I’m excited for 2022, and it all has to do with my favorite movie of all time. At university watching Aliens on repeat, learning every line, and admiring Ripley’s strength and perseverance, I never imagined that I would be writing within that very same universe all these decades later.
Alien as a series has birthed movies, roleplaying games, video games, books, and graphic novels. Not to mention the upcoming series and new movie on the horizon. That’s a whole lot of history and lore to step into, but luckily I found a partner to help me.
I’ve collaborated for years with my husband, Tee Morris with our Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, and I’ve also worked with others on anthologies and roleplaying games. This however, has been a different kind of working relationship.
Clara Čarija has the kind of in-depth knowledge and love of the Alien series that has been helpful for other creatives in many projects across all kinds of media. However, when we teamed up to make Inferno’s Fall, she stepped into a much bigger role.
Choosing to work with another person—especially when you don’t know them— can be a frightening jump. Luckily, my friend and fellow writer Alex White, recommended Clara as both a good person, and easy to work with. Alex is one of the people in the world whose word I trust most highly. If they said, she was those things, then she was.
Turned out that Alex did not steer me wrong.
Clara and I are happy to be the first New Zealand and Australian team to write for this world, and be the first women to write Aliens for Titan Books. (Though look out for V Castro’s book coming in October. She’s the first Latina writer to bring her skills to the series)
Clara and I’s collaboration is not a usual co-writing one, and we both knew that going into it.
Together, we constructed the plot of Inferno’s Fall into a 12 page synopsis. There were a lot of Trello boards and conversations, as we moulded the story and invented the characters who would appear.
I’m usually a discovery writer. I known the ending I have in mind, but the steps to get there are nebulous until I get to the actual writing. However, in this instance Clara and collaborated on the plot and story 50/50. And we clicked doing that. Bouncing ideas from brains on two different sides of the world meant early morning, or late evening chats—but I’m familiar with how that goes since Tee and I did that in the early stages of our working together.
We even got a chance to weave some items and characters into Inferno’s Fall from Cold Iron Studios video game, Aliens: Fireteam Elite. That was quite a thrill.
Once the plot and characters were set, and we’d got the go ahead from 20th Century Studios, I started the process of writing the actual words. Along the way, I would consult with Clara, making sure I was staying on track, and getting the lore right. Having her as my backup in this universe which has become very complicated over decades years gave me the confidence to dive right in.
She’s been my guard-rails and inspiration all in one package.
I’m excited by the story we’ve created. I don’t want to give anything away, but the Kiwi/Aussie vibe on this is pretty high. Something we are both very proud of. I think we’ve brought some new characters to this universe I hope continue beyond this book, and I believe we’ve done justice to that movie which was so formative for both of us.
The original cover art, by Alex Ronald brings the danger and beauty of this universe to life. Somehow, I’ve always been very lucky with the covers created for my books, and this one is no different.
Thank you for continuing to support me through everything! I can hardly wait for July and you to get a glimpse of what we created.