As some of you know, I’m a sci fi/spec fic fan and have been since I started reading. Sure, I also devoured the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series, as well as some truly epic adventures like Costain’s The Black Rose. I was big into stuff like that (still am, thank you very much), as well as Robin Hood stories and tales about heroic deeds involving dragons, swords, magic, and whatever the hell else an author could come up with to populate his or her worlds.
No surprise, then, that as a kid, I read most of the works of authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ursula K. Le Guin (her Earthsea Trilogy is super-cool). I really dug Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, too. I was a member of a science fiction book club (remember those, back in the day?), which was like the CD/cassette club Columbia House (which now does DVDs and streaming), only with books. You’d join up and get to pick, like, 10 titles and then you had a year or so to fulfill your membership requirements (which was usually 5 books at regular discounted club prices).
I loved getting those book catalogues in the mail. Freakin’ loved it. I found a lot of authors and cool spec fic works that way. I spent my childhood and teen years buried in spec fic. And then, at the age of 10, something awesome happened.
Star Wars was released.
Good gracious me. There it was. My big-ass space adventure on the big screen. Right there. Wow. I’ve seen that movie (and the original trilogy) more times than I can count. Oh, sure, I’d watched episodes of the original Star Trek. But this. This was mind-boggling for a sci fi readin’ geekoid like me. Adventure. Strong characters. Scary villain. A cause. Space bandits. Different beings and cultures. Snappy dialogue. Scrappy rebels.
(source: ifc; re-sized here)
From that moment on (and in spite of Luke Skywalker’s David Cassidy ‘do), I wanted to be a space bandit. Or at least a cool-ass fighter pilot in the rebel forces.
That was the root of my love of space opera. Because that’s what Star Wars is, friends. And Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica (the re-make, too) and Firefly (one of my super-faves). Not sure what I mean? Well, here you go. Andi’s handy explanation of space opera. Hell, I didn’t even know that those space banditry stories had a specific subgenre. I just knew I loved ’em. And I wanted to write them. I wanted to write them the way I saw them — with strong women characters kicking ass and taking names, flying ships, involved in power and intrigue, getting some romance, and having a freaking blast.
And guess what? I did. I’m writing a space opera. Book 3 of my Far Seek Chronicles The Edge of Rebellion, will be published probably around the end of this month, if not before. If you’re going to GCLS, you’ll be able to score a copy.
I’ve gotten pretty attached to these characters, and I love that they get to do all the cool space opera things that I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a kid. Space opera makes me feel like a kid again, like it’s just a matter of time before I’ll be flying that rebel ship into Death Star territory, just a matter of time before I’ll be on a rebel base preparing for the next sortie. It makes me feel like a kid, but it deals with adult stuff. Like, get your s*** together kind of stuff, take responsibility, and do what needs to be done. It also deals with war and pain and loss and grief and yes, a bit of love. All of these are space opera elements and I bring them into my series, too. But somehow, dealing with that stuff? It’s a lot more fun from the deck of a spaceship.
Anyway. If you’re interested, here’s an excerpt from The Edge of Rebellion. You’ll find excerpts to the other books in my space opera on my website, including the first, Friends in High Places and the second, A Matter of Blood.
Happy Friday, and safe travels, whether literal or metaphorical.