What The Covenant is all about
Star Wars and X-men meet The 100
That’s exactly the kind of story I set out to tell. It had to be like Star Wars, sweeping, nothing less than pan-galactic. Rich in history and lore, and deeply layered. I wanted the incredible, and semi-plausible, powers, such as found in the x-men series. No super, ultra powerful mutants who can kill nations with a puff. I liked the idea of powers though: telepathy, enhanced strength, speed, healing. There are lots of “powers” that we can actually tap into with current science, and if we extend that vector out a century, so much innovation is likely. Finally, I wanted the depth of character that had me spellbound in The 100, by Kass Morgan (Books and TV).
I suppose you could call this series: Warring Galactic Mutants with Feeling?
NOTE ON POWERS: What you’ll notice in Book 2, is that I start to explain a bit about how Abhumans power their powers, or fuel the fire. We have the energy in our bodies to do astonishing things — it’s all in the calories. Let me know what you think of that system.
Why These Story Arcs?
Why am I writing this series? To tell a story, of course. But who’s? At first, the book was supposed to be a straightforward Science Fiction story, told equally from the points of view (POV) of a teenage boy and girl. It was their story, their yin and yang. But as I wrote, the focus of the story changed. I’d never believed this kind of thing happened – where characters would really start to assert themselves and take you in places you didn’t intend to go, but it does–it did. And so the story became about three incredible women [Cheska, Delfina, & Madchen] and the challenges they struggle to overthrow an evil theocracy. It became a story about their intertwined roles as daughter and mother, hero and villain, or mentor and protege. And not to worry, there’s lots of action gluing it all together.
I’m also going to explore a few serious subjects in these stories. Philosophical, such as free-will and morality. But also more serious, and immediate issues, such depression. Do we think a hero does all this stuff, and his emotional state is perfectly balanced? I highly doubt it. So I’m going to explore what I think might happen to heroes who’ve had to much thrust upon them.
“Real people? I thought you wrote fiction?” Yeah, I do. But I want you to feel like the story people in my books are alive–like they have needs, wants, desires–real lives. To that end, I always start character building with a picture. I start by borrowing an actor’s photo for a quick mental sketch–that nails down hair, features, height, weight, etc. In order to share my characters with you visually, I commissioned a series of character sketches, see below. Then of course I do the normal writerly things, like make sure they have lots of problems.
I admit it, I use a lot of strange words in my fiction. I borrow shamelessly from dozens of languages. One thing a few people have asked for over the years, is a pronunciation guide. And so, I put one together for The Covenant series.
Here’s Abhuman as an example:
Some also wanted a quick guide to the various Abhumans – what types of powers they have, etc. I haven’t gone into great depth, you’ll have to read the books to experience the real terror that is The Covenant.
The Covenant Series Structure & Philosophy
How am I structuring this series? Great question! Abhuman started as novella that was well received by Beta readers back in 2015, and I began working it into a larger, full-length novel. But I ran into personal health issues etc, and the project got delayed. This summer (2016) I decided to continue the project, but to write more frequent installments–going back to the novella format.
These are NOT short stories- the first novella is around 37,000 words long. 50,000 is where novel territory begins. This is a similar strategy employed by many authors testing a new series – such as Wool (The Silo Saga) by Hugh Howey.
At an average of around 175 pages, these novellas are about the same size as “novels” that I used to read as a Young Adult (12-18). These days, novels have gotten fat. No two ways around it. 50k words used to be a solid novel. Now 120k+ is the norm, depending on genre.
My plan is to have three novellas represent one larger “cycle”. The first, is called the Abhuman Cycle, consisting of Books 1 to 3 in The Covenant series. Once all three novellas are in print, I’ll issue an Omnibus edition, collecting all three novellas into one larger book. That way folks can collect the smaller novellas (each with unique and stunning cover art), or buy the Omnibus edition.
- Abhuman Cycle (Omnibus)
- Metahuman Cycle (Omnibus) – coming next year
- Metahuman: TBD (The Covenant – Book 4)
- Metahuman: TBD (The Covenant – Book 5)
- Metahuman: TBD (The Covenant – Book 6)
My tentative plan is to finish the Metahuman Cycle in 2017, then see how you folks are enjoying the series. I have truck-loads of ideas for future installments, so if you love it, tell me! Heck, tell everyone! 😉
That’s about all my news for now.
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