is my first novel. I began writing it October XX, 1988. I remember the day, because it was my XX birthday... (Xs are my doing. ;-}) I had no idea at the time that it would grow to be such an important book in my own "future history." I just wanted to figure out how to write.
The only writing I'd done prior to this was the adaptation script for the graphic novel of C.J. Cherryh's Gate of Ivrel.
Based on something she saw in that project, C.J. encouraged me to try my hand at writing my own story, and she being who she was, I wasn't inclined to argue. However, never having written my own book, I did ask her "How do I start?"
She said, "Write a one page outline."
Oooo-kay. I'd been dealing so closely for years with C.J.'s future history that I wanted mine as far removed conceptually as possible. In her universe, communication travels only as fast as the fastest ship, ergo, I would have instantaneous interstellar communication, thus the ComNet was born. I wanted to play with a Spacers vs Terraformers sociological scenario, and thus the Ethnic Reconstructionists were born. (I think of them as the Society for Creative Anachronism given planets to play on.) She considers planets to be navigational hazards, I think of them as the ultimate reality-check. I needed a problem, so I made the ComNet vulnerable.
My outline? I had a bigoted little spacer boy going downworld, encountering Recons and having his misconceptions blown to smithereens while they helped him solve the problem with the ComNet.
That was pretty much it. Simple, eh? (Little did I realize.)
I took that page to C.J. and asked, "What now?"
She said, "Take two characters, throw them in a room together and see what happens."
That scene became the opening scene of the second section of the book, and is, for the most part, as I wrote it that day. It became the core of a project far greater than I ever imagined.
My question at the beginning of that day was: How do I start writing? My question at the end of that day was: How do I stop?
It was, quite literally, the first day of the rest of my life.
Over the years, GroundTies became GroundTies, UpLink, Harmonies of the 'Net and the soon to be released 'NetWalkers, which is a prequel to the others. And there's more to come. Not just the completion of Stephen and Wesley's story, but explorations of other parts of the ComNet Alliance.
I look forward to sharing the journey with the characters and my amazing readers.