The price of doing both Camp NaNoWriMo AND the A to Z Challenge in April was that my reading time disappeared completely and my email answering time was sadly neglected. In fact, I only dealt with urgent emails. When I finished my story at Camp, I started on the backlog – over 400 of them!
But finish I did, thanks to a combination of a very cold April and that feeling which most readers know – that when you pass a certain point in the book, you just HAVE to carry on to the end!
I was writing book 2 in my science fiction series, which starts with The Perihelix, launched on February 16th. I’d forgotten that it’s better to have two books in a series already written before starting to publish, so you can bring them out at close intervals! So Book 2 in the Viridian Series took precedence over Book 7 in the Princelings series, which I’m aiming to complete in July. Or maybe I’ll write Book 8 first to make sure that everything that has to happen in book 7 does.
Viridian System book 2
Screams and shouting echoed over the gently sloping fields as dawn pressed through the rising mist of a fine summer’s day. The idyllic and fertile land of the planet Corsair had seen twenty-four years of Imperium rule. After the initial killings and enslavement, those who were left had enjoyed a peaceful existence, provided they worked from dawn to dusk in the fields, ensuring the Imperium’s bread-baskets remained filled.
“What’s happening?” Maya Trescothick asked her husband Colin, as he dashed back into their tiny wooden cottage.
“Get the kids, grab some food. We’re leaving.”
“No buts, Maya. They’re back. Just like when we were kids. Move!”
That’s the opening of book 2, in which the people of the planet Corsair are moved off their land once more, in a scene reminiscent of the Irish land grabs of the eighteen hundreds.
If you’ve read Book 1, the Perihelix, you’ll know that Pedro Garcia is destined to wield the Perihelix to save his planet. This is all very well, but Pete hasn’t any idea how, and the legend of the Perihelix suggests there should be three Georges wielding it, not Pete and Lars, Dolores and Maggie. A sword with funny lights coming from it doesn’t sound too promising as a weapon to overcome the might of the Imperium with all its fighting troops and starcruisers bristling with weapons.
These guys aren’t exactly knights riding to the rescue, either. For one, they stumble into a wormhole and undergo spaghettification before they arrive somewhere that not even the computer can identify. After drifting around for a bit they decide to make for the centre of the Galaxy, where there is a rumour of a wormhole conduit that can get them to the Alpha quadrant, so they can at least get home from there. If they can stay alive long enough, since they have only their provisions for about six months, plus the vegetables growing in the biome. They can’t stop for provisions, because the only spacers they come across don’t speak any known language, and they haven’t any local currency. In fact the captain will only speak to Dolores, since only women pilot spacecraft. Unfortunately, the war has broken out due to a dispute about said wormhole conduit.
At present the story may get criticised for having far too many people and places in it. There are at least six story threads, some of which merge, and some dissipate into the general background war between the Federation and the Imperium. It ends really with only three – Pete, the Swede, the girls back home having fulfilled Pete’s mission, Kaa Birith sneaking around the outer systems instead of making himself useful in the Imperium winning the war, and what to do with the people of Corsair. It’s not a cliffhanger, although there are loose ends to be sorted out… in book 3 🙂
Some bits of Viridian System short stories get absorbed into this book, others don’t. I may put a revised version of the Viridian System Sampler out later this year, so buy now from Smashwords and you’ll be able to read the updated version too. There will only be eight stories in any one version, so some will be dropped in later editions.
Book 2 still hasn’t got a title, and I expect it won’t get one till after I’ve edited it. Keep an eye on the Viridian series website if you’d like to get excerpts and a chance to vote on a title, and better still, sign up for the email newsletter.
But I did achieve my Camp NaNoWriMo target of 60,000 words which added to the 23,000 I’d already written brought me through to an 86,000 word book. Knowing how I edit by writing more, it’ll probably end up at about 80k, which is roughly the same as the Perihelix. And yes, it will be best to read them in order!