For those of you waiting for the next installment of the Nanotech series, there is good news and bad news. The good news: I have passed 20,000 words on the new book (Proving Ground is 82,000 for comparison). The bad news: that book is not the sequel, Silver Maiden, but an untitled prequel.
Why would I stop working on Silver Maiden to jump backward? Well, there’s the creative reason and the practical reason. The creative reason is that I always envisioned Proving Ground as a pre-dystopian story that showed how oppressive regimes were created. While I still feel this is the case, I want to show how Quinn’s quest for power really began and the path Leon was forced onto as a result. I also wanted to show what Byron was like before he became a Nanotech without resorting to a long flashback that would likely disrupt Silver Maiden‘s narrative flow. The practical reason—and this is the one that really pushed me to write the prequel—is that I have spent over two years trying to find an agent who would take Proving Ground on and find it a home in the publishing world. Dystopian and dystopian-influenced YA books have so overwhelmed agents that despite some early interest from a few agents, everyone ultimately passed on representing my book. While I’m grateful to everyone who has supported the book in its self-published form, I really need to find this series a publisher so I don’t have terribly long gaps between books as I struggle to find time to write. I also think some professional guidance would benefit the series and ultimately improve the reading experience for my fans. All of this had led me to the conclusion that if I want the Nanotech series to stand out from the crowd, I need to begin with a book that is distinctly not dystopian but rather contemporary sci-fi action centered around a teen love story.
For those disappointed by this news, please give the new book a chance. Many of Proving Ground‘s characters make an appearance and you will learn new things about them. I also believe you will like the newcomers, as I have really enjoyed writing Delia so far. For those of you excited about this news, thank you and I will work hard to make it worth the wait.