So, I have two sections in Subgalaxia – Chambers and Subgalaxia. I wrote the first three chapters of Chambers back in high school and then shelved the book for almost a decade. Had no idea what to do with a handful of pages. I wanted something fascinating, but was lost. It was just a little off shoot of Polaris Skies.
Back in high school I wrote a book called The Doubloons. It was pretty much a weird fanfic mash up of Dune and The Lord of the Rings – at least setting wise and a big group going on an adventure. That book had a library in it. The prologue and epilogue were written from the point of a monk who was studying the history of the Colga galaxy at the Kavordia college and he was writing a dissertation on the fall of the Empire. Kavordia kept all of the books of the last humans from earth who were transported off world when it imploded. The Polaris brotherhood helped run an underground in opposition of the Empire – a set of fugitives who had gotten on the Subgalaxia when it transported it’s cargo.
Now. That book, all 150K words of it is so full of major teenage angst, it needs to be shredded. Royally. Sounds good as a quick description. Actually reading it is freaking painful. Then again, that’s my opinion on all my other books other than The Fire in My Blood. So. Here’s what happened:
I shelved it, but kept the Kavordian Library. I finished Polaris Skies because I needed to and then came along Fyskar and Subgalaxia finally crystalized with Subject15. The Gods of Fire series that follows The Kavordian Library will address the name in more detail in The Feather on My Scale, the second book I am currently working on. That is going to be at least a four book series on it’s own.
I am debating on doing a Glendweller series, a set of historical fiction that involves the Glendwellers origin stories before Polaris Skies. I’d rather see some interest in the books before I go doing that though.
So, with some of that history, let’s look at Subgalaxia.
You might suspect that Ms. Teslanoviach was meant to be the MC of this story and you may or may not be correct in your assumptions. I also did an opener in Polaris Skies where I use a character to hand the frame of the camera over to the main character, so to speak. I prefer shifting intros like that, but it can be messy for most readers, so I’ve tried to stop with some of my other books. I ran with a fairly regular theme in historical romance books where you set up an intelligent young woman looking to better her career and instead just get’s patriarchied into the ground by a bunch of egotists. This is formulaic at best, and the set up with Corbin coming in as the protective element is normally how any regular romance would introduce the knight in shining armor love interest.
Its wrote and not impressive.
Corbin realizing that he probably made a mistake and Ms. Teslanoviach being no more than a very minor side character is where I wanted to slap the romance trope into the next field. I wanted Corbin to have a goal and a love interest already. I wanted for him to just be a “good guy.” The type a lot of people say doesn’t exist. The one who literally will just save someone because it’s their personality and not to have some other nefarious reason thinly veneered as ‘romantic’ interest. One of those: “here is an example of doing good because you can.”
And he’s a grey villain.
Look. If you’re here, you’re after spoilers. Grey villains to me are people who mean well, but their actions are going to mess up EVERYTHING because ultimately, they’re being selfish, even if their actions look selfless.
A preservation of humans, an intelligence bank. What would that look like? Would it be terrifying? Would it be eugenics? Would it be the one solution if the planet was dying? If you could time travel and you knew coming back to the present meant the world was imploding, would you try to preserve the human race by choosing who you could fit into a single spacecraft, 500 bodies? If you had the medical knowledge to make it possible, would you?
These were questions I was asking myself when I wrote these three chapters and then shelved it because I didn’t know where to take it. I didn’t know what the rising action was. All I knew was that they go from “hey look, I want to save humanity” to being on a space ship. I had the Point A and the Point B, but I had no path, no instigating tension, rising action, climax for the resolution.
The Fyskar happened.
Was Mera and Corbin’s story mine to tell? From everything I’ve seen in the writing community go down in 2020, no. Most likely not. I can only say I hope I wrote it well.
Don’t hate me. This is how history works. We forget about people. As they pass beyond living memory, it is through preservation of artifacts and documents that we have a modest knowledge of what may have occurred. I hated myself for writing this chapter. People complain about feeling sad they have to kill a character for emotional movement in a book. This was acknowledging the concept that Eoin lived a full life. I gave him the respect I wanted him to have in life. At the same time, I wanted to acknowledge that history will forget all of us. It is through our words and the things we leave behind that sparks of our soul remain. I write stories to leave myself somewhere, to not feel like I’ve made no impact on this world.
