The beginning of any story idea starts with the most essential element to a novel, the characters. Characters are the essentia of a novel. It is through the characters that readers experience the story the author has created. I will spend much time on characters, as I did with my science-fiction novel, Heart of the Valkyrie.
The idea for my novel came from a desire to create a space opera that had the old west feel that I loved in the TV series, Firefly. I suppose that series was the greatest influence on my efforts. Still, I wanted something that was exciting, packed with action and adventure, and that reached out to the reader in an emotional way. I knew what I wanted for the ship, something with an ancient ambiance, but also something with its own spark of life. So first, I created the ship, the Valkyrie.
The ship is as much one of the characters in the novel as the crew, as it is a living ship. In the beginning of the story, the Valkyrie has no personality, doesn’t speak or interact with the crew, but this changes as the story progresses. Also, I wanted a good crew that interacted with each other almost like family. Before I ever started writing a story, I had these elements written down, so allow me to introduce you to the crew of the Valkyrie. I’ll talk about the Valkyrie in a later post, perhaps, but now I’ll focus on the crew.
The captain of the ship is Nathaniel Drex. Nathan is a gruff character, and he tries to be stoic, but he cares a lot about his crew, and others who struggle for a living in the outer systems of the known galaxy. He expects the crew to obey his orders, but he would give himself to save any of them.
The first-mate of the ship is Yiesa Lak’reen, a capable spacer who was trained in ancient martial arts and is quite adept in the us of a wakizashi. She was trained by her grandfather. While beautiful, Yiesa is no flower. She is determined and steadfast in her loyalty to the ship and crew. Deep down, there is a woman who keeps her feelings for the captain in check.
Simon Lainrax is the ship’s engineer and bio-mechanic. He was instrumental in rebuilding the Valkyrie and getting her systems back up to par. Simon loves science and technology, and is always seeking ways to get the Valkyrie operating at peak efficiency. He’s been with the captain since the beginning, and it was he who discovered the ancient vessel and restored her to flight.
Eamas Conru is a huge man and extremely intimidating to face, though in general, he has a soft spot for the weaker citizens of the outer systems. He is an expert with most types of weapons and armor, and combat proficient. Eamas believes in getting things done with maximum effort and firepower.
Jeffery Valkoris is the explosives expert for the Valkyrie. He’s a bit of a firebug at heart, loving to burn and blow things up. He and Eamas get along well together, being kindred spirits. Jeff is not what you’d call brave, though he is full of bravado. He and Eamas do most of the hard work when salvaging…or fighting.
Ania Norven, while young, is actually an accomplished doctor and surgeon. She is an experienced healer who keeps the crew in top shape and healthy, as well as patching up combat wounds and injuries. She is an expert in biology and medicine. She is almost always in the medical bay.
Grayson Norven is a young man, with the kind of looks girls tend to flock too, but he is fiercely dedicated to his wife Ania. As the ship’s navigator and pilot, Grayson spends most of his time on the bridge. He’s very adept at navigating the known star systems and maneuvering the ship. He and his wife are the newest members of the crew, and not well-experienced spacers as the rest.
So, there’s the crew, the heart of the Valkyrie, and I hope you enjoyed meeting them. Sometime at a later date, I will speak more about the ship, but because of spoilers, the best way to get to know her is by reading the book. Thanks for reading.