The Author’s Show told me that this would be all about me and whatever I wanted. One thousand words are too many about me and too few about writing but here it goes. I love writing. I simply do. I don’t feel healthy if I’m not writing. It’s a love developed in adulthood. Why it didn’t come earlier, I’m not sure. All things do seem to come in their own time and season.
One day, after putting down an unsatisfying book, I thought, “Maybe I could do better.” A vision came to me of a long red spaceship, a dangerous shape, gliding over a dead world. The image intrigued me and I began to think about that ship and why it was there. What had killed the darkened world below it?
Questions are the genesis of a good story and I started asking them. My own creative process is one of spontaneity. I didn’t feel the need to start at the beginning and write through to the end. Instead, my process is similar to that of a person assembling a puzzle. I wrote whatever part of the story excited me and then moved to another section that interested me, but even the empty spaces between had shapes that told me what needed to be there.
I decided to tell the story of as ordinary a man as could plausibly do the things he needed to do in what was to come. So was born Robert Fenaday, wealthy, somewhat spoiled son of a merchant family. He would have money and know ships, but like most of us, his adventures would be the tamer ones of boardrooms and corporations.
Until, that is, the first major space war of his universe broke out. Until he met and fell in love
with a young naval officer who captained her own scoutship and until that woman, now his wife, failed to return from a mission. This loss would drive him to sell the family line to buy a private
warship and enter the hellish life of a privateer in a desperate bid to search the stars for Lisa Fenaday and her ship the Blackbird.
Used to privilege, wealth and acceptance, Fenaday now learns of want, and the perils of the law and governments to those that no longer share their agenda. His family opposes the
sale, and the squandering of their wealth in something as futile as a search for
a lost ship. “When a ship fails to come back from space, no one comes back.”
But Robert will not accept that God, or the Universe, can so casually
dispose of someone as important to him as Lisa. Hopeless or not, he will search and he
will go over, around, or through, all who oppose him.
But a life in boardrooms has not prepared Fenaday for the world of violence and treachery that he moves into. He buys a captured alien starship, refurbishes it and sets out. His
quest is so hazardous that the chances for his success or even survival are
Again, a question, how does my everyman, survive? Answer, he has help of the most formidable kind. It comes in a lethal and beautiful form, the 6 foot 9 inch Shasti Rainhell, a genetically engineered woman from a hidden colony, fleeing her own demons.
Now I had the pair who would fight, suffer and grow in the adventure to come, they would journey on that red ship, to the dead world and face what had killed it in “Was Once a Hero.”
This duo had a lot to say and to do and so followed Fearful Symmetry, and Points of Departure. Shasti, originally merely a device to keep Robert alive while he hardened into a man capable of doing and surviving, became much more. She had her own story to tell and would not be denied.
Robert’s quest would continue and all hell would break loose.
Now I got lucky. Through my short fiction, the Lair of the Lesbian Love Goddess noir SF detective
stories, I met Dawn Binkley of Hellfire Publishing. We hit it off and a contract followed. Was Once a Hero came out January 2012, Fearful Symmetry followed and Point of Departure will come out in late 2013 to be followed in 2014 by the first Shasti Rainhell standalone book, "Hidden Stars"
My dream began to take shape. People would have chance to meet and read the adventures of the people who have appeared in mind. Note that I do not say I created them. I feel like they have their own place somewhere, and I’m admitted there to reveal their stories. Sometimes
when the words are flying through my fingertips, I’m actually seeing them first on the screen. So, in a way, I am reading them like anyone else.
There are even times they do things that I do not anticipate. In the series I’m writing now, set in
the same universe, decades later, I write of another young man, who fought a losing battle with cowardice and fled his homeworld. He spirals down in despair, living on the edge of a spaceport, eking out a living with a small spaceship and prey to the local crime lord. But his fortunes change when he meets and rescues an ancient alien android, marooned millennia ago on an asteroid base. The android is named Maauro, and she adopts the appearance of a human
female, kinda. The redemptive friendship between them, as they struggle to remain free of governments and the Thieves Guild, is the theme of this series. I did not plan for their relationship
to become a love story. Maauro had other plans. I’m glad I listened to her, not that I really had a choice.
Like all writers I try to apply my experience of the world to my writing. While I have not flown in space or gone to war, I’ve jumped from planes, earned a black belt, learned to dance, loved and lost, loved and won. I’m grateful for all of it.