In the introduction to the second book in my “After: Earth” series, we mentioned that the land we call South America on our earth, was a place of fear and death in the minds of city dwelling men. But now, it is revealed that the shadowy figure who calls himself simply ‘the Bishop’ has been constructing several small cities in Green Hell for himself and for his most dedicated followers. These will be pure cities, into which only the most loyal followers will be allowed to live. The biggest of these towns he has named New Los Angeles, and it is to this southern city, the Bishop has gone—almost unnoticed by the citizens of Los Angeles. But not by the author!
I now suddenly found I had two separate story lines running simultaneously. Oh great! But since I believe that as the author, it’s my job to follow my characters wherever they might take me, I knew I would be along for the ride. This new location also posed a number of time-line and geographical problems. How far, exactly, was it from Los Angeles to New Los Angeles? If New Los Angeles were put on a map of South America on our earth, where would it lie? Without a Panama Canal, how could crystal ships travel to the Bishop’s city from Los Angeles, and by what method of transportation would Kel, Lyria, and Raven use? I thought about using a zeppelin at first, but settled on a crystal ship instead. It allowed more time for interaction between Raven and her adopted parents Lyria and Kel. It also allowed more time to explore Raven’s strange mental and psychic abilities—a progressively more important part of the story.
The captain of this particular ship is a seaman originally from China. His name is Jian; a name I picked for a very specific reason. Tom Leatham, editor and owner of the Los Angeles Journal, hired him to take Kel and company south. To this he readily agrees—but he’s already being paid by the Cathedral to transport more of the most faithful followers of the Redeemed God, as well as mercenary fighters, to the holy city of New Los Angeles. Like the jian, a double-edged sword, Jian the captain is also two-edged, being perfectly willing to work for both sides of the Cathedral issue, just as long as he’s paid well.