Well, today is the first day of the rest of my life. Yesterday I finished work at my old job, and am now free to attempt to realise my dream of becoming a full-time writer. I am aware that by many standards what I did was somewhat crazy, but...it just felt like time to do it. I turned 30 last year, and I think that crystallized everything in my mind. I didn't want to look back in ten years and wonder about what might have been if I had taken the chance. I decided to take that chance, though leaving was one of the hardest things I have ever done, especially after the phenomenal send-off they all gave me. (Among other things, I will be writing my books on a bamboo wireless keyboard...a phenomenal idea for a gift for a writer!)
As to what I am going to write, well...I have rough ideas for something along the lines of forty books or so, if you could a few one-line ideas I've had over the years, but more solidly I have three trilogies in mind that I am planning on writing, though I have yet to finally decide on the order. It boils down to three genres: Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Thriller. To be fair the third is not actually a trilogy as such; it's intended to be the start of an ongoing series, but right now I have three books in mind...so at present, it amounts to the same thing.
The science-fiction trilogy is called 'Battlecruiser Alamo'; my take on the space war genre! This one looks at lot of themes I've been pondering for some time, but it boils down to an exploration of freedom...as well as an examination of the surveillance culture, terrorism, and so on. A lot of this has been informed by the protests and uprisings that took place last year, but I've also drawn inspiration from the Falklands, Afghanistan, Iraq. One goal here is to make it as realistic as possible whilst still making it a compelling story; I'm striving for scientific accuracy. Though I will be adding in a few homages to the golden-age SF I grew up reading. I've already commissioned the covers for this one, two of them complete with one to come, so I'm pretty sure this will be first off the blocks.
The fantasy trilogy is slightly less developed, but still promising; this is going to be sword-and-sorcery, principally because of my devotion to the work of Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and the like, so there's going to be a significant 'weird' element to it. Strange sinister forces from an ancient, forgotten past overwhelming a kingdom, with a small band of heroes the last desperate hope to avoid a fate possibly worse than death. If I told you that my first thought was the above two authors doing their take on Lord of the Rings, you'd get the idea!
The third is set in one of my favourite periods of history, the Russian Civil War; the escapades of the Dishonourable Ronald Winters, an agent for MI2 (yes, there was an MI2 in this time – it dealt with Russian and Scandinavian affairs). The story opportunities are manifold here, and any setting with Cossacks, mad Generals, Commissars, Airships, Biplanes, Armoured Trains and lost Russian Princesses has to have ample room for plots! All of these will be set in the period 1918-1923, from the start of the Russian Civil War to its final end; my attempt to try and be John Le Carre, perhaps.
I have six covers ordered; three of them for Alamo. The only question in my mind is what to do with the other three; I could hedge my bets and split the difference, perhaps, but I'm leaning towards starting up the Dishonourable Ronald Winters first – simply because it gives me ample scope for alternating books over the course of the year. As a long-term plan, alternating an extended series with a trilogy sounds like a logical idea to me. I will continue to ponder, for a little while, as I continue my researches.