New Beginnings – New Series
As I mentioned last week, when I originally devised the concept that became The IX, I built it around the premise it would be a one-off story. So…how did it grow to become a series?
Believe it or not, the answer is as simple as it is complicated. Worldbuilding.
You see, in my preparation, I spent several months researching the histories and makeup of all the various units that would be involved, along with the history of the world where the story would take place. (Where in the universe it would be; what kind of sun it would have; the size and composition of the planet, and its continents; its flora and fauna, and of course, who the people were that would populate it).
Fortunately, I also gave the antagonists of our tale – the Horde – a history too. I think it’s important we authors do that, so – although we don’t go into infinite depth as the plot evolves – we nevertheless have something available that we can dip into to add a touch of spice here, a spot of seasoning there, you know, those little details that add to their races’ character.
Needles to say, by the end of my preparations, I had a great deal of material to play with. So much, in fact, that I knew I wouldn’t be including everything I’d accrued into that one story.
Okay? Enough said. I’m sure a lot of authors have faced this dilemma, and having a nice deep pot of material available is just the thing to ensure your story stays nice and meaty. Just as well, because when Janet Morris and agents read the story, they immediately saw value in making my “one off” into a series.
When they first mentioned this, I was obviously flattered to think they saw value in my work. But I was so shocked, that’s as far as it went. I’d been invited to contribute to the Heroes in Hell universe, my mind was on other things, I was busy, (blah, blah, blah) and didn’t actually treat those suggestions seriously. But, as time went on and the ‘suggestions’ became more insistent (hee hee J), I eventually began to realize they were serious.
So then I thought…B*##@r! What am I going to do now? Even worse, where the hell am I going to start so it blends smoothly into the already established events of The IX itself?
Thinking about how The IX began, and especially how it ended, I started to look back through my Plot Book, (A catalogue I compile for each novel, containing the names, descriptions, histories, character traits, phrases associated to each person, maps, sketches, etc etc,) – you get the idea…And eventually, I saw a wonderful opportunity to tell the readers a bit more about the Ardenese culture, and how their technological sophistication came back to bite them in the ass…and…and…
That’s all I’m going to say.
The sequel isn’t due for a few weeks yet and I don’t like to give anything away. However, let’s just say, you find out a bit more about what makes the Horde tick. And a big hint is encapsulated within the title. The IX – Exordium of Tears. “Exordium” means origins, or beginnings. The origin or beginning of what? You’ll see.
However, if you want a sneak peek, all I’ll tell you is that you get a hint of what’s coming from the covers. What do I mean?
I’m very much into covers. No matter how good your story, if your opus magnum is sitting on a wall of shelves and looks like every other brick in the pile, it’ll blend into the mass and get overlooked.
You need to make it eye-catching. It needs to leap out at you, slap you in the face, and say,
“OY, MATEY…YES YOU! LOOK AT ME!”
It also needs to tell a story.
Tune in next week, I’ll run through the cover of The IX with you. Those who have read the story will be amazed by the details that have sat hidden right under your noses.
(Or perhaps you already spotted those little details that make all the difference?)
Aha…See you then. J