Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Why I Wrote the Grand Masters' Galaxy #SciFi Fantasy & Romance

 Grand Masters' Galaxy

The Story Behind the Grand Masters’ Galaxy
Building imaginary worlds is fun and laborious. The Grand Masters’ Galaxy has my most intricate universe to date, and consists of a short prequel and five novels with a sixth to come. 

The concept for the first book entered my imagination thirty years ago, although Grand Master's Pawn was only completed and published in 2015. Being frugal, my initial idea was to combine several short stories into a full-length novel. The organizing theme was a young woman, the Pawn, who travels on missions to different planets under the orders of a mysterious Grand Master. Following the chess analogy, the Pawn, Violet, is “Alice Through the Looking Glass”. Two of my short stories and skimpy notes about a dragon morphed into three of Violet’s missions. 

The main characters were fuzzy until the Summer of 2014. After publishing my first full-length science fiction romance novel “The Lady is Blue”, I joined the Science Fiction Romance Brigade. At their Nebula Nights party, the character of the Grand Master crystallized in my mind, and the whole arc of the story fell into place. 

There are hints of some of my favorite authors in this book: Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, and Philip Jose Farmer. The White Mother in the book shares aspects of both Miss Marple and Yoda. Violet’s Grand Master sounds like Darth Vader. Yet, characters acquire a life of their own, my story is a mystery, and “appearances can deceive” as one person says near the end of the book. The Grand Master’s griffin avatar may have been influenced by my visit to Bletchley Park, UK, in May 2014. The main entrance to the mansion is flanked by two stone griffins. 

When I started writing in earnest, the story expanded into a trilogy with the scenes at the beginning and end of each book etched in my mind. The complex world of Grand Master's Pawn, Book 1, describes visits to eight planets and five or six alien races, such as the Brululians with rotating eyestalks, and the dragons. You can find brief descriptions of the planets in the Grand Master’s Trilogy: HERE 

There are twelve Grand Masters, humans and aliens with immense psychic powers. Some are good, some are evil. The twelve Grand Masters are described in my Blog Post. Initially, Violet sees only the stone griffin, the emblem of the Grand Master who selected her. She cannot tell if the mind behind it, is good or evil, alien or human or an AI. As an empath, her best chance to probe the Grand Master’s mind is a face-to-face meeting. But, he knows a Grand Master’s unshielded psychic radiations are lethal to normal folk and cannot risk meeting her. Luckily for both of them, when she is exposed by accident, she finds his psychic emissions attractive rather than harmful.   

In Book 1, Violet learns that her father was murdered after he prophesied doom for the Council of twelve Grand Masters. One or more of the Grand Masters is also implicated in the problems with the interplanetary teleportal system. These conflicts drive the plot in the first three books.  

In Grand Master's Game, Book 2, Grand Master Athanor Griffin has a plan to flush his enemy, the Red Queen, out of hiding. We meet many of the characters from Book 1, and some new ones, including the remaining Grand Masters. His plan finally succeeds in Grand Master’s Mate, Book 3, when he and Violet trap the conspirators responsible for the blocked portals and the murder of Violet’s father. 

The first three books were published in 2015. After publishing the Grand Master’s Trilogy, I wrote a short prequel about Athanor’s life before the events of Grand Master’s Pawn. Published in 2016, Grand Master’s Cat stars a feisty kitten, based on my first pet cat, a friendly and adventurous animal. The following year, I had the idea for a second trilogy starring the same main characters. At the beginning of Cosmic Rift, Book 4, Violet discovers Athanor has disappeared. She must search for him while caring for their baby son and cajoling the Grand Masters to halt the growing problem of Ixioth slave traders. Book 5, Cosmic Wars, continues their quest to destroy the slavers and rescue the child slaves from the universe beyond the cosmic rift. The problems with the rift and slavers will be resolved in the third book of the Cosmic Trilogy

Generally the cheapest option -
Grand Master’s Trilogy, Boxset of Books 1-3 Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay


SciFi Fantasy - Super psychics in space. One young woman challenges the super psychics ruling the galaxy, and finds an impossible love
Grand Master’s Trilogy, Boxset of Books 1-3 – Cheapest option  Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Why I Wrote Super Starrella and the Secret Supers Series #Superheroes

 Super Starrella

My Secret Supers Series has an unusual cast of characters - regular college kids, Earth aliens with superpowers and quirky animals, and vicious villains. You may wonder how I came up with the idea for these stories.

Several lines of thought led to this story and its sequels. I have always had a sneaking fondness for comic book superhero/ine stories and one or two reviewers have accused me of a comic book style. People say you should write what you know. So the main characters are students at Goldman University in Atalanta, which I envisioned as a sunnier southern Gotham City. Many of the scenes occur in or near Atlanta where I live. Most of my students are unaware of my fictional creations, although some of the professors have read a couple of my novels. Then, I had a vision of people flying through space on different animals. If you have read the intriguing book, Star Rider by Doris Piserchia, the influence of her animal steeds will be obvious. Hence, ordinary Estelle Wright is transformed into Super Starrella and can talk with her snarky winged mare, Rockette.

Super Starrella follows the adventures of seventeen-year-old Estelle Wright when she is transformed into a superhero in her freshman year at college. The story opens with a crime scene and a serial killer. Estelle must solve the mystery of the killer(s) and discover her fellow supers, while pursuing her biology major and a couple of romantic entanglements. There is a HFN. All my stories leave the main characters in a happy place, although possibly temporary.

The books in the Secret Supers Series are set firmly in contemporary Earth with the authorities stymied by weird killers and hi-tech hackers. In future books, I hope to take the characters on a series of adventures, throwing different villains at Atalanta or other locations. It is not as simple as I had first imagined, however, since I have to describe aliens living among us, various superpowers and animal companions as well as researching police procedures for homicides.

I wanted a romance and created a wobbly triangle of Estelle and two attractive men with their own secret agendas. It’s not difficult to guess the one she prefers, but they have a tortuous road to their happy ending. Imagine a hunky biker with the tattoo of a cat leaping up his biceps and several layers of secrets. At the start of the story, Estelle Wright is seventeen. In a month, she will begin her studies as a freshman at Goldman University. Originally, I had planned a young adult series, and Estelle has her eighteenth birthday on a climatic day of the story. The first book has a sweet romance. But, my brainy superheroes at college can’t escape their emotions. In the next two books, their romance takes a dive and then heats up (teaser or spoiler?). Of course, they will contend with elusive villains and mysterious aliens in Atalanta, and across the Atlantic in famous Oxenford University, UK.  

Teen superhero, Starrella, and her flying horse combat vicious killers in the skies of Atalanta.
The quiet summer before her freshman year turns frighteningly weird after Estelle Wright trespasses onto an Army base. Blown into the air and knocked unconscious, she wakes with a nascent superpower. Not to mention a winged horse with a snarky attitude and a mind of her own.
Back home in Atalanta, a serial killer is targeting the students at Goldman University. Before long she must juggle college classes with sneaking out of the house after dark to battle alien monsters. Estelle’s life is in danger, but who can she trust: handsome Captain Copper from military intelligence, or hunky Toby, the tough gangster with a motorbike? Both men have secret agendas, but falling in love is not in their plans.
Young adult superheroes, quirky animal sidekicks, and a dash of romance enliven this thrilling adventure. Book 1 of the Secret Supers.

Super Starrella is available at Amazon  iBooks  B&N  Kobo  GooglePlay

Starrella Falls, Book 2: Amazon  iBooks  B&N  Kobo  GooglePlay

Gargoyle Hunt, Book 3: Amazon  iBooks  B&N  Kobo  GooglePlay

 Secret Supers