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There’s a certain thrill to starting a new series: you get to play with all new characters, a new setting, new ideas, all that new new new. Going along with all that freshness is a chance to hit perfection, to actually nail all those lofty set pieces you’ve built up in your mind, those cutting character turns and the magical entrances that are going to bring everyone to tears and cheers.

But, like most things in life, the actual work that goes into writing books makes for a grinding, messy, and ultimately far more fulfilling adventure than the fancy flights that flutter around a nascent idea. By the time book one gets wrapped, you’re more than likely dealing with a totally different beast than what you expected.

Characters have taken turns you didn’t see coming, developed personalities you didn’t expect, and want things you never wanted them to, well, want. Plots get shaken and stirred. Settings turn out to be mismatched, or wind up dripping in color you never imagined during the blissful coffee-addled outlining. You’re left with something much more real than what you imagined.

So when the sequel comes along, that’s your chance to really go with what you’ve built. You’re treading on streets at least partially paved, able to feel out the beats, take the characters further than they went the first time, and explore into the side streets you ignored while building the world’s main drag. It’s a different kind of fun than starting something new, a meatier kind, a harder kind.

Champion’s Call comes out today on all the major retailers, offering another dose of superhero action and drama in a near-future world. It’s characters aren’t perfect – this isn’t The Avengers – but they’re fun. They make good and bad choices, and believe in those choices as they make them. There’s danger, but there’s also hope. It’s a complex puzzle that wouldn’t have worked as a series starter, and I can’t wait for you to check it out.

Since it’s Monday, and in keeping with my loose scheduling:

What I’m Working On: Still plugging away at a mysterious sci fi novel that’ll be revealed in more detail soon. It’s shaping up as I get well into the final stages of the first draft, and I’m loving its world, as its different than anything I’ve tried before.

What’s in the pipeline: Two novels in a new action-focused sci-fi series are wrapping up their editing stages. I’ll have covers for these coming soon. If Champion’s Call and this new thing are heavier works, these two are the fun chocolate nougat, just good times and explosions.

What’s on the horizon: That Wild Nines sequel is waiting in the wings. Similarly, the next book in The Hero’s Code. Plus more of these quick-hitter sci fi punch-ups, just because they’re fun. In short, I’m busy, but that’s how I’d love to be.

Lastly, remember that if you’d like a free copy of Wild Nines, sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send it your way!

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