Sunday, December 2, 2012

News - New Novel Completed!

Okay, so all of you know my thoughts on NaNoWriMo, so it wasn't a mark on the calendar that aided my recent success, but I wanted to let those who read this blog - both of you - that I managed to complete my most recent novel last week.  The working title is Canidae, although that might change as I refine it and bring the story closer to publication.

So what's this one?  It's the sequel to Akeldama, and the summary is below.  Caution - it implies some of the ways that story goes, so if you want to be completely surprised when you pick up a copy, skip ahead.  Otherwise...

The war against the vampires is over.  Seth Gendrickson, the man who played the key role in removing the undead curse, has been put in charge by the Vatican of reintegrating his former enemies into society.  It's a difficult task, made more so by the stubborn nature of those who used to be immortal.

However, an ancient adversary has returned and is bent on vengeance against its now weakened foe.  The pattern of attacks appears random, but Seth suspects there is more going on than simple revenge.

Once again, I was floored by the amount of research that had to go into a story that I was making up.  There's a lot more interaction in this novel between the Catholic Church and the Mormons, so I had to understand the systemic structure of both, as well as the various outreach projects each is involved in.  Then there were the monsters that had risen from the dustbin of history to challenge the former vampires, and despite a good deal written about them, there was surprisingly little information regarding the group's details.

Of course, the novel still needs to be edited.  It came out at just under 115,000 words, and although I anticipate cutting between 25,000 and 30,000 words, there are other parts that I will have to add.  Some of the political dynamic is thin, especially regarding the Order of Mount Sion's interaction with the CIA, which featured pretty prominently in the first book but is lacking a little in this one(understandable since the department set up by the CIA to monitor vampire activity is presumed to no longer be necessary, but that doesn't mean the role should be too small).  I also need to go back and give some depth to a few of the secondary characters that make appearances - I had a tendency to bring them in briefly and then forget they exist.

As usual, several things took me by surprise as I wrote, not the least of which was the depth of the antagonists.  The new enemy was a lot deeper and acted with more honor than I expected.  Yes, they're ruthless and focused on blood, but they have a familial structure and act in a way that wouldn't always make it a bad thing to be associated with them.  They were simply consumed by thoughts of betrayal since they were once allied with the vampires and broke with them over treatment of humanity.  The vampires used ancient magic to strip them of their powers for several hundred years, so they're understandably upset.

However, I don't plan to edit this one for a while.  I want to let it rest so I can look at it with fresh eyes.  While I do, I plan to start on my next novel by the first of the year.  This next one will be called Schism, and it's about a second American Civil War.  Given the fractured political climate in this country, it seemed appropriate to write something along the lines of a red/blue divide, and it's going to be tricky to pull off.  Although I know exactly how the conflagration will ignite, I'm not sure how it ends.  I also have to be careful to write it in a way that doesn't piss off half the country.  Yes, I expect it will be challenging, but that's where the fun lies.

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