In the summer of 2011, at the age of 25, I moved from Warwickshire to London. Aside from University, it was the first time I’d lived away from my parents. It was a big adjustment and I found myself spending a lot of time writing. I was writing the occasional short story, and working on various longer projects that never seemed to go anywhere, but mostly, I was writing play-by-post RPG. While working my new job and living with a long time friend (and fellow writer,) I slowly pieced together a world that had been simmering for a while.
Out of Orbit started with the characters and the plot. The setting of Os-Veruh would come much later when I realised that I didn’t want to set the story on Earth as we knew it. I’d never written Science Fiction before, instead staying more in the fantasy realms. While writing RPG and short fiction, this world created itself in the back of my mind until, in September 2012, I decided that this was the project I wanted to work on for NaNoWriMo in November.
Until this point, I’d been a pantser when it came to writing, but after a deal with my housemate that we would switch writing styles for NaNoWriMo (she was a fastidious planner,) I started planning the first book in the series, Dead and Buryd.
It was, without a doubt, the best decision I could have made, proven in the first 3 days of November. Where usually I would struggle to pass 15k in the month (I’d only completed NaNoWriMo once before that point,) by the end of the 3rd day, I had written twenty-one thousand words and I just couldn’t stop.
The Out of Orbit series was the perfect blend of genres for me. It was Science Fiction, which I had always enjoyed but never ventured into writing, but with enough Fantasy and Dystopian elements that I wasn’t completely out of my depth. The story is strongly rooted in the characters and the emotional repercussions of this sort of world, which I find inherently more interesting than which different types of ships I can create, or how many things I could blow up.
I knew that this was the series I would complete before I even finished that first draft. The characters came to life like never before, and the planning of that first book sparked ideas for the rest of the series. There have still been a few surprises (like Dhiren Flynn, who was supposed to be in no more than 5 chapters, and has instead become an integral part of the story,) but I love that this series, even with all its planning, still surprises me.
I’ve never had more ideas for stories than I do now, and I owe it to Out of Orbit. This story opened up a genre I’d never really explored properly but I found myself loving more with every story and character.
These characters have been a joy (and sometimes heartbreaking) to write, especially Georgianna. I’ve often been annoyed by stories where, within a few chapters of discovering who they could be, characters do a complete one-eighty and are suddenly the perfect ‘chosen one’. They pick up skills instantly, far surpassing others, and have no trouble in doing what needs to be done. I wanted Out of Orbit to be different. I wanted readers to follow Georgianna as she constantly struggles with the situation she finds herself in. She isn’t a freedom fighter by nature, and adjusting to the role that is put on her is a series long struggle. She’s still not completely come to terms with the things required of her.
I was also fed up of the instant-love that seems so prevalent in novels. While I find that original courtship fun to read, it’s not nearly as interesting to me as the struggles when a couple not only comes together, but tries to stay together, especially when they have a whole host of other problems to contend with. Relationships are messy and complicated, and I wanted to show that in the romance between Georgianna and Keiran.
I wouldn’t say that I started writing the Out of Orbit series by accident, but there was definitely an element of luck that it came to me when it did, that it came together the way it did. It’s going to be very difficult when it comes to writing those final chapters of the last book. I’m definitely going to have a hard time letting this one go.
There is a tour wide giveaway taking place with prizes including: A full set of Out of Orbit series in paperback and a £25 Amazon giftcard; and 10 ebook sets of the Out of Orbit series. Click here for details