So, I’ve got a big book in front of me. One that I’ve been avoiding for years because, frankly, I’m afraid of it.

When I finished writing Free Will (soon to be The Vindicators), I was exhausted. Elated, happy, triumphant, yes, all of these. But exhausted, too. I’d never written anything so long, so complex, and so multifaceted. I needed a few days off, and I took them. And then I made my big mistake.

I should have started immediately on book 3. Picked up all the threads while they were fresh in my head, and run them at least through the first third of the book. I didn’t do that, because I was intimidated by what book 3 might mean in terms of commitment, complexity…and, worst of all, what if I wasn’t up to it? Especially now that I was into the nebulous middle part of the series, which I didn’t have well-mapped out? Maybe I needed to do a little growing as a writer.

Well, valid or not (mostly not), that kept me away from book 3 for five years.

In the intervening years, I HAVE grown a lot as a writer. I’ve put a further nine novels and couple dozen short stories on my shelf. I’m about to wrap another two novels sometime between now and September 15. This year I’ve done about 20,000 words for book 3, but it’s scatter-shot stuff. I don’t know how much will survive once I really hunker down and knock this bastard out of the park. And that has to be this year.

It’s time to get back to the scary book.

To do this, I’m going to have to pick up all the threads again. I have to go back and listen through Predestination. I have to finish recording Free Will and read through the whole thing with a notepad. The high-level continuity demands for the rest of this series are going to force me to alter my process a bit. And it occurs to me that it might make an interesting reality show, so to speak.

So, starting on the 15th of September, I’m going to document the production of book 3 of The Mannix Initiative, called The Statesmen (AKA Antithesis 3: Avarice) with daily blog posts here. Now, you will know how it’s coming along, day by day, and with it you’ll also get production updates on the podcast and other such things.

Join me. Help me beat the project that’s got me spooked and you impatient. It should be interesting, if nothing else!


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