Production Notes: Wild Space: Reclamation

Wild Space Reclamation is the second book in the Wild Space Series One series written by author Jason M. Brooks

Wild Space: Reclamation continues on after the events of Wild Space: Onslaught. I thought about jumping the series ahead a few weeks, but I didn’t want to lose that survival aspect to the series so soon. So, the crew ends up just days into their plight with nothing to use to repair their ship. That helps set the stage for so much in this second book of the series.

In Reclamation, we get to know the characters a bit more as each one develops in their own way. Let’s take a quick look at the remaining character bios.

WARNING: The production notes are filled with spoilers from this book and others in the series. If you haven’t read the book yet, please read it before going on. You’ve been warned…

Character Profiles

Lieutenant Gretchen Markson: Gretchen is a fireball who doesn’t take crap from anyone. I loved her moments with Captain Avery in the first book. While Gretchen doesn’t factor in as much in the second book, she has an important role to play in this series. Gretchen begins her career as my version of Lieutenant Uhura from the Original Series of Star Trek. She’s the communication officer with superior linguistic skills.

In the Wild Space Universe, I imagine that the world would have only a handful of dominant languages left. In the series, I call them the Big Five. They are; English, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Hebrew. Her gift is being able to speak nearly all of them fluently. My belief is that over time, these five languages would begin to meld and the people of the inhabited worlds in Wild Space would speak in new dialects of the known Big Five. Having Gretchen on board to translate any new languages had great value and that was one of the biggest reasons why John wanted her on this mission.

Marvin Kent: Marvin is a civilian contractor who is in charge of the Deep Space Drive program. His business – which he inherited from his parents – is the brains behind the research that developed this engine. The only reason Marvin is sent along on this mission is because Admiral Goodrich demands it. The Admiral has plans for the next generation of the Deep Space Drive engine and Marvin needs to be there to conduct research.

Marvin is blind to the risks of being on a starship. He was clearly expecting an adventure, but he soon gets more than he bargained for. By the end of the first book, he is thrust into a role of leadership. Does he have what it takes? The second book is going to force him to find out.

Lieutenant Grant Gustafson: Grant is the muscle of the Independence. He’s the top security officer and quickly becomes a friend to Commander Reid. He is fearless and highly skilled, which will come in handy as the series continues. Grant is loyal to those he serves. We’ll see his character grow as the series continues.

TRIVIA: One of my favorite Star Trek episodes ever is one from Star Trek: Enterprise titled Azati Prime. In this episode, the Enterprise is slaughtered in space much like the Independence was. Outnumbered with no way of calling in reinforcements, they are truly on their own to figure out a way to survive. I captured that in the first book and I was desperate to at least have fun with it one more time before getting the Independence back up and running.

Chapter by Chapter Breakdown

Chapter 1: The events of Reclamation pick up right after the events of Onslaught and really, this book could be called Onslaught Part 2. We see Captain Avery laboring with the crew to get the ship back into working order. Michael sees the captain doing things he really shouldn’t be doing. As a young first officer, he’s trying to figure out his role on the ship. Does he protest the captain’s decision to put himself in bodily danger or does he keep his mouth shut?

I wanted to establish two important things in this chapter. Number 1 – This isn’t Star Trek. The men and women in this universe struggle with real human emotions at every turn and they don’t always live in harmony. While John and Michael are working well together, there is friction and it will come to a boiling point later on in the series. Number 2 – The struggle to survive isn’t just about fixing the ship, its about fixing the people on the ship. Everyone has been impacted physically and mentally. Hence the title: Reclamation. This book is about the characters fixing their boat and reclaiming the person they once were before the onslaught.

Chapter 2: Because these are short books, I need to keep the action flowing so John makes his way to the bridge where he finds out that a ship is quickly approaching and he and his crew need to figure out a way to prepare the ship for battle in a matter of hours. I also decided it was time to show that not everyone is dealing with their role reversals in good order.

Marvin Kent is having trouble as the chief engineer. Those in the engineering department are not accepting him as Captain Avery had hoped. I added this conflict between Marvin and his subordinates because in my years in the military I can attest to the need for a leader to gain the trust of his men. I felt that for Marvin to be believable, he would need to run through the gauntlet and prove himself to the men and women who have been placed in his charge. Being that he has no military background at all, makes his acceptance that much more hard.

