Writing Crystal Tomb
The third book in a series. Yikes! That’s a tough one. I started Broken Wings three or four times before the right idea hit, but I think I started Crystal Tomb eight times. I’ve lost track now. I hope the fourth book doesn’t require as much work.
It’s tough writing a series like this. On the one hand, I want to just write but on the other hand, I have readers. I actually have readers! My mind goes blank with a OMG reaction. How do I keep readers coming back while still loving the story? It’s a balancing act. I’ve learned that to keep the passion for the story alive, I have to let myself write for myself first, and from that the story will come. Besides, I can always edit later. It’s getting the first draft completed that’s the hardest part.
What I’ve done with this series is to write each book like a television series. There’s a hint of the overarching plot in each book, in some places stronger than others, but each is self-contained with its own buildup and climax. To keep it interesting, each book has certain characters return to different degrees (obviously Raea and Elis being the main characters throughout the Dark Angel Chronicles) but also new characters. They each also build on the knowledge of the Starfire, Raea’s training, and the relationship between Elis and Raea.
I agonized over what became Crystal Tomb for over a year of false starts before the story finally untangled itself and came out onto the page. I never consider false starts failures, though. All of it prepared me and gave me ideas. The right one was an amalgamated mutation of all those that came before. It had to evolve into the strongest story for this series. It was hard to write at times, but I kept at it.
My goal is to make each story more interesting than the last, and part of that is to increase the complexity of the plot. I think readers will enjoy what’s coming up in Crystal Tomb. It’s the longest of the series, although with some formatting tricks, the paperback actually seems shorter than Broken Wings.
For those curious, Dark Angel Chronicles are the books featuring Elis, the Dark Angel, and Raea. While I have planned five books in this sub-series of the overall vision of what I have for Starfire Angels, the one coming in winter titled Origins of Dark Angel, will be a sort of prequel. That and the fourth book I’ve always sort of had planned. The middle two books—those which became Broken Wings and Crystal Tomb—were the trouble children. The problems with “bridge” stories is that not much usually happens to move the story forward, which is why they’re called bridge stories. And that’s the challenge I had to overcome. I didn’t want these middle books to be bridge stories, and they aren’t. They’re more, much MUCH more!
Without further introduction, here is an exclusive preview of CRYSTAL TOMB (Starfire Angels: Dark Angel Chronicles Book 3)…
The crunching of gravel in the calm of the evening alerted Raea to a vehicle approaching. Funny that she hadn’t seen any headlights. Caution tightened in her chest. No one drove without headlights, except someone causing trouble. Had someone been watching them? Had they seen the transformation?
Angel watchers! The crunching stopped and a couple doors opened and slammed shut.
Elis halted next to her, his fingers tightening on hers.
A shadowy figure moved through the pasture to her right, and her heart stopped. Someone had been close enough to see them, but she hadn’t noticed anything unusual. This was so not good.
“Hello?” Raea called out to them and squinted through the dusk to make out the shadows of the face there. It appeared to be a man in dark clothes, but he didn’t move casually. Rather, his every movement hinted of a litheness and control unusual for anyone she knew.
Her heart stopped when he lifted his hands. In the weak moonlight, the shape of a gun pointed from his outstretched arms.
At the sudden forcing down by Elis, she gasped. A fraction of a second after the click of a trigger, something pinged off the gravel.
“Elis!” Her mind raced, but this wasn’t a Shirukan weapon—they used energy weapons, not projectiles like this.
The sound of car doors and voices came from behind, while Elis led her away at a run from both threats.
Shouts rose from behind with the tromping of multiple pairs of feet.
A couple seconds later, Elis stumbled and fell.
Oh, God. No. This couldn’t be happening.
She halted next to him and grabbed his arms to help him up. “Elis. Come on.” He put one leg under him, his every movement sluggish. “Hurry up,” she grunted with the strain of his weight.
A second later, he fell back to his hands and knees. What was wrong with him?
Something poked her in the shoulder. Instinctively, Raea reached to scratch it, but her fingers stopped at the fuzzy end of a small dart. She pulled it out as Elis collapsed at her feet and a wave of dizziness swept through her. She dropped to her hands and knees amid the spinning of everything around her, including the multiple feet surrounding her.
Strange voices spoke in a language she couldn’t understand and faded into nothing.
To enter the drawing of an original bookmark and signed paperback of BROKEN WINGS, please post your comments on or before June 2nd.
Please leave a comment with your name and email address so I can notify you if you’ve won! Winner will be selected randomly. There are no other requirements or extra entries, although it’s always great to have new followers “wink, wink”