I love doing research. I have a sniveling, grotesquely ugly bad guy who has a variety of "people" on his team, including two women who are empathic sisters. Their brains can only work in unison with the other's.
Interviewer: "Sir William, we understand that the Assembly chose you, above all other agents, to defeat that enormous space monster, Chi' Pequel. You were a trash barge pilot before this time, why would they choose you? And how does it fit with your new assignment?"
In the first of the Sir William & Mac Life Without Slippers Series, The Mac, the evil ice queen, Bax, is trying out her new ship's capabilities to freeze, and her favorite part, explode.
This is a quote from Sir William as he talks to the Assembly of Fidea about Bax:
The next book in my Sir William & Mac Life Without Slippers is called The Space Snake & the Meteor Named Bob (www.pjgilbers.com). I was researching mythology around snakes and stumbled on this NASA report of a "space snake." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq4MEfqGjb4 It shows up around 3.5. Interesting that they cut it off after a couple of minutes!
If you listen to the astronaut talking it poses the question... what is it, what could it be? Why did NASA cut the feed? Hmmmm.
When I began the Sir William series he was a goat and the series was for younger kids. Sir William was the same sort of alien, weird, scruffy character who dropped in and helped people in need. But he was a goat, invisible to some and appearing as a person to others.
Now he is a human person from the planet Fidea. His favorite shoes are slippers and he likes his job as a waste space barge pilot where he gets to play his music, loud, and blow up things floating around the atmosphere just for fun. The Terror Birds, 1st of the series, is now available on Amazon and Audible is coming soon.
Here is one of the original illustrations showing Sir William and Mac meeting the Northwood Under Shrew army. Created by Nicolas Lonprez.
In my prequel to the series #Sir William & Mac Maurice the Monster I needed to find out more about future careers. Here are a few that I thought were interesting:
Cheng Shih was a pirate mogul in the 1800's. She amassed 2,000 ships and 50,000 crew members. I love doing research for my books. In #Komodo Dragon I knew that I wanted a #pirate so I searched for the most famous pirates. In 1801 this former prostitute with a reputation for being a shrewd business woman, married a man who was building a pirate fleet known as the #Red Flag Fleet. In 1806 her husband died and she took over.
Her fleet was so large and powerful that she remained undefeated by the Chinese, Portuguese and East India Company fleets.
She developed a code of ethics to manage her large group of roughians.
At the end of her life, dying at age 69, she controlled the seas from Hong Kong to Vietnam.
In addition to my character Zeng from the 2nd book in my #Sir William & Mac series she also inspired a character from #The Pirates of the Caribbean, Mistress Ching.
Another interesting fact-- she always ate testicles for breakfast. I think that sent a very strong message.
#While I was writing the book Dragons and Pirates, a story about a little girl stranded on an island with a dragon hunting her, I learned some scary facts.
The worst to me is how the dragons take down large prey such as wildebeests. Because their saliva has more than 50 strains of bacteria it nips or bites a large animal on the leg. The bite is infected, the animal slowly dies from the infection and the dragon follows it until it is down. They are so toxic that they don't decompose in a normal way and can die and simply appear to be asleep.
They can also balance on their hind legs and reach up into the trees. This is how some humans have been killed. At their mature state they are about 10 feet long (if standing in most rooms this would be almost to the ceiling) and weigh 300 pounds.
They are creatures that exist in reality and nightmares.
The #Sequoia National Park
If you've never been there you cannot imagine their hugenessosity. To see the tops you must lie on your back. The branches are often large enough to drive a car through, and are about the size of our biggest trees in St. Louis.
I hugged them. I am a tree hugger.