Thursday, March 19, 2015

How A Hot Mess of Writing Became an Indie Success

Athena Grayson
by Athena Grayson

Huntress of the Star Empire is a dark-horse of a story if there ever was one, proving that, even after 18 years of doing this, writing can still surprise me.
Writing “Huntress” was a crazy decision for me to make. I had a preschool daywalker, and a new baby who loved the nightlife—in my defense, I was operating on very little sleep. I questioned my decision to work on this particular story, because at the time, there was exactly zero market for it. I was writing in a genre that wasn't high on the list for either tradpubs or e-presses. I raced down "B" storylines and "side-quests" with the supporting cast instead of sticking to one straight storyline. I knew the thing was a hot mess (in the way that a journeyman "knows" his art is breaking all the carefully-taught rules), but I was having fun and being passionate and it was keeping me sane.
Fast-forward through PTO meetings, freelance day-job work, and something called the "Indie Revolution" and I rediscovered the Huntress. I re-examined the WIP, only to discover the "hot mess" I was so sure I'd written was actually not a hot mess at all. In my sleep-deprived world, where I typed one-handed and spent many late-night hours binge-watching Xena re-runs, entire seasons of Star Trek, and Firefly backwards and forwards, I'd unconsciously incorporated the structure of long-form storytelling into the story I was half-consciously writing. Breaks came at novella-length points, and the dramatic structure followed along an episodic escalation. I realized that with the Indie Revolution, the ebook’s ability to deliver novella-length stories, and the wider variety of readers engaged in all sorts of genre-blends, the only thing stopping me from unleashing the Huntress on the world…was me.

Huntress of the Star Empire
Treska Sivekka is the best Vice Hunter in the entire Union of Civilized Worlds, but her latest bounty might put her right out of a job. She’s on the hunt for the last of the psypaths, whose psionic gifts are thought to have caused devastating alien attacks on a dozen worlds. The last psypath, Micah Ariesis, is the only remaining chink in the armor of the Union.
Acquiring her target starts Treska on a journey not back to the safety of the Civilized Worlds of the Union, but its wild edges, where she begins to question all she’s known—about the attacks, about psypaths, and about herself. As she unravels the shocking mystery of her own origins, she must question everything she believes until she finally hunts down the truth.

Huntress of the Star Empire is a sci-fi romance serial adventure, told in weekly episodes released each Thursday until the season finale. 

For more about the series, visit or sign up for the newsletter at and receive notification of new episode drops right to your inbox.

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