I was still hoping to have Senta and the Steel Dragon published by a traditional publisher, so while I was waiting to hear back, I decided that a prequel written as a kind of bonus material was in order. I whipped through it in short order, even though it was a challenge in some ways. Writing about characters in their earlier days without giving away too many of their secrets can be difficult. It was a skill that served me later.
The Voyage of the Minotaur (2010)
Senta and the Steel Dragon had come back rejected from several publishers. One thing that they all agreed on was that it was too long. It was already split into three parts, originally named Expedition, Colony, and Dominion. I took the first third, did some minor modification to and finished The Voyage of the Minotaur. By this time, I had quite a following due to His Robot Girlfriend, so I decided to publish Voyage myself.
Tesla’s Stepdaughters (2010)
In 2010, I was playing a lot of Rock Band III with my son on our Nintendo Wii. I created a virtual band in the game with little steampunk outfits. By the time I had played through the game, I had thought up a fantasy backstory for them. This coupled with my desire to try a mystery gave me the whole story of Tesla’s Stepdaughters.
The Dark and Forbidding Land (2010)
I decided that if Senta and the Steel Dragon was going to be a series rather than a simple trilogy, I had spaced my stories too far apart. So I wrote The Dark and Forbidding Land to fit between The Voyage of the Minotaur and an already written The Drake Girl. It proved more difficult than I thought to fit the pieces together, but I ended up quite happy with the result and in some ways, DFL is my favorite Senta book.