As stated in the last post, I wrote Refuge: Doppleganger trying to stick to the follow a few characters format, unlike the original Refuge novels. And again it was rejected, with comments about how I was just rehashing the same old stuff that had been done before. Look, I had steam trains, steam pistols, and airborne infantry, as well as squadrons of dragons. I think I could almost pass it off as a steampunk, novel, maybe. It was anything but rehashing the same old stuff. But I came out of that experience knowing that the only way I was going to get this idea across was to go back to the beginning. So I came up with the idea of telling the story of how humans came from our world to this one. And since Kurt was an immortal character, there from the beginning, he would be the main character of the novel. Of course, I ended up putting in a lot of characters, again churning out a Harry Turtledove kind of book. In 2009 I started on the worldbuilding for Exodus, and in 2010, while working for the State of Florida full time, I completed a two hundred thousand word novel each in the Exodus and Refuge Universes. I also wrote Daemon, Afterlife, and We Are Death Come For You that year. The last three novels were to be for submission to agents and publishers, but Exodus and Refuge were written to either be self published, or sold after I had been traditionally published. I knew at two hundred thousand words both were too long for first novels. When I went the self publishing route in 2012 I decided that both books would be published independently, but still felt they were both too long. The solution? Split them into two novels each, which required putting in a section at the end the first installments of both novels to make up a climatic end. This caused some people to think that the first installments, especially Exodus, were merely extended introductions, and there might be some truth to that assertion.
I put out both Exodus and Refuge out in 2012. Late summer for Refuge, fall for Exodus. I thought Exodus was a good story, one that reminded me of the old time space opera I loved, but with the technical detail I wished they had. I hoped it might do well, but didn’t really expect much of it. Refuge though. Refuge was the book I had been developing for over a decade. It was, in my opinion, the more imaginative of the two. I thought it was more of a risk, since it crossed genres, with elements of fantasy and military techno thriller. I was sure it was going to be the series that would allow me to become a full time writer. It sold well enough, and people snapped the first book up when I offered it was a freebee. And then Exodus took off, much to my surprise, before I could even do a promotion. Since those first two books of each series I have put out three more Exodus books, and only one new Refuge. I thought maybe people who liked one would like the other, since I love all the fantastic genres, science fiction, fantasy, even horror. Turns out that some people love scifi and can’t stand fantasy. I have one fan who loves Refuge, thinks its one of the greatest series ever, but hates Exodus, which she calls techno geek.
I still have hopes for Refuge, that eventually enough people will read it and love it. Right now Exodus is still my bread and butter. Exodus has sold 55,000+ copies over five volumes, while Reufge had sold just over 10,000+ in four volumes. This year I will try and put out three more Exodus books, and one from Refuge. I feel that I have an obligation to at least conclude the first part of that series for the people who read it. I really hate it when authors give up on a series that I love, just because not enough other people do. I know in the economics of the business that is the proper thing to do. It is not what I will do. Refuge will get at least five books before I put it to rest, not including Doppleganger. Then I will put the series to rest for a time, always hoping to revisit it.
In other news, Exodus 6 is written and through the first revision. I am planning on releasing the novel on April 27th, two days after I put book 1, with a new cover, on promotion for five free days. Anyone who has not read Exodus, this is your chance to get the first book for free. And two days later the series will grow to six, which means a lot of reading ahead.