(Updated Feb. 2013) Here’s some of the more frequent questions we get. I (David) figured it was time to make a page to answer the ones we get most.
The questions are broken down by topic and books, and won’t contain spoilers UNLESS we start out an answer with a nice bold SPOILER!! alert. If you have any questions you’d like to see added here, leave them below or email us and we’ll update from time to time.
I fell in love with the idea of serialization as a child when I used to watch this show called Cliffhangers (bonus points if you’re one of the other 20 people who watched it) that had three different stories (one a vampire story, another was an Indiana Jones-type story, and the other a mystery) that left you hanging each week. The show was all kinds of awesome, but was cancelled almost immediately.
From there, I dived right into comic books. The Star Wars comics of the late 70′s and early 80′s always ended with my three favorite words in fiction, “to be continued…” Stephen King released The Green Mile as 100 page serialized books in the mid 90′s and I LOVED the books. I waited at the bookstore each time a new book was released, eager to get my hands on it. And I thought to myself, some day, I’m going to do this.
Sean and I wrote Yesterday’s Gone: Season One last summer. I was a bit nervous that we might not be able to sell people on the format, especially given how many people have trashed serials over the years.
Response was good, though — enough to convince us that we should take a leap of faith and go all out in 2012.
We decided that we’d make 2012 the Year of the Serial, and would release a new episode (or a short story) EVERY WEEK IN 2012.
(Update) we’re aiming to do the same thing again in 2013 with new seasons of our serials and more Dark Crossings short stories!
And thanks to you, we are now able to write full-time. Thank you!
Will we ever see a Yesterday’s Gone TV series or movie?
I’m a little surprised we get this question as often as we do. And humbled.
We write our books with serialized TV in mind. We love great serialized TV shows, especially those on HBO, AMC, and Showtime, and how these networks are able to constantly deliver an awesome show EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY.
We want to do that with our serialized fiction. But on Tuesdays. And in book form.
We want to be the HBO, AMC, or Showtime of e-books!
That being said, I think Yesterday’s Gone’s cast and special effects would be too expensive for TV. WhiteSpace, however, I think would do very well with a TV budget.
Sean and I have wanted to create a series since we first met in 2008. When eBooks started to REALLY take off in 2010-2011, we realized that the time has never been better to create a series. And not just a series, but serialized books. We thought about serializing the sequel to our vampire thriller Available Darkness, but the storyline is so complex and the first book took so long, I was in no rush to return to its world. So I suggested to Sean, why not just start fresh — like REALLY fresh with a big concept, and go from there. We went from idea to the first “episode” in less than a month (I think).
When is Season Four coming out?!
We’re aiming for a summer 2013 release. Most likely in July. We’ll update this page when we’re a bit closer.
Are you guys making this up as you go along or do you have an end in mind? I hope you’re not gonna leave us hanging like LOST.
When Sean and I started Episode One, we had no idea what each other were doing, let alone where the story would go. After we each wrote our halves of the book we got together and mapped out a good chunk of the main storyline, including an ending. From Episode 2 on, we get together before we write the episode and hold story meetings to work out what will happen in the next episode. Part of this is based on overall story arcs that we have loosely planned, but we also allow ourselves the opportunity to take different paths if they appear more interesting.
We like the mystery of not knowing everything and discovering what the characters reveal to us.
So, long answer short, it’s a mix of tight plotting and making it up as we go along. There’s some stuff we don’t know. But most of the important stuff is planned out well in advance. And while I enjoyed the ending of LOST, we intend to answer most of the major questions. In fact, we answered a lot of the most important questions in Season Three.
How many season will Yesterday’s Gone be?
We’ve gone back and forth on this. Originally we thought four seasons, then moved it back to three. But somewhere along the way, we realized we’d be rushing things if we did that. So the plan now is for six seasons.
Why does your book contain so much bad language/violence/sex/offensive material? Are you stupid/sick/have a poor grasp of the English language?
I don’t believe there’s such a thing as “bad words.” It’s what you do with those words.
Our content isn’t there to titillate or offend. It’s representing reality as we see it. People curse in real life. A lot! Especially people that others hold up as heroes — police, firefighters, soldiers, etc… If you think that only degenerate monosyllabic knuckle draggers drop the F Bomb, then you’re living in a very sheltered world.
And we’re not writing about that world. We’re writing dark fiction where people do and say horrible things. We have no interest in sanitizing that to avoid offending someone. We’re writers. It’s our obligation to write in a way that reflects the world as we see it in a realistic way for adults. Most of our books which may offend feature warnings on the product page.
