Preternatural by Peter Topside

Peter Topside has hit the mark with an enjoyable story for a debut novel. The antagonist, Blackheart, is the dark soul of this book. There are no Twilight vampires in Peter’s world or in the small town of Meadowsville, which has decided to use the strange deaths and legend to increase tourism, led of course, by the town’s mayor.

The myth surrounding the creature of the night was original and engaging, even though there were some awkward moments where I thought a bit more editing of the book could have enhanced the story. Overall, this was an original and creative endeavor for Peter’s debut work of fiction.

As another horror genre writer, I know that writing a trilogy can be difficult. The author must ensure that each of the novels has a solid ending, so the reader doesn’t feel cheated with unnecessary cliffhangers. Peter thankfully didn’t have this problem. Preternatural has a definite conclusion and one where I felt satisfied and not cheated.

I’m looking forward to reading the second in the trilogy and seeing how Peter continues the story of Blackheart and Meadowsville.

To Stand Alone or Not

Sorry for my silence. I decided to unplug myself over the holidays to focus my attention on finishing some writing projects. I completed Book 2 of the Geraldine Flanders trilogy, and I’m well into book 3. I also have some exciting news to share about another book project, but that will be for another post. For now, this is where my mind is wandering.

Over the years, I’ve written both stand-alone novels and novellas and a series or trilogy if you prefer since there were only three books in the series. While I was writing the first Thomas Newton novel, Secret Societies, I had no idea or intention of writing more books featuring Thomas Newton. I always meant for it to be a stand-alone novel from the beginning. It wasn’t until after the Secret Societies was published and out in the world that I decided to undertake Thomas’ sequel (The Thief Taker) and then another year and a half before I decided there needed to be closure and write the third and final installment (Den of Thieves).

Looking back now, I can see where my mistakes were in this jagged way of writing a series. The third book came out two and half years after the second and was published by a different publisher than the first two. While sales and the reviews were good, I wasn’t happy with how it all came about.

I’ve just finished the second book in a new trilogy. The difference now is that I started out knowing there would be three books, and none of them have been published yet. This time I have a plan, unlike the last time – a scheduled release during 2022 where the readers don’t have to wait a year or more for the next book to come out.

I’ve also learned an important lesson in planning and writing this trilogy. I guess writing, like most professions, is a never-ending learning experience. Having all the books unpublished gives me the freedom to go back and make changes to the first book while ending the second or making changes to the second book while working on the third. This newfound freedom of writing a trilogy has offered me an ideal way of making sure all the books are cohesive and that there are no gaps in the three stories.

I’m enjoying this authorial freedom and hope that once the trilogy is released, the readers will enjoy it as well.