It was to be my introduction to the Gilkesh universe, setting the stage for other stories to follow. TQC is set in "mythic time" and is written in the form of a historical novel; it looks back upon a pivotal moment in Gilkesh history, prior to which little or no historical information is available. It is also posited that the original homeworld of this culture, Shakti, has somehow vanished from the spacetime continuum, while the nearby planetary colonies have survived. Therefore, the narrator's knowledge of peripheral worlds like Darkhaven and Planet 138 (which appear in the story at an early historical stage of development) is more detailed than her knowledge of the main world Shakti. This allows me to begin the story somewhere without racking my brains about the ultimate origin of the Gilkesh.
The deeper I go, though, the more I realize I'm going to have to fill in the details. The narrator may be able to fudge, but the author does not have that luxury. Also, the plotline has turned out to be much more complex than I originally envisioned. Probably what I'm going to need to do is sit down and sketch out the rest of the story (perhaps working backward from the end, which I've pretty much got) and then piece it together one episode at a time.
I've used at least three different titles for this story but I keep coming back to "The Queen's Courtesan". The term "courtesan" is used somewhat ironically here, as there is no social sanction implied for Amira's affair with Joli.
TQC is not a political story. Don't look for Iran, Iraq, George Bush, or Osama bin Laden, because they're not there. I write about politics on my political blog, and I write fiction to get away from politics.
That said, there are certain basic values that underlie my fiction, and these are present in TQC as in my other creative writing. More on this later.