Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hitting the Trail . . .

I'm going back to Outcast.

For those of you who are relatively new to the blog, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. If you check out the left-hand side of this blog, you'll find a little square called "On My Shelves", with two images in it. Those are two of the books I've written, and two of the three I've published. I'm not going to get all whine-y and ask you to buy them; they're not for everyone. If you like sci-fi, historical fiction, steampunk, or similar genres, you might like them. If you don't, that's cool. I like them, but I'm pretty biased.

"Outcast" is my most recent effort, currently in beta-phase. This was, by far, one of the most enjoyable writing experiences I've had so far: the characters were particularly vivid for me, and the story seemed to write itself. I often outline my books extensively ahead of time, but every once in a while I just get a single concept and jump headlong into it, and that's what happened with "Outcast". It went places I didn't expect and took on a life of its own, and by the end I didn't want to leave. Which is why, of course, I'm going back;)

Sequels are tricky beasts; they can be little more than vanity projects if you're not careful, just a way for an author to say, "Look! You remember them! Here they are again!" If you don't have something new to say with your characters, there's little point in picking them up again and trying to get people interested in them. It's taken a few months for me to really figure out a good enough reason to go back to my little Nevada town, but I think it's starting to take shape. I look forward to throwing Benjamin, Jack, Jonah, Poubelle, Jeremiah, Doc, and all the rest of them into a new adventure. This one is all about family: the one we're born into and the one we create, about fathers and children. For those of you who've read the first, I hope you're looking forward to the second. I know I am.

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