A few of you appear to have noticed already, so I’ll let the rest of you in on the secret. The Red Admiral is now available for pre-order on all the usual suspects.
“Jessica Keller replaces Emmerich Wachturm as The Red Admiral. Her first task: returning home and not only convincing Aquitaine to build her a new fleet, but then to allow her to use it to help the Fribourg Empire.
Their common enemy? An A.I. in control of an entire star empire.
Politics of Republic and Empire must be overcome. Secret missions get plotted. Careers are made.
And lives are lost.
The Red Admiral—the sixth novel of the Chronicles of Jessica Keller—Jessica must confront both politicians and her most alien enemy. Be sure to enjoy the rest of the series, starting with Auberon.”
This is book six in the series. And, Good Lord willing, it will only be nine long. It was hard, however, because there is so much story involved. Like, HUGE! For comparison sake, Auberon came in at about 60,000 words. Queen and Immortals were both around 85,000 and Goddess was around 110,000. The Red Admiral is just about 140,000 words. Two Auberons and change. Y’all will enjoy it.
Part of the length was the need to cover so much ground. It could have ended up as two novels, if I was off the mood to make this a twenty-book set. (Gack, shoot me now). We left book five (Flight of the Blackbird) in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt, where the entire galaxy has changed. And a new war is about to begin.
But first, politics, both Imperial and Republic. Old enemies must find a way to become allies. And then we must find a way to pursue our dreams.
Recently, someone paid me the highest compliment on Blackbird. I’m paraphrasing, but something along the lines of “rarely do you see so much character development so deep in a series.” That is why I write. In the old days, you had characters who never changed over long stretches of issues. Think about the comic books published before 1990, give or take. The same in every issue. And never aging.
It isn’t that I take offense at the topic, but I’m turning into an old fart these days. I remember when 40 was old, and I’ll be fifty in a few years. One of the things that always irritated me about old book series was that the characters always seemed to be twenty-four forever. It was a lovely age, don’t get me wrong, and I’d love to have that body back, if I could keep the accumulated wisdom. You saw it less on television, because the actors weren’t immune to time, so writers could take into account children turning into teenagers, and newlyweds moving forward. Because we do.
People grow up. And change. In The Red Admiral, there will be a number of new character arcs you weren’t expecting. Partly, that’s because this has always been an ensemble cast kind of series. Jessica is in her early 40’s now. Vo and Moirrey are in their mid-thirties. Other characters will come along and get their time in the sun. I think most of you will be overjoyed at some of what’s coming in book six.
The hardest part for me right now is that I’m approaching 60,000 words on book seven, Lord Of Winter. I’m at the length where Auberon completed. However, Lord of Winter is just about halfway or so done, from the feel. That’s partly due to my craft improving, and me being able to tell a bigger, better story, but it is also because we’re ramping up the risks and rewards. Things are getting dangerous and galaxy-shaking, and I have to wrap it all up in less than a quarter-million words (assuming eight and nine come in around 100,000 each).
Worlds will collide. And yes, lives will be lost. Not the ones you expect, either. But that’s okay as well. Wars are messy, ugly things. And Lord of Winter will be even bloodier (ye haff been warned.)
But mostly, I just wanted to let everyone know that May 10 is solid. The Red Admiral is available for pre-order. And you people rock.