The Palladia series began with a small novella—which grew into a standalone book—which eventually got joined to another standalone book that had been written separately—which is now developing yet another book after it. This new book, like everything else about Palladia, is taking a direction I hadn’t foreseen and hadn’t particularly wanted it to have at first.
I posted a while back on possible ideas for this story, which included a fun, rather juvenile-feeling sort of romp in the outer-space colony of Alphea. And, as happened for what feels like the thousandth time, the story moved itself forward in a quite different direction. Towards the hidden past of the EC instead. There’s a character called Meldono who is mentioned briefly in Invaders as the “founder of the EC,” at a time that appears to be about a hundred years from now and two hundred years in the past from the time of Invaders. Nothing else is mentioned about this man except that he had been an Invader who took the side of the EC and Katia looks at a statue of him.
City of the Invaders was never really my personal favorite of my books, nor was Consuela. I enjoy working on every story at the time of writing, but like all authors it’s hard not to feel particularly fond of some for whatever reason—personal emotions, association with a family event or a special location, a feeling of achievement in showing a character or social issue, etc. As I mentioned last month about Victoria’s King Felipe, he’s a little bit a favorite character of mine. I’ve never felt that way about any of the characters in these two books. In fact, I wrote Consuela as a filler and then dismissed it as a dud. It looks a bit different now when compared to its original, silly first draft even though the story components weren’t changed very much. But the series gradually, slowly develops more on its own arc than in line with my feelings about it. It's a little bit humbling, actually.
When I draft new ideas, working on another aspect of the Palladia world is never a priority for me. It just keeps occurring to me. And the EC’s origins were not a concept that I thought of as having any mystery to them. They were just a plot device to get these kids to be in a stalemate with a majority group—so the kids have to be in a minority group, right? But once the idea appeared of Meldono possibly coming back to life and when alive he’s not much like the EC legends said he was, the third book’s brainstorming started to change. A lot. I guess sometimes you can write a story without knowing what it’s about at first—and then, more and more, you find out.
And there will be more updates.
As I talk this week about expanding the Palladia Series into a trilogy, City of the Invaders is available for FREE in a group giveaway. Until the end of the month, you can catch it along with 50 other sci-fi, fantasy, YA, and dystopian books in the May Fantasy Giveaway promotion. This really is a steal for loading up on some great free books. Just subscribe to author's newsletters. City of the Invaders is #1 in the Palladia Series and I've highlighted the series throughout this month, so this is a perfect time to get started on it! Just follow this link.
If the link doesn't work (it works for already-subscribed addresses about half the time) use this instead for a direct download. But only for my book. Be sure to check out all the others at the link above.
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It took a while for Consuela to really make the switch to the Palladia world. After all, transplanting a story from one genre to another can be a bit of a shock and the readers picking up these characters need to get used to seeing them in a high-tech world instead of the Italian coastal scenes of the beta version. But the underlying types of people shown do belong to Invaders’ world of criminals and city-states, because riff-raff and politics, as I mentioned earlier this month, are vital to Consuela. And after the story settled in for a bit, I started to think about doing another Palladia book. But I didn’t until I was sure the transition was working. What would the third book be about? It would have to be something that built on both Invaders and Consuela. And in any case, assuming these two books did go together, maybe the story ended there.
Now, of course, that the world is settled on action-adventure and crime, with a dash of politics, a bunch of new characters have popped out of lurk spots like the riff-raff they are. You’d think that after two books detailing shady dealings, educated subcultures mingling with crime lords who run everything, and a bit of backstabbing and subterfuge, we had seen all the criminal types anyone would ever need to. But no, there are plenty more. One of the hallmark traits of Palladia is that there really are a LOT of people who participate in this lifestyle. Perhaps more of them than are strictly needed, which creates many of the problems in this future society. But they certainly do exist.
The third book, title still pending, is currently being planned to include some of the outer-space colonies mentioned in the earlier books, but never visited—especially Alphea (Mars.) The Alpheans have a mysterious and very high-tech colony. But I want to include some of the Palladian types like the EC as well, in the form of a young lady who is a bit of a clueless fan of Alphean culture and finds herself befriending a well-off Alphean family who aren’t quite what they seem. (Well, they are what they seem to be, namely rich and Alphean, with two young people among them she becomes good friends with. But there’s more to them than that.) And of course, there’s a criminal heist going on with a mismatched team of squabbling hustlers, including a young orphan who definitely has a mind of her own and seems to have forgotten she’s only thirteen. Since it’s Palladia, there will be plenty of opportunities to shoot people or steal their money. Or maybe both. 😉
And there will be more updates.
The two Palladia stories weren’t originally written as companions. In fact, the first draft of Consuela had a historical setting and was a filler in between the first and second parts of Victoria: A Tale of Spain. But after a number of years, Consuela quietly migrated over into Palladia. This made me able to explore something we don't get to see in City of the Invaders--the Invader point of view.
In the first book, Invaders are shown as bad. Katia probably feels this way because the only Invaders she personally knows tried to set up her family. But the situation is a little more complicated than good-EC and bad-Invaders, as Miss Plummer discovers in Consuela. Unlike Invaders, EC who are bad have the element of surprise, because people tend to root for minority groups. So Mr. Lazeemboi is able to sneak up on everyone and this time we get to see an Invader's viewpoint on that.
Consuela wasn't needed where it was anymore once "Victoria" and "Alyce" merged into one book, and adding it into the mix of Palladia gave more focus to both it and to Palladia generally. The story is now from the perspective of a young Invader, so it offers some fairness and clarity that balances City of the Invaders. After all, the more we see of the world, the more we notice this unlikely blend of closed-off literati and scummy, drifting street criminals actually have a great rapport with each other. The majority of people in Palladia belong to two groups that have the least possible in common.
Or maybe they have a lot more to do with each other than meets the eye.
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
I write peaceful stories with happy endings. When I started writing, I wanted to write the kind of books I like to read. I wanted them to be upbeat and friendly books that make you feel like you're being whisked off on an adventure with friends. And there's also a purposefulness in that because many stories already written miss out on a great deal of what people experience every day.
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