Where Did It Come From?

One of the questions over on Facebook was what was the origin of the IMPERIALS series.  It was actually a reaction to the Return of the Jedi.  Certainly an inferior film compared to the first two Star Wars (though it looks like Shakespeare compared to what followed).  But I digress.

So here we are, Victor Milan and I watching Return of the Nehi… Jedi when suddenly there’s another damn Death Star, and it’s not really only half-built, it’s a trap.  I leaned over to Vic and said, “I want to see the legislature or parliament that would authorize the funds to build another one of these despite the Emperor being all evil and shit.”  I expect the conversation went something like this.  “You want how much money after you lost the last one to a hick farmboy?  Uh, no!”

At that moment a character popped into my head.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer for a galaxy spanning empire.  The more I thought about him I realized he had a taste for exotic sex so then there was an alien girl, and a revolution, etc. etc.

I actually wrote almost all of the first Imperials novel before I realized it just wasn’t working so it went into the trunk.  (Every writer has at least one trunk novel).  But George R.R. Martin had heard me read from the novel at a convention and fell in love with the univers.

We tried to sell it as a shared world anthology a la Wild Cards, but to no avail.  That’s when I took my character from the stillborn shared world and had a million ideas about him.  I wrote several stories set in the universe and featuring Tracy and Mercedes.  They sold and then the series sold to Titan Books.  George generously gave me his character who was my character’s nemesis to use in the novels.

And that is how IMPERIALS was born.

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