A Fond Farewell

 (From the July 7, 2023 Newsletter)

Hi, Pack Mates!

No, I'm not going anywhere. The fond farewell is for Clifford Crane, to whom I'm saying goodbye as the MC of my novels for a while. Cliff has taught me much over the last dozen years, and having just finished his 8th novel, I thought a few special words of explanation and appreciation were warranted.

Clifford was an updated version of a sci-fi character I tried to write about back in the 1970's. Heavily influenced by Frank Herbert's Dune books and a character I loved in James Tiptree's Up the Walls of the World, Fedtlove was the product of a secret breeding program for galactic rulers--one that hadn't quite worked out. He had all the charisma of a great leader, but none of the other leadership skills. I started--and never finished--The Fedtlove Chronicles multiple times over a decade or two.
By the time my brain matured to the point where I could finish a writing project, I was really into Urban Fantasy, and I wanted to write about werewolves because vampires were getting all the hype at the time (i.e., Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries), which I thought was unfair. I needed a reluctant, flawed hero--so I dug up Fedtlove and named him Clifford Crane.
Crane was perfect for the Red Wolf Saga. With him I was able to explore dozens of themes that interested me--such as relationships with great age discrepancies. I put him into situations I would avoid like the plague. I forced him to grow yet allowed him to change only in the ways he could. It was very therapeutic.
And what did I learn?
Well, I learned that a hero alone is in bad company. I learned that if you want to succeed at anything, you need to have the right people (or wolves ... or dragons ... or aliens) around you. And you need to work with them, make all sorts of compromises, and love them for who (or what) they are. Kind of like ... real life.
Thanks, Clifford.

Progress Notes:
I'm taking the month of July off from any creative writing while I recover from hip replacement surgery. But I will be taking the feedback from my beta readers and making the final tweaks to Halves and Half Nots in time to get the final draft to my editor before the end of the month. Wish me luck!

Featured Recommendation:
My author friend Heidi Skarie is releasing the 6th book in her Star Rider space opera series later this month. So I'm urging all of y'all to dive into book one right away so you can be ready for #6 as soon as possible.

Star Rider on the Razor's Edge, by Heidi Skarie
He wanted to rule the stars. He shouldn't have murdered her family ...

Categories: science fiction, space opera, galactic empire

Well, that's all for now, Pack Mates. Happy Reading!

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