FINDING THE STORY
Readers often ask, “Where do you get your ideas?” In the case of Rimrider, I wanted to write a space opera about a girl’s evolution from typical teenager to space pirate. Sometimes inspiration is nearer than you think. While Rimrider is set in the future, the story’s roots are anchored firmly in the past, influenced by my first relative to come to America. She joined the flood of Eastern European immigrants who braved the trip across the Atlantic in the early twentieth century. Barely sixteen, she traveled alone with no knowledge of English or American customs and culture. She had no money, few skills, and carried nothing more than a beat-up suitcase held together with rope and a burning desire for a better life.
As I thought about her, it struck me a girl crossing the ocean in 1900 might have a lot in common with an interplanetary settler. Both trips would most likely be one-way, and communication with people left behind difficult. Expense and political unrest might make return visits impossible. The scariest part for past and future travelers is the same; abandoning all that’s familiar and loved. Whether leaving home for a new land or a new planet, only the most adventurous spirit dares to say, “Let’s go!”
Once I had a handle on my heroine’s personality, I fleshed out the story and decided to make Rimrider a loose parallel to the American Revolution. On Earth, the colonists are considered pirates and outlaws, plotting revolution against legal authority. Meanwhile, the Freetraders see themselves fighting tyrants who make rules to only benefit Earth, ignore colonists’ rights, and treat them as exploitable labor. I especially wanted to add interesting female characters. For most of American history, women’s contributions were hidden or dismissed. They couldn’t vote or participate in politics or military campaigns. The girls and women in Rimrider are part of the fight for freedom from the beginning, and their voices are loud and clear.
What I didn’t want was a dark story full of angsty teenagers searching a dystopian wilderness for their ‘specialness.’ Rimrider is fast and fun with plenty of both humor and adventure and not a whiney puss in sight. The full story of Jane Benedict couldn’t be told in one book, and so became a series. The second book, Outlaw Jane, is out now. The third, The Boneyard, will be released in 2017. At least two more are planned after that.
About the Book
Author: L.A. Kelley
Genre: YA Space Opera
Teenager Jane Benedict is awakened by her father and ordered to memorize a mysterious code. Hours later, Mathias Benedict is dead and Jane and her brother, Will, are wards of United Earth Corporation. To evade the company’s murderous clutches and uncover the meaning of her father’s last message, Jane leads Will on a desperate escape across the galaxy aboard the Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex. Tangled in the crew’s fight against UEC, Jane saves the life of young smuggler Maclan Sawyer and learns her father’s code identifies a secret cargo shipment that can spell doom for the entire Freetrader cause and the extinction of an alien race.
Piracy, intrigue, romance, and a daring rebellion from Earth wait on the planet Rimrock. Will Jane answer the call to adventure and find new purpose on the galactic rim or will death for high treason be her fate?
I’m the author of seven fantasy and science fiction adventure novels with smart female characters more comfortable with thinking rather than shooting their way out of a tricky situation. Rimrider is the newest and the first book in the Rimrock Adventures series. The second, Outlaw Jane, is also available with the third due in 2017. The story arc is a nod to the American Revolution, but with space colonists as the Yankees and Earth as the redcoats. A reader can expect to find an element of fantasy and sweet romance, humor, space battles and conflict, but no gore.
Florida is my home. The state is a good place for speculative fiction since most people speculate the heat and humidity here have driven residents slightly mad. I can’t argue that. In my spare time I enjoy calling in Bigfoot sightings to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. They are heartily sick of hearing from me.
Rimrider is available for 99 cents on Amazon or free for members of Kindle Unlimited.
L.A. Kelley’s Lurking Spots
Want to connect or find out about my other books? My lurking spots are below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to hear from readers. If you have a blog, I’d be happy to do a guest post or interview. Just want to say hi or have a recipe to share? I’m up for that, too.