When I first wrote Astrid Maxxim and her Amazing Hoverbike, I set for myself a loose expectation that I would write one Astrid Maxxim book a year. I had written the first in 2011 and the second in 2013, so I was already a year behind. By this time, I was half finished The Sorceress and her Lovers, and really needed something light to clear my head.
I had always planned to take Astrid to the Antarctic. There were many reasons for this. First: Tom Swift (my inspiration) had gone on such journeys. Tom Swift and the Caves of Ice, and the Tom Jr. story: Tom Swift and the Caves of Nuclear Fire. Second, I had hinted as much with Astrid’s discovery of the dust-covered chest marked “Antarctic Expedition” in Astrid’s basement. Finally, the Antarctic is a timely location, with the subject of climate change so much in the news.
I wrote a chapter or two and then set the book aside, while I worked on His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue. Then I returned and wrote a bit more, only to put it aside to work on The Sorceress and her Lovers. Once the other book was done, I returned to Astrid. Somewhere in writing this book, I got off my outline and ended up with a couple of chapters two or three times longer than I had intended. I went back, edited them down, and renumbered chapters, but in the end, it was still off. This book has only 17 chapters while the others have 19 or 20.
This book works better as a part of the overall series than it does as a single volume. Lately, sales of this book and the other Astrid Maxxim books are really taking off, which makes me very happy. While written for teens, I think it holds up pretty well, and adults might find some nostalgia in here, as I do.
One final note. Matthew Riggenback at Shaed Studios did the cover, as he has all the Astrid Maxxim books. We had more trouble with this one than any of the others. We had a hard time finding an Astrid in cold weather gear. The first few versions looked even more like they came from a fashion magazine. Then we had a great background picture, but to get our girl in, we had to cover up either the snowmobile/sled or the base camp. In the end, we covered up the base camp, which is too bad, because it really looked pretty cool and perfect for the story.