Making The Questrison Saga®️- Vol. 2

My book-writing history began when I was still a child in the 1980s. Learn how I built this epic saga over time. Today's post features the main character of Heliopause, Forster.

Making The Questrison Saga®️- Vol. 2
Forster from Heliopause by J. Dianne Dotson (Jendia Gammon), illustrated by the author. Copyright J. Dianne Dotson / Jendia Gammon 2019.

The Questrison Saga®️ is my four-book space opera series, comprised of Heliopause, Ephemeris, Accretion, and Luminiferous. Written by me under my alt pen name J. Dianne Dotson.

Following my first post in this series, “Making The Questrison Saga®️ - Vol. 1”, I talked about the origins of my books. Today, I’m beginning discussion on each of the books, starting with the first in the series, Heliopause.

Flashes of light. An unseen menace. Messages from the void. Secrets at the edge of the solar system that threaten to destroy the future.

Mandira Research Station beckons at the heliopause--the brink of interstellar space. After Forster sees flashes outside that no one else can, the captain of an incoming ship is attacked by an invisible foe. Forster and his enigmatic coworker Efron search for a missing daughter who might be the cause of it all. Can the team stop the force from taking over Mandira, and the entire solar system?


Linden Deming Forster, generally just called Forster, is a worker at Mandira Research Station, at the edge of the solar system, an area known as the heliopause. He is in his mid-40s, and is kind of an average guy. He has brown hair with some grey in it, and hazel eyes. If I were to pick an actor who looked like Forster, it would be pretty close to Alexander Siddig. You may know him from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (as Dr. Julian Bashir), or more recently Game of Thrones (as Doran Martell). There’s something haunted in his eyes, and that’s the way Forster looks.

As I’ve said, Forster works at Mandira Research Station. The station in some ways looks like a giant Queen conch shell, so its residents nicknamed it The Conch. It has three levels: Top Deck, where most research and upper management reside; Mid Deck, the largest part of the station, a mix of blue and white collar workers, the conservatory, and the “Dome Car” observation area; and Bottom Deck, which tapers to a point, and where blue collar workers and drones work among ship bays and docks.

Fun fact: I stratified Mandira Station with these naming conventions based on a factory I worked at years ago, in which the building was sectioned into those three levels, with those names.

When Heliopause takes place, Forster is doing his normal, everyday routine. He’s been there about a year. He’s settled for a less than ideal situation, and he’s coped with his regrets by staying on, and befriending others on his team. He thinks a good deal about how he derailed his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Auna Kein, with whom he has in fact been on-again/off-again for several years. Now it seems final, and he’s figuring out his life at this point. That’s when things get weird.

. Dianne Dotson – Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer – Art for Heliopause: Illustrating Forster
Forster illustrated by Carter Allen Copyright 2019.

Forster starts to see flashing lights outside his window, and nobody else can see them. He’s menaced by terrible migraines with aura. Now, if you don’t suffer from migraine aura, allow me to explain how bizarre it is. You can see flashes of light, yes. But what you sometimes see is what’s called a scintillating scotoma. This is a curving, iridescent, chevron pattern that pulsates. It’s one of the weirdest things ever. And it’s usually accompanied by a terrible headache. Let me assure you from personal experience: if you don’t suffer from these…you don’t want to.

I dreamed up the character Forster, in one of those fitful, between waking/sleeping kind of dreams. A man in his forties, he was walking down this hallway, feeling disgusted, not liking the soft floors of the space station he worked on. He had blown it with his girlfriend again. Forster was miserable and bored, but getting by. And he never once thought of himself as particularly remarkable. But then all hell breaks loose, and he discovers he has a latent ability, just as something breaches the research station Mandira, at the edge of the solar system: the heliopause. His enigmatic coworker Efron seems to know more about what’s going on than makes sense. His friend Meredith, missing a daughter for twenty years, seeks answers. An attack on the station hints that her daughter may somehow be involved. It’s up to Forster to figure out the multiple mysteries and try to prevent the menace from taking over Mandira Research Station…before moving into the rest of the Solar System.

More to come in future posts about characters and settings in Heliopause, Ephemeris, Accretion, and Luminiferous!

Get Heliopause in paperback from your favorite bookseller! It’s also available in all ebook forms. Some suggestions:

Barnes & Noble
Blackwells (UK)

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Write on!