Behind the Story: All About the Crew

I’ve been watching my Advanced Reading Copy Reviews come in and I had two that both commented on the excessive crew.

One reviewer wrote: “Humorous and entertaining with some action and drama. An overwhelming amount of characters to keep up with but worth it.”

Another wrote: “This story is a case of too much all at once, too many characters, too many species descriptions, and too much internal dialog.”

This is the second book in the series, and I should have kept it simple rather than go all Games of Thrones style. To be honest, even I had a hard time keeping up with all his characters.

Because of my advanced reviews, I don’t want to lose my readers to something I can fix here.

I take all my reviews seriously. I love feedback even when it hurts. But since I can’t change anything now that the books will publish in less than twenty-four hours, here is my effort to make Unexpected Demon a little less painful.

I hope.

I’ve decided to list out all the main / major players in the Unexpected Series. That way you can acquaint yourself with the characters.

Rannn’s elite crew

Captain Rannn: despite his title he is rather young for his responsibilities. He climbed the ranks fast and is the youngest captain at 120 years old. For a race (Yunkin) that lives to be 350 years old, he’s looking pretty good – minus the long scare down the left side of his face.

Rannn is best described as: A ethical bulldozer.

Pax: he’s big, strong and loves bringing a little humor to bad situations. He’s good friends with the captain and is loyal as hell. He’s a 119 years old Red Demon and he loves whiskey.

Pax is best described as: A fun guy you’d meet at the bar who’d regal you with war stories.

Yon: he’s spent his 153 years focused on being the best. Because of his intense drive, he has limited patience for stupidity and his rough personality makes it hard for people to want to be around him – except Rannn, Pax and Ansel.  He’s a half breed between a Red Demon and Yunkin.

Yon is best described as: The guy who everyone ignores in the office until shit hits the fan and everyone is looking for his help.

Ansel: A brilliant doctor with a soft touch. If there isn’t a cure, he will make one. He’s curious and always tinkering with something. A Numan by birth, with a heart of gold.

Ansel is best described as: A clever soft spoken man with “just the thing to help”.

Sci: this guy is my all-time favorite. I could write pages on him – actually I did. I wrote an entire book. He’s a Cerebral with telekinetic and telepathic abilities. He’s the Ace up the Captain’s sleeve in every event and yet he’s not arrogant or smug about how much everyone needs him. He’s simply living his life with his wife Sasha, who is a member of the crew – so he helps when needed, but in the end, Sasha always comes first.

Sci is best described as: The helpful bystander. 

Sands: is a mechanic that has one cybernetic arm, and metal plates in his jaw. He’s works practically around the clock and other few hours he’s trying to keep others out of his workspace. He’s sarcastic and annoyed at most things. As a non-federation cyborg he has abilities that no one else knows about, and he uses them without regard to ethics.

Sands is best described as: the guy most likely to get in an argument with as well as fantasize about. He’s the kind of guy who eats junk food and whole pizzas while maintaining rock hard arms and washboard abs.

Sasha: is an aviation prodigy. She’s been gifted with quick hands and sharp mind. She loves to go fast and see new places. She is used most on scouting missions with her husband Sci to collect as much data about a planet without having to engage.

Sasha is best described as: the crazy girl you once knew.

Additional Members of Garna Crew:

Clalls: A hybrid Night Demon who enjoys hacking into your life to find your most secret desires and then blackmailing you.

Vivra: A dedicated worker with more contacts that a mob boss.

Shady: A strict rule follower who will challenge anyone, no matter their rank, if they are not following the rules.

Yelena: A rescued slave from Brica. Her skin glows and she’s painfully shy with everyone but Vivra.

Lita: A mechanical prodigy from Puerto Rico, USA – EARTH. Downright untrustworthy because she’s got a wickedly dark sense of humor.

Nue: A prisoner Clalls saved from Debsa, the Federation’s prison planet. Clalls forged a few things and got her on the ship as a favor to Nova. Nue is a skilled astronomer who has brilliant insight into space Navigation and uncharted territories specifically the Outworlds.

Noteworthy Federation Members:

Admiral Orin: he is Captain Rannn’s boss in a manner of speaking. But my readers know who really runs the show between them.

Unexpected Series Villains:

Veeda: Numan who experiments on anyone she can get her hands on for her next biological enhancements.

Fynbar: Numan who experiments on anyone to test his cybernetics.

Calum: Numan who experiments with infectious diseases and tests them on anyone he can kidnap. And sometimes whole planets.

Jaccy: A Celee who crushes anyone who gets in the way of his agenda.

Important characters to be revealed:

Chollar: he is Sci’s brother. Sci is currently looking for him.

Jandy: she is Sasha’s best friend on her home world. She was sold before Sasha could rescue her. Sasha is hoping to find her one day.

 

I know this is a long list of characters. There are even more in the books but none are as important as those listed above. As I continue in the series I will be mindful of the excessive characters and try to keep from adding any more secondary characters.

