Questions, I get Questions . . .

A Few Facts and Explanations . . .

1.) So -- You disappeared. What's the deal?
2.) Will there be any more tales of Alfreda?
3.) Will there me any more Nuala books?
4.) What are you working on right now?
5.) When are you going to update your web design?
6.) Is there an order for The Chronicles of Nuala?
7.) Ah-ha! "Dielaan Radiation" is a shell game, isn't it?

1.) So -- you disappeared. What's the deal?

Ah, that requires more time than we've got. Let's just say that I got the evil trifecta -- striking home, work, & health -- and I've been spending my time surviving, trying to find out what hit me, and recovering.
I'm writing again.
I promise.
I hope that this time it won't be submerged. (That's the easiest way to describe it. Once I started "out of the woods", shall we say, all kinds of stuff popped up from my subconscious, proving that the creative part of me was still creating. It simply couldn't communicate with the brain and hands.) (TOP)

2.) I loved the Allie stories. Will there be any more tales of Alfreda?

Yes. So far there's a new short story about Allie called "Ducks". It's in a chapbook called Wings of Morning published by the fine professionals at Yard Dog Press. Buying it directly from Yard Dog Press instead of someplace like means that the publisher and I both make a little money after paying for the printing. Amazon, while a fine place to buy many things, is not always the best place to buy small press stuff -- because they demand such a deep discount, the publisher loses money. Buy bestsellers from them. Or kitchen stuff. The chapbook is also available in Kindle!

Please note that this chapbook is TWO SHORT STORIES. Only one of them is an Alfreda story, the shorter one. Please do not punish the stories by giving them 1 star reviews because they are not novels. Thank you!
At this time I have no plans to incorporate the short story into a novel, so this is your one chance to find out how Allie learned to hunt ducks.
And your reward for buying chapbooks is, other than a fine short story -- I've finished the first draft of another Alfreda novel!(TOP)

3.) I have almost worn out my copies of the Nuala books. Will there be any more Nuala books?

Actually, there were going to be more Nuala books. Meisha Merlin was going to buy them and re-release the early ones, and also new books in the various time lines. However -- Meisha Merlin, sadly, is no more. I don't know if there will be more Nuala books. I had ideas for more books (the civil war that united the clans under Atare, what happens to everyone in enemy territory after Fire Sanctuary) but since I am still trying to reach a larger audience, right now they are not on the front burner. E-books are now available, and that could change things.

Good news for E-books readers, and for anyone who never found the third book -- E-books of the Chronicles of Nuala are now available from Book View Cafe. Currently available are Fires of Nuala, Hidden Fires and Fire Sanctuary. Book View Cafe does its editions in EPUB (Nook) and MOBI (Kindle). A bonus with buying from BVC via credit card and our PayPal account -- you are registered with us, and may download different formats as you need them, as long as we exist. So you can buy an EPUB this week, and get a MOBI later for a new platform. No extra charge. But if you want Kindle or Nook technology? Go to the stores, because they are available!

If a certain amount of money can be made from the e-books, suggesting that people want more books in the Nuana Universe, I do have sequels in mind. The next book in the Darame Sequence starts after Hidden Fires, and is about Rex Dielaan's War, and the struggle to unite Nuala under one government. The next book after Fire Sanctuary starts about a year later (I think) and is about how Nuala handles being behind enemy lines. But I've had a request for more about the Toli, so who knows where that book might go?

I have an idea for a short story that brings in a character from the third Darame book, so watch for that!(TOP)

4.) What are you working on right now?

Well, I'm working on several things right now. Shoveling out my life (you think I'm kidding, don't you?) Getting well (which is taking a LOT longer than I'd hoped) and writing down anything that occurs to me. These things include:

Spiral Paths — Working title for the next Allie book.
A reworking of a mystery I wrote once - it has ghosts! This one is for adults, as opposed to the Alfredas, which can appeal to all ages.
Flirting with a contemporary fantasy that takes place in Austin, TX. It deals with curses, both active and passive, as well as shape shifters, reincarnated magic users and sentient cats. Oh -- and a dragon showed up.
Compiling a lot of notes on a big fantasy project. Adult, multi-volume -- it will get written. It just may never get published. (Sorry -- it was the book I was planning on writing when I was too sick to write. So, what did my creative brain want to do the minute it was talking to the left side of the brain? 40 pages of notes on the work I couldn't seem to write. So -- it's got to come out sometime.) It's not first on the list, but it's not forgotten.(TOP)

5.) When are you going to update your web site design?

a.) See #1.
b.) I'm a Nielsen follower. The next one will be even more minimal, with even more navigation options.
c.) You choose -- new novels, getting well, decent living wage, fancy interactive web site. Choose three. Guess which ones I'm choosing.
d.) When I have new novel covers to put up. It will probably be WordPress or something, because see c.)(TOP)

6.) Is there an order for the Chronicles of Nuala?