TRIVIA: As I was writing chapter 2, I realized that this was how I could answer the question of “How do you fix a ship with no spare parts?” The answer is, you hijack a towing vessel and steal the parts from that ship. I’ve tried to recall any movie or sci-fi television show that did something similar. I can’t recall watching anything with that sort of plot, so as of this writing, I believe I came up with something original in sci-fi writings. Feel free to comment below if you can think of something that debunks that thought. I have to believe someone did it at some point in time.

Chapter 3: Lieutenant Kelly Avery isn’t equipped to be the Chief Medical Officer on the Independence. In reality, it should probably be one of the nurses, but for whatever reason, I had her appointed to the position. So, how do I make her believable in her new post? I need to give her the tools to do the work.

Enter, the Emergency Holographic Medical Protocol. This is an interactive computer program that can oversee the most delicate surgeries and continue the teaching the Kelly will need in order to keep the crew healthy. I modeled the EHMP after “The Doctor” on Star Trek Voyager. However, I didn’t want him to become a character himself or it would risk taking away Kelly’s role in this series. The EHMP is a program and nothing more.

I also introduced Lieutenant Travis David in this chapter. His role is light but is important as he plays a pivotal role in Sedition. In this chapter, I give Kelly an opportunity to flex her muscles. I don’t like to write damsel in distress. I also don’t want her to be at the same level as Gretchen, but I want her to hold her own. She gets to do that in this chapter.

Chapter 4: It’s time to take a look inside the head of Marvin. He blames himself for not saving those in the engineering station when the ship was being attacked. His lack of military experience and his self-proclaimed failure under pressure, leaves him weak in front of his chargers. I placed him in a room with Commander Reid so he could have a sounding board to help him work through his issues.

Commander Reid is kind of the quiet leader during this period of time for the ship. Captain Avery seems to be on a death wish, the crew is being insubordinate so certain leaders, and now he’s playing therapist to Marvin Kent. I like seeing this role for Commander Reid as it helps set him apart from Captain Avery and also builds credibility to his leadership skills.

Chapter 5: Chapter 2 hinted at Captain Avery’s plans to capture the enemy ship for parts, and this chapter puts those plans into motion. This is also the chapter where Michael asserts himself as Captain Avery’s right hand man and puts his captain in his place. I knew for Commander Reid to become a believable first officer, he was going to need to flex his muscles. The argument between these two men is the point in which this happens.

TRIVIA: The question needs to be asked, “Why not just take the working ship and abandon the broken ship?” The answer: While I don’t disclose it in any of the books, the reason behind saving the Independence is that the Captain still believes he can get the crew and ship, home. With Marvin on board, there is a good chance that the young man can find a way to rebuild the Deep Space Drive – just in case the E.S.S. Freedom cannot come and rescue them. The design of the Independence is the only design that can support the Deep Space Drive technology.

Chapter 6: This is the point where Marvin Kent seals his place as part of the leadership of this crew. As I mentioned earlier, this book is about reclaiming what was lost. The onslaught was a grave violation on the crew of this ship. Each one is dealing with that violation in different ways. Some are rising, some are falling, and others are plotting. In real life, when we deal with tragedy, we all come out of that tragedy as a different person. Chapter 6 continues the theme of reclamation as we see Marvin relate to his men and women and assert himself as their commanding officer.

Chapter 7: Commander Reid leads the assault on the tow ship and they quickly discover that the Empire has a presence on this ship as well. It isn’t the easy hijacking that they had planned for. During these events, I introduce Lieutenant Grant Gustafson, who will become Commander Reid’s personal ally and I also introduce Buckley and Rogers.

Buckley and Rogers seem like insignificant characters at first, but there is more to them. They display some of the changing attitudes of the crew. There is a lack of respect for those in leadership positions and these two display that in their actions. Furthermore, they also show a lust for vengeance, which is secretly boiling beneath the surface of many members of the crew. Neil discovers this first hand.

Chapter 8: Chapter 8 was about making things click into place. The tow ship provides everything they need to repair Independence and the situation was perfect to give them a way to transfer the engine of the tow ship to the Independence. I wanted to make this nice and tidy so people didn’t ask the question that I mentioned in the trivia above.

TRIVIA: Reclamation provides the setup for Sedition, the next book in Wild Space Series One. As I was writing this book, I hadn’t yet dreamed up the idea of the EUSF Intelligence and Security Division. As I introduced Rogers in Chapter 8, I developed his backstory and for the first time, deviated from my initial outlines and created the idea of the ISD.

