Hard as Roxx by Bill Jones, Jr. on the Independent Author Index
Book Bio: Hard as Roxx by Bill Jones, Jr.
Book title: Hard as Roxx
Book rating: PG-13 (questionable content for children under 13)
Book contains: Sexual violence against women/children/men
Independent Author Index (IAI): What is your book about?
Bill Jones, Jr. (BJJ): In a world that is a distorted hybrid of rigid control and absolute lawlessness, Roxanne Grail broke a cardinal rule: she got pregnant, for the second time. Now, she and her two daughters need to make it across the Sahara to the frozen European north, and freedom. There are just two problems: one, she doesn’t have a way to get there, and two, the One Child Law doesn’t have a statute of limitations. The penalty for a second birth is death – to the mother and to the child.
And her youngest daughter’s father? Well, he just happens to be a war hero and emerging leader of a shaky burgeoning democracy. An illegal child – especially the result of a rape – wouldn’t be good for his career. He means to see that no one ever finds out.
Meet Roxx, a 6’3″ martial arts instructor with a penchant for twentieth-century tech, including her 1940 Indian motorcycle. The Law says she must surrender her child, or die. Roxx never studied law. So, it is Roxx, her two daughters, and new partner, Trint, against the world.
Those odds suit Roxx just fine.
IAI: How did you pick the topic for Hard as Roxx?
BJJ: I actually got the idea for Roxx from looking at a music video, of all places (“Do It Like a Dude,” by Jessie J). The video depicted a kind of dystopian setting, dominated by women. It made me wonder what a Sci-Fi adventure would be like with a strong female as a lead, and with a woman-centered core theme. I did some research on women’s fears, and what kept coming up as the strongest fear was something happening to one of their children. After that, the plot just seemed to flow.
IAI: How is Hard as Roxx different from other books that cover the same or similar information?
BJJ: Probably a fundamental difference between “Roxx” and other dystopian fiction is the concept of hope. I’ve created a post-apocalyptic world, and one fraught with problems. Roxx and her daughters are in great peril, but in every instance, there is a glimmer of hopefulness that they carry. I’m convinced that people don’t crumble when society does; that’s when they begin to shine.
The other difference is that I was determined to create a different kind of heroic female lead. I wanted her strong, but not the leather-clad video-game heroine that seems to pervade sci-fi movies. Roxx is tough, but feminine. Her partner, Trint, is a lesbian, and prefers men’s clothing to women’s, but she’s tender and nurturing. At the end, Roxx is a character study – just one with tons of action.
IAI: What do you like most about writing this book?
BJJ: I enjoyed the world building tremendously. The book begins in the year 2137, and I actually created a timeline of technical and societal changes that happen year-by-year from 2013 until then. Most of the details don’t appear in the book, but I think it made my future world believable. An early reader characterized it as “just west of normal.”
Other than that, I loved the growing friendship between Roxx and Trint. It was fun enough that I scrapped the male romance interest I’d initially planned.