‘Tis the Season for curling up by the fire with a good book. For all of December, I’ve put my best “happily ever after” story on sale wherever ebooks are sold. You can read the first chapters right here and meet Jake Marshall, a Solarian Federation space traffic controller about to have his life turned upside down. Chasing Blue Dots is a standalone novel set in the This Corner of the Universe galaxy.
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my writing but I’ve been busy. Although Across the Blue Line continues to thwart me, I’ve been making great strides on a different sequel. I’m currently working on what happens next to Kat, Sadler and the gang from Scorched, the dystopian thriller I wrote in 2016.
Not only is the outline for the next book set, I’ve worked ahead on the concept for the third book (and probably series finale). I’ve been writing the first draft for the second book ever since.
I have about a third of the way to go to complete the draft but I’m very confident in the quality of the story. Right now, I’m just calling it Scorched 2 but I do have a real title in mind. I want to wait to announce that until the book is fully written in case something better pops into my head.
Scorched 2 will pick up practically where the first book left off, the next morning in Sadler’s apartment. Not to spoil anything, but just because Kat and Sadler survived the previous night and thwarted the immediate threat doesn’t mean they are safe.
It’s always a delicate balance to write a sequel in a way that tickles a reader’s memories of the first book without rehashing it, while giving enough information to new readers to understand what’s happening. I think I’ve used a pretty good narrative device to do this in Scorched 2 without boring the readers who remember everything already. I know I always hate buying a sequel and having 10% or more of the book be a history lesson I didn’t need.
As I get closer to completing the first draft, expect the blog posts to pick up, as I’m excited to give you more details. I have no timetable yet for publishing Scorched 2 but it will obviously be in 2019. I just can’t firm up how early until the editing process starts.
If you missed Scorched when it came out in 2016, or have read my military space operas but not my dystopian work, now’s a great time to seek out the first book! You can even read the fist chapter right here on TCOTU.com.
Throughout the This Corner of the Universe galaxy, ships and orbitals use wall screens that have two modes of operation. In one mode, the screens show information relevant to tasks at hand like tactical plots on military ships in the TCOTU series and Hero of the Republic, or space traffic data in control rooms in Chasing Blue Dots. In the other mode, called “window-mode,” the screens emulate windows and show the equivalent dynamic images of what is outside. In writing my books, I envisioned this as how residing and working in space is made both functional and livable.
I had no idea “window-mode screens” already exist, but recently I was watching aircraft videos on Youtube. (I got my pilot’s license back in college and I’ve always been interested in military and commercial aircraft.) Check out this YouTube video from Emirates Airline:
There are fully interior luxury cabins with “windows” that show a feed of the exterior view, as if the cabin were on the exterior wall of the plane. Here’s a still image of these “window-mode” screens:
Emirates airlines “virtual windows”
Of course, science fiction literature is full of imagined technology that eventually became real. Space travel itself, automatic doors, voice control, submarines, laser guns, and the like showed up first in science fiction before becoming part of our world. Window-mode wall screens are far simpler that most examples, but it was still fun to stumble across them in use today.