Meet Bria Addison

August 14, 2017

Meet Bria Addison

Today we get to meet Bria Addison, the eldest child of Dr. Drake and Dr. Alayna Addison.  Bria was born over a mile below sea level in the mining colony of Brantley Station.  Her father is the chief medical officer on Brantley Station.  Her mother is the chief Botanist.  Bria shares her mother’s passion for the flora and fauna of the station and is one of Dr. Alayna’s apprentices.

Bria has a younger brother named Benjamin.  Ben likes helping with plants and is in charge of one of the chicken flocks.  Bria’s youngest siblings are twins.  Kaya and Kevin act like their older siblings’ shadows!  Kaya usually follows Bria around and helps with the plants and animals.  Kevin usually follows Ben around; unless Ben is following Ethan.

Bria likes Ethan, who has always been nice to her.  She sometimes calls him her “big brother” though he isn’t.  Ethan treats her like a sister.  Often Ben and Bria seek out Ethan and help him clean something because he smiles a lot and knows a lot about the deep.  Bria loves to join Ethan at the Observation Deck to watch the Delivery Transport Shuttle arrive and depart every cycle.  She enjoys skating along the corridors afterward too.  Bria likes the way Ethan grins.

Bria is normally shy and reclusive.  She says little to those she doesn’t consider family.  Although she knows everyone on the Station, she avoids most places and tries to stay in the BioLabs.  Bria can be bold and is ferociously protective of her baby sister and brother.  She loves her underwater life!

You can read more about Bria and her family in the Brantley Station Saga books.  She is a baby in Pirate Child and Little Thief, but plays a much larger role in later books, starting with The Protector.

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

Creating Darren

July 6, 2017

Creating Darren

One of the neatest parts about writing (for me, anyway) is creating people.  Maybe I take it too far, but I like to have elaborate backstories for everyone.  (For example: a character with a small part in “Web of Deception” has fifteen pages of notes on his family life, origin, habits, and history of how he rose to sit on the Myra’neen council!)  To give you some idea of how I create characters, I’ll give a simpler example:

Darren Blake is a member of the Grenadan Guards.  His parents own an inn in a small town two days’ travel from the capital.  His family consists of his father, mother, himself, and a set of twin brothers.  As toddlers, his brothers loved making muddy messes and rejected clean water.  Since his mother didn’t like mud in her inn, she would solicit Darren’s help in corralling and washing the twins every evening in the stable.  Darren hated this so much that when he left to join Guard service, he vowed he’d never wash a kid again.

Fast forward a few years.  Now Darren is a junior grade junior officer in the Guard ranks.  He is stationed at the underwater mining colony of Brantley Station.  He is low enough in rank to be unable to contest being placed “in charge” of Ethan when the pirate child is held in Guard custody until the council meeting.  Even though at first Darren appears just as callous as the majority of the Guards, his real character emerges as he realizes that Ethan is just as innocent as his own brothers.  Then Darren becomes Ethan’s guide, friend, and advocate.

I needed a character to bring the human side of the Grenadans into light.  This character needed to connect with Ethan despite being part of the Grenadan Guards.  In the long-term storyline, a positive connection early on was needed so that Ethan could reflect on at least one Grenadan as being good instead of evil.  As most of them, due to their militaristic viewpoint and cold, logical mindset, see orphans as weak links (unimportant, less than human) and are not in the least kind to Ethan.  In creating Darren, I had to take into account the lifestyles and culture of the Grenadans I’d created.  Darren would be, like all people, a product of his environment.

Darren appears only in the last half of Pirate Child and in the first chapter of Little Thief.  His character was also created to be temporary.  He is in Ethan’s life for less than two months.  Although his time spent is small, his impact on the way Ethan views the station is large.  This part of fiction is just as in real life.  Sometimes our connections with others may be very small (a nurse in an ER, a man on a bus, someone we stand in line with at a park, or a passing stranger who smiles at us when we are sad) but we remember them forever.