Chapter 9: Up to this point, I really hadn’t dealt with one major issue of conflict… how should Captain Avery deal with having his daughter on the ship and in harm’s way? At first, this was a safe mission of exploration, but now he is seeing that there is real danger. I included a brief exchange between Kelly and John to help tidy up this unresolved issue.

As this chapter drew to an end, it was time for the Empire to strike again. This time, the crew was ready and Captain Avery had an opportunity to show his skills in commanding a vessel. This is a redemption chapter.

TRIVIA: In this book, I introduced the next in a long line of pilots for the ship. While it isn’t evident to most readers, my helmsmen are the “Red Shirts” of this series.

Chapter 10: Captain Avery sends out a distress message to Star Fleet to let them know that they are alive and needing rescue. From the very beginning, I knew that I would never allow them to be rescued, but I wanted readers to believe that there was some hope for this wounded crew. I also decided to play with the sexual tension between Lieutenant Markson and Captain Avery. The two are professional officers, how will this play out?

I wanted Captain Avery to maintain his integrity, yet I wanted to introduce an element that could cause him to cross the line. Gretchen Markson is that element. I made sure to reestablish that tension in the closing pages of book 2.

Epilogue: Here is the setup for Wild Space: Sedition. I hinted at the ISD through the thoughts of Lieutenant Ryan Thornberg. He is attempting to build a crew to help him overthrow the captain. Thornberg is using the anger inside the crew to gain their loyalty to his cause – though they don’t really realize that he is only using them as pawns to complete his larger objective.

Wild Space: Reclamation, is at its core, a story about the internal struggles of the crew after having to deal with a near death experience. How do they rebuild their lives after such trauma? How do they reclaim the elements of themselves that were lost in all that destruction? These are the questions that are asked at the beginning of the book and we see answered by the end.

The Big Guns of the Empire

Wild Space is a science fiction series written by Jason M. Brooks

As the Launch Week Celebration comes to an end, I’m excited to discuss one of the greatest improvements to the series… the new cover designs featuring Imperial Battleships.

I know this week is all about the launch of Wild Space: Transformations, but it’s hard to ignore the sparkling new covers.

When Wild Space: Onslaught first launched in May of 2016, the cover featured a serene background with a happy little ship just floating along. But for anyone who has read Onslaught, you already know that the cover didn’t even come close to telling the reader what was about to happen in the book. That has long been one of my disappointments.

But now, thanks to the 3D models provided by SolCommand, I am able to present a definitive version of the Independence and I can add images of Imperial Battleships – something I didn’t have the ability to do before.

Wild Space: Onslaught is written by author Jason M. Brooks and is available on Nook, Kindle and all other ereader devices.I always dreamed of the Independence being surrounded and under fire from enemy ships – just as the opening scene of Onslaught, described. Once I modified the 3D model of the Imperial Battleship, I was ready to apply it to the cover and add in some firepower and an explosion to boot! The end results are a stunning contrast to what was featured on the original cover.

I also added Imperial Battleships to the cover of Ghosts and made that cover pop as well. With the new-found ability to enhance the action on the covers of my books, the skies the limit as my covers now have the ability to tell a story to draw in potential readers.

As I get ready to begin work on Wild Space: Series 2, I already have plans to debut more Imperial ships, a new “hero” ship, and a wicked new enemy that will be bringing its own fleet to the party.

So, this has been an exciting week for me with big changes that are setting Wild Space up for a bright future. While Transformations brings to an end the first series of Wild Space, there are many more adventures coming, and at long last, the Imperial Fleet will be right there, chasing them across the stars.

Until next time!

The Wild Space Series Gets a Fresh Look!

Wild Space Series 1 is written by Jason M. Brooks a self published author.

The Launch Week Celebration Continues!

It’s been an exciting week for me as Wild Space: Transformations launched on Tuesday and has been selling like crazy.

But it’s not just the sales that have been so exhilarating for me. It’s also the new covers that grace the front of all six books in the first series of Wild Space. I spoke about the new ship design in a BLOG POST earlier this week and now I would like to officially announce the new looks of all six titles.

When I first released Wild Space, I purchased an image of a space ship to be used on the covers. However, I was very limited on what I could do with that image. I wanted to have explosive scenes on the covers. I wanted to be able to display a ship with the ability to be as iconic as the Enterprise or Serenity or the Millennium Falcon, but the ship I was using, just didn’t have that potential.

