After writing the third and final novel of the original Eternals Series book I had many people ask if I would continue writing in that universe. My answer to them, of course, was that I would; just not yet.
I'm currently about halfway (43,000+ words) through my newest novel; Photos Taken Some Day. This novel takes the readers into the life of Jacob Williamson; a soldier from Georgia. The focus of the story is Jacob's (Jake) fight with PTSD after coming back from war.
I had the honor of serving side-by-side with some amazing men in the military, and as I have kept my connections with the military community I have seen the devastation of what PTSD can do to a warrior and their family. Even to admit that one has PTSD is a battle in itself. Warriors don't want to face anything that makes them feel as if they are no longer a tried and true fighter and protector. When given the diagnose of PTSD it cuts to the heart of everything they are. Many feel broken.
If one is able to admit they are in the grips of PTSD then comes the battle they never thought they would have to fight; a battle for themselves and for their family. The family then is faced with uncertainty on how to help their returning warrior. Many, sadly, walk away out of misunderstanding, their own feeling of helplessness, or even the constant repercussions and effects of PTSD.
Photos Taken Some Day has been a mind bending exploration for me as I strive to write a novel that will do justice for those dealing with PTSD as well as those who love them. Together we can bring a better understanding to this battle back home, and bring the warriors truly home.
The third and final book in the original Eternals Series has just been released! The Rise captures so much of what the series is about. This book was really fun to write but also hard. It was hard because I had to say goodbye to so many characters. It was hard because I watched as other characters really showed who they have formed in to since The Nephelium.
Whereas The Vapor picked up five years after The Nephelium; The Rise picks up from the very moment the second book ends.
Inside The Rise you will discover answers to questions that originated in The Nephelium. You will come face to face with secrets and revelations that have been right in front of you the whole time.
Please go and check out the new novel: The Rise.
I can still tell you exactly where the first time it happened was. The smells and sounds of that moment are still burned into my brain like the hot end of a brand. I was about eight years old the first time I was molested by a man who was an acquaintance of our family. He just didn't start destroying my mind and soul, but the first time it happened was inside my tree house. This was my childhood escape; a place where I could be anything I wanted to be!
The tree house door had holes in it from where I had shot arrows into it as I was Robin Hood looking to take down the Sheriff of Nottingham. The deck was well constructed and served well as the deck of Captain Hook's ship as I was Peter Pan trying to rescue the lost boys. There was no rescue for me though when it came to the tree house. That moment changed the tree house, my generator of imagination. It changed me forever.
As time moved forward more innocence was stolen from me. Anger began to build up in me, and it was like a vial of inky darkness burst somewhere deep inside. To survive I had to become more than one thing to more than one person.
Somewhere deep inside an 8 year old boy became trapped, but the world demanded me to grow up. I became a master of hiding myself, my pain, and my mind determined that it would do what it could to protect that 8 year old boy.
As I went through my teen years bullying became almost a constant, rejection was amplified, and my mind (out of a desire to have something I could control) began to create worlds, stories, and characters that I could look up on. They were strong warriors, there were dark enemies that would be vanquished, and worlds of uniqueness that pulled me in. Sadly the world around me kept bleeding in. It seemed I could not build my walls thick enough.
The Eternal Series is a peak into the world beyond the curtain of my outward life. As I read through the series it is like that 8 year old boy left bread crumbs for me to follow; for you to follow.
Sure, the story is full of warriors like Ki and Leah, death and darkness like Arioch and Hecate, but also vulnerability like Eve and Victoria. In the middle of all it you discover those who are struggling with understanding themselves such as Isaiah and Troy. You will walk with those torn with their struggle of the black and white within a grey world such as Mantus and Sedit. They are all me.
This became even clearer to me when in the book The Vapor I followed one of the characters into a dark room where an eight year old boy was being molested and photographed. This scene, even though it may only take up one or two pages, took me over a week to write. It was one of the final steps I took in taking back my life and sanity from the demonic being that had taken it from me several decades ago.