That being said, all of our language, violence, and sex is never done to titillate. It’s there simply to serve the story. And it’s ALWAYS within context of the character’s POV. For instance, characters such as Luca never curse. While others use only vanilla curse words, or might say something a bit more harsh if they’re in a dangerous situation or pushed to the limits.
That’s the way real life works. I guarantee you that if you’re surrounded by bleakers and trying to get your keys into the car to open the door to get away and those keys were to slip from your hand, you wouldn’t say “gosh diddly darn” like Ned Flanders!
You have the right to be offended. But you do not have the right to impose your world view upon us or censor our work. If you don’t like the book, don’t read it. There’s millions of other books out there without the F Bomb.
Season Two will be out in April 2013 (see sidebar for updates).
What’s happening on the island?
You’ll have to wait to find out. We laid a lot of clues out, however, for those who like digging.
Available Darkness: Season Two was released in February 2013.
We’re not sure yet when Season Three will launch. But there will be a third season.
How many seasons will Available Darkness run?
Available Darkness is planned as a trilogy.
However, Sean and I have talked about a related spinoff series. I can’t say more than that now without risk of spoiling the third season.
Yes. ForNevermore will be coming back Spring 2013.
Is ForNevermore a Young Adult book?
Yes… And no.
I think the worst thing we did was to call it a Young Adult book. It alienated a good chunk of our readers who have come to expect a certain kind of story from us. Many people see the YA label and think, “crappy teen drama, no thanks.” Even though there’s many great YA novels and series out there, some readers (mistakenly) write the whole genre off.
I think if we simply put the book out and didn’t say what genre it was in, it would have done much better.
Why do I think that? Am I arrogant? No. Because reader feedback has told me.
We’ve gotten tons of email since the book came out and nearly all of them have said the same thing. Something like: “I wasn’t sure what to think. I don’t like YA books. I’m not a teen. So I was really expecting not to like it. But then when I read it, I realized it was awesome! I love this story!”
In short, ForNevermore has all the qualities of our other stories — great characters, suspense, horror, thrilling cliffhangers (including one of our best yet), and even some violence. The only thing it’s missing is overt cursing. We wanted to write a story for all ages, and expand our readership, not limit it. You’d think the people who hate our foul mouths would be championing ForNevermore!
All that being said, enough people have written us asking for a second season that we will be writing it.
47North, the horror/fantasy/sci-fi arm of Amazon Publishing reached out to us based on the sales and reader feedback of the Yesterday’s Gone series. They wanted to know if we’d like to partner with them on a serial for their new Amazon Serials program.
We pitched them a handful of ideas and they signed us to do Z 2134 and Monstrous.
How many seasons of Z 2134 and Monstrous will there be?
We don’t yet know. Some of this depends on how well the series perform for 47North. So if you like either series, please make sure to leave a review so 47North knows you’d like to see more.
When will Z 2134 come back?
We’re looking at a summer 2013 return, though the date is not yet set for certain.
When will Monstrous come back?
We’re not yet sure when Monstrous will return. Once we know more, we’ll update this page.
HOW CAN I HELP SPREAD THE WORD?
One of the cool things about being an indie writer is that we’re able to talk directly with you! We get to learn what you like, what you don’t, what we do right, and … what we don’t.
Another cool thing is that you root for us. I get emails often from people who want us to do well, comparing us to their favorite writers, and other nice things, which is fortunate, since doing well allows us to keep writing stories for YOU!
So the best thing you can do to help spread the word is to LEAVE REVIEWS. Leaving reviews where you bought the book helps to tell other readers that our books are worth their time. Indie writers have a bit of a stigma to overcome in that there’s a LOT of bad indie books out there. And some readers have been burned so much that they’re reluctant to try writers they haven’t heard of yet.
That’s where YOU come in! When you leave reviews, you’re telling them it’s okay to take a chance.
Sites like Goodreads.com, and sites where there’s a strong book loving community, also help tremendously.
We hate asking for reviews. Because let’s face it, writing reviews take time. And most of us are pretty busy. And you’re already giving us your time by reading our books. But reviews can make such a difference, that we ask, anyway. Especially when that difference is the difference between us being able to write for you and not.
We appreciate every review and mention on social media sites more than we can ever say. So, thank you!
Got a question you want answered?
Ask in the comments or (if it contains spoilers, email us at collectiveinkwellmedia (at) gmail.com