I distinctly remember sitting in a hotel room in Key West with a bunch of my good friends. They were all excited to go and see the sites, and I couldn’t wait for them to leave. Despite all the exciting things Key West had to offer nothing was more important to me that night than sitting down and writing Silent Intrusion.
I have been fascinated by the stories of alien abductions and Area 51 for years. That night I had the framework for a story that brushed against some of the most bizarre incidents that have occurred. I folded out my laptop and sat on the bed– music blaring in my headphones–and typed out the first few pages of my outline on that laptop. For the next few months I typed away writing the story that I felt had never been properly told.
It only took 3 months to write the first version of Silent Intrusion. I ignored the world and wore the letters off of my laptop keyboard for 8 to 10 hours at a time. I finished with it and read it over. It was a very serious book; not a bad book; but it focused a lot on the action and little on the characters. I shelved it.
I left it on the shelf for years until I decided to change the characters around. I added and subtracted characters, causing a major re-write that involved hundreds of pages. I read it again, I didn’t like it. I shelved it.
I came back realizing I needed to put a better face on the faceless enemy in Silent Intrusion. I again re-wrote hundreds of pages tearing them apart and adding this new character in. He added depth and a voice for the other side. I still wasn’t happy, it was shelved again.
Finally, after years of procrastination I did what I should have done from the beginning. After a long session with the handful of people I had shown the book to, I listed out all the problems I saw with the book. I realized that I was trying to fit it all in one book instead of spreading over the five books it deserved. I simply wasn’t having enough fun with the characters!
With the major flaws spotted and worked out, I sat down and wrote the most comprehensive outline I’ve ever written. By then I knew this story inside out. I knew the characters. I’d had years to think about them, their reactions, their personalities. So I wrote a new outline and I started again on page 1.
Having written the book over four times by now I had an understanding for what was coming in the later books and knew what I wanted to weave into the heart of this book. Seeds I could plant early which would blossom later in the series. More importantly I had fun. I like these guys and girls. I was able to write some of the funny scenes just how I imagined they would play out. It’s more important that my readers get a laugh out of this book than anything else. So again I locked myself away and I began writing furiously.
Book 1 is now written. It follows Breaker’s perspective. Book 2 is being written, it follows Mike Waltman’s perspective.