Which Way to Go

Here in Tolari Space, things have been rather quiet, which has resulted in an absence of posts to this blog. This time, I’m not going to apologize for being such an extreme introvert that even a daily tweet required more energy than I was left with after the book launch. It is what it is. Sometimes, I just need a break. But I’ve got a little energy back today, in the aftermath of a migraine that crippled me for close to a week, so my thoughts turned to What to Do Next.

The Fall is available (have you purchased your copy yet?), and the next book, Farryn’s War, is ready for my new editor. It’s time to look ahead to the next story. The problem is, there are lots of stories backed up in my head, and since none of them are pushing harder than the others to get out, I don’t know which one to write next.

1) I could, of course, continue the story where Farryn’s War leaves off. That would make a great deal of sense.

2) I give hints in The Fall and more hints in Farryn’s War of a story taking place alongside them; it begins in the time between the end of The Marann and the beginning of Daughters of Suralia, and it ends during Farryn’s War. It might be novella length; I’m not sure, as it hasn’t completely gelled.

3) The inimitable Bertie, whom I just love, deserves his own story.

4) A story involving Farric-as-Monral and his heir, a few years down the road, is brewing in my head. It would explain a few things, such as why I’ve made a point that Tolari have peds rather than feet. That wasn’t, by the way, a pointless mummery of deciding to use a different word to describe an everyday object. There’s a reason, and there are hints of it scattered here and there…

5) Backstory: the Sural’s rise to power, and the tragedies that accompanied it.

6) Backstory: Storaas. A man of many secrets…

7) Backstory: the Jorann.

8) Forwardstory: Rose as the Terelia. Pay careful attention to offhand comments in Daughters and The Fall and you won’t be surprised where that story goes.

9) And more.

As I said, lots of stories backed up in my head, but those are the main ideas at the moment. If you have a preference what you’d like to read about next, now’s the time to speak up!

Watch For It!

I have spotlights and guest posts going live in the coming week in the following places (I will try to update the links to be more specific as I get them):






Monday (3/9):

Do You Wanna Win a Gift Card?

Or maybe a set of ebooks?

Click on Rafflecopter link over there on the right, or go to my website, to enter the contest.

One person will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and all three Tales of Tolari Space ebooks. One person will win an ebook copy of each of the three Tales of Tolari Space novels. And three people will each win an ebook copy of my PRISM Award-winning debut novel, The Marann.

Good luck!



I have sadly neglected my blog, and for that I apologize. All my energy is taken by the upcoming release of The Fall and the many guest posts I’ve been writing to go along with it, along with still working hard on Farryn’s War, which is due at the editor the first week of April.

I do love being busy!

 The Fall
coming March 2, 2015
As bitter enemies scheme against each other with the fate of
Tolar in the balance, Laura Howard, made a powerful empath by the Jorann’s
gift, loses everything—again. Now she must recover and find her place, and
herself, while fighting against the ghosts of her past and the expectations of
everyone around her.
Loss after tragic loss shakes the Paran to his very soul.
With his allies vying for control of the planet and his own province caught in
the middle, he must risk his life as well as that of the woman he loves to take
the one action he never thought he would: fight for leadership of the ruling

Back to the Future

And so, home from PhilCon 2014. After a night’s sleep and a shower, I am back at the keyboard and back in Tolari space.

The con was wonderful, and kudos to the PhilCon concomm. A great time was had by most, as far as I could tell. (Of course it had its blips. Every con does.) I arrived already signed up for 2 panels and! A reading! and ended up on 5 panels total. Jon McGoran was my partner in crime for the reading (his horror is seriously creepy and seriously funny), and there were actually TWO people present who weren’t related to the readers by blood or marriage.

Don’t laugh. That was progress!

I read from the beginning of The Fall until my time was up.

The most fun I had, I think, was telling a physicist who asked me with genuine puzzlement how I as a non-scientist can write science fiction, that I don’t need to understand how an internal combustion engine works in order to drive a car. I mean, I’ve had that line waiting for a suitable opportunity to use for forever. So, neither do my characters need to know how a Kline-Thompson-Nishida engine works to take an interstellar voyage on a ship equipped with one. I just need to be careful not to hold forth on how the thing works. Therefore, I’m unlikely to write a story from the chief engineer’s point of view. (Apologies to those for whom this comes as a disappointment!)

