Lets talk about the Darke Blood sequel…

I don’t like talking about my books. I tend to go on and on and on… until people change the subject. This post does exactly that but without you changing the subject.

I am ready to talk about the Darke Blood sequel

Introductory ramblings… 

When I decided to seriously pursue my dream of being a story teller I never let anything hold that vision back. You could argue I still haven’t because even after releasing my first book back in 2016 I charged forward and put out three more in two years.

There were a bunch of things I learned; after all I built this whole thing from zero.

Some lessons were painful, arduous and frustrating. But it wasn’t all bad, I’ve seen some real reward which is only coming to fruition this year – my biggest learning curve above all is that things take time and so does success in writing and blogging. I now have some awesome fellow writers and bloggers in my corner. And my audience is the biggest it’s ever been.

Only a small portion of this publishing journey has ever really struck me enough to properly hurt and even then it was during the process of getting book 4 published. Book 4 also happened to be the first sequel I delved into. 

Unfortunately or fortunately for my readers one of the natural core values of my writing is complication. I would even boast to say all of my stories probably apart from The Teleporter are hugely complex. I cannot help but plant stuff in narratives for future story arcs and pay offs which will come further down the line. You could even say I am serial plotter when it comes to writing. Much of the time I live in my own mind putting together massively complicated stories full of detail, history and futures. It’s actually incredible knowing everything or at least the main details of what is going to happen in a story sometimes years before they ever see release. By the time you’ve read one of my books I’m already in the sequel or another world entirely. 

And so here comes the theme of this post. When I essentially started again in 2016 with Open Evening (my debut novel), I drafted that book with a sequel in mind. But before  Open Evening got published I delved into another stand alone book called Darke Blood.

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I had quite a terrible time drafting Darke Blood for a number of reasons.

  1. I couldn’t make the story work
  2. I had bad sciatica
  3. I still couldn’t make the story work…
  4. I had just began a new job which involved shift work…

I now realize this is probably why it turned out so damn good…. The second book is where authors become authors… the struggle is reflected in some pretty epic twists and turns – this was literally me not knowing wtf I was doing…

After almost angrily sending what was probably a quarter of Darke Blood draft 1 into the recycling bin – I give credit to a particular angry gym session for convincing me not to – I had a big time epiphany.

What if Darke Blood; a world where vampires exist, shared the same universe as Open Evening; a world where monsters exist? 

It makes sense and I’m talking big time epiphany style so it was time to get complicated – my comfort zone in writing.

Immediately I began to plot like a motherfu**er. And although Darke Blood is a stand alone story; and stands alone  impressively well (Caitlyn is a pure badass, Blake Malone is a great MC and not to mention Angus and Splint) it also works as an incredible addition to the universe which Open Evening shares.

Are ya still with me? Well let me explain via bullet points:

  • 2015 – Open Evening Drafted – to be sent to my editor in summer 2016
  • 2016 – Darke Blood Drafted – I decide a quarter of the way through it shares a universe with Open Evening. This makes the ‘story’ work…
  • Summer 2016 – I confirm they share the same universe by referencing Darke Blood in Open Evening by way of the final edit
  • Autumn 2016 – Open Evening released – Darke Blood edited
  • 2017 – Darke Blood released – I then draft the Sequel to Open Evening – Cemetery House – I also drafted the Teleporter…  busy times…
  • 2018 – Cemetery House is released

I have left out one major detail from the above timeline: 

2018 – I drafted the Darke Blood sequel – ‘Darke Awakening’ and it sits idle awaiting the day it may see an editor. 

So if you are still here and have trawled through the above stuff I will now finally talk about this post’s subject matter and it’s quite simple:

Just why have I held back in releasing Darke Awakening?

Darke Blood is set in the same universe as Open Evening and Cemetery House. I know of less than 5 people who have read all 3 of these books. 

But, but, but, before I say anything further, there are some awesome folks who have read these books and put out some wonderful reviews and support for them! Seriously thank you.

Darke Awakening is not only a direct sequel to Darke Blood but it is also a crossover and a sequel to Cemetery House. Yep it’s pretty fuckin complex, but it doesn’t mean the whole thing isn’t epic because it really is. The first half of Darke Awakening serves as the sequel to Darke Blood and then it becomes a crossover with Open Evening and Cemetery House later on.

