I developed the idea more than a year ago: first in a piece of flash fiction my Working Stiffs blog buddy Wilfred Bereswill challenged me to write, after I told him I can't write anything short; and secondly in a class I took with the fabulous Heather Graham last fall. I was told by a lot of people it would be a hard sell, and that I probably shouldn't put too much effort into it... but to be honest, I had a hard time letting it go. Characters sometimes dig into your brain and refuse to give up, even when you know you should push them outta there and let them shrivel and die in the harsh light of real life.
In this case I didn't even try. Quinn's just one of those special people. I did my best to ignore him when I had other things to do, but I never made a concerted effort to get rid of him. Once in a while I'd even let him come out and play for a while.
Fast forward about a year: a month or so ago, I was yapping to another friend about it - the wonderful Misa Ramirez, author of the Lola Cruz mysteries from St. Martin's Minotaur and the Enchanted Dressmaking mysteries from NAL, as well as the marketing director for a new boutique publisher called Entangled Publishing ... and long story short, Misa asked to see the outline for the book. Then she asked if she could show it to one of the editors. And then she said the editor wanted a formal proposal for the series.
(Yes, in playing with the idea, it had morphed into a series. I told you I can't write anything short.)
And now I am extremely excited to be able to report that I have signed a four book contract for a series of sci fi romances about the crew of a space freighter called the Good Fortune. There'll be adventure, there'll be sex, there might be a little mystery and definitely some suspense, and hopefully some of you who read my mysteries will give these books a try as well. They're not very science fiction-y, I promise. They just happen to be set in a galaxy far, far away, but for all intents and purposes, they could take place right here on our own planet, as well. They're character books, just like the rest of what I write. Only, instead of - say - five mysteries making up one long romance, like the Cutthroat Business books, this is four romances making up one long adventure.
Check out the short outline for book 1, Fortune's Hero, scheduled for release sometime in 2012:
To ensure their survival on a hostile planet, an escaped prisoner and his hostage must forge a partnership that changes them from enemies to reluctant allies and – eventually – to lovers.
Last year, space smuggler Quinn Conlan was on top of the world. He had everything a man could want: a fast ship, a great crew, a gorgeous girlfriend, lots of money, and adventure and excitement around every corner.
That all changed when he agreed to ferry a shipload of weapons to the beleaguered planet Marica, currently under siege by Rhenian forces. Now he’s stuck in a prison camp on the moon Marica-3, subjected to weekly sessions with the camp’s “medical team,” and praying for a quick death before he breaks under the torture and spills everything he knows about the Marican resistance.
When the opportunity presents itself, Quinn takes a Rhenian med tech hostage and heads into the inhospitable interior of the small moon. There, he has to keep himself and Doctor Elsa Brandeis safe from the deadly flora and fauna, as well as hidden from the prison guards searching for them, all while formulating a plan for getting his crew out of prison, his ship out of impound, and everyone out of orbit.
But when Elsa professes her love, can Quinn take the beautiful doctor at her word, or will trusting her—and his heart—condemn him and his crew to an eternity on Marica-3?
All that's left now is to write the book... after I finish the revisions on DIY-6 and the last half of A Done Deal. :-)