Thursday, June 24, 2010

Defiant Dancer

Rulers try to suppress her. Humans want her dead, and a powerful male intends to possess her no matter the cost. They should have known better.

The third novel in my "Dancer" series - Defiant Dancer, has been accepted for publication by Champagne Books. Now begins the fun process of final editing, and the ever-exciting cover art. This novel had an odd start - it really wasn't supposed to have happened. Events and story lines from the previous two novels, however, demanded far more than the climactic finish to the series a third and final book would entail.

Characters have lives of their own, and it was the overwhelming need to see to these story lines that drove me to write Defiant Dancer. It wasn't too hard to wrap the beginning (and ending) friendships within a central theme - the humans coming back to my heroine's world. You get to see both the good and bad side of our race with the re-introduction of humans from both Blade Dancer and Rogue Dancer. Not all the bad guys are human, either, as I introduce some vicious little homegrown twists. One of the benefits of writing a series is that you can fall back on a rich library of people, events, and locations.

Ah, locations! Part of the fun is taking my readers to new areas, and I continue this trend in full measure by taking everyone to the tip of Dessa's southern hemisphere where exist sunken cities and towering trees. Those following Mikial's Ipper training (for the uninitiated, this is one of the spookiest of the Qurl races) will get to see far deeper into what Blade Dancer initially portrayed as a frivolous people not to be taken seriously. First impressions are quite deceiving with that sect.

The cover art will reflect changes in venue - I drew the talents of Amanda Kesley again, and am hoping for an aquatic theme this time.

Those demanding more of the mainstays of science fiction will not be disappointed, either. Space battles, anyone? I have also come to realize that I have quite the following with the fairer sex, and acknowledge this by adding in a bit more romance this time. Of all my novels, this one probably edges closer to the SF/Romance genre than the other two, but don't worry if you are an action type. Mikial couldn't stay out of serious trouble if she wanted to.

I also follow relationships of the secondary characters closely - and many have their own story arcs. The historic cultural changes are also addressed, and provide a secondary theme as well. Yes, things get complicated as you go along, but in truth each of these "Dancer" novels is actually a single story told across multiple segments. It will be up to the skills of Judy Gill, my new editor, to help me keep things in line.

So when is this coming out? As with all my novels so far, it will probably be the first week in December. I will open the web page up a month earlier, and feature the usual first chapter excerpt.

And all through this I am already writing the final book in Mikial's life: Battle Dancer. Getting like an assembly line around here (grin).