Weekly Writerly Review 1/10/2022

Last week was a good week. I finished a great novel and wrote a review for it. Shoutout to Trudie Skies for her book “The 13th Hour-Book One of The Cruel Gods”. Great book with detailed world building and beautifully flawed characters. No cookie cutter cardboard Mary Sues here. I’m anxiously following Twitter for news of book 2. 

I’ve begun to finally compile and expand the short stories I wrote for my high fantasy realm, “Ezrahn”. One of these stories appeared last year in the Depths of Love anthology. I’m also trying to figure out how much of my world building I want to put into a website of sorts. Maybe after I have this collection and start the “Favored” books I have plotted as well. 

I’ve also begun plotting the next phase of the Collective world. It will definitely be a “Case Files” type of presentation and hopefully have stories spanning their entire history and dealing with historical objects, like Excalibur and the Holy Grail, and mythical creatures, like Bigfoot and mermaids. I’m also hopeful to drag a few other faces into participating because there are some author friends I’d love to collaborate with. 

I returned to my day job however so it might slow me down a little. I’m hoping with my new laptop though I’ll be able to continue working in the evenings when my kids go to bed. 

Until next week folks, keep writing and reading.

Enter “The Collective” – Shared Universe writing

Enter “The Collective” – Shared Universe writing

Some years ago, I read a book by a good friend of mine that was called a “shared universe”. Basically, several authors wrote stories within the same world. Sometimes they overlapped and sometimes not. It was an intriguing concept that swindled around in the back of my mind for awhile.

Fast forward a little and I came up with an idea for an alternate history world. In this world, a meteor shower has the potential to trigger an event – originally just that an object of some type would gain a special ability. I invited some of my friends in on this idea. In our discussions it was decided that the effects of a meteor shower became more in that it could grant supernatural abilities to humans/animals, or even cause strange mutations.

To combat this potentially dire threat to humanity, The Collective was born. The original concept was a mashup of Warehouse 13 and the Men in Black. Agents would collect the objects or people affected by meteors and protect humanity. The more dangerous objects are locked up in one of several Vaults across the world in the different branches of the Collective.

What came next was our crisis. The Astrology agents within the Collective discovered an impending meteor shower of global proportions. With not enough agents to cover this type of event, the agency went into crisis management mode. They had to protect humanity, and maintain their secrecy from all but the upper most levels of the intelligence community.

With the basic world building complete, we all got to work on our individual stories, bouncing ideas back and forth, sharing characters and referencing the events, both in the past and the current crisis. Along the way we name dropped popular myths and legends like Excalibur, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster as all having ties to the Collective.

In the end, it presented a unique challenge to wrestle six authors’ stories into a cohesive book. Based on early feedback, it appears to have worked.

Will I continue to work with this shared universe and the other authors involved? Definitely. We have several novel ideas either alone or in pairs, as well as planning another short story collection collaboration for 2022.

If you’d like to check out the book, you can find it on Amazon. And below is our amazing cover from Fantasy & Coffee.