Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 23

Drake. He’s the one with a hidden past, the one in a position of authority, and he’s the one for whom life is about to get even more interesting and dangerous as the series evolves. Because of his hidden past, he’s very in control, guarded, careful not to reveal too much about himself… and then Leesa turns up. I enjoyed exploring his reaction to her and the threat she represents. I also envy his analytical mind, which comes to the fore when the ship is impounded by port authorities, bringing a touch of Sherlock Holmes to his character. Wouldn’t it be lovely to make connections and piece situations together with such clarity? What did you learn about writing by writing this book? The importance of patience and revisiting your work after a ‘fallow’ period. In all honesty this is nothing new – all writers know the wisdom of setting your work aside for a while and coming back to it with fresh eyes, but it isn’t something I’ve always put into practice. I did here, and Pelquin’s Comet is the most revised text I’ve yet written. When will the other two books come out? Good question. I’ve started volume 2 but have had to set it aside for now while I concentrate on something else. The plan is to return to it shortly and I’d hope to have the book out by next year, with volume 3 in 2017, but we’ll see. You’ve mentioned that there is a nod to Firefly here, which in itself was a nod to Blakes 7. What is it about the ensemble cast in a small vessel playing fast and loose with the law that inspired you? A group of rogues operating at the very edge of legality and a little beyond but possessing their own moral code that we can all recognise… The situation offers such opportunity for drama. The simple introduction of a stranger is enough to disrupt the established dynamic. Throw in a quest, a threat or two, a mystery or three, and a twist or four, and away we go. What’s not to love? Why did you choose to have a banker as one of your main characters? I did so for a number of reasons; in part because it seemed such a perverse notion but also entirely logical. If a financial institution is about to entrust a large sum of money to strangers, they would want safeguards, a representative on the mission. It also gave me the perfect opportunity to play around with a situation that’s always intrigued me, that of a closeknit group having an outsider forced upon them. All sorts of dynamics come into play as a result – the resentment of Nate towards the banker, the uneasy clash of authority between Drake and Pelquin among them. Besides, I can’t think offhand of an SF adventure series that’s featured a banker as the central character before… How much input did you have into the cover art? In some senses quite a bit, in others not a lot. To explain, I trust Jim Burns and have worked with him before. At outset I sent Jim a couple of snippets from the text that described the ship, Pelquin’s Comet, and left the rest to him. Not sure what I would have done had I hated what he came up with, but fortunately I absolutely loved it. Jim really delivered. To be honest, it never occurred to me that he wouldn’t. It felt like you’d had a great deal of fun writing this, what did you enjoy the most about writing this book? I did have a lot of fun, you’re right. I loved creating the different societies – from the hi-tech fast-paced PAGE 23