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On Self-Publishing: Ghost Targets

First things first, I need to take care of a little business. You might have already seen this on one of my other sites, but I’ve got three significantly different audiences across all three and,  y’know, I really need to let all of them know.

After all, it’s a good book. You should read it. After you’ve checked out the little advertisement and clicked through to buy your copy, join me below the horizontal rules, and I’ll tell you a little bit about the writing process.

Announcing the Release of Ghost Targets: Expectation by Aaron Pogue

The series continues! Aaron Pogue and Consortium Books are proud to announce the digital release of Ghost Targets: Expectation, the hotly-anticipated sequel to Gods Tomorrow.

Eric Barnes put an end to human aging. Now he’s paying for it with his life.

FBI Special Agent Katie Pratt returns to the Ghost Targets team to find herself and the rest of the team under investigation for corruption by a government agency. Katie’s relationship with Martin Door, one of the creators of the Hathor system and its surveillance of everyone and everything, leaves her especially vulnerable.

The new boss assigns Katie to a case in Boulder, Colorado, to save her from ongoing interrogation, but the case quickly steals the Ghost Targets team’s full attention. A scientist, violently attacked in his own lab, is in a coma.

The victim leads the research for a drug that could end human aging, extending lifespans to thousands of years. The key to the drug is locked in his slumbering brain, but even in this world where every action is recorded in Hathor, the records of the attack on him are gone. Katie must uncover the truth to protect the miracle drug and regain her own reputation.

Katie’s search for answers will force her to scale a mountain of secrets and lies whose summit is the overwhelming power of human expectation.

Available for Kindle, Nook, and all other e-readers at $2.99. (The paperback edition is also now available.)

Man, that’s exciting. You could probably tell from my opening paragraphs, but the sales process really isn’t my thing. I wasn’t born to hawk my wares, digital or otherwise. That said, I was born to write exciting stories.

I’ve told the story behind several of my stories here, including the story about Gods Tomorrow falling fully-formed into my life. I had a couple months at most to dream up an entire novel, and that novel became the birth of my professional career as a writer.

I haven’t told the story about the sequels, though. As you know, I wrote Gods Tomorrow during NaNoWriMo. Thanksgiving always make a big ol’ roadblock right there at the end of November, but this time I was cruising into it. I’d developed this incredible world, I’d finally figured out who my killer was (although my protagonist was still completely in the dark), and I got Trish to agree to drive the long road to Little Rock so I could spend the time scribbling on chapter 13.

I was doing just that, somewhere outside Fort Smith, and all of a sudden I stopped. I picked up my pen and turned to look out the window. And then, for the first time, I really started thinking about the end.

Not the climax. I’d been thinking about the climax ever since chapter 2, and in chapter 13 I was standing on its doorstep, but I hadn’t really thought about what would happen next. Now, I pressed my head back against the seat with my mind racing.

“You know,” I said quietly, “I think this could be a series.”

“Oh yeah?” Trish asked, not really paying attention.

I shook my head. “No, I mean…like, a TV series. Like Law & Order or Bones. The characters I’ve set up, the world…it would be perfect.”

I had some clue how one would go about writing and pitching a TV series, but it involved moving to Los Angeles somewhere early in the process and I wasn’t interested. The more I thought about it, though, the more right that felt. Gods Tomorrow was like the pilot, the special 2-hour miniseries event, and Ghost Targets would be the series that came out of it — Katie Pratt and the Ghost Targets team pursuing the mysteries revealed in Gods Tomorrow but, at the same time, handling regular cases, week-to-week, and in the process bumping up against all manner of crazy and clever criminals.

I couldn’t shake the idea, and within a couple weeks I decided I just had to go ahead and write the series that way. Ghost Targets: Expectation starts a few weeks after the end of Gods Tomorrow and opens with Katie coming back to work and receiving her next case. It’s the first regular “episode” in the long-running series.

And it is long-running series. Before the end of that first December, I had the rough shape of it sketched out: 5 “seasons,” each united by a single overarching themes but featuring 5 “episodes” (the actual novels) that progress the season and series plot, but also individually introduce and resolve their own story plots.

That’s 25 books, and in the two years since I’ve told a few people about my grand plans — and maybe I’ve grinned like a lunatic at their astonished reactions, but I’ve never given up on it. In fact, I’ve been working on the outline, and I’ve got pretty solid plans for all 25 now, and definite plots for at least half of them. As of last November, four of them are now done.

And today, the series becomes a reality. You can pick up Ghost Targets: Expectation at e-retailers everywhere (look at my commercial above for the full list of links). It even features a teaser for episode three, Restraint, which should be available in August.

That’s slow for a TV show, but it’s pretty impressive for a novel series. Come back Thursday and I’ll talk about the process — about how we’re publishing the Ghost Targets books and all the rest. For now, help yourself to a second dose of Katie Pratt.

2 Responses to “On Self-Publishing: Ghost Targets”

  1. As one of your foremost readers and biggest fans, I can testify that the second dose of Katie Pratt is well worth the read and tastes even better than the first! Congratulations, Aaron!

    • Dave Doolin says:

      Yep, me too. This just confirms what I was thinking when I was reading. In fact, it feels a little bit like X Files. I hope you don’t mind me saying that, Aaron. But yeah, you should be able get 5,000+ pages from this world, fairly easily.

      I’d love to see you take on an epic “episode,” something on the scale of Weber’s “Honor Harrington” pieces, or any of Peter Hamilton’s epics.

      In other news, I’m back at another round of blogging!