We bought a zoo!! We sold a trilogy!!
So, I sold a trilogy of a space opera short novels to Tor.com, with, of course, the help of my amazing agent Sara Megibow and my awesome editor Beth Meacham. Film-related rights are with Kim Yau at Paradigm Agency.
AND OMG YOU GUYS IT’S REAL.
I have a LOT of stuff to blog about in regards to this book. Cuz I been trying to sell a book for a while, folks. So this blog post will have to be first… in a trilogy!
So, Part 1: The Idea!
Like most creative endeavors, this book came from one part inspiration, two parts practicality. I’ll speak on the inspiration here and the practicality in the next two blog posts.
Inspiration: sometime in 2013, the opening scene of a thing came into my head. A galactic empire falls. While celebrations sound outside, in the inner corridors of power, a single order rings out: Kill all the humans.
I loved this scene, and what it predicted: a chase scene novel, set in the wake of a devastating war that had BLOWN UP A LOT OF SPACESHIPS SWOOSH PSHOOM. The inner child, mostly interested in thingsblowinupinspace!!!1!!!!!, joined forces with the outer 36-year-old history-buff political skeptic. Violent revolutionaries, especially in the 20th century, don’t have a good track record once they get into office.
I wanted to write a story where the scrappy Rebellion acted less like action figures, and more like Bolsheviks.
(At first, when I didn’t have any story details but the opening scene, my working title was “Kill Luke Skywalker.”)
I knew the characters in this story would have to come from several groups: the refugees themselves, the soldiers confronting corrupt orders, and of course, the Han Solo/Mal Reynolds types, those petty crooks. What’s a space opera without a wretched hive of scum and villainy?
Shortly thereafter, Jaqi and Araskar, the smuggler and soldier I knew to be crucial to the story, found their voices. Jaqi would be young, out of her depth, but principled; Araskar would be struggling with combat trauma and drug addiction.
And by consequence, my galaxy moved away from Star Wars into its own place. It is populated not by aliens and humans, but by “crosses”–various species created by genetic tampering. Crosses were the underclass, and humans the “bluebloods.” Genocide and racial purity took on even more of a presence in the story.
In 2014, when I had the first few stabs at this space opera story, I showed it to my soon-to-be editor, Beth Meacham, at a writing conference. She encouraged me to finish it and send it to her, and keep it short for the Tor.com novella/short novel line. I ran all the way home (pretty much, guys) and finished a first draft, rewrote it to something decent in 2015, and off it went.
AND NOW YOU SHALL READ IT. In 2017.
TUNE IN NEXT BLOG for the story of how practicality played into this, and how I decided to write a teeny little space opera instead of the massive doorstopper fantasies I usually write…