This past six months, you might have noticed I’ve been working on two books – entirely by accident, as one was only meant to be a *cough* short story. It’s one of my failings as a writer that things grow on me; I’ve never been able to write short stories unless they are tied into a larger franchise – and sometimes, not even then.
Books, by and large, take a lot of work, and they’re going to take the same amount of time and effort regardless of whether they’re bestsellers, cult classics or complete flops – so any author putting in the work is going to want them to reach as large an audience as possible. That’s where Alpha comes in. In this day and age, what with economic austerity and recession and the like, it’s difficult for readers to justify spending their money on an unknown quantity like me. I figured if I could provide a taste of the series for free then they could see if it was for them with no risk attached, and hopefully those that liked Alpha would then be happy to buy Dark, knowing they’d enjoy it.
Along the way lots of things have crept into Alpha that effectively set up Out of Egypt, and that was another reason to try and push the free novella out first. You will still be able to read Out of Egypt without having read Alpha, but it adds an extra dimension or two. So I had to effectively shelf Out of Egypt for a couple of months in order to put the novella out first.
That doesn’t mean it’s not coming. Out of Egypt is about half-done at this stage, Alpha maybe a week or two from completion. Book 2 of the series proper has been much easier so far to write, and I’ve noticed I’ve gotten faster and more able to pin things down in a draft or two these past few weeks. So I think the bottom line would be: Alpha within a fortnight, Out of Egypt by Christmas. There would be a certain poetry to that, I guess: after all, Dark was released on Christmas Day.
BUT, I’m aware that’s a long time to wait. So I’m planning on introducing a subscription service through this site, whereby readers can receive Out of Egypt in episodes as they are completed. Most of the opening third of the book is ready, with only a few scenes to fill in, so Episode 1 would be available via subscription in a matter of weeks. I have material from the rest of the book completed, too, but it is in chunks and needs lots of interlinking scenes to make them into Episodes 2 and 3. I’ll be providing the subscription service for free because it’s my fault that it’s necessary to begin with (well, I could make a case for it not being my fault, either, but what I mean is it’s certainly not your fault).
I’ll need to figure out the best way to allow readers to sign up – probably in a mailing list, so that you’ll automatically receive new episodes as they become available – and I’ll post more on that in the next day or two. Until then, keep reading, and never be afraid to dream.