I wanna be up front with all of ya'll first. Starbleached was not originally written to be a sequel. And it's got a couple other skeletons attached I want aired out.
Way back in June, I had a plan. I would release a little book of short stories, including two directly related to my Dream Project, WBR, the Book That Never Was (That Will Be Again). Those two were Silver Bullet and Rise of the Winterlord.
In July, I released the books and started trying to work on the next set of short stories. I had a very vague idea involving The Price of Leadership or something like that (Inspired by a shit-for-brains manager we had for about three minutes at the restaurant), but I couldn't come up with any ideas that fit. Meanwhile, the idea that would become Starbleached rolled into my lap. And it wouldn't go away.
I do not believe in "My characters TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALK to me" Characters are characters, stories are stories, and you as a writer should be self-disaplined enough to make them do what you want them to. But every once in a while you'll have an idea that is just so freaking full of itself, you can't shut it off. I didn't WANT to work on five more short stories for another omnibus. I wanted to work on this stupid space story. Which I couldn't work on, because the core idea...um...wasn't original.
And then the idea of having FIVE NEW SHORT STORIES WRITTEN IN ONE MONTH (caps required for WTFness) fell through like a lead balloon. I had Blue Ghosts written, and I had a file titled "Alien Story 3" sitting in a nice little file, and that was it. And "Alien Story 3" was too long to count as a short story. And how could I publish something that was based a little bit on somebody else's--
So I did it, and that's the one book ya'll like, and I'm really happy for you. So now I had to write a sequel, and I knew I didn't want it to be another one from Adrienne's POV. I like Adry. She's a little like me, she's got a lot of cold hard bitch in her that I didn't expect, and she is much more resourceful than I'd thought she'd be originally. Having to write strong, self sufficiant female characters tend to do that. Bryan was another option, but...well, his POV is best saved for the next one. Because just because I didn't intend for there to be a sequel did not mean I didn't imagine what a sequel could be, and I already know there's going to be four stages to this little story arc, and a great deal more to come.
I finally settled on Bob. Bob Harris. The dude flying the shuttle in the beginning of Starbleached. He was pretty steady in the couple scenes he appeared in. I also knew that, for this story to work the way I wanted it to, I had to delve a little bit deeper into Bryan's past, and Bob was a pretty good vehicle for doing that. He surprised me too. I had all the players in place. I just didn't know WTF the story was going to be about. Oh, I had the Now part of the story down pat, but it was the Then part that I was stressing out over. It had to be entertaining, it had to be character developing, and it had to run close enough to the Now story to blend in. And I had no idea how to do this.
Then I remembered another story that I really liked. It'd be one of those "kids bonding" kind of things. Like It, or Dreamcatcher, or...Stephen King writes a lot about kids bonding, doesn't he? And then I remembered The Story of the Jato Rocket-Car, and I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do.
None of you have probably read the Story of the Jato Rocket-Car. I think it is fiction, I also think it has every potential to be true, because I grew up with these people. And as tomorrow is 24 hours away and I still have editing to do, I will provide it for your entertainment.
It is the greatest thing ever.