I’ve been privileged to work with Aaron Patterson for a couple of years now, co-writing and brainstorming with him on a few ideas that have proven to be more than worthwhile. I can state now for the record that we work well together.
And I hope when Michael releases on May 17th that you agree.
Fans of the Airel Saga won’t be disappointed. Book I, Airel, ended with a big bang and our intent all along was to follow that up with more of the same. Michael opens with the long-awaited explanation of just what the heck happened up there at the top of the cliff, though of course we take our time revealing all the consequences of that as the story unfolds. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who have yet to read Book I, but you can bet you’ll find plenty of drama in these e-pages.
You’ll also find new characters. We introduce a go-getter FBI agent and her rookie assistant, Harry, to the story. Naturally, in a missing persons case the authorities would nose their way into the situation. What they find at the bottom of their investigation is quite a shock. We also decided that we had to give Airel’s parents a little of the stage, so they make a cameo or two. But two of my new favorites are Ellie, a brass knuckles badass kind of girl who carries a mysterious accent and an even more mysterious past, and Mr. Emmanuel, who wears a white fedora when first we meet him and who has… let’s just say… a way about him. Whatever the case may be, and I’m not making any specific statements about any of these characters (you’ll just have to read the book), but I just adore a good villain. Let’s just say that chameleons can give a guy lots of character ideas. Plus it was really cool to dip into African mythology. Beyond that, I cannot go here.
I had lots of fun writing this one. If Airel bore more of Aaron’s imprimatur, Michael bears more of my own. Aaron and I tried changing up the nuts and bolts of our creative process for this one, and it shows in the final product. When we decided to collaborate on Airel, the rough draft had already been completed and edited by the time I had a crack at it, so I didn’t intrude much. But Michael was rather formless and void, a book with which the creative process was far more open-handed between us. Aaron delivered it to me in four sections over the space of many months, so when I made certain tweaks I wasn’t sure necessarily where he was going with some ideas. By the time we got down to the fourth section (Part Eight in the Saga), I found that I had a lot of catching up to do in order to reconcile our work. In the final analysis though, it just flat works. And well, I think.
We’ve pulled out all the stops on this one. When Aaron and I first started talking about Michael, we decided that we had to really go for broke on the setting. From the beginning we’ve been thinking about the Airel Saga in terms of high production value in regard to what the “camera” sees; we look at the storyline as if it’s a storyboard for a movie in a lot of ways. We want to write something that might translate well to the silver screen, in other words. We therefore decided to incorporate dynamic and sweeping visuals into the story, utilizing all the imaginative tools in our kit. The action scenes in Michael go beyond what you’ve seen in Airel. Where the first book had plenty of awesome Old World epic battle scenes that were a total blast to write, the second is a study in contrasts, not only to the first book but also in comparison to each other right inside Michael. There’s a high speed car chase in the rain at night, the blending of high tech weapons with swordplay, and two gorgeous places: Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, and Cape Town, South Africa (I actually spent six months there in 2002, so I was itching to write a bit of that into the story line from the get-go).
If you’re craving romance, Michael delivers on that front as well. As I said earlier, I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s a scene with Airel and Michael in a torrential downpour that ought to spark something in you, at least if you’re not dead inside.
But that doesn’t compare to the scene near the end where one major plot twist comes finally unraveled with Airel and Kreios. That one is my favorite.
As always, the intent with the Airel Saga has been to provide a little something for everyone: drama, romance, action, adventure, intrigue, suspense, even some light humor. Michael delivers all of these and more. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
To all our fans: thank you so very much. We couldn’t do this without you.