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My creative process which went into composing Wrage had a different feel than when I worked on my debut novel Grim. The challenges I faced in working on Wrage ended up being tougher. I spent more time planning and writing Wrage than I had with Grim. I also had more feedback from editors, critics, readers and publicists to consider when I went about writing Wrage.
I noticed as I began work on Wrage that my motivation in writing the novel ended up being completely different. Prior to Grim, I’d never written a full-length novel. I felt like a man a mission who had to finish that novel to accomplish a personal milestone and prove something to myself. After I’d finished Grim, I wasn’t sure if a publisher would pick it up, but I took the attitude that I’d go as far with the manuscript as I could go. Fortunately, Damnation Books and a few other independent publishers expressed interest. With Wrage, I felt a lot more pressure. I wanted to deliver a manuscript which I felt confident was equal or superior to the story I told in Grim. I felt like I became a lot more critical of myself in an effort to learn from my mistakes and to make Wrage live up to higher standards I’d set for myself.Wrage also posed a few additional obstacles which I hadn’t encountered with Grim. The first big decision I had to make involved whether to build a continuing story arc for a series or go off in a different direction from Grim. When I felt certain I could develop my Sons of Darkness Series, I added a small chapter to the end of Grim to set up the action which would continue on into Wrage. Unlike most series, I didn’t have many characters with continuing storylines from the first novel. I liked the idea of having a different lead character for each book in the series, sort of like changing actors to play Doctor Who or James Bond. So, the next challenge I faced involved building back stories and storylines for characters which played only a small role or no role at all in Grim. The biggest setback occurred when I had finished writing about half of Wrage. I had a hardware failure on my laptop which caused me to lose about 40 to 50 pages of work which I thought I’d backed up on a flash drive, but I hadn’t. I actually cried that day because it was so much time I’d invested that I just lost.
The material I squandered took an emotional and motivational toll on me at that point. I ended up taking a month off from working on the project because I felt so upset in trying to remember everything I had written just as I’d written it that it caused me to get writer’s block. It gave me time to infuse some new ideas and go in a bit of a different direction from which I’d initially planned. I did a lot of research into the Dead Sea Scroll prophecies and tried to adapt the idea of an apocalyptic fight between the Sons of Darkness and Sons of Light as a driving force into the continuing story. That spawned some more new ideas. With the time I took refocusing my efforts and with increased demands from my full-time job at the 9-1-1 emergency communications center where I work, my writing and editing time for Wrage lasted about 14 months which felt like an eternity after it took me only about five months for Grim.
As I wrote Wrage, I also tried to consider some of the feedback I received about Grim while trying to remain consistent to the ideas and storylines I wanted to tell. Many of the critics and reviewers mentioned that they felt Grim had gory content which was too descriptive for the taste of some readers. In my books, I’ve attempted to attract fans of mysteries, paranormal fiction and horror, so I took the feedback as constructive because I didn’t want to alienate readers unnecessarily. That said, I’ve elected to write adult books which are by choice dark in nature, so I know I can’t please every reader.It’s my hope with Wrage that fans of Grim will enjoy the continuation of the story, and that a new group of readers will discover both books. I’m in the development stages of my third book of the series which will be titled Malice. It will feature Malice Madsen, a notorious rocker patterned after Marilyn Manson, who will embody the sin of pride.
Sometimes the toughest fight lies within yourself.
As more dark secrets come to light, the battle for sould pushes Prairieville to the brink of war in the living and supernatural realms.
Jeff Wrage swears a blood oath to Abaddon, the supernatural avenger of murder victims, to hunt the crooked cop who butchered his wife. Jeff wonders whether he can be the executioner Abaddon requires. Their pact throws the supernatural realm in chaos and threatens to trigger an apocalyptic fight for control of the afterlife between the Sons of Darnkness and Sons of Light foretold in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Orlanda Marino sees the death of Cyrus Black as his opportunity to restore the Marino family's stronghold in Prairieville's organized crime scene and become a mob kingpin. He unleashes a plague, turning its victims into mindless followers. Cyrus' heir is busy rooting out a traitor and is unable to stop the coming turf war in the realm of man. The fate of all rests with Homicide Detective Anna Duke, who steps into the shoes of her mentor while coming to term with unrequited love. As she tries to clear the fallen hero's name, she takes on a case where corpses go missing. Her new partner is reported dead. She learns the truth about her true identity and uncovers a trail of secrets questioning her tragic past. She journeys to avert the destruction of all creation.