Sunday, 15 August 2010

Three Star Republic of Texas ~ 'What If' World Building

The Cast of the Western TV show, BONANZA ~ Ben Cartwright and his sons, Hoss, Little Joe and Adam ~

~Sliders meets Bonanza meets the Three Star Republic of Texas~

So how did I world build my parallel Earth dimension for my latest release, BRANDED BY THE TEXANS ~ as the tagline suggests?

Of course, that’s not a question I can fully answer in one blog. For one thing, it encompasses a lifetime of watching Westerns on TV and on the silver screen. And, yes, I went through a short period of reading western novels as a young teenager, Louis L’Amour being the king.

However, the sheer frustration of seeing one sexy, tough-as-leather cowboy hero head off into the sunset without his woman... well, it became unbearable and I knew deep down, someday I would right that terrible wrong, that my girlish heart would be healed and happy.

As I wrote MY WESTERN, so many of those Roy Rogers-to-Bonanza memories surfaced and helped to create, my heroine, Kylie’s love story. It was a tricky balance to weave Branded into a logical tapestry of current technology-advanced times ~ plus a cowboy culture that survived and thrived far beyond what has occurred in our times now.

But, it’s those ‘what if’ questions that get an author’s writerly juices going... that fires up the imagination. Often. Isn’t it?

Looking at the political climate of early 2009... looking at the immense amount of injustice taking place minute by minute... well, what if there were a stand-up culture of men brave enough to take on the wrongs and right them? What if true grit ruled and there was a land where freedom reigned, and was truly treasured?

What if?

The Three Star Republic of Texas, an independent nation, was born out of my ‘what if’ speculations. On another Earth ~ think the TV show, Sliders, here ~ the state of Texas declared it’s independence from the Union some 25 years ago. There was a horrific border war and there are ongoing incursions by the Union.

Yet, what about day-to-day life? It’s great to have the grand overview for your story. Still, how does that translate into the everyday, the living of life by your heroines and heroes?

Here’s a PG excerpt that gives a glimpse of life at ~

Wild Horse Crossing Ranch,
located closest to the town of Pine Springs,
in the Three Star Republic of Texas, March 27, 2009

In the far distance, the sun, an intensely shining white disc in the pale blue sky, hung low between two mountain peaks. He and his brothers had chosen this remote and forgotten ranch where they could rebuild their lives as they saw fit.

Plus, any enemy, foreign or domestic, would be at a disadvantage. More than likely, they’d be dead, their boots up and their corpses left as a feast for the wild critters and insects.

In the Three Star Republic of Texas, every man was the law unto himself, even though certain codes had been established and were generally abided by.

“Just for you, Bonnie darlin’, even though I’m plumb tuckered out.” Dillon halted near the door to the small clean-up room, then pretended to grab for her. Playing their favorite game, Bonnie dashed and whirled around him, leaping and nipping at his arms as he spun around mock-fighting with her. She’d only had him and his brothers to play with for a long time before they’d found her a mate.

“You win, cute thang.” Rumbling with laughter, Dillon swung open the door and heard their automatic coffee machine click on, as it had been programmed to do.

The odor of Dash’s Crock-Pot stew permeated the air. Dillon inhaled deeply, once again feeling gratitude for the energy-producing unit he and his brothers had managed to keep hold of despite the plagues, the battles they’d been in defending the Republic, and the fight to save their own hides.

The portable magnetic units were hard to come by these days, many of them lost when the Union drone planes had attacked with microwaves designed to destroy electronic capability. Course, since then, they’d strategically placed wood stoves and installed other energy systems, solar being one of them.

Dillon shed his outer layer of clothes, hanging his Stetson next to the gun belt he wore when working the ranch. Wearing only his jeans and a plaid flannel shirt, he moved to the ion booth they used before entering the main area of the house.

“Come on, Bonnie. Let’s go get clean.” Stretching out his arms, he watched her crouch and spring perfectly into his hold.

As he stepped inside, the cleansing booth hummed on, and he slowly rotated until the amber light glowed. “Clean, silver fur girl.” Dillon nuzzled the top of Bonnie’s soft head. She rewarded him with tongue kisses.

Hungrier than he realized, he set her down heading straight for the stew. Bonnie trotted beside him, then sat, eagerly watching as he fixed a bowl for each of them. Reveling in the smell, Dillon sliced off several hunks of the whole grain bread he’d made yesterday. Early on, he’d insisted on the giant-capacity bread machine, well-knowing his brothers preferred biscuits. Dash made the tastiest baking powder biscuits. Still, a man had his own cravings.

He placed Bonnie’s portion close to her basket bed in the kitchen. Gathering up his bowl and plate, he moved toward the house’s old den, a cave-like area he particularly liked.

After easing into his large leather chair, he propped his bare feet up on the warm hearth stones. The fire still flickered beneath the blackened logs. With fragrant woods being abundant, they usually kept a small fire going since evenings were cool and it kept the dampness of the stone house away.

