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 for this new book had been setup in the original epilog of The Two Dragons, which I had cut from that book. I added a bit of conflict. The only completely new part of the story was the part dealing with the Lizzie 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 thought the title fit the love triangle (one of several), but my wife really hated it.
I really liked returning to the world of the Steel Dragon, however, things had changed so much and characters have grown up, so that it had a bit of an unreal quality to it for me. It’s not my favorite book in the series, but I like it.
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. I have since pulled it from distribution.
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.