Writing process

Answering a reader’s questions

This is the Queen’s Birthday holiday long weekend here in Melbourne, the second official week of winter and it’s cold. It’s also the start of the snow season. Lots of people head to the mountains. Brrr.

Some snippets first.

Coming soon—a Goodreads giveaway

30 June 2015 was the release date for Linesman. It’s hard to believe the first book came out two years ago already. We’re planning a Goodreads giveaway for the anniversary.

We’ll announce it on the blog closer to the date.

Book news

Our editor came back with feedback and requested changes on the new novel yesterday. Changes required by the end of July.

We have work to do.

Some questions from one of our readers that we would like to discuss.

Bruce, one of our readers, asked some questions about Linesman. We liked the questions, thought they would make a good blog.  So, here are Bruce’s questions and our answers.

***Spoiler alert***

There is may be spoilers if you haven’t read the books, so you might want to stop reading now.

Bruce asks:

  1. Who taught Lambert his strong sense of right and wrong?  The alcoholic beggar at the store only said he’d get caught.  Rigel cheats.
  2. Cann kid gang:  Will Wen Cann, the kid who was kind to Ean, resurface?  They’re beating the bushes for Linesman.
  3. Will Rossi or Hernandez ever headline a story, solve a crisis, or make a discovery?  What are Rossi’s experiments?
  4. Tinatin and the shuttles?


Who taught Lambert his strong sense of right and wrong?

Firstly, Ean has always had a strong sense of what’s right and what’s wrong when dealing with the lines.

He has always known—and been confident of—his own ability to work with the lines. Any inferiority he has comes from working with other people, not with the lines.

From an early age, he was focussed on becoming a linesman.

He had a name for the music now. Linesman. And once he asked, it wasn’t hard to find out more about lines and linesmen. He was determined to become one.  (Linesman, p153)

Old Kairo tells Ean being a linesman wasn’t for the likes of them. The guilds didn’t take criminals, and they didn’t take slum kids. In Linesman, we mention that Kairo was a Lancastrian soldier once, dismissed from the military for being overweight. There is an implied history behind Kairo that we don’t go into in this story. Kairo may steal, but it is possible, probable even, that he helped Ean, that he taught Ean other traits, like the value of a human life.

Ean is, also, basically a decent person.


Cann kid gang: Will Wen Cann, the kid who was kind to Ean, resurface? They’re beating the bushes for linesmen?

This was the question we really wanted to answer, because it shows how much a story changes from what you plan to what is actually written.

When we start writing a story we have the beginning, and we know, roughly, how it ends.  Occasionally we have one or two plot other things that we know will happen.

Wen Cann was one of these plot points.

He was to be one of the new trainee linesmen.  He had a different name, different background and, of course, no prison sentence.  Ean recognises his music, knows it’s Wen, and struggles with the knowledge.  When they realise there might be a traitor amongst the trainees, he confronts Wen, who gives a plausible story as to why he’s there. Ean doesn’t report him.  Normally, he’d talk it over with Radko, but she’s not there, and the traitor keeps betraying them.

If you’ve read Confluence you know how that turned out.

Of course this didn’t happen.  As you know, he wasn’t in the book and instead we had Han.

Maybe he’ll turn up in another book, maybe not.  But if he does, he’s unlikely to have a major part like the one he was going to play in Confluence. Or, he may have a totally different storyline altogether.


Will Rossi or Hernandez ever headline a story, solve a crisis, or make a discovery?  What are Rossi’s experiments?

Ah, Rossi.  He’s not the most pleasant of characters.  Probably not pleasant enough to headline a story, but he’s certainly a great second point-of-view.

If Acquard’s War ever sees publication, Rossi is a secondary character there, and (we think) you get to feel more sympathetic toward him.  You certainly understand him more.  Hopefully without him changing his character.

Rossi’s line experiments?  We can only point to Acquard again.  Yes, you find out a bit more about what he’s doing with the lines there. But only a little, for it is Acquard’s story, not Jordan Rossi’s.

What about Hernandez?

At the moment we don’t have a story planned for her. If we did write one, it would likely be a novella, rather than a full-blown novel.  But, never say never.  (Hernandez gets a small part in Acquard’s War, too.  :-))


Tinatin and the shuttles?

All we know about Tinatin and the shuttles at the moment is that eventually the whole ship will become involved.  People and lines.

It’s in the back of our minds, something we think will happen in the books where we meet the aliens.  But, it might be a single mention, and you find they’re already using the shuttles, or it might be subplot, or something else entirely (like Tinatin getting one of the aliens to show her how they work).



We hope you enjoyed the answers. If anyone else has questions or something they would like us to discuss on our blog, please let us know. If it doesn’t give out too many spoilers, and is not something we have answered before, we would be happy to consider it.

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