Building People 🤺

One of my world-famous emails, originally sent Wednesday, 24 April. Get on the list here!

It all started with Crossfit.

Last time, I talked about new story worlds. Y’all gave me a lot of thoughts on what to cover next, and the two most popular were, “Yeah, more on Calterburry,” and, “Let’s talk about the people.” We’re going people first, notably the main hero of Boundless. This week:

  • A reminder!
  • Chromed: everywhere, and
  • Building realistic heroes: the science behind women who are warriors.

Let’s get in there, yeah?

April’s Sale ends… at the end of April.

You might remember the first two Tyche books are on sale for a buck apiece, or adjusted Earth currency, on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Nook. If you want to get into Firefly-meets-Aliens, you know what to do:



While we’re here, May brings new bargains. I’ve no idea what they’ll be (literally: I haven’t decided). Feel free to let me know your wishes for the next sale. You might get lucky.

Chromed: Everywhere

The finale in the Future Forfeit trilogy exited Kindle Unlimited gracefully. It’s now available on all retailers.


I’ve also done the hog-wild step of making this series (all books and city stories) available to libraries, following my exciting relationship with Libby. If your library doesn’t yet have it, you should be able to request them to get a copy.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about KU, and I’m planning to launch my next trilogy wide out of the gate. It feels better to support all readers regardless of retailer – wish me luck.

If you’ve no idea what a “Chromed” is, or why you should care, do not get the third one yet. You won’t know WTAF is going on! The first two will provide you a gentle, curated landing pad to experience a dark dystopia where corporations controll everything:

And now: Crossfit Building Heroes

If you’ve read my Tyche books you’ll have a feeling for how my heroes work. I build ’em Tonka tough, regardless of gender. I don’t want stories where guys save princesses in a castle; I want women who can either avoid the castle in the first place, or kill the asshole in charge.

When I made Grace for those stories, I had to make her strong and bright like the best metal, but also believable. In the Tyche stories, people don’t have superhuman strength. I enable her kick-assing by excessive training and a life on the run, but even with that her fight against October Kohl is … [SPOILERS].

Boundless is a different universe. Magic is real, but quarrels tend to be face-to-face. Swords against shields, harsh words against conviction, all of that. When building Geneve into the hero she needs to be, I had to consider a super-important question:

How can she fight against a stronger person, for example, a larger man, or an Ork?

This led me down one of my favorite rabbit-holes: science. It turns out woman are, pound for pound, pretty much as strong as men. There’s a fairly wide belief that men are stronger than women, but it’s not really true. It’s more true to say they are stronger because they are bigger.

Unfortauntely, this doesn’t help me much. If Geneve is average height/weight, how’s she going to fare on the field of battle? It turns out, we’ve been churning out Vikings, near as anything matters, in the form of Crossfit athletes. Enter my inspiration for Geneve’s physicality: Sara Sigmundsdóttir.

Sara’s 69kg, strong, and fast. If she were on a battlefield, facing down an Ork, she might say (if she were the type to waste words):

“I don’t have to be stronger than you. I have to be stronger than your armor.”

This is the crux of it. Building a battle-worthy Geneve needs her to be fit, fast, and strong enough to cleave armor, bone, and so on. She doesn’t need to arm-wrestle a giant. I’ve made her an article on my WorldAnvil. How heavy is she? A Sara-worthy 70kg.

That’s it from me this week. Go out and be awesome. You don’t have to do Crossfit, either – just keep being your good self.


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