Epsilon Universe extra – Wil and Ren

Epsilon: War Stories coverFor NaNoWriMo 2013, I started working on a collection of stories and scenes out of the Epsilon Universe entitled Epsilon: War Stories.  In the midst of working on this project, I ended up writing some scenes that take place during the same period as Epsilon: Redeemer that might never make it into anything else.

The following scene is from Ren’s point of view, and it’s a pivotal point in the evolution of her relationship with Wil after the events of Epsilon: Broken Stars, so if you don’t want spoilers of any flavor for Broken Stars or Redeemer, don’t click below the break.

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Hello, my name is Erin, and I write character-driven fiction.

Confession time: I write character-driven fiction.  The characters are my stars, not the plot, not a world, not a concept.  I’m interested in the stories these people I make up in my head have to tell me, and I bank on readers being as interested in them as I am.

Maybe it’s the longtime roleplayer in me that causes that.  I can’t be sure.

I think about these things from time to time, but it wasn’t until a recent review in the @SciYourFi blog that I realized how much I invest in characters over the plots driving them, over everything swirling around them.  The review was of my first full-length ebook, Epsilon: Broken Stars, and the major takeaways for me as a writer were to make sure that all of the little things that struck the reviewer as “odd” pay of in the second book (Redeemer, forthcoming, release date unknown but probably in the spring or summer) and that the reviewer got interested in the personal stories of the cast.  That’s fantastic, because I’ve been in love with their stories for a long time (well, Aaron/Wil and Caren’s, anyhow).

Side note: Of course the review also sent me scrambling to figure out some formatting errors, which I think I fixed but could certainly be wrong on that count.  A full page-through of the Smashwords version is on my to-do list (I have been avoiding it so the story could settle in my brain–so I could get really, really used to the idea of it being “finished”).

Chris George, as I recall, said something similar about Awakenings in his review of it at the Web Fiction Guide–the saga centers less around the end of the world and more about how the young men and women left behind handle that event.  I’m sure eventual reviews of The Last Colony will say the same thing: that the story centers on the people reacting to and causing events in their universe.

My name is Erin, and I write character-based fiction.  It’s what I do.  I’ve got a bunch of worlds, and these worlds are peopled with characters I love (or, in cases such as with Casey Flannery and D’Arcy Morgause, love to hate).


You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke And on Smashwords @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke

And Amazon @ http://www.amazon.com/author/erin-klitzke

She offers two free fiction serials @ http://www.embklitzke.com/e557 and http://awakenings.embklitzke.com.  Stop on by and check it out.

‘Good, because I think I need it.’ – Excerpt from NaNoWriMo ’11, Epsilon: Redeemer

A little bit of a teaser from the rough draft of Epsilon: Redeemer, second book of the Epsilon series.  I’m writing the first draft of the book for NaNoWriMo 2011, and now I’ve got a bit that I’m okay with sharing.

            ‘Quintilian was captured by the Imperium.  He must have been, since we swept the area where he was and found signs of a fight, but no body.  Still trying to figure it out; word would be appreciated.’

I rubbed my temple.  It wasn’t good news.  Quintilian was another regional lead, two sectors over in the Borderworlds, but closer to the edge of Imperium territory than my area of influence.  He’d been a friend of Korea’s from school and one of my closest allies in the upper echelons of the Resistance, especially when it came to trying to find her.

I closed my eyes, leaning back.  I was with Renegade again, taking my turn on the watch.  I’d been switching off with Sam and Conrad, but Kallyn had come to take a watch or two, a signal to me that she was getting ready to get more deeply involved in Resistance affairs.

I wasn’t sure whether that’d be a good thing or a bad thing.

A groan from the bed dragged me out of the quagmire of reports.  Renegade had been drifting in and out of consciousness for the past few days, eyes dull with fever and barely responsive when we spoke to her.  It hadn’t surprised me.  I wasn’t quite sure what point the process had been interrupted at, but I knew that this was as close to normal as these things got.  Her system was in a state of shock.  Nothing was going to happen until that fever broke, and I knew it.

Part of me was silently thankful that Wil wasn’t around.  I’d been able to taste his worry when he’d first brought me in on this, and it was disconcerting to say the least.  Better he wasn’t here to keep right on worrying and distracting everyone around him.

The fever had finally broken the night before, but she hadn’t been awake since then.

Setting aside the palmtop where I’d been reading the reports, I leaned toward her, watching as Renegade lifted a hand to rub her eyes and groaned again, starting to roll and curl on her side.  She noticed me a few seconds later, blinking blearily.

“Where am I?” she murmured, voice hoarse and heavy with confusion.

“Caldin,” I told her.  I touched her shoulder as she started to sit up.  “Careful, you’ve been mostly horizontal for a couple weeks except to get some food into you.  Don’t sit up too fast.  I don’t want you keeling over on me.”

