As the one year anniversary of Legacy Drive approaches, I can't help but look back at how crazy the year has been as well as how much has changed. Publishing my first novel was everything I'd thought it'd be...and so much less.
When the book first went live on Amazon, I half expected to have a few dozen sales on the first day. As a self-published author, I realize I didn't (and still don't) have a huge following. On the other hand, I had done a good amount of marketing (or so I'd thought) but I was still a bit shocked when the day of May 28th 2019 concluded and I had only made one book sale.
After spending six-years, thousands of dollars on editing and cover design costs as well as other various fees, my launch day was a complete flop.
Things proceeded in the typical up-and-down motion for months. I've since sold well over 100 copies both online and at book signing events and the book still maintains a five star rating on Amazon (knock on wood).
Not bad for being a self-published first-time novelist but also well below my goals.
To be honest, I was very discouraged after this. So much so that I figured this would be it for Legacy Drive. Although I didn't have any plans to write a sequel, the mere idea of writing another book seemed like more heartache, trouble and cost than it was worth.
It was a surprise then when I had a chance phone call with New York Times Best Selling author, A.J. Baime (Go Like Hell, The Accidental President). While I was telling him about my book, he sounded very interested and asked for a copy which I was happy to send him. He'd asked if I was going to write another. I remember sighing out loud and then immediately regretting it. Telling him I didn't have any plans for a follow-up, the conversation seemed to fade after that before we went our separate ways.
In the following days, my mind become somewhat haunted by that conversation.
Why didn't I want to write another book? Was I too scared? Scared of the daunting process? Scared that it'd fall short of the original? Scared of loving the end result but it being another launch day flop? Or maybe that I'd start something and never finish it?
I was reminded at that point of the story of Bill Watson, the main protagonist in Legacy Drive. He was faced with a similar situation but ultimately chose to push forward. Knowing that this character's actions and thoughts were essentially my own, I decided to follow suit.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I began brainstorming where I could take the story. I had various paths I could go on so now I had to decide which one.
It was one of those odd moments of brilliance that only rears its prairie dog head every once in a blue moon. I was sitting on what I refer to as 'The Throne of Exportation' when I was suddenly and overwhelming bombarded with the idea of what wouldn't be one story for a sequel, but two and possibly a third spin-off.
A trilogy! Hazzah!
By the end of the night, I'd written a skeleton outline of the entire second book and had gotten the executive approval from the Board of Common Sense (i.e. my wife) which was the go-ahead I needed.
But in the famous words of Bilbo Baggins in the first Lord of the Rings movie, "Where to begin?"
I wrote the prologue almost overnight but the first chapter proved elusive. Write, stop, sleep, read again, delete, rinse and repeat. That was the routine for weeks. I just couldn't get into the groove I needed.
Once again, however, it was a chance meet that sparked the inspiration.
I'm planning to do something bold in this next book. Very bold and it involves an actual real, living person. Remember, I'm a fiction author.
Yes, that's all the details I'm giving for now (Insert evil laugh). Needless to say, I was stoked when I got approval from said person to push forward with this which sparked the fire I'd needed to get the first chapter finished and—most importantly—to actually like it and keep it.
With that, I'm officially back on the writing saddle again. I have an actual written plan this time (which is more than I can say for Legacy Drive which was written all from my mind) so I'm just hoping it doesn't take years to finish.
Overall, I'm still scared of the process but now I'm more excited than anything to see this story come together. If you were a fan of the original, I feel like you'll really enjoy where the story's going.
Still need of copy of Legacy Drive? Pick it up here on Amazon!