The one thing I loved about writing Alpha Trine was the different species and races. If the book had taken place in the human quadrant then there would've been more humans. The background I gave the Terrens wasn't great. >.< A society ran by four major corporations that operate like they have a monopoly on the market. Too big, too powerful, and the bottom line always equals revenue. Because of their actions manipulating the GryFalconi genetics, the Terrens have been relegated to their own quadrant and fined for a really, really, long time.
That set the stage to keep the humans at a distance so that Zeus grew up and lived in a different culture. It also allowed me a little more creativity with the people he dealt with on a day-to-day basis. The universe could have so many different variations of people just as Earth has so many different variations of life. Even though Zeus worked on the space station, he didn't have much contact with the few humans that worked there but had the opportunity to meet many different species. The Asani, little otter-like people who had visible gills. The Ice Trans with his huge ears and wind wings. Cleito, Zeus's friend, who was a pretty sentient plant. (He was great fun to create and plays a part in book three.)
But you didn't get a real in-depth look at the various races until Zeus boarded the Oethra 7. The crew comprised several different peoples, each selected for a specialty. The idea was that having a coalition of planets would cause the races to intermix regularly. For as many who made their fortunes on the homeworlds there are those who made a good life abroad. Not all races are attractive or even humanoid such as the Orions which I modeled after my favorite animal, the octopus. Although the Orions are land based and don't like the water, as a troop they kick butt. *makes googled karate moves* By far my favorite race of all the side characters.
Axis is the GryFalconi navigator. He can be anywhere in the universe and know exactly where his homeworld is and how to get there. The two Gazinitis are Gaex, the pilot, and Mayra, the medic, are husband and wife. They are small at about four feet tall, peaceful and non-violent. They appear very similar to Catalanis which was why Amlyn, the assassin, adopted them as her pride. Catalanis are aggressive and on their homeworld the prides fight amongst each other constantly. Amlyn's was the only one left in her pride so she left her homeworld. Gaex and Mayra helped to fill that empty space but when the Fal'Amorics came aboard, Amlyn made them hers.
Next we have the Ursid brothers, bear-like warriors who easily fool people with their rotund body. They are quick, deadly warriors in charge of the onboard artillery and mech warriors. Oh, and Hadon, Zeus's bodyguard. He's a null, meaning he negates another's psychic abilities called Psionics. He reminds of a four armed, black and white spotted abominable snowman. That wasn't my intension when I was putting him together but after I finished I didn't have the heart to pull him apart. I liked him and the soft image his appearance creates. That the Ursids took a shine to him was completely out of left field. I didn't plan that at all and yet it fit.
The quirkiest race is the L'Eemas. The tallest are only at three feet in height which allows them to squeeze into tight spaces. They are smart, inquisitive and have a drive to destroy themselves at the age of twenty in the most spectacular way possible. Giving an L'Eema access to explosives is like giving a pyromaniac an open flame. They can't help themselves with how enthralled they become with demolition. The bigger, the better and when they are in the grip of their destructive drive, they disregard the safety of all innocent bystanders. Can the urge be overcome? Yes, but those who do are banished and considered a disgrace.
These are only a few of my favorites. Keeping detailed notes on the appearance, the mannerisms, the sounds they make was imperative. I am constantly fact checking. I didn't want the races to be this blank canvas. I hate that when I read, when someone is introduced but you are given any clue to what they look like. Some say leave it up to the readers imagination. I believe that in some instances that is great but for the most part I love my stories to be rich in detail so I can "see" what the author is imagining. That is what I wanted to do in Alpha Trine, to provide a vivid backdrop that enriched the story. At least, I hope that is what I did.
Thank you for stopping by and a warm thank you to Pants Off Reviews for hosting me today. Before I leave with the blurb and an excerpt remember…
I'll be giving away a paperback copy of Alpha at the end of this blog tour. Every comment on this and the other four posts will be another entry into the drawing. On September 28th I will email the winner at the end of the day, so remember to leave a comment with a way to contact you.
