When I began writing my first novel, Dregs of the Culver Waste – Sand and Scrap, I never intended for it to be more than one novel. But as the years went by and my keystrokes grew longer, I soon realized I had a behemoth on my hands. A fat, ungainly beast that no editor or agent would ever give the time of day to.
So I cut the sucker in half. I found the breaking point, the cliffhanger, and I cleaved the son of a bitch right down the center. Now I had two novels, each running around 350-400 pages long. Quite a bit for an unknown such as myself.
But two is better than one, right? Or so I thought. Little did I know another character named Haliden Stroke would rise from the toxic ashes of the wastelands and lure me away into a completely new, stand-alone novel. A novel which takes place on an entitely new continent with a completely new set of characters.
It was the first time something like that happened to me; a creative spark so hot I couldn’t put it out. I’ll admit, my life was falling apart at the time I began it, and something about this new character Haliden ignited a fire inside my gut. A fire so hot and welcome I could neither run from it nor ignore. He was me, running from the fire, racing for one last chance at redemption. And I had to tell his tale.
So here I am, about to finish a first draft on my next work, a little novel entitled Haliden’s Fire. It’s set in the same world as Dregs of the Culver Waste, albeit on a different continent and with a completely new set of vagabonds and scoundrels. I’ll release more as time passes, as drafts take shape and the book as a whole comes together. For now, though, it will remain in the shadows, watching and absorbing any new inspirations that might venture near.
Now I know some people might say “Chris… you should have finished the sequel to Dregs first.” But life just didn’t work out that way for me. My muse pulled me in a new direction, and now, as I wait to see how Dregs fares with you, my readers, I prepare to finish a new work that will hopefully stand on its own. It’s a strange decision to make as an author, to throw a break in a such a new series. But then again, nothing has ever been normal about my life.
So even though I cleaved Dregs of the Culver Waste in two and embarked on a completely new journey, the sequel is already more than half written, awaiting a first draft and then the hair-pulling months of rewrites that will naturally occur.
If you dig Sand and Scrap and are yearning for a bit more, never fear… a sequel is in the works. But before it comes to pass, a little story entitled Haliden’s Fire will have to wet your whistle first.
Inspiration is strange sometimes. It has a mind of its own, for better or worse, and drives us in all sorts of strange directions. It’s like the saying ‘Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans.’
Sometimes the same can be said for a story, too.