If anyone asked me who my favorite Night Hawk character is, I wouldn’t hesitate to say David. He and I have been on this journey for a couple decades now. He was (perhaps still is) my hero, one developed for my personal edification during hard times in my teen and young adult life. I poured not only myself into him, but my hopes and ideals on what I consider the heart of a true hero. Yeah, it might sound rather sentimental, even a touch sappy, but it is the truth. Of all the characters I’ve ever written (in this series and other books) David has been with me through the most. This might sound strange to those who are not writers, but it’s a very real, and very personal side of the writing process. In fact, David’s been with me so long that he writes himself. In other words, no matter what I write, his thoughts, feelings and actions flow in a certain way – even if I originally intended something different.

This also goes for Darkracer, the other original character of Night Hawk. Even though David is, and will forever be, my favorite, Darkracer has a very special place in my heart. There’s no changing him – he is who he is. I’ve had suggestions given to me about him including changing his name and even as far as making him a robot (since this is science fiction) but there is no changing Darkracer, who I must admit can be rather stubborn at times.

Other favorites? Well, all the lead characters hold special places in my heart. I care about them as family (yeah, another sappy writer’s thing). Favorite alien species other than Candonian? Teshian. Favorite line from the book? Night Hawk’s tag line, “We can’t wait for the perfect time to live our lives. Otherwise we lose a great deal of what it means to live.” Favorite setting from the first book? The Piña Dorado, whose ballroom and mural hallway I literally dreamed up. And the Avenue – it just sounds like a lot of fun! (at least when it’s not under attack) Favorite technology? The Predator. That ship’s been in the series for almost as long as Night Hawk has existed. For me, she has become a character in herself. I can honestly say I love that ship far more than Mike ever could. Favorite scene? This is probably the hardest to answer. I really don’t have a true favorite. David’s recovery when he feels Darkracer’s comforting presence is special, as is Riechet departing for Valor Peak and the birth of the baby. On the action side, I admit I enjoy the aerial battles. However, I’ve found them to be some of the more difficult pieces to choreograph and write. Perhaps this is why I like them so much when they work out.

– Jolene Loraine


Night Hawk and 9-11

Did the horrible tragedy of 9/11 play any role in Night Hawk? The answer is yes. Specific plot points and events within the story are not written around the real-life terrorist attack, but the emotions I felt on that day helped shape the feelings the characters experience within the sudden attack of their world. I was actually in the midst of writing an earlier version of the invasion of Telamier when the events of 9/11 took place. I made a point to keep going that day, writing through my shock and grief. With the event so well documented and playing nonstop on every channel, it was easy to get a clear view of the very real reactions from witnesses. Of course the events on Telamier are quite different with different outcomes, but Human emotion is fairly universal. I can see how a lot of what I felt that day made its way into David’s thoughts and feelings.

9/11 also gave me a new perspective on how incredibly evil otherwise intelligent beings can be. Those involved in the orchestration of 9/11 showed a complete lack of humanity. Those attacks were pure evil. If Humans can do such monstrous things to each other, what would another species be capable of? One thing that actually ended up being removed because of 9/11 was a scene I had written involving Mike flying through a building. Using the Predator’s heavy armor, he blasts a path through a sky rise, going fast enough to stay just ahead of its collapse. Obviously unlike 9/11, he survives, but after the event I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the scene in.

So in closing, yes, 9/11 did affect Night Hawk, but, no, it is not where the story originated. Nor is Night Hawk in any way a commentary about the real war that followed. My book is about unique events on a distant world whose connection with real Earth events is nothing more than how my feelings from that day brought a sense of raw realism to the scenes.

– Jolene Loraine