell in love with words when I was 9 years old, + I have yet to discover anything in the world that I love more.”
- Q: Would you like to write about other genre like new adult?
“YES, I would absolutely like to write a new adult novel! I think my 1st ms–which I wrote in college–is NA, and I’d love to return to it one day!”
My friends who like New Adult will love that New Adult book of yours! Published it already!
- Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
“In working on Z, I was surprised to learn that characters I created could surprise me.”
- Q: Why did you choose a female protagonist and not a male protagonist?
“I chose to write a female protagonist b/c I think women often have a harder time making our voices heard than men.”
- Romina doesn’t read while she write. She can watch TV or movies, but she won’t read until she’s done.
- Three words to describe Wandering Star: Introspective, Adventurous, and Heartbreaking.
- Q: What advice do you have for
#NaNoWriMo participants who are going through self-doubts as writers?
“If you’re doubting yourself as a writer, I’ll tell you what a CP of mine told me when I was ready to walk away
She said, “If I could guarantee you’ll be published one day, what would you be doing now?” I said, “writing.”
For those who haven’t read #Zodiac…
- Q: I haven’t read your books [YET], but what can I expect going into them?
“If you pick up #ZODIAC, you’re in for a road trip through Space, a Big Bad who’s untouchable (literally) and teen characters who have to learn to silence the voices of the adults around them in order to trust their own.”
(Photo Courtesy: Google)
“Orphaned, disgraced, and stripped of her title, Rho is ready to live life quietly, as an aid worker in the Cancrian refugee camp on House Capricorn.
But news has spread that the Marad–an unbalanced terrorist group determined to overturn harmony in the Galaxy–could strike any House at any moment.
Then, unwelcome nightmare that he is, Ochus appears to Rho, bearing a cryptic message that leaves her with no choice but to fight.
Now Rho must embark on a high-stakes journey through an all-new set of Houses, where she discovers that there’s much more to her Galaxy–and to herself–than she could have ever imagined.”
(Photo Courtesy: Google)
ABOUT ROMINA RUSSELL
“Romina Russell is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on the ZODIAC series, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a Virgo to the core.”