Okay. Before anyone freaks out- I’ll be doing the sequel to Blue Steel right after it finishes. No votes. No week delay. No change of characters. For all intents, you can think of it more as two different arcs to the same book rather than two different books.
But for naming convention and future publishing/etc concerns… it’ll be two books…
I started Blue Steel with the explicit goal to explore the world, rather than the characters- an opportunity to treat the whole setting as its own character, and I feel I succeeded better than I’d ever hoped. I will not stop now, not while I’m still having so much fun.
As a book, Blue Steel sits at around 48k words right now, with one more chapter which will bring it up to over 50,000 words not including the Resources and Thassan bonus chunks.
Chapters in this book have been longer, on average, than any previous book. And I’ve loved every goddamn moment of writing it. Warren’s a main character that actually has a damned clue what he’s doing (Don’t get me wrong, I loved Zach’s idiotic bumbling, Chloe’s enthusiastic idealism, and Domenic’s failure to stay grounded… but still…), Phoebe is by far my favorite character I’ve ever created, and the opportunity to showcase the whole world of Price, rather than being stuck in a tiny corner of it for the whole book has been exploited mercilessly.
I mean, really, how many stories get a chance to go from Nowhere, USA to the freakin’ moon, to Vancouver, to the bottom of the Pacific ocean in 50k words or less? Not many, I imagine. And while I don’t imagine many future Price books to have that kind of scope, but this one certainly did.
In addition, Blue Steel created a perfect (if accidental) basis for a highly episodic formula, where I can insert him into problems rather than have them come along and kick the main character in the face the way I’d have to for any of my other books. While, granted, those books have characters with a much deeper, personal relationship to the problems they’re fighting to solve which adds a layer of drama and investment… there’s a lot to be said for Warren’s story as well… I don’t yet know which I prefer (and in fact I think I love them both), but I know I’m not ready to stop this train I’m on.
And this story has inspired me with another novel to add to the future list- currently named “Silent Song”, it will feature an (almost) all Thassan storyline following the hero’s journey of a young dolphin-rider in his quest to become awesome. Or at least not get eaten by sharks and/or other tribes.
And the location-jumping I did in this story makes me feel confident enough to put “Chasing Frankenstein” on the list of potential future books. In this story, a historian will be following a certain famous novel’s tracks across the face of Europe. Because in the Price setting- Frankenstein’s a REAL journal, instead of a fictional one.
The fact that my readers seem to like it better than most of my other stuff is also a good thing. But you guys aren’t paying me enough to bow to your whims at this point, so that’s not really a factor. (Hint: give me money!)
So. Yeah. Next book, entitled “Shadow Plays”, will be picking up right after Blue Steel ends…
Also, at some point I’m going to create a specific page listing all future books and their synopsis (synopsies? What *is* the plural of synopsis?)… because that seems like a thing to do…