January is always a time of year when every person, publication, and business seems to be producing an annual report, a recap of their year, a presentation for stakeholders, etc.
Having written, designed and produced several annual reports in my lifetime, January has always been a depressing and stressful time following the joy of the holidays. (For those of you wondering, it is not the weather. I love winter and the cold. Yes, it's true.)
So I've always avoided writing a similar "annual report" for Star Runners to avoid flashbacks. After receiving several flattering emails about what is in store for the Star Runners Universe, however, I decided to work on a sort of recap for all of you as well as a look into what's planned for 2019. Here we go:
2014-2015: The Beginning
Star Runners: Revelation Protocol
Star Runners: Mission Wraith
I have written on this website extensively about the beginnings of Star Runners and my writing. You check out a post here if you'd like to read more about how this entire adventure started.
But I thought I'd revisit this differently today. See, I spent a lot of time traveling over the holidays. It left me with plenty of time to reminisce about what had transpired in my career(s) and my passion for writing. I don't know why it took me years to realize this, but I told my wife I feel like my eyes have been opened to a truth I wanted to share with you considering embarking on your dream whether it is writing or something else.
Write if you honestly feel like that's why you're here. You don't have to be perfect--just write. Life is all too short. I was first paid for writing in 1999. The same year I also started my first novel (which was not Star Runners). Star Runners was published in 2014. Why the delay?
Because I wanted to wait until I was perfect. Here's a newsflash: I'm far from perfect. So are you. But I poured everything I could into writing. It's all I've ever wanted to do. All the other careers and jobs I've had were just sideshows to the main event.
My wife and best friend were responsible for starting me on the latest chapter in my aspiration of sharing stories with others. Without them, well, Star Runners might still be on my hard drive waiting to be perfect. Instead, I did the absolute best I could at the time and released it into the world.
I will be forever grateful I did.
Star Runners: Scorpions
I look at this as a period of learning. The Star Runners Universe was briefly published by another company.
During this two year period, only one new novel was released in the Star Runners Universe. However, I kept writing every day as I always try to do. The result is several finished manuscripts waiting to be published (more on that later).
At the end of 2017, the rights to the Star Runners Universe were returned to Shadow Max Publishing where it all began.
And boy was there a lot of work to do.
2018: Back on Track
Star Runners: Dark Space
One year ago this month, I was buried in work for Star Runners. How do I go about publishing four pre-existing books?
I started looking at this an opportunity. What if I went back and edited the first four novels one more time? I ended up trimming each book, making them leaner and tighter. I was so proud of the work I was doing. I took life's speed bumps as the chance to keep improving. I think the result was fantastic.
The sad part was no new work was being released. I didn't care. I wanted those original books with their original covers back into the world. I finished the process for the initial four books in the middle of 2018 with Star Runners: Dark Space right behind them.
The year culminated with the release of the first collaboration with C.G. Adams in the Star Runners Universe: Ghost. For reasons I'll leave for you to discover, this was the perfect follow up to Dark Space.
2019: Refocused, Recharged
It's the first week of 2019 as I write this post. It's always an odd time of the year as we all accept the fact we ate and spent too much in December as well as pause to comprehend it's over. But it's also time to start looking forward.
And what a year it's looking to become.
I'm excited to say the Star Runners Universe debut novel of C.G. Adams is expected to release this year. The manuscript is nearly finished and, from the bits I've seen, it's going to blow you away. I have invited him to come by the "News Around the Stars" blog soon to say hello. Stay tuned for that update.
Also, some of you have asked me about the next Star Runners book with Austin and company while others have politely demanded I get to work. Well, I'm happy to report the book is underway (just pounded out more words this morning). Nearly every novel published or in the works leads to the events of SR 6, so I'm having a fantastic time writing it. So many scenes and incidents have been leading up to the events in this book. I will drop updates from time-to-time, but I do plan on releasing the book this year. I will keep you posted. I wrote more about SR 6 here.
I also have four additional manuscripts completed three to four years ago--all essentially started as a detailed backstory to the events in Star Runners 6.
First will be Invasion. If you have read Scorpions, you know the Zahl Empire was involved in a particular invasion of the planet known as Tarrafa. This novel is from the point of view of the people living on Tarrafa. What would it be like to be a victim in a Zahlian invasion? That's the basic premise of this story.
The other three started as one novel that became a bit too Tolkien in length. This trilogy is set on the world of Ashia, a planet first mentioned in Star Runners: Mission Wraith and appearing in other books. I plan on having all of these edited and produced for a summer release (I hope). The trilogy was an epic and intense writing experience for me. I will be providing more updates as we move forward.
If you have been counting, 2019 could see six novels released in the Star Runners Universe. Exciting times!
Let me close with a quick note of gratitude to all of you for reading this update. Some of you have been there since the beginning. I still remember the initial emails I received from people who had read SR 1. I will never forget the feeling of realizing people from around the world were reading Star Runners.
No matter what else happens to me for the rest of my life, you have made every second worth it. Thank you.