The final novel in the Elites trilogy, Nightfall, has just been released into the Amazon book-universe!
Feast your eyes on the superhero badass epic-ness that is the cover, once again designed by the professional and almost shockingly friendly 187Designz.
With this release, I can now put to rest the sprawling, intense saga of the Elites – for now at least. I have plans for an Elites 2.0 series, but there are other paths I want to march down (or flounder down, while being assaulted by gnats and other pesky flying insects) before I return to the world’s greatest superteam.
Many authors stick with their main characters for dozens of novels, but that wouldn’t work for me. I need new challenges, new fictional people (or things, or entities) to poke and manipulate.
But let’s not jump ahead too much. There’s still much to discuss regarding Nightfall.
The biggest headline: I’ve finally finished a series.
My Johnny Wagner series was going to be the first series I completed, but book three stalled, and then eventually died an ignominious death. The story was too bloated and ridiculous, and I didn’t have the heart to undertake the hardcore slicing-and-dicing (or flat-out rewriting) that would be required to turn it into a decent conclusion.
Hopping overboard from that sinking ship, and paddling madly towards a new shore, I came up with the idea for an Elites series. The Elites had already been established in the Johnny Wagner books (more formally known as the Z Universe – simple and catchy!), so the concept was there, ready for expansion.
Once I got into the day-to-day writing of The World Savers, the first Elites book, I had little doubt I’d finish the trilogy. I understood my two main characters, I had an overall story arc in mind, and I had enough material floating around my noggin to fill three full-size novels.
And so it came to pass: Nightfall was published, the series was completed, and joy swept the land.
This last book took longer to write for numerous reasons. One reason was its size. Ending up at 110,000 words, Nightfall is no slim volume you can wolf down during a day at the beach. There’s a lot of stuff happening in this novel. A metric fuckton, as one of those edgy folks would put it.
Nightfall takes several twists and turns that, hopefully, make the reader gasp in astonishment. Yes, the Elites once again have to face an Epic Challenge, but this challenge is different – far more powerful than anything they’ve yet faced, but also far more personal.
Savvy readers who’ve enjoyed the first two novels will understand how this conflict fits thematically, but I don’t think many will predict how it’s resolved.
And if you’ve skimmed over the title, consider it more closely. Nightfall…and one of the point-of-view characters is named Nightstriker…hmmm….
Go check out Nightfall, and see how this story ends.
Moving on: what’s next on my agenda?
The irresponsible (and dominant) side of my mind wants to delve into fantasy. True swords-and-sorcery, barbarians-and-elves, dwarves-that-delve-too-deep fantasy.
The funny thing is, I’m not a fantasy novel junkie. My desire to try my hand at fantasy stems from playing classic RPGs such as Planescape: Torment and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
The writing in those games is crisp and imaginative, and should be shown to those who disparage video games as being time-wasters. A well-crafted RPG can also put you into scenarios that make your jaw drop – or test your morals. If you had an opportunity to sell one of your party members into slavery, would you?
But, for all the fantastical ideas I have in my head, the responsible side of my mind (the weakest, but occasionally it musters up some courage and puts on a good show) says to stick with the cape-and-cowl genre.
After all, I already have a well-developed world, and writing six superhero novels has honed my knowledge of the genre’s unique tropes.
For now, I’m sticking with spandex-and-fireballs. Responsibility wins.
The next series, another planned trilogy, will be much different in tone from the Elites series. While the Elites did have their humorous moments, on the whole things were serious. After writing three novels in a “we have to save the world” style, it’s time for a palette cleanser.
This new series will be more in line with my Johnny Wagner series. The protagonist (a brand-new character) will be anti-establishment, foul-mouthed, and scheming. An irredeemable arsehole – but since this is fiction, he may turn out to be redeemable after all.
That’s all I have for now. I haven’t even started writing the thing yet, so I can’t give you more info!
Stay tuned to this space for updates.
Until next time, keep your spandex dry-cleaned and your utility belt polished….