As anyone who knows me knows, when I finished LC’s first book, Kheris Burning, I almost didn’t release it.
It was too close to home, too close to what was happening for real. My story of kids living on the streets of a war torn mining colony in a far off future, with tanks on every corner and soldiers patrolling the bombed out buildings, suddenly felt way too close to what was happening in Syria at the time. It wasn’t intentional. I hadn’t planned it that way. I’d always known, way back even before writing Blatant Disregard, that LC had grown up in a war zone. When he came to finally tell his story, those one line flashbacks from Book Two came to life all on their own.
And now, as I am finally getting to grips with Book Seven, I have NG facing the reality of invasion… standing against an enemy that cannot be reasoned with, that will not accept failure, that cannot be beaten… as, in the real world, we all watch the unfolding events in Ukraine.
I don’t write about war to write about war. I write military science fiction, but my heroes aren’t soldiers, at least they don’t want to be. Personally, I struggle with rank, and orders, and uniformity, and conformity… (that’s why I’ve never been able to hold down an ordinary job for long) and so do they. I write the stories of the guys on the ground, who want to be invisible, who don’t want to fight, definitely don’t want to lead, but find themselves facing enemies at every turn with everyone else looking to them for answers, for a way to find safety and stability, against a foe that will not ever stop. And I love that they don’t hesitate to step up to it, albeit reluctantly.
It is true that sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. As writers, we sometimes don’t go looking for inspiration, but we find ourselves embroiled in storylines we started writing years ago, that resonate now louder than ever.
One of my favourite comments on Kheris, and one that made me glad to have released it after all, was that it is ‘both a joyously fun read, and a window into the darkest corners of the real world’…
I hope I can pull it off again with this latest book.
If you haven’t read Kheris Burning yet, I have some free Kindle copies to give away and some free promo codes for the audiobook from Audible. Give me a shout if you’d like one xx