So there's a full moon out there, and a lunar eclipse, and a comet up in the sky tonight. Can you think of any better reason to launch an all new series of my kind of fantasy craziness? I can't, but then again, I never really needed to have a reason to get crazy.
So, meet Sorcha Finney, my new heroine. First name pronounced "soar-ka", which is the Gaelic name that means "brightness" or "light". She's a shillelagh wielding, one woman firestorm who's ready for anything. She's.. well, you'll find out.
Where did this one come from? Well, reflecting on the creative chain that led to this new series, it really links back to some creative work I did with "Palace of the Monkey Goddess" as well as The Assassin's Table. Mainly around the initial creation of Miss Arbitage. You see, originally, she was a character in the Gloria Star universe. She was pretty much identical to how I portray her in The Assassin's Table. And when I was deep int he process of writing that one, I just lifted her from one story universe to another. Then I found that she just lived better in that universe. Her backstory deepened. She fit that world better. Also, she became a stronger character. So I decided I'd leave her in there and come up with a new character that I could plug in as a foil for Miranda in the Gloria Star stories.
So in coming up with a new character, I started brainstorming in my notebooks. I knew I wanted to come up with a solid female character who lived life on her terms. Who that was going to be, I wasn't sure. I knew I wanted her to be a kick ass fighter and, yeah, that was about it. Now when I brainstorm, I kind of just feed my head with all kinds of craziness. Sometimes this includes leafing through books in my martial arts library, one of which is titles Shillelagh: the Irish Fighting Stick, which is a pretty nice exploration of Irish martial culture in the 16th-20th centuries.
Basically, the Irish commoners were either too poor to afford swords or were forbidden to own them by the British. But, my people don't let silly things like rules stand in their way. So shillelagh fighting became common. So, I had a character concept, sort of. I had a cool martial art that I didn't study, but was close enough to my own practice that I could write about it. And then I had these cool historical nuances that I thought could make a good story. Well, you'll have to be the judge of that.
What's really exciting about this latest series is that it is pretty unique. The time period, the context, the characters, they're all very different from the other steampunk things I write. And actually, I don't know that this one wits as steampunk just yet.
But y'know what? I'm going to let the story do the talking and let you discover it for yourself the same way I did as I wrote it.