Over time the escapades I imagined for him swelled and shrank, but his essential character and his adventures never changed much.
Until I started to actually write the stories. The industry I knew best -- construction -- suffered a major blow, just about the time I found myself looking for work. Being an industrious sort, I decided to bring Jaf to life, and I joined the Los Angeles Science Fiction and Fantasy Society.
And a lively life it is, it turns out. He and his companions kept having thoughts, words, experiences I hadn't planned for. Constantly I was surprised by their expressions of free will! I learned a great deal of sympathy for God's trials with us.
So -- the three books done so far are: Valkyries of Andromeda, which starts the series, and involves neither Andromeda nor Valkyries. I just loved the title when it came to me (more of that free-will expression!), and after some thought barely managed to work it into the novel, which is now available at Amazon --
Banshees of Basoolah, which comes a few years after Valkyries, and has more of Jaf's improbable escapes and accolades --
Kids of Kipple. This goes back to Jaf's adolescence on Kipple. If you wondered, "Why is he like that?" the answers may be here. Then again, maybe not.
This book ends with a new phase of Jaf's life opening up. One of the planned books will fill out his time just after he leaves Kipple, and have more background on the Empire.
Harpies of Hobamey, which follows close on the heels of Banshees. This is about half-done, unless I scrap it and start over. It happens. Without giving too much away, I hope, I'll say the revolution struggles on, amid intrigues and conspiracies.
Finally, the whole mess gets explained/tied up/resolved in one great kaboom! in the final novel. Some people will die, some will triumph, some will wander away -- just like real life!
So, I've got stuff to keep you at my table for awhile. If you're looking for dessert, may I suggest the work of my collaborator, Lindsay Petersen, who specializes in steampunk erotica.
FOUR YEARS LATER ....
Those who've been paying close attention -- and, believe me, I cherish each and every one of you -- likely noticed that my Dragons and Dirigibles is remarkably similar to Valkyries of Andromeda. In fact, if I weren't me, I would sue me for plagiarizing myself. What's up with that, you may be asking.
It's a commercial decision. Steampunk seems a more promising genre than space operas; it's as simple as that. Also, people seem to think all space operas are based on Star Wars or Star Trek, and Valkyries was part of neither 'universe.' So I re-worked Valkyries to a steampunk world, and the following volumes will follow that path. Along the way, the already-written spacey Jaf Daskal books will be improved, as I've learned a thing or three about this whole making-stuff-up thing.
It does not, however, look like this conversion will go quickly, as I keep overlooking little details, like steampunk doesn't (usually) have black holes, f'rinstance. And, in my case, there are dragons. Trivial distinctions, I know, but it is from such technicalities that dissertations are wrought.
So rest easy, there will be more Jaf Daskal books coming, and the pace will pick up.
In the meantime, I want to mention that my collaborator has just come out with her second account of the adventures of Kate Thomason, whom H G Wells kidnapped from the twenty-first century to use carnally in Victorian England. Now, it seems, she's chasing wizards across Europe in a quest for vengeance.