I also wrote it so you’d hate the Daleroch more for it. I wanted for the reader to get through the other three books and get to Subgalaxia, read through it and just be emotionally devistated that a series of actions meant with the best of intentions could completely ruin the world.
The best of intentions. The most selfish and selfless of motivations. The ends to a means. Just one person. Just needing one person to preserve all of humanity. But what if that one person would have kept the whole world from imploding in the first palce?
What if Bern had been there to watch Eoin grow up? In my head, so I guess it could be called cannon, the Daleroch would have not wiped out the last of the Fyskar. By trying to save the world, Corbin has stacked the dominoes and they are waiting to fall. When he realized he needed a bank of humans and had access to time travel, the path split between what would and what could happen. That little twinge on a thread in the universe.
Ah! No. See! I told you back in Subject15 not to hate me. Here’s Ishan and Fane.
Is Fane extremely hostile? Oh yes. Yes he is. A, he has loyalty attachments. B, Ishan’s family had just been targeted the day before by his measure of time.
Now, why did I make Fane one of Rory’s descendants? That way he wasn’t genetically related to Ishan.
Interesting, the name Rory. Red King.
Maybe I wrote the characters because I’m partial to white and red hair in my anime and manga. It becomes prevalent. I do own up to it, though it kind of gets glossed over. The Healers are the inner self. The Shaman are the outer self.
By splintering off one side, the Fyskar disintegrated, losing their whole. By sending away the Red Hare because they were afraid of their emotions, rather than accept them, they broke themselves. They White Horse subconscious desire though to preserve the whole drives them to seek out the familiar.
The void and the soul. This was a difficult construct to formulate, and yet, it felt so true and so right when I wrote Eoin’s and Bern’s. What of those who have yet to find their peace? Those who have had their souls scarred? What would that look like? People say, if only you could see inside of me, see the pain I’m in. This is a version of how I could represent what it would look like for a person caught up and strung tight within their problems. The inside and outside of them can be so different.
And it can be scary, and exhausting when someone sees your soul in it’s entirety. When they see the scars and the hangups and everything that is barely keeping you together. You want them to forget everything. And yet, when you’re fighting with everything inside of yourself coming apart and people show a true desire to help, it can feel confusing, like you’re failing at being the expectation. You don’t know why they would genuinely care, rather than accept your mask when you put it back on and try to pretend nothing happened.
You have to start facing your demons when that happens. When someone gets mad for you. When they care enough to help. When they want to do everything they can to not leave you in misery.
I mean, most of the rest of this book is really Ishan and Fane working on his mental image of himself, his triggers, the psychological damage he’s gone through and accepting himself. Removing the wires and hooks is a really heavy handed metaphor for Fane finally is getting therapy, and sometimes that has to start with the people closest first.
Yes. I realize that I have a habit of providing my characters with an older mentor. That’s probably not going to change any time soon. Everyone has moments when they go “okay, where’s an adult, a more adult adult than me?’
Hey look. You can forgive me for the ending in Polaris Skies now. Let’s throw in the Glendwellers to help explain some things, and because I didn’t have the heart to end the world without saving them.
Also. Ever got a fish hook embedded in you? Just. Ow. Ow from experience. Lots of ow.
Realistically speaking though, from this point on, a lot of things get explained in the book fairly well. I explained the red headed mummies and the Bai and that whole thing in a different post.
The story is about the soul, about psychology, about learning about yourself, accepting and changing and realizing that you can still have dreams and be something, even when there is a past. Some actions are far reaching. Sometimes history forgets, but it is with the actions in history that a person finds themself in the position they are in.
I hope, in the end, with the Kavoridan Library, that people are left at least with the question of who they are on the inside, where their dreaming place is, what they look like to themselves, the person they can’t hide from.
And here’s a pair of art pieces I did for the book when I was very new to Adobe Illustrator.
I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.