Where have I been?
Yes, it’s been awhile since I blogged. This year has had several ups and downs, mostly downs. If it’d been a movie it would be called “Five Funerals and a Wedding”. Needless-to-say, I’ve been distracted, and sad, and in no mood to write.
But time waits for no man, so let’s get me back on the horse.
The other question you may be asking is “Where’s Jack?” Well, I haven’t been completely idle, the voices didn’t stop, I just told them to shut up for awhile.
You may remember me dropping some hints surrounding an idea I had for a serial novel. That idea has become a reality.
I’m calling it The Twelve Shepherds, and it will be written in serial form.
This Serial Novel was born from the book Closure, the first book of the Jack Randall series. Closure was first written in 2007, well before Dexter and 24 became popular, and focuses on Sam Shepherd, an ex-Special Forces operator, and his brother-in-law Paul Kelly, who, feeling betrayed as the result of a tragic loss set out on a vigilante killing spree in an effort to force change within the justice system. For those who may not have read it yet I won’t give away the story, I’ll simply say that their effort proves to be both a success and a failure. Their mission divides the nation, half of the population brands them hero’s while the other calls them criminals, or even worse, terrorist. With over 900 reviews so far, it has proven to be a popular and thought-provoking read. While far from being the first story I have penned, it was the first I had published, and the success it has seen came as a shock. I blame it all on my awesome readers.
I wrote the story making it hard for the reader to pick sides, the fan-mail and reviews Closure has received are also split quite evenly. Many of those that sided with Sam asked for me to bring him back, to somehow find a way for Sam and Paul to carry on their mission for several more volumes. At the time writing was simply a hobby, I never entertained the idea of writing more books about Sam or Jack, it was only after pressure from readers that the Jack Randall stories progressed. Since then it has grown into a multi-volume series as well as a set of short stories and novellas surrounding all of the main characters.
Yet, I still receive letters asking about Sam. If you’ve read Closure you’ll know that bringing him back would be a challenge in the least. While he was one of my favorite characters I just cannot find a way to do it. Paul, however, presents some possibilities. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to do something. An idea began to take shape and as they often do it soon consumed much of my waking thoughts.
I can’t bring Sam back, but what if I could bring back his mission, and those like him?
I received a resounding YES when I asked my beta readers. I toyed with the storyline for a few months and wrote a first draft. It was well received. The Twelve Shepherds was born. Sam’s spirit and mission lives on through them.
I first planed to write and publish regularly but I’ve since been convinced to publish an entire season at once so people can binge-read it if they choose. With each episode numbering around 60 pages this project will be around 300,000 words by the time it’s done. That’s equal to three complete novels.
Please understand that this is a Serial Novel. Think of each episode as a TV show. They will be around 20-25 thousand words apiece and take the average reader approximately 1-1/2 hours to read (much like a TV show or short movie). The beauty of this style of writing is that the story never has to end. As long as YOU want more I intend to keep the story alive. I would also strongly suggest that you read Closure prior to taking on The Twelve Shepherds, it will provide a great deal of background that would otherwise not be available.
As of this post I have two more episodes outlined and ready to complete. If my editor can find the time (and I’m sure she will as she’s the sweetest, kindest, most patient and forgiving editor EVER….was that too thick?) I’ll have it out very soon.
Before I get back to work I’d like to thank everyone for their patience. Let’s hope the next year makes up for the last.
Now let me see what kind of trouble Jack can get into today.
Here’s some more cover-art ideas from Derek, I can’t wait to see the final product.