Do Not Desire It, Miss Dashwood

A number of people all across the political spectrum in the USA have a weird fetish for the French Revolution. I confess, I am not a fan. Yes, the Bourbon regime was overbearing, corrupt, bankrupt, and a trainwreck looking for a place to happen. But all the Jacobins and their political allies brought France in 1789 was bloodshed and chaos, which led to the dictator Napoleon, which led to more bloodshed and chaos. Even after Napoleon, the country would be racked with periodic upheavals for almost a hundred years. So much for the Goddess Liberty, whom the Jacobins called Marianne.

Sometimes there are cases where it seems like the only thing anyone can do is storm the palaces, drive out the people in charge, and try to start over again. We seem to be seeing something like that in Sri Lanka right now. To people in that situation, all I can say is: “Good luck, and God protect you,” and hope they can learn from the past mistakes of people driven to similar desperation.

To the people who seem to be think being in that situation would be cool or fun or even cathartic, Alan Rickman’s fifth most famous movie character has a suitable reply.


Shadow Captain Free for Five Days

Two pieces of news related to Shadow Captain:

-It will be free for five days, starting today, so if you don’t have a Kindle Unlimited account, this is a great time to check it out!

-Like a lot of authors, I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon and its dominant place in the ebook marketplace at the best of times, and certain developments at Amazon have led to me deciding┬ánot to renew Shadow Captain’s participation in the Kindle Unlimited program. If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you will have until June 18, 2022, to download the book for free. After that, Kindle Unlimited subscribers will not be able to download the book for free, but if you have already downloaded it by June 18, 2022, you should be able to read it at your convenience.

Where Did THAT Come From: The Star Master Setting

Star Wars. The Star Master setting comes from Star Wars. Maybe a little from Battlestar Galactica, because I’m pretty sure I saw the original Galactica on tv at around aged 3 or 4, based on where I was living at the time, and might have first seen Star Wars: A New Hope on tv as late as age 5. But I would go on to see A New Hope many, many times, because my family owned a limited number of child-friendly movies on videotape* and A New Hope was one that my siblings and I could all agree on. A lot of what I know about plotting, I first learned from A New Hope.

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Where did THAT Come From: Various Tidbits About the Jaiya Metaseries

-One key plot point for Slaying a Tyrant – the villain’s magical enslavement of the mercenaries who work for him – didn’t occur to me until 2016, several months after finishing the rough draft. It came to me during a trip to Disney World with family members. Make of that what you will.

-“Rijal” is a man’s name, and the Jaiyan name for the Pole Star, but it was loosely based on my name for my childhood parakeet.

-Four to six characters in Loving a Deathseer are loosely based on characters from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. One of them is gender-flipped: Sir Thomas Bertram is the inspiration for the female politician whom the bad guys are targeting. Two more are composite characters: the politician’s husband is a composite of Lady Bertram and Mr. Bennet (from Pride & Prejudice), and their spoiler daughter is a composite of Maria Bertram and Julia Bertram. The others are pretty obvious if you’ve read both books.

Scapegoating a Hero is very vaguely inspired by the Nanavati murder case, but has dramatic differences from the real life story and the various films based on it. For one thing, the heroine does not commit adultery in Hero, and for another, the fallout from the case within the judicial system is less drastic in Hero. The public figure known as the “Father of Jaiya” in this book is not intended to resemble any real world figure.

Hero is probably my own favorite of the Jaiya Metaseries, just because I was trying something very different from anything I’d done before. It was an interesting challenge, and since it involves a murder trial and some legal maneuvering, I was very pleased when the lawyer in my family liked it.

-During NaNoWriMo2017, I tried to write what would become Saving a Queen. At that time, the story was loosely inspired (with different geography and the usual fantasy elements) by the British siege of Jhansi in 1858, but I quickly realized that this was a story too grim for me to tell. Over the course of 2018, I came up with a different story, about a young queen escaping after her city fell to siege, and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.

-Airships had been a minor element in the NaNoWriMo version of Queen, but the hero’s personal lighter-than-air craft became a major player in the final version of Saving a Queen, practically a co-star. (“I liked the one with the balloon,” a family member told me, once I’d published all of the Jaiya Metaseries.)

-Chronological order for the Jaiya Metaseries: Slaying a Tyrant, Saving a Queen, Scapegoating a Hero, Seeking the Quantum Tree, Marrying a Monster, Waking the Dreamlost, Loving a Deathseer.

-Publication order for the Jaiya Metaseries: Marrying a Monster, Waking the Dreamlost, Loving a Deathseer, Slaying a Tyrant, Saving a Queen, Scapegoating a Hero, Seeking the Quantum Tree.

-The order in which the Jaiya Metaseries was written: Loving a Deathseer (November 2010), Marrying a Monster (November 2013), Slaying a Tyrant (November 2015), Waking the Dreamlost (Summer 2016), Seeking the Quantum Tree (November 2016), Scapegoating a Hero (February 2017 to mid-2018), and Saving a Queen (November 2017 to October 2018).

Slaying a TyrantMarrying a MonsterLoving a Deathseer (November 2010)
Saving a QueenWaking the DreamlostMarrying a Monster (November 2013)
Scapegoating a HeroLoving a DeathseerSlaying a Tyrant (November 2015)
Seeking the Quantum TreeSlaying a TyrantWaking the Dreamlost (Summer 2016)
Marrying a MonsterSaving a QueenSeeking the Quantum Tree (November 2016)
Waking the Dreamlost,Scapegoating a HeroScapegoating a Hero (February 2017 to mid-2018)
Loving a DeathseerSeeking the Quantum TreeSaving a Queen (November 2017 to October 2018)
Left to right: Chronological, Publication, and Writing Order for the Jaiya Metaseries

Where Did THAT Come From: The Jaiya Metaseries

I spent part of my childhood “abroad,” where I discovered anime (dubbed into various European languages) and foreign cinema, due to my family’s fondness for French and Italian comedians like Jacques Tati and Terence Hill. This led, in my thirties and early forties, to an interest in films made in India: mostly in the Hindi language, but also some in the South Indian languages. There was a big learning curve, in terms of sourcing the more obscure movies, getting a feel for the cultures involved, and figuring out what appealed to me beyond the famous song and dance numbers.

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