A fresh idea came to me the other day, as it often does, concerning a future story I should write. It involves Julia McCain, the long lost sister of Zachary McCain. Zachary is one of the main protagonists in The Rogue Investigations, and his sister Julia is mentioned (and she does make a brief appearance, as well). In the forthcoming sequel, Rise of the Rogue Fighters, she'll play a more significant role, and I have come to realize she has an amazing back-story that could make an exciting "prequel."
Julia's story is one of fortune and tragedy. Born to affluent parents, she and her older brother Zachary grew up in the lap of luxury on the family estate in rural Maine. Shortly after her twelfth birthday her parents die in a mysterious car crash, and Julia is subsequently yanked from her home and thrown into the foster care system, which is highly irregular. With her family's stature in the community, and her own brother being a legal adult (albeit away at college), there is no reason for the legal system to toss her into government care, yet there are clandestine forces at work.
Taken into "the system," Julia is questioned by a creepy old lady who seems keenly interested in her. After their meeting, Julia overhears the creepy lady talking to subordinates, and discovers that she is to become a lab rat for experimental brain surgery. Rather than waiting around for agents from a shadow government to cut her up, Julia flees. Managing to give her captors the slip, Julia makes her way to the train station, where she slips aboard a freight car full of potato sacks. There, she runs into an enigmatic hobo, and she passes herself off as a boy, fearful that the man might have perverse intentions toward a girl. The hobo, a washed-up newspaper reporter and obvious drunkard, is her first teacher on her long journey that will teach her how to survive on her own, and eventually lead to the truth behind her parents' deaths.
I'm thinking of writing it as more of a young adult story, a real coming-of-age tale that eventually leads back to her adult appearance in The Rogue Investigations. In it, we'll explore her trek around the country, and expose the mysterious "Zeta Directorate," a government agency which will be a thorn in the side of Zachary McCain later on in the series.
Work on this fascinating story will have to wait, though. At present, I have several other stories I'm working on, including the aforementioned sequel to the Rogue Investigations, and the fourth book in my Fantasy Western series. Perhaps I'll write Julia's story as my National Novel Writing Month book this November. It's another in a long list of possible candidates.