I had written a thousand poems when I was in my teens. Over the years, I had sporadically written more poetry. I decided the time was right to publish them in ebook form. Of course I wouldn’t expect anyone to pay for my poetry, so it would be a free offering. I had already collected a pretty good cross section of my poems, so I just formatted it all together, and sent it out into cyberspace. I tried out about a thousand titles for the volume, before I finally settled on Desperate Poems.
Astrid Maxxim and the Antarctic Expedition
When I wrote Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome, I had simply continued on at the end until I ran out of steam. When I stopped, I had the first four or five chapters of a third Astrid Maxxim book. The book would take Astrid to Antarctica. Then I went off and wrote Patience is a Virtue, taking the characters there to the Antarctic too.
When I finally got back to Astrid, I decided that I would include global warming as part of the plot. I already had an element from the first book that would tie into the South Pole. I needed some danger in the story, so I read up on some real life events concerning Antarctic wildlife and fictionalized them. I had written a much looser outline than usual, and when I was halfway through the book, I suddenly realized that my chapters were too long. I wanted some uniformity with the other books of the series. So, I went back and split chapters up, but I still ended up slightly off.
Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Space Plane
I was really into the Astrid Maxxim mode when I finished writing Antarctic Expedition. In fact, I feel like I didn’t really hit my stride in that book until I was finishing it up. I immediately started on the next book. This is really the one in which the main character starts to grow up. She was already one part Tom Swift and one part Walt Disney. Now she started becoming a little bit Steve Jobs. She was becoming a genius with a bit of an edge.
Once again I hired Matthew Riggenback at Shaed Studios to do the covers and I had him design them for books three, four, and five. Just as I had before, I continued writing past the end of Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Space Plane, creating the first few chapters of the next book before setting it down to do something else. This was the beginning of Astrid Maxxim and the Electric Racecar Challenge. In the meantime, I think that Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Space Plane is the best in the series so far.
His Robot Wife: Charity
I have noticed (and others have as well) that I tend to write about similar things in different stories. I wrote two stories set in Antarctica, relatively close together. I had very similar conversations in The Drache Girl and Tesla’s Stepdaughters—different topics, but a similar format. I was working on a (as yet unpublished) story involving a cheating spouse. This was still on my mind when I came up with a plot for a new robot book. For the first time a robot story came to me in a sort of natural way, like other stories. For that reason, I think it’s the best of the four robot books.
Because of the plot, I needed entirely new characters for this story. I tied it in with the other books by placing it in the same setting and then I had some of the characters from the earlier books—Mike and Ryan—appear in this one as well. Ryan has gone from being a car salesman to a realtor. Happily I was able to take some of the threads from this book and weave them into the next His Robot Wife book.