Today I am proud to unleash Crescent Heart, book 3 in my first series, upon the world! The Murrieta Territory in which it takes place is unraveling, as the various groups continue their fight for control. I’ve provided links below so you can find out who wins that fight. But in the meantime I wanted to talk a little about what it means to be publishing this particular book today.
This book is dedicated to my grandparents. Though two of the four are no longer with us, all their teachings live on and inspire so many of the themes in my writing. The most interesting thing they seem to have inspired though is the genre itself.
When my grandpa found out about the dedication, he sent me a beautiful poem he had written for his late father, Nicholas. I happen to be named after Nicholas, which made it that much more special to see this tribute. However, what really struck me was how aligned his path in life was to my own, and how much that has translated to the page.
Nicholas was a Greek man who came to America to achieve his dreams, the way so many others did. Despite the obstacles along the way, he worked hard to get to where he wanted to be. Though the specific destination changed over time, his compass always led him in the same direction: west.
There is an aura about the west. A mystique that promises us something better. What we find through the trials and tribulations though is much more significant than any wealth we seek. What we find is ourselves. Our true selves. We figure out who we are and why we’re making the choices we make. For Nicholas, the importance of family became clear in that time.
For obvious reasons, I’m grateful for that. But now more than ever I’m also grateful for my namesake. Though I never met the man, his story is like a mirror and there is a comfort in that. Without Crescent Heart I might have never discovered this.
It remains strange to say out loud I’ve written any books, yet now there are three I can hold in my hand. From the third I’ve learned three major things.
- Improvement – novel writing isn’t something I’ve done my entire life. This means when I first started there was certainly ground to be gained. Now in my third installment, I can see some of those gains being made. Crescent Heart is a more tightly written story and the first draft was probably the most telling in how my writing itself has developed.
- Inspiration – I have received a consistent message of being inspired from others who have observed my progress. Whether they read the books or not, whether they are writers or have some other hobby, several people have said it makes them want to do more. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear. The lesson I’ve gleaned from it is clear: more doing, less planning. Balance of the two is important, but I plan on maintaining something like 80/20.
- Balance – this has become the new most important word in my entire life. Maybe it stemmed from creating two contrasting, yet complementary, religions. Maybe it was because I was working on this book and a trailer during the same time period. Whatever it was, I realized how important the balance of passion and practicality is. In all things though, it seems ideal to never be too far to any extreme.
Much like books 1 and 2, there continues to be familial themes. The struggle to find and protect home remains as well. What I most wanted to further expand upon in this one though are the dynamics of brotherhood, the religious/fantasy elements, and the politics of developing societies.
The Keagan brothers have each had their own distinct revelations to this point in the series. Will what they find clash or bring them closer together at a time when they most need to be aligned? With their vast control, the stability of the trinity has a huge impact on the Murrieta. But stability is hard to come by in this world.
There is also depth to be discovered in that we don’t yet know all there is to know about the natives. What is the true scope of their abilities and of their deity, the Mother? Also, how does religion influence the decisions of the Easterners they clash with? Something I wanted to look at there was the rivalry-type nature different religions end up taking on. There is an innate conflict in believing. You are not only choosing to believe in your god, you are choosing to not believe in another. This book explores that struggle both internally and externally.
The final theme is the politics of developing societies. While the Murrieta is still a very raw place, the city of New Berkeley back east is in a state of constant industrial expansion. How will political ideologies seek to either speed or tame its growth?
Book 4, more screenwriting, and back to regular posting.
My main focus is going to be book 4 though. With the working title, Cryptic Kingdom, this installment is all the twists and turns coming to a head. All the secrets and the meaning in this world will be revealed in this book, before the fifth brings it all to a roller coaster of an end. And believe me, some of what is to come should make for gasps and forehead slaps… In fact, they already have when I described what’s next to my editor!
It’s bitter-sweet being this close to finished with my first series. The emotions I’m feeling around that reality really came to a head over the course of writing/plotting Crescent Heart. What I’m finding is that I don’t want it to end. I don’t want the twists and turns to stop. The experiences of creating them has been one of the single most fulfilling things in my life. It is everything I dreamed it would be and more.
But despite the sadness, I know this is not the end because there will be no end. There will always be another story to tell. I can’t wait for the next surprises to reveal themselves and hope you’re with me when they do!
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