Readers sometimes wonder why writers return again and again to the same characters, putting them in new dilemmas after these intrepid heroes already got done saving their family/village/island/universe. Can’t the writers let them have a little well-earned time off?

Sure, we could…but we writers have spent more time with these characters than the readers have. There are a bunch more interesting adventures we ginned up for them. Or maybe we would simply miss them if we said farewell. Thus it is, I find myself revisiting a couple of my creations. One is Natalya Orlova, the defector from the Soviet Union who joined NASA in my alternate history of the 1960s space race. It appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of Analog. The other is the heroine of a dinosaur story that has not yet been released.

Here’s another interesting aspect of writing new stories about characters: I never know if or when I will get an idea for what they do next. Of course, it could be what they did before the first story began that forms the basis for the next one.

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