Many readers followed my progress on Blood Red Dust, so I’ve decided to run a similar series of short blogs for the second book in the series.
The new book is underway. I have a small core of characters, some of whom readers met in Blood Red Dust, and others new to the series. The second volume is set on Mars, of course, but years have passed; I won’t say how many. However, events, technology, and people (those still existing) have moved on.
I’m currently researching the latest science, whilst forming the story arc in my head (I avoid writing a fixed plan for all my fiction, as I find it restricts my creativity and shackles my imagination). What I do instead is form certain ideas, consider the themes I wish to explore, look at the framework in which I wish to place my characters, and put all this down simply as a series of headings to remind me of my intentions. Of course, my characters, who I get to know as closely as possible, often decide amongst themselves that they’d rather go off in a different direction from that I’ve envisaged. I generally allow them their way, trusting in their ability to steer the story on a route that will eventually arrive at the destination I’ve already determined.
So, that’s where the new book rests at present. How long it will be before I begin the actual chapter writing is a little uncertain at this stage, as ideas and cast are still developing. But I’ll keep you informed of progress along the way.
In the first book, I asked visitors to my posts to suggest names for some characters, and used a few of these in the story, acknowledging their contributors. This time, I’d love you to put forward the names of space pioneers you feel might be commemorated as names for various buildings, institutions and even towns on Mars as the colonists expand and develop a complex society. If you’d like to give me names, an idea of their achievements, and a rough date for these, I’ll see whether I can incorporate them in the story. And I’ll mention in the acknowledgements anyone whose ideas I use. So make sure you provide me with a suitable ‘handle’ you’d like to be known as. Please don’t be disappointed if I don’t use a particular suggestion: such choices are dictated by the story rather than by the excellence of the idea.