The big news this week is that my novel Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order has just been released as a trade paperback. In fact, the news is so new, that I haven’t actually seen the book yet, but copies are on their way to me. This is especially exciting to me because, as the title of this post indicates, I realized this week that the book has been a full decade in the making.
My first vampire novel, Vampires of the Scarlet Order was written between 2001 and 2003. As people who regularly follow this journal no doubt realize, it started off as a handful of short stories that were published in such small press venues as The Vampire’s Crypt, Night to Dawn, and Parchment Symbols. As I wrote these stories, I realized I was telling parts of a longer story and I folded them into a continuous novel. Soon after I completed a version of the novel I was happy with, I began to consider whether this could work as a series and I sat down to write four synopses for more novels.
The four synopses were called Dragon’s Fall, The New World, Revolution, and Nosferatu. Dragons’ Fall would tell the story of the Scarlet Order’s origin. The New World would tell about the vampire Rudolfo traveling to America and his adventures with Mercedes Rodriguez during the Pueblo Revolt. Revolution would tell about the Scarlet Order’s involvement in the French Revolution and Nosferatu would continue the story of Vampires of the Scarlet Order into the future.
If I had planned this chronologically from the start, Dragon’s Fall would likely have been the first novel and Vampires of the Scarlet Order would be more like number five. What’s more, I felt some more ground work needed to be laid with these characters before I wrote a sequel, so I decided to go back to the beginning of the story and write Dragon’s Fall. I wrote a prologue and a couple of chapters before Vampires of the Scarlet Order was released.
Vampires of the Scarlet Order went on to a lot of success upon release. It was picked up by Barnes and Noble and distributed to a number of their stores. I received letters from people excited about the possibility of more books in the series. The only issue is that I still needed to wrap up my Old Star/New Earth space opera series. So, I put Dragon’s Fall on the back burner while I finished the novel Heirs of the New Earth. Soon after finishing that, my publisher challenged me to write a novel for the National Novel Writing Month of 2004. During my first attempt, I wrote The Solar Sea, a prequel to the Old Star/New Earth books.
I had only made modest progress on Dragon’s Fall by the end of 2005, so I made it my NaNoWriMo project for that year. Of course, NaNoWriMo’s goal is to write 50,000 words. I achieved that goal with Dragon’s Fall, but it turns out, that was only about half the novel. The novel went on the back burner as I finished polishing The Solar Sea for release and worked on a number of editing projects.
In 2007, Jackie Druga, owner of LBF Books, the publisher of Vampires of the Scarlet Order, announced that she was selling the company to Carole Spencer, owner of Lachesis Publishing. At the end of that year, I received a call from Kitt Peak National Observatory asking if I would be interested in returning to my old job there. Back burner projects such as Dragon’s Fall looked like they might be tabled indefinitely.
However, Carole Spencer had an interesting proposal. She suggested that I write a series of novellas about the Scarlet Order Vampires. I realized that Dragon’s Fall was structured in such a way that it was very suitable for this project, so I proposed we use that as the basis for the series. She suggested the addition of a little more romance, which actually suited the story and helped answer some issues I was dealing with. Two of those novellas were released: Bondage and The Dragon’s Quest. Unfortunately, Carole started facing some health challenges as the first novella was released and had to step down at the crucial stage when the series most needed a marketing push from all parties involved.
Finally, last year after reorganizing Lachesis and getting things back on track, the current owner, LeeAnn Lessard decided that rather than try to kickstart the whole novella series back into action, it would be better to come full circle and release Dragon’s Fall as one standalone novel. The ebook was released at the end of last year and now the trade paperback is available. You can pick up a copy today at Amazon.com.
So, this leaves just one last question. Will there be more Scarlet Order novels? Well, the short answer is that depends on you. If the current book does well, I’m sure my publisher will be interested in having me write more. Of course, buying the books helps, but if you like these novels, please review them in places like Amazon and Goodreads. Tell your friends about them. I’m more than happy to discuss the Scarlet Order books here at this blog or at the Scarlet Order Facebook page. I love knowing what things you liked and I’m even happy to hear about the things that didn’t work for you.
Thanks to everyone who has supported the Scarlet Order vampire series so far! I hope you enjoy Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order!