Some words on the ideas and inspirations behind the stories in our book, Honest Tommy: Calls to Adventure.
"Princess Victoria and the Gunpowder Plot" was written as a teaser script for Lucy Townsend's Princess Victoria, and for the series as a whole. It's based on the gunpowder plot of course, but shows Victoria has her own agenda independent to the British Empire, and her own methods. It introduces series concepts like killer robots, the class divide, and the theme of masks. Victoria drops hers to speak honestly to Kitty Canning. Victoria gambles the safety of Westminster on the whims of a firebrand revolutionary and her own abilities of persuasion. It also highlights the infectious nature of adventure in this cosmos, which is a trait shared by Dashworth. He pulls people into his orbit.
Kitty is a character who will be seen again in future stories. As is Princess Victoria, naturally.
"Creation" is a Tom Hutchings uh, creation, based on our first notes on the character of Professor Runcible. It's a character study attempting to show some of Runcible's inner landscape, past her mask of "mad professor". She's smarter than gravity, can talk to the stars, and sometimes wakes up having built a sexy new rocket ship in her sleep. Runcible also fumbled around with Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace, who got all of their best ideas from her.
"Scraping the Void" is the most dramatic story in Calls to Adventure, befitting Gwen Broadchest as the most troubled and cynical character. Whereas the other main characters live in the moment, Gwen is dogged by the calamities of her past, which infects how she moves forwards. Though born into privilege, Gwen has struggled while Dashworth, also of privilege, finds it effortless to be a hero. Gwen resents that. In "Scraping the Void", she gets a momentary chance to be a hero, until it's cruelly taken away from her. This is how she begins the series. Gwen seeks adventure, but on her terms, and won't let Dashworth run away with all of the glory.
"Six Months in Tea" was originally written as a Lore of Yore entry, as an introduction to Ensign Benson, who goes unnamed in the story. It's a journal extract from his time as a tea boy on Vorgak 3, which is where Dashworth first meets him. Benson, unlike Gwen, is perfectly happy with whatever is served up in front of him, and is overjoyed at being noticed by Dashworth. Benson hero-worships Dashworth, even when he's being made to do awful things, and will follow the space-captain anywhere.
His preparations for the royal visit set the stage for Killer Robots of Vorgak 3, our first major story.
Finally, "Captain Thundergroin" gives us Dashworth's origin, although the character we meet here is exactly as he is in the series. Dashworth is certain he's a magnificent hero, and simply needs a cosmic stage to perform on and an audience to cheer his heroics. The events of "Captain Thundergroin" give him this for the first time, paving the way for his adventures in the series. He needs adulation. But he's also wearing a mask by replacing and assuming the Thundergroin role as a larger-than-life hero. Dashworth can't exist at anything other than the loudest volume, like all pulp heroes, and flounders somewhat in the real world Gwen knows.
"Captain Thundergroin" also presents his Penny Amazings; books that tell tall tales about his exploits but present them as fact. Dashworth writes his own narrative, and we'll see both sides of his claims as Honest Tommy progresses.
I hope these insights have made you consider taking a peek at Calls to Adventure if you haven't already. And we have more stories to come.
Honest Tommy: Calls to Adventure is available now for Amazon Kindle.