As a kid, I spent a lot of time looking up at the stars. One of the great things living in the country is that astronomy is absolutely painless. It’s just as easy as going outside. No city glare—no need to worry about artificial lighting. It’s very dark. (In fact, after I came back from 2 months living in cities, I was scared of the vast countryside at night. I had to tell myself, “you’ve lived here your whole life, stupid. You were never scared of it before.”)
So as a kid, I looked at those stars a lot. As a teenager, I learned their names. When I was in my twenties, SpaceX built facilities nearby and, ever since, distant thunder and smoke from the rocket tests became a part of daily life. So this story goes way back into my blood, into the little things I was always used to doing. Directly opposite my front yard was the constellation Capricorn (in the summer, that is) and it was an amazing thrill when I actually saw it. I could trace the shape and it was so much bigger than in the pictures in books. It was a “real” constellation. It wasn’t just something you read about. It was actually in the sky! It was not made up! (Okay, so maybe it was stupid to think it would be made up, but that’s what a light bulb moment is about--being less stupid now.)
The original story name was “The Heirs of Capricorn” because Ryan and Essie went into a planet in that constellation. Later, of course, I realized it would be silly for them to be the heirs of a made-up grouping of stars seen from Earth. It doesn’t exist out in real deep space. So I changed it to “The Heirs of Caricanus,” the name of the planet they visit. Then it became “Ryan and Essie” and that’s what it’s called now. Caricanus’ jewel castles came from a different story I wrote at about the same time. I often melded stories into each other back then—and sometimes still do—to create layered narratives. At least, that’s what I’d call them now. Back then I just said, “this combined story is more interesting.”
And there will be more updates.
7 books published and 3 more on the way. Farmer's daughter, Star Wars fan, loves to read rather than talk about reading. Always has time to finish her WIP.