Sunday, September 18, 2011

Putting it all together, Star Wars style

A funny thought hit me as I drove to Gardner for my nephew's 7th birthday party yesterday: Even when I don't intend to do it, I still take the George Lucas approach when it comes to my books.

As you probably know by now, I'm deep into the first draft of the third Jaclyn Johnson novel, entitled Double Agent. DA is just as action-packed as the first two. But did you know that I wrote Rogue Agent first?

If you've been following me for quite some time, you know this. I wrote Rogue Agent early in 2010, Model Agent late in 2010 (and into early 2011), and now here I am writing Double Agent, starting it in the second half of 2011.

Now, how does Star Wars relate to all of this?

Of course, I didn't have all three parts sketched out before hand, and I didn't split it all up into three movies. However, a quote of the late Irvin Kirschner hit me as I pulled onto Route 2 westbound: The second one can only be the second one.

Without even realizing it, I didn't want Rogue Agent to be "just a second one." I wanted RA to be a Empire Strikes Back-like tale, one that left the reader wanting more after two parts. So when I wrote Model Agent, I did several important things: I made MA be the warm-up act, much akin to how Star Wars Episode IV blew people away (21 5-star reviews now). I put in several one-time characters that would not make another appearance in the books -- albeit they've been named since.

And now I've moved on to the third installment. Jaclyn has grown deeper, and maybe a little bit resentful of her treatment in between books two and three. The action continues to grow.

And I can assure you: no Gungans.
Model Agent on US Kindle/trade paperback
Model Agent on UK Kindle
Model Agent on Nook
Rogue Agent on US Kindle/trade paperback
Rogue Agent on UK Kindle
Rogue Agent on Nook