The Riss concept was the first story I ever attempted to write, and in a sense, the start of my writing career. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready for primetime. It was the story of Admiral Trisha Zann, a young girl at the time, who a Riss invaded after it had been shot by her brother. Trisha kept her Riss a secret for over forty years. She finally revealed her secret in an effort to get the Riss recognized as an intelligent species. The SAS in their paranoia required the Riss to choose human hosts, although they would have preferred to remain in their Gorillai host, and required the human host to be tattooed with a Rh on their face for easy recognition. That first draft, although never published, was the basis for the current Riss Series, which takes place 50 years later.
I began calling the Riss parasites in the first book since the Riss organism takes over all functions of its host, so in a since the host no longer exists except as a vehicle for the Riss. My readers have pointed out the with the human host the relationship is symbiotic.
The Riss are what I would consider a truly advance species: they never kill each other, they consider everyone equally important for their survival and therefore truly equal, judge others by their current actions and not their past, and believe vengeance is cancer that destroys.
And before you ask, I have no idea what challenge will confront Nadya and the Riss in book VI–in their effort to keep the JPU confined to their planets.