Category: novels (Page 2 of 9)

THE INFINITE TIMELINE – WORLDS, NOT SERIES

Novel series are all the rage. Some authors spend their entire careers writing about the same character, or team of characters, getting into and out of one predicament or another. Why? Because it sells. When walking into a bookstore, or browsing online, familiarity sells. Because consumers are risk adverse. We want to know that what we’re spending money on is exactly what we’re looking for. That’s why there are twenty-five Jack Reacher novels and nine Fast and Furious movies.

But there’s a new kid on the block, and I’m not talking about Donnie Wahlberg.

A few years years ago, after writing several series, including the five-book Nemesis Saga, the five-book Last Hunter saga, and the Jack Sigler thrillers, which are composed of ten novels and eleven novellas, I publicly declared that I was done writing series. Mostly because I get bored writing about the same characters over and over, and if I’m bored, you’re bored. It was at this time that I adopted a new (to novels) theory of long-term storytelling: Worlds, not series.

I’ve been a comic book guy most of my life, and I started my creative career as a comic book artist/writer who shifted to screenwriting and then to novel writing. Most comic book series inhabit the same universe under the umbrella of whoever publishes them (Marvel, D.C., etc.), allowing for crossovers and massive comic book events like The Infinity Gauntlet and Secret Wars. If you’re not a comic book reader, but this sounds familiar, it’s probably because over the past decade, Marvel has brought this method of epic storytelling to movies as well. They started with solo characters (Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America), and then they brought those characters together with others in The Avengers movies while, on the side, they introduced audiences to even more characters (Spider-Man, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange,and Ant-Man) all of whom came together for the two-movie Infinity War/Endgame event.

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INFINITE 2 – Available Now!

It’s no secret. Writing a sequel to Infinite, my best selling and most reviewed novel ever (by a lot), has intimidated me for years. But fans have been wonderfully persistent, asking for the story to continue, and, well, sales justify it. But sequels are tricky, especially for a twisty novel like Infinite. In the long history of sequels, writers attempted to recreate the magic of the first book or movie, repeating a similar story, following the same beats, and hoping to strike gold twice. But most of the time, they fail. And not because they’re bad stories on their own, but because the very act of trying to recreate something—a little bit different—robs it of the magic that made it wonderful in the first place.

So, I went a different route, deciding that Infinite2 should be its own creature. It didn’t need to feel like the first book or have the same kind of surprises. Instead, it follows its own path, has its own vibe, and has very different kinds of surprises. The result is that Infinite2 is one of my personal favorite novels (of mine) that many advance readers are saying is better than the original.

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If that’s not enough to convince you, here’s the summary!

William Chanokh is immortal…and he’s trapped on the Galahad, an interstellar starship on a never-ending journey through open space.

His only companions are Capria—mortal and in cryo-sleep—and Gal, an artificial intelligence, and the love of his life, with whom he spends every waking moment in the ‘Great Escape,’ a virtual paradise. After untold years living countless lives, Gal begins acting strange. Possessive. Violent. Paranoid.

Positive that something in the real world is causing her to malfunction, Will attempts to leave the Great Escape, but he finds himself a prisoner. Guided by a voice from reality, he is thrust into a series of torturous narratives, each one designed to break his will and keep him trapped in virtual reality.

Betrayed by his digital love, his long-term memory overwritten, and enduring violent manipulation, Will painfully peels back layers of simulation, fighting to reach reality 1.0—where the nightmares are real.

Kane Looks Back – Callsign: Deep Blue

[“Kane Looks Back” is a series of posts where my editor, Kane Gilmour, will focus on some of my past novels that you might not have discovered yet. Now read on… –Jeremy]

 

And then there was Deep Blue. So, I was working with Jeremy occasionally, but I’d been in contact with him on e-mail probably daily for a year or two by then. I’d edited TORMENT and the first LAST HUNTER book. I’d also finished my first novel, RESURRECT, and Jeremy had read it and blurbed it for me. I suggested to Jeremy early on during the Chesspocalypse editing and releases that he do a sixth book—one that focused on the team’s mysterious handler, Tom Duncan, the former President of the United States. The man was a former Ranger, and had set up the Chess Team prior to PULSE, and at the end of THRESHOLD he pulled the team away from the military (and pulled a whole lot more resources along with them) and was setting up his own little fiefdom in a captured bad guy base in New Hampshire. I, for one, was fascinated by this character, and I wanted more back story about him. I nagged Jeremy that he should do a Deep Blue novella, and what was more, I wanted him to do it on his own, without a co-author. But Jeremy, who was already doing the co-writing work with a bunch of other authors, putting the final tweaks on edits for SECONDWORLD, was writing the LAST HUNTER books, and who was already starting to write the story that would become ISLAND 731…well, Jeremy was understandably swamped. He said: “Why don’t you write it?”

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Kane Looks Back – Callsign: Knight

[“Kane Looks Back” is a series of posts where my editor, Kane Gilmour, will focus on some of my past novels that you might not have discovered yet. Now read on… –Jeremy]

 

The fifth of the originally planned Chesspocalypse novellas, CALLSIGN: KNIGHT was co-written with Ethan Cross, who, at the time, was the only bestselling author involved in the Chesspocalypse project. Since then, several of the authors involved have become USA Today and International bestsellers, while Jeremy himself has become a New York Times bestseller. Whatever way you look at it, the Chess Team was good for all the authors involved.

As I recall, there were very few edits or changes needed for the Knight story. Ethan Cross drafted a taut story of Knight attempting to take a well earned vacation when he was whisked away to a ghost city in central China to face a creature he had already faced once before—the Hydra (from PULSE). Only this time it had been tweaked and hybridized, in an attempt to create a Chinese superweapon, by a drug addled maniac.

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Kane Looks Back – Callsign: Bishop

 

[“Kane Looks Back” is a series of posts where my editor, Kane Gilmour, will focus on some of my past novels that you might not have discovered yet. Now read on… –Jeremy]

 

Erik Somers, the original Bishop, was sent to Iran to deal with an abandoned Manifold Genetics laboratory and a bioweapon. Coincidentally, another operator in Iran discovers information about Bishop’s true parentage, and the adventure begins. Gunfights, espionage, and terrorism ensue. Although this was one of the titles where Jeremy needed to adjust a lot of David McAfee’s first draft to bring the story in line with Jeremy’s vision for the team and with Bishop’s character, the resulting novella brings a lot into the story that Jeremy might not have brought, and that’s thanks to David’s approach. The tension, the pace, and threat, with Bishop conflicted by his own inner turmoil over his adopted upbringing and the discovery of his true parents distracting him in a time when he cannot afford to be distracted.

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