The Refuge Series: Refuge was my first big series idea, back when I was starting out as a writer. I had finished a non-fiction called The Tower of Psychobabble, which will never see the light of day, and an Alternate History called The Convoy, which almost got out there, but was really quite awful. Then I finished one that actually had been self published, the science fiction novel, Diamonds in the Sand. Refuge was my first try at a big concept series. I drew scores of maps, countries, continents and hemispheres. I wrote about a million word of background, including cultures, races, religions and history. That first book was called The Quest, The Cross and the Sword, and featured a Christian Gorgatha (Orc) who could work magic, which was otherwise impossible to others of his faith. I introduced Kurt von Mannerheim, Ismael Levine and others that were used again in other writings. And then I proceeded to write a 260,000 word epic fantasy. I sent it off to St. Martin’s Press, expecting to get a check for a 110k in the mail. I also contacted an agent with this one, who referred me to a book doctor. Not wanting to fall for a scam, I told him no thanks, and he referred me to another agent. That one scammed me but good. I had already started work on the sequel, in which the Orc is crucified in sacrifice to dark gods, and the energy in his body incinerates the capital of the evil empire. Later, in 2006, I wrote Doppleganger, set in the same time period and delving into the Empire of Free Nations two thousand years after the humans had transported over to the new dimension. I sent that one on the rounds of the three publishers that accepted unsolicited manuscripts and got three rejections. All were form letters, but I thought maybe they read elves, orcs and such, and thought, ‘not another one of these.’ In 2010 I wrote Refuge: The Arrival in one massive 200K novel. Here I wanted to go back to the beginning, where I could start out with the differences between this genre bending fantasy and other works. The idea was that magical cultures stagnate, and nothing changes. But these humans came across with new ideas, and working technologies. The technologies stopped working after some time, but they made enough of an impression on the natives to strike fear in the hearts of their enemies, and hope in their allies. Then the Earth humans, never satisfied with the status quo, started making strides in improving the tech of the land while adding their own. Kurt was the prophesied savior of the land, and the armies of NATO were his sword. I split the book into two and self-published it. While it did well enough, it never did what I hoped. Books 1 and 2 sold just over 5,000 copies each, while 3 and 4 only sold a couple of thousand. Still good numbers for most authors, but Exodus 1 and 2, which went through a similar process, both sold over 20K copies. But there were still enough people interested that I didn’t want to cut the readers off, and there was always the hope that someday, someway, they might hit it big. The series is still continuing, and book 5 will be out soon.
Doppleganger was, as stated above, a stand alone novel which I had hoped would sell a publisher on the idea of Refuge. I self published it in 2012, and got some good customer reviews. Some thought it better than the main series books.
Other Fantasy: I also some fantasy novels I thought might turn into series. Someday they still might, since all were written with the hope of sequels. Aura is about a world where the Gods take the forms of both animal avatars and humans. The strength of a persons aura determines if they will be a powerful magic user, or someone who bows to them. Triplets are born. Aerial has more than double the normal aura, and is potentially the most powerful human on the planet. One of her brothers has a weak aura, and is destined to a life of servitude, while the third child has no aura, and is considered an abomination. The girl is taken to the temple of Baalra, the Dragon God, to be raised in the priesthood and become the eventual avatar of the god. One brother is raised as a slave, then a gladiator, while the last is smuggled out of the country and raised as an assassin of evil mages. The story follows them as they grow up, and how they cope with their different roles before being reunited. Daemon is a steampunk fantasy, set on an Earth of magic in the nineteen twenties. They have steamships, cars, and airships, and magic. The world is dying, as magical power sucks the energy out of it. A detective who is a forensics mage (reads the thoughts of the dead) stumbles onto a plot to loot other dimensions of their life energy, while a terrible force is at work killing the employees of the Daemon Corporation involved in the project.
Other Science Fiction: Diamonds in the Sand was the first science fiction novel I had ever written, and it seemed to have been well received, though not with great sales. Set in Sarasota in the mid 2020s, it is a close room murder mystery involving nanotech, cyborgs and retroactive genetic engineering. The Scorpion was the second book using the idea of cyborgs. A Homeland Security detective, who had been involve in the destruction of the super-terrorist The Scorpion, sets on the trail of the criminal, now living in a computer system. The Scorpion has a plan to destroy the United States, using their own space based industry against them. Afterlife is also set in the near future. The Afterlife corporation offers immortality to those who don’t buy the religious model of an afterlife, through computer upload. Several thousand people, among them the most brilliant scientists and engineers on the planet, are uploaded to a system where they had a thousand times their organic procession speed, and no memory limit. The world’s religions are infuriated, and the fundamentalist president of the United States declares war on the company. It is the might of the world’s only superpower against the superior tech of the computer uploads. Shadows of the Multiverse is set in a universe where great balls of energy on the edge of systems, left by a long dead race, allow ships to translate to the stars visible in the night sky, or to those across the universe. The nations of Earth build Empires in space, and meet with other species doing the same. Unfortunately for them, all of the other species, they awaken the creatures who have wiped intelligent life from the universe in the past. The Shadows are jealous of their playground, and not willing to share it with anyone. And finally, We Are Death, Come For You, was my answer to all of the stupid plot holes I found in the movie Independence Day. An alien race that worships death comes into our system in the twenty-seventh century and battles it out. The aliens had massive ships and superior technology, but humanity is on the verge of a breakthrough that will change the face of the Galaxy.