The Fateful Lightning
Space Corps Book 2
Owen Casper is the first but not the last of the Caspers to pop up in the Space Corps saga. He shows up late in the Fateful Lightning story, part of the new generation forming around the end of Robert Drummond's adventures. Drummond is one of the central characters in Seven Thunders, which I recently completed writing after a fifteen year gestation, and one of the interesting things that happened while writing it was filling out the supporting cast. Among them was none other than a character named Yoshimi Casper. After Owen Casper's creation, I realized that the Caspers could be a link through the saga, the human equivalent to Lord Phan, who manages to make appearances in virtually every story. Adrian Casper, for instance, is Owen's son, and he's reflective of the family dynamic that's central to the whole saga. Percy Casper appears in Dead Letters. I'm certain that as I write the books more will appear. Yoshimi is the sister of Askre Casper, who only appears thanks to a short story I wrote earlier this year. None of the Caspers are central to any of the stories, but together they're more than the sum of their parts.
Yoshimi and the Spider's Web
Yoshimi Trilogy Volume 3
Marty is a patented tormentor figure in Yoshimi's academic life, which is a central element of the final volume. Throughout the warrior orphan's story she studies under three mentors. At Halliday Academy she meets Marty, who appears to corrupt Bill. Marty Corry himself is suggestive of another running theme of names in my books, though he himself is not a part of it. The name comes from a particular source I chose while envisioning the Yoshimi Trilogy, but "Marty" is a name that appears in each of my manuscripts. When I was writing The Cloak of Shrouded Men I participated in NaNoWriMo, and chose to blog as I wrote. In 2004 there was a wunderkind contestant on the TV quiz show Jeopardy named Ken Jennings. You may remember him. Epic winning streak and all that. I decided to incorporate him into the story as Marty Jennings, who happened to be a pool player rather than trivia genius. One of the earliest comments I ever received on a blog was from someone who'd known an actual pool player named Marty Jennings. Except she hadn't just known him, she was his sister, and he had passed away. In a weird sort of way I had stumbled into a tribute for a real person. When I wrote Modern Ark I devised the character of Marty Renner (this time inspired by the actor Jeremy Renner, who had just had his breakthrough role in The Hurt Locker), and in Minor Contracts not only the character of Marcus but Marty Kirby (after comic book legend Jack Kirby). When it came to Yoshimi's story I was initially at a loss as to how I might continue, because most of the names came from a particular scheme, and very few I had to come up with myself. Yet when I was writing I realized that one of the main characters, Alan Babbage, needed something to keep his name in play while he was technically off-page for large stretches at a time in the second volume. Thus came into being Marty Babbage, his brother. A Martin Samuels shows up in Seven Thunders, a tribute to a friend named Sam Lane, who inadvertently inspired an alien world in the Space Corps universe.
The A's lost again. The Cardinals won! The Sox and Angels didn't play.