It’s been a long time coming, but I am both excited and decently terrified share a passion project of mine that I’ve been working on in the background for quite some time.
I’m writing a book.
Not just one of them, either, but five in a series.
And not just writing them – they’re already done.
For the past two-and-a-half years, I’ve used every spare moment I can find to chip away at an immense story that’s been stuck in my mind since I was a teenager. I’ve been writing in the early mornings before work, during lunch times and on the train, writing in the evenings before meetings, and writing on the weekends and public holidays. There’ve been no breaks or reprieves at all throughout this time, but somehow, I’ve managed to get through it all at a pace of almost one new book every six months. At an average of twenty-four thousand new words a month, that’s a total of seven hundred and twenty thousand words, but finally, it’s done.
Those who’ve known me throughout this time might be surprised to hear that I’ve been working on something of this scale. After all, apart from a random comment here or there, I’ve been pretty tight-lipped about what’s been taking up so much of my time. It’s not the only thing I’ve had to deal with, either, this same period coming with a number of disruptive personal life events and at least one traumatic experience whose fallout I’m still coping with in many ways.
Even though it’s been a struggle to find the time and energy to reach this point, one of the reasons I’ve been able to stick with it is because of how personal it is. It’s a story that helped me through some darker days during my youth, that helped me grow and examine a great number of my own feelings, and most of all, it’s a story that represents a key philosophical concept that defines my outlook on life.
In essence, it’s a piece of epic science fiction; one that represents a fresh take on a familiar concept –
It’s the year 1345 Modern Time, and the world is still reeling in the aftermath of a cataclysmic conflict that came within an inch of ending life as we know it. All records and knowledge of the times before then are lost, the technological achievements of the Age of Wonders forgotten, and nobody alive today now knows how it all began or what came before it all began. Now stuck in a centuries-old stalemate against the ever-evolving enemy forces of Factory Prime, the remaining peoples of the world cower above a defensive perimeter about the equator known as the Line. The only thing that stands between their destruction and the enemy hordes that arrive to challenge them twice a year is the constant sacrifice of the men and women in the Reactionary Forces of Central, commonly known as the Souldiers.
When her childhood friend goes missing in the wild lands beyond the Line under mysterious circumstances, young Vivian must make the decision to leave the town of her childhood forever if she wants to find out what really happened. To do so, she’ll need to cast aside everything she knows to be true, summon all the courage she can muster, and face the Line where no step forward can be won without sacrifice. Along the way, she’ll find more than she bargained for and, if she can avoid falling victim herself, come to learn the truth about the world and how it all came to be.
There’s a decent mix of action, mystery, and cruel choices, but the thread that ties it all together is an incredibly human story that touches on a number of themes that are very close to me. It’s not just a chance to set up some epic action sequences – although there are plenty of those as well – but to examine the things I find most important, such as finding your voice, standing up for yourself, and finding your place in the world. If you’re a science fiction fan, an introvert, or someone who just enjoys a good read, I’m confident there’ll be something in there for you.
Even though I’ve completed a rough draft, one of the interesting things about writing an entire series rather than one volume at a time is how aware it makes you of your earlier mistakes. There’s also a great deal more to completing a novel than just the writing, so I’m planning on using the next six months to touch everything up and get the first instalment ready. In the meantime, I’ll be using this space to not only provide updates on progress and a few teasers, but to talk a little about my own background and the themes and ideas that drew me to this story to begin with as well.
It’s an exciting prospect, finally getting to share some of these things with you all, but it’s also a terrifying one, too. After all this time lurking inside my head and taking up precious mental real estate, I’m aware there’s a real chance it might all just fizzle and amount to nothing. Setting up this space and navigating the currents of social media is another scary prospect for someone who isn’t used to self promotion, and I’ll be sharing a number of personal episodes that I’ve never spoken about openly before in support of my message.
Even knowing all that, it’s still something that I want to do, that I have to do, and whatever the outcome, I hope you can share this journey with me as we learn more about it together.