I was working on another story when I started thinking of the character Salchar. Thinking that I would like to use him in a later story, I wrote up details around him - turning him from a name into a person. Then, I wrote up Yasu’s character profile. In the span of two days, I had written up the cast of the Free Fleet.
At first I put them off, but with a rowdy bunch of characters like that, I soon had Salchar bugging me to just write out the beginning - just a few sentences, enough to cement the idea in my head. I had another book to work on, and I needed to make sure I didn’t forget the idea, right?
So I pulled out my laptop in my grandparents’ house in the UK, and I wrote the first sentences, then the first page. By the time I was done on the first day, I had written three thousand words. Something that at that point looked insane.
I realized at that point that my first series needed time to mature into something more, but The Free Fleet Series, now that was something special. I could see the time line of events. Did I know how my characters were going to react to them? Nope, but it was going to be a lot of fun seeing what they got themselves into. So I continued writing, and churned out The Recruitment Rise of the Free Fleet in a slow eight months.
Where do I see it going from here? That’s been a hard question I’ve been thinking about the last couple of months. The best answer I can give, is it depends on what the readers say.
War’s Reward, book six of the Free Fleet, is coming out in July/August.
The tactics and military ideas I use in my books come from personal experience and knowledge. It also adds a sense of grittiness to the books. The way that the militaristic characters interact is very similar to how real-world soldiers react - including the incessant swearing, smoking and tobacco products.
The Free Fleet touched on this lightly. My new series, The Harmony War Series, really dives into my military background and those I have talked to in the military.
Seeing different places always gives you more material to work with - like the wind coming off of the English channel, or a winter in Northern Canada. It adds a depth to the scenes and places in the books, as I can pull real-world feelings and insert them into the characters.
My go-to place for posting information is my website: michaelchatfield.com. After that, there’s my Facebook Michael Chatfield and Twitter @chatfieldsbooks. I’m not the best with social media, so once a week my friend Jay takes what I’ve been up to and sends it out in the world.