Dillon dipped his bread into the chunky savory stew, then ate with leisure. He let his thoughts run rampant for a short time. It had taken him several years after the border wars to simply allow this kind of idle wandering of his mind.

By the time he finished his dinner, the tiny blaze fought for survival. Setting the bowl on the hearth, he reached for another log and tossed it on the fire to keep it going. As was his usual habit, he switched on the solar-powered, hand-crank radio he kept near the room’s large plate glass window.

The weariness of his muscles took over, and he sat back, listening to Ben give a homey news report for El Paso, the closest major city to them and where they usually went on Saturday nights. The highway had been restored to full use about five years ago.

Long ago, Dillon had decided that he was damn partial to keeping a boot in both worlds, the modern world that had been salvaged and now advanced slowly, and the world of isolated self-survival that had kept them and others alive during the darkest of times.

It had always been the pioneering resilience and frontier independence of native Texans that kept the original Lone Star Republic from becoming one more downtrodden Union state with a demoralized and sickly population. Even with the several attempts at statehood, Texas had come through, victorious and free.

Reviewing the day’s accomplishments as he generally did, he looked at what needed doing next. He settled more comfortably, taking pleasure in watching the blaze grow and devour the log. Until…

And now a look at the Texas national news. There is a growing verbally aggressive movement in Las Vegas, Nevada, proper. They are demanding their autonomy as a country or as part of our Three Star Republic of Texas. A regional meeting has been scheduled to discuss the petition that is forthcoming from the Vegas Rabble Rousers. If you are on the Committee for Approval, Corporal Buck Nelson will be in contact with the details.

“Dang the red-butt devil,” Dillon growled. Since he was a member of the committee, that could put a major crimp in the plan to claim their own woman.

Happy Ridin’ and Ropin’ Summer...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Blurb ~

What can three Texans do to a woman’s body and heart?
Kylie is about to find out.
Beyond her wildest dreams.
On a parallel Earth.

It’s 2009... Kylie is on the run from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. A promising doctoral student, she’s lost everyone and almost everything, except for what she stows in her car. Now, Kylie has to salvage the rest of her life. But, where in this age of GPS tracking, TV’s Most Wanted and cameras everywhere?

It’s 2009... Dillon, Dono and Dash are three brothers desperate for a wife to brand as their own. The Union made women scarce in the Three Star Republic by releasing a bio weapons’ plague during the border wars. These tough-as-leather Texans will do anything to keep the right woman, even if they have to lasso her like a wild filly and love on her until she loves them back.

A Siren-BookStrand #1 BESTSELLER ~ ~ ~


Savanna Kougar said...


Lindsay Townsend said...

Fascinating blog, Savanna! I loved your Branded by Texans and I loved the wolrd buidling especially.

I like the way you reveal character in the excerpt by showing Dillion with Bonnie. I also really enjoy the mix of super-technology and wilderness.

Thanks, Savanna!

(How do you say 'thank you' in Texan?)

Cheryl said...

Hey Savanna!

What a great concept and excerpt! Do you like alternate history? I read a lot of a guy named Eric Flint. We used one of his books to teach with in our writing class a couple of years ago. His ideas are fascinating, and although his books are not "romance" there usually is some kind of love interest going on in them. I love this futuristic twist you have put on your story. Sounds VERY good!


Celia Yeary said...

SAVANNA--fascinating. I read it through very slowly, since I don't fully grasp the concept--sorry--but I do love your writing style and your imagination. I am a member of The Daughters of the Republic of Texas--to qualify, we have to have an ancestor who fought for Texas's Independence and owned land during those years.
Thanks for such an interesting blog this morning! Celia

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, Lindsay, I do so hope you enjoyed Branded.

Celia would probably know much better than me how they say 'thank you' in Texan. In my alternative world or parallel Earth, it would be a tip of the hat, or a nod, the thank you in the glint of the gaze... or a short, 'thanks.'

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Cheryl, alternative history fascinates me. I began writing it before I knew it was called that, some 25 years ago. I haven't run across Eric Flint's books probably because they aren't strictly romance. I'm prejudiced that way.
I'll look him up now. Thanks for letting me know.

Savanna Kougar said...

Celia, wow, I wish I'd known you are a member of The Daughters of the Republic of Texas. I ran across the group when I was doing a bit of historical research for Branded.
I'm planning the next book in the series, if you don't mind questions. Since I'm not a native Texan I have to try to grasp, and understand the mindset... what it truly feels like to be a Texan.

Celia, thanks for reading my blog. I know it's not your cup of tea.

Sherry Gloag said...

I love the way you build your worlds. I'm going to re-read your blog again, there's so much information there.
And the Bonanza pic? Takes me back a bit :-) LOL

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Sherry... can you see me smiling from here?

I always here the Bonanza theme music and see re-runs of certain scenes in my head. That show is a super classic, imo.