The Enigmatic (albeit self-titled) Stranger

My aim, when setting up this website, was to be able to get my thoughts out there. I wanted to write reviews for my favourite books, films and TV shows. I wanted to air my hobbies, interests and gripes. I wanted this to be a place where my fans could get to know about me and my novels. It seems that I was very ambitious. Over the last few of months I have hit a pivotal time with A Fire Within, as well as working a (more than) full-time day job, and then organising a move to the much longed for “forever home”.


All of this has meant that I have slacked somewhat with getting my newest reviews and posts on the website. But fear not, this is about to change! I can happily say that I have now completed the final draft of A Fire Within. Over the last few months I have spent nearly every spare hour I have had writing, then rewriting, then editing, and then rewriting some more, the final draft of the first chapter in the Broken Earth Saga. It has been gruelling, and that is to put it mildly. But it has, without any doubt, been worth it.


I guess I should explain exactly why I have thrown everything behind the book lately. Towards the beginning of 2017 I believed I had finished A Fire Within. I had written the story, reviewed it a couple of times, and even started planning the sequel. It was when completing the final review, and planning the next entry in the series, that I realised that it was not as good as it could be. The book was too long. The story was too self-contained. There were characters that were not given enough recognition and, considering these are characters that I have nurtured within my mind for so many years, I believed they deserved better. In response to my own doubt, I completely scrapped the last half of the book. Well, that may be a bit dramatic. I guess you could say that I “postponed” much of what happened in it, ready to be redeveloped for the sequel. I then wrote a brand new prologue and ending to the book. Both of which reach out to the wider story of the Broken Earth Saga and allow certain characters to get a role that is befitting their true worth. This has meant that the finished article I have is one that I am genuinely proud of. There are no short measures with it. This is the story I wanted to create, how I wanted to create it. It just took me a bit of time to realise how best to tell it.


As you can imagine this was no small task. Luckily, I had everything planned out. All it meant was many late nights sat in front of the computer, typing away, and generally getting in to the nitty gritty of the tale. It was hard work, it was tiring, it was stressful, but, most importantly, it was fun. I enjoyed every minute of it. I thrived in the moment of getting those characters out of my mind and on to the page.


So, what does that mean for the following entries in the series? Firstly, Black Hearts and Dark Souls will now be pushed out to book 3 rather than book 2. Much of the same principles, character arcs and story that I had planned for that book will remain intact. The big difference is, there will now be a different follow-up to A Fire Within, which is going to be titled A Fire Rising. I have yet to update the website with this change, but that will be happening very soon. This book will take the time to expand on many aspects of the first book, develop many characters even further. It had become clear to me that I had tried to cover too much ground in one book, and to spread it out, to give the story and events more detail, would only enhance the overall experience. That means, the ending that I had “postponed” for A Fire Within, will be covered more fully in A Fire Rising. It was a big decision. One that pushed out many of my original plans. But it is abundantly clear now that it was the right decision.


That leads me nicely on to my immediate plans. And they are to get this website back where I initially intended it to be. All the reviews I have written, the ideas I have jotted down, the improvements I have made, they will be coming through on the website in the next few weeks. While doing that I will be planning and writing the next entry in the Broken Earth Saga, ready to get the story truly powering ahead.

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