I had never heard of Paul Antony Jones when my occasional collaborator, Steve Savile, mentioned him to me on March 25. Paul, as I subsequently learned, was a Welsh-born author who emigrated to Nevada with his wife and family. He was considered an indie SF writer, perhaps best known for his Extinction Point series.
In 2018, he launched a new series, This Alien Earth, with The Paths Between Worlds, and somewhere during this time, he was diagnosed with cancer. Paul spent 2019 writing the second volume, A Memory of Mankind and battled. The book was finally released in December and on February 26, he passed away.
In March, Steve was asking because he had recommended me to the editors at Aethon Books as someone who could carefully deconstruct the two books and, using the scant notes Paul left behind, construct the third and final novel. So, I took a weekend to read the manuscripts and thought it was something I could do.
I was introduced to Steve and Rhett, the guys behind Aethon, and we talked a bit and I explained that between other commitments and teaching, I couldn’t start until May. They needed the book out this year to satisfy their readers and honor their commitment to Audible which had done well with the audiobooks of the first two volumes. We worked out a schedule and I got to work.
I read both novels a second time, taking notes on characters, settings, and constructing a timeline then figuring out the questions and dilemmas to be solved. The real catch was that the problem involved physics and astronomy, not things I am strong on. Thankfully, I have a network and my good friend Michael A. Burstein helped me with all the science until I had a solution he felt would work.
By May 12, I had a six-page bullet-pointed outline for book three and hit submit. Twelve minutes, I am not kidding, later, the email said, “I’m beyond impressed. Great work!” Music to an author’s ears. I had provided not one but two solutions to the problem and we agreed on one.
As school wound down, I expanded the outline into a longer chapter by chapter outline and on June 1 I got to work. The writing flowed, which was a relief considering how much I have struggled with fiction in the last few years. It helped that I was working with mostly established characters and a certain freedom that came from being an “indie” writer (a discussion for another time).
Today, 77,266 words later, I have a completed first draft. I will set it aside for at least a week and then tackle the second draft.
Meantime, the Kindle pre-order page for Children of Tomorrow went live this week, freeing me to discuss this. Pub date is October 13, one of the faster turnarounds I’ve ever experienced.
Will it be any good? Have I satisfied Paul’s fans? Have I honored a fellow author’s work? These are the questions that won’t be resolved until this fall. I can only hope my effort is worthy of his legacy.
From Book 1:
After a devastating car crash leaves her addicted to pills and her best friend dead, Meredith Gale has finally been pushed to her breaking point. Ending her life seems like the only way out, and that choice has left her dangling by her fingertips from a bridge above the freezing water of the San Francisco Bay.
But someone, or some thing, has other plans for Meredith. As her fingers slip from the cold steel of the bridge, a disembodied voice ask her a simple question: “Candidate 13: Do you wish to be saved?”
Realizing her mistake too late, Meredith screams “Yes!” and instantly finds herself transported to a mysterious island, alongside hundreds of other Candidates like her, each pulled from human history with seemingly little in common. But when Meredith stumbles across a cryptic message meant only for her, she uncovers an even bigger mystery — a mystery that places the fate of humanity’s future firmly in her hands.
With the help of her new companions, Meredith sets out on an impossible journey to find the one person who can solve the riddle of why they were brought to this strange, alien Earth… assuming they can survive the dangers that lurk within this new world and the dark forces massing against them.
Don’t miss the first book in the This Alien Earth Series, a futuristic adventure featuring a strong female lead, perfect for fans of Jeremy Robinson, Stephen King, and Lost.
From Book Two:
The answers are out there…
With the island of Avalon far behind them, Meredith and her companions continue their search for Candidate One in the hope of finally discovering the secrets behind why they were brought to this strange, future-version of Earth.
Wild adventures, mysterious technologies, and new friends will help Meredith on her journey. But the Adversary has its own plans for her, and soon she finds herself fighting for survival against an enemy unlike anything she has encountered before.
There is only one hope for the future of humanity. Can Meredith handle the burden? Find out in the unforgettable second installment of the This Alien Earth Series.