This series was not just written for you to enjoy, but my desire was to help you be able to find characters that you can relate to. When we see the world through the eyes of a fictitious character, many times, it allows us to set aside the personal attachment to what we are going through. We, just maybe, can find a new path by seeing it in a different life.
The next couple of months are going to be busy! I remember a day and time where I would wonder what I would do once things got flowing, and now I know! I press forward, drive faster, hit harder!
Yes, so much is taking place! We just had the Grand Opening of our online store! We have had so many fans talk about how they wish they had ways of purchasing items that they could use on a daily basis that has ties to different novels. Our online store now allows that! We have several different T-Shirts, Mugs, and even Beach Towels currently available. The exciting thing is that we have a second round of items that we are already gearing up to release!
With success you will always have hiccups and set backs; it is part of it all and just has to be rolled with. We had started promoting the release of The Nephelium in audio book format. In fact we are only days away from when we had planned on offering it to the fans. Then came to the momentum crusher. I received word yesterday that there were issues in quality control with the audio. Currently I am working with the producer to see what can be done. I am hoping that it only will set back the release and not make it where we have to scrap the project all together for now.
Then there is the amazing news that the cover for book three The Rise was completed. I did a small pre-release to our street team and select fans and the reaction has been amazing. What I have been hearing is that people are loving this cover the best out of the three for the trilogy!
As we look down the road we have several different projects that we are looking at working on! This train in steaming forward! I want to personally thank each of you for the power you are giving to it. None of this would be possible without you the readers and fans!
We are only about two months away from the third and final book in the original trilogy being published. The Rise allows fans to finally see how everything ties together, and yet also gives the glimpse into a large and broader universe.
The Nephelium opened up a door into the lives of the characters that really allowed you to see the struggle and power of free will. This novel makes readers question how free is "free will", and how does circumstances and social mindset play into the choices we make.
In the first novel I wanted to really get the reader to think and not just accept what is spoon fed to them. I challenged many different mindsets and even attempted to capture what it is like to not be able to be yourself out of fear what others will think. Along with that, I wanted to bring to the forefront of the readers mind on how it feels when others do not understand you, and how the world can sweep us up and make us feel as if we are the ride instead of the rider.
The Vapor picked up five years later with the challenge of identity and standing for your principles. How do we handle our true selves and how do we separate that from what we do? Are we what we do or is what we do because of who we are? The reader is faced with the reality that our ever day life is not as simple as white and black. We must be able to see through the eyes of others in order to face the demons within us. This book was fun to right. I enjoyed it more than the first novel, but as it came to a close it left so many questions still unanswered.
The Rise, the third in the trilogy, picks up literally the moment that The Vapor ends. My desire for this novel that will be released Fall of 2019 is to allow the reader and fans of the series to understand that no matter what we have done in the past, no matter the choices we have made, it is never to late to change our direction. Change is not easy and there is even times where we will struggle with what we know to be right and when it gets to hard we fall back to where we had been. How does this shape us? What happens when we look in the mirror and realize that the very thing we have been angry at is ourselves?
When I originally started this series I had intended it to be just a trilogy, and the first three books are that, but the more that I began to get to know each of the characters between the covers of these novels the more I fell in love with them. Once The Rise was complete I believed that I would start working on other novels, and in fact I am, but those who have come alive in this series have so much more to share. Along with those that readers have come to know and love I have heard the voices of others within their universe that are telling me that they also have stories to tell. So, I am excited to share that the research for a new series inside the Eternals' universe has begun.
So many things moving forward and quickly! I recently finished hosting an online workshop for writers and it turned out amazing! It is exciting to watch as others begin to dive into their dreams of writing!
The last book in the Eternal's Trilogy is in the hands of the editor, the audio book for The Nephelium is currently in production, and now I am tackling my new series. After serving seventeen years in the military I look back at the bonds and brotherhood that was born from it. The term "brother" is thrown around a lot these days, but within the military I truly learned the meaning and deep responsibility that comes with that title.
