The Corvette Trilogy is now complete with the publication of Pirate’s Lair. The next trilogy in this Starship Series, that’s what I’m calling it for lack of a better descriptor, is called the Destroyer Trilogy. Our hero, Captain Armon Vance is now on a Tin Can and on a new set of missions. I hope to start writing the first book, Declo Demons this fall. Look for it in the first half of 2019.
The series will take a dark and different turn with this middle trilogy as Vance searches for his former First Officer – Trin Lestor. Declo Demons will be a loose retelling of the literary classic, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Sort of like how Appocolapse Now retold the story in Vietnam, Declo Demons will retell the story on a distant planet.
Middle books of a trilogy are usually darker and this middle trilogy will be edgier and darker, right from the get-go. It takes place five years after the first trilogy and its set mostly on the jungle world of Declo where the dominant technology is diesel and the hunt for oil drives humans and aliens deeper into the darkest jungle. I’m super excited to write this book as I’ve already outlined it and the story is really going to be a fun read.
Above is a dirigible/boat that has inspired a craft in the story. Below are some aliens and humans that have also inspired the story.
It’s going to be a wild ride and I can’t wait to share it with you next year!
This summer my family and I visited the tiny scenic town of Wallace, Idaho. Wallace is primarily known for two things; it’s the town you see in Dante’s Peak that gets destroyed by a volcano and it’s the Center of the Universe. To be sure, you can stand in the middle of the town’s main street, right in the center of the universe and feel like you’re on a bonafide movie set.
Here’s the family selfie we shot with the famous manhole cover. I’ve wanted to come to Wallace and take this picture for years after my wife had done so on a business trip. How cool is it to say you’ve been to the center of the universe? Especially a Sci-Fi nerd like me!
Below is a close up that I think everyone takes in addition to the above selfie.
If you look down the street, this is the view you have, straight out of Dante’s Peak.
Now I’m a huge fan of Douglas Adams and it’s kind of hard to actually go to the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, but you can definitely go to Wallace and claim that you’ve been to the Center Of The Universe.
Needless to say, we had a great time in Wallace. We toured a silver mine with a retired miner, walked the Polaski Trail and had lots of Huckleberry desserts. If you ever get to Idaho, you simply have to visit Wallace. Find the Prime Minister of Wallace, Rick Shaffer, you can’t miss him, he’s the tallest human in town, and tell him Ken McConnell sent you. Oh, and get a selfie with Rick, because he’s a Hoopy Frood!
As regular followers of my Twitter account have no-doubt noticed, I tend to take pictures of my watches when I write or edit during my lunchtime sprints. Somehow the #WatchAndWords hashtag has never really caught on. Usually, I’m sporting my Hamilton Khaki Mechanical. But lately, I’ve been wearing a new Seiko diver.
I probably would not have gotten this watch had it not been offered to me for free through an employee gift program, but now that it’s in my rotation, I’m enjoying it. It sits on my wrist very comfortably and it looks good on either the included bracelet or any number of colorful NATO bands. Would I actually purchase one then? Yes, but not the PADI Pepsi. I’d probably go for the black dial version.
The one thing I have learned from wearing a diver for a month now is that I do appreciate the look more now. In the future, I could see getting a more upscale diver such at Tudor’s Black Bay 65 or heaven forbid, a Rolex Submariner.
I’m still not crazy about the arrow minute hand. The blue radiant dial is pretty in direct sunlight.
The watch wears colorful NATO’s really well, especially this patriotic tri-color one.
I also have a nicer bracelet but I found it to be too heavy and chunky for my tastes. Perhaps I can use it on another watch down the line. Getting a bracelet on this watch is not easy. I know watch geeks all faun over the SKX 007 Seiko diver, but if you don’t mind spending a bit more, I can heartily recommend this one instead. It has more features and still sports the classic Seiko diver features.
There are five books in the first trilogy of my Star Saga series. It’s called the Starforgers Era or Trilogy but it really consists of five books and one anthology of related short stories. Each numbered book is a novel and each in between book is a novella focusing on the lead good and bad characters respectively.
Starforgers is Book 1 of the entire series and the first book of the Starforgers Trilogy. But before you go off and read book 2, take a gander at Devon’s Blade, a novella set between books one and two. Then you can carry on with The Rising, Book 2. Before rushing off to finish the trilogy, read The Blood Empress novella. Now finally, you have Counterattack, Book 3 of the trilogy. But wait, there’s more…
Did you enjoy the introduction of the heroin, Devon Ardel, when she was a Stellar Ranger in Starforgers? Then feast your eyes on this anthology set before book one. Silicants, Rangers, and Space Western goodness await you in Tales From Ocherva, Vol 1. Is there a Volume 2? Not at this time.
Okay, you got all of that? Good.
Now, here’s where the Corvette books come in.
Corvette is book one of a planned nine-book series of novella’s that follow the career of Armon Vance. This series consists of three trilogies, each set a number of years apart. The final book in the series takes place at the time of Starforgers, Book 1 of the Star Saga. The first book, Corvette takes place 20 + years before Corvette, for perspective. There is about a year between each book inside the trilogies.
Corvette Trilogy ~ 5 years ~ Destroyer Trilogy ~ 10 years ~ Explorer Trilogy –> Starforgers Trilogy
Clear as mud? Okay now go read, I’ve got a ton of books to write!
