Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Taking the ‘Can She Write A Series?’ Challenge @vscotttheauthor

By Veronica Scott

My progression as a writer has moved over time from writing and illustrating my own ‘novel’ at the age of seven (princesses, flying cats, flying horses and a riverboat captain hero) to several connected series of scifi novels in junior high and high school that were heavily influenced by Tom Corbett Space Cadet and ‘Star Trek,” with elements of Trixie Belden thrown in. (Those novels are never seeing the light of day, folks.)  My first two published books were standalone and released in 2012. One from Carina Press and the other self published.

I haven’t looked back since but became a full time author in 2015 and now have somewhere around 20 books out (it varies as anthologies go on and off sale etc.).

Late in 2017 I decided the time had come for me to tackle an actual series, with an overarching plot arc that would run through the five volumes. Ta da!

I never used to think I could write such a series, being an as-I-go plotter (also known as a seat of the pants writer) and wasn’t much tempted to try it. The ‘series’ I wrote as a teenager were done as standalone books and then I’d get a new idea and write the next one with the same characters. There was no single plot direction driving the arc, just adventure and romance. I wasn’t trying to get to any specific end point.

As a published author, I like writing standalone stories set in one universe, be it ancient Egypt or my interstellar civilization, the Sectors. Sometimes I even do a sequel or have the same characters make an appearance in more than one book (usually as secondary characters since they’ve already had their own story told). So, I still do connected series with no problem and I do have a long term arc for the Sectors in my head, but don’t require each book to move the action forward.

When I was thinking about what concepts I might use to write a series that would hold my own interest as an author and hopefully be enjoyed by the readers, I realized this might be my chance to tackle a trope I’ve always loved – the genetically engineered super soldiers. I never got enough of Lora Leigh’s Breeds or Laurann Dohner’s New Species and the advice to write what you want to read seemed to me to apply here.

So I came up with the Badari, tough warriors created by the alien enemies of the humans in my Sectors. I added to that mix a colony of humans kidnapped in their sleep by the aliens in charge of all this questionable science and brought to the planet where the Badari are held, to serve as subjects in more experiments. The questions in the big arc are how do the Badari gain their freedom, how do the humans ever get home to tell the Sectors about this new threat…and of course how does the romance occur in the midst of all this? 

The first volume, Aydarr, came out in December and the second book, Mateer, just recently released. Now I’m working on the third story, with probably two more to go to wrap everything up. I also have lots of plot ideas in my head for more stories about the Badari, if readers like them, but those would be in my standalone writing style, since the big arc will be wrapped up. “Sidequels”!

It’s going fine so far, I’d say. I did enough outlining to know what the major plot point to be achieved was for each novel, but not so much detailed planning that my Muse would balk at writing the book. (As I’ve mentioned before, if I plot too much before I write, I lose all interest in doing the actual writing. The creative spark flees – the story is told.)

It’s too soon to say if I’d write another actual series. I really do like the standalone experience of writing and it suits my tendency not to outline or plan ahead in detail, but I’m enjoying this challenge so far. I think my biggest hurdle is that I feel I owe it to the readers to get each book in the series out within 4-6 weeks of the previous book and so I have to write the Badari novels back to back, not stray off and play with some other shiny plot in between. But sometimes life happens, as they say, like moving to a new apartment in late December, and the writing schedule goes out the window.

And I do love my covers!

The blurb for Mateer:  Megan Garrison, a doctor at the Sectors Amarcae 7 colony, goes to sleep one night as usual only to wake up in her nightgown, strapped to a table in an alien lab, destined to be the subject of terrifying experiments. Granted a brief reprieve, Megan and the other kidnapped humans are released in the middle of a forestlike enclosure on this unknown world and told to survive as best they can for now.

Her only hope is Mateer, the genetically engineered alien warrior imprisoned with the humans. He knows more than he’s sharing about this planet, their captors and the fate of other humans, including perhaps her own sisters. Turns out everyone from her colony has been kidnapped by the Khagrish, a ruthless race of alien scientists. Working for enemies of the human-led Sectors, the Khagrish have created the Badari to be super soldiers.

Mateer, a tough Badari enforcer, now a rebel, is captured while infiltrating the lab to help his pack bring it down. He’s also been ordered by his leaders to search for Megan and save her life at all costs. Tortured by the enemy, he’s offered one chance at survival – convince Megan to become his mate and assist the Khagrish with further experiments.

As the situation at the lab grows worse, Megan struggles against her deep attraction to Mateer, while she does her best to shield the other humans from the terrible Khagrish experiments. For his part, Mateer knows she really is his fated mate and despairs of being able to keep her safe, as the rebel attack is delayed and she fights the truth of their bond.

Will they be able to work together to defeat Khagrish plans and preserve human lives until the promised rescue happens? And what of their future together – will Megan accept Mateer as her true mate, or walk away if she’s freed?

Buy LinksAmazon     iBooks      B&N    Kobo  Google coming soon!

Author Bio and Links:
 USA Today Best Selling Author
“SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog
Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!
She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

1 comment:

  1. I'm thrilled that you're going to extend Aydarr & Mateer's stories into a series. You are such a talented writer--one of my few one-click authors. I enjoyed Aydarr and am looking forward to reading Mateer. Can't wait to see what's next. Best wishes.


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