D.L. Cross Talks Aliens and Alternate Identities

Can you believe we are already over two weeks into August? Summer is speeding by on a rocket ship.

Speaking of rocket ships—and by default space travel—it isn’t a stretch to make the jump to aliens. Today, my guest, Straci Troilo, is serving up two crazy good books, written under her pen name, D. L. Cross. How do I know they’re crazy good? Because I’ve read them both and gave them resounding 5-star reviews!

Staci is a good friend, a talented author, an editor, and a colleague at Story Empire. If, by some impossible hiccup in the universe, you’re not already following her blog, I encourage you to visit her corner of the blogosphere and hop along for the ride.

And now, that I’ve jabbered enough, here’s Staci to tell you about her latest CRAZY GOOD books! 😀

Hi, Mae. As always, I appreciate the warm welcome. And everyone else, hello! Thanks for giving me a few minutes of your time to talk about the Invasion Universe.

If you know me and my early body of work, you know me as Staci Troilo, author of suspense fiction mashed up with romance, paranormal, legal, medical, and/or family drama. I can’t help adding anxiety-ridden situations to the works I write, regardless of the genre.

Which brings me to my latest endeavors. I’m now writing sci-fi.

Splash graphic foe The Gate, a science-fiction novel by D. L. Cross

When I made the jump to science fiction, my publishers insisted on a pen name. (They’re much more conscious of the “also-boughts” on Amazon than I am.) I used to resist writing with different pen names for different genres because I write in so many of them and didn’t want to manage several identities. Turns out, it’s not that difficult. And (if their theories are correct), it’s probably beneficial. At least on some level.

But what I found surprising is my work didn’t change. I’m still writing suspense. Only now, instead of megalomaniacs or serial killers stalking my heroes, aliens are. Actually, that’s not entirely true, either. Sometimes the villains are aliens. Other times, they’re still humans with nefarious agendas.

I have to tell you, I don’t read much sci-fi. But I love it on screen (small or big). Especially space-oriented shows and films. TV series like Lost in Space, Star Trek (original and TNG), Stargate (SG-1 and Atlantis), Roswell… I get lost in them every time they’re on. And movies? I’m hooked. All the Star Wars episodes (even the bad ones), Star Trek (yep, it’s on both lists), Stargate (yes, it made both lists, too), Independence Day, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Avatar, even Mars Attacks (there’s nothing wrong with humor—even ridiculous humor). The lists are endless. I watch as many as I can. And I love most of them.

Splash graphic for The Scout: Dark Crossings, a science-fiction novella by D. L. Cross

The cinematography is usually engaging; the world-building enthralling. But what really draws me in is the characters. Regular people fighting larger-than-life enemies against impossible odds. Who wouldn’t want to watch that?

Who wouldn’t want to read it?

That’s why I made the switch to science fiction—because the genre is wonderous. I was still able to tell my kind of stories with my kind of characters. But now, I get to do it in an alien-rich world.

If you read my Astral Conspiracy series, you’ll find aliens—beings with all kinds of advanced tech and inhuman abilities. You’ll also find a lot of history. I have to admit, Ancient Aliens is a guilty pleasure of mine. Not because I believe their theories, but because of all the amazing places the show’s hosts go and the lore they uncover. I know, it’s weird to think of ancient history melding with futuristic science, but I did it. And early reviews suggest the combination is working.

I hope it is. And I hope you agree. If you give it a try, please leave a review and let me know what you think.

If you like the Twilight Zone, you might enjoy The Scout, my Astral Conspiracy prequel story.

And if you like ancient astronaut theories, you may like The Gate, the first novel of my quintet.

Book cover for The Gate, a science-fiction novel by D. L. CrossBlurb:

He lost his job. Lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs – he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.

Until an alien armada targets Earth.

Now Landon’s in high demand – by the US government and someone far more sinister.

They race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on Earth that might give humans an advantage over the aliens. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.

And not everyone will make it out alive.

Universal Purchase Link | More Information | Invasion Universe Newsletter

Book cover for The Scout, a science-fiction novel by D. L. CrossBlurb:

The aliens have landed. The humans are panicking. The scouts have been sent.

J’s mission is clear — find an alien outpost, observe, report back. Simple enough. It’s what he’s trained to do. But he’s always worked with his team, never as a party of one. Now he’s been sent out alone to blindly navigate a dense, dark forest until he finds his target. The dynamics are foreign to him, the stakes never higher. He’s completely isolated. Resources are scarce. Comms are down.

And he’s found the enemy.

It’s imperative he’s not caught, but clandestine spying doesn’t yield enough intel. J needs an ally, someone on the inside of the camp who can feed him information. And he finds one. But he gets more than he bargained for with Aria.

