OK—here’s some backstory. Did you ever hear of somebody who wrote a spec script for like Star Trek or some other massive fan institution? And then they dreamed that one day the producers might see their work and invite them out to pitch? Well, that actually happened to me!
My college project was a teleplay for Deep Space Nine. After I graduated, I shared it with some people and was asked to go out and pitch to Star Trek DS9 and Voyager. We didn’t sell anything, but it was an amazing experience. Back in the hotel room—the idea of a man wrapped in super armor floating in space came to me. That was ALL I had on Timberwolf at the time!
As I outlined it more, his damaged nature came into focus. I like damaged characters that are not perfect. Damage is interesting because it makes people unpredictable. Timberwolf is kind of selfish and has shifting allegiances—he just wants the damned spider out of his head! And it gets more complicated when he learns more about how that happened in the first place. But at the end of the day, he can’t help doing the right thing. It’s in his nature to protect people, but he’s just naturally good at violence.
I love the idea of aliens that don’t look like us, don’t communicate like us, and don’t have the same values and beliefs as us. To me, Star Trek and even Star Wars were about interacting with different cultures—even if they had ridges on their heads or were half-robot. My vision of aliens is more like dealing with something totally not like us. Contact with aliens is distressing, traumatic, and possibly deadly. I really gamed it out—what would a giant spider really be like if it was as smart as we were and could read minds? That helped me shape what the Arnock are about, and I think that makes them better than a pure “evil race” that I could have gone with.
TIMBERWOLF: Book One of the 'Timberwolf' Spy-fi Series is now available in both print and ebook formats, with the audiobook release coming soon. Preorders for the ebook version of RUBICON: Book Two are open now, and its print and audiobook editions will be released shortly.