Please give a warm welcome to guest author, Greta van der Rol. I had the great fortune of winning a copy of one of Greta's Iron Admiral e-books, and let me tell you, the lady can write. I am thrilled to death to have her on the blog!
A slightly shady freighter captain
Thanks so much for having me here today. You've asked me to explain a little about the evolution of my latest novel, 'Starheart'. My books tend to be character driven. I know it's going well when my characters tell me what to do and 'Starheart' is no exception. The Iron Admiral series-my first two science fiction romance novels, were out there, 'Morgan's Choice was soon to follow and I was looking around for a new project.
I'm not sure where the idea for Jess Sondijk came from. I don't believe in 'muses', but I suppose the back-burner in my brain was working hard on ideas. So one day, I got this notion for somebody very different from Allysha Marten from the Iron Admiral and from Morgan Selwood of 'Morgan's Choice'. Both of those ladies were very in tune with computer systems, Allysha by accident and Morgan because she was turned into a cyborg. Jess, I decided, wasn't going to be like that. She'd be a normal, fallible... hmmm... what about slightly shady human being? Smart, feisty, self-reliant but with some history. Maybe a smuggler. A good-looking lady not averse to using her charms to make her way in the world.
I already knew there'd be an admiral. I have a penchant for uniforms. But unlike Saahren, who was almost a misogynist, and Ravindra, for whom women were a diversion, Hudson is a womaniser. I can see him collecting heads on a wall. Or maybe panties. And then I thought I'd have Jess's best friend as a gay male. Gay men (I've found) are very often great blokes who can be a girl's best friend without any baggage. He'd be Jess's 2IC.
That was enough for me to write the opening scene for 'Starheart'. The rest of the novel evolved from there. So here's that opening scene.
"We're gonna get boarded, Jess." Santh glanced up from his console, where Confederacy Battle Cruiser Defender, sleek, dark and weapons hot, dominated the display. Jess read the 'oh shit' in her first officer's eyes.
"Santh, we're chugging along on our way to the space station, minding our own business. It's got to be routine. Let me do the talking."
But even so, her heart hammered. She'd been boarded before, by teams from Nordheim Militia's patrol frigates, but this was the first time she'd ever seen a battle cruiser in this part of the Confederacy.
"Saintly Maid this is Confederacy Battle Cruiser Defender. You will shut down all drives and prepare to be boarded. If you fail to comply you will be attacked." A crisp military voice barked instructions, sharp and to the point, no visuals.
"Saintly Maid to Confederacy Battle Cruiser Defender. Message received and understood. Welcome aboard."
If they brought InfoDroids with them and they searched thoroughly… She pushed the thought away.
"Shut us down, Santh. I'll pop off and fix my makeup. Might as well look the part."
Jess headed out of the bridge, through the freighter's common room and into her own quarters. Let's see now, what did she have suitable for a military boarding party? She rummaged through her wardrobe and selected the dark green uniform. The pants accentuated her long legs and if she left the jacket unbuttoned over a white shirt, she'd give them something else to think about other than the cargo. She pulled out the clasp holding her hair back and let the blonde mane hang around her shoulders. A little bit of makeup but not too much and she was ready.
"Just in time," Santh said as she slid back into the captain's chair. "Their cutter has attached to our airlock."
I'll be at http://www.cerebralwriter.com/ tomorrow for a little bit more about that initial meeting.
To celebrate the release of 'Starheart' I'll be giving a $25 Amazon gift voucher to one person who leaves a comment on this, or any other of the blogs I visit until 10th March. So leave a comment her and you'll be in the draw.
Greta van der Rol loves writing science fiction with a large dollop of good old, healthy romance. She lives not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoys photography and cooking when she isn't bent over the computer. She has a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping her in her writing endeavours.
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> - Starheart