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November 15, 2012

13 Things That Inspired JL Hilton to Write the Stellarnet Series

I’d like to welcome my guest today—J.L. Hilton. J.L. Hilton is the author of the Stellarnet Series published by Carina Press, including Stellarnet Rebel (January 2012) and Stellarnet Prince (November 2012). Her artwork is featured in the books Steampunk Style Jewelry and 1000 Steampunk Creations. Visit her at JLHilton.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and deviantART. Over to JL!


13 Things That Inspired JL Hilton to Write the Stellarnet Series

I didn’t plan to write a novel. Before May 2009, I devoted most of my time to homeschooling my children, volunteering, and designing jewelry. But thirteen things bubbled in the cauldron of my noggin and coalesced into Stellarnet Rebel, the first book of the Stellarnet Series, and from there came the sequel, Stellarnet Prince, released this week by Carina Press.

1) All five seasons of Babylon 5. G’kar is my most-est best-est favorite-est character ever. Just when you think he couldn’t get any more awesome than busting out of his chains after being tortured and losing an eye, he also helps King Fricking Arthur fight off a gang of space thugs.

2) I’m a Browncoat – a fan of Joss Whedon’s TV show Firefly and the movie Serenity. In 2006, I coordinated the first charity screening of Serenityin my city, as part of the Can’t Stop the Serenity (http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/) program to benefit Equality Now. I’ve been involved in the event ever since, and this year am a global sponsor. (http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/sponsors/)

3) Technology. I love the Internet, smartphones and video games.

4) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. One of my favorite books of all time. I also listen to the musical. A lot.

5) Deadwood is another favorite TV show. I sometimes refer to Asteria Colony in my books as a “cyber Deadwood” on the edge of settled space, populated with criminals, outcasts, Net whores and obsessive online gamers (substitute those for the 19th century opium addicts, I reckon).

6) V for Vendetta. The character V is one of several inspirations for Duin, the titular character inStellarnet Rebel. (I could probably make a whole ‘nother list of thirteen inspirations for Duin, including Ben Franklin, Doc Brown, Madeye Moody and the crazy Irishman from Braveheart.)

7) My aliens known as Glin are based on dolphins. The first time I saw dolphins in real life was at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. They made me cry, they were so beautiful. Some biologists think that they were land critters who returned to the water, and that idea fascinated me. Also, like the Glin, dolphins have incredible hearing and natural healing abilities.

8) The BBC miniseries North and South, based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel.

9) The first season of the BBC Robin HoodTV series. This, along with North and South, led to Richard Armitage being one of the inspirations for my Stellarnet character Belloc, and Lucy Griffiths being an inspiration for the heroine, Genevieve O’Riordan.

10) Twilight – in a sort of backwards way. While thrilled for everyone who enjoys paranormal romance, it’s just not my thing and I’m sick of hearing about vampires. I began writing the Stellarnet Series as much for myself as for readers – a this is what I want to read sort of thing.

11) Traditional Irish music. A study of Irish culture, history and politics has been a life-long hobby of mine.

12) Alex Steffen’s article “Science Fiction, Futurism and the Failure of the Will to Imagine.” (http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/001065.html) He quotes author Bruce Sterling: "There’s still plenty of space opera out there, with heroes running around in galactic Disneylands, but almost no one is addressing the nature of the 21st Century, or putting together, like, genuinely novel visions of life in the year 2050."

13) Finally, in May 2009, I awoke from a dream in which an interstellar news blogger met an alien freedom-fighter in the center of a space colony. From that one dream, I had a whole story that wanted to get out of my head.

Have you ever had an amazing dream, or one that seemed real? "I’ll sleep on it" is a common expression. Do you ever solve problems or get ideas in your dreams?


