Facts and Fiction
I love to write lots of action in my books, but the characters are important too. So much so that before I can even think of a plot, I have to know my major players really well. In Alien Worlds, Impani came to me as a full-fledged person.
Impani is a sixteen-year-old girl who yearns to escape life on the streets by becoming a Colonial Scout. The Colonial Scouts are a group of explorers who seek out habitable planets for the Colonial Expansion Board. They travel through space via programmable wormholes. Impani craves adventure like a drug--a character flaw that may be her undoing.
Impani was found in a shoe box beneath a bus stop bench. She’d been making a mewing sound, so the old woman who found her named her after a cat she’d once had. Although they lived on the streets, Impani never felt homeless. The streets were her home. The old woman looked out for her and taught her right from wrong. But she died when Impani was ten.
Not long after that, Impani got trapped in a trash compactor while searching for food. She spent the night in the dark with insects skittering over her arms, causing her to become claustrophobic. When the workers came to compact the garbage, they heard her screams. She was remanded to a local orphanage.
The institution was not for her; she hated the structure and the rules, but was thrilled to finally learn how to read. She ran away two years later, but continued to read all she could. That was how she learned of the Colonial Scouts. It became her dream.
Now that Impani has her chance, she is driven to succeed. Personal relationships take a backseat to ambition. In her frantic attempts to out-do her own accomplishments, she has become reckless and is a danger to herself and others.
You can read Impani's story in the Colonial Scouts Adventures.