Rose Thurlbeck is an English author who has never previously written. Her short story, Cat's Cradle, included in the Tales from the Frontier Elite anthology, will therefore be her first published story.
Rose Thurlbeck, what is your favourite past Elite title and is there a ship in the originals that you especially liked and would love to see in Elite: Dangerous?
I've played Elite on the BBC Micro and Elite II on an Amiga 1200 (which I still have). I have to admit I have a massive soft spot for the original game. Sometimes you just wanted to drop out of a station, turn around and kick the beehive just to shoot up some Vipers for an hour or so.
I will always own a Cobra Mk III. It's just the next one will have one careful owner and be called Tender Mercies.
How about the upcoming Elite: Dangerous? What do you consider to be the most exciting part of it, based on what you’ve seen so far?
It's all about exploration, isn't it? From the moment you start the game to your arrival in your first uncharted system, or your first duel with another human pilot. The stations, the planets. I really can't wait.
Rose Thurlbeck, your story has been read and commented on by your fellow authors and it is soon going to Fantastic Books Publishing for the professional editing rounds. How do you feel about the story now?
At the moment I love it, but that may change as we approach publication. I am very excited about Fantastic Books Publishing taking on our anthology, and can't wait to start working with my editor to get my story into shape.
What kinds of problems did you encounter during the writing process that you did not foresee?
My biggest problem was sorting out the workflow. I still don't know what the best fiction-writing technique is for me – I only know the one I have been using up to now really doesn't work.
Also, and I've heard others say this, there are times when you really hate the story. You wonder why you are bothering writing it, and you are convinced no-one else will ever read it.
You just have to keep going, one word at a time.
The game is not out yet, so we must ask you if you have had much (or enough) information about the game universe. Are there many open questions still remaining?
Frontier developments have spent a lot of time making sure we have the information we need to write our stories. Michael is always available to answer any questions. The Encyclopaedia Elitica is almost complete. Just the small matter of the missing map of the settled Galaxy. All the stories and novels are filled with <planet 1> <station 5> placeholders at the moment – a definite immersion-killer.
Have you written before and if you have, what’s different about writing a piece of fiction based on a game compared to your previous work?
I don't think I've written anything since my school days, and that was a long time ago. There has always been a small voice in my head telling me I should be writing, however, which is why I jumped at the opportunity the Anthology presented me with.
I am always coming up with story ideas, I've just never done anything with them before now.
Frontier is planning to include aspects of the fiction in the game. Do you have many ideas of what details of your story you might want to see in the game? Are you willing to reveal some of them at this point?
What are the next steps in your writing process until your story is delivered onto the readers’ hands?
Editing. I have the story as far as I can by myself, and I need the technical help of a professional editor.
Also, I love the plan for the audiobooks! My publisher (I love that phrase), Fantastic Books Publishing, is planning to release all their books - not just the official Elite fiction - in audio format with named actors and original music. To help with that plan, they've launched their own Kickstarter for their four Elite titles to be audiofied - you can read all the details at the Kickstarter page.
The Elite stories are just the beginning of a very ambitious plan, so please support this.
Thank you, Rose, for agreeing to be interviewed by us. We look forward to reading your story!
If the readers want to learn more about the story and the anthology that it is a part of check out the Tales from the Frontier site.