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World-building for my new series, Contract Brides: Selene

Last month, I began a new writing project. New might me a misnomer. I'm totally rewriting a book I originally published in 2009, The Contract. I've always had a desire to return to this world I created. For years, I toyed with the idea and finally gave into the compulsion this year.


Contract Brides: Selene is book one in a futuristic, environmental dystopia story. In this world. centuries of climate change has forced humans to build underground cities. The idea of living underground isn't new. The notion first crossed my mind when I read an article about SubTropolis, an underground business complex in Kansas City, Missouri. This sent me down a research rabbit hole of other subterranean cities, and U-Town took shape in my mind. (

When building my underground city, my next question was how big could I make it? Meaning, how deep and wide into the earth could U-Town be? With this book being a science fiction romance, it was imperative I get my facts right. For this, I researched mines. The deepest underground coal mine in the United States is almost two miles deep (9,587ft). For a comparison, the World Trade Center in New York City was 1,776 Feet with 104 Floors. The thought of being that deep underground triggers a mild sense of claustrophobia in me, but it spark tons of creative ideas for my city. My city, U-Town, currently has three levels and over 50,000 residents. I'm wondering if that's sufficient. Studying New York City is giving me a good idea of what's feasible and what's not.

In addition, because my hero works in the mining industry as a heavy equipment operator, I spent hours watching the construction of NYC subway tunnels - past and present. The process is fascinating. Even more fun is taking current technology and using my imagination to predict how that same technology might advance three hundred years into the future.

(Current underground city in Montreal Quebec)


Dystopian means some type of disaster had to occur to change life as we know it. My first step was underground cities. My next problem was to determine how living underground has changed society. What type of government exists now? How has the environmental disaster of the past changed how people live in the future? What about people who don't want to live underground? Is living on the surface even possible? If so, what difference would their be between surface dweller and subterranean dwellers.

What about class distinctions? As long as there is life there will always be rich and poor segments of society. How do people earn a living? What type of housing is available? The answers to these questions shape my characters' lives.

These questions are just the tip of what I'm exploring to create the futuristic world of Contract Brides. I hope you'll go on this journey with me. To this end, I'm making this story available in Kindle Vella.

For those readers who don't have access to Kindle Vella or simply don't like it, I thought about you, too. I've created a subscription account here on my website. Pay for the book upfront and you'll receive notifcations when chapters are posted to read. You can leave feedback via comments and when the story is complete, edited, and ready to publish, you'll receive the ebook.

If anyone is curious about The Contract, it's still available in my store:

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