Fire Sanctuary was the first book written, but it takes place almost three thousand years after the events in Fires of Nuala and Hidden Fires. So -- I'd say read them as Fires of Nuala, Hidden Fires and Fire Sanctuary, if you want an order. Hidden Fires takes place ten years after Fires of Nuala, and some of the same characters appear in the novel. Fire Sanctuary currently stands alone in its time. All the books stand alone and can be read at any time. To read them in the order I wrote them, and watch my writing style and strengths evolve, read them as Fire Sanctuary, Fires of Nuala and Hidden Fires.(TOP)

7.) Ah-ha! "Dielaan Radiation" is a shell game, isn't it?

Clever reader! Not exactly, but close. Here is your circa 1985 science lesson (the time these books were begun.) Our Earth radiation output is in the vicinity of 11-12%. That is talking about the average amount of radiation produced from the breakdown of natural, radioactive elements in the Earth's crust. This varies slightly, depending on the types of rock under your feet. Nuala's breakdown is more like 30%. As radiation exposure to X-rays and toxins in water, air and food have shown, our genetic material is quite malleable. We have rising sterility rates in western countries, for example. So the Nualans are more effected by radiation on Nuala than we are here. "Dielaan Radiation" as the Nualans mean it is ingestion of radiation through water or food (sometimes referred to as "rav" in some places.)

Now -- pay attention here. The shell game is this -- it's not the radiation belt around Nuala that actually causes the problem (although there are radiation belts around the planet, as there are around Earth.) It's not radiation that causes the metals to crumble in the length of a moon cycle. It's the irradiation of a mineral-leeching microbe/bacteria found on Nuala that causes this to happen. In some books, this is bounced over (Darame, in Fires of Nuala, hears this tidbit as she passes through the museum -- but she's not planning on staying, and at that point is only interested in how to protect herself and Halsey.) In Fire Sanctuary, Lyte is told that any metal he wants protected can be plated or boxed to protect it.

The scientists who landed on Nuala figured out the problem -- but they figured it out too late. The irradiated microbes, with their accelerated metabolism, devour the iron and other metals found in the ships -- it's like caviar to them. They barely have to work for it! They attacked anything that contained the metal they wanted to get to, although some things did not interest them (plastics, for example) and some they got to only if it was damaged (like a ceramic glazed with metallic glaze might be a weak point.) We have bacteria like this in antarctica and deep beneath the oceans (the Titanic is being devoured by one of these types of fellows.)

Once the Nualans had refined metals back ("doped" to make it taste nasty to these microbes) they worked on higher processes that would get them back into space. They also worked on being as genetically close to human as possible. It took about 1,000 years to rebuild civilization to a point they could get off Nuala with trade goals in mind. They knew that they would meet prejudice from their genetic damage -- and they knew they were sitting in the middle of one of the most valuable solar systems imaginable. Precious metals are not just forms of currency or jewelry -- they are malleable to an extreme, and do not react to other elements as easily as say iron does.

Their doped ships are worth almost as much as their trinium, at first, because the Nualans have a finite resource, and need to protect it. So they used fear -- and pictures of collapsing ships and sinishur to back up that fear. At first, all they had to do was damage a pirate's ship enough so it could not just lift and leave. The planet took care of the rest. Later, they could dump the microbe directly on a ship, knowing it would do its job. Slowly, the Nualans created ways to protect from claim jumpers. Hiring the Cied to do this was just one protection. All Nualans benefit, directly or indirectly, from the metal wealth -- by the time of Hidden Fires, the Atare clan is welcoming educated people to their territories -- and everybody gets cheap utilities, at the least, from that metal wealth. So people have incentive to keep their mouths shut. Eventually, the secret is no longer a secret. By Fire Sanctuary, the Nualans have created a grid of missles that can take out invaders.

By Fire Sanctuary, off-worlders know about the microbe. They can even pay the price to get a ship plated so they can trade easily with Nuala -- or buy a ship built there. It's a real problem, but a managable one.

I've got this cute little microbe drawn by a friend, who claimed they also liked dirty socks. Since we were not talking about my socks, I said: "Wouldn't surprise me."

Hope this helps!(TOP)

Any other questions? Mail usually reaches me here. Or visit my Live Journal; I'm Alfreda89. I'm also on Twitter and Facebook. These have downhill streams from Live Journal, but I do post independently to these sites. Or look me up on Goodreads! I actually review books!
Thank-you for your interest!


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