Although, it occurs to me to note that while I’m not a trained scientist, I am science-aware enough to know when I’m breaking the laws of physics. Which you can get away with as long as you’re consistent about it and don’t go too far into the ridiculous.

But okay, if that’s my idea of fun, perhaps I need to get out a bit more. So! Let’s just say the con was fun.

Back to the future, I sit poised on the brink of writing the thrilling climax of Farryn’s War. And ‘sit’ is the operative term. Having set everything up and gotten my characters where they need to be, I’m sitting on the edge, dangling my heels, wondering why in the wide world of sports I’m hesitating.

Just gotta dive in, I guess. <takes a deep breath> See you later!

Where Has She Been?

Ummm. It’s been two months since my last post, hasn’t it? [sheepish look]

The short answer: I’ve been rather snowed under with Life, Tolari Space, and Everything.

The rather longer answer sits on my hard drive (and backed up in the cloud) at 93,292 words. The Fall is in its final form (I hope) and my alpha reader has it. Depending on the feedback I get, I may need to write another scene, and I may need to move things around a bit in the first third of the novel (boy, do I ever not want to do that), but it’s basically done. It only needs polishing, and then I will submit it for editing.

This makes the third time I have rewritten the entire book. The first two rewrites were my own fault, but this third rewrite — is also my own fault, for doing the second rewrite after signing with Sky Warrior and before revising Daughters of Suralia. I will never, not ever, rewrite a book if I have any clue that the previous one in the series isn’t entirely settled. Ever. Again.

The Fall is Laura’s story, in the main. She returns to Parania and the Paran to live happily ever after, or so she thinks. The universe has other plans, and Laura has to fight to find her place, both in her new home and in the Paran’s heart. You’ll get to see interstellar trade relations, Tolari inter-provincial politics, and what can happen when a Tolari ruler loses sight of who he is.

And that’s all I’m going to tell you about that. For now.

It’s time to get cracking on Farryn’s War.

You’ve met Farryn. You just don’t know it yet.

New and Improved, With More Space Opera!

Little did I know in May 2012, when I sat down to write about a little girl splashing her peds in a sparkling brook on another planet, that her father and the woman he loved would take over the story. Or that I would end up in April 2014 writing about interprovincial trade and internecine politics on said planet. I’ve never considered myself a political animal.

Really, I’m not.

The Fall is Laura Howard’s story, starting from the moment she leaves Suralia on her way back to Parania. This being fiction, however, a happily-ever-after is not a beginning; it’s an ending. You can’t make a story out of a lifetime of passionate nights followed by idyllic breakfasts and happy days, however interesting they might be. Therefore, I had to torture my characters with antagonists and trouble in paradise. Leaven with Tolari politics, add in the logical consequences of a certain Tolari ruler’s towering arrogance, and voila: Space Opera.

It’s not actually how I originally conceived the story. But the changes in Daughters were so far-reaching, the only way to keep the ending of The Fall was to change the beginning. I should be able to preserve the last chapters pretty much intact, while rewriting the beginning of the book almost from whole cloth. There wasn’t much in the first two chapters of the second draft that I could keep, given the massive changes in the ending of Daughters, so those are rewritten entire, and the third draft also now has a prologue, stolen from… elsewhere.

Today, I am attempting to thread in another political chapter near the beginning, and marveling at where the story has taken me. There is still the plot arc of Laura’s relationship with the Paran, and how that develops. But it’s woven into the overarching storyline of the planet and also what’s going on in human space, places I hadn’t thought to go, before. In the beginning, I never thought to leave Suralia; the idea of a planet was, at first, too big for me. Yet now I take my character across Tolar and into Parania, Monralar, and points north.

I’m still brooding on where to start and where to go with the political wrangling in the chapter currently under my microscope, and I may not begin the actual writing of it today. But — it’s in there. Soon.

In which the Author sighs with relief

And so it begins. I wrote an email to my editor, attached the re-edited Daughters of Suralia manuscript, and clicked send. Within hours I received an acknowledgment; she had just begun to cast about for the next editing project. My timing was impeccable.

We shall see how she likes what I’ve done with it. I can hardly wait to find out, but I’m also incredibly relieved to finish that and get it out the door.

Meanwhile, my next project beckons: The Fall, which will be book 3 in the Tales of Tolari Space. It’s Laura’s story, and picks up exactly where Daughters leaves off — now a powerful empath, she returns to her Paran… but when old enemies plot against each other with Parania caught in the middle, Laura might have to face losing another husband.

More space opera-y politics in this one!