Raven Strike, one of our earliest Dreamland books, made a showing on the best-seller list this week over at Barnes & Noble, and the information led me to a shocking realization: I’ve been working on that series for over a decade.
How quickly time, and words, fly.
It’s amazing how much has changed in those ten years. When Dreamland started, the idea that UAVs would play an important role in air (and all) warfare was very foreign to most people, and I remember a lot of questions from editors to the effect of, Do you really think things like this will happen? Ever? Really?
Even more radical was the suggestion that a man in a wheelchair might be able to have an active part in battle, to persevere and be a hero. Today, I wouldn’t be surprised if younger readers thought Zen was based on a real person.
People sometimes ask why the series has lasted. I think there are a lot of reasons – I don’t undervalue luck, among them. the tech is cool, though at times hard to keep up with. But for me, the books have always been about the people in them. Whether it’s Zen trying to overcome a disability, Breanna trying to both prove she’s both a bad-ass pilot and an attractive woman, or Turk Mako trying to prove he belongs, the characters are people we all identify with. Even Mack Smith, the man everyone loved to hate in the early books, reminds us of people we know in real life (and in his case, may want to avoid).
Dale and I greatly appreciate all of the support readers have shown us over the years. News of the best-seller status hasn’t, however, made me very nostalgic for the earlier installments. I’m too busy working on the next-next Dreamland, the one that will come in 2013. In the meantime, there’s one due to hit the shelves and the ebook stores soon. By the time you see it, we should be outlining the 2014 book.