Earlier this year, I featured Eliza Green’s debut novel, BECOMING HUMAN, the first in the Exilon 5 trilogy. The sequel, ALTERED REALITY, just came out December 15!
The Indigene Stephen is forced to leave Earth without Anton, who is captured by the military. On his journey back to Exilon 5, he’s haunted by a series of disturbing dreams. Are they a manifestation of his fear for his friend’s safety, or a psychological link to Anton?
The programme to transfer people from Earth to Exilon 5 becomes much more ‘selective’. Under orders from Earth’s World Government, a clinical biologist studies the imprisoned Anton’s genetic code in detail. But when a colleague turns up on the table in her medical facility, her curiosity about the Indigene soon shifts to fear for her own safety.
You don’t! It’s almost impossible to stop tinkering with a book, but if you get to a point where you’ve addressed the issues with your writing so that readers can appreciate the story for what it is, then you’re done. After that, it’s down to personal taste if they choose to stick with you through the second and third book.
I would never change a story because of a reader’s personal taste. I would, however, consider changing a story if I felt I wasn’t doing it justice with the way it was presented. When I re-read BECOMING HUMAN after finishing ALTERED REALITY I realised my writing style had moved on, so I made the easy decision to update Book 1 to bring it in line with Book 2. It’s the right thing to do for the trilogy as a whole. That version will be available on the 22nd of December. It’s being edited at the moment.
That’s a good policy to have! What were the main challenges you had in tackling a sequel, and what advice do you have for authors writing a series?
The main challenge was definitely getting the timelines in the story right. One of the problems you can also face is figuring out a cool way for the story to go, but realising it too late to add it in. If you’ve already published the first book, you may have to forget it.
My advice to other writers would be to get book 1 and 2 down on paper before you think about releasing Book 1. That way, any interesting quirks that develop naturally can be added to the first book for a smoother continuity. While I edited Book 2, I had already written Book 3, so I could see how the story would develop and changed what was necessary for the story to flow correctly. For trilogies, I feel it’s essential to know where the story is going before you publish the first book.
Excellent advice. How have your characters, particularly Stephen and Bill Taggart, changed throughout both books? What do you like most about each character?
Bill Taggart, my human protagonist, was a loner in BECOMING HUMAN. He was looking for answers as to what happened to his wife. That question is still unresolved as we move into Book 2. How he has changed is that he sees value in accepting help where it is offered. Bill is strong and humble. I like that he is deeply hurt by people who betray him but fiercely loyal to those who don’t.
Stephen, a member of the Indigene race, thought his reasons for hating the human race were clear, but when he discovers something new about himself, he is catapulted into a different state of mind that alters his perception of the world. I like that Stephen is willing to admit he doesn’t have all the answers and is just trying to do what’s right for the Indigene race.
I look forward to finding out more about them both! What are some current projects you’re working on?
Currently, I’m working on Book 3 in the Exilon 5 trilogy, title still to be confirmed. I also have some ideas for other science fiction stories, possibly connected to the trilogy. This year, I signed a three book audio deal with Podium Publishing. They will be turning the trilogy into audio books and was the main reason why I decided to update BECOMING HUMAN to reflect my current writing style. I’ve learned a lot over the last year and now is the time to put my best foot forward with the best books I can write.
To snag a copy of BECOMING HUMAN (Book 1) or ALTERED REALITY (Book 2) you can click on the giveaway link below:
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Or, you can purchase them from Amazon:
Thanks for hosting me, Karen. I hope your readers enjoy dystopia! The giveaway has only a few entries in it, so that increases the chances of someone on here winning the prize!
Thanks, Eliza! I always enjoy having you on here. 🙂