Between the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday Snippets and my excerpts, I’ve been getting some questions about BARRON’S LAST STAND and THE TENNOVA JOB. As more people are introduced to the characters and the ‘verse I’ve created, I suppose I should take the time to make the proper introductions.
I’ve been working on developing a Space Opera series of books called THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES. No, I don’t have a publisher for them – yet! While I have other Works In Progress (WIPs) the lion’s share of my effort has gone into THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES.
First begun a little more than twenty years ago, this series started out as a single SF Romance novel – one book with a kick-butt heroine. After discarding two other potential heroes to win her heart, the soldier-turned-actor-turned-mercenary Blade Devon really captured my imagination. Yes, I’m not ashamed to admit that I fell head over heels in love with him. I finished the novel and sent it on its rounds. It was promptly rejected by some of the finest romance publishing houses in the business in the 1990’s. Looking back, I can see how it wasn’t something they were ready for at the time. So I set it aside to focus on honing my story craft skills, and to make a living as a freelance writer while I learned.
At a writer’s conference I was both covering and attending, I had the good fortune to speak at length with two of my heroes in SF – Piers Anthony and Ben Bova. On advice from both gentlemen, and with a promise from the late Barbara Bova to take a look at the next attempt, I went back to the drawing board and worked like a fiend on setting the groundwork for the series.
For varying personal reasons, (death, divorce, marriage, children) the series got pushed aside while life intruded. It sat for more than ten years before I pulled it out and fell in love with the characters and their ‘verse all over again. These characters will not leave me alone until their story is told. I have other stories, other characters, wanting to see the light of day, but Bo and Blade will not accept any more delays, and they are quite insistent. NOW!! They say. I must tell their story NOW!!!
At first, I focused on BARRON’S LAST STAND believing it to be the strongest story, and the one that stood alone with the greatest ease. But the more I worked on it, and the closer I got to completion, the more I realized that, while it does stand alone, much of the best parts of the ‘verse in which these characters lived and operated was lost without the rest of the series for reference.
So with a submission call from a publisher in mind, I switched my efforts to THE TENNOVA JOB, the tentatively titled first installment in THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES. What began as a novella has evolved into a more complex novel laying the groundwork for the remainder of the series. THE TENNOVA JOB is about to undergo a name change as it approaches a final draft. I’m leaning towards BARRON’S FALL, because it begins with The Barron’s fall from grace and sets her on course to save the Commonwealth.