When I wrote The Daedalus Incident, my debut novel, I had no idea whether a space opera/historical fantasy mashup would work, or whether folks would be as jazzed as I was about sailing ships in space. Heck, I had no idea if I was even capable of writing a good novel.
Well, apparently I am. It worked, folks were jazzed. I am a for-real author now. And I’m now contracted to write two more novels in the Daedalus series.
I interviewed Peter V. Brett last spring, and at the time I was surprised at the tack his attitude toward writing had taken since his success. He approached writing his books as a job, and a difficult one at that, whereas I was still of the dude-I’m-getting-a-novel-published-squee-awesome-yay mindset.
I totally get it now, Peat.
The next novel in the series, The Enceladus Crisis, is coming out next spring, with the third book (yet-to-be named, let alone written) due toward the end of 2014. While writing The Daedalus Incident was something of a lark, and a lot of fun to write, this is a business now. I have contracts. Deadlines. Obligations. These books have to be written.
And I also have fans. Like, at least two, possibly more. But seriously, people have read and generally enjoyed The Daedalus Incident, and they’ll have expectations for the next two. They’ll want to see more of the stuff that the loved about the first book, and they’ll all have opinions on where the story should go and what they want to see.
Finally, as utterly pretentious as it sounds, I want to grow as a writer. I know, I know…I hesitate typing it. But I do indeed want to challenge myself. Writing Daedalus in the first place was a personal challenge, so why stop? I think most writers want to see just how much they have in the tank. So do I. That means The Enceladus Crisis will be more complex. It’ll have more characters, more POVs, more subplots. And not just more of the big stuff, but more nuance as well. More interesting bits. Better writing, even.
I also want to play off any expectations set up in The Daedalus Incident. Yes, there will be sailing ships in space, because, you know, that’s still cool. And I’m playing with how those ships maneuver and fight in space, which means some pretty cool battles. There will also be different settings. A fair chunk of the story will happen on Earth. There will be intrigue. More setting exploration. More backstory. More of the stuff that folks commented on and liked.
And then, there’s also subverting expectations. I mean, I don’t want to treat Daedalus like a paint-by-numbers kit. Think about how The Empire Strikes Back was so much better than Star Wars, even though it was a very different movie. Same thing here. I want The Enceladus Crisis to have the same relationship to Daedalus. Difference within continuity is probably the best way to describe it.
There are definitely days where I look at what I’m writing and ponder exactly what I got myself into. But it’s totally worth it. It’s still fun, too. Turns out I created a pretty nifty sandbox, and I’m enjoying the new castles.
Plus, unlike Peat, I still have my day job, and will for the foreseeable future. I can afford to fail miserably, even though I’d quite prefer not to. That’s freeing. My kid’s going to college whether or not these are awesome successes. So I feel like I can take some risks and see how it goes.
In the end, though, there’s an edge to writing these new novels. I’m writing from a different place than I was. It’s not a bad thing, but it’ll be interesting to see what comes of it. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.
Let me be the first to point out that I have two Mikes in a row for guest posts on the blog. Don't know yet if that's a good thing, or a sign of the Apocalypse. Time will tell I guess. In any case, thanks Mike (Martinez) for stopping by. Good luck with your debut and with your series.
You can buy The Daedalus Incident on The Book Depository, Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound.
For more information please follow Michael J. Martinez on his website or on Twitter @mikemartinez72.