A Confession, A Reveal, and A Promise
I am a bad person.
Now, hopefully this will come as a surprise to most of you. Some of you, perhaps not so much ;).
MY CONFESSION: After Starshine was published, amidst much angst over its cliffhanger ending, I said the following: “Aurora Rising is the story. Starshine represents Act I in what is, in effect, a 3-act play in novel form.”
It wasn’t a lie—but it also wasn’t the entirety of the truth. It was very important to me that Aurora Rising be a self-contained, fulfilling story that will forever stand on its own. Aside from the obvious reasons, early on I didn’t know if I’d have the time, finances or will to continue writing beyond it. But after a year and thanks to all you amazing people, the three novels of the Aurora Rising trilogy have—from my perspective—done phenomenally well both in sales and in critical praise from the readers. By any standards I can find, Hypernova Publishing and the Aurora Rising trilogy are blockbusters in the indie publishing world, and there is no way I am going to stop now.
So here’s the entirety of the truth.
MY REVEAL: Much as Starshine is Act I in the 3-act play that is Aurora Rising, Aurora Rising is (and has always been) Act I in the 3-act play that is Aurora Rhapsody.
To atone for this hopefully-not-unforgivable slight fudging of the truth, I’m going to do something not many writers do (and most of whom will think I’m insane for doing). I’m going to tell you my plans for Acts 2 and 3. In fact, I’m not just going to tell you—I’m going to show you.
SIDESPACE: Aurora Renegades Book One
DISSONANCE: Aurora Renegades Book Two
ABYSM: Aurora Renegades Book Three
Aurora Renegades will see Alex and Caleb (and Valkyrie, of course) investigating the myriad of pocket universes in the Metigens’ network as they work to uncover the purpose behind the portals, the network and the Metigen control of them. And get into trouble. Lots and lots of trouble—with the Metigens, new alien species, and each other…and almost definitely Miriam.
Meanwhile, back home in Aurora, their families, friends and enemies must learn how to live in a new world, one where many of the old rules no longer apply. Can humanity grasp the chance for true peace and unparalleled technological prosperity it’s been offered? Or will they make a colossal mess of it?
My intent is for Aurora Renegades to have a more action/adventure feel steeped in the vastness that only infinite, unexplored space can provide. I’m targeting 100K words for each of the books, though that could end up being low or high, and the first draft of Sidespace is about 50% complete already. No release date yet, but it’s coming along quite nicely.
As an interesting side note, my original plan was for Renegades to consist of 6 shorter novellas, 3 taking place through the portal and 3 in Aurora. But the truth is even when they are in different locations, Alex and Caleb’s story intersects with events back home in so many ways—both real and metaphorical—and they just shouldn’t be separated.
Without the threat of galactic extinction hanging over everything, there’s an opportunity to explore some new themes and ideas. And did I mention aliens? Renegades is challenging me to push my writing further by exploring the truly unknown, the truly alien. But that was kind of the idea.
Most of all, the characters—and humanity as a whole—must go through the trial by fire of Aurora Renegades and come out the other side stronger if they are to have any hope of successfully facing what’s coming for them.
RELATIVITY: Aurora Resonant Book One
RUBICON: Aurora Resonant Book Two
REQUIEM: Aurora Resonant Book Three
Aurora Resonant will mark a return to epic space opera in the grandest sense. I plan, hope and intend it to be the true culmination of everything that has come before it, and the ultimate in high stakes choices and consequences.
THERE ARE NO PLANS FOR BOOK 10. Will I write Book 10, or move onto new stories and new settings? Well…we’ll see when we get there—but there are NO secret plans stashed in my basement for the plot of Book 10! Promise. But it’s going to be an exciting next few years, and I hope all of you will come along for the ride with me.
Aurora Rising: The Complete Collection, and Restless Vol. II
The first stop on that ride is Restless Vol. II, available in Aurora Rising: The Complete Collection or free on the website for subscribers starting next Monday. If you plan on reading Aurora Renegades, you want to read Restless II.
The Collection bundles together the three books in the Aurora Rising trilogy, as well as Restless Vols. I and II. It also includes the character interviews previously posted here on the blog. This means that if you already own the three books and the Restless prequel, once you download Restless II next week, you will have access to all the content in the Collection. I’m not looking to make my dedicated readers pay twice for the same material, so please don’t feel like you need to. Now, if you want to have everything packaged together in one handy file with a gorgeous cover, I won’t stop you!
All the appreciation and accolades to Josef Bartŏn (aka "Joey Jazz") for the cover backgrounds*, and to the fabulous Taylor Thompson (aka "theant4") for bringing Alex and Caleb to life more vividly and awesomely than I could ever have hoped for. I’ve been sitting on these models for months. It’s been torture not sharing them.
About Restless II. Originally, the Epilogue of Transcendence was much (much) longer. Okay, it was essentially Restless II. But because of my commitment to making Aurora Rising a complete, stand-alone story with resolution of all the major plot threads, I ultimately decided it went too far into teasing what was to come and cut it way back.
Now, with the announcement of Renegades and Resonant, I’m restoring it in full. Restless II spans the end of Transcendence, through the Epilogue, and tees up Sidespace. The bulk of the story is an entirely new Alex/Caleb adventure, set two months after the end of Transcendence. It then includes the full Epilogue from Transcendence, and closes with a new passage, presented from Mesme’s point of view, as Alex and Caleb traverse the portal. I couldn’t put this scene in Transcendence—but oh how I wanted to…and now I can give it to you.
And finally, MY PROMISE: If you’ve come this far, the rest of the journey will be doubly worth it. Everything that is coming will make Aurora Rising look like the Act I it was always meant to be. Mesme’s passage at the end of Restless II should alter your perception of everything that’s come before and convince you the best is yet to come. And it is. Promise :).