When I wrote the timeline for The Fox and the Eagle, I was only thinking about Reckless Faith, which is fine, but I made a mistake in another regard, and that error made it into the book.
Some years ago I took a stab at rewriting my first two full-length novels, Marionette and Indemnity, which were contemporary action/adventure stories with only a slight sci-fi aspect. They weren’t very good, rife with ponderously detailed action sequences and action movie tropes. However, the characters were pretty decent, so I decided to give them new life in Reckless Faith. The rewrite came soon thereafter, and was an origination story for Kyrie Devonai, Chance Richter, and Evangeline Adeler.
The result was Hard Stripes, a novella that I previously posted on Live Journal and Facebook. I was happy with it, but I couldn’t figure out how to expand it into a full-length novel. I’d always considered diving back into it, so I was reviewing it yesterday and I noticed a big problem. It is set in the year 2000, three years prior to the events in Reckless Faith. Eva is supposed to be 19 years old. In The Fox and the Eagle, set in 2019, Eva is 31. Oops. The easiest fix, had I noticed, would be to change the date to 2002 and make Eva 36 years old in 2019. But there’s another problem, too.
In The Fox and the Eagle, Evangeline mentions that she had a romantic relationship with Chance Richter, a relationship that would have had to occur prior to his departure on the Reckless Faith in 2003. Even if I’d corrected the above error, and made her 36, she and Richter would’ve been in a relationship with him at 26 and her at 17. As it stands right now, if you’d read both books you would have noticed that Eva couldn’t possibly have been any older than 15 when the relationship occurred. D’oh.
As such, I’m left with Hard Stripes either being apocryphal, or a tale of a budding romance between an adult male and a minor female. Even without the novella, the age difference already evident in my books would give one pause. I’m only inspired by Heinlein, I’m not trying to take his place! The easiest way to fix this would be to change Eva’s age to 36 in the next book and hope that nobody notices the discrepancy. And to salvage Hard Stripes, I’d still have to settle for the 26 and 17 age difference.
The last possibility is to have the relationship be nothing more than a crush on Eva’s part. While it’s sort of creepy that she would refer to Richter as the “love of her life” for an unrequited crush from sixteen years ago, I think it would be a lot better than Richter returning her affection.