Let me start by saying that the feedback I have gotten from readers of No Easy Hope has been overwhelmingly positive. I am honestly amazed at how much people like this book. I recently re-read it, and to be blunt, there were moments when I cringed. Maybe that's just me being self-critical, but I really thought I could have done a much better job. I have learned a lot about writing since I started NEH, and I feel pretty confident when I say that my technique in This Shattered Land is much improved.
One thing I noticed, and several reviewers noticed as well, is that the writing starts out stiff and amateurish, but loosens up and gets better as the book progresses. Well, there is a reason for that. NEH was the first book I ever wrote, and as the story progressed, I gradually got better and better at writing. By the time it was done, I had finally managed to find a pretty good rhythm, so to speak. I thought the last few chapters were pretty good, compared to the first few.
All this being said, if I had it to do over again, there are a lot of things I would change about that first novel. Maybe those changes would help the story, maybe not, but I would have walked away feeling much better about it.
Oh well. As old Bill Shakespeare wrote in the words of Lady Macbeth, what's done is done.
Moving forward, I will be working to expand on the story and improve upon the foundation already laid. Eric and Gabriel will start the journey to Colorado, and get into a hell of a lot of trouble along the way. They will meet friends, and make enemies. They will have happy days, and tragic ones. They will learn, strive, fight, love, and lose. Their path will be neither straight, nor easy. Nothing in life ever is, especially when you have to survive a mass extinction event. It's gonna be a hell of a ride.
So. On to other topics.
For those who follow this blog, or my Facebook page, you probably noticed that I am working on a side project; Jeremiah Cain: Vampire Hunter. Let me explain my motivation for this project.
I used to like the Anita Blake series. The first six or seven novels were great. They fused the supernatural with action and adventure, and I loved the whole angle of society being aware of all the creatures that are featured in the story. They didn't exist in the shadows, they were a part of American culture. It was refreshing, it was original, and it was entertaining. Somewhere along the way, there was the first sex scene in the series. I remember thinking, Well, that was...graphic.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a bible thumper or a prude, but incredibly detailed descriptions of people getting their schwerve-on is not exactly my cup of tea. I prefer action scenes of the flashing swords and blazing guns variety.
So I kept reading the series, and something disturbing happened. The sex scenes got more frequent, longer, and more detailed. I found myself flipping through page after page trying to get to the part where there was an actual story to read. Pretty soon, I was at the end of the book. I was very disappointed.
This imaginative, original series that I had liked so much had devolved into a bunch of cheap, smutty porn.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, if erotica is your thing, that is fine. You won't find any judgement from this guy. I just don't care for it, personally. I grew up playing Mortal Kombat and reading Batman and X-men comic books. I like heroes, and villains, and epic battles between the forces of good and evil.
By now, if you've actually read to this point, you're thinking; Does this guy have a point, or is he just rambling about nothing?
My point is, since when did Vampires become the good guys?
Since when are they romantic, sympathetic characters?
To hell with that. Vampires are bloodsucking creatures of darkness, and the only good one is a dead one. To that end, I created a new character for a new series: Jeremiah Cain.
He has the heart of a lion, and the soul of a fanatic. He is zealous in his efforts to rid the world of the Vampire scourge, and he will stop at nothing to wreak his vengeance upon the creatures that destroyed his life. He is flawed, just like everyone, but he is also an an extraordinary man. His adventures will be epic.
Much like any story, I have no idea where this one will take me, but I know it will be a lot of fun along the way. I don't want to give away too much right now, especially considering that I still have a ton of work on This Shattered Land to accomplish, but I am very excited about this story.
More to come.