For all those readers who push through the excess and still enjoy the story, this is me giving you a big electronic **HUG**.

Behind the Character: Vivra

Every now and again I will struggle to write a character that is true to a specific personality.

I’ll fear that even though I’ve been true to the character, my readers will hate them.

I don’t know if this is a common gut reaction, but I know – as a reader myself, I’ve hated a book because I hated the character. Which is why I had a lot of reservations writing Vivra.

Vivra is one of thirty-six survivors on Garna the star carrier. The ship contracted a deadly disease and killed thousands. (You can read more about that here).  In the prologue, you see her at her worst. Not in a ‘screaming, angry at life kind of way’, but in a ‘this is unfair, I’m cold and hungry and why is it taking so long to die’.

As an author I know the value of a great first impression.

Vivra is a new character / team member, and you deserved to see a strong and confident woman from the start. You might have even enjoyed if she had cleverly figured out a way to cure the disease – but it was unrealistic and would have contradicted her character.

If you read book 1, you will already know Pax, my hero. Hopefully, you love his jovial and witty personality. That way even if you can‘t connect to Vivra, at least you still have Pax. However, as the story unfolds, you will get to know Vivra better and see her strength were not in disaster situations, but in her work abilities.

Vivra’s a Bolark. And Bolarks are an alien race that values, success and reputation. Which is why she’s a hard worker. It‘s also why she‘s not inclined to be warm and friendly to the new crew. To be fair, she wasn’t friendly to the previous crew either.

The romantic twist is that the crew, is not overly fond of Bolarks. Specifically Pax.

In Book 1, the Admiral on Pegna‘s space station was a Bolark that went out of his way to make life difficult for the crew. Both Pax and Captain Rannn had made several comments about Bolarks being scumsucking bastards.

Vivra does not know this, but in Unexpected Demon she knows that her race is viewed of poorly because they are rank climbers. But the Bolark culture is far much more complex than that.

I love Vivra and her ingrained qualities such as career driven, ethical, resourceful, nonapologetic, confident, and willing to confront issues. She may rub you the wrong way but I’m hopeful that in the end, you’ll love her as much as I do.

Behind the Character: Clalls

As an author I will admit to loving my main characters so much that I have crafted an entire love story for them.

Which means, I will force them to grow as a person, and then make the romance a tiring and vexing process – because every strong relationship develops by going through hard times. Or at least that’s what I believe.

In my Unexpected Series, my main characters get a love story and so will a few secondary characters who deserve a happily ever after. I’m a romance junkie and I am always watching my characters grow, waiting and plotting their love story. All of my characters have that little soft side to them – all but Clalls.

Clalls is Garna’s communication officer.

At the end of Unexpected Hostage book 1, you read about Clalls eavesdropping on a conversation between Sci and Sands. As he listens he learns that Sci’s brother was taken by a Numan named Fynbar. Sci’s brother – Chollar, arranged for Sands to get Sci off the planet were Sci would be safe from the Cerebrals who had planned to hurt him. To do so, Chollar had to allow the Cerebrals to capture him, giving Sands the distraction needed to grab Sci’s unconscious body and escape the planet.

Clalls makes a deal with Sci that if he finds his brother, Sci will owe him a favor.

At the beginning of Unexpected Demon book 2, the story begins with Clalls and Vivra (the heroine) surviving a ship wide disease that killed everyone but thirty-six crew members. In the prologue you get a little insight into Clalls’s character, but you understand more as the story progresses.

He’s not a follower, a leader or team player.

Clalls’s pale skin and hair is from his quarter Yunkin ancestry. His long and pointed teeth are proof of his Night Demon blood lines. And what many will not pick up is that his eyes are black where everyone else is white – that’s because he’s also part Allus. His irises are yellow and that part of his ancestry will be unfolded later.

He’s such a mixture of races and horrible childhood experiences that he is as reliable as – for a lack of a better word – Rumpelstiltskin. The tricks, wayward deals and prying are synonymous with Clalls.

What makes this series so fun to write is that the crew on Garna, is not made up of all honorable, or drop dead attractive characters. There are people who are scared, who have cybernetic limbs and… then there is Clalls. The leader, Captain Rannn is forced to accept these wide variety of personalities and make a place for him or her despite major character flaws.

As I wrapped up the final edits on Unexpected Demon I asked my beta readers what they wanted expanded in the story. One common response was to know what happened on Eldon.

Eldon was the planet with the outbreak that killed billions on the planet.

I decided to add that to the bonus content. I included back story – specifically what Eldon’s last days looked like. I wrote a short fiction, about 13K words from Clalls point of view.

The story takes place before the prologue in Unexpected Demon, and you can read it here.

If you have a few moments, I hope you get a chance to read it, it is not a romance, but it give a lot of inside into my world, and into the motivations of my unfaithful character Clalls.

*featured image found on pintrest.