A couple of weeks ago, I was looking through the stories I’d started or completed during the last 13 months, and I realized that I’d invented two alternate universes. My 2009 NaNo novel is about a subspecies of humans, the Ancien, whose DNA was altered some time during the plagues of earlier times. They can easily pass as normal humans, but they have distinctive qualities such as longer life, superior health, and increased strength. They are also somewhat deficient in sex drive and fertility and have a struggle to maintain their numbers.
The novel, Gift of Blood, centers around a young human woman who becomes involved with these people, and around a young man who is a throwback among the Ancien. For centuries, the throwbacks, always males, have been killed at an early age because of additional qualities that make them a danger. Now, an Ancien scientist has been preserving the lives of the throwbacks and studying them. The discover of what he’s done changes everything for the Ancien.
As far as I was concerned, Gift of Blood was a standalone novel, but when ideas kept pouring out and I wrote down the beginnings of many stories over the course of the year, the concept fascinated me. And now I have the makings of two novels that take place in the same world, and involve mostly the throwbacks. A trilogy!
An entirely different world is the slave nation of Carhagen, where slavery is for life, and where one class of slaves has pierced hands to indicate their status. Boundaries, the first story, became a novel, which is being heavily revised for publication. A sequel to Boundaries is almost finished, and another story in the same world is well on the way to becoming a novel.
The Warden doesn’t take place in either world, and neither does Changelings, my short break from The Warden. It’s anybody’s guess how many stories I’ll be able to finish in 2011, but at least I’ll have plenty of worlds to play in