If Jack were real, it’d be his birthday today. And for quite a few years now, I’ve been using his and Gareth’s birthdays to give myself deadlines to get stuff done. This year is no exception, and today is the day Repeat Offence, my fantasy novella about warriors Taz and Hiro, and their punishment by the Judges, hits all the virtual retailers. Repeat Offence started life as a short story, and then it grew… until I got a bit worried I’d not have it ready in time.
But we got there, and as I was putting the final touches to the book, I realised how much Taz and Hiro fit with Jack & Gareth, Madan & Serrai, Minel & Falcon and the rest of the characters I like to write about.
Jack, for example, is all about owning his choices and so are Taz and Hiro. They made a choice and took the consequences. And theirs is as much a story of endings and beginnings as Jack and Gareth’s is. Taz and Hiro’s battlefield deaths lead to a cruel sentence at the hands of beings that lack compassion and understanding. They endure, dying over and again, are forced into repeated new beginnings… only to make the same choice that got them punished when the situation calls for it.
And when their final deaths bring them face to face with the Judges once more? They don’t opt for an ending and choose another new beginning instead.
Writing Taz and Hiro was fun, and I’m beyond delighted that they seem to have found their audience. I’ve had some wonderful early reviews for their story, including one that said: “OMG I loved this story. I should have been in bed already, but I had to finish it.”
That, to me, is high praise indeed!