With the latest novel in the Sleeping Legion series fresh out this week, here are some calm and thoughtful reflections on his writing experience by its author, JR Handley.
Writing book three, Operation Breakout, was definitely fun. It was definitely a learning experience, and I wrote with the intention of fulfilling the call for action that I set up in Fortress Beta City. I wanted to improve my writing because if we stop growing and improving, then we stagnate. Stagnation is death in any endeavor. With that goal in mind, I set out with the intention of focusing on the action, and limiting the need for meetings to organize the world. Instead, I played with the POVs and let you know what was needed without losing the fast-paced fun. I ended up with so much action that it was hard to balance and probably contributed to some gray hairs on my poor editors. Wowzer, but what a problem to have, right?
So, what kind of action can you expect in Operation Breakout? Well, what won’t it have? There will be gunfights, tank battles, aerial combat, crazed bunnies and even a dancing clown. No really, only one of those were made up! Don’t be a Bozo, guess which one! I tried to keep the battles exciting, while keeping it fresh and innovative. I didn’t get crazy with the tech; I kept what I’d made already and used it to the best of my abilities. We got creative with existing squad tactics, the world and the prose without losing what made the stories fun for me. I feel like my editorial team and I have figured out our process which only made book three that much better. It’s the work I’m proudest of right now, though I’m sure that I’ll say that about each successive work.
As part of the writing process for Operation Breakout I had to start setting up the series conclusion. We’d sketched out a series arc of five novels and in the fifth one we link the Sleeping Legion universe back into the main Human Legion story line. How we get there is super-duper secret, but it will happen. Which Marines will make it? Hayley Mason? Lance Scipio? Maybe Tirunesh Nhlappo? Or will it be Gaarjar? Who lives and who dies? Read the series to find out!! I can assure you that some of the Human Legion Marines will fight in the Battle for Earth. And since we’re on a secure LBNet, I’ll tell you the big reveal. I don’t know what happens once they head to Earth, since that bit will be written by Tim C. Taylor. If you want to know more, read his book damnit!
Now that you’ve read the little plug for book three, let’s wrap this puppy up and stick a bow on it. I hope that you enjoyed this little article, and if you did then rush out to buy Operation Breakout. And if you buy the book, please leave an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads. These are key for authors, and are the difference between readers finding you and authors dying on the vine. Seriously people, review the books you love!
Read more from JR Handley at his blog here.