The Legion’s plan of campaign for 2016

The Forever War – $1.99 special offer
May 3, 2016
I’m interviewed in SFFWorld.com
May 9, 2016
Show all

The Legion’s plan of campaign for 2016

I made a decision about the Human Legion books a week ago, and now that the website is back up and running, it’s time to share that with you. Sit down and take a stiff drink first; this might hurt.

For over a year now, the Human Legion series has been conceived as a series of six novels*. That’s still the case, and I am already working on the finale: The Battle of Earth. In February 2015, a month after the release of Indigo Squad, I recruited Ian Whates as a co-writer for three principle reasons:

  • To at least maintain the rate of releasing the novels, and preferably to reduce from every four months to every three months.
  • To take the pressure off me so I didn’t burn out/ become estranged from my family.
  • To maintain the quality and freshness of the storytelling.

It’s not for me to judge the third point, although I will point out that Ian has contributed some excellent ideas I wouldn’t have come up with myself. He’s also steered me away from some tangents that were not a good idea in retrospect. I’m personally proud of both the co-written books, and think War Against the White Knights has some of the best writing so far in the series. But with the first two points, we have clearly failed, despite my best efforts and Ian’s. My plan had been to deliver the final book at Easter 2016. Instead, that’s when the fifth book came out, and instead of being fresh and eager for the final book, I find myself burnt out and needing a break.

The stop-start nature of the War Against the White Knights project was especially frustrating, but the upside was that it gave me time to work on other projects when the main one was stalled. Principle amongst these was Revenge Squad. I have now decided to take a rest break from the main Human Legion series to work on launching Revenge Squad and with JR Handley to launch The Sleeping Legion. Later in the year, recharged and eager, I will be back onto The Battle of Earth to write the best book I can to bring The Human Legion to a fitting close.

It’s too early to announce dates for anything, but to give you an idea of what’s ahead, the first draft of the first Sleeping Legion novel is complete, and a draft for the second novel about halfway through. The first draft of the first Revenge Squad novel, After the Guns Fall Silent, is also about halfway through.

And in the background, I am noting ideas and snatches of dialog for The Battle of Earth. In fact, this is proving particularly fertile because the main character of the initial Revenge Squad novels, NJ McCall, is haunted by the events he experienced in the Battle of Earth.

I apologize for the delay, and I know it will disappoint and frustrate some loyal readers, but I hope you will reluctantly agree with me that it is better to wait and give the Human Legion series the killer climax it deserves than to grind out a raggedy effort under pressure. Maybe this sounds a bit ‘special snowflake’, I don’t know, but it’s the experience of myself and many other authors that feeling stoked about a writing project tends to yield superior results (and vice versa).

For those wanting an interim Legion fix, I’ll point out that there is an exclusive Human Legion prequel short story, ‘The President’s Son’, in the anthology The Empire at War, which came out in February. And another Legion short story, ‘Hill 435’, which is set between books 5 and 6 in the series and will be out in July as part of an anthology called, Crises and Conflict. If you’re in London, England on July 9th, I’ll be signing copies at the book launch at the Star of Kings pub. The image at the top of this post is the artwork for Crises and Conflict by Chris Moore, which looks pretty cool to me. It’s also got stories from Una McCormack who’s a New York Times bestselling novelist and has written Star Trek and Doctor Who novels, and Christopher Nuttall, who you will already know, I’m sure. Many other fine writers too.

For more information about Revenge Squad (including a sample scene) and The Sleeping Legion, tap or click on the images.

RevengeSquad_Website_BW_300dpi

 

Finally, just so I am clear beyond doubt, Ian and I have put our best endeavors into co-writing, and there have been upsides as well as down to this approach. The decision to recruit a co-writer was entirely my choice, and the responsibility for any delays that might have resulted from that decision are entirely my own.

 

* Actually, if you look far enough back I initially announced the Human Legion series as five novels. Human Empire was the book I added when the others outgrew their boundaries.

P.S.  if you’ve subscribed to receive notifications of new website posts by email, and you didn’t receive anything about the two blog posts I made yesterday, you may need to check your junk filter and tell your email client that the email notification was not junk. You might need to add donotreply@wordpress.com or tctaylor@ntlworld.com as contacts to your email client to let it know that I’m not trying to sell you Viagra or phishing for your Paypal password or something.

Also, did you know that if you follow the Human Legion on Facebook or Twitter, you can receive notifications of new blog posts that way too?

10 Comments

  1. That Revenge Squad cover looks AWESOME!! Loving the new artwork, can’t wait to see more of where that goes!! Making good progress on Book 2, OPERATION BREAKOUT, fine tuning the big battle scene and playing God with who lives and who dies. Sigh, even though they’re not “real” it pains me to kill off my babies. If all of the fates line up, I will have the novel done by the end of May, early-early June. As a noob, I’ve not quite gotten to the point where I can crank out words like a pro like Tim can but maybe one day.

    • tctaylor says:

      Great update, JRH. Can’t wait to see how the second book ends. JK Rowling did her annual apology yesterday where she picks a character she killed off in her last Harry Potter book and apologizes for their death. Perhaps you could do the same. I’ve killed off so many I don’t think I would have time.

  2. Cpl Gordon says:

    Tim you have fallen into the trap that great commanders do sometimes, you have battle fatigue! All troops need their R & R after serving in the front line and even Commanders in Chief need a break from the stress. In my day we would attend a camp relaxing and taking part in inter-group competitions which honed our skills using fun and games. I don’t know what to do with Authors so need help from other Human Legionnaires with suggestions. Here are my immediate thoughts:

    1) Put your pen and computer on a 9 to 5 day.
    2) Take up a musical instrument and idle some time away
    3) Thinking along the lines of Tolkien or James Bond. Hold a competition for (a) Theme music for the Human Legion (b) chorus songs for the H.L troops to sing by a campfire. the songs we sang would not be printable so we need new ones.
    4) Go back to nature, family camping or helping the local scouts on camping weekends

    • In the infantry we just drank until we forgot why we were stressed out! 😛

      • Cpl Gordon says:

        There are more than one way to skin a rabbit JRR. We need to encourage Tim to get into shape for lots more exciting writing, if he used drink to forget his problems then we would have poor quality stories written by a drunkard. No no we don’t want that, we want an invigorated Tim to write best sellers. I think that Tim’s main problem is that he has so many stories in his head that they can’t all get out at the same time. A period occupying his mind on totally different topics may clear the pathways. I am sure that all of our Legionnaires like me send Tim our very best wishes.

      • tctaylor says:

        A young man I know is encouraging me to get out and run. I used to be a good distance runner and to be outclassed in a 2K race by a nine-year-old is pretty motivating 🙂

  3. Mark Boss says:

    Writing is a tricky business. The math is inflexible. One writer (or even two or three) can only work so many hours per week. Readers want fresh stories, but they also want quality stories, which means the writer must not only write, but take the time to edit (which is critical re-writing). Choosing how to spend your time in the most productive way is difficult, and sometimes taking a step back to rest and refill the ‘creative well’ is the best use of your time.

    When talking about one of his novels, mystery writer Ross MacDonald wrote, “…as I was trying to finish the first draft, I got morally tired and lost my grip on my subject…” It took him three versions to finish The Galton Case. This is the danger of burn out.

    So rest, work on other projects, get some family time and fresh air, read some books for fun, and let the waters rise in the creative well until it is full again.

    • tctaylor says:

      Thanks, Mark. I’m letting my waters rise right now… I’m about to take my writing pad and walk to the pub. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *