Monday, July 28, 2014
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Sequels are perilous endeavors loaded with expectations. When I committed to the "Caitlin Star" sequel, my mantra was simple. It had to be better. It had to exciting as all hell. It to work as a stand-alone adventure.
The smashing stand-alone sequel novel to Caitlin Star is more character focused, more epic, and contains much stronger science fiction element than its predecessor. It takes place on a different continent with a much more exotic setting (the Congo Basin in Central Africa). It is a fast paced, propulsive story moving Caitlin forward on her journey toward her ultimate destiny.
There were many, eclectic influences on the creation of Caitlin Star and the Bull Mongoni saga. Here are the top five that had the most direct effect on the rousing new science fiction action adventure epic, “Caitlin Star and the Guardian of Forever”.
Birds of Prey
The female heroes/vigilantes/anti-heroes and villains of the DC Comics universe have all had an influence on Caitlin Star. The Bull Mongoni attitude of crusading for social justice can be seen in all of the characters and nobody is fiercer about protecting the earth from greedy humans than Poison Ivy. Physically, both in terms of athletic ability and appearance, there is a lot of Black Canary in Caitlin. Lori, Gunner and Caitlin’s hacker genius operations chief was partially inspired by Barbara Gordon when she was the Oracle character.
Lots and lots of non-fiction science and reference books, especially "Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors" by Nicholas Wade and "The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans".
To paraphrase what Gunner Star said in my first book over a decade ago, “Did you ever study anthropology? Me? I am fascinated by the stuff. Just can’t get enough. Find out about the past. Find out where you came. And you find yourself.”
When studying all of the various species of great apes that sprung off from the hominid branch, I came upon a mythic species called the Bull Mongoni who thrived throughout Africa and Eurasia until the Homo sapiens left Africa and began to spread across the planet like a destructive virus. The Bull Mongoni mysteriously vanished sometime between 10,000 B.C and the rise of Sumeria. But the hirsute hominids left behind a written and illustrated record of their existence and their philosophy in “The Sacred Scrolls of Tarmok.” These scrolls are the foundation of the Bull Mongoni philosophy espoused by Gunner Star and passed on to his protégé Caitlin.
Music is the most mysterious, motivating, transporting, inspiring, profound, emotional artistic creation there is. I always listen to music when I create and write. I hear the music, and I see the characters and the story unfold before me. There were many tracks spinning on my CD player and in my iPod during the creation of “Caitlin Star and the Guardian of Forever”, especially “The Lost World” by John Williams, “Avatar” and “The Missing” by James Horner, and “John Carter” by “Michael Giacchino.
Land of the Lost
One of the inspirations behind the creators of “Lost” and a whole generation of science fiction writers, (including yours truly), it is astounding how well written this cult 1970’s live action Saturday morning children’s television series was. The first two seasons (1974-1976) featured a who’s who in the elite science fiction writers of the era including Larry Niven, Theodore Sturgeon, Ben Bova, Norman Spinrad, Dorothy "D.C." Fontana, Walter Koenig, and “Land of Lost” co-creator and story editor David Gerrold.
I make no secret about my guilty pleasure love of “Supergirl”. The DC Comics New 52 re-launch of the title features Kara/Supergirl as an emotional, powerful, angst-ridden teenager looking for her place in the world. There is a lot of Supergirl in Caitlin Star. In some ways she is Kara Zor-El in black spandex with a cutlass sword.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Caitlin Star’s first solo outing shocked readers with its relentless, nihilistic, and graphic take on the YA dystopian genre. Now, this riveting stand-alone sequel launches the unforgettable action figure femme into the realm of mythic superhero. Caitlin Star and the Guardian of Forever is a colorful, exotic, brutal, exhilarating, action-packed adventure novel with shades of Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones, and Tarzan of the Apes.
Caitlin is a warrior trained by Gunner Star in the ways of the Bull Mongoni, a mythic species of hominids that lived long ago. The Bull Mongoni philosophy is to strengthen the mind and the flesh, to protect the earth and its creatures, and to fight for those who have no voice. When Yellowstone Park was under siege by the Big Oil Mafia and North America held hostage by right-wing extremist President Tony Perkins and his Moral Authority militias, Caitlin Star led a revolution. She and her warriors protected the National Parks, defeated Perkins and his self righteous goons, and restored free-thinking to America.
It was but a temporary victory. Backed by the billionaire Cantor brothers and under the guise of a new charismatic leader, Senator Ben Cross of Texas, the Moral Authority has spent the last two years growing stronger. Now they have teamed up with a para-military gang known as the White Hand, have taken control of Central Africa, and are intent on destroying the only remaining patch of pristine rain forest on Earth—a place known as The Last Eden.
When a cross river gorilla is sadistically murdered, Caitlin is called into action by Azrael—a.k.a. the Black Knight—a fellow Bull Mongoni warrior with roots in the Congo. Now she must defeat the White Hand, battle the militia of a ruthless Uganda dictator, and face down a mysterious figure who is manipulating everything behind the scenes for a devious purpose that will threaten every living thing on earth.
It is up to Caitlin Star to save a paradise, free a continent, and rescue the entire planet itself. Caitlin Star is our last hope.