Tag Archives: Novels

Behind the Forgotten Chronicles

With the conclusion of my young adult scifi series The Forgotten Chronicles, I wanted to take a moment and share the process for how it came to be.

When I wrote the first book, The Selection, I kinda hoped to write several books but I wasn’t sure how it would be received or if anyone would care. I knew the story was interesting and action-packed, but I had no idea if it would lead to anything.

The way I write longer pieces, I have a tendency to leave the ending somewhat open for another installment if I feel it deserves it and if readers ask for more. It might not be the best way to write, but as a novice with little recognition, that’s how I thought (I’ve since changed my approach, but that’s how it was when I wrote The Selection.)

THE FORGOTTEN CHRONICLESTRILOGYAfter its release, I was surprised by the reaction for The Selection. By and large, most readers enjoyed the story and were awesome about sharing that through reviews or connecting with me on social media.

It wasn’t until about a month after its release that I decided to write a follow up novel. That was also when I decided to make it a trilogy (I mean, it worked for Star Wars!) I started writing in early May of 2017 and by November, I had a fairly clean and polished story ready for release with book 2, Rise of the Forgotten. It came out in January of 2018.

Before the release of book 2, I had already started book 3.

I kinda knew how I wanted it to end and did a bit of planning to make sure The War for Truth was a satisfying conclusion to the series.

It’s been an educational journey as I went from “Hey, read my book The Selection” to a finished trilogy.

I never wanted to write a YA series. I wanted a book for my son written by me. What I found out was the story worked for others and they were eager to find out more about the world introduced in The Selection. I can’t even explain how amazing it felt knowing someone else cared about what I created.

I hope you were one of the many readers who took a chance on me. If not, no worries. Maybe one day you’ll give it a try. Until then, feel free to ask me anything about the process or how it came together. I’d love to share more with you.

Thanks!

 

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Sometimes Ya Gotta Change

Writing a book is an exercise in patience and resolve. At some point the end comes and whether it’s good or not, it’s time for revision after revision before it’s time to share it with someone else. At least, that’s been my experience.

With my Forgotten Chronicles Series, each book has been written with different methods that may or may not turn out for the best. You the reader will be the judge of that.

When I wrote The Selection, it was a NaNoWriMo novel written with very little planning ahead. If you’ve read it, you might pick up on some of the rambling sections or plot points that might not be as solid as I would’ve liked. I wholeheartedly believe it’s still an amazing story worth a read. The action is there and much of the world building was alive in my mind and continues to be so today. It was a story based off an idea I pitched to my wife and son. They thought it sounded interesting and that was that.

After it’s release and the positive response I received from the twenty or so brave souls who tried an unknown author, I started work on Rise of the Forgotten (my latest release). For that book, I wrote a three page outline detailing what and where I wanted the story to take place. The book is much more in-depth than The Selection and explores more of the world I introduced in the first book. The characters have more depth and the story follows four main storylines. Was the change in my approach worth it? You’ll have to tell me.

Sine right around Christmas, I’ve been working on the third book in the series, The War for Truth. This one has been tough so far. I wrote an outline like I did with Rise of the Forgotten, but several chapters in, I needed to change it. I then rewrote the outline, rewrote some of what I’d already done, and continued. A few chapters later, I had to revisit the outline and rearrange chapters to flow better. I also feel I’ve grabbed hold of plot issues early enough to work through them with greater efficiency and skill. I like the process I’ve developed with this book. It doesn’t feel like full-on plotting, but maybe it is. I still feel like I can be creative and not pigeonholed into the outline. It’s something I intend on using with future books.

I share all this because as a writer, it’s imperative to grow. I cannot stagnate with what used to work unless it was phenomenal. I tend to not believe I write the greatest books in the world, therefore I have to improve. Through this series alone, I’ve tinkered with my process so I can write the best story possible at the time.

I encourage you to re-evaluate your process and seek ways to improve. We can all be better.

If you wanna see my progress, feel free to pick up my books The Selection: The Forgotten Chronicles Book 1 (in ebook, paperback, or audiobook) and follow it up with Rise of the Forgotten: The Forgotten Chronicles Book 2 (in ebook or paperback). Let me know what you think.

 

2015 in Reading

As the new year gets underway, it’s time to share the books from 2015 that kept me entertained and made me think. The list below contains all the books I read this past year. It’s actually shorter than I planned. I did stay busier writing more than I ever have before which took up a lot of my reading time. I guess that’s a fair trade-off!

Other than the books listed, I’ve also been a devoted reader of Daily Science Fiction and Every Day Fiction. I’ve been looking for a horror version of these daily flash fiction sites but have come up empty so far. If you know of any, please share in the comments below or send me an email. I’d love to add that to my daily reading!

Here are my 2015 books in order of when I read them.

John Scalzi: The Last Colony.
George R.R. Martin: Clash of Kings
Stephen King: The Eyes of the Dragon
Phillip K. Dick: The Defenders
David Farland: Sweetly the Dragon Dreams
Stephen Brophy: The Villain’s Sidekick
Apryl Baker: The Ghost Files
Clive Barker: The Damnation Game
Tracy Stewart: Thriller – The Lake Murders
Ann Leckie: Ancillary Justice
Brandon Sanderson: Firefight
Jennifer Foehner Wells: Fluency
Jack McDevitt: Ancient Shores
J.A. Konrath: Horror Stories
John Scalzi: Agent to the Stars
Dean Koontz: Hideaway
Angie Fox: Southern Spirits
Joel Ansel: Four Dead Ones
K.R. Griffiths: Panic (Wildfire Chronicles Book 1)

Besides the well known authors like Stephen King, Brandon Sanderson, and John Scalzi, I was quite impressed by “Fluency” from Jennifer Foehner Wells. I highly recommend it if you like space dramas with vivid action. Jack McDevitt’s “Ancient Shores” was an excellent, thrilling tale of aliens and Native Americans. And J.A. Konrath…wow! He’s got a twisted side to him for sure! I loved those stories.

My choice of books this past year relied on my mood at the time. I switched from sci-fi to fantasy to horror and back. The only one that doesn’t fit that pattern is “Southern Spirits” by Angie Fox. I was given the book by Angie (it’s signed as well!) so I figured I owed it to her to read it. Though it’s not my type of book (a supernatural cozy mystery) I did enjoy it and was a welcome break from my other reading.

Have you read any of these? What would you suggest for the upcoming year? Leave your suggestions below and we’ll see if we can all broaden our reading in the new year.

Thanks!