Introducing: Fonda Lee

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089I’m Fonda Lee, the author of ZEROBOXER, an upper YA science fiction novel being published by Flux in April 2015.

Here are some things that fascinate me, in no particular order: space exploration and planetary colonization, mixed martial arts, the pervasiveness of celebrity marketing, genetic engineering, and sports stories. Basically, my brain took all these things, centrifuged them together, and spat out ZEROBOXER. It’s about a young man battling to make it to the top in the world of zero gravity prizefighting, amid brewing interplanetary conflict between Earth and Mars. You can read more about it here.

Science fiction and fantasy have been my narrative drugs of choice since as far back as I can recall. My dad tells me he used to rock me to sleep in a battered old armchair while watching re-runs of Star Trek. My infant brain must have bathed in the shiny glow of speculative fiction because as a child I devoured fantasy and sci-fi novels, followed Star Trek: TNG with fervor, and wrote my first novel (about a dragon on a quest) on lined paper while riding the school bus in fifth grade.

I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I ended up pursuing my second (more practical and lucrative) career choice: corporate strategist. I majored in finance, earned an MBA, worked in management consulting and advised Fortune 500 companies. It was a pretty good gig. Then somewhere mid-step while running the hamster wheel of working full-time and raising children, I realized I’d never stopped wanting to be an author. The writing bug would hit me and I’d be stealing precious snippets of time at night to furtively draft stories.

I asked myself, “Could I die happy without having a book to my name?” My sober realization was that the answer was: NOPE. For years, there had been a little voice in my head whispering, “One day, I’m going to write a book.” Well, I sure as hell wasn’t getting younger. “One day” turned into “now.”

I got serious. I wrote a novel a year for three years; I began my third one, ZEROBOXER, in January of 2013. It landed me with my agent late in the summer and sold to Flux in December.

I live for stories that knead my brain while punching me in the face. In other words, for me the holy grail of entertainment is something as thought-provoking as it is pulse-pounding. I want hand-to-hand combat, shoot-outs, literal and figurative explosions, high stakes showdowns, and thrilling, impossible odds. I want tough choices, moral ambiguity, complex plots, nuanced characters, important issues and razor-sharp observations.

Give me these things and I’m putty in the storyteller’s hands. Some of my favorite movies and books: Minority Report, The Matrix, Inception, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game…you get the idea. These days, I try to do what all authors try to do: write the kinds of books I want to read. I hope you’ll come along with me for the ride.

FJLee HeadshotFonda Lee is an author and recovering corporate strategist who was born and raised in Calgary, Canada (land of hockey, rodeo, and oil reserves) and now lives with her family in Portland, Oregon (land of rain, hipsters, and Powell’s Books). When she is not writing she can be found training in kung fu or searching out tasty breakfasts. Her debut upper YA science fiction novel, ZEROBOXER, will be published by Flux in April 2015. You can find Fonda at www.fondalee.com and on Twitter @fondajlee.
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