Over the last couple of years I have watched as men who haven't seen each other in years dropped everything for a military brother; no questions asked. I have served in other capacities that spoke of "family" and "brotherhood", but when the cards were all out on the table most of them were not there. Who was there? My military brothers.
In the new novel that I am working on, I hope that I can capture this true idea of "brotherhood" as well as write an exciting book that will be full of drama and action, but will not be your typical military action book. I want to write a novel that military members can read and smile because it touches their soul and the very core of who they are, but at the same time be a fun and heart pounding read for those who have not served. What I don't want to do is make another novel that seems to be cut from the same cloth as all other military action novels.
In reading reviews of military action authors I have seen where some give bad reviews for a lot of acronyms and unfamiliar military jargon. I get that, but if this bothers you then you will most likely not enjoy the novel I am working on. It will be written so that it can be enjoyed by both military and non-military alike; but I want to write a novel that my military brothers can read and smile because they have their world in the palm of their hands.
I do not really remember a time where I didn't read reviews for a new place I wanted to check out. My boys are huge on reading the movie critics reviews, although we do agree that if most critics do not like the movie, we most likely will.
The point I am getting at is that I use to always read reviews, but hardly ever actually posted any. I of course wanted to make sure I was getting my money's worth, and that was why seeing what others think matters. What I never really thought about was the idea of me actually posting my own review. This was not until I started needing reviews.
Over the last few years I have become very intentional with my reviews. In sales most who like and am impressed by your product and services will not say anything, but I can promise that if you did a bad job they will let others know. In all my years of customer service and recruiting I have found that this has not changed; it is just human nature.
As an author I have found the same thing to be true. As an indie author reviews are the life source to new fans, new sales, and also a shot in the arm for the author. The Nephelium and The Vapor have sold copies into the thousands, but on the first novel I have thirteen reviews. My second novel has three reviews. Now, I am fully aware that this is not a true snapshot of those who have read and thoroughly enjoyed this series, but they tell me verbally all the time, but to get fans to write reviews online appears to be something just short of an act of God.
I want you to imagine that you have eaten at your favorite "spot" for years, but times change. The town has new people coming in, and soon people forget about that small favorite "spot" you enjoy eating at. Now, every time you go in there to eat you tell the chef, the owner, the workers how much you love the place. You don't have a lot of time though to actually rate the place online or post even a one line review. Before you know it though the place you live in has passed over the old favorite "spot", and other places have moved in. Places where the "newbies" have made their favorite spot, and they are reviewing it! This attracts others to these new places, and you soon go to eat at your favorite "spot", and you find it closing due to lack of business.
Reviews are vital, especially to small indie artist and authors. Your reviews do a few things:
1. It notifies others who are "searching" that this is a good quality product or service for their money, and they will gravitate towards it even more.
2. In the case of indie authors, it gives that author a shot in the arm. If you really enjoy that author then if you post a review it tells the world and that author that this is something special. I have days where I become so discouraged, but then I will have someone post a review, and I can literally type out chapters worth of new material. Why? Because I know that someone out there is waiting, and I don't want to let them down.
3. Indie authors are not backed by huge publishing houses with a massive machine moving a book forward. Thing about the last time you stopped into a new drinking hole, and there you heard a new unsigned band that blew your mind away. You tell yourself this music is better than anything force fed to you by "the machine". That is who authors are. The publishing houses are pumping out more and more "quick trend" but "low quality" products to try to catch a new hype, and we as the consumer are left with spending money on a new product that we are less than satisfied. Well, a review of that "indie artist" could help them become noticed.
If that Indie author wants to be noticed and picked up they will need the numbers in sales but also a following that is revealed through reviews.
Even if you are unable to type out a review quickly it should only take, maybe a minute, and not real investment to you, but a good review could be the cherry on top that will send that product or creator over the line to the next level.
Want to know what Author and Motivational Speaker Nathan Parks is up to? What to stay up-to-date with new releases? Bookmark this page or send an email requesting to be placed on a mailing list.