The Story Behind FIERCE SURVIVALHarley Austin
I began writing Fierce Survival immediately after Fierce Rebellion because I didn’t want to lose the momentum of feeling the people within the story. I got perhaps 80% done with the novel before my time was taken away from writing to do other things that life demands of us: work, kids, family, holidays, what have you.
The novel then sat for a little more than a year before I could get back to it to complete the ending. During that time I was thinking off and on about how I was going to extricate myself from the events of the story without everyone dying in the process. I avoid plot holes like the plague and I refuse to make a story plot-driven just to make things work. Yes, I do some plot-driven scenes now and then, but usually they’re small events and not something the main story is based around. Heroes, heroines and villains are supposed to be intelligent. I needed an ending that wasn’t going to just go up in flames as lame.
Fierce Survival was again one of those novels that began as something I just started writing. I wanted to begin writing the next book in the series, but I had absolutely no idea where the story was going, what the book would be about or even who was going to be in it. Of course being a Fierce novel, it was going to star London, Thad, Jean-Luc, Misty, and the newest member of the family, Houston. But, that is not who started this novel.
Tacori is an amalgamation of several musicians I personally know and love. I have heard many of their stories about “starving artists” of how they struggled to break into the limelight of success but never really made it to the big-time. I didn’t sit down to write about musicians, at least I didn’t think I was. So Tacori’s story is a nod to the many, many musicians out there who love wha they do, but realistically, will never be able to break into the top charts. I will likely never see the success of Nora Roberts or Tom Clancy, so in that regard, we share something in common from a creative perspective.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises to me within the novel was the appearance of the Silic. I loved this aspect of building out their existence within the Awakened milieu because it was such a natural progression. Their addition was not just plausible, but something that could be a very real event within the backstory of the Ra.
Like the previous book, Fierce Rebellion, we also get to see cameos from some familiar faces that are part and parcel of the Awakened Universe.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise to me was the response from my editor after she’d finished editing the book. In addition to their suggestions and corrections, editors often like to leave little personal comments about the story as they are reading. My editor has become a personal fan of the entire Awakened epic and it was heartening to see some of her personal comments running within the manuscript. She stayed up all night reading. She was totally taken with the story, the new people, and events.
I really love Fierce Survival for a number of reasons, but then every novel I write I love because of different things within them. It is only when others also cannot put the story down that I am pleasantly surprised. Fierce Survival was like that to me. I loved it, but I was cautious about how others might feel. But when my editor also cannot put the book down, I know I have written something that will delight and amaze you.
I hope you enjoy Fierce Survival. It’s become one of my favorite Fierce novels.