There is something special about a real live, out of the blue surprise. Every now and then it’s actually a pleasant thing, this crazy shaft of light out of no where.
In my writing career it’s happened to me twice.
No. That’s a lie.
In writing, to one degree or another, every time I sit down to write, there are surprises. Stories I thought were going nowhere become novels. Novels I though were heading in one direction have veered off in insane tangents that I’ve had to run to keep up with.
But I’m talking the big surprises. That’s the thing that’s happened twice.
The first time was when Craig Hart decided to pump up a planned series that had been languishing for a fair amount of time. His original plan was to hire a couple of people to ghost-write a volume of the SpyCo Novellas, and he asked me if I was interested in giving it a try. Never having been one to know what’s good for me, I of course said yes.
That decision has taken us down an ever lengthening road that has seen the SpyCo series expand to seven volumes, with the most recent having been Assignment: London.
During the course of writing those books, however, Craig and I have both work on projects of our own. In my case this has thus far taken the form of the Cleanup Crew thriller series (three books) and the Cerah of Quadar fantasy series, (also three books).
For Craig there have been a number of excellent solo projects, notably the first Simon Wolfe mystery Night at Key West, and of course his extremely popular Shelby Alexander action/thriller series.
With the six books in the Shelby series, Craig has built a sizable fan base and established the franchise, based on the trials of ex-boxer and reluctant fixer, Shelby Alexander, who is a well formed character. The many readers of the series have come to expect a certain experience when they read the latest installments.
That’s not going to change when book seven in the series is released on April 14. Well, yes it is. Well no it isn’t.
Okay, here’s the deal.
Craig once again came out of no where to invite me to co-author a book with him. This time it is Serenity Reborn, Book Seven in the series, and there is more then one reason it’s called that.
There’s not a lot I can tell you about the book yet. But there’s a fair amount I can tell you about the writing of the book.
We have been writing for several weeks now, and are very excited about the direction it’s taking. Craig and I enjoy writing together, (and I’m speaking for myself primarily, but I don’t think he’d disagree) because we push each other to write better than we think we’re capable. We tend to brainstorm ideas, develop a pool of possible paths down which we can go, and then one of us races to the keyboard.
Generally speaking we trade chapters, although we sometimes start the next chapter to give the other guy something to build on.
So the same Shelby that Craig’s readers have come to love will be waiting for you, but you’re going to know him better than you ever thought you would.
So you’re going to want to stay tuned, you’re going to want to get your pre-order of Serenity Reborn, and if you’re in the Northwood, Iowa area on April 4 (and again I ask, why wouldn’t you be?) stop into the Diamond Jo Casino and meet Mr. Hart, myself and fifty-plus of our best friends at the North Iowa Book Bash. (If you’d like to get to know the attending authors follow the link and ask to join the Facebook group. You also get the skinny on whether there’s a bar in the event center. (SPOILER: There is. SPOILER: I’ll be using it.)
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