Six months have gone by since my last blog post—but I’ve been writing every day, even if all I could squeeze in around work and my personal coding projects was the refinement of a sentence or two. Immediately after I completed the final draft of Placeholder and sent it off to be edited, I jumped right into my next writing project—and it quickly became obvious that there was only one way to approach it. I had to write two novels at the same time.
It’s not that I had one story and decided it would be better broken into two; both novels were always very separate stories, always planned as separate novels—but after completing Placeholder, I could better see how the two stories were intertwined. The one couldn’t be written without the other, as they’re both entangled in the origins of the SPQS, the rise to power of Ordo A.R.S., and the sequence of events that culminate in Konrad Schreiber’s Placeholder Theory—through the Canadian revolution.
“Kettle Creek,”—as everyone should know by now, since it was officially announced as my next release for Apsis Books—is the novel I initially began writing immediately after Placeholder; it tells of Agent Henderson—a Canadian intelligence operative inducted into the Ordo immediately prior to their public unveiling—and his part in antagonizing the First Nations population into an armed uprising. “H±Topia” is the other—which my longest friends and acquaintances might recognize as the original novel in the SPQS Universe, that I’ve been working on since I was eight years old (over twenty years now)—and is the story of Raif Halder, the unwilling technocratic dictator forced to seize control of Canada and suppress the revolution, while the Ordo insinuates itself into his life and administration.
Partway into Kettle Creek—about the middle of Part Two in the current manuscript—I set the first draft aside, and went to work on the latest incarnation of H±Topia; with Placeholder complete, as the cusp of my future history, the structure, timeline, and introductory chapters of H±Topia just flowed. Only with both novels clearly laid out did I feel confident that I could finish the first draft of Kettle Creek, and I wrote hard until the 12th of June. Without any mercy for myself, I plunged right back into the first draft of H±Topia, which I finished on the 11th of October. My first observation, once I had them both side-by-side—they’ve both become so much darker than I ever dared to dream. But the most frightening factor of these novels, is just how many of my predictions within my future history are already coming true.
Now the holidays are upon us, we like to pretend all is right with the world; but I’ll be busy finishing the second draft of Kettle Creek. And H±Topia won’t be far behind…