Everyone, Meet Rainha Isabel Maximilliano. Isabel, Everyone.

Author's Commentary

Templum Veneris Chapter 6

Well now that we've got the characters good and riled up, we can start getting into why they've come to Venus in the first place.  In this series, it feels like I set up the sub-plots long before I get to the main plot and, in a sense, the book interrupts the personal, every-day struggles of Viekko, Althea and the others. But I feel those stories need to come from when they are not on an off-world mission so it's a bit inevitable.

But anyway, Viekko and Althea are on the rocks. Isra's career is barely hanging on and Cronus is wrestling with some pretty major lifestyle changes. So now it's time to get to work.

This first scene when they are marching down the street on Venus is our first glance at the society that will form the basis of the coming conflict. Viekko pretty much voices the mood that I'm going for. You get the sense that the other characters don't see what he sees and that's to be expected. People who see and have to deal with violence (soldiers, police officers, security personnel, etc.) see the world very differently in my experience.
Art By Angela Vincent
 The rest of us take for granted that we can go about our day without someone deliberately trying to kill us. But there are those for whom that is not a given and Viekko, as a warrior, is tapping into that. The fact that he is walking into a situation where he will be facing a significant tactical disadvantage creates this nice mood of, what I can only describe as, friendly eeriness. The Overlook Hotel from The Shining comes to mind. The opening scenes show a very nice, very cozy hotel but the audience knows some heavy shit is about to go down.

I suppose it depends on how you look at it.

The scene in the garden is useful for a couple of reasons. First, its a sneaky little way of throwing some history of Cytherea into the mix without getting bogged down in some infodump. When it comes time to do the extra short stories leading up to the third book, I think I will delve deeper into the history of Cytherea but, for now, I think it gives the reader enough to know what kind of vicious bastards they are dealing with.

And finally, we meet the ruler of Venus. Rainha Isabel Maximilliano.

When I'm trying to flesh out a character, I tend to go flipping through a google image search and find something that knocks a few pieces loose in my brain. Since Sparta was the inspiration for Cythearean culture in general, it seems appropriate that the image of a Spartan queen as drawn by artist Vin Roc serves as the inspiration for Isabel.  Not only physically, but, with her enticing eyes and the barely concealed knife, mentally as well.

Like the Boba Fett greek helmet from the last author commentary, I find images help keep me centered. Especially in the first draft when it's the wild fuckin west out there. Words are being slammed onto the page with nary a fuck to be found for miles. It's my favorite part of the creative process but also the scariest as I can, and do, wander far, far away from my original ideas. Images serve as a lifeline of sorts. Something I keep by my desk so I can look up from time to time and remember what the figgity fuck I was supposed to be writing about in the first place.

When venturing into the wilderness, it's a good idea to throw some breadcrumbs behind you.


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