Monday, July 27, 2009

Spinward Fringe Frontline: The Readers Have Spoken And A Look Back

Spinward Fringe Frontline has sold 200 copies so far. That's a disastrous number if you talk to any publisher but where I'm concerned it means that I can pay rent, bills and buy groceries for a month.

It also means that there are 200 readers who wanted to follow me at least that far on this journey. They're talking about the books too. The First Light Chronicles Omnibus is still selling, meaning that more people are joining the crew every day.

How does this effect the future of Spinward Fringe?

Well, Spinward Fringe Rogue Element has undergone some creative alterations that aren't the result of good or bad sales numbers. The whole series has become a creative exercise again whereas Frontline felt more like marathon brain surgery. Frontline was built as a fully outlined, balanced novel and even though I enjoyed writing it, I didn't like having such a strict plan in place from the first to the last word.

I had a storyboard for Spinward Fringe Frontline that flowed past the edges of a three by three meter square. The planning involved in that book, with its multiple parallel storylines and deeper character development, was nothing short of meticulous. Every chapter had a full outline, notebooks were filled, trees were killed. I wanted to see if I could write a book that was so well planned from the beginning and I did.

As it so happens, I've read the final product since and was surprised. I made an effort to keep it fast paced but the story moves faster than I could have anticipated. Some of the characters do take serious strides and many of the points brought up by readers (thanks guys!), are proven to be valid and helpful. I enjoyed writing Frontline despite the careful planning and design. I have to admit I enjoyed reading it and I hope everyone who bought it did too.

I found room for improvement like any writer who reviews his own work would. That's not to say that Frontline isn't the best book in the series, to many readers it is. I learned a lot by reading Frontline again and I'm carrying those lessons with me as I write Spinward Fringe Rogue Element.

Rogue Element is a very different project. I'm taking an entirely different approach with only a basic outline. I'm focusing on character goals and bringing a sense of wonder back into the scenery. There are other things going on with Rogue Element, including a couple of experiments you'll see evidence of before the novel comes out.

I'll talk about Spinward Fringe Rogue Element more later. I'm so excited about it that it's difficult not to.

The point of this blog post is to say thank you and to tell everyone that people seem quite happy with Spinward Fringe Frontline, so the future of the Spinward Fringe series is quite secure. The work and the journey goes on and I couldn't be happier.


[What did you think of Spinward Fringe Frontline? Leave a comment!]


Anonymous said...

I am a reader from Hong Kong and came across your books while looking for some ebooks for my phone. I must say that I was impressed. Since picking up your the First Light Omnibus book, I've been busy reading ever one of them for the past couple months and now have finished the Frontline. Can't wait to see your new books on this series to come out. You are definitely becoming a more seasoned writer and have developed the characters so well that I felt that I have been following this series for years. I am a star trek fan myself, but I think you have created a far more interesting, complex world for us readers to enjoy. Keep up the good work.

Ernest from HK

Kwesi said...

I'm blown away by the layered plot. Good action.....infantry action sequences as well as the expected space navy ones. Good character development as well.
Definately his best work. I'm anticipating SF:RE with bated breath.