One of the most common comments I received from readers of my first novel in the StarFighter series was that they wanted to know more about a certain character. This character, Hrain, is not one of the main characters, but he does have a few viewpoint chapters. He is one interesting Maurian…as a mercenary for the Talurians, he has been labeled a traitor and has been exiled from the Maurian Empire.
He’s also a telepathic badass, and his ship, Angel’s Fury, is a stolen high-tech assault vessel with a self-absorbed AI.
The problem I ran into with Sagitta was that Hrain was just too darned interesting! His backstory, which I only hint at, has people craving for more. One of my reviewers aptly pointed out that I would be better off fleshing Hrain out, or simply deleting him from this story and giving him his own book, or at least putting a bunch more chapters about him in StarFigher #2 (Seeker).
I couldn’t bring myself to do either of those things. But, I realized there was another way that might work. What about giving Hrain his own story? I could write an entire book on this guy, explain where he came from, and set him up for a much bigger role in StarFighter #2.
So, I outlined a 10-chapter novelette to do just that. This story starts off in the present, at the same point in time as Sagitta, but then goes back to the past. I decided to try something different. Instead of the 3rd person limited omniscient perspective that is so common today, I’m planning to write the majority of Hrain in first person. With the adult Hrain as the narrator, I’ll have a chance to show the reader from his own perspective just how he got to be the unique individual he is.
There is also a business case for writing a tie-in novel and releasing it simultaneously, or at least shortly after, Sagitta. Anyone who picks up Sagitta on its initial release and who really likes it will then have a second book they can go buy right now, vs. having to wait a few years for me to finish Seeker. I have no delusions about how long that second installment will take. With a much more complicated plot and with twice the number of viewpoint characters, it might be a long time coming. Whereas, at least with Hrain, I can tell a simple, exciting story without working about the complexity of multiple plot lines.
I’ve set myself a goal of finishing the draft of this story in a month. Since I have an outline (something that was mostly lacking when I wrote Sagitta), the task is that much easier. 10 chapters, 3000 words each, plus a prelude and a prologue. That’s a nice short novel of just under 40,000 words. If I can do 1200-1500 words a night, I should be able to get there.
So, stay tuned. If all goes according to plan, the final version of Sagitta and at least a draft paperback version of Hrain will hit the Amazon shelves in March!