Q: How did you come up with the idea of the Starfire?
A: That particular word has been used in other science fiction, but I wanted it as a name for the particular crystal that gives Inari their special abilities. I needed a way to make them not only look like angels but also have the powers of angels when I wrote the first book, Starfire Angels. At that time, I had them frequently visiting Earth and influencing the history of our world, so I had to explain how they might fit the images, virtues, and powers of the angels of the Bible. So, I conceived of the Starfire crystal, the form of the energy entities from another dimension in our universe. They had to be a part of the Inari in some way and give them the abilities that came to be known of Keepers. The Inari also needed the culture around the virtues in the Bible. It had to fit as near perfect as I could while still being explained by science rather than religion. I had the most marvelous brainstorm of how it all connected, right down to how they evolved to have wings--on their homeworld, they needed to fly to survive.
Calling the crystalline form of the entities "Starfire" just fit. Those beings explored our universe, but in Forgotten Worlds, they also are revealed to know about other dimensions and one in which a monster exists that would destroy everything. Thus, the entities of the Starfire crystal consider themselves to be Guardians, not only of the universe but also of the life within it. It fit with turning the Inari into guardian angels, a very old and peaceful species (mostly) who earned the reputation of being the mediators of the universe.
A: I have to address this because I had received SO many requests when I wrote the first part of the Starfire Angels series, the Dark Angel Chronicles. That first book, STARFIRE ANGELS, came out at a time when young adult books and also ebooks in general, were at their highest popularity. Readers loved Elis and Raea, but I didn't want to ruin my characters, so I wrote what ended up being five books that I felt completed their story and saved their world (and Earth as a result, or so I thought). I didn't want to write them into the ground, so to speak. I wanted to end with them on a high note, and I believe FOREVER DARK was a good end for their story. However, I touch on them in Revelations and will briefly revisit them in Forgotten Worlds, but Forgotten Worlds is Nyalin's story.
Q: How many Starfire shards are there?
A: More than I expected. Originally, I wrote about four that were known, then that grew with the discovery of another shard on Earth and another whole crystal cluster on Earth, and then with Kaira being granted a whole new shard from entities directly from their dimension. And finally, we discover in Forgotten Worlds, that they have sort of been seeding the universe, particularly one galaxy, ready to defend against a monster that seeks to destroy everything.
A: I had always imagined that Starfire Angels could be so much more than Raea and Elis's stories. I had always thought "If only a studio would pick up the idea for a series, they could put together a group of explorers with the Starfire who could go on adventures anywhere." I was big into Stargate, among many older shows, and still am. I saw a big possibility of a science fiction adventure series but didn't have the interest or the time to write out such a series.
Then, the time came and I was ready. The right basis for the series came, along with the right blend of characters for a well-rounded cast. As I wrote in the introduction to A NEW BEGINNING, I was inspired by the 90's and early 2000's science fiction series that I liked--episodic but also with an overarching plot. I even cut the stories shorter than most novels so that I could get in all the various adventures I had in mind without getting bored or having plots too big and complicated. I wanted to keep it simple so it would be easier to manage, or to feel like one was reading an hour-long episode with each book. The length is perfect and I'm having fun with each book.
Watch for the second part of this Q and A session on Monday, April 13th.