Promo info

Author website: www.JLHilton.com
Book website: www.StellarnetSeries.com
Publisher website: www.CarinaPress.com
Buy link: http://www.StellarnetSeries.com/shop/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorJLHilton
deviantART: http://jlhilton.deviantart.com/




An otherworldly love. Human blogger Genny O’Riordan shares two alien lovers: Duin, a leader of the Uprising, and Belloc, the only surviving member of the reviled Glin royal family. Their relationship has inspired millions of followers–and incited vicious anti-alien attacks.

A planet at risk. A Stellarnet obsessed with all things alien brings kidnappers, sex traffickers and environmental exploitation to Glin. Without weapons or communications technology, the planet cannot be defended. Glin will be ravaged and raided until nothing remains.

A struggle for truth. On Earth, Duin discovers a secret that could spur another rebellion, while on Glin, Belloc’s true identity could endanger their family and everything they’ve fought for. Have the Glin found true allies in humanity, or an even more deadly foe?

Purchase Stellarnet Rebel

JL is running a contest. Fill out the rafflecopter below to enter the draw.

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  1. Jenny Schwartz

    I’ve yet to write a story based on a dream, so I’m envying you JL.

    Did you see the new Les Mis movie coming out? Hugh Jackman *sigh*

    • J.L. Hilton

      Oh, yes, Jenny! I will be in line on the day it opens! In an odd coincidence, I’ve always thought that Eddie Redmayne would make a perfect Belloc (character in the Stellarnet Series) and he’s in the Les Mis movie, too!

      I get ideas for jewelry in my dreams, too. It’s my superpower, I guess. :)

  2. Kimberly Menozzi

    A very interesting post – thanks for sharing this!

    You know what? I do indeed get fantastic ideas from my dreams – many of my stories come from dreams, in fact.

    I frequently have very realistic dreams – have done so my whole life – and I can’t imagine not having them.

    Happy TT to you!

    • J.L. Hilton

      You’re very welcome! I’ve been a lucid dreamer all of my life. Full color, sound, smell, feeling, and frequently able to realize I’m dreaming and control it, to some extent. I’ve read that many creative people and scientists too will come up with ideas in their sleep. Amazing stuff! I can’t imagine not being able to do it, either. I feel sad for people who say they don’t dream. :(

  3. Brinda

    I am right there with you on #2 and #3!

    • J.L. Hilton


      You can’t take the sky from me!

  4. CountryDew

    Fantastic. I love knowing what inspires others writers. Love all of the SF influences. You’re right – G’Kar did kick ass!

    • J.L. Hilton

      Oh, G’kar is my secret love. I still have a picture of him as my desktop wallpaper, and I tell him goodnight every evening when I turn off my laptop… TMI? lol

  5. Alice Audrey

    I love Babylon 5 and just about everything Joss Whedon does. Fantastic inspiration. :)

  6. Mary Kirkland

    I have strange real type dreams all the time.

    • J.L. Hilton

      I think if anyone reads the Stellarnet Series, they’re not going to notice, “Oh, this is like Les Miserables.” But there are similar themes of love, loss, revolution, oppression, suffering, and a bit of Jean Valjean in Duin – elder of his river, labeled a criminal, strong sense of devotion to family, etc. But, yes, just as you say, those things are the foundation of many stories.

      French authors tell such wonderful stories – Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Three Musketeers, Cyrano de Bergerac, the medieval reinterpretations of the King Arthur stories… I guess I love French literature as much as Victorian. :)

  7. Shelley Munro

    Hi JL – I’m envious since if I dream I forget them the minute I’ve finished. I loved reading your list of inspiration.

  8. Carol Kilgore

    I love knowing all these things about how you created this world.

    Hi, Shelley!

  9. Julia Phillips Smith

    I’m all for Richard Armitage as a muse any day – in fact, he’s one of mine! You have excellent taste, J.L.

    Really enjoyed your Thursday Thirteen.

    *waving hi* Shelley!

    • J.L. Hilton

      His picture should, by law, accompany the word “swoon” in every dictionary.