Shayla Carver spends a fair amount of time on board Imperial warships. Although there are only a few brief descriptions of her surroundings, I drew rough plans of the layout to guide me and to ensure inner consistency between one chapter and the next. It was these rough drawings that I fleshed out recently and posted to my website.
In doing so, I wanted to avoid the clean interior lines of Star Trek Federation ships, or the monolithic intimidating feel of Star Wars Imperial craft. Instead, I drew heavily on twentieth century naval plans to get a worked-in look and feel, steeped in the weight of history. In Shayla's time, most ships of the Imperial fleet are many centuries old.
Research included studying real plans from sources such as the excellent Anatomy of the Ship series, and seeking out online examples such as the USS Arizona. I also drew on memories of visiting HMS Belfast, moored in London.
Of course, the physical requirements of a warship in space are very different from those of one afloat, but the principles for me remained the same: arrange the major engineering and combat components first, then storage, and only then think about the crew.