When Pauline first invited me to write this guest blog on Why I Wrote Inherit the Stars, I didn’t know quite how to begin. Like several other manuscripts, Inherit the Stars has roots in a dream that planted just the kernel of an idea in my mind, a tiny snippet that clung to my consciousness upon awakening. Without getting too spoilery, it was a visual of a man aboard a starship who was talking to someone he couldn’t see, but could only interact with via the ship. Pretty vague, I know. But it became the pivotal idea behind a 113,000 word novel.
And it was a story that I knew I had to write, right then.
That scared me. Because unlike all my other works which had been happily simmering away in my head for decades, Inherit the Stars was fresh, new, unchartered territory. I knew it carried a message about self-sacrifice and righting terrible wrongs, but I didn’t have any idea where it was going or how it was going to get there (yeah, total pantser here). I only knew I had to start writing and somehow a plot would emerge from the inspired, tangled mess in my head.
Not to worry.
When I sat down at my computer to hammer out a few half-baked scene ideas, it was like a creative explosion! Places and ideas and characters started “unpacking” like I’d just been implanted with a version of John Scalzi’s brainpal. Writers often talk about how their characters can dictate a scene. Well, in my case, the entire universe did an aggressive take-over and the story simply flowed from my thoughts through my fingers like magic. Oh wait! Not magic. We don’t do the M word in SFR. They flowed through my fingers as if some mysterious remote control had been engaged. There we go!
Only six weeks later I was done with the first draft of P2PC, which would later become Inherit the Stars. That was a New World Record for this pantser. A First. (And probably a Last.)
The story went on to win two writing competitions and final in the 2011 RWA Golden Heart Awards© all under the original title of P2PC.
So, a little more about the novel…
The three central characters materialized with unique motivations, fears and prejudices, and the friend/foe mindsets to drive them. Sair (the hero), Drea (the heroine) and Zjel (the wildcard) move from potential enemies to uneasy comrades. (One thing I need to make clear is that Inherit the Stars is not a ménage—that important distinction ended up costing Zjel a spot on the cover. She also doesn’t get a mention in the blurb. I’d say “Poor Zjel” but then I’d have to duck.)
How did Inherit the Stars end up being different from other SFR stories?
The story is told completely from hero Sair’s POV, so everything and everyone is observed through his “filters.” This allows for some meaty misunderstandings and wrong assumptions. It also places some big question marks on the motives of the heroine.
It gots some juicy role reversal going on. Sair, an escaped slave, meets Drea because he’s desperate to slip the bad guys who are snapping at his heels. She has this shiny prototype starship that could make for a great get-away vehicle provided he has the replas (money) to pay the fee. He doesn’t. Their compromise puts Drea in a unique position of power. Readers who crave heroes in the alpha mold will have to wait for it.
The story explores a very (mwahahaaaaaa) disturbing side of humanity. Readers seldom see this in SFR, though it’s prevalent in certain other genres, and particularly not as behavior engaged in by an advanced society. (Sorry the Veil of Vagueness must be engaged here.) The Ithian Empire was inspired by Rome—an enlightened culture that championed art, poetry, music, dance, democracy and all the finer things in life, and then for entertainment watched people and animals slaughtered in bloody spectacles. Inherit the Stars has no coliseums (gladiators have been done to death), but their society is likewise enlightened and their traditions equally jaded and shocking. This makes for a very chilling side to this tale, though the overall tone isn’t at all noir—it’s adventurous and hopeful. More like Star Wars than Silence of the Lambs. How’s that for an unlikely comparison?
Ultimately, the story carries messages about the value of freedom, the destructiveness of absolute power, and the nature of fate. Pretty nifty outcome for something that started with a vague, wispy dream, yes? Wish all my novels came with their own auto-pilot.
Here’s the blurb.
To escape the merciless Ithian Alliance, Sair, a fugitive slave, makes a desperate deal with Drea Mennelsohn, captain of the prototype ship, Specter. But putting his life in the hands of a woman as mysterious as she is beguiling could turn out to be the biggest mistake of his life, especially when the price on his head begins to escalate.
The daring captain seems to want far more from Sair than just payment for his passage. Though neither can deny the sizzling chemistry and growing bond between them, Sair must soon make an agonizing decision: maintain his own longed-for freedom or become a helpless pawn in an intergalactic coup against a ruthless superpower.
As the truth behind Sair’s place in the galaxy and Drea’s unique existence are revealed, it becomes clear that they are vital to the success of the coup. But their part in ending the Ithian Alliance may come at a terrible price for Sair: the loss of the remarkable woman he has fallen in love with—and their chance to inherit the stars.
You’ll notice the blurb is divided into three parts. That was intentional, because Inherit the Stars is a serialized novel currently available on Amazon in three parts.
A big thank you to Pauline for hosting me today on her blog. I love writing “Why I Wrotes.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA® Golden Heart® finalist and science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which now totals over 500 members. Her extended family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. When she’s not writing, networking, or searching out the perfect cup of Starbucks, she’s usually busy exercising her left brain as a military budget director.
I am so thrilled to have Laurie back on the blog today and even more thrilled that Inherit the Stars is available! Go grab a copy, then come back and talk books with Laurie. Cuz you know we LOVE books on this blog. 🙂
And I also love comments. I love them SO much I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket, which is as awesome as a book. Seriously. I announce who gets it the first blog post of the new month. 🙂