Ring of Steele
|Title:||Ring of Steele|
|Author(s):||Mary Ann Drach|
|Date(s):||1991, reprinted in 2003 with a new cover by Suzan Lovett|
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It is part of a trilogy.
From the publisher's flyer:
The novel begins in October, 1987. Remington and Laura have been living together in Steele's small apartment for nearly a year. They accept an assignment to provide security for a visiting Irish folk singer who has been targeted by Irish terrorists. Remington has misgivings, but as usual Laura wins. Along with the folk singer comes a British counter-terrorist agent to "consult" with them. He stirs up a number of problems. Suddenly all the difficulties in their relationship--a fundamental lack of trust, fear of commitment, and issues from their separate pasts--boil up to precipitate tragedy. Two novels in one: "My Wild Irish Steele" and "The Best Is Steele to Be" sold together as RING OF STEELE. 422 pages; color cover by noted fan artist Suzan Lovett. 
From an ad in The Monthly:
For me, the fun and challenge of fan writing lies in striving to maintain the characters in a TV series or a succession of films within the bound set by their creators, and at the same time to allow them to grow and change, as all human beings do, from the point where the network or studio ceased production of new installments. It is also fun to amplify the histories of the characters who appeared in only one or two episodes. In this novel, four years in the writing, I've tried to accomplish both objectives as well as introducing characters of my own.
Ring of Steele began as a "story," at most a novella, in which I would try to articulate and resolve the problems -- very unfunny and potentially dangerous problems -- I saw in Remington and Laura's relationship. I needed a character who could believably turn Laura's head enough to create a rift between her and Steele, and it seemed to me the ridiculous "hunks" dragged into the series for this purpose denied her intelligence. As a result, I made the grievous error of inventing a role for a guest actor, Anthony Andrews, I'd always wanted to see costar with Pierce Bronson in some vehicle. According to fan wisdom, he had once been considered for the part of Remington Steele but sensibly (I can't imagine Mr. Steele with a different face and more subdued mannerisms) turned it down. I originally intended my guest star to leave and subsequently die "off camera." Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view about complex novels, I was too self-indulgent to kill him off. I found myself obliged to resolve, through Remington and Laura, the mystery and psychological issues that would have led to Tony's death. I was more or less stuck with that name because of a role Andrews played in "Sparkling Cyanide", CBS, 1983, and on which I based "my" Tony Browne, along with allusions to another of his roles.
I confess to cutting out a couple of pages filled with various sorts of explanations. For instance, I know I invented a respirator that does not presently exist. It should; we have the technology. Consider it SF writer's licence. The rest including evidence from the series that suggests Laura is an "adult child," can be yours for a SASE. It seemed beside the point here.
Most of all I hope that in the eyes of my readers I've encouraged Laura and Remington to grow without losing their endearing imperfections. As for Steele1 kinship to Tony: A happy ending for both characters had to come from somewhere. Tony, that closet chauvinist, desperately needed a supportive male relative, while Steele needed a family almost as much as he needed Laura. So the god descended from the machine. So sue me.
There are always a number of people to thank. Syn Ferguson for sensitive preliminary editing. Liz Jelinek, who answered my endless queries re the City of Angels, and who then took over the major part of the editing when Syn's job made impossible for her to continue. Andrea Keirstead, my primary source for Roman Catholic custom concerning such things as how to say a rosary properly. She also discovered St. Columcille and turned up the words to Siobhan's lullaby, which I had only heard on tape. And last, but not least, Vicky and Barbara of Artemis Press for help with layout and printing, and most of all for patience with this project when their interests "ran counter to my own." For any of you waiting for it, I'll go back to writing "Eternal Stranger."  guess I needed to clear my head of a very different universe.I'm out of here, and about time. God Bless.
Reactions and Reviews
Really a "must have" for any fan of this show, it would have made a great film to follow up the (lame and weak) end of the series. I take it off the shelf at least once a year to read. (This zine was reprinted in 2003. Two sequels also were printed in 2004: Steele Squared and Steele September .)