Beyond Beginnings: Sequels

A Good Year End

In November 2016 I became a published novel author, building on my years as a short story writer. 51i8civxul-_ac_us240_ql65_51vykdagqhl-_ac_us240_ql65_

Where do you go from there?

You write the sequel.

Actually, I started writing the sequel long before I published “Faces of Janus“. It’s already gone out to beta readers, for publication in Spring 2017.

My Janus Paradisi novels run in parallel to Cheri Lasota’s Paradisi Exodus series. Our protagonists occupy the same place and time. Our characters come together and cooperate while pursuing their own objectives within a five book arc, so all planning had to be cooperative.

I had to understand her characters–their motivation, strengths, and weaknesses, abilities and relationships… We had to compare where she wanted her plot to go and where I wanted mine to go.

519bvtemdxl-_ac_us240_ql65_Underlying the whole exercise were the canon requirements of writing in a wider open-source universe, where many other writers establish circumstances or technology or characters that impinge on our stories. It’s a fascinating experience. Together we overcame all the obstacles.

So how did that work?

I’m not a plotter. I know who my characters are, where they are and what they want. I know where I want them to end up on the last page. I mark down a few “key” events for them to encounter on their journey. Then I sit back and let them control my fingers hitting the keyboard. It’s their story, after all, so I let them tell it. Often, the story they make me tell is different to the one I had in mind. (That really screws up plotting.)

So I’m a Pantser, writing by the seat of my pants. (Personally, I prefer the term “Organic” to “Pantser”. It51yudiocoel-_ac_us240_ql65_ sounds more professional.)

Cheri is a plotter. The events in every chapter are planned out well before she starts writing. Her characters go where she tells them, or else.

Naturally, my “Organic” gave way to her “Plotting”. There was no way we could share adventures without strict plotting. Together, we outlined the storylines covering the next two or three novels in our series.

Hectic Days Ahead in 2017

  • A print version of “Faces of Janus” is in the works
  • Janus Challenge” is with beta readers
  • Work progresses on the third in the series, targetted for publication in late Summer, 2017

I wish you all happy reading during the remaining bleak midwinter. Here are some suggestions: other novels set in the Paradisi Chronicles universe…

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Insights on a Launch

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Interviews with Janus Security Corporation personnel

Angel Flores : Executive Officer

“I worked hard to get from a favela to the executive floor of JCorp tower. Huge office, wonderful view, penthouse suite… I had always aimed for the stars. It was just a metaphor, until one day… If I had stuck to my job and my affair with the company owner… But I am not made that way. Satisfaction leads to stagnation. I am just not made that way.

“It started with a few odd coincidences and my curiosity making me dig deeper. Or perhaps it started with my affair turning tedious. Or both. Perhaps it was Zag being there at the right time when I needed someone strong.

“Anyway, one day the real stars came within reach. How could I not grasp that opportunity with both hands?

“Zag? Yes, he was crucial to my plans. How did I feel about him? He was… everything. Did I show him this? Not enough, perhaps. I am just not made that way.”

Zag Bishop : Operations Manager

“I’d been trouble as a kid in the lower city. The military fixed that, or most of it. Then contract work I can’t talk about. Then to JCorp and Angel. Happy times. I loved them both. Did she love me back? I’m not good with emotion. I blame the work I did.

“So this space conspiracy thing came along and turned everything on its head. Would it have been better to quit and get a new job? Who knows? I’m tactics, not strategy. The strategy was Angel’s, from the start. The kidnaps and killings? Just part of the job.

“With Earth falling to pieces, escape to the stars seemed a good idea. Escape with the woman I loved. Sounded good. But which woman?”

Katya Ulyanov : Operative

“I had a secret. A dangerous one. A secret that could get me thrown into the desert. And I’d fallen for a damned cop. How did he feel about me? I knew how I felt about him. One day I hated him, the next… I guess I’d been let down too many times. He said I had a trust issue. No wonder, with my past.

“So I decided to be the best operative Zag had. I did a few crazy things to get his attention. It didn’t help that my PTSD, my other secret, kept getting in the way.

“Then the space thing came along. Changed everything.”

Faces of Janus” : launched November 6, 2016 Available from your local Amazon store

FACES OF JANUS : Published

cid_cacf5aae-676f-46cb-b6a4-de5dd38d7479Can a handful of security agents overcome the greatest corporate conspiracy and reach the stars?

In the last decades of the twenty-first century, the wealthiest, most powerful families on Earth choose to escape the increasingly failing planet by constructing ten vast ships that would ferry mankind to colonize Mars.

It was a lie. Continue reading

A Beginner’s Tale #3

Large FoJIt has been a long journey, but here I stand on the verge of publishing my first novel.

I always wanted to write, but my first High School English teacher convinced me I was barely literate. I think he resented me being taller than him, as a later (taller) teacher promoted me from bottom of the class to (almost) pole position.

Too late!

It was my final year of school and my small fantasies had been strangled. Hurrah for education! Continue reading

Spooky Times

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Well, that Brexit thing was a blast. Britain will pull out of the EU (European Union). To some, it’s like Hawaii pulling out of the US of A. (It isn’t.) And lots of lies on all sides, it seems.

Gosh! Anti-establishment folk, politicians and urban elites telling lies? Unbelievable! Spooky times!

Continue reading

Janus and June

graduation_cap_and_diplomaCELEBRATION !

Another hectic month.

June started with a week in the UK, celebrating my middle daughter’s graduation (huge congrats!).

It ended with a week at a German spa!

In between, I managed to start work on my beta-readers’ responses to my novel, “FACES OF JANUS”. Continue reading

So Where Have I Been?

Debt Collector in Storm in the Stars

Andy as Debt Collector in A Storm in the Stars

I took a long break between posts this year. I’m sure you noticed.

So where have I been? Continue reading

Mancunicon (Eastercon 2016)

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I’m still recovering from a splendid few days at the annual British Science Fiction Convention, held at Easter and generically named Eastercons. 2016 was the turn of Manchester, England to host 1200 sci-fi and fantasy fans, and a fine job the organising team did. Continue reading

Paradisi Chronicles

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I mentioned the Paradisi Chronicles “co-operative” project in an earlier post.

I’ve worked before in loose-knit shared-world projects, such as the  “No Revolution Is Too Big” anthology, but Paradisi Chronicles is different. Let me explain how… Continue reading

Press Release: The Future Is Short Vol 2

A new anthology that contains two of my own stories…

THE FUTURE IS SHORT: SCIENCE FICTION IN A FLASH, Volume 2 Now Published
ISBN: 9 781514 151518 (trade paperback) Published June 3, 2015
E-book published June 11, 2015

TFIS 2 - 100x150Thirty-six authors took a leap of faith in January 2015 to contribute their stories to The Future Is Short: Science Fiction in a Flash, Volume 2. Twenty-two of them, published in the inaugural volume in June 2014, returned to present new ideas, tales and imaginative spins on specific topics in this latest edition; over a dozen of Volume 2’s contributors are new writers, many being published for the first time in this anthology. The Future Is Short: Science Fiction in a Flash, Volume 2 includes seventy-six glimpses at what the future might hold, arranged under 14 themes: among these are Apocalypse, It’s a Wonderful Life, Distance, First Contact, Unwanted Gift, Adolescence and Espionage. Continue reading