I've written a lot of books over the years. Capture was my first full-length novel. I managed to finish the first draft during NaNoWriMo 2010. To say that I didn't know what I was doing back then would be putting it nicely. I was so lost when it came to writing and publishing. Sure, I'd written a ton of poetry (some of which is being reworked and inserted into Grow Up & Blow Away, a contemporary novel I plan to query later this year). But I'd never attempted to write a novel before Capture.
I figured I'd write Capture and that would be it. I'd stay within that world and play with those characters. Well, that didn't happen. As soon as I finished Capture, Emile found her way inside of my head.
I was in my room binge-watching Dollhouse (yes, I'm still bitter over it being cancelled years ago). I love the show and I try and re-watch it every now and then. It was during that binge-watch that I found myself thinking about the technology and the harm it could do if it were real. I spent about a week or two plotting down notes - I believe that, before I'd started writing Program 13, I had around fifty sheets of paper covered with scattered notes and drawings. I couldn't get Emile or her story out of my head.
So, instead of focusing on Autumn and the Capture series, I found myself drafting Program 13. About a week into drafting it, I ended up traveling to Seattle, Washington to see White Lies perform. I'd never been to Seattle before then, so I never planned on setting the story there to begin with. In fact, I planned on creating a fake location for the story before I'd started writing. I only came to pick Seattle as the setting during my visit. Walking the streets downtime, it just felt right. I could picture my idea of Emile in my head roaming those streets, those alleys.
Once I returned from Seattle, it took about three weeks of solid writing time to knockout the first draft. At that time, I'd referred to Program 13 as a standalone title. I wasn't sure I had it in me to write more books in that world. And now, we're in 2015, and I've completed seven stories within that world, and I'm currently finishing up work on an eighth installment before I start on a ninth installment, Rebirth, that'll serve as a companion novel.
I'm beyond proud of this series. Don't get me wrong, I love all of my books. I wouldn't have written them if I didn't love them, but this series will forever hold a special place in my heart.
When I first started querying Program 13, I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured I'd see a ton of rejections and maybe a few partial requests. And that happened, yes, but what I'd imagined? It was way off. Most of the rejections were because there wasn't a romantic storyline. A good amount of others were because the publishers/agents weren't taking on science fiction. At one point, I'd received a full request from an editor that really liked the book, only to have a different editor at the same publisher e-mail the next day to tell me not to send in the full request. To say that I was deflated during the querying process would be a lie. I wanted to give up. It just seemed pointless.
Yeah, I could have added a romance between Emile and Colton, but that wasn't the story I wanted to tell. Trust me, I have NOTHING against adding romance. (Taylen and Lex in the Outbreak duology are the best example of this.) But this story didn't call for romance. This was never meant to be a romantic series. It was meant to question what it is that makes us human - if you strip away everything we know, everything we love, our memories, what else would be left? Would we be mindless machines? Or would we be able to find our way back?
To me, The Emile Reed Chronicles, is a story about love, about life, about death, about family, but most importantly, about self-discovery. Not only for Emile. Every single character in these books undergoes a change by the end of New Beginnings. We seem them at their worst. We see them lose everything. But then we see them fight for their survival, for the things they care about. We see hope inside of them. That was what I wanted to highlight.
And I hope that I was able to do that.
My sales for this series have never been fantastic. In fact, the Outbreak duology sells better than The Emile Reed Chronicles currently. Sure, sales spiked when the book was quoted on Criminal Minds. (I still have no clue how the writers came across that quote, but I will forever be grateful for that.) But the book has found readers. It has been read over 18k times on Wattpad. I've received a good amount of fan letters telling me how much they loved Emile's story. (Seriously, you guys are the best. You have NO idea how much fan-mail makes me happy.) To me? That's the important part. The Emile Reed Chronicles may not be a best-seller, but it has left an impact on the readers that have read the series.
So, since the series is complete, and I'm preparing to release two brand-new installments later this year, I've decided to giveaway not one but TWO signed paperback copies of The Emile Reed Chronicles: The Complete Series.
Here are the requirements to enter:
- You must be at least thirteen years of age to enter.
- You must live within the US. This book is massive, and there's no way in heck I'm going to be able to afford international shipping to get this out. Sorry, guys!
- Currently, Program 13 has over 60 ratings on Goodreads and a good amount of comments on Wattpad. Unfortunately, the book only has 13 reviews on Amazon. As a way to try and reach new readers for the series, you must leave a review for Program 13 (or any of my other titles, if you prefer) over on Amazon.
- You must like my Facebook page. (Link in the sidebar.)
- If you share this post on your blog or on Twitter, you score an extra entry. (You can do this once per day.)
- If you e-mail me proof of purchase of Program 13 (eBook), you score two extra entries (Once per person.)
You guys honestly have no clue how much I appreciate each and every one of you. You have ALL been fantastic, and I appreciate all of the support you've shown me. I know I suck at responding to e-mails sometimes, but I do try and respond to each and every message. If you ever have a question, feel free to message me. If you need help getting started, I will try my best to help you out. (I know I could have used the help in the beginning.)
And for those that have asked numerous times: I promise, I am trying to figure out a possible signing event or even a convention appearance for this year. It's a lot financially, so it really depends on whether or not I can afford it. I'm trying, though. =)