Stars of Heros spans from the 19th Century to the 26th Century and beyond. The series title is a tribute to, and a word play on, the main themes in the books: horses, space, family, and heroes. Whether ordinary people or aliens, these heroes try to make a difference on their home world.
When this adventure started in 1986, there was no series or even an intent for one. Being raised on the likes of Black Beauty and the Black Stallion and not finding any good horse books, Ani’s intent was to write a single horse book and that was it. Finishing the one book, she was left with a lot of question, so she wrote a second. Someone suggested science fiction, so she tried a third along those lines. She tried to get all three published and had fifteen rejections between them. Good thing too, the books really weren’t her writing, but her yelling at the world because of the emotional turmoil in her life. She needed time to mature and so did her books.
Between 2011 and 2012, she pondered the idea of trying to publish again. In the intervening years, she had worked on her books as well as obtained an identity for the series. She shared the manuscript she thought was the most complete with someone and they called it confusing. The discussion led to the realization that she was trying to do too much by introducing too many characters across two centuries, so she revisits the other two manuscripts. She likes the story of one and the title of the other. She signs the contract to do Spirit of the Lone Horse with Unsolicited Press in October of 2013. The book was published in March of 2015.
Ties to Mythology
Heros is not a misspelling of Heroes. When searching for an identity for the series, Ani and fellow author friend came up with the word play on horse and heroes as Heros after Ani wanted no comparison between her series and the Heroes franchise. Adding the “Stars of” was a no-brainer given that the series spanned multiple centuries and worlds.
Ani likened the series title to something out of Greek mythology, and she wasn’t far off. Heros is actually part of Paleo-Balkan mythology. Though little is known of the Iron Age Balkans, their god of the underworld, Heros Karabazmos, is depicted on funeral statues as a caped horseman slaying a beast with a spear. The motif is called the Thracian Horseman or Thracian Heros. Also referred to as Heros Equitans.
The series has three parts. The core which is a continuous serial following the adventures of Jo and her family as they help Jeff get back to his home in the twenty-sixth century. Origin Worlds offers insight and back stories that don’t fit into the timeline of the core series. Time’s Puzzle is a tangent idea set in the Stars of Heros universe with completely new characters and the idea of looking at events from an alternative perspective. Since it hasn’t been decided whether TP will cover only the events in the other parts of the series or real life events as well, it won’t be written until at least the core series is complete.