Episode 330: World Building in a Space Opera — Interview with Essa Hansen

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing the author, swordswoman, and falconer, Essa Hansen. Essa is a sound designer for sci-fi and fantasy films at Skywalker Sound, with credits in movies such as Doctor Strange and Avengers: Endgame

Today we’ll be discussing her debut novel, Nophek Gloss.

In this episode Essa and I discuss:

  • What Essa does to develop her story’s language using etymology and words with multiple meanings.
  • Why lead characters like Caiden need agency in their own story.
  • How her experiences as a sound designer helped her create an audibly visceral world, and think outside the box creatively.

Plus, her #1 tip for writers.

About the Author

Essa Hansen is an author, swordswoman, and falconer. She is a sound designer for science fiction and fantasy films at Skywalker Sound, with credits in movies such as Doctor Strange and Avengers: Endgame.

To learn more about Essa visit her website and follow her on Twitter


When a young man’s planet is destroyed, he sets out on a single-minded quest for revenge across the galaxy in Nophek Gloss, the first book in this epic space opera trilogy by debut author Essa Hansen, for fans of Star Wars and Children of Time.

Caiden’s planet is destroyed. His family gone. And, his only hope for survival is a crew of misfit aliens and a mysterious ship that seems to have a soul and a universe of its own. Together they will show him that the universe is much bigger, much more advanced, and much more mysterious than Caiden had ever imagined. But the universe hides dangers as well, and soon Caiden has his own plans. 

He vows to do anything it takes to get revenge on the slavers who murdered his people and took away his home. To destroy their regime, he must infiltrate and dismantle them from the inside, or die trying.

If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 330

(Right-click to download.)

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