Beyond the Comfort Zone

***** Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse is now available *****

As many writers do, I push myself in my craft. There’s little point in creating characters who are compelled to operate outside of their comfort zone if the author is taking the soft option.

I profess to be a multi-genre, multi-discipline author. In other words, I write stories across a wide variety of topics and I work on novels, novellas, short stories, and poetry.

For this reason, I dipped my toe in the waters of the post-apocalyptic genre, uncertain if it would result in the completion of a story. As things turned out, Light at The End: Surviving the Apocalypse became the first tale in a trilogy. I’m pleased to report that the three books are among my most popular titles. 

Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse, is a spin-off from Light at The End – The Trilogy. Like most spinoffs, Sylvia’s backstory relies heavily on the trilogy that spawned the idea, and will appeal to anyone who has read the original tales. Unsurprisingly, the main character of this book is Sylvia, however I’ve used the story as a vehicle to elaborate on the world inhabited by the characters who peopled the original trilogy. Time (and reviews), will tell if I’ve done the job well.

Codename: Nightshade was the first spinoff story from the Beyond the Law trilogy, and apart from featuring Nightshade, the tale introduced Foxglove, a new heroine.

Codename: Foxglove is now my priority Work in Progress, and yes, it’s another crime thriller. Foxglove provides continuity and will see the end of the BTL series. I enjoy the creation of a trilogy but if there is a downside it is that the author becomes a hostage to the story.

My other main project this year is Crusader, which will be developed as a standalone crime thriller. The main work with Jason, his friends, and foes, will be later in the year but it’s always good to create characters as they come to mind, placing them in scenarios to see what happens.

For those of you who like an insight, the first chapter of each of my WIP is available at:

https://tombensoncreative.com/work-in-progress/

 As always, comments are welcome.

Tom

My New Writing Year – 2021

What could be better than a new year and a new start?

I’m aiming for four new starts and they are on an equal footing as I get underway. Let’s see what the line-up offers. The first is a collection of short stories, for which I have writing prompts as my inspiration. The second is a vigilante who is the new face of summary justice in a world that my readers know well. The third is a spinoff to tell an unusual single character’s story. The fourth may not have any background material, but he’s as real to me as the next person who walks down the street.

Next Steps is an invitation anthology of short stories. For this collection, I requested any authors in the Indie Author Support and Discussion group (IASD) to supply me with a writing prompt. The prompt was to be a dialogue between no more than two characters and to be no more than thirty words. I will write six short stories (attributing the prompts appropriately). The authors themselves will submit one or more short stories, and their website links for inclusion in the anthology.

Codename: Foxglove is a crime thriller sequel to Codename: Nightshade. It means, of course, that Rachel Donoghue will be back on the scene. This story will see the development of Dominique McEwan (Foxglove) who was introduced in Nightshade’s story. Members of the original Beyond The Law team will make appearances, and so too will secondary characters from the Nightshade tale.

Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse is a spinoff from Light at The End, my popular, zombie-free, post-apocalypse trilogy. When my foray into a refreshed world captured the imagination of readers and produced good reviews, I knew I’d have to tell this character’s story. 

 

Crusader is a crime thriller. The inspiration for the main character and the story came from one of the tales in my latest anthology, Shadow: and other stories. I like Jason already and I have written the first chapter. The lead character will no doubt have a few ideas too.

Is there anything else on the cards?

I’ll be reading regularly, just as all authors should, and I’ll be reviewing. I expect to be beta reading for members of the IASD.

Does Katya Cumming have any new titles being uncovered in 2021?

Yes, a story was started early last year but due to being written piece-meal in the background, it became unwieldy. When the final draft is completed it will be broken at a logical point and published as a two-part tale.

If you’d like to see how my three new novels are shaping up, the first chapter is available for each on the WIP menu.

And now, without further ado, let’s get this literary year underway.

Tom