Their relationship grows complicated. Her people get defensive. His superior becomes suspicious. He doesn’t know who to trust. His loyalty’s divided, and pressure’s mounting from all sides.

J is shocked when everyone’s true allegiances are revealed. And the consequences of betrayal will be deadly.

Universal Purchase Link | More Information

D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. D.L. Cross also writes other genre fiction under the name Staci Troilo, and you can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website: https://stacitroilo.com.

Other Links:

Staci’s Amazon Page | Staci’s BookBub Page | D.L.’s Amazon Page | D.L.’s BookBub Page

I loved so many of the television shows Staci mentioned in her post, plus many others. I remember reading my first science-fiction novel in the fourth grade and being immediately smitten. As someone who’s loved science-fiction from a young age, it’s been a pleasure to discover a new universe populated by remarkable characters and riveting story lines. As I said in my review of The Scout, “You can’t go wrong with anything from the pen of D.L. Cross!” Still not sure?

Check out my review of The Gate, too, then go forth and one-click these wonderful titles! 🙂

105 thoughts on “D.L. Cross Talks Aliens and Alternate Identities

  1. I loved both D. L. Cross books, as well! Our scifi show/movies watching list sounds very similar (including Mars Attacks) and I agree it’s the characters pull you in. Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve read and enjoyed both these books and look forward to the next of the series. I’ve never been one to read or enjoy sci-fi, but these books made me change my mind. Like Staci, I’ve watched and enjoyed a lot of sci-fi shows and movies.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am in the process of reading this series, and so far, I have not been disappointed. Like Staci, I loved the robot and Dr, Smith in “Lost In Space,” they stole the show. I am looking forward to her next book in the series.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well, I’m embarrassed. I totally forgot this was happening today. I was thinking September and totally dropped the ball.

    As usual, your introduction brought a smile to my face and my heart. Thank you for the kind words, the generous support, and your infinite patience with me. ❤ (Now I'm off to write my post about this. I can't believe I messed this up. So, so sorry!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • You didn’t mess it up, I did. It wasn’t September, but it was supposed to go live tomorrow. I never make double blog posts on the same day. I wanted you to have your very own spotlight, not share it with my post on book reviews.

      But I am so pleased to see everyone dropping in to support you. Your new venture as D.L. Cross is making waves! I can’t wait to see what your characters get up to in the second book!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not a big sci/fi fan, but I really enjoyed both of D.L. Cross’s books. The storylines pulled me in. Great introduction to your genre. And I still have the feeling that the poor alien in the glass cage is a good guy.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m slowly making my way through The Gate (Alexa is reading it to me) and really enjoying it. Sci-fi has always been one of my favorite genres. I also love the Star Wars movies, with The Phantom Menace ranked at the bottom (Jar Jar Binks).

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pingback: Well, this is embarrassing… – Staci Troilo

  8. Most excellent post, Ladies, and Staci, it made me feel SO much better to find out that even some of my IDOLS can forget important things. I’ve been blaming my lapses on my advanced age! At any rate, here’s something that my husband always says which might make you feel better: “It’s not how bad you fumble that counts. It’s how well you recover.” And you’ve recovered beautifully here.

    Add me to the list of those who’ve read both of these books, and I highly recommend them. I’m eagerly awaiting the next in the series. (BTW, I was a Star Trek fan, too, but not until TNG and Voyager. Couldn’t get into Spock and Kirk, but I adored Data and Seven of Nine. 😀 ) Sharing! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • “Idols” is a lot of pressure. But also means the world to me. Thank you. ❤

      I come from a football family, where fumbles are ALWAYS a bad thing. But recoveries are always good, so I'll embrace that. And I really appreciate you thinking I pulled that off.

      Your support for my series means the world to me. Thank you, Marcia.

      Oh, and while I did love the original Star Trek (although my favorites were Bones and Scotty) I did love TNG. Data was great, but I think I had a slight crush on Jonathan Frakes.

      Liked by 3 people

      • EVERYONE had a slight crush on Jonathan Frakes. (Even though now, he looks surprisingly like Orson Welles! 😯 ) But I do love a man with green skin and cat eyes, so Data was my pick. 😀 😀 😀

        And yes, fumbles are bad, but it’s that recovery that counts in the end. 😉 ❤

        Liked by 3 people

    • I’m at fault for the fumble, Marcia. the post was supposed to go live tomorrow but I screwed up when I set the date. Now Staci and I are both scrambling!

      When it came to Trek, I adored Spock and Data. Worf really grew on me and so did Picard. I think TNG is my favorite of the franchise, but Spock was always the one I liked best. Seven-of-Nine was an excellent character too, as was the doctor.

