I sometimes post details about whatever music I'm listening to while I work up on my Twitter feed, using the #writersoundtrack hashtag.
Last year, on December 3rd, I put up a picture of this album cover as both a cryptic secret clue and a way-point marker for my future self.
In the year that passed, I think that maybe one or two people wondered if it was an oblique reference to something - well yeah, it was, because that was the day I got a ticket to the Disco.
My fellow writer and all-around lovely person Kirsten Beyer reached out along with my editor Margaret Clark and offered me the chance to write the third original novel to tie-in with the new Star Trek: Discovery series. As you might imagine, it wasn't a hard call to say yes; and so next summer Fear Itself will be hitting the bookshelves.
Lieutenant Saru is a Kelpien, a member of a prey species born on a world overrun by monstrous predators…and a being who very intimately understands the nature of fear. Challenged on all sides, he is determined to surpass his origins and succeed as a Starfleet officer aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou.
But when Saru breaks protocol in order to prove himself to his crewmates, what begins as a vital rescue mission to save a vessel in distress soon escalates out of control. Forced into a command role he may not be ready for, Saru is caught between his duty and the conflicting agendas of two antagonistic alien races.
To survive, he will need to seek a path of peace against all odds, and risk compromising the very ideals he has sworn to uphold….
Fear Itself follows on from Desperate Hours and Drastic Measures by m'colleagues David Mack and Dayton Ward and continues the theme of the Discovery novels by unfolding some more of the backstory of the show's main characters - in my case, I've written a story that centres around the Kelpien science officer Saru. The story is set after the events of Dayton's book but before Dave's (and also the events of the show itself), while Saru is a lieutenant serving with Michael Burnham under Captain Phillippa Georgiou aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou.
Over the past year, it's been fun (and truth be told, a little unusual) to be involved in the Discovery production, talking with the other writers and seeing the show evolve. One of the coolest things was getting to read all the scripts and receiving daily digests of set photos from the series, watching the episodes come together piece by piece.
I got to spend a day at the Discovery writers office in Los Angeles a few months ago, seeing early cuts of the show before it aired and getting feedback from the team on the themes and concepts for my novel. I've never had this level of access or collaboration while working on a tie-in project before, and I hope it will show in the book.
I've been keeping this under wraps for a year, but now I can finally talk about it, I want to say that it's great to able to help develop some backstory for one of Discovery's key characters and I'm excited to return to the Star Trek universe once again!
Star Trek: Discovery - Fear Itself will be released on June 5th 2018, and it'll be published in eBook and trade paperback formats. Check out StarTrek.com's news post on the book announcement Here.