by SE Gilchrist
When anyone asks where I get my ideas from, I find it difficult to answer. Some ideas just come to me, out of the blue—literally. (For some weird reason, a lot of times when I’m in the shower!). Some of my story ideas are triggered by articles I’ve read, even a phrase or book title or information on technology or innovative ideas. With Quest for Earth, the idea behind the story was born when I was plotting the story world for my Darkon Warriors series.
It seemed to me a logical conclusion that not all the Earth people would want to stay in the ‘Seven Galaxies’ and voila!—I had the premise for a second, follow-on series.
My heroine first made her appearance in Star Pirate’s Justice—the perfect candidate, as she has a lot to atone for due to past actions. I wanted to really make things difficult for this new band of travellers, so I decided that nope, they weren’t going to return to their own time. This, of course, gave me lots of ideas for conflict and plot.
Maaka, my hero, is a native of Earth and the leader of his people. But who was he? What was his life like? I brainstormed a brief history of what had happened to Earth since they left, which basically meant a devastated planet where every day was a battle to survive and this led to more ideas for plot and also world building.
I asked myself—what would protect these people from the elements? Where would they live? My research came up with some fascinating information on amazing dwellings carved into the rock and ground centuries ago, which I instantly wanted to use. For instance the Turkish underground city of Derinkuyu, which was once home to around 20,000 people and was eleven levels deep, had 600 entrances and miles of tunnels connecting it to other underground cities! It was even engineered to provide water tanks, wells, shafts for ventilation and light and, astonishingly, it was built in the Byzantine era—fully developed at least before 780 AD. I would use a similar underground city for my hero to live—perfect.
How did these people survive though, in such a harsh environment? I decided they needed to be physically adapted humans, genetically modified, then I asked, who would have the technology to be able to do such advanced research? Voila—I had my villain and another race of ‘perfect’ humans living in a carefully controlled world. And of course I needed the villain to have a goal, motivation and conflict. What better way of melding the two series together, then have the seeds planted in the first?
Thus I had the bones of a new series, which led first of all to a short story, Paying the Forfeit and then to a short novella, Storm of Fire, and finally to my latest release, a full-length single title, Quest for Earth.
With the survival of her crew at stake, an old enemy waiting in the wings, and a mighty chieftain declaring his love, can Sherise lead her people safely home?