View Full Version : Jungle Earth

March 9th, 2008, 03:59 PM
Well, I've just stumbled across this area in Coffeetime, and I'm really happy, because my next project is a science fiction adventure, and I've been wanting to talk about it for some time now.

For those who don't know me, I'm Linda Ambrosia and I'm the author of two e-published works, a novel, Liberation (http://hometown.aol.com/romanceadventure/index.html), and its sequel, a short story Triangle Storm. (http://www.lavenderisis.com/trianglestorm.html) Since then, my Husband and I have joined forces, and we're now writing together as a team. Our first project together is a book he started about a year ago. After it was rejected several times over the course of that year, he turned the manuscript over to me for retooling. Since then we've made the decision to have all our work from now on submitted under my pen name (which is the name I use here).

The novel was originally called Gulliver, but I've changed the name to Gulliver's Children. It has an unique history. Eight or so years ago Husband launched a magazine project called Romances With Attitude, for which I was the head writer. (And I've since kept that title for my personal web site.) After he closed down the project two years ago, he persuaded me to submit my work to profesional publishers, and the novel and short story I mentioned above were picked up by Lavender Isis Press.

But I still had a short novel, Barbarian From Space, sitting around. This told of a future Earth where people live in a male chauvenist, Medieval type society, and most of the planet has been taken over by a thick jungle. In the story, a peaceful visitor from outer space (the "barbarian" of the title) lands near the Earthling capitol, and winds up in endless conflict with the superstitious and brainless Earthlings.

Husband wanted to use that same framework for an idea he'd come up with for a novel of his own. I gave him my permission, and let him use the "jungle Earth" motif as well. The major difference between his concept and mine was that his novel would highlight a civilized planet in another solar system. (The similar planet in my story was never seen.) In Husband's version, it's an alien woman who crashlands on Earth and ends up fighting the barbarians. And in his version, the Earthling barbarians weren't just bad, they were downright slimy.

Part of this came from Husband's socially conservative views. He's a big booster of old style family values; so in the book the civilised planet (Gulliver) is shown as a peaceful family oriented society. As the heroine, Pearl, says at one point "That's just the trouble--everything is too nice." But once she sees the awful mess Earth is in, she can't wait to get rescued and go back home. (But not before she stirs up a host of problems for the chauvenistic barbarians.)

Once the manuscript was turned over to me, I cut out a few scenes that I felt might be offensive to editors and softened some dialog. And as already mentioned, I altered the title so people wouldn't confuse the book with Gulliver's Travels. We've agreed that this book would be an effective kick-off for a series that could go on forever if it was successful. So we's decided to make Gulliver's Children the first of a series we're going to call Jungle Earth. Should Gulliver's Children be a success, we already have the first "sequel," Barbarian From Space, waiting in the wings, though Barbarian was written first!

However, we felt (and this was a tough decision for us) that this series would be better suited for the straight science-fiction market, rather than the Futuristic Romance market. Our number one reason for this was that the main character in Gulliver's Children (Pearl the heroine) is a half-human hybred. (In the book she's called a "breed," one of an emerging social class on her planet--hence the name Gulliver's Children.) With genetic engineering being so controversial these days, we weren't sure that a radical character like Pearl (who sports a fine pair of fangs to boot) would make it in the romantic field. Plus we felt the really biting social satire about the bumbling Earthlings was better suited for sci-fi than romance.

As of this writing, we've submitted sample chapters of Gulliver's Children to a publishing house and are awaitng word. In the meantime, Husband eliminated the original Gulliver web page he had up for a year and is busy now preparing a new one to reflect the changes in the novel. Whatever comes of it, this book was a fun project for both of us. I'm wondering if anyone here has stories they can tell of how projects they've started have evolved the way ours did?

June 25th, 2008, 11:15 PM
As of this writing, we've submitted sample chapters of Gulliver's Children to a publishing house and are awaitng word.

Well, the wait is long over! GULLIVER'S CHILDREN was sold and will be released, according to our new publisher, FIREDRAKES WEYR PUBLISHING, next week on July 1. They are having a special chat featuring all the authors published this month (including us) on July 2, and anyone here who wants to attend is welcome. Come to: http://www.firedrakesweyr.com/ and click their Chat link at the top of the page. Then sign in and come on aboard. This is a very happy occasion for both of us, because the publisher has decided to place the book in the YA section, and we've wanted to get into that field for a long time. We were surprised, because our novel has some very strong language in a few places that were necessary for the plot. But our publisher saw no problem with that and we're not complaining, believe me. All books are a dream come true, and this one as our first sci-fi will be very special.