Decision Time on Book 3


Two books down: Alter Road and Friendship Games.

I really learned a lot from writing Alter Road, and I am delighted that readers like author Blaine Pardoe commented that I "upped my game" in writing Friendship Games.

Friendship Games was sort of a sequel to Alter Road; they overlap timewise. Some characters carry over as well, but not the main characters; the two books are very much separate and can definitely be read independently of each other. I designed them that way from the start.

Now it is time for Book 3. Similarly, I anticipate some overlap, but the book will stand alone as Alter Road and Friendship Games do.

When I started to write Alter Road, I actually had Book 3 in mind. (I have settled on a title, at least a working title, but it is way too early to reveal. So "Book 3" it is, for now).

The original story – Book 3 – was to be loosely based on true events: A foreign colleague of mine, a social scientist, had been arrested and his very research used as evidence against him. He was traumatized, naturally, but the ordeal ended without charges after his friends and professional colleagues around the world mobilized and lobbied for his release.

This happened during the Abu Ghraib, rendition, "you are with-us-or-you-are-with-the-terrorists", etc., days of the George W. Bush administration. Dark days for our country, and the world, for sure.

I have a full outline that I had built and contributed to over the years. But I had decided that "Book 3" as I had envisioned it required some backstory. Hence, the birth of Alter Road.

Funny thing, though. Time marches on, and things change. Alter Road took on a life of its own, and it led into Friendship Games.

I still had Book 3 in mind, though, as a sort of target of where I was going with a Book 4 envisioned as a conclusion. Now I am at a crossroad of sorts.

It is Decision Time.

Do I write "Book 3" as I had originally envisioned it?

After a long time of going back-and-forth, I have finally come to a decision. My answer to myself is an emphatic no.

It is time to let go of the original motivating storyline.

Alter Road and Friendship Games have taken on a life of their own and I should, must, let them carry on organically.

The story is in command now. Like readers, I am a passenger along for the ride.

Look for Book 3 in 2024.