Packmule’s coming shortly

In just a few days, the middle book in the CS-405 trilogy drops: Packmule.

Queen Anne’s Revenge centered on Siobhan and Milton, Lady Blackbeard and Stunt Dude, respectively. Going forward, you’ll see more of Heather, as she comes into her own commanding her own ship.

And then things get a little dark and crazy when you meet Imperial Flight Lieutenant Granville Veitengruber, a prisoner the team rescues, who comes with his own story.

A little darker than Queen Anne’s Revenge, on our way to completely insane in Persephone in a month.

I had fun with all three books in different ways. Queen Anne was light and silly. Packmule asks a really interesting question about the nature of total war. Persephone asks about the prices one might have to be willing to pay.

People have asked why I did it this way, as a trilogy instead of one book, and as a separate piece from the rest of the Jessica novels.

Those novels (Jessica’s) have a feel to them. A style. A vocabulary. I wanted to do something different in splitting CS-405 off on her own. At the same time, each of the three books has a different emotional signature that wouldn’t have been as obvious or fulfilling (at least to me) if they were just three acts of a single symphony.

I wanted to focus on people other than Jessica, Moirrey, Vo, Casey, and Em. Not smaller people, but smaller parts. Character actors who might just earn their SAG card in a bigger, Jessica Keller novel. Here they get to chew scenery. Blow shit up. Redneck the hell out of things for no better reason than the need to blow shit up. Go steal starships.

I got to make them people. That, for me, is the single best thing about writing. Making interesting people, with problems, likes, neuroses, and hobbies. It all goes back to Lester Dent’s classical Seven Point Plot Structure, which is the basis for modern, western storytelling. (We’ll leave off the navel-gazing of literariness, where a young woman complains that her mother didn’t understand her and nobody appreciates her genius, at least for another blog.)

  • Character
  • In a Setting
  • With a Problem
  • Try Something
  • Fail
  • Keep Trying until the Climax
  • Denouement(the happily ever after part)

AS you’ll note, the character is the first thing. The most important thing. All setting is really just a character’s opinion about their environment, as opposed to cataloging the room from left to right, which some folks do.

Characters. Lady Blackbeard. Stunt Dude. The Professor. Ground Control. Duke Indovina. Bok and his roan mare.

By giving them three novels, they got to tell their story their way.

I’m glad that Queen Anne’s Revenge has gone over well. Thank you to everyone for your patience when we screwed up Two Bottles of Wine With a War God and Queen Anne. Hopefully you are now all sorted out. If not, reach out and I’ll make sure you have the right stuff.

You’ll need all four books to understand Winterhome in May, especially with how the Bartender and a few friends will eventually upend the entire universe. But that’s an epilogue for Book 9, Petron, in your hands in December.

If you haven’t gotten your preorder in for Packmule, first off: What the hell’s wrong with you? heh.

And go set yourself up for Persephone and Winterhome while you’re at it.

I think you’ll enjoy reading them almost as much as I did writing.

shade and sweet water


West of the Mountains, WA

One thought on “Packmule’s coming shortly

  1. Larry Vaughn

    All great stories…in paperback……now that are all out I’ll have to get the kindle versions for my permanent Jessica library…paperbacks don’t count

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