And then I discovered SolCommand, a website made up of hard working designers who give away 3D images of ships to game designers or artists. It was here that I found the designs for not just the Independence, but my Imperial fleet and many other ships that will one day grace the covers of my books.

Granted, I still had to paint the 3D images, but it was well worth the time to learn how to do it. For the first time ever, I have covers on my books that tell a story, and that is what a good cover should do.

The following images are the before and afters of all six books. Take a look at the huge difference:


Wild Space: Onslaught

Wild Space : Onslaught is the first book in Wild Space Series 1 and is written by author Jason M. Brooks.

Before

 

Wild Space: Onslaught is written by author Jason M. Brooks and is available on Nook, Kindle and all other ereader devices.

After


Wild Space: Reclamation

Wild Space Reclamation continues the adventures of the crew of the Independence. This series is written by Jason M. Brooks

Before

 

Wild Space: Reclamation is written by author Jason M. Brooks and is available through Amazon.com Barnes and Noble, iBook, and Kobo.

After


Wild Space: Sedition

 

Sedition is the third book in the Wild Space series by Jason M. Brooks. This is part of Wild Space Series 1.

Before

Wild Space Sedition is the third book in Wild Space Series 1 written by Jason M. Brooks

After


Wild Space: Ghosts

 

Wild Space: Ghosts is the fourth book in Wild Space Series 1 by author Jason M. Brooks.

Before

Wild Space: Ghosts is written by author Jason M. Brooks and is book 4 in Wild Space Series 1

After


Wild Space: Heist

 

Wild Space Heist is a science fiction series by author Jason M. Brooks and is available for Kindle on Amazon.com

Before

Wild Space: Heist is part of Wild Space Series 1 written by Jason M. Brooks and is one of six books in the series.

After


Wild Space: Transformations

 

Wild Space: Transformations is written by author Jason M. Brooks who is a self published author who enjoys self publishing.

Before

Wild Space: Transformations is the final book in Wild Space Series 1 written by Jason M. Brooks.

After


As you can see, the covers have immensely improved! I love the new look and I love the idea that at long last, the Imperial Battle Ships can appear on the cover with the Independence – giving readers a chance to see how stacked against them, the odds of survival really are.

I have more ships cooking up on the burner and they will grace the covers of Wild Space Series 2 and beyond. Watch my blog post as I’ll be sharing those images in the days to come.

If you haven’t already begun your journey through Wild Space, be sure to pick up the first book in the series. Wild Space: Onslaught is FREE for all eReaders. If you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, you can pick up the second book for FREE as well. SUBSCRIBE HERE to claim your free copy of Wild Space: Reclamation.

I’ll be wrapping up the Launch Week Celebration with one more post as I look at the long awaited reveal of the Imperial Battle Ships.

See you then!

Wild Space: Transformations Has Launched!

Wild Space: Transformations is the final book in the first series of Wild Space written by Jason M. Brooks

As many of you already know, Wild Space: Transformations has at last, launched. It was a long journey and I thank all my readers for being patient as I put the final touches on the grand finale to the first series of Wild Space.

Many readers have asked me what the deal is with calling this the Series 1 finale.

What Does That Mean?

As I’ve mentioned before, I am writing Wild Space as if it were a television series. Each book is short with the intention of being able to be read in just a few hours – much like a television show. I also decided to break up the series into a set number of books – or episodes. In this case, each series of Wild Space will be comprised of 6 books – or episodes.

Onslaught served as the first book, or in television terms – the series premier episode. Transformations is serving as the series 1 finale, or in television terms – the season finale. Due to the unbelievable response from readers, Wild Space will be back for a second series before the end of the year. In fact, it will probably be back much sooner than I had anticipated.

I never imagined I’d have the amount of success with Wild Space as I have had. Readers are gobbling this series up and it has forced me to put many of my other projects on hold. I do want to finish up two books that I have in process, but I also don’t want to slow the momentum created by the success of Wild Space, so I’m guessing those projects might continue to be on hold while I go back to work in crafting the second series for the hungry readers out there.

I can’t thank you enough for all your enthusiasm. Please, continue to spread the word about this series and I will continue to pump out the books.

Changes Ahead!

As I discussed in my blog post on Monday, Wild Space: Transformations is sporting a new Independence. I had an opportunity to revamp the ship and gain more flexibility in cover design, so I took it. I’m super excited by the new look and I’m already receiving feedback from other readers about the exciting new look.

