July 9, 2014

Trilogy end game, and a huge THANK YOU to all you readers

In late 2009 I began the first plotting of the story that would become Semper, which I finished in mid 2011 and published in 2012. I followed it up with Forsada, published in 2013. Now, 18 months later, I am gathering feedback from beta readers for the final book in the trilogy, which I hope to launch in September.

All told, I will have worked on this trilogy for just under four years. Other than raising my children, I can't think of any other project that's taken me longer. (My wife, I am sure, could think of many around the house, but she's not writing this post.) The three published books will total over a quarter million words.

I found that writing a book is relatively easy, after you've done it four or five times. Writing a sequel, however, is hard. And writing the third and final book in a trilogy is very, very hard.

I know that many people have done this. They've even managed it, as I have, with a demanding full time job, a couple of kids, a home to maintain, and volunteer obligations. It's not like I am any Alison Levine or something (though I have been to Nepal). But I personally consider completing a trilogy a major accomplishment. I even think the books are pretty good.

Turns out a number of other people also think the books are pretty good. Recently both Semper and Forsada have received several new 4-star and 5-star ratings on Goodreads. At this moment, Semper enjoys 62 ratings averaging 4.15

Semper: rated highly on July 9, 2014
and Forsada has 20 ratings averaging 4.60.
Forsada: more stars but fewer ratings on July 9, 2014
My beta readers have given me some very useful feedback on the third book before final revisions, but generally they've liked it a lot. Here are a few of the comments that have come back in the last two weeks from these critiques:
"I thought it was another great read and a very good sequel to the other two books in the series. I particularly like the storytelling and the pace of the book towards the second half which really seemed to find its groove, flowed well, and kept the pace moving (that kept me on the edge of my seat). Really nice!"
-- R. S.
"I think it is a great 3rd installment. A few unexpected twists (in a good way)."
-- J. D.
"Overall, it was a satisfying end. There were some really beautiful moments, very clear visuals. The ending... was very nicely done."
-- J. H.
"Other than [the comments I gave] I thought that it was one of the best books I have ever read."
-- S. D.
It's stuff like this that propels an author through the grueling commitment of writing, revising, and publishing a book... or three.

So, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who's given my work a little of your very precious time, and a double THANK YOU to everyone who's taken the extra time to give me your thoughts. (Yes, even the guy who gave Semper a one-star rating and told me, "Peter, sorry, but I just couldn't get into this story." Seriously, thank you.

And finally, some ducklings.