Be sure to check out Ethan’s story in the Brantley Station Saga and keep your eyes open for one short-term character named Darren Blake.  Ethan remembers him forever.

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart


Capturing Places

June 24, 2017

Captured Places

Have you ever walked through a place you loved so much you drew scale drawings of it and built models?  I love architecture.  I plan each building and area – in most of my stories, even down to the plants and what color flowers are in season!

Once, I walked through a house with my parents.  This house was three levels with huge seat windows in every upstairs bedroom – the architecture of its large, open, bright rooms inspired the castle rooms in The Princess and the Swans.

The drab gray stone buildings in the K’vell training complex in Web of Deception came straight from a series of compact, functional, barracks-style buildings on an old property we explored once.

The Ann, Mary, and Susan Mysteries take place in my second-favorite childhood home.  The inside of that house is exactly as it is in real life – including the wrap-around second-floor deck and the loft-lookout bedroom on the third floor.  I added the aviaries, fields, and barn the way I wanted them (the only real-life outdoor structures in the stories are the dilapidated pool and the little next-door house) but even most of the bushes the girls hide in are on the real-life property.

In the Adventures of Long Tail, the chicken yard is exactly as we had it in the house Kimberly and Lucas were born in. (But the time stamped in those books is just before Jaquline was born.) Even the hen house is set up exactly as we had ours with the 4-level biddie brooder and incubator on top.

For me, it helps to visually see places in my worlds.  Lego bricks are great for scale buildings!  I even make maps and blueprints for most worlds and buildings so I never mess up my directions as I bounce from one storyland to another.  Continuity is very important to me (my perfectionist nature, I guess, but seriously… if Long Tail’s hen house was different each time, or if Ethan went down a different corridor each time to get to the Observation Deck, wouldn’t that be odd?)

Writing also helps me capture the best of places I remember (or dream up).  If I love a house, shed, barn, park, or yard layout, it will be in a book someday!

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart

Please Write More!

May 21, 2017

Please Write More About Ethan! (Brantley Station Saga)

      One of the issues with writing and being a perfectionist is this: I never view anything as complete!  I have hundreds of half-finished manuscripts in various sizes littering my “stories” folder.  Because I proof myself better in print than on a computer, I also literally litter the house with story proofs.  Sometimes the girls pick them up and read them.

“MOM!” I hear Rebeccah shriek.  I’m working on business finances and I know the little ones are asleep.  (PLEASE don’t wake the baby!) But I just answer “what?” and keep working.

There she stands, that eager, excited look with her pixie-look haircut (long in the back, feathered up front, but in a ponytail it looks like she’s got short hair) and big, pleading brown eyes imploring my soul.  She’s clutching my proof clipboard and begs, “Mom, you have to write more about Ethan!”

I sigh.  I’m busy.  I’m working on business.  Writing is just a hobby.  All the excuses I can think up die as she begins chatting away about the story and wants to know the “Pirate Baby Story” in detail.

I love to see her lit up over a book like that!  I LOVE books.  I LOVE reading.  I considered Nancy Drew and Tyce Sanders to be intimate friends!  Christina had that love of books.  She was always lost in books. (Like the house could burn down around her and she’d never know it.)  It is an integral part of self-learning to discover a love of reading.  I wanted to keep this flame burning for Rebeccah.

So, I agreed to work on Brantley Station Saga. (aka Ethan) But my child knows me well.  She wasn’t interested in me working on it later.  She came back after every phone call that interrupted my financial work.  She wanted to watch me write about Ethan.

Because of Rebeccah’s desire to know the backstory in more depth, Ethan’s story starts with Pirate Child and Little Thief instead of at The Protector where I had started it.  Jamie (per Rebeccah, I just had to write more about him too) played a bigger role than I had originally planned and we introduced Mary – a character Rebeccah and Christina created!

I’m so grateful for my children being my biggest encouragers!  Many things I’ve written are just there because they wanted them on paper instead of told from my head.

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~ Nancy Tart