Transformations is a book about changes in the lives of the crew and in the trajectory of Wild Space. Wild Space isn’t just about the crew of the Independence. While to this point, everything we’ve experienced in this region of space has been through their eyes, the glorious part about this series is, I can introduce new characters and share their adventures. This is something I did with Captain Miranda Waters.

Most readers probably forgot about her after her few appearances early on, but after Transformations, I can guarantee readers are going to want to know more about her. In fact, I have an exclusive short coming out that will bridge the gap between Transformations and Book 1 of Wild Space Series 2. I’m going to make it an exclusive title for subscribers to my monthly eNewsletter. So, if you want access to this short story, titled; Kill Switch, you need to SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER and I will send it to you as soon as its ready to go.

Transformations gave me the opportunity to tie up loose ends for Series 1.

At long last, readers will get some much needed answers to the questions raised in Wild Space: Sedition and I will be tying up some other loose ends. But get ready for some major set ups for the future of the series. Captain Avery and the crew of the Independence have had nothing but one trial after another since arriving in Wild Space, and you better believe that when this book is over, their lives will never be the same. When the final cards are played, you’ll completely understand the title of this book.

It feels good to finally bring Series 1 to an end. Transformations was supposed to be released back in December of 2016, but revisions forced me to push the launch back. At long last, I am getting a chance to reveal the secrets that have been hidden from readers and now I get to set up the future of the series. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed telling the tale.

As the Launch Week Celebration continues, I will be blogging next, about the Imperial ships which will now be appearing of the redesigned covers of the Wild Space series. You can visit the BOOKS tab on my website and take a look at the new covers.

Until the next post, Happy Reading!

 

The Independence Gets An Upgrade

The Independence gets an upgrade and new look as Wild Space Series 1 comes to an end. Wild Space is written by Jason M. Brooks

Welcome to the Launch Week Celebration for Wild Space: Transformations. All week long, I will be blogging about exciting topics that revolve around the Wild Space series. I hope you’ll join me all week as I blog about the series and go behind the scenes to reveal exciting details that have gone into making this new book.

The first detail I’m going to discuss is probably one of the most obvious.

You might have noticed a not-so-familiar ship gracing the cover of Wild Space: Transformations. What ship is this that is exploding before your very eyes? This is the Independence of course – a new and improved Independence.

The Independence has officially received an upgrade and she makes her debut in Wild Space: Transformations. She is also going to be gracing the covers of the other five books in the first series. On release day (March 7th, 2017), all six covers will feature the redesigned co-star of the Wild Space series.

When I released Wild Space: Onslaught, I had a designer create 1 digital drawing of a ship that became my sole model for the creation of the book covers for Wild Space Series 1. However, I was never really happy with this design and I didn’t have much flexibility when posing the ship. The most I could do was turn it this way or that way or flip the image around so it appeared to be flying in a different direction.

But three weeks ago, I discovered a wonderful website: SolCommand.com that offered free, 3D model images that I have been able to customize to my liking. Furthermore, I can edit the 3D model with Windows 3D and then put it into PhotoShop and pose it for new, dramatic angles to create exciting covers.

SolCommand also gave me the ability to add more ships on my book covers and create explosive scenes. As I will be discussing later on this week, I was able to create an Imperial Battleship which will now be seen on the covers of Onslaught, and Ghosts, and select installments of Series 2 when those books begin launching later this year.

This Independence at last matches the realities of what I describe in my book. The Independence is built to house a crew of nearly 200 – depending on the needs of the mission. It also uses three forms of propulsion.

  1. Thrusters were an original design on the ship to be used for moving into orbit around a planet or for maneuvering through space.
  2. There is the Interplanetary Jump Drive which is the main drive that helps the crew navigate between planets in travels that can last for a few weeks.
  3. Finally, there is the Deep Space Drive – which is designed to travel vast distances and cut down a 20 year journey between Earth’s United System of Planets and Wild Space. This was the engine that was destroyed in Onslaught.

The original model of the Independence never looked big enough to be able to house all of these features, but this design makes my vision come to life.

So, you might be asking yourself, “Why go through all the trouble of developing a new model to serve as the Independence, only to blow it up in Wild Space: Transformations?”

That is a really great question.

Be sure to read Transformations to discover the answer. Wild Space: Transformations, releases tomorrow, March 7th, 2017 at midnight.

I’ll be back tomorrow to continue the week long Launch Week Celebration with a blog post looking at the making of Wild Space: Transformations – without spoilers. Be sure to follow me on Facebook so you know when the post goes live.

Until then…