Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome
After writing the first Astrid Maxxim book, I made a list of about twenty possible titles. Just like the Tom Swift books that had inspired them, each book would be Astrid Maxxim and her (Insert Invention Here). The second Tom Swift book was Tom Swift and his Submarine and number seven was Tom Swift and his Diving Seacopter—one of my favorites. So I wanted to do an undersea adventure. All of Astrid’s inventions grow out of the others, so the idea of an undersea dome fit perfectly.
I had hired Matthew Riggenback at Shaed Studios to design the first Astrid Maxxim cover and so I wanted him to do any others to maintain the feel of a series. I was even more jazzed about his second cover than I had been about the first, and that’s saying something. In the end, everything came together and I’m really proud of the books. I’ve given a lot of the Astrid Maxxim books away to students and other youngsters, and I offer the ebooks free to libraries.
His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue
Sales of His Robot Wife were starting to slow, even though it was still by far my best seller. I decided that I would write another book in the series. This time though, I would put more effort into it—make it a longer, better book. I wrote an outline and worked on it extensively before starting. About halfway into the book though, I had a change of heart about what I wanted to focus on. I decided that the book should reflect much more of Patience’s point of view than Mike’s. This ended up making His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue more difficult than it otherwise would have been. I think the book turned out pretty good though, and it is my second best selling book.
As a side note, I used the same model for the cover art of all three books, and purchased the rights to several other poses, for possible use in future books. This model is extremely popular in royalty free art, and I see her on bulletin boards, web sites, and once on a huge poster in front of the spa at Circus Circus hotel in Vegas.
The Sorceress and her Lovers
It had been two years since the publication of the last book in the Senta and the Steel Dragon series, but had actually been seven years since I wrote the previous volume. The plot had been setup in the original epilog of The Two Dragons, which I had cut from the book. I added a bit of conflict. The only completely new part of the story was the part dealing with the Lizard King Hsrandtuss. I had introduced him in The Young Sorceress, but hadn’t planned anything else for him. When I had written the outline for The Sorceress and her Lovers, I wrote the outline for the next book as well. I don’t know when I’ll get to write The Price of Magic, but I’ll get to it eventually
I really liked returning to the world of the Steel Dragon, however, things have changed so much and characters have grown up, so that it has a bit of an unreal quality to it for me. I don’t know if that comes across to the reader or not. In the end, it’s not my favorite book in the series, but I like it.