I think I finally found my major conflict in Starcaster 2, and I've begun to outline it in my head. I wrote a thousand words and I think it's off to a great start.
I intended to bring in a minor villain from the first book and I decided to put her in a position where she can be not only a major annoyance, but a major villain as well.
She's now a cop. Detective Meyer, my crooked cop from Book One has decided that he needs some starcasting help. So he's recruited a few starcasters who don't necessarily have the sterling character so essential to good policework. But that's OK. Meyer isn't looking for good cops. He's looking for good toadies.
And I have the perfect older brother for her. Introducing: Clyde Yancy.
Clyde is a character I developed WAY back in the 80s. Yes, I said the 80s. Some of you were kids back then. But that was when I started my first novel, Oath of the Songsmith. Clyde was a highwayman in Oath. In A Spy and a Lady, he's pretty much the same, but he's a gang member rather than a highwayman. He fits rather perfectly into my Regency-era timeframe. He LOVES having a sister as a policewoman, and he has stepped up his criminal activities accordingly. I'm thinking Meyer offered him a job first, but when he refused, his sister convinced Meyer to take her on.
He's also a thug, which makes him a perfect nemesis for Cecil Crowley, Tory's gentleman friend and fellow starcaster, who's something of a thug, himself.
Clyde is six feet tall, so he is significantly taller than the 5'7" Crowley. But Crowley has one advantage over Clyde and almost every other man. He regularly hoists around his six foot tall mentally disabled cousin, and he is therefore very strong and tough.
I'm having a lot of fun putting together all these conflicts.