I want to thank Mark Bordner for inviting me to this Blog Tour/Hop. Mark is the author of the Might First series. We both share an interest in military science fiction.
1) What am I working on?
I am currently working on three projects. First, I am working on getting a draft from the third book in the Dreamscape Warriors Novels. The title of this book is the Gift of Peace. It takes place after twelve years after Promise of Mercy, which currently going to the publisher. It involves Liam and Celinia’s son, Aidan. He has helped his sisters on an unofficial raid on a Rebel installation. His sisters get the complete schematics of an ancient alien warship. A copy of this information is entrusted to Aidan to deliver to the Finnian Intelligence Service. He plans to drop it off on the way to a neutral world with his Great Aunt, Colonel Máire O’Connor and his twelve year old sister, Tetia. However, an old enemy wants that data back. I am currently writing a book that falls between Price of Vengeance and Promise of Mercy, entitled Legacy of Valor. It tells the story of one of the deployments Liam went on when Etrusci still fielded an expeditionary force to fight against the Rebellion. I am also working on another novel in the series that takes place six hundred years prior, called Mark of Courage. It tells the story of Liam’s illustrious ancestor, Aisling O’Connor, when she lead the Finnian in revolt against their creators.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?As far as I can tell, I am the only one who writes Paranormal, Military Science Fiction. The first science fiction author I truly became a fan of was the late Andre Norton. She wrote books such as the Witch World series, the Solar Queen series, and the Forerunner series. I especially enjoyed her Forerunner series, which deals with an ancient civilization that became extinct long before humanity lifted off. Many of her science fiction novels dealt with what we call, paranormal powers or ESP. People could receive impressions from ancient artifacts or communicate telepathically. Later I became a fan of military science fiction. I’ve recently read Philip Richards Union series, and of course Mark Bordner’s Mighty First Episode 1. I am also a huge fan of the Halo universe of video games on the XBox.
In the Dreamscape Warrior novels, I decided to combine these two favorites of mine. Liam and his children have telepathic and empathic abilities that allow them to seemingly move very quickly, communicate over vast distances, or even go some place while leaving their bodies behind. I realized that all these things would be of great value in a military setting. However, people on the other side had to be able to use these abilities as well, or there would be no point in writing the story. You also have to add in limiting factors.
3) Why do I write what I do?I started writing Price of Vengeance in earnest after I graduated with my PhD and no jobs in archaeology were forth coming. I had the original idea when I was doing my master’s degree in Ireland: a young warrior trapped out side a city when monsters attack. I envisioned him not being native to the city and a group of people wouldn’t like him. This group was also ambitious and decided to betray their people for power. I also had the idea that a woman of some power would become his love interest. I went to Buffalo, NY in 2004 to start working and preparing to go to graduate school. I was staying with a colleague when I fist wrote down the initial outlines. Once graduate school started, I put the story aside to focus on a career. I eventually defended my dissertation and graduated with a PhD in Anthropology (archaeology focus) in 2010. In 2008 the economy had tanked, and things hadn’t gotten any better by the time I graduated. I spent a good while sending out my CV to various institutions.
I finally picked the story up again and began creating a more extensive outline and writing scenes. As I went along, the political discussion became more heated. That is where I got the idea to place Price of Vengeance against the backdrop of an interstellar civil war. In many respects, it is a warning to contemporary society. Regardless of political orientation, people have to learn to put their arguments in perspective. The consequences of not doing this are that people will lose faith in the political process. Words will be replace by weapons, and people will turn on each other. It happened once in the 1860s. We shouldn’t think it can’t happen again.
4) How does your writing process work?I write plotted stories following the three act model. I begin with an idea. This gets written down in a one sentence statement. For instance “Warrior must save city from monsters.” After that I pick out the three principle key scenes: the first crisis, the midpoint, and the final crisis. Then I create more key scenes in groups of three. Three that lead up to the first crisis, three that lead up to the midpoint, three that lead up to the final crisis, and three scenes for the resolution. All during this process I am writing test scenes and key scenes to help me when I finally create my Scene Outline. This is where I outline all the scenes I plan to use in the book. Some of these scenes will be removed and new ones added, but it gives me an idea of what I want the book to look like. Once that is done, it’s a mater of writing the scenes. This process means I don’t have to write chronologically. The scenes can be written in any order. After the draft is done, edit, edit, edit. Then you edit some more. After it’s submitted to a publisher, it will go to there editor. The editing process is important. Many people lose patience with a book with lots of typos and grammatical errors.
My invitee to this blog tour/hop is Aoife Marie Sheridan, author of the Saskia Trilogy. Saskia is a world that parallels ours and is about a young woman named Sarajane. Her first two books of the series or Eden Forest and City of Secrets, with The Rise of the Queen coming soon. She has other novels in the works and we can expect Hunters soon. She also runs Saski Book Tours. Check out her author page at http://www.aoifemariesheridan.com/.