Thursday, April 04, 2013

A-to-Z Challenge Day 4: The Letter D


Robert Drummond
Seven Thunders
The Fateful Lightning
Space Corps Book 2

Here's one of the truly big characters of the entire Space Corps saga.  He's not only one of the core seven characters in Seven Thunders, the book that gestated for fifteen years and lies at the heart of everything, but the lead in The Fateful Lightning, which chronicles his later career and incidentally how the Danab conflict from Seven Thunders is finally resolved.  Drummond is named after one of my favorite teachers, who with all due apologies to The Big Bang Theory is the reason I know or care about Schrodinger's Cat (he actually had a box, and rumor had it that there was a skeleton inside of it). He's the best friend of Lance Nolan, the star of Seven Thunders, the moral compass who is always discovering that when push comes to shove, it's much harder to live with the decisions you have to make than it is to make those decisions in the first place.  Drummond and his predecessor Jacques Mendez (you meet him on M Day) are starships captains like you see in Star Trek, and theirs are the earliest stories I plotted in the overall narrative.  Knowing so much about Drummond made it easier to write Seven Thunders, which will in turn make it that much more interesting to write The Fateful Lightning, which as it stands looks to be the longest of the Space Corps books.  It's pretty epic.  But Drummond helps keep it at a human level.

Princess Diana
Yoshimi and the Shadow Clan
Yoshimi Trilogy Volume 1

I like to slip in some perspective when I write.  Actually, sometimes this can introduce horrible complications for potential readers.  The Modern Ark manuscript is riddled with "perspective" chapters that fascinate me, but I wonder if they only make it harder for potential publishers to wrap their heads around.  That's why I kept similar ones in Minor Contracts to a specific section in the book.  In the Yoshimi Trilogy, perspective comes in very brief references.  One of Yoshimi's touchstones is the life and death of Princess Diana.  Perhaps she's better known today as the late mother of Prince William, who is better known today as the significant other of Princess Kate.  Anyway, you may recall that Princess Diana was pretty big in her day.  Along with Princess Grace, she's the whole reason Americans care about British monarchy (because we sort of started out by, um, rejecting the crown).  Her death, unfortunately, was just as notable as her life, a car crash in 1997.  Part of the reason I wanted to reference her, and decided to keep the reference in after some second-guessing, was that I very much wanted to ground Yoshimi's life in a timeline.  The entire book takes place as Yoshimi prepares to turn sixteen.  In a lot of ways her story is an elaborate metaphor about the rite of passage into adulthood.  Princess Diana also serves as a kind of role model as a woman whose life has significant impact on the world, even if most of the time it seemed fairly superficial.  Another reason why I kept her in, even though I didn't write her anything like Thomas Pynchon, is that I still fondly remember how the appearance of Franz Ferdinand in Against the Day left an entirely different impression of him on me than I'd had before.  But you'll read more about that on F Day.

***

The Red Sox won again!  It's also worth noting that Jose Iglesias, even though he's just subbing and will be going back to the Minors soon, is looking like a terrific asset.  He's someone to keep an eye on.

The Angels lost.  Mike Trout now stands at 2 and 11.  Not a great start, but we won't panic yet!  Albert Pujols is having a similarly slow start.

The A's lost again.  The Cardinals lost a marathon, 16 inning game to the Diamondbacks.

7 comments:

David List said...

Stop me if I'm wrong... But it seems that you have written several several books, all with similar characters or backdrops, some being stand alone and some series... Is that the situation? Your explanations for your characters are far more familiar and well-referenced than a simple first draft or short story.

mshatch said...

Go Red Sox! (fail evil empire...mwahaha)

Al Diaz said...

Princess Diana was a person I admired a lot and I was sorry for her untimely end. The more I read, the more I think this Yoshimi character is appealing and complex.

Michael Abayomi said...

Your stories and characters keep sounding more and more intriguing every day.

Jay Noel said...

Hmmm...had to think about your perspective chapters. Not so common in science fiction or speculative fiction.

The Armchair Squid said...

Baseball - reassurance that this whole spring idea may actually be for real this time.

Tony Laplume said...

David, the Space Corps books are all extensively detailed notes at this point, other than Seven Thunders, the book I finished writing last month. The Yoshimi Trilogy, meanwhile, is completed and being released.

mshatch, exactly!

Al, thanks!

Michael, thanks for saying so!

Jay, that's exactly the problem. I write everything from a very literary (or how I interpret literary) fashion, no matter the genre.

Squid, the reports of Spring's arrival may yet prove exaggerated.

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