It’s close to two months since In Times Of Trouble: Aftermath was released. Publishing one book was something that was never really on my list of things to do, so to now have two out there is kind of surreal, really.
My goal when writing this book was to at least be as good as the first one, and from beta-reader feedback to now, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, far better than my own expectations in fact. I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I am to hear how much you’ve enjoyed it.
I say “relieved” because, to be honest, this was a difficult book to write for a variety of reasons. When I wrote In Times of Trouble ( Henceforth dubbed ITOT… I should have picked a shorter title ), it was a process shared with a couple friends who are also writers. Their feedback, support, and the occasional kick in the ass to motivate me was crucial and made it more fun. In the time since, they’ve moved on to other things, and the private site we used to critique each others’ work gone. So this was a more… I guess you’d call it a “lonely” experience, albeit a more realistic one because let’s face it, writing is a solitary endeavor in the first place.
Also, writing ITOT was something I took a leisurely approach to. Even at that time, publication seemed as likely as flapping my arms and flying to the moon. So I wrote as the ideas came to me. With Aftermath I had to work at it more. I couldn’t sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. So there was a lot of staring out the window with “WTF happens now?!?” going on in my brain.
Plus, my dumb ass announced a publication deadline of June 2022, and in doing so painted myself right into a corner. So in June 2020, a week or so after ITOT’s release, I was already back at it, writing the next one. As a result I often felt pressured, had to meet daily word count goals, which had me worried because I didn’t want to publish a dud.
Don’t get me wrong, the past two years has also been an amazing time. A lot of this angst was simply something I put on myself. I challenged myself, took risks with writing this story that, judging from your feedback, worked. So in the end, it was a good thing.
So what’s with all the inside baseball stuff here?
I tell you this because I’ve been asked if there will be a third book. And up until recently, the answer was “we’ll see.”
In the time since Aftermath was released I’ve taken a little break from writing to catch up on reading the backlog of books I have on my e-reader. Stephen King wrote in his book, On Writing, that one of the two things one must do to be a good writer is to read… a lot. Which I believe is true; it recharges the brain, gets you thinking creatively, etc.
But I’ve also got ideas for nearly another half dozen writing projects of my own stacking up, one of which is making the ITOT series a trilogy before moving on to other things. To that end, I’ve got four full pages of notes ( I just counted ). The siren song of the keyboard and a fresh page grows louder.
Okay, so the question of a third is now “probably”, but when?
That’s a really good question. I have a beginning and an end, but there’s a whole lot of shit in the middle I have to fill in still.
LOL… So I guess we’re back to “we’ll see”, but I promise I’ll do my best to make the wait worth it.