From an email posted to Baen's Bar BuShips dated June 7, 2005:

Planning for Manpower & Mesa

    There's also been some debate on whether or not you were always planning for Manpower to come to the fore the way that it now seems to be doing. If you would care to respond, there are several questions which have been raised, to wit -- Was Manpower always in the deck? Did you add it later? If you did add it later, when did you do so? What about Commodore Saganami's last fight?

     

    Genetic slavery, and its ugly consequences, and the essential Mesan/Manpower philosophy have always been inherent in the Honorverse. I didn't fully develop Mesa or Manpower until I was several books into the series, however, because at that point I hadn't needed to. There was a background "slot" for them to fit into which I had visualized thoroughly enough for the purposes of the early books and their complete concentration on the war between Manticore and the People's Republic. Commodore Saganami's last fight was always against Silesian pirates financially supported by corrupt elements within the Silesian Confederacy and genetic slavers, however, and I have refined and redirected some of my original elements as I went along, but most of the "changes in plan" on my part have had to do not with whether or not I ever intended to explore this particular substrata of the Honorverse, but with whether or not I intended Honor to be alive when I did it. Please note that I'm not saying which way I decided to go with Honor's possible demise. Tum, te, tum, te, tum…