Twenty years ago I drew a map in MS Paint. It was based on the shape of a barred galaxy and it showed the Alliance planets and the Votainion Empire planets of what would become known as my Star Saga series of novels. Although at that time, I had yet to write even one novel, much less a series of them. But as the years progressed and my writing output increased, I always came back to this map to keep everything clear, at least in my mind.
If you’ve read any of the Star Saga novels or the novellas some of these places will be familiar to you. In looking at the map I have noticed the glaring absence of a very significant planet in the series – Ocherva. It should be located in the Outer Rim worlds near Negram and Alifax. I guess I need to update the old map. If I knew any talented artists who could render this map over a galaxy using cool fonts and other map making tools, I would commision a better version. But until then, I keep using this bit-mapped image from my youth as a guide to my future writings.
Above is a patched version of the map that now includes Ocherva.
My son Spencer was given the task of shredding a big box of old financial papers for us. His response was to automate the task using his Arduino microcontroller. He built an auto feeder with a stepper motor and a wheel and some cardboard. Then he put a light sensor over the jam light panel to detect a jam, which then turns off the feeder and sounds an audible alarm.
I think this kid might be an Engineer. Also, I may be raising my replacement at HP.
Currently, I’m in between finishing the edits for Corvette 3 and finishing the last half of a Mystery novel. I can’t really do anything on the first and I don’t have time to get into the other one before I would inevitably be dragged back to finish the first one. So what do I do with my writing time? I’m plotting and world building for the next two novellas in the Corvette series. This is proving to be way more entertaining than I would have imagined. I love making stuff up. So glad I have an outlet to do it legally.
In other news, we’re currently remodeling the homestead. The kids have newly painted rooms and new carpet. Now we’re doing the same to the master bedroom. With any luck, we will be finished in the next week or so. Right now my wife and I are living in the family room while we paint. It’s like camping out at home.
The base color is a dark blue-gray with white trim.
This is what the kid’s rooms look like now. The same carpet will be in the master bedroom.
My son Spencer got a new desk in his room. He’s pretty happy with it. There is space for his computer and a second seat for building his electronics projects.
Here’s a #WordsAndWatch picture showing my latest ideas for a new character named, Desche.
That’s about it for now. The patriotic watch band is about it for me this 4th of July. Don’t feel up to celebrating the end of my democracy right now.
With the release of the third Corvette starship novella coming in just a few short weeks, I thought I’d take a moment to let you know what’s coming up next. The Corvette Trilogy is just the first of three planned trilogies with the same main character – Armon Vance. His story started with Corvette, then advanced with Corvette: Seer of the Black Star and finishes with Corvette: Pirate’s Lair.
The next book I will write for this series will be called – Destroyer: Declo Demons. Look for it in the Spring of 2019. Following along on the heels of that will be book 2, Destroyer: The Mutineers, which should ship for Christmas in 2019. The trilogy will finish in the Spring of 2020 with Destroyer: Letting Go. The Destroyer Trilogy will be darker and all the books will take place in a single system with seven habitable worlds, none of which are in the Federation.
I have one final starship trilogy planned. It will be called the Explorer Trilogy. The names of those books are still subject to change, but chronologically speaking, will end with the events that take place in Starforgers, Book One of the Star Saga. That will complete the Captain Vance starship series and take you right into the Star Saga.
Speaking of the Star Saga, I need to get back into that middle trilogy starting with Book 5 – XiniX. The Starstrikers trilogy will continue in parallel with the Starship Series. After XiniX comes out, there will be a novella – Dark Wind, followed by the final book in that trilogy: Nex Gen. Now the Star Saga books take longer to write because they are closer to 300 pages long and usually have more involved plots. So it’s going to take me longer to write them. But when the Starstriker Trilogy is over, it will have three novels and two novellas, just like the Starforgers Trilogy.
Needless to say, my lunchtime writing sprints are spoken for well into the near future. I should continue to have two books come out every year for the next decade or so.
We’ve put together a new cover, this time for the Corvette 3 novella. It will be the third book in the Corvette Trilogy and the first and only to feature the new Corvette model. Well, never say never. I mean it could return for a later series appearance. Once again, this cover is put together by my brother, Byron McConnell. Another awesome job by him!
I created the new Corvette a year ago, that’s how far ahead I think. It started with a sketch and finished with a model.
The Kootenai is named for a town in my home state of Idaho. So was Weippe, now that I think about it.
Those of you familiar with my novels or with me personally, know that I’m a big fan of aviation. From a young age, I’ve always liked airplanes and flying. When I was a teenager, I joined the Civil Air Patrol and got to ride in small planes as a cadet. When I got to High School, my dad bought a Cessna 150 and I learned to fly in it. I never did complete my license, but I racked up lots of time in that old trainer.
Skip forward thirty years and now I have kids in CAP and I’m an adult member. This past weekend I finally got to train as a Mission Scanner for CAP. It was my first time back on a small plane in three decades. For at least one sortie, I even got to fly search grids in the Cessna 182 assigned to my CAP Squadron. It was a fun day of classroom work and actual flying.
I spend many hours a month attending CAP meetings, training and activities. For someone like me who writes about imaginary starfighter pilots, being able to fly with an actual civilian auxiliary of the USAF, is invaluable writer fuel. I never got to fly in the Air Force, but in CAP I can be part of an aircrew and help my fellow citizens by finding downed aircraft, missing persons or helping to assist the AF with air intercept missions.
If you’ve always wanted to do something like that, look up the nearest CAP squadron near you and attend their meetings. It’s a great organization for aviation-minded students and adults.