Some things about BREACH ZONE

By October 31, 2013Comms

I’m on watch all night for the madness that is Halloween in New York City. There’s a lot of standing around involved, and that gives me plenty of time to think about an approaching career milestone.

Tomorrow is November 1st, which means that there’s less than 3 months until my 3rd novel, BREACH ZONE hits stores. This weekend, I’ll sit down at my laptop, and begin to spin up the publicity machine that will commence carpet bombing the entire Internet in the month leading up to release day.

That’s a major career milestone for me. Just 3 years ago, I quit my job in the federal government to see if I could be a writer in New York City. My debut was successful beyond my hopes. I am confident that I have successfully avoided the dreaded sophomore slump. My books have sold close to 40,000 copies in the English speaking world, and that’s not counting audio books in the US and UK and translations in Germany, the Czech Republic and China. A major TV/film agency is rep’ing me in Hollywood. We’re in negotiations with a mobile device app developer. I’m under contract to put out a book each year through 2016.

So, yeah. Things are really, really good. It’s fair to say that I’m not where I want to be (New York Times Bestseller, movie/TV deal, over 100,000 copies sold, a gig writing comic books), but it’s equally fair to say that I’ve gone farther than I ever thought I would. Writing is frustrating every step of the way, from the moment you decide you want to do it for a living to the moment you hang it up or shuffle off this mortal coil, and it’s important to take a step back and take stock, be grateful.

And I am grateful. To my publishers, to my colleagues, to my friends, and to all of the fans who have stuck with me from since before CONTROL POINT came out. You have made my dreams possible, and there’s no way I can adequately express how much that means to me.

So, now I approach another major career milestone: the completion of a trilogy.

And yes, BREACH ZONE *completes* the SHADOW OPS trilogy. Let me say that again. BREACH ZONE *completes* the SHADOW OPS trilogy. Done. Finished. End-of-Watch. The story arc will close, the loose ends will tie up, the characters will have all the resolution they’re going to get.

It’s really important that I point this out. My publisher has had a lot of great success with authors like Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs and Jack Campbell. These authors all do one thing in common, write a long series of novels about a single protagonist. They do an amazing job of this, and their stratospheric success is an indicator of how smart Ace/Roc has been in helping them move in that vein.

But I am not them.

My intention was *never* to write novels following a single protagonist. CONTROL POINT is Oscar Britton’s story. FORTRESS FRONTIER is Alan Bookbinder’s. BREACH ZONE will be Harlequin’s.

I have three books under contract afterward. The first one, GEMINI CELL, is already entering its 4th draft. It tells the story of a completely different set of characters dealing with events many years before CONTROL POINT. The book is set in the SHADOW OPS universe, but things will be very different. The SOC is in its infancy, magic is poorly understood and has yet to be categorized into schools, and society has not yet changed due to the pressures magic places on everyday life.

Fans of Joe Abercrombie will recognize what I’m doing here. After completing his smash hit FIRST LAW trilogy, Joe went on to pen 3 more novels set in the same universe. They had a lose chronological linkage to the original 3 books, and readers recognized some of the same characters, but by and large they stood alone.

That’s my aim here.

I don’t doubt that this will disappoint some readers who want to see books 4, 5 and 6 in the SHADOW OPS series in a straight timeline following BREACH ZONE. And I’m not saying you won’t eventually get that. If sales continue to get me book deals, I’ll keep writing, and the day might come that I want to circle back and continue on with the stories of Britton, Bookbinder, Harlequin, Downer, Therese, Scylla, Marty, Truelove and the rest from where I left off.

But that day isn’t here yet.

On the plus side, I hope this move will create a new entry point for readers. Folks have a tendency to sit on the sidelines in a series. If they didn’t pick up book 1, they won’t pick up book 3. I’m hoping this will convince folks to take a chance on me. If GEMINI CELL comes out the way I hope it will, it will satisfy fans of the original trilogy while being new and different enough to provide a completely different experience.

Every writer I admire hit it big by going out on a limb. If you want the brass ring in the arts, you have to take risks.

This is mine.

Hope folks enjoy BREACH ZONE. Forward together.

 

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Author Myke Cole

Myke Cole is an American writer of history and fantasy who leverages a lifetime in military, law enforcement and intelligence service to take you to battlefields, real and imagined.

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