From mail order brides to criminals to reality shows, the inspiration behind the Alien Mate series

How can you not laugh at the idea of women becoming mail order brides to aliens?

The trope itself is preposterous and silly, so in writing Alien Mate, I made it out to be light and humorous. Why would a woman want to become an alien’s bride? What’s in it for her?

In the first book, I was inspired by Australia, which was colonized when England shipped off its criminals. In Alien Mate, Earth gets rid of its female felons by sending them to become the mates of aliens in exchange for “illuvian” ore, a needed source of energy.

I won’t spoil the end of Alien Mate, but by book two, I needed a different reason to send a new heroine to become an alien’s mate, so I drew inspiration from my enjoyment of reality TV shows.

I thought, what if  the heroine was a reality-TV star and married an alien as a publicity stunt? That became the premise of Alien Attraction, book two of Alien Mate series.

Sunny Weathers, star of Sunny Weathers’ Excellent Adventures, is forced by her producers to go to Dakon as a gimmick for her show. The heroine’s name is a lark–Sunny Weathers is sent to planet caught in an ice age. Sunny’s show was inspired by The Simple Life, a short-lived reality show starting Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, two socialites who went into the “real world” and got ordinary jobs.

I started watching reality shows when Survivor first aired in the summer of 2000, and was a diehard, never-miss-an-episode fan until this past year when I finally got tired of it. Over the years, I’ve watched dozens and dozens of reality shows, some for years, others for only a season or an episode or two. I am a major Real Housewives fan, and particularly love Orange County and Beverly Hills, because I grew up in Southern California.

I think what I like about reality shows the most is the voyeurism–getting a sneak peak into other people’s lives. However, reality shows aren’t all that “real.” They are contrived (a point that comes up in Alien Attraction). Because so many of them do deal with dating, relationships, and interpersonal dynamics, they’re good research for writing romance.

Here’s a sampling of some other shows I watch or have watched in the past: Amazing Race, The Bachelor , Naked and Afraid, The Mole, Millionaire Matchmaker, Million Dollar Listing (NY, LA), Sister Wives, Married at First Sight, Newlyweds the First Year, Born This Way, Hunted, Flipping Out, Project Runway, Stripped, Big Brother, The Biggest Loser, The Apprentice. The Simple Life. Those are just the ones I can remember!

I  seeded Alien Attraction with some “Easter eggs” from popular shows. I borrowed cast member names (meshing different first and last names together) for my secondary characters and used catch phrases fans will recognize.

Think of Alien Attraction as The Bachelor meets Survivor! But because it’s science fiction romance, there’s a futuristic twist.

Alien Attraction (Alien Mate 2)

Alien Attraction will be released May 15, and is available for preorder now.

How insane is it to marry an alien as a publicity stunt?

I’m Sunny Weathers. You probably recognize me from my reality show, Sunny Weathers’ Excellent Adventures. I’ve had to perform a lot of crazy stunts in my career, but this one takes the cake! The producers are sending me to another planet to become an alien’s mail order bride. I’m not allowed to tell anybody it’s a put-on, and as soon my contract is up, I’ll be leaving planet Dakon. Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on my attraction to Mr. Tall, “Darq,” and Handsome…

I’m Darq. The moment I laid eyes on the female with pretty mud-colored hair and a sunny smile, I knew she was mine. Competition for females is fierce, and I was determined to claim a mate from the latest shipment from Earth, so I broke the rules. If anyone finds out, my own brother would banish me to the icy wilderness, and I’d lose my mate. I will do anything to keep her…

Reserve your copy! Preorder on Amazon for a May 15 release.

Amazon US | UK | CA | AU

Preorder on other sites coming soon!

Alien Mate (Alien Mate 1)

Book 1, Alien Mate, is available from your favorite vendor.

I’m Starr Elizabeth Conner. Earth’s government falsely convicted me of a crime, packed me on a ship with other female felons, and sent us to Dakon, a primitive, frozen wasteland of a planet. Why? Earth needs minerals, and Dakon is desperate for females.

But I’m no barbarian’s ‘mail order bride,’ even if he is super tall, muscular, and the chief of his tribe. He doesn’t want a BBW blonde, either–it’s written all over his chiseled face. He’ll be truly angry if he ever learns what my ‘crime’ was.

I am Torg. I have waited 34 rotations for a mate of my own. With this shipment, I was sure to get a fine, sturdy mate who’ll bear me many daughters. Instead, I receive a small, curvy, pale-haired female who looks at me with anger and fear.

It is only when we ‘kiss’ that I believe things may work out between us. But I’m hearing rumors that Starr and her shipmates are law-breakers. To survive, Dakonians must obey all laws … or be exiled into the frozen wasteland. Just when I have found her, will I have to send my mate to die?

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2 Responses to From mail order brides to criminals to reality shows, the inspiration behind the Alien Mate series

  1. ML says:

    Too bad you didn’t catch Love in the Wild! It’s on of the few shows that actually resulted in long-lasting couples (in only two seasons!).

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