She laughed weakly and let me help her sit up.  She hunched over a little, staring at her hands, thin and pale against the gray coverlet.  The engagement ring Wil had left on her finger sparkled in the room’s dim light and her gaze fastened on it for a moment.  Her breath caught.

“I don’t know where that is,” she whispered.  “I don’t know who I am.  Who’re you?”

“Call me Luc,” I said.  “I’m a doctor, and a friend.  I’m here to help you.”

Her gaze slid sidelong to me, hazel eyes pinning me in place.  She had one of those stares, one that could paralyze a man with a glance, a certain sort of intensity that could instill comfort or unease at her leisure.  “Promise?”

“I promise.”

One of her hands closed around mine and squeezed with a strength that surprised me.  “Good,” she said in a ragged whisper.  “Because I think I need it.”

Copyright 2011, Erin M. Klitzke

Like what you see?  See what comes before in Epsilon: Broken Stars, available where ebooks are sold.


You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke
And on Smashwords @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke 

Broken Stars is now complete, heading into final reads and revisions.

[progpress title=”Epsilon: Broken Stars” goal=”70000″ current=”79949″ label=”words”]

A novel roughly thirteen years in the making is finally complete and should hopefully be released by the end of the month.  I’ve shot it off to a few test readers for their commentary (one of whom I’m certain is a bit annoyed with me thanks to the wall of text spam he was getting all day yesterday).  I’ll be doing edits and tweaks based on their readings/proofs.

Epsilon: Broken Stars came in at a higher word count than I anticipated, and will shrink/grow with the forthcoming edits.  I finished writing at around 2am last night, emailed it off, then crashed for five and a half hours (up by 8–yup, there’s something wrong with me).  I need to let it set for a few days before I go back to start any edits of my own I might decide to do, but as of this writing, it’s complete but for proofreading and minor edits.

That is to say I don’t think I’m going to be adding any more chapters, fight scenes, or any other such thing.  I might do some Epilogue tweaking, but that’s for another day, after I let it sit and rest.

Of course, I still need to write the dedication and the acknowledgements, as well as format copies for several different e-publication venues.  That’s a task for another day.

Between yesterday and early this morning, I wrote more than 7000 words.  That was a huge day for me (I also managed to somehow buy tickets to the Red Wings game in there, go figure).

Writing yesterday was mostly action sequences, which I have a great deal of difficulty writing.  Erik says it’s because I’ve never actually been in a fight before, and he’s probably right about that.

Here’s a sample of what I came up with, though, for two action-packed chapters.

            Desantis only hesitated a second before he triggered the detonator.  A series of quiet pops echoed off the buildings, followed by the larger, explosive roars of the charges going up in a secondary blast and taking the back end of the lander with it.  The craft’s pilot was knocked sprawling into the light of one of the streetlamps.

He scrambled to his feet a few stunned seconds later, yelling.  I grasped Sam with one hand and Desantis with the other.

“Time to go,” I hissed, then ducked down the alleyway, trusting them to follow.

Sam looked positively gleeful by the time we got back to the car.

“We did it!  We actually did it.”

“Celebrate later,” I said, giving her a stern look as I jerked the passenger side door open.  “It’s not over yet.”

She sobered as she caught sight of my expression and went quiet, nodding.  She ducked into the car without another word.

Desantis looked at me across the roof and I just shook my head.  He shrugged and got in, and I joined them a second later.

“Biesterfield and Twelfth,” he said as Sam got the vehicle moving.

She nodded.  “Thanks.”

We wended our way up a few side streets before we turned onto one of the north-south streets a couple over from Biesterfield and headed north toward city center.  I was doing math on the way and realized something.

“Mac, how many did you say were landing here?”

He blinked at me.  “Six, Cap.”

“And five on the other continent.”  Maybe I heard him wrong.  Maybe he said six and I misheard him.

“Right.”

Damn.  “Compliment on a cruiser like the Tallahassee is twelve.”  So where’s that last lander?

The car swerved a little as Sam caught up to my line of thinking.  “Five and six is eleven.  Where’s the last lander?”

“That’s what I want to know,” I said grimly as Desantis scrambled for his palmtop.  Three klicks out from the Scarlet meant there was significant lag between sensors and the palmtop, and Desantis cursed his way through trying to figure out where that last lander was coming down.

Sam whipped the car around a corner, headed toward Biesterfield on one of the east-west streets, then whipped around another corner onto our target street.

She plowed right into a roadblock and a subsequent hail of weaponsfire.

 

Epsilon: Broken Stars by Erin M. Klitzke

Turned out pretty decent, I’d say.  That’s actually toward the beginning of the action, believe it or not!

Only time and readers, however, will tell me exactly how well I’ve done.  We shall see!

Look for Epsilon: Broken Stars in your favorite ebook store coming soon.