      And speaking of excellent–Staci’s books fit right into that mold. She has a lot of fans lined up, eager for more in this series!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. It was as if I was sitting down for a cup of coffee with Staci!! I have both books on my Kindle and look forward to indulging! Thanks for being such a welcoming hostess, Mae!!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I loved both these books and posted reviews on Goodreads and Bookbub (Amazon isn’t playing nice). I didn’t think I was much of a sci-fi reader, but your books are so much more than what I expected! Highly recommended!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. How lovely to see the level of love and admiration encompassed in this post. It’s snowing here at the moment, and a perfect time to introduce myself to Staci’s work. I adored those corny old Sci-Fi shows. And while Sci-Fi is not usually my reading genre of choice, these recommendations have altered my TBR list. I’m looking forward to taking that journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve got lots of love to give here; everyone’s been wonderful. I’ve received more than my fair share today, I think. And I’m honored that you’re altering your TBR list because of the kind things people have said. Thank you. And stay warm!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yay! Soooz, there is plenty of action and suspense to go around, too. Both books are awesome, but I suspect you will become enamored of The Gate. It moves at a blistering pace and there are several characters I know you’ll be enthralled with.

      We have a chill in the (summer) air today and I know it won’t be long until winter starts flirting at the edges. I can already feel the touch of fall. I hope you are snug and cozy indoors with the snow falling outside. It’s perfect reading weather, 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  12. The end of summer over there means the coming of warmer weather here. Yay!
    So lovely to see how supportive the WP community is of fellow writers. Good job, Mae.
    I don’t quite get why the publishing company wanted a pen-name for the sci-fi series… can anyone explain the benefits to a publishing company? I’d have thought they’d be happy with their established writer putting out more great books, regardless of the genre?

    Liked by 2 people

    • In our case (the publishing company), the reason is Amazon algorithms and also-boughts. If they published me as me (who formerly published a lot of romance), Amazon would show romance readers my sci-fi stuff. That’s not good for sales. The company wants Amazon to show sci-fi titles to readers who enjoy sci-fi stuff (so we’re in front of the right audience). Even one of the owners is using a pen name now.

      Another reason for pen names (though not applicable to me) is for anonymity. Some people want to protect their privacy. For various reasons. Anything from not wanting family to know they’re writing to hiding (from everyone they know) the fact that they write erotica. You certainly wouldn’t want to be a children’s author who published books like that, too, and have your racy titles showing up in also-boughts for kids. Or even having young fans search for you and finding that.

      You’re just starting out, so you can brand yourself however you like. And if there’s no reason for you to keep your identity private, you can self-publish as you without concern.

      As to why people choose publishers rather than self-publishing, there are a lot of reasons. In my case, I wanted help with the marketing. I still do it (very few authors, even the big names, can avoid promoting), but the company has a bigger audience and a bigger marketing machine behind them. They can get me “out there” better than I can myself. They tradeoff is I share the royalties. So it all depends on what you’re looking for.

      Hope that helps.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ahhhh, massively helps. I get why you’d need a pen name in your instance. I’ll go with my own name because I’ve always wanted to see my name on a book, but I do have some reservations about it… my day job is the manager of a retirement Village, and I haven’t told any of my residents I write… primarily because the type of stuff I write isn’t they type of stuff they read (dark fantasy). And if they hear I’ve published a book they’ll want to read it. Then I’ll get all the “why’d you write such a horrible story?” …… it’s just something I hope I don’t have to face… 😬

        Liked by 2 people

      • I can’t imagine anyone saying that to you, Jess. Or even thinking it. You are talented, creative, and your story isn’t a genre one would need to worry about. So don’t worry! (Says one always-worrying INFJ to another.)

        Liked by 1 person

    • It won’t be long before our weather reverses, Jess. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact Christmas happens for you in summer, LOL.

      And Staci wrote a great answer to your question. I’m currently considering branching into a different genre now and again and that will likely involve a pen name for me!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes, Christmas for us means sunburn, outdoor cricket, cold meats and salads or barbecue! But I would soooo love to do a white Christmas one year.

        Yes, Staci’s answer was great. I’m pretty sure I’ll publish under my name… for now 😁

        Liked by 2 people

      • We spent a Christmas in Florida a few years ago. It was interesting, being on a beach for the holiday. A novelty for us. Not sure I’d want to do that again, though. I’m not a fan of snow, but I love it two days a year—Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

        I bet Christmas carols annoy you, Jess. If I’m sweltering, I don’t want to hear about Jack Frost nipping at someone’s toes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not a fan of snow either, but I do enjoy it in December. I’d still like to try a “beach” Christmas sometime, just to see that the other side is like 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Friday Finds #writetips #humor #qotd – Staci Troilo

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