She is a military pilot so would require a science fiction setting, and a planet to have her adventures on, because that’s my thing. She is the central character in my novel Captain Freya. I recommend it to anyone who loves alien adventures as much as I do.
By a quirk of fate, after Freya’s shuttle full of scientists crashlands far away from the base and sinks into the vibrating sand, she becomes a captain of a survival journey. With very little chance of rescue, she doesn’t have a clue where to go and what dangers are lying in wait. Freya vows to save as many of the scientists as possible, but as the days pass and the danger grows, she starts to think this might not be any at all, herself included.
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The story was inspired by a typical scene in a typical Hollywood film, in which a man and a woman are running away from the mafia, a cyborg or a hellish beast. The woman, of course, is wearing high-heeled shoes and, of course, tripping over and falling to the ground. The killer is approaching and instead of jumping up and running, she is reaching out her hand. The man is grabbing it, and she is suddenly able to get up and run again. Now, I know several women personally and every one of them can get up and run unaided, particularly when being chased by a killer robot, a hungry dinosaur, or a psychotic assassin.
So, I decided to write a book that turned the tables on that nonsense and created the character of Freya Webb, the main protagonist. She is a military pilot so would require a science fiction setting, and a planet to have her adventures on, because that’s my thing. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to write a thrilling adventure story with a journey, or a more light-hearted novel with some comedy moments. So, I combined both of those ideas to create an upbeat story about humans triumphing over adversity with teamwork and skill. I created some more characters, invented some aliens, and the obligatory animal companion wrote the chapter outline and off I went. Apart from that first idea for the creation of Freya, there was no single light bulb moment of inspiration, just characters and plot arriving as needed. This was a story made by both halves of my brain equally – logic and imagination.
I got to somewhere around chapter four and it was all going well. I was then sidetracked by a major project I spent a couple of years on. Then the other party took my work and ran away with it, leaving me with nothing. I hadn’t lost anything important, except time, but I suddenly had nothing to do. So, I returned to the novel and wrote some more. Shortly after there was a family bereavement, and as the story needed me to be in a high-energy state, I stopped writing it again.
Along came lockdown and I decided to get on with the novel and finally finish it. Which I did. I then set it aside for a while before going back to do any re-writes. This is something I would recommend any writer doing. Do something else for a while, weeks or months, whichever works for you, and then go back.
When I read through it, I realised I could tell where the joins were, as each section was written with long periods of time in between. So, I did some rewrites without working on anything else, and it was finally done, the first complete draft, at least.
The published version came about after some test reading and some very insightful comments from my publisher, who thought, among other things, that Freya was too forceful. On reading through it again I found myself agreeing. I fixed that and some other glaring things I’d missed and it was finally done. I sincerely hope you enjoy my novel Captain Freya, and then maybe let me know what you thought.