Book two, The Quantum Prisoner, is now available on Kindle or paperback. The story continues follows Aldisado, the brainiac alien, who has found himself as a reluctant leader of a hundred and twenty children living in a stolen warship...
Children of the Ring is an exciting, young adult sci-fi series. It follows the adventures of a hundred orphans who have taken over one of the most powerful warships in the universe. Guided by Aldisado and protected by Amian, the children get dragged into intergalactic conflicts, and a cosmic "pattern" set into motion billions of years before.
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The Rogue Navigator is the first installment in the Chidren of the Ring series. It introduces us to the main characters, and follows Amian on her dark path of self-discovery. The book is available in paperback, ebook and as an audiobook. Get started on the adventure today!
It’s been too long since I’ve written anything here. Life has a way of creeping up on us. But I have been busy! I’m in the middle of editing the second installment of the Children of the Ring: The Quantum Prisoner. I am deeply enjoying the process of writing the book; however, it poses its fair share of challenges.
The First Challenge lies in the simple fact that it is a sequel. While I’ve written numerous novels, I’ve never committed myself a sequel before. It may not sound like a big deal, but really it is. When you write a short story or a book, you create a character and a world that is (for the most part) complete in itself. The narrative arcs, the character developments, the plotlines: these all have a distinctive beginning, middle and end. When I wrote The Rogue Navigator, I knew I intended to follow it up with four more novels, but I still had to provide the book with a sense of completion. I left myself numerous plugs for future installments, and these are what the sequels build upon.
Because these plug-ins for future installments had to be left incomplete, I faced the added complexity of making sure these plug-ins didn’t feel spurious, and that they didn’t detract from the flow of the story they were introduced in. This challenge is amplified in The Quantum Prisoner because I have to create plugs not only for the next volume, but for the flow of the rest of the story. The second installment is not intended to be blatantly open ended. If someone picked it up and read it out of order (as in, before reading the first book), they would still be able to follow the story.
So the main characters are changed by the happenings of the second book, just as they were in the first. By the close of the second book, I aim to have deposited their emotional/personal/physical selves in a place that feels complete (enough). I’ve taken them further along their path. Far enough, I hope, that the readers can begin to see (or begin to guess) where they’ll wind up at the close of book five.
The Second Challenge lies in an intention I set for myself at the beginning of the series: that each book should be written from the viewpoint of a different character. The first book was told from the perspective of Amian. It was a necessary choice to follow her experiences in the first book for two reasons. As an amnesiac she was constantly discovering the bizarre nuances of the world she lived in. Mass on Demand, strange alien races with their unusual abilities/personalities—because Amian had to discover these details, we discovered them alongside her. Also, Amian’s experiences and choices directly affect the rest of the series. The quandries faced by Aldisado wouldn't exist if Amian had chosen differently.
The Quantum Prisoner is told from the perspective of Aldisado—a four armed alien with a quantum-computer brain. Not only was I tasked to make the narrative passing-of-the-tourch as smooth as possible, I had to make a decidedly non-human narrator feel relatable. Aldisado’s people, the Cramian Dahr, can instantly conceive of every possible outcome to a challenge posed. While this can afford them profound insight into the nature of problems they face, they are still plagued by emotion, prejudice, and misperception. That all sounds well and good, but if Aldisado is too different, if he's too "alien", then the readers may never form an emotional bond with him.
The Third Challenge lies in an affliction that plagues Aldisado. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say only that his affliction presents itself as an amplification of his innate ability, one that not only threatens his physical and mental well-being, but alters the very narrative structure itself. I would wager that this challenge gives me the most anxiety. I’m taking on a complex beast, one that I’ve not seen tackled in other stories. I hope my initial readers will report back with favorable opinions. Or at least opinions that allow me to improve upon the mechanism.
In all, I feel optimistic about the project. It feels good to be nearing the completion of a book that has taken so much of my mental space. Whether or not I’ve prevailed against all the challenges posed by this project, I feel certain that as I writer I continue to grow not only because I keep putting words on pages, but because I insist on doing it in ways that are outside my comfort zone.
Here’s to hoping for the best.