As mentioned before, there will be quite a few new release announcements coming up (well, I can’t blog about SFF awards all the time). And today, I have a special new release to announce, because I not only launch a new book, but also a new series.
Let’s have some background:
Sometime last year, a scene popped into my head: Two intergalactic mercenaries, a man and a woman, bantering while walking through a grimy spaceport. I knew at once that they were a couple and that they came from very different backgrounds which they had left behind to be together. They worked as mercenaries now, not because they wanted to, but because it was the only option left open to them. They were also on the run.
I was intrigued by the bantering couple, so I started writing. As I followed them through the spaceport, I learned a lot more about them: Their names, that they had both been elite soldiers on opposite sides of an endless intergalactic war, that they had fallen in love and run away together. I also got, in bits and pieces, the story of how they’d met and fallen in love and what had prompted them to leave behind everything they’d ever known and run away together.
I’ve always enjoyed science fiction romance, particular science fiction romance which is basically space opera with a strong romance thread running through it. So I decided to write the story of how they’d met and fallen in love against all odds, with the option of sequels featuring them having adventures together (because there aren’t nearly enough books featuring established and happy couples having adventures together).
So I worked on the story on and off for several months, while it eventually blossomed into two novel length works. However, I had also always intended to give my couple smaller standalone adventures.
Then in July 2016, I did the July short story challenge, which involved writing a short story per day in July 2016. But I also still had the characters I’d been living with for several months at this point at the back of my mind. Then one day, while I was looking at concept art for inspiration, a piece sparked an idea for a standalone adventure featuring my mercenary couple. So I wrote that story.
Eventually, I wrote two more stories about these characters during the July short story challenge. One was another standalone adventure, the other was a prequel featuring the characters as teenagers, chronicling how they ended up becoming elite soldiers in the first place. After I finished the July challenge, I also wrote a fourth story, another prequel of sorts set in the same universe.
So now I suddenly had four stories in a new series, now called In Love and War. I’ll release them over the next weeks, but for now here is the prequel novelette, Dreaming of the Stars.
Of the 31 stories I wrote for the July short story challenge, this was the longest. It’s currently 8500 words long, though it gained a thousand words or so in rewrites. But even the first was definitely over 7000 words long. It was also one of the most emotionally harrowing stories to write, particularly the second half featuring the young Mikhail.
By the time I wrote Dreaming of the Stars, I already knew that Mikhail had lost his entire family to the war (unlike Anjali who comes from a largely happy family background – we meet her sisters in Dreaming of the Stars) and that he’d grown up in a prison-like camp for war orphans. However, until I started writing his story, I didn’t realise how horrible that place really was.
Coincidentally, writing Dreaming of the Stars also gave me a lot more insight into Mikhail’s character and how he came to be the man he is. For the novel I’d been working on for several months at that point was told almost entirely from Anjali’ POV for reasons that will become apparent, so I’d spend a lot more time in her head than in his.
So get ready to meet Anjali Patel and Mikhail Alexeievich Grikov, as they are…
On Rajipuri, a poor planet in the Empire of Worlds, Anjali Patel and her two younger sisters look up at the stars and dream of escaping the limitations of a traditional and rigidly stratified society.
At the same time, in a camp for war orphans in the Republic of United Planets, Mikhail Grikov also looks up at the stars and dreams of escaping a life of pain and abuse.
One day in the far future, they will meet and change the galaxy. But for now, they’re merely dreaming of the stars…
This is a prequel novelette of 8500 words or approx. 29 print pages to the “In Love and War” series, but may be read as a standalone.
Length: 8500 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.