I only ever thought I had one book in me. When I finally dragged it, kicking and screaming, out into the light I was absolutely certain that this would be it. BROKEN, which came out in 2011, would be my one and done. It wasn’t that wild a supposition, it took me six years of drafting, revisions and angst to get that book done. But then I wrote two more books in that series, so it turned out I could keep writing after all. That’s when I started to worry that I’d never really be able to write anything that wasn’t set in the world of that original series.
And yet, here we are. THE DAUGHTER STAR, which comes out on 5/28, is the first of a planned trilogy about three sisters set in a completely new universe.
It was remarkably challenging. I’d been building bits and pieces of the EXTRAHUMANS universe since I was a kid (really, I’m one of those) so the challenge for this new series was to create something new from the ground up. I started to play around with a couple of ideas I had about a heavy-gravity planet and a ternary star system, and wedded them to a few other ideas I’d had about an alien species basically buying Earth for the resources and relocating humanity. When I created the character of Marta Grayline, she and her sisters, Violet and Beth, became the glue that really held everything together.
This trilogy is about all kinds of things, from a mysterious alien species to interstellar war to faith and politics in Marta’s home country of Gideon, but at its heart it’s about the relationship between the three Grayline sisters. There’s Marta, the eldest, who is relentless, loyal to her friends, curious to a fault, impatient and only ever wants to be free to do her own thing. Then there’s middle sister Violet, who is prickly, sharp-tongued, ruthless, practical, aloof, but also capable of great sacrifice and love. Lastly, there’s youngest sister Beth, who is quiet, mysterious, sensitive, wickedly humorous and obsessed with finding the meaning in her own existence. Each sister will have her own book; Marta’s story happens in THE DAUGHTER STAR, Violet’s will be next and Beth’s story will close out the trilogy. Each sister’s story will be an integral piece of the whole arc, in which both they and their universe will be dramatically changed. I really like this style of storytelling, because I feel like I can complete a single character arc in one book and then move on to someone else, which makes each book feel very different from the last.
It’s been a real challenge to start over and create something new. It’s also been rewarding and exciting, because I’ve loved being able to do new things and stretch myself creatively. I’ve also gotten into the habit of it; I’m working on a few other projects set in other, entirely new worlds. It turns out that I have more books and more worlds in me than I thought.
Thanks so much to Bastard Books for having me here today!
Thanks Susan for stopping by. As mentioned in the post above, The Daughter Star was released yesterday so make sure to buy an eBook or paperback copy. I've yet to read any of her books yet, but I've recently taken the necessary steps to remedy the situation. I've particularly seen a lot of praise for her Extrahumans series, and hopefully some of you will give her novels a shot.
What a rotten way for everything to turn out. Marta Grayline’s stable, fulfilling life as a freighter pilot has been yanked out from under her, she’s stuck on her miserable home planet with her obnoxious family, her beautiful girlfriend’s now on the opposite side of an interstellar war, and she’s bored to tears. What else could go wrong?
Never ask that question.
Marta’s enigmatic sister Beth offers her a way out by enlisting in the Novan Emergency Fleet, and Marta jumps at it. But it only gets worse from there; her ship is attacked and destroyed, and she finds herself stranded on a mysterious space station with a crew that won’t answer her questions.
And, of course, then there’s the aliens – the planet-destroying Abrax that somehow seem to have a hold on Beth. They’re coming for Marta, too.
Marta’s quest for answers will take her to the frozen dark side of a faraway planet, into the tense politics of a rebel base, through vast subterranean caves and into the heart of the enemy’s defenses. She’ll have to face ancient forces, her own doubts, and the inside of an alien mind if she wants to get some answers, complete her mission and unlock her own latent potential. The Daughter Star, the red beacon in the night sky, may yet be the key to the freedom and understanding Marta so desperately wants.Once again, thanks Susan for coming around.
My blog partner Mihir has a guest post from Susan Jane Bigelow today on Fantasy Book Critic too, hope you have a look.
For more information, please visit Susan Jane Bigelow's website and follow her on Twitter @whateversusan.