I don’t like labels. Every time someone asks me what genre my stories are, it’s difficult to me to give an answer. Actually it depends on the book and sometimes different genres can be detected in the same book.
“Red Desert” is between hard science fiction and technothriller. Some readers say it’s Crichton style, though in my stories there’s a lot more character’s introspection than in his. There’s a lot of real science, of course, and a lot of invented science, too. But there’s also suspense, a mystery to discover, murders, a lot of action, adventure, and even romance. The main character Anna Persson is a woman and is an anti-heroine, a very flawed character.
Anyway if the question is whether I am science fiction, my answer is ‘not exactly’. I’m also a science fiction author, but I mostly consider myself a thriller author, because in whatever I write there’s a thriller soul. There’s something hidden to the reader, which they never expect. Things are never as they seem. There are a lot of twists. This is the typical stuff you can see in thrillers, but I put them in different contexts, including science fiction ones.
Beside “Red Desert” and that first novel inspired by The Mummy, which was an action-fantasy story, with a lot of thrilling in it (!), I also wrote a crime thriller, “Il mentore” (it’ll be published soon in English with the title of “The Mentor”) and an action thriller that will be published in Italian in May.
It seems I’m not able to write two stories in exactly the same genre. Another novel I’ve recently published in Italian (“L’isola di Gaia”; one day it’ll be published in English as “The Isle of Gaia”), though it’s science fiction and in the same universe of “Red Desert”, it’s in a different subgenre of science fiction, i.e. cyberpunk, but again it’s definitely a technothriller. The story itself has nothing to do with Crichton style I was mentioning earlier; it is more similar to Dick style.
And now I’m about to start writing a space opera, but again with a thriller twist.
Anyway I must say that I particularly enjoy writing in a science fiction context. Beside the fact I’m a space exploration enthusiast, which would be enough a justification for my enjoyment, speculation fiction in general gives me the power to create a world with my rules, where characters move. This gives me a lot of freedom and let my fantasy go wild.
So, to answer to the question on the title: I’m a thriller author enamoured of science fiction settings. That doesn’t mean it’ll be like that forever.