The Sequel That Almost Wasn’t

The Sequel that Almost Wasn't

In writing as in life, everything sort of happens on its own time. Sometimes that time is by our own choosing. Oftentimes it is not.

The decade-plus-long path that I took to becoming a novelist was deliberate. It was a path of drafting, followed by years of letting the writing lie fallow, followed by a rewrite, a pitch for a certain novel, and a most unexpected phone call that led to a book contract.

But this story isn’t about that. This story is about what came later. About how the Sarco trilogy threatened to sink amidst the harsh realities of the business world … and how the hard work of a few brave souls saved those plans.

When I first pitched Edge of Oblivion back in 2015, the publisher asked me to sketch out how books 2 and 3 might play out. I had a pretty good idea of that: I’d started drafting Into the Void even as I was pitching Edge of Oblivion to publishers, and I even had a basic outline of book 3. By the time I actually physically signed my three-book contract in the summer of 2015, I was already in the process of sending book 2 to beta readers, and I was heavily into revisions months before my first book released.

April 2016 rolled around, Edge of Oblivion released, and everything was moving along smoothly.

Behind the scenes, though, a major change was underway. In early 2016, shortly before Edge of Oblivion launched, my publisher, Enclave Publishing, was sold to a startup publisher, Gilead Publishing. (My novel was one of the first to bear the Gilead name on the copyright page.) It was a major change, but also one that came with some advantages: Gilead was poised to be better-resourced, thanks to investors and a potential portfolio that went far beyond speculative fiction. Things were changing, but for the better.

And then, in the fall, just as Into the Void was completing its edits, the investment company that had promised to finance Gilead reneged on its contract. Gilead’s reserves dried up, its staff was furloughed, and all of its upcoming titles were thrown into limbo, including mine. May 2017 — the month Into the Void was originally scheduled to release — came and went. It was a difficult time for all of the Enclave and Gilead writers.

While the situation played itself out, I purposed that I was going to continue to write. I delivered my third Sarco novel to the publisher in March 2017, and later that spring penned a short story designed to flesh out the waning moments of Edge of Oblivion. I also had quiet conversations with my wife about the what-ifs: what if, for example, Gilead folded entirely?

Fortunately, that didn’t happen! The CEO of Gilead worked furiously for months to secure new funding. His labors paid off, and in July of 2017 he finalized a deal to reboot the company. Gilead and Enclave were back … and so was the Chronicles of Sarco.

After that, things moved quickly. I got a new release date — February 6, 2018, almost two years after my first novel launched — and the necessary prep work to get there. Now I’m standing on the threshold of a second release.

It’s been a journey long coming.

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