Motivations: His Robot Wife: A Great Deal of Patience

After writing Patience is a Virtue, I decided I wouldn’t write another robot book unless I had a story.  I finally thought of one and planned out a trilogy of books.  The first book was A Great Deal of Patience, and I think it is by far the best of the series.

As so often, I started writing and got side-tracked several times.  I stopped for about two months and wrote The Dragon’s Choice, but left it unedited to return to Patience.  It was finally done and I published it in 2017.  That sounds like a long time ago, but in my mind, I just finished that book.  It continues to sell well and I get more positive emails and comments about it than any other book.

Motivations: His Robot Girlfriend: Charity

HRG CharityI had been working on an outline for the next robot book, which I planned on calling His Robot Wife: A Great Deal of Patience.  While I was doing that, I came up with a plot line that I wanted to write about.  This probably grew out of my frustrations with writing Kanana the Jungle Girl, which I had been trying to finish, but couldn’t quite, and which also had a similar plot line woven into it.

I could have written this plot in any number of ways– made it an entirely new story or a space opera story.  Knowing that people were clamoring for a new robot book, I decided to go that way.  Of course the story didn’t fit with Patience and Mike, so I created Charity and Dakota.  I decided to throw a bit of the back story that I had been working on for A Great Deal of Patience, along with a cameo by Mike, and there is a quick little book.  As I mentioned the other day, it took me only forty-two days to write.

A Great Deal of Patience ended up changing a lot, because much of what I had originally planned was in Charity.  That’s really worked out well, because I can move the plot along without having to worry about doling out background tidbits.  The story has to be able to stand on its own though and I think it does.  Both Dakota and Charity will appear in the new book, especially Charity, as this is a much more robot-centered story and less human-centered.  Watch this space for more information on the upcoming books in the series.

Motivations: His Robot Wife

His Robot Wife was written for entirely different reasons than any other book I’ve written.  All the other books (with maybe the exception of His Robot Girlfriend) were written because I thought I had a great story to tell and I wanted to tell it.  You could say that I wrote His Robot Wife for money, though that’s not entirely accurate.  I priced it an 99 cents even though I could have made more by pricing it higher.  I wrote it because I knew it would sell.

I publish His Robot Girlfriend in 2008, and it has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.  Many people wrote and asked for a sequel.  This was a big deal for me.  But I didn’t have a story.  As far as I was concerned, the story of Mike and Patience was over.  Still, people kept asking.  It took me three years to come up with a story for them, and I think it’s probably my weakest plot (but HRG wasn’t popular for its plot, but rather its characters anyway).  So in 2011 I wrote His Robot Wife.  It is short, at 28,000 words, but it went easily enough, and as it turned out, it has sold more copies than all my other books put together.

 

 

Motivations: His Robot Girlfriend

His Robot Girlfriend is Free on iBooksIt was 2008, and I had just finished writing the first draft of a massive fantasy novel that I was calling The Steel Dragon. This would eventually become The Voyage of the Minotaur, The Drache Girl, and The Two Dragons. I printed up 10 copies and handed them out to friends to read and edit over the summer. Each one was a 4″ thick notebook. I had also just self-published Princess of Amathar.

While I was waiting for the editing to be completed, I thought I needed something to post to Feedbooks and Manybooks to get my name out there. I had written some sci-fi flash fiction a few years earlier and thought I could piece them together to make a novel. This became the first half of His Robot Girlfriend and I wrote the other half over the summer (while teaching summer school). I published it online and was astounded at the interest. At one time, it was the third most downloaded book on Feedbooks.

His Robot Girlfriend succeeded in getting my name out there. It’s been downloaded almost 500,000 times, has been reviewed numerous times, and I get many emails and notes from people that enjoy it. Part of this has to do with the fact that it came out at the same time that Apple Books was founded.  It was in the top ten free downloads on what was then called iBooks, for years.  That being said, I think it’s far from my best story.

One comment that detractors frequently make about His Robot Girlfriend (feedback is overwhelmingly positive) is that Patience has no will of her own. She is a robot, duh! But this gave me an idea for the new book– His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue. It shows a bit more from her point of view and we find out that not everything is as Mike thinks it is.

