On Completing My Second Novel

On Completing My Second Novel

When I finished my first book, I heaved a huge sigh of relief. Quite literally. It was a massive accomplishment for someone who’d been ‘writing,’ as so many of us do, for much of his life. I say writing, but it wasn’t, really. Sure, I was putting ideas and themes and characters and stories down on paper, but there was always a sense of formlessness, of knowing that it would never go anywhere, because it never had.

Then came the zombie story. Originally, I had planned to write two completely separate stories, one end-of-the-world trilogy, with bunkers and new beginnings and whatnot, with the cause of the end indeterminate (to me, at that point, at any rate), and another book about a guy surviving in a zombie world. Though I haven’t totally abandoned the second idea, the merging of the two led to the creation of The Dying of the Light, and here we are.

So I had one book done, at 110,000 words (give or take). Selling reasonably well for a first novel, it has garnered me some significant fan attention, a minor (and much loved) following of hardcore fans, and praise from fellow authors and readers alike. But the question remained: was I a one-trick pony? Could I actually complete a second book, and not only complete it, but make it as good as the first? Or was I doomed to be the one-hit wonder we see so many times?

Well, 128,600 words later, here we are. I can’t guarantee it’s a hit, but the sequel is done, and if I’m any judge, it’s better than the first. There are surprises, lots of good emotion and action and characters and sweeping vistas and… well, you get the idea. But it’s also tighter, and more controlled, and more focused than the first. This book knows where it’s going from the outset, and while it does stop to smell the roses occasionally, it doesn’t take its sweet time getting to the end.

It’s a heck of a ride, and without spoilers, I can give you a few clues, some of which only those who’ve read the first book will fully understand:
 

  1. A lot of readers told me they felt Henry Gardner was evil, but in a somewhat cartoony way. Like, very over the top, without going full Bond villain. So, in Interval, there are three big bad guys, each worse than the last, and all of them worse than Gardner, but not cartoony at all.
  2.  

  3. No plotlines are thrown away. Everything happens for a reason, even if you’ll have to stick around for book 3, Beginning, to find out what it is.
  4.  

  5. Air travel is just not the same after the apocalypse.
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  7. Grab a box of Kleenex. You’ll need it. I did.
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  9. There are worse things than zombies. Much, much worse.

 
The Dying of the Light: Interval is available to pre-order now. Get 10% off your purchase, and the ebook free with any print editions, which will be autographed and can be personalized for free by request. In addition, the first book, The Dying of the Light: End, is now just $0.99 in ebook format and 10% off of all print editions, including first editions (while they last).
 
 
 

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