Fresh off of the heels of Gunship finally landing a #1 listing(albeit shortly), I’ve decided to give fans a peek behind the curtain. There are a lot of very cool things about the Gunship franchise that can’t be found on the official Amazon page.
Dalton James almost didn’t exist. In fact, he wasn’t a character in my first draft at all. After some good advice, I decided to create a character that would play off of the straightforward thinking of Adam Michaels. I wrote the character based around one of my good friends, and yes, folks, he lives the Dalton James lifestyle. I had planned to drop him into the background and use him to set up the main characters. Who knew that everyone’s favorite drunken gunslinger would become such a cult favorite with readers?
Sky Tale was the original name for the story. Adam Michaels was in love with a general’s daughter and she was a brunette. I had the cover worked up and ready to go, when, low and behold, the couple split up in real life. It didn’t seem natural to put them on a cover at that point. Especially while locked into a romantic embrace. Upon changing the cover and finding someone to plaster their likeness upon it – I started to hate the series name. Dropping Gunship onto the series, officially, about a week before it published.
Sarah Blaine appears on cover #1 and again on cover #5. Amanda Elizabeth is a good friend of mine who also happens to be a real-life actress and model. After dropping the original cover and having no clue what to do, I ran into her by accident on a local shopping trip and the idea just clicked. I emailed her the same week, expecting to hear no, but instead found Amanda more than willing to help. She appeared on the cover of Gunship: Legendary as a Vampire after expressing her personal interest in them. She was completely OK with Sarah being turned to the dark side.
Speaking of Vampires, there almost were none. The original story included no civil war and no Hunter race. Just a pissed off general who’d found out that his daughter had fallen for a man who’d fought on the other side of things. Someone with deep ties in publishing suggested I add a bit more chaos, and so the Hunters were born. For the fans out there who’ve scooped up all of my work, the Hunters were originally sketched as the bad guys of the Guardian Angel series.
I love Firefly, but, I had actually never even seen Firefly when writing Gunship #1. A fan of the book, Rob, emailed me to let me know it had a Firefly feel. When others began saying the same thing, I rushed out to buy the series on DVD and actually added just a few pieces that were Firefly inspired and began marketing the series to fans of Firefly. After it began drawing criticism as a clone, I backed the series away from Firefly completely and went into a different direction. I still love Mal and his crew, but Adam was written with Joe Flanigan in mind.
Separate Ways is what I had intended for the original crew. Following book three, I had big plans for launching three separate series that would follow Adam, Roman and Dalton. And honestly, I still wonder what would have happened if I’d stuck with that plan. Instead, however, The Fleet was born and has landed me a #1 on the Amazon Kindle. I can’t complain, but I still wonder. If you remember the dream Dalton had about Adam pinned in a room with nasty foes in white suits, then you’ve read the preview of what was going to be Adam’s story. Dalton, of course, found himself in Geartown and Roman faced off against my absolute favorite of the series, Vladris.
For fans of the series, I hope this blog has been a breath of fresh air. I also hope that the launch of Vampire Hunters(Gunship VII) will find a home in your library of books. It’s shaping up to be awesome!