Blog tour schedule:
September 23rd – Babes In Boyland (http://www.babesinboyland.net/)
September 24th – Raining Men (http://rainingmenamen.blogspot.com/)
September 25th – Pants Off Reviews (http://pantsoffreviews.blogspot.com/)
September 26th – World of Diversity Fiction (http://sean-norris.com/)
September 27th – dreaminginfinity (https://dreaminginfinity.wordpress.com/)
The sole survivor on a science vessel adrift in deep space, Zeus was adopted by the Emperor and Empress of the Mar'Sani, though he is both human and blind, and seen by most as unfit to join the royal family. Though they were able to repair his vision, Zeus does not trust his eyes and the nobles of his parents' court refuse to ever trust a frail human. Dargon Kal-Turak, along with his symbiote and lover Alpha, command one of the most dangerous ships in the stars. Narrowly escaping a trap, they dock in a space port to make repairs, but find that the Psionics hunting them are closing in fast. In desperation they kidnap the port Master Mechanic, unaware that the man they've brought on board is more than he seems, and will bring far more upheaval to their ship, their lives, and the stars than any of them could have imagined.
Canry was lost—no—taken.
Empress Ashari ignored her attendants. She knew they would report back to her mate, Emperor Valdor Vondorian, and she cared not. She was hollow inside, the pain turning to a numbness that ate at her core until there was nothing left for her to feel. She refused to pretend everything was normal because it was not. Nothing would ever be normal again because he was gone—stolen. Her youngest son, Canry, had disappeared in the Waters of Poseidon only two short months ago, and yet it seemed like yesterday.
Ashari slipped a hand under the cream-colored pillow and pulled out Canry's little nightshirt. She had made the weave herself from the finest spyder silk. Ashari handled the material carefully. Her claws were ragged from nervous chewing, and she did not wish for the fine thread to catch on them. Her eyes burned as she tenderly fingered the colorful clothing. Her heart might have been hollow but her tears were rivers that fed the sea.
She wondered what she could have done differently. All Mar'Sani younglings were introduced to the Waters of Poseidon when they turned six lunar months. She and Valdor had been delighted Canry had quickly taken to the waters, more so than the twins or his sister, Shaneva. The youngling had been swimming, diving perfectly at her side and then slithering through the water, his black scales glistening in the sunshine.
She noticed the tips of the barbs that ran along his spine and down his tail were beginning to turn red, a sign of his royal blood. Canry splashed Ashari with his tail and dived into the water—never to surface again. Within moments everyone began searching for the royal youngling. Those who lived in the waters combed the depths and found nothing. Canry was simply gone—disappeared—no trace or body had been found. He had vanished.
Never in Mar'Sani history had a youngling or adult been lost in the Waters of Poseidon. For days Ashari refused to leave the shoreline of the great sea in hopes her son would find his way back home. She spent hours diving and swimming until she was overcome by exhaustion and the attendants pulled her ashore.
Finally, she accepted the fact that Canry would not be coming home. She took to her sick bed and there she stayed.
Every day she ate a little less. Her mate, Valdor, tried his best to console her, but there was little he could do. Poseidon had, for some unknown reason, taken her son, and in a few short years, he would claim their daughter as well.
Their now youngest child, Shaneva, had been showing signs of The Longing prior to Canry's birth. One in every two thousand younglings born would return to the Waters of Poseidon. These children would eventually choose to reside in the waters over living on land. The reasons for The Longing were unknown, but neither were the children discouraged from the choice. As natural as The Longing was to the Mar'Sani people, Ashari could not help but wonder what she had done that Poseidon would lay claim to two of her four children.
A large Mar'Sani male filled the doorway. His black scales gleamed like polished rock. Dark yellow eyes narrowed at the sight of Ashari lying on the platform, his barbed tail swishing side to side. Resplendent in the imperial red and gold robes, the Emperor strode into the room. Ashari knew that look of determination on his handsome face and was unfazed. She tucked the outfit back under her pillow as Valdor sat on the edge of the low bed.
"Your attendants claim you are not hungry this morning."
Valdor's voice was deep, resonating throughout the room.
Ashari refrained from replying for there was nothing to say.
"They also relay you are too tired to rise." Again, she responded with silence.
Without another world, Valdor unlaced his boots and set them aside before climbing onto the platform. He gently nudged her to rise up, and he slid under Ashari before pulling her down to his chest. He released a great sigh and stroked the smooth ridge of her forehead until her curiosity slowly surfaced.
"What are you doing?" Ashari softly inquired.
"He … Canry was my son too. I miss his laugh. I miss watching him sleep. I miss … Being the emperor requires that I put my personal sorrows aside to care for others, but I cannot keep doing so if I lose my mate as well. I, too, hurt and grieve. I am exhausted and food holds no appeal. So I will lie with my beloved for a time and keep her company in her sorrow."
Ashari buried her face in the crook of Valdor's neck, the scales pliant against her cheek. He needed her, Ashari reminded herself, and Valdor never gave up.