Reader Questions!

I answered reader questions for the Crew a couple of weeks back and thought I’d post them here as well. If you want to read these early and get a head start on other Jupiter Pirates news and sneak peeks, join the Crew!

Will the Jupiter Pirates series continue after The Rise of Earth?

Absolutely! I’ve started figuring out the next book and while I don’t have a title yet, I do know how it will end. (Warning: it will be a really cruel cliffhanger, so I’m telling you now — don’t skip ahead to the last page.) Look for the new book in 2018. I know that’s a long time, so I’m hoping to write a short story or two before then.

Will we ever get to see Earth?

Absolutely. We’ll go there in the next book, in fact. And maybe visit Mars too.

I noticed you’ve described the ruler of Earth differently in different books. Is he the planet’s king or its emperor?

Good catch! But actually that’s not a mistake – some rulers have multiple royal titles at once. More will be explained in the next book.

Is Tycho’s first name really Herschel? That’s kind of a funny name.

It is, isn’t it? Tycho’s full name is Herschel Tycho Hashoone, and he’s named for a pair of astronomers – William Herschel and Tycho Brahe. William Herschel (1738-1822) discovered Uranus and infrared radiation, to name just two of his accomplishments, while Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) recorded the most accurate measurements of the heavens anyone had ever seen despite working before the use of telescopes. Google them – they were pretty amazing people.

Tycho’s name is also a bit of a joke between me and my editor – in early drafts of Hunt for the Hydra Tycho was named Herschel, and the nickname he really hated wasn’t Tyke but Hershie. I decided to change his name to Tycho before Hydra was published, but kept Herschel around as a reminder of what might have been.

Speaking of names, how did you come up with the family names in Jupiter Pirates?

So many ways! You know about Tycho. Diocletia came from Diocletian, a Roman emperor. Yana was based on my bad memory – I was thinking of a character on a TV show I’d liked, except that character’s name was actually Yola. (Oops.) Huff is from my family tree – my great-great-great-grandfather was Matthias Gershom Huff. Vesuvia is based on the volcano Mount Vesuvius, and is my parents’ nickname for the voice of the navigation system in their car.

Names are funny things – you find inspiration all sorts of places, and play around with the sounds until you get something that feels right. It’s one of the really fun parts of being an author.

If you’re curious about the other Hashoones’ full names, Vesuvia knows them and has recorded them in a dossier that you can read … if you’re a Crew member.

So who’s going to be captain?

C’mon, would I really reveal that here? Sorry, you’ll have to keep reading. And if you’ve read The Rise of Earth, you know that the competition just got a lot more complicated….

I want to know more about the history of Earth and the solar system. Can you help?

Yes! Tycho wrote a paper for Vesuvia that covers a lot of this history. You can read it (and other fun stuff) on the Crew’s page for exclusive goodies.

I was telling my friend about Jupiter Pirates and he said there’s no way kids that young could serve on a pirate ship and there’s definitely no way they’d give people orders. Was he right?

Well, first of all this is fiction – part of the fun of making an imaginary world is you get to decide how it works. But something very similar happened in real-world history. In the British navy, boys as young as eight (and back then it was only boys) were sent to sea as midshipmen and had authority over adult crewmen. These “young gentlemen” typically came from wealthy families, but some grew up to become excellent officers. They experienced battles and sometimes died serving their country.

I want to know more about Grigsby and the people who aren’t Tycho’s family. Will you write about them someday?

I already have! Read the short story “The Trouble With Crimps” – it has a lot of detail about the lives of the Hashoones’ crewers and retainers. You can find the story here. By the way, one of the main characters in that story, Batincey Corso, makes a brief appearance in The Rise of Earth.

You write Star Wars books too – will we ever get a story where the Jupiter Pirates kids meet the heroes of Star Wars?

No – those worlds will have to stay separate. (Though if you’ve got an idea for fan fiction along those lines, have fun.) Still, Jupiter Pirates takes place in the future of our own world, so I like to think Tycho, Yana and Carlo have seen Star Wars or some holographic update of it and are big fans. Who knows, maybe they’ve even read one of my Star Wars books….

Got a question I didn’t answer here? Write to me at and we’ll see what we can do!