Many of you know me as the author of the Security Specialists International series, but I also write scifi romance. I’m currently working on the third and final book in the Prime Chronicles Trilogy, Prime Imperative.
I’d always meant my foray into writing science fiction romance to be a three-book deal. That was the story arc I had in mind, and nothing much has changed that concept since I first published Prime Obsession, the first book in the trilogy. Three Prime brothers. Three books.
There is a beauty in threes — and having a plan.
That said, I’ve put a lot of work into this world. A. Lot. Of. Work. A notebook with tabs amount of work. Hours and hours of research. So, while the SSI novels will have most of my attention once Prime Imperative is completed, I’ll never say never to a future novella or short in my Prime world. Another 90+K novel? — not in my head at the moment. I have too many alpha-males in the SSI world demanding an HEA. 🙂
Just a note: I’ll be teaching an on-line class on world building from both a macro and micro approach for the FF&P chapter of RWA. The class will include a world building exercise and I will share how I approach world building and how I keep it all organized. You do not have to be an RWA member to take the class. Would love to see any aspiring world-builders there!
FF&P World Building Class, April 7-13th
Thus, we come to the real topic of this blog: World Building–And a sneak preview of the cover for Prime Imperative and a chance to name a new species to the series.
All authors build worlds whether they are set in modern-day Idaho (and other familiar places) as my SSI books are or set far into the future in the Milky Way Galaxy as my Prime novels are. Every time an author creates a set of characters and puts them on the journey to achieve their goals (the plot), he or she begins to create a world for those characters to populate, to move their way through to achieve their goal.
Many times the world in which the novel is set can add external conflict for the characters on their journey (the sea and the storm in The Perfect Storm or Oz in the Wizard of Oz, for example). Some worlds become almost another character, e.g., Simon Green’s Nightside.
Worlds have macro and micro aspects. Macro can be a general time and place, such as Milky Way Galaxy in the far future. Micro can be more specific such as a fictitious solar system called Cejuru in which the Prime live on the home planet of Cejuru Prime and the time is as the Prime come out of isolation to join the Galactic Alliance.
My world building begins the same way my plotting and characterization begin – – from large to small.
This means on my first draft, I get the BIG picture down, then I go back and revise — many, many times — layering in the details of my world, giving it colors and smells and sounds and flavors, so the reader sees, smells, hears, and tastes the novel’s world.
Good world building and good story telling are symbiotic — they are mutually dependent on one another. Together, good world building and story telling pull the reader in and hold onto him or her until the words THE END. And if you’re very lucky, the reader is eager to return to the world again and again. When a fan e-mails me and tells me they had just read Prime Obsession and Prime Selection and can’t wait for the next book, then as an author I have done my job– and this makes me extremely happy and proud.
And now back to the Prime Chronicles part of the blog.
Yes, I have written two very long books in this world, but in Prime Imperative (sneak preview of cover to the right — and no, I am nowhere near done with the book), I’m at the point of having to name a new species, one of those pesky micro details that adds depth to a scene — and I need HELP.
I could go to a name generator and enter the alien subpages and create a made-up name. Been there, done that many times in this series already. You really didn’t think I pulled all those character and place names out of my a**, did you?
But this time I want to involve YOU — my readers — or any other interested persons chancing across this blog.
So — I will take suggestions for the creature’s species name. You can give me a full species name, you may shorten it also, if you wish. You can even tell me what solar system or planet the creatures come from. Be creative.
I will accept suggestions from March 27th through April 4th. Please post them in the comments to this Blog Post.
I will choose the one I like best, and that person will be acknowledged in my personal blog, Romantic Imperative, in the front of Prime Imperative, and will receive an advance final copy of the book in PDF before the actual publication date.
What is the creature like?
Here are some unedited, and not final by any means, excerpts from Prime Imperative. The scene is in Chapter 6. Dr. Brianna Martin aka Bria is on the run and has come to her adoptive brother’s (Damon) jump station on the rim of the galaxy. It is a rough place and danger lurks everywhere. She has just come off her transport to the jump station:
As she and the captain waited for Damon to appear, her gaze was caught by a large pile of rags near the Mason freighter’s dock. She could’ve sworn they hadn’t been there when she’d first debarked. When the rags moved and moaned, she realized the pile was alive. Was someone buried under all the ragged clothing? Were they hurt? She moved away from the captain and started to bend over, her hand extended toward the outer layer of cloth.
“Don’t touch.” The Mason freighter captain turned, grabbed her arm, and pulled her out of the way of the shifting mound of fabric. His move nearly had them colliding with another robotic unloader. He dragged her to a rusted steel pillar, far away from the shuffling pile, pushed her against it, and growled, “Stay away. Has teeth and is poisonous.”
Her knees went limp as wilted lettuce. She moved to lean against a pillar and barely missed tripping over the pile of living rags.
She looked down at the quivering pile and muttered, “You were no help. You could’ve bit him.”
The pile uttered some high-pitched gibberish, then swirled away in a cloud of dust and moved toward the Erian.
Her brother snorted and muttered, “damn right I will.” Then he steered her around the bundle-of-clothing creature which had slid to where the Erian’s blood pooled on the deck. A slurping sound had her stomach clenching.
“Um, Damon, is that creature licking—”
“Yes. It’s a [need creature name and origins]. It’s a scavenger and keeps the docks clean.” He aimed a stern look her way. “Don’t ever come between one and its meal. Don’t ever touch one. They bite.”
“So the captain informed me.” She looked around as they walked into the central core of the station. “Are they all over the place?”
“No. If they come above dock levels, the security guards shoot them.” He touched the weapon at her back. “Your laser pistol will kill them. Full stream into the center of mass. Don’t hesitate and get all girly. Just shoot to kill.”
Okay, there it is. Get me a great name and if you wish, some origins. I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with! And thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.