You have to read all three of these books before reading Darke Awakening. 

  1. Open Evening
  2. Cemetery House

 

3. Darke Blood

Notice the gap because as long as you read Open Evening before Cemetery House you are all good in terms of overall order. It doesn’t actually matter when you read Darke Blood…

The problem is, it’s hard convincing people to read one book let alone three..

Reasoning…

The main trouble with all of this is that I decided to make these worlds share the same universe before anyone really read them or even thought they were any good. Now if you ask me, Open Evening; although it is my debut novel; it isn’t my finest hour – younger readers enjoy it more and it is targeted at school age readers – not to take anything away from their taste, they just appreciate it more, it appeals to them more, its based in a high school. It may not be my greatest but I stand by the fact the story is good. It has also been newly edited this year.

I also stand by the fact Cemetery House’s story is good along with Darke Blood’s which is probably aimed at slightly older readers. Without these books I would not be the author I am today. 

So here’s the conclusion. I want to see Darke Awakening get published. And so back to my first sentence of this post, I’ve never let anything hold me back and just because less than 5 people have read all three books in the same series doesn’t really matter. I do this because I enjoy it, I live for the worlds I build and the characters that reside in them.

Anyone who wants to see Darke Awakening happen then I implore you to reach out and tell others about my stuff. I started this in 2016 from zero.

For those who haven’t read any of these three books which are part of the ‘Order of the Following’ series I will happily send you e copies for free. 

Darke Blood will be free to download tomorrow until Friday. My hope is that more demand for the sequel will appear from this promo.

If this all goes to plan, you can expect Darke Awakening to be released this time next year…

 

 

 and even then it was during the process of getting book 4 published. Book 4 also happened to be the first sequel I delved into. Unfortunately   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author self interview: Lee Hall

Today see’s the beginning of a new series of posts called ‘Ask the author’. I will be interviewing myself about all things books, writing and being an indie author…

 

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Lee Hall 

How long have you been writing for? 

Since around the age of twelve I started putting together stories on an old window’s 98 computer. Seeing as I’m in my mid to late twenties that’s quite a while…

So it sounds like you’ve known for some time this is what you have always wanted to do. How successful have you been as an indie author? 

Well success as an author or success at anything in life is in the eye of the beholder. In terms of statistics I have sold around 100 copies of my books combined. In terms of money, I haven’t made anything near what people perceive. But then again I am not in this for the money. To have a few people take a selfie of my book and leave a few reviews is enough for me to grant a project successful.

What are you in writing for? 

To immerse people into worlds as I have been as a reader. There is no greater theater than the human mind. Books really do rule and they help the human imagination grow.

You currently have two books published, could you describe the both of them in three words? 

Open Evening – Teenage Terror Chase

Darke Blood – Vampires Witches Identity

What are you currently working on? 

I have been drafting two projects so far this year. The first was just a bit of fun and can be best described as a vanity project, whenever I am in between books I delve into it but I’m not telling you what it is just yet.

The second project I am currently drafting is the sequel to Open Evening! I am 80% through draft one of Cemetery House with a view to publish in 2018! For those who follow me via email I will be looking to send out sample stuff to followers!

Both Open Evening and Darke Blood can both be considered as horror or at least thriller in genre. Is there any other genre’s you would consider writing in the future? 

Hell yeah! I am currently putting together initial plans (in my mind) for a comic book style super hero comedy. This would be a novella or at least a shorter novel, so watch this space!

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Darke Blood and Open Evening by Lee Hall 

 

What advice would you give an aspiring author in terms of marketing a book? 

Start talking about your book now! Tweet, Facebook status and blog the hell out of it. Of course don’t shove it down people’s throats, be cool and subtle. The greatest way to sell a book is via networking and word of mouth. Get people talking online and sharing stuff, a good support network of friends will help to kick things off. You can read more on marketing in my resources section here

 

And that’s the first part of my self interview, thank you for reading and of course if you have a burning question get in contact and I will feature it along with an answer next time!