The newest edition of the series will be His Robot Wife: A Great Deal of Patience, and will be the first full-length novel featuring the characters.  And as they title suggests, it will feature a great deal of Patience.

His Robot Girlfriend – Chapter 10 Excerpt

The first quarter of the school year flew by. Despite the fact that classes were larger than ever, the children were more obnoxious than ever, parents were more clueless than ever, and the administrators were more useless than ever, Mike thought that things were going pretty well. It was he mused, probably because he was one hell of a teacher. He felt more organized and prepared than he had in years and he certainly had more energy. He walked to and from school almost every day. Three days a week he went to the gym afterwards too. Each day at lunchtime, the other teachers at his table would watch him as he unpacked the carefully crafted meal that Patience had sent with him.

The students and teachers at school saw Patience only occasionally. This was not because Mike was ashamed of her, but because he remained as he had been before her arrival, essentially a homebody. They went out to dinner once a week, and Patience would provide pleasant conversation, though she didn’t eat. Most nights though, they stayed home. She fixed him a dinner more than equal to those they found at restaurants and then they usually watched a movie on vueTee. Increasingly this was followed by some sexual activity, and Patience confirmed Mike’s opinion that his libido was on the increase, though he declined her offer to graph it for him.

Mike carefully watched the unfolding election. Though he was loath to throw away his vote by choosing the Greens, in the end there was just no way he could live with himself voting for either Barlow or Wakovia. Mendoza was the right person for the job. So he resigned himself to the fact that his candidate was going to lose and put a bright green Mendoza/McPhee ’32 bumper sticker on the back of his Chevy. Then fate stepped in. In early October, a series of announcements by Ford, Gizmo, Intel, and other major manufacturers pushed the market up past 20,000 for the first time. The government’s monthly economic indicators were even better than expected and it shot up even more. Then at the end of October, President Busby announced that the Chinese had brokered a deal in which the Russians would pull out of Antarctica. The war was over and the United States and her allies had won! The first troops began arriving home November second, just two days before the election.

Patience produced a dinner of barbeque ribs and chicken, potato salad and coleslaw, and apple cobbler on election night. Harriet and Jack arrived early and they all gathered around the vueTee in the living room to watch the returns. The twenty-ninth amendment provided a national set time for elections. The polls were open from 7AM to midnight, Eastern Standard Time. Of course ninety five percent of the voters, Mike included, had voted during the previous two weeks on the internet. By law, the news outlets were not allowed to announce winners until after the polls closed. Even so, when four o’clock hit, the states on the vueTee screen began filling in with color at a remarkable pace.

Mendoza reached the required electoral votes well before the small party watching in Springdale, California had finished their meal. The Republicans took the new south—Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Cuba, and the Virgin Islands. For a while it looked as though the only state to go blue would be Puerto Rico, but then after the winner had already been declared, California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii and Pacifica were filled in with blue. Mike’s disgust that his vote had in fact not counted, since Wakovia had won California was ameliorated by the fact that his candidate had won the election. Evelyn Mendoza would become only the second female President of the United States, having won the remaining forty three states and a whopping 407 electoral votes.

It was late that evening, after Harriet and Jack had gone home, after the talking heads on the screen had finished interviewing the winners and losers, campaign workers, and supporters, after the victory and concessions speeches, as some of the many ballot questions were being reviewed, that Mike sat bolt upright. In Massachusetts voters had passed a non-binding vote in support of their state’s governor who had earlier in the year signed an executive order allowing marriages between human beings and robots. How had he not heard about that?

“Patience?”

Her smiling head popped around the corner from the kitchen, where she was putting away the last of the dinner dishes.

“Did you know that humans and robots could get married in Massachusetts?”

“Mm-hmm,” she nodded.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You had other things to worry about Mike. School was just starting. Besides, Massachusetts is on the other side of the country.”

“Don’t you want to get married?”

“Of course I do. Now that I know it’s what you want.”

“Why didn’t you know that before? What about Vegas?”

“What happens in…”

“Don’t say it.”