Saturday, October 2, 2010

Eyes Only: Agent Z’s Latest Mission

The following message was extracted from the classified files of Intergalactic Troublemaker, Agent Z., for the passengers of The Galaxy Express .

On a remote station orbiting Planet Fei Hung, in a darkened section known as Cutthroat Alley, Heather slipped into the seedy, dimly lit bar. If the place had a name, she didn't know. She only knew that Agent Z had requested a meeting in this nondescript watering hole. She would have missed the entrance, too, if Z hadn't told her about the unusual alien script carved roughly into the hatch.

Leave it to Agent Z to pick a classy dump like this, Heather noted, wincing as her boot made contact with a patch of gag-inducing muck. Advancing further into the haze-filled establishment, Heather looked around surreptitiously for her colleague. As her gaze swept over the bar, she noticed a couple of Orangutaniums in a heated discussion over large mugs of ale. A spike headed Fock'toth sat there as well, methodically tapping a clawed hand upon the surface. Her dark eyes promised death.

Heather peered toward the back. There, in the shadowy corner: a mysterious, hooded figure. Bingo. After ordering a strawberry flavored gargleblaster, Heather made her way to Agent Z's table.

A silver goblet was before Agent Z, barely touched. Heather tossed her boss-of-the-plains onto the table along with her drink and sat down. "Hey, girl. Got your message. Must be something important for you to have called me all the way out here. What's up?"

Agent Z. downed her gargleblaster. "I'm in trouble, Heather. I need your help. I need it bad!"

Heather ordered Z. a couple of more gargleblasters. "Tell me more."

"I've gone and sold a book, Heather."

Heather raised her glass. "And about time, sweetie. So what's the problem?"

Z. groaned. "Heather, I'm an intergalactic spy! I'm secretive. I operate undercover. How the hell am I going to continue with all my daring acts of derring-do with a bunch of screaming fans following me around the universe, begging me to sign their various body parts and urging me to write faster? Huh? What am I going to do?"

Heather stared at Agent Z incredulously. For all her spying brilliance, Z. could be an incredible dumb-ass sometimes. Heather pulled a beautiful moleskin notebook out and tossed it at Z. "Start taking notes. We’re going to create a respectable alter-ego for you."

Z. looked at her blankly. "Respectable? Me?"

"Take another drink, Z. And start writing."

Z. nodded and picked up her pen.

Heather leaned back, twirling a lock of hair thoughtfully. "Your name is Diane Dooley - that has a nice ring to it. You're a devoted wife and mother..."

Agent Z. let out a snort of disbelief. But she kept writing.


Congratulations, Diane! That is superfantasticwonderful news!

From what I know about BLUE GALAXY (working title), it’s a romantic SF with a space opera setting. The story features colorful characters, political intrigue, and betrayal all wrapped up in a shiny, action-packed plot. It will be released by Carina Press.

To learn more about Diane Dooley, visit her blog at

Is this the year for debut science fiction